Newcomers to this blog are advised to begin with the first two posts, Just the Facts, Ma'am and Case Solved, which explain in very general terms why I believe I've solved this case. Some important questions are answered in the following post, Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, Misdirections. After that feel free to browse whatever topics might interest you (see blog archive).

NB: If anyone has trouble posting a comment, email it to doktorgosh (at) live.com, and I'll post it for you.

Notice to readers of my Kindle book: I recently noticed that, on certain devices (though not all), the Table of Contents begins with Chapter One and omits the Introduction and Preface. Since the Introduction is especially important, I urge everyone to make sure to begin reading at the very beginning of the book, not the first chapter in the Table of Contents. Thank you.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Methodological Issues

I'm aware, of course, that I'm not the only one with a theory regarding this very notorious, highly publicized case. And when I read some of the other theories I get discouraged, because I realize, very painfully, how easy it is for people to delude themselves into believing they've solved it. We can't all be right, obviously, but nevertheless most of us are in fact all too easily convinced by our own arguments, which is troubling. And I have to admit, my thinking may be no better than anyone else's.

That said, I do feel that my methods are very different from those of anyone else writing about this case and I think it important that I make some attempt to explain them.  So here goes:

First of all, my approach is oriented primarily toward facts and only secondarily toward evidence. While the various and sundry pieces of evidence should certainly not be ignored, in this particular case almost all are either inconclusive, irrelevant, confusing or contrived. Because it's so easy to be misled by all the various bits of evidence I feel it important to rely primarily on the facts, i.e., that which is known to be the case beyond any question. Of course, facts are also evidence, but not all evidence is factual, so we must be very careful to distinguish between the two.

Secondly, since the facts themselves need to be interpreted, I rely also on logical inference. For example, we know for a fact that intact, undisturbed spider webs were found both on the grate over the well leading to the basement window and in the window opening itself, and we know for a fact that none of the dirt and dust covering the window sill was disturbed. We can infer from these facts, as did the police who reported "no sign of forced entry," that no one passed through that window on the night of the crime.

And finally, I try very hard to avoid making assumptions, or uncritically accepting opinions or testimony, even when offered by so-called "experts" or eye witnesses. For example, it's generally believed that "the Ramseys" called 911 early on the morning of Dec. 26th, 1996. But is this really a fact? Of course not. The call was made, not by some theoretical entity called "the Ramseys," but by Patsy Ramsey, a person who had a separate identity and was capable of acting independently of her spouse. The notion that "the Ramseys" called 911 is an assumption, not a fact. The fact is that Patsy called 911.

Moreover, the notion that both John and Patsy agreed to make that call is also an assumption, not a fact, though usually treated as a fact. All we have to go on regarding that call is the testimony offered by the Ramseys themselves. And since both Ramseys were prime suspects in the murder of their daughter, there is no reason to accept their version of what happened. There are, in fact, two contradictory versions: the one offered by the Ramseys in their book, and another offered by Patsy when interviewed for the A&E documentary on the case. In the former, it is John who tells Patsy to call, but in the latter it is Patsy who informs John that she had decided to make the call. In the former, John is next to her when she picks up the receiver, down on his knees examining the note; in the latter, John is going upstairs to check on their son, Burke, while Patsy runs downstairs to make the call. Neither version is necessarily factual, but it is a fact that the two versions contradict one another. And we need to ask: why?

Another example of an assumption taken as fact is the assumption that John could not have written the ransom note. This assumption is based on the opinion of a team of handwriting "experts" who decided, for some reason that's never been made public, to rule John out as a possible writer of the note. Now an opinion is not the same as a fact, even when offered by a group of experts. And when we take into account that questioned document analysis is not regarded as a true science and that, in many instances, judges have refused to allow the opinions of such "experts" as courtroom testimony for just this reason, then we have good reason to be skeptical regarding the decision to "rule out" John Ramsey. Which tells us that the person who was, in fact, the leading suspect prior to that fateful decision, must be ruled back IN.

Another example of an assumption taken as fact, is the assumption that some miniscule traces of male "touch DNA" found on the victim's clothing must be that of her attacker. On the basis of this assumption, DA Mary Lacy famously "exonerated" the Ramseys, a decision regarded as outrageous and uncalled for by many law enforcement professionals. The fact is that "touch DNA" is very easily transferred, both directly and indirectly, from one person or object to another and the DNA in question could easily have been transferred to JonBenet in a completely innocent manner. Once on her fingers it could have then been transferred to any part of her body she herself happened to touch. According to Lacy's lead investigator, James Kolar, in his authoritative book, Foreign Faction, six different unsourced DNA profiles were found on the victim's clothing. Was she attacked, as he suggests, tongue in cheek, by six different intruders? Or did she pick up the DNA of six different people accidentally, in the course of her normal activities during the preceding days?

Because this case has become so very complex, so very mysterious, with such a superabundance of both evidence and suspects, and so many assumptions, opinions, and contradictory and/or questionable testimony, it is, in my view, especially important to exercise the greatest diligence in tracking down the facts and only the facts and not allowing oneself to get distracted by all the rest. If we stick ONLY with the facts, and very straightforward inferences based on these facts, then as it seems to me, a very clear picture emerges. Which is what this blog is all about.



180 comments:

  1. hi doc. you theory makes the most sense. i agree with almost everything you say, but i cant help thinking patsy is covering for john. maybe he did brainwash her.

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    1. Well, I do think think John manipulated her into supporting his version of what happened, especially regarding the 911 call and the window breakin. But I seriously doubt she would have covered for him in this way if she suspected him of murdering JonBenet. The decision to rule John out as writer of the note would have convinced her of his innocence, just as it's convinced so many others.

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  2. must look at facts and evidence as you say, and rightly so, it is of course the only way to understand what happened. I do however wonder as to the evidence of the dna found underneath jonbenets fingernails, are we to believe this was planted there, as this is not touch dna.

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    1. There were no skin cells found under her fingernails. The DNA they found there seems to have been the result of contamination from the instruments used by the medical examiner's assistants, apparently. It's not considered relevant.

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  3. I wonder if John lied to Patsy and told her Burke killed JonBenet and that that they needed to cover for him?

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    1. I think this theory is worth considering and look forward to Doc's thoughts. Implicating Patsy in the coverup resolves some issues: John excluded as writer of RN, while Patsy not excluded and, as to some experts, determined to have written the RN; Patsy not realizing John not in bed for a significant period to commit murder, prepare set-up, draft RN; Patsy in same clothes next morning; Patsy agreeing to lie at John's suggestion which is more readily believable if protecting Burke. The theory no doubt has weaknesses as well, like calling cops while body still in the house. One would have to assume that John and Patsy concluded that disposal not feasible.

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    2. Please reread the above post. If you pay attention ONLY to the facts and draw inferences based ONLY on the facts, and avoid making assumptions, you'll see that Patsy could not have been involved in the kidnap staging. She may have been convinced to tell some white lies, but I feel sure she knew nothing about the killing of JonBenet. All the so-called "evidence" pointing to Patsy is questionable to say the least.

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  4. There is another weakness as well. Once John advised Patsy that Burke the killer, then you would think she would confront Burke with this accusation which he, of course, would deny. One would presumably have to assume that Patsy didn't believe Burke's denial.

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    1. If you do a search on Burke (you can use the search mechanism at the upper left) you'll see all the reasons why I feel sure he had nothing to do with Jon
      Benet's death.

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    2. And I find it impossible to believe he could have convinced Patsy that Burke did it if in fact he didn't. He would certainly have denied it.

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    3. I think it is credible that Patsy was AFRAID it was Burke. That fear would create paralysis and all sorts of defensive lies and behavior. JR would not have to say so, just imply that it was so. She would never seek the truth and risk losing her only remaining child. This scenario would also make her incredibly vulnerable to suggestion. It would explain her frozen behavior when her daughter's body was discovered, and her ongoing confusion. I agree that she would probably not protect JR, but most parents would protect their children and argue for an intruder from
      Mars if necessary. If PR started to fear it was BR, perhaps as soon as immediately after the 911 call, it explains all her behavior.

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  5. Doc G, thanks for your great blog. This time of year always brings Jon Benet to my thoughts. I have been thinking the past couple of weeks and I have a couple of questions/thoughts.

    I think I either read to watched a previous interview where the $118,000 was discussed with the Ramseys. I recall either Patsy or John saying it was similar to his bonus he got in April. I had been thinking that he got a Christmas bonus and didn't realize it was several months before.

    I do know that the Ramseys were pretty wealthy, but when John went to the bank to retrieve the ransom was he going to be able to withdraw that kind of money out of savings? And if so how much cash on hand did they have available. To me I have thought that was where the amount came from. Based on how much cash he had in Colorado that he could give up and still be able to live.

    And my next thought was, did Patsy have any idea how much money was available to them? I am wondering did she pay any bills, look at bank statements etc. Were bank statements even delivered to the house or did they go to an accountant? And did Patsy meet with the accountant regularly?

    My thought process is that Patsy didn't keep up with the money at all and had no clue where all their money was and therefore is another solid reason she wouldn't have wrote the ransom note.

    I am assuming that John would have been able to get that money in a few minutes and wouldn't have to obtain a loan or wait a couple of days. Even really wealthy people may not have liquid funds available and would have taken a few hours. I also assume that this money was at a bank in Colorado. Technology was different 17 years ago so money was not as easily transferred. I haven't seen any documents released on their accounts etc, so I was inquiring to see if you knew.

    I feel this aspect gives lots of clues and clearly points away from Patsy and straight to John if I am right about some of my assumptions. I also think that if John had withdrew the money he would have buried/hid it somewhere and at some point years later would have slowly brought it back. I don't feel he would have just thrown that much money away. So what is your thoughts on this and is there somewhere I could read about the Ramsey's accounts etc?

    GSW

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    1. Good question. Don't forget, John was a multi-millionaire. The $118,000 was just a recent bonus and I'm sure he could have lived without it. He would have known whether or not his bank held that amount of cash on hand and if it did I doubt he'd have had any problem withdrawing it from one or more of his accounts. After all he ran a billion dollar company so roughly 100,000 wouldn't be considered such a big deal in that context. And if the bank didn't have that much cash on hand he could always have told the police he convinced the "kidnappers" to settle for less. The note would have put him in complete control of the situation and he could improvise as necessary with no worries, because, after all, there WAS no kidnapper was there?

      That amount of money would represent the cost of getting away with murder, so I don't think he would have worried too much about paying it. I think he'd have destroyed it, probably burned it, to make sure it was never found.

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    2. As far as Patsy is concerned, yes, she probably knew about the $118,000 because John would probably have informed her about his bonus, why not? And if they were in it together then it doesn't really matter does it?

      However, if she were the guilty party and John is innocent, then why was SHE the one who called the police, not John?

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    3. I think it is possible that the $118,000 was used so to not tip the police off too much. A normal ransom note would most likely ask a multi-millionaire for millions or at least half a million. The higher the number the more likely the police would take the note seriously and call the FBI, etc. The writer did not want a red alert, they wanted it to look like a quiet little ransom request, nothing to be alarmed about. The insignificant amount of monetary request coupled with the severe, graphic, and violent description of how they would harm the child is very telling that JonBenet was already dead and the ransom note was a mere cover up, but that the note was not to be taken seriously by authorities due to the paltry amount requested.

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    4. What do you think about Patsy saying "We have a kidnapping" on the 911 call? To me it sounds like something she would've heard a cop say on a crime-drama show.

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    5. In her card written to "Bob" (one of Darnay Hoffman's handwriting examples), Patsy writes "I have a little "pageant person."" Which tells me a phrase like "We have a kidnapping" is consistent with her style of expressing herself, thus not something lifted from a TV show.

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    6. I think the reason the amount of $118,000 was used was to cause suspicion that someone who worked for John was jealous and heard about his bonus . . . then asked for the very same amount. I think John wrote the RN and purposely put this figure in, along with other odd statements, to convince the police that whoever wrote the note had it in for John. This set the groundwork that John was not the writer of the note, in my opinion.

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    7. Yes, that's my take on it too. I think that amount was also chosen because it was an amount John could have afforded to live without. If all had gone according to his original plan, he'd have had to destroy it. The two motives sort of went together, in that he could justify the relatively small ransom by claiming that this amount must have been a "message" from the kidnapper.

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  6. Oh I agree with you completely that Patsy is innocent and John appears to be the guilty party. As a matter of fact, your explanation is the only one that has made any sense to me.

    My thoughts on Patsy was Yes she knew about the bonus, but if he had gotten it back 8 to 10 months earlier, she wouldn't know if that money was still sitting in the bank or had been invested in property etc. My opinion of her was she was smart but concentrated on her family and not the money. As I figure John was the only one who knew how much money they had to throw away and she wouldn't know if she could go to the bank and withdraw that large sum or not.

    Although my husband and I have done quite well, I can't wrap my brain around burning that large sum of money. I figure John and done some kind of calculating when he came up with the $118,000 as to how easy he could get his hands on it, amount he could easily live without, etc, unless he was planning on using that amount to frame someone possibly?

    Thanks again for the great blog and your insight.

    GSW

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  7. "I think this theory is worth considering and look forward to Doc's thoughts. Implicating Patsy in the coverup resolves some issues: John excluded as writer of RN, while Patsy not excluded and, as to some experts, determined to have written the RN; Patsy not realizing John not in bed for a significant period to commit murder, prepare set-up, draft RN; Patsy in same clothes next morning; Patsy agreeing to lie at John's suggestion which is more readily believable if protecting Burke. The theory no doubt has weaknesses as well, like calling cops while body still in the house. One would have to assume that John and Patsy concluded that disposal not feasible."

    Concerning JR ruled out and PR not ruled out, where people go wrong is not realizing who the "experts" are and who was paying them.

    JR's experts were hired by JR, and were expected, explicitly or implicitly, that JR didn't write the note. It's too bad the police allowed JR's experts to work with them and influence them. That should not have happened.

    Darnay Hoffman's experts were hired by Hoffman to prove PR wrote the note.

    The only 4 opinions that should be considered are the 4 police "experts". Chet Ubowski privately thinks PR wrote the note, but admits the evidence does not support his opinion. Professionally, all 4 think it's unlikely PR wrote the note.

    At trial expert testimony is subject to cross exam and to questions designed to question credibility. (See Doc's posts on handwriting for some of the "scientific" questions a lawyer would have put to Hoffman's experts). But there was no trial, so these "experts" opinions are not even subjected to tough questioning, or even mild questioning. They are simply accepted w/o much question. Their methodology is highly suspect, but never subjected to cross exam.

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    1. Thanks for your very sensible response. By the way, there WAS a trial, a civil trial on behalf of Chris Wolf, who had been named by the Ramseys as a suspect. And guess who Wolf's lawyer was: Darnay Hoffman! Hoffman arranged for some of his "experts" to testify that Patsy MUST have written the note. But the judge refused to buy it and tossed out the case. For more on Carnes' decision, see http://truthinjustice.org/ramsey.htm

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    2. I had forgotten about CW's civil trial. You're right, the attempt to prove PR wrote the note failed miserably at trial.

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  8. I've seen criticism of your methods on WS. Specifically it was stated that nothing can be validly inferred from the RN because it's phoney.

    Wondered what your thoughts were.

    My thoughts are that the conclusion that the note is phoney seems to have been drawn by your critic, and he seems to have drawn that conclusion, at least partly, from the RN itself.

    To me the RN is a major piece of evidence, factual evidence. It's a RN, as it clearly makes a demand for ransom. It's not a revenge note, nor a sex killer note.

    We have to ask why there is a RN and a body, and imo most other theories of the case can't explain this in a way that makes any sense.

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    1. Most of those who've convinced themselves that Patsy wrote the note see it as some over the top nonsense, or else some sort of encoded message to John, which also makes little sense. However, once we turn our attention from Patsy to John, then, as it seems to me, the meaning of the note becomes clear. But no one wants to do that because almost everyone has been content to accept the "ruled out" verdict.

      The note would have done nothing for Patsy, but it is addressed specifically to John and very clearly puts John in charge of the ransom process. It then outlines a scenario that would have given John the perfect excuse NOT to all the police and to dump the body under the pretext of delivering the ransom.

      Sure, the note is phoney. But it was obviously written for a reason and the various details in the note must have a purpose or its writer wouldn't have taken all that time and trouble to include them. As I see it, my theory explains the note, while from every other perspective it just looks like nonsense.

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    2. If this is what you believe, then why did John leave the note on the step for Patsy to find in the morning, then go to bed next to his wife, all while the daughter he molested and murdered was still in the house? If his plan to have Patsy not call the police had gone through, how did he plan to get his six year old daughter out of the house while his hysterical wife and son were there too? There would be too many obstacles - what if Patsy ran around the house looking for JonBenet and found her? What if patsy got scared and refused to leave John's side? What if she insisted on going to the bank with him? Or the option that we know took place, what if she freaked out and called the police? I know there were periods of time where John was missing, so much is open to interpretation, but for his plan to hinge on Patsy allowing John breathing room that morning so he could continue on with his plan seems stupid. It isn't like JonBenet was a little baby that could fit in a knapsack, she was a six year old child.

      Also, it has been noted that JonBenet's body was wiped down. Did they ever find the item that was used to wipe her down?

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    3. You make some good points, but as I see it, the logic of the case is clear. There was no intruder, because no intruder theory has ever made any sense. AND because John clearly lied about the basement window.

      If Patsy wrote the note, she would not have called 911 with the body still in the house. So the ONLY other possibility would seem to be that John wrote the note to 1. discourage Patsy from turning the house upside down looking for JonBenet -- that part worked; 2. to frighten Patsy from calling the police -- that part didn't work; 3. to provide himself with a reason for not calling the police, which might well have worked and 4. to provide himself with a reason for being seen in the vicinity of where the corpse would eventually be found -- he could say he was delivering the ransom -- that might well have worked.

      As for the other difficulties you raise, sure, they were very real and there are many reasons why John's plan could have failed. And in fact it did fail. However, we have to understand that if John had killed his daughter, as I believe he did, then he'd have had very few options, and a very strong incentive to take whatever risks were necessary to find a way out of the trap he'd created for himself. I think the note was written in desperation, as the most convincing thing he could think of and that it outlines a plan that could have worked. But certainly there were all sorts of problems with it, it was certainly not perfect. It's what you would expect from a very intelligent and manipulative person in a desperate situation.

      The bottom line is that the note makes sense ONLY if we see it as written by John to stage a kidnapping and give himself a chance to delay calling the police until he had dumped the body.

      As far as Patsy's getting in his way, I think the plan was to persuade her to take Burke and stay with friends "for their own safety," while he dealt with the "kidnappers." Of course he'd have been taking a chance, because she might have refused to do that, just as she refused to wait before calling 911. I never said it was a perfect plan, only that it was a plan that makes sense. NO other scenario does.

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  9. Interesting. But why would they kill her? If it was by accident then how could she have been sexually abused. Moreover how could Patsy sexually abuse her at all? And if John did it then why didnt they find his dna on her? I think it is the work of an intruder. Someone who had befriended Jonbenet. Someone who gained her trust. She said to people that she'd get a visit from Santa. I believe this was told to her by the intruder himself. I dont think the intruder climbed in through the window. It was known that the Ramsey's had given their keys to a number of friends. I'm not saying that the killer was one of them. But he could have easily been someone related to them. Or Jonbenet herself could have given him a key because she trusted him and was eager to meet her Santa. He staged the window stuff as a red herring. He might have wanted to kidnap her for the money but accidentally killed her and left her body there. Or the ransom note could have also been a red herring. Or maybe the killer was one of the brothers' friends and it was Burke who helped him enter. Also, is there a chance that the parents were not home at all that night? Maybe the kids were left alone in the house while they went out and partied or whatever. It could have been that they came back home and found out about the kidnapping. Maybe they are hiding it from the public to avoid a parental negligence scandal. This would explain Patsy Ramsey wearing the same clothes and makeup as the previous nights' christmas party. This would also explain the peculiar and guilty behavior of the Ramseys.
    That being said, it might have also been as u say it was. That one of the parents killed her. In that case certain officials must have been bribed. Otherwise they were bound to find concrete evidences against them. There is no such thing as a perfect crime...

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    1. No intruder theory can explain all the various things an intruder would have done or failed to do, regardless of what specific type of intruder you might come up with. It isn't necessary, by the way, to refute each and every intruder possibility -- the possibilities are endless in any case, so they all can't be refuted one by one. But that isn't necessary, because not only is there no conclusive intruder evidence, but all the evidence we do have points away from an intruder and toward someone in the home that night. For the details you can do a search on "intruder" in this blog. An intruder simply makes no sense.

      As for John, as I recall from Kolar's book, his DNA was in fact found on JonBenet. Why wouldn't it have been? He was her father, he'd been carrying her, so naturally his DNA would be on her whether or not he was the attacker. That DNA is rarely mentioned because it's too easily explained so has no meaning as evidence. However, fibers from his shirt were found in JonBenet's brand new, out-of-the-plastic-container panties. That's much harder to explain.

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    2. Also, if the Ramsey's were out "partying" that night, there's a good chance they would have been seen and this would have created a perfect alibi for them -- meaning they would not have been present during the commission of the crime. I doubt a neglect charge would have mattered in the slightest to them. They would have called the police immediately and BOTH of them would have been discovered wearing the same clothes from the previous evening.

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  10. If John was indeed the murderer then would he really be stupid enough to write the exact bonus amount in the ransom note? This made the Ramsey family look even more suspicious. He could have easily written a different amount,200000 or something. Why would he draw attention to himself?

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    1. It looks to me as though John wanted the police to think the "kidnapper" was someone with a personal grudge against him, which would most likely be someone associated with his business who felt slighted or insulted. There's a lot of sarcasm and hostility in the note so it's not difficult to see the $118,000 as part of that pattern. Same with the bit about "good southern common sense," which was apparently something Patsy used to say.

      The idea is that this is someone familiar with John's business and also his family. That would provide a believable motive for kidnapping and murder.

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  11. By the way: Merry Christmas to everyone reading and posting here. Your participation in this blog has been a great gift! And of course Christmas can't go by without recalling the tragic circumstances of JonBenet's death, so we can't help thinking about those horrible events on what otherwise would be a completely joyous occasion.

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  12. Merry Christmas to you too, Doc. I think John intentionally put clues in the RN in an attempt to have fingers pointed at other people, specific people, even Patsy. The housekeeper, even his friends. What an amazingly selfish, despicable human being.

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  13. But why would JR kill his own little girl? What motive could he possibly have?

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    1. According to Dr. Cyril Wecht, the Medical Examiner found chronic erosion of the interior wall of the vagina, consistent with chronic sexual abuse. There was hardly anything left of her hymen. The sexual abuse has, of course, been disputed, but if we are going to consider John as our prime suspect then it makes sense to put two and two together and speculate that he could have been sexually abusing his daughter and that she had threatened to expose him. That's a pretty powerful motive. Certainly more convincing than bed wetting.

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  14. JonBenet would've had to threaten to tell on him about the sexual abuse

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    1. This might actually be a stupid question but can six year olds understand what sexual abuse is? Also i too was abused by an asshole of an uncle at that age but i never told on him mostly because i thought no one would believe me. And many of my friends i later came to know have done the same. Children that age usually dont have that much confidence. And in this case he was her her own father. She trusted her. He could have easily convinced her that whatever he was doing was nothing wrong. If not so,he could atleast convince Patsy that Jonbenet was making up stories that she heard from friends or had seen on tv. It is obvious that Patsy trusted her husband almost blindly if she believed his "Burke killed Jonbenet" story. I guess what i'm trying to say is that killing in this case seems a little extreme.

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    2. Every case is different. Every victim is different. And every killer is different. In this case it looks very much like JonBenet was aware enough to understand the difference between what was appropriate and what was inappropriate. And strong willed enough to challenge her father. Maybe you're right and most abused children are too intimidated to resist -- but most abused children aren't murdered either. JonBenet WAS murdered and also sexually assaulted. That plus the evidence of chronic abuse, plus the extreme unlikelihood of an intruder, points very clearly to a father terrified of a daughter who could so easily expose him.

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    3. In this case it looks very much like JonBenet was aware enough to understand the difference between what was appropriate and what was inappropriate. And strong willed enough to challenge her father.

      Where in the world are you getting the information that JonBenet threatened to tell on her father who was molesting her? There is no evidence of either in the slightest. Yes, if JonBenet was being molested, John was a top suspect, but to speculate that he killed his daughter because she was threatening to out him seems like you are trying to make a scenario fit your theory. Also, if you state that JohBenet was chronically molested, most likely by her father, why did she decide to all of a sudden threaten her father that night? What changed? You can't just make up scenarios because you think it is the most logical explanation and then argue that others doing the same are not working with facts. There are other scenarios that could likely work other than JonBenet threatening her dad. What if when someone tried to take her to the basement, she fell down the stairs and hit her head? There are too many scenarios open to interpretation, especially for each individual who has their own theory. Of course, if you are going with the John as the killer theory, your scenario will work for you.

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    4. First I look at the facts. Then I apply some very simple straightforward logic to those facts. And the combination of the facts and the logic has lead me to my conclusion, which is that John Ramsey must have killed his daughter and written the note to stage a phoney kidnapping, distract and manipulate his wife and give him a reason to be seen in the vicinity of where the body would eventually be found.

      As for the rest, that's my attempt to understand what happened and why, and on that score i could be wrong, it's basically speculation. I feel sure John killed his daughter, thanks to the facts and the logic, as explicated in the first two posts on this blog. I can't be sure what his motive was, but realistically and in view of the medical examiner's report it does seem logical to speculate that he was probably molesting her. Wecht thinks it could have been an accident due to "erotic strangulation," but I have problems with that theory because it doesn't fit the evidence associated with her death. I think the head blow came first and the severity of that blow indicates it was deliberate, not the result of an accident. So now we have to ask ourselves what motive he could have had for striking such a blow. If he could have safely assumed JonBenet wouldn't say anything then he would probably not have killed her. So the most likely reason for his killing her is that he was afraid she was going to expose him.

      If you have a more likely scenario in mind I'd love to hear it.

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  15. Merry Christmas everyone! I just have a few questions-
    Assuming JR is the Jonbenet killer, why did he use a stun gun on her? And if he did,why didnt he molest her in her bedroom itself? Why would he feed her pineapples? Then after molesting why wouldnt he simply come back to his bedroom,why would he kill her? And lastly, why would he suddenly want to rape his daughter anyway? Jonbenet doctors said that they were no signs of prior sexual trauma to the girl's body and JR's other children said he was never in the habit of harming his children. Then why would he feel like doing something like this,sort of,out of the blue?

    Btw,this blog is amazing! I live halfway across the world from the Ramseys and have no real info apart from what i find online. But this murder has really affected me. And i too want to help out in any way that i can. And this blog is helping me know all that i didnt know before. So thank you.

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    1. I remember that the marks on JBR’s back matched pieces of the toy train arrangement. It would seem the body was placed on the train layout as it was garroted and molested. There may have been no stun gun at all.

      He lured her downstairs with the promise of a private visit from Santa and a pineapple treat. Then he bludgeoned her from behind, a violent strike, unhampered by bedroom clutter, and easy to clean up.

      She was getting headstrong, creating messes, defying her mother, and telling people she was being molested. There was evidence of prior trauma, and he was looking at big trouble.

      She was the only little girl he ever found irresistible. She was gorgeous.

      These are just guesses, of course, but if you have the time, follow the links and read the whole blog. It’s worth it, better than a book, and your questions will be answered.

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    2. "Assuming JR is the Jonbenet killer, why did he use a stun gun on her?"

      There is no evidence a stun gun was used. That's something dreamed up by Lou Smit as one of many red herrings he tossed out. As for the other details I don't see them as having much of a bearing on the case. She could have been molested anywhere in the house, we don't know. As for why he'd have wanted to sexually molest his daughter, all I can say is that it DOES happen. And more often than one would like to think.

      Of course we really don't know exactly what happened or what the motive might have been. However, given what we do know, especially from the medical examiner's report, a motive associated with sexual abuse and fear of exposure seems to make the most sense. Remember, however, that my conviction that John is the murderer is NOT based on any of that. It's based on established facts, not conjecture, and the logic of the case as a whole, as outlined in my first two posts.

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  16. Why would a father have to lure his daughter. Children trust their parents. He could have asked her to come with him. And also is it a known fact that she told people she was being molested or just an assumption?

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    1. There is no evidence she told anyone she was being molested. But the ME found physical evidence consistent with such molestation.

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  17. Doc, love your blog, great work! I believe you have written about this before, but did the edical experts say whether or not JBR had the duct tape over her mouth before or after she died? I know that when JR just happened to find her body, he ripped the duct tape off her mouth.
    Also, the RN just reeks of this case being done by an amatuer (JR) and not an intruder. JR through the ransom note and comments tries to blame as many people as possible to point the finger away from himself as much as possible.

    -J

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    1. The duct tape apparently showed a clear imprint of her lips, which suggests it was probably applied either after her death or while she was unconscious from the head blow. If she'd been alive when it was applied, her lips would have moved and the impression would not have been so clear. So it does look like staging. The tape could in fact have been applied after the police arrived, in a last minute attempt to stage an intruder.

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  18. If Jr killed JBR,could it have been accidental? Eg-she struggled too much while he molested her and accidentally hit her head somewhere and died. Or maybe she wasnt molested at all, the father got angry or whatever and pushed her and she hit her head and died. After this JR panicked and planted false clues like the ransom note. I dont know if this at all makes any sense. But the only reason i'm proposing this is that no one is as of now completely sure of the father's motive for killing his daughter. And that might because there really was no motive at all.

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    1. Dr. Wecht believes it was an accident, that she was strangled as the result of a sex game gone wrong and only afterward struck over the head, apparently to finish her off. I disagree, because 1. being strangled with a narrow cord is NOT sexually pleasurable under any circumstances and 2. tufts of her hair entwined in the knot tell us the strangulation device was constructed right on top of her. That would have been extremely painful if she'd been conscious at the time and she'd have struggled, making it all but impossible to tie that intricate knot.

      It looks to most investigators, and I agree, that the head blow came first. It was a tremendous blow that cracked her skull from end to end, so it's hard to see that as an accident. I think she was probably deliberately murdered. Many people are made uncomfortable by such a thought, including me, but I see no other alternative given the facts of the case.

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    2. My understanding of EA within this context is that it isn't meant to be pleasurable for the victim, but is intended to produce reactions which mimic orgasm, allowing the perpetrator to feel that what is being done is pleasurable to the victim or making the "scene" pleasurable for the perp.

      The main problem with Wecht's analysis is that what was constructed was essentially a noose. It tightened as it was pulled, but did not loosen easily as an EA device needs to do.

      There's really no reason the knot couldn't have been constructed on top of her w/o a struggle. She'd have no real reason to struggle until the noose was tightened.

      IMO there was nothing accidental about the "garrotting". Had it been a sex game and the noose got too tight it could simply have been loosened. The depth of the furrow suggests to me a very deliberate strangulation.

      While I tend towards the idea that the blow came first, there really isn't any way to say it couldn't have come just moments after the noose was tightened.

      I don't think the blow was accidental. There was no scalp laceration, meaning she had to be hit with something that wouldn't cut her skin. If we recall that the earlier incident of BR hitting her with a golf club caused a laceration we have good reason to doubt it was a golf club. If we consider that the flashlight had a rubber coating we have good reason to consider the flashlight as a likely weapon- the rubber coating preventing laceration. A long weapon like a golf club would make it possible for a boy to deliver the necessary physical force to crack the skull. The smaller weapon would require a larger stronger person to deliver the same force. It seems to me the likely weapon is the flashlight and that makes BR unlikely to have delivered the blow. Since the blow was then likely delivered by an adult it's hard to see it as an accident. I feel it's most likely the blow was no accident, and since there would be no reason to bash her skull after strangulation, the blow likely came first.

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    3. Thanks for this excellent analysis. For the most part, I agree.

      However: "There's really no reason the knot couldn't have been constructed on top of her w/o a struggle. She'd have no real reason to struggle until the noose was tightened."

      Since tufts of her hair were entangled in the knotting of this device, she'd have been in considerable pain as it was being constructed and would certainly have been struggling. This strongly suggests it must have been constructed after the head blow, which would have knocked her out.

      I have no problem with the rest of your analysis, which makes sense. Thanks.

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    4. Hair could be entangled in the knot before there was any pulling at the roots. The noose can't be constricted until the knot is tied and the long part of the rope is pulled. She wouldn't be in any pain from the hair being pulled until the noose was constricted, causing the hair to be pulled.

      Just playing Devil's advocate here. We don't technically know what happened, we can only make reasoned guesses.

      For me the finality (e.g. the effectiveness of the noose in causing death) suggests it was last. I see no good reason why the blow to the head would be needed at all if she is already dead, or very near death, from strangulation.

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    5. I believe a provocation by JonBenet is what caused her to receive a blow to the head.

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    6. Since I can't edit, let me add that once the noose is constricted she has little time at all to scream. It's very hard to scream with one's windpipe constricted by rope.

      Lack of scratches at the throat - an attempt to remove the rope- also indicate that either she wasn't conscious when strangled, or that her hands were bound at the time.

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  19. DocG, u remind me of hercule poirot

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  20. Doc, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind commenting on the following excerpt from Kolar's book:

    "Lab technicians had conducted experiments with the same brand of duct tape, by attempting to lift trace fibers from the blanket recovered in the Wine Cellar. Direct contact was made in different quadrants of the blanket. There was some minimal transfer of jacket fibers made to the tape during this exercise, but Trujillo told me lab technicians didn't think that this type of transfer accounted for the number of jacket fibers that had been found on the sticky side of the tape."

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    1. As I understand it, there were only four such "fibers" from Patsy's jacket found on the tape. And they weren't really fibers in the usual sense, but tiny fiber fragments, visible only under a microscope. Since John had presumably been in close contact with his wife at various time that day, it's not difficult to see how such fragments could have been transferred to him and from him to the crime scene. And of course they could also have been transferred via JonBenet.

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  21. My 2 cents on the past several posts.

    IIRC there were four (4) microscopic fibers from the jacket, on the tape. I doubt very much that 4 is too big a number for secondary transfer from the blanket to the tape. But, the fibers didn't have to come from the blanket, they could have come, secondarily, from the body -specifically the clothing and hair. How do we know the tape didn't contact JB's clothing and hair on it's way to the floor? How do we know the fibers weren't transferred from the floor to the tape? All of the locations where fibers were found were touched by the killer so it could simply be from the body to the objects via the killer's hands.

    I've never gone for the idea that JR used pineapple to lure JB. I see no reason why he'd need it. He'd just say "Jonbenet, I have a surprise for you, follow me".

    I think it's a mistake to try to determine motive. We don't need a motive to figure out who did the killing and who didn't.

    Killing is an extreme reaction to a threat of exposure. Of course killing is an extreme reaction to -anything. The killing, at least the garrotting, was no accident.

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    1. Is it known whether JR was in the house the whole night? Or is there even a 1% chance that he could have slipped out while the others were asleep?

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    2. "I think it's a mistake to try to determine motive. We don't need a motive to figure out who did the killing and who didn't."

      I agree to some extent. There are two kinds of evidence in this case: factual evidence, which, if we follow its logic, enables us to identify the killer; and inconclusive evidence, which we can use as the basis for speculation, but cannot tell us anything definite. Aspects of the crime scene strongly suggest that the motive was associated with child abuse and the need to silence the victim. But that's only speculation. We have no way of knowing the motive for sure, so maybe, as you say, there's no point in identifying one. It IS important, however, to be able to suggest a likely motive, a possible motive, a motive that seems credible, because otherwise it becomes very hard to believe why a parent would murder a child. Child abuse coupled with the need to silence the victim does seem to me like a very plausible motive. While an "accidental" killing in a rage over bedwetting seems much less probable to me.

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    3. There IS some chance that John could have slipped out of the house that night, yes. But it would have been risky, because he could have been seen.

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    4. Even so, he COULD have slipped out quickly and gotten rid of the duct tape and cord,isnt it?

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    5. I think the duct tape and cord could have been applied after the police arrived, in a last ditch attempt to make it look like an intruder attacked her. John went AWOL for a long period when det. Arndt was the only police officer in the house and he would have had the opportunity to dispose of the rest of the tape and cord during that period.

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  22. Hi Doc, love your blog, finding it was both a blessing and a curse, I am addicted! Have been especially haunted by the case lately as I live in Colorado and have a six year old daughter who resembles JBR. I have always been convinced an intruder killed JBR and her parents were unfairly targeted by the media, I am sorry to say I like so many others looked at the Ramsey's as a unit and not individuals, it never occurred to me that one of them could have done it without the other knowing. I just find it so difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that man like JR could do this to his daughter. Granted, we don't know much about him but to my knowledge in 17 years no one has come forward to say one negative word about him. Just strikes me as odd that one could be a child molester and a murderer and be able to fool.everyone around him, even his own wife and kids. I know you just like to stick to the facts of the case, but forgive me, I need more. The only thing I can come up with is that if in fact he was molesting JBR, it was some desperate attempt at regaining some kind of control after feeling so powerless and out of control while his wife struggled with cancer. Your thoughts?

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    1. Ii so agree with you cici. Had JR been a pedophile and killer by nature someone must have known or realized it. But everyone who knew him said he is a good guy

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    2. Both of you are succumbing to the smoke and mirrors John has managed to construct around himself. The fact is that he systematically deceived his first wife with another woman for two years. But somehow that inconvenient little episode rarely gets mentioned, as though it were some easily dismissed peccadillo. As I see it, a one night stand is a peccadillo.
      A secret affair carried out for two years requires considerable planning and systematic deception.

      John has dismissed this episode, suggesting that the woman was stalking him, ala the movie "Fatal Attraction." We are therefore expected to discount it because it was all on her and he was just trying to deal with a difficult situation. I don't buy it. Not when it continued for two years, no.

      There was another woman who came forward, accusing John of having an affair with her as well, while Patsy was being treated for cancer. According to her, John wanted her dressed in pageant outfits similar to those worn by JonBenet. She appeared on Geraldo and some other shows as I recall, and her story seemed credible, though of course vociferously denied by John. Then, suddenly, for no apparent reason, she backed off.

      It's hard to believe someone would go out on such a limb and humiliate herself in public by making up such a story. And it's also hard to believe she would suddenly back off, especially when she never actually came out and said she'd made it all up. Because she backed off I don't think her story was ever investigated. Looks to me like she could have been either paid off or scared off. I could be wrong, of course, but please don't tell me no one has ever accused John of bad behavior.

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    3. This i did not know. Thanks.

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    4. I agree with you, cici, regarding the possibility of Patsy's cancer being the catalyst for JR's molestation of JonBenet.

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  23. I too was of the opinion that JR killed his daughter. But the more i read the ransom note, the more improbable it seems. Firstly, the ransom amount, the exact bonus amount is wanted. Secondly, the writer first writes 'bussiness' and then later the correct word 'business'. A man so methodical that he planned all that failed to notice he had made this mistake? He had spent atleast half an hour writing it but he dint check what he wrote? No,seems to me like someone was deliberately trying to point to the fact that the note was fake. He/she writes 'atache'. Was john stupid enough to write this word when he knew he was trying to give the impression that the writer had poor grammatical sense? The note asked them to take the money out of the bank. Even ordinary common people like me know that it is weird for a ransom note to have these details in it and yet John who successfully ran a multi million dollar company was stupid enough to not have understood all this? Seems so unlikely.

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    1. I don't agree. The note looks to me to be crafted in such a way as to resemble a genuine ransom note, and in fact contains elements very similar to what has been found in such notes, either real or fictional. I don't think the note was written to make it look like the work of an illiterate, because clearly it isn't. "Business" is a commonly misspelled word, so I wouldn't put too much store by that.

      Someone trying to make it look like John or Patsy wrote it would not have written it in his own hand or would at least have attempted forgery. But no one who's ever examined the note has suggested it could be a forgery.

      Ransom money is usually withdrawn from a bank, yes, so I don't see a problem with that -- or with the word attache. We can't possibly explain every odd detail in this case and as I see it there's no need to do that. It's enough to realize there could have been no intruder and that Patsy could not have written the note. The only other possibility is John. It's really that simple. But of course there are many other reasons to suspect John.

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    2. I also in the beginning thought a lot of the same stuff that you wrote, but as Doc has pointed out, we can eliminate the whole intruder theory. By doing that, it leaves us with 3 potential suspects (JR, PR and BR). The RN asks JR not to grow a brain, it asks JR to use that good southern charm of his and has JR acting out the demands.
      The money amount and other odd details like the "foreign faction" ultimately dont mean anything imo.

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  24. Hi Doc, literally just opened Yahoo and the top trending topic is the JBR case as Paula Woodward who was a lead investigator is releasing a book. Unfortunately it says with cooperation from John Ramsey, but any idea who she thinks did it?

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    1. On the forums, Woodward is notorious as a Ramsey apologist. And since she had John's cooperation on this project I would imagine the book is probably another ill informed defense of both Patsy and John.

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  25. What about the hi-tec shoe prints that were found? How to explain them?

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  26. Burke Ramsey owned a pair of Hi-Tec boots.

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    1. Is that known for sure? Because i read somewhere that such boots didnt belong to anyone in the house.

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    2. Well, the print was one of Lou Smit's "discoveries," from looking over crime scene photos. The print consisted exclusively of only the "poon," i.e., the HiTec label itself. There was no way of determining what the size of the boot or shoe was. Nor was there any sign of how old it was. Workmen had used that room for storage recently and in all likelihood it was made by one of them. They were all supposedly questioned, but I'd imagine that the person who owned those boots might not have been so eager to get involved so might have just lied and got rid of them.

      When questioned, Burke did in fact admit to owning HiTec boots, yes. And since there was no way of determining size there is no way to tell for sure whether or not the print is from his boots.

      The HiTec bootprint is just one of a long list of red herrings produced by Lou Smit. A single print means little in any case. If the same print had showed up elsewhere that would mean more, but nothing of that sort was found.

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  27. I'm new to this blog and dont know much of the things that have been discussed before. So could someone please tell me why we are ruling out Patsy Ramsey? Is it because she couldnt have sexually assaulted her daughter?

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  28. This blog explains everything...in a nutshell, Patsy was ruled out because she made the 911 call while JonBenet's body was still in the house. You will likely spend hours reading the blog, but you will be informed and fascinated and the time will fly by. At the top of the page it suggests where to start.

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  29. But could it not have been that disposing her body was never a part of the murderer's plan,whoever it was? Maybe they thought it was too risky to leave the house with her body. Someone could have seen him/her. If it was Patsy, she could have called the police so that no one would suspect her. The general opinion would be 'why would she call the police herself if she was the culprit'. Patsy could have faked the handwriting (dont know if its possible to do so) and was sure she would never get caught. The note said contacting the cobs was a bad idea and yet she did so, that too without consulting the father. Her voice sounded fake on the phone, they said. But that i guess was just a theory. I have no intention of disrespecting Patsy Ramsey. In all probablity she was innocent. May her soul rest in peace. But really, is it wise to rule her out completely?

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    1. There are many reasons for ruling out Patsy, but the case is complicated so you need to read more in this blog to get the full picture. Although making the call when she did does make her innocent as far as I'm concerned, it's unlikely she would have made that assumption, because the combination of ransom note and body in the house looks awfully suspicious and is in fact one of the main reasons so many people suspect the Ramseys even today. Also if the note is so "obviously" written by Patsy, as so many claim, then why on earth would she have wanted to hand such incriminating evidence over to the police?

      The note would have given her and John a perfect excuse not to call the police and instead dump the body while pretending to deliver the ransom. They could also have claimed the kidnappers wanted the note returned to them, as it could be used as evidence against them, and that would have given them the perfect excuse to just burn it.

      But Patsy didn't do any of that, she just simply called 911, nullifying the whole effect of the note, so at that point it was of no use at all, and just made it obvious that the whole "kidnapping" was staged. Why would she do that if she was in fact the one who wrote it?

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  30. I haven't read the blog in its entirety, but t have read a lot of it and have been following it for months. Most, if not all, of your thoughts and questions are covered in the blog...I would suggest reading it to get others' perspectives on these very questions. Reading the blog will also raise even more questions and perspectives for you, so time to dig in and read and be intriqued!

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  31. Hard to belive that after finding a note so threatening that clearly stated that the cops should not be contacted Patsy Ramsey would go ahead and dial 911 and that too without consulting her husband! Even if they decided to defy the note it must have been a joint decision. It doesnt make sense that she would take such a dangerous decision on her own without the consent of the other parent.

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    1. If you will read this blog, you'll realize that its quite possible that Patsy just read the first part of the note, freaked out, and picked up the phone. It is known that on the first call to 911, the phone was hung up. I think John tried to stop her from calling. But she was panicked, she overrode him, and she called again. He couldn't stop her the 2nd time because he realized the emergency center was going to call them back so he had to let her do it. His gig was up at this point...he had to start unstaging what he had begun to stage. She did exactly what I would have done. I doubt I would have been able to internalize much after "we have your daughter" and I know that I would not have wanted to deal with the perp without the help of the police.

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  32. I dont agree that JBR threatened her father that she would expose him. Far. more likely that she would directly complain to her mother when her father was not around. Itcan however be that she didnt want to tell on him at all. Either out of fear or out of trust she decided not to tell. But she was only a child and quite an extovert as i understand. And such children tend to be a little chatty. Make unknowingly and quite innocently she started blurting out tiny details in front of people which scared the crap out of the father. Nomatter what he said to convince and brainwash her she kept making these mistakes. It was only a matter of time before someone would realise what he did to her. He couldnt erase her memory. The only option left was to silence her before she could say more.

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    1. Yes, this sounds reasonable. However, we have no way of knowing what the details of their relationship were or exactly what it was that would have worried John. All I can say is that fear of exposure as an incestuous child molester could certainly be regarded as a convincing motive for murder. We can't prove John molested JonBenet, of course. But as I see it, we CAN prove he killed her. And fear of exposure does seem to be the most likely motive. I can't think of any other.

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    2. I think that makes more sense than a bold threat to expose JR.

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  33. although there are many facts that lead to jr to be guilty, and i do agree this to be the case, i can't shake this gut wrenching feeling that somethings amiss. If we are to look at ALL the facts, i do believe some of them not to be facts at all. Please feel free to correct me if i am wrong. I have just read the autopsy report, then checked on medical terms,and the report does not say there was any evidence of prior sexual abuse, therefor what other motive would jr have if he was guilty.
    I ask myself what kind of person could conflict those horrific injuries just to stage, a father ? apparently loving, as family have stated. Should i believe JR would write a ransom note, that length afterwards. I constantly read on these blogs, someone in that house must have committed the crime, because there is no sign of forced entry, that does not mean there was no intruder who knew the home and
    could have gained access.
    The evidence presented on this blog against Jr is a very good. The theory is very good, i'm almost inclined to agree JR is responsible but it's just not conclusive enough.

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    1. I understand how you feel, because it's hard to believe John could have wanted to murder a daughter he apparently loved very much. And there are aspects of this case that do seem pretty bizarre, the note included. If this were simply an ordinary breakin where a child was assaulted and murdered and then the attacker left and that was it, then it would always be possible to say that some unknown intruder who may never be found committed the crime. And it's true that even though there were no signs of forced entry, the intruder could have had a key.

      However, the case is much more complicated than that and there are some things about the case that simply can't be explained by positing that JonBenet was attacked by "an intruder." A simple intruder would have no need for a ransom note. And a kidnapper would certainly have brought his note with him, rather than waiting to write one while in the house. A kidnapper would also have actually kidnapped someone.

      So the bottom line is that NO intruder theory makes sense, which gives us no choice but to focus on the parents. And by the way, while the medical examiner's report doesn't mention sexual abuse specifically, there are things in it that do strongly suggest chronic abuse, yes. This was picked up on by the noted coroner Cyril Wecht, for whom this report pointed squarely at John Ramsey as the abuser.

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  34. I have read much of this blog over the last two days and am impressed. It is by far the best explanation using Occam's Razor I have read on the JBR case. I have always thought that the RN was so over the top I easily believed the PR theories. The "voice" of the note screamed "hysterical pageant mom Southern Drama Queen," all the stereotypes. Adding her call to 911 just made the whole thing an absurd mess. But the alternative, that it was JR writing TO PR, is so much simpler. Everything makes sense through this lens, and none of the other theories hold up. I hope someone with authority in this matter listens to you.

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    1. Yes indeed, simple theory is most likely, but me being me, if the most basic question of Jr is, what motive, as in this case he being the father, if none can be found/ proved, surely it throws the whole simple theory away, and back to the drawing board we go.

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    2. Thank you. I'm a great believer in Occam's Razor as a scientific tool, but in a case like this it isn't enough, because in human interaction the simplest explanation may not always be what actually happened. So I'd prefer to think that my theory represents not only the simplest explanation, but the only one that actually makes sense. Because as I see it every other theory I've ever seen sends us right into the Twilight Zone.

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  35. You don't have to have a motive to prove someone is guilty, but for me even one instance of sexual abuse is enough, given all of the other facts in the case, to conclude that of the 3 people in the houseJohn had to be the killer. An intruder is outruled, but what one poster seems to be implying above is that if he/she is not sure of John's motive, then that means you have to rule other people back in. Wrong! Are you then saying its ok to rule back in the stupid bedwetting theory, for which there is zero proof of? Or Burke being jealous - when there is no way Burke wrote the note? You're getting sucked back in to the vortex of circular, confusing logic. Like the Casey Anthony jurors, you want to rule out someone simply because there are an infinite number of other 'possibilities" or scenarios.

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    1. There are not endless scenarios but there are a few that still make JR the author of the note.... Burke is playing doctor with JBR, has the flashlight under the covers, his sister screams or hurts him and he hits her with the flashlight. John is awakened and launches the cover-up to protect Burke and JR's reputation. I don't think average people do this, but very wealthy people who own billion dollar businesses might. (I don't think average people run for public office when their wives are in treatment for ovarian cancer, their sons are starting a new high school and the family is just recovering from a massive, national investigation of them for murder, but clearly JR is not average.)

      PR is still clueless in the above scenario, on ativan and deep asleep. In the morning still calling 911, but afraid of what might be true.

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    2. You also don't run for public office--calling attention to yourself and where you are--when there is a faction faction still out there hell-bent on doing you or your family in....

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    3. Meant to say foreign faction.

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    4. no i am not suggesting ruling back in stupid theory's, just that i personally believe if jr did it, there should in this case be a motive as he had no reason other than to hide sexual abuse, and if there was no sexual abuse prior to her death that can be proved, i cant' think of any other motive for him. You suggest that an intruder be ruled out, where on the other hand i don't. I havn't ruled john out, nor an intruder with close family/friends ties. Either could be possible as i see it, but like most people here, just trying to discuss my thoughts.

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    5. It seems all too easy and also reasonable to assume that some intruder with motives we don't understand could have committed this crime, and of course such a hypothetical intruder is perfect when arguing for reasonable doubt. Only such a defense won't work in this case. First, assuming an intruder, this is no ordinary breakin where someone enters, commits a crime and leaves. A note was left, a note written on paper from a pad in the house, and it's a long and very detailed note as well. Some pedophile out to have a sexual encounter with a child would have no reason to write such a note and a kidnapper would have written his note ahead of time. The evidence we find at the scene simply makes no sense as the sort of thing any intruder would do. But it makes perfect sense as what we would expect from a staged kidnapping in which the police were called in too soon.

      Secondly, there is clear evidence of lying and dissembling on John's part, lots of it. I see no reason for such behavior if John is innocent.

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  36. I wanted to offer this information for Doc and everyone to comment on. I think it's valuable information that should be regarded in this case about the word usage in Patsy's 911 call. http://statement-analysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/four-points-of-study-of-jonbenet-ramsey.html

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    1. Thanks for the interesting link. I printed out this "statement analysis" and read it carefully, and I must say I was both amused and disturbed. Amused at how naive this person is when over and over he falls back on statements such as "I would say," or "this would be the first thing out of my mouth," or "we expect to hear," or "We look for the mother of a missing/kidnapped child to say the pronoun "I"", etc.

      Such assertions are extremely easy to refute. All one needs to say is: "I disagree, I would have very different expectations." Because what we see over and over in this "analysis" are simply opinions.

      I'm also disturbed, because, like so many other attempts to systematically analyze statements by Patsy or excerpts from the ransom note, it's obvious that the writer has already made up his mind from the start that Patsy is lying. A meaningful statement analysis would include some basis for eliminating bias, and it's constant companion, cherry picking,, but in this case, as with so many others, literally ALL the evidence cited is interpreted in such a way as to make a bold faced liar out of Patsy, with no redeeming instances whatsoever.

      And again, all one needs to do to refute these assertions is to simply say, as I certainly do: "Sorry but I don't see it that way at all. I disagree. Patsy sounds genuinely distressed and I see nothing in her word choice that even hints at deception."

      The correct way to conduct such an investigation would be to examine a great many such communications double blind, and see if one could sort those known to be deceptive from those that are known to be honest. If someone were capable of passing such a test then I would be more inclined to take that person's opinions seriously.

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  37. Bradley G, this is exactly the kind of information that has always led me to believe the PDI theory. This DocG blog argues, very convincingly, that PDI is destroyed by her 911 call. So the more logical explanation is that she was hiding her own fear of her husband. She is repeatedly blamed in this analysis for using the word " we." If she is reassuring her husband and herself that he had nothing to do with it, then she would use the word "we." If JR implicated BR in some way or hinted that JR was just protecting BR, then she would be confused and appear devious. In this scenario, at this point PR has two pieces of information: JBR is gone and her husband is acting very strangely. Out of fear that all the facts are going to destroy them all, she sounds like a liar. I think PR walked around the rest of her life lying to herself, which is why she often sounds like a liar.

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    1. I don't think she sounds like a liar at all. More generally, I must say I have very little use for this type of "analysis" because in just about every case the result is a foregone conclusion. Once you've decided Patsy is a liar then it's not difficult to find "evidence" of that wherever you look.

      It's due to this sort of thing that I decided to stick with the facts and not get distracted by all the many efforts to spot the guilty party on the basis of his or her statements, handwriting, behavior, etc. While I've employed some statement and handwriting analysis of my own, I've never claimed I could use any of that as the basis for making a case against anyone. The essence of my case is based on facts and logic, not on any presumption that I have some magical powers of revealing who is lying and who is telling the truth..

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  38. I respect your point and agree that examinations of statements and behaviors can devolve into emotion and opinion. Your examination of the facts led me to be a groupie of your blog, after all :).

    That said, juries care about statements and behavior. They care about a mother's behavior when the body of her daughter is found. If they don't care, lawyers will make sure they do.

    I don't believe PR was a stupid woman. I believe she knew or suspected that something was terribly wrong with the scenario created by JR, and that knowledge or belief impacted her behavior from early on.

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  39. The more I read about this case, the more I see signs that John was trying to frame Patsy for this murder. I know that trying to find a motive for this crime is pointless in order to solve it, but I can't help considering the possibilities. John cheated on his previous spouse, that's a fact. I don't know the details, but I'm sure she took quite a chunk of his money when they separated. What I am proposing is that John wanted out of his marriage with Patsy. Perhaps he'd fallen in love with another mistress. This could have happened when Patsy was undergoing cancer treatment for the first time. Or perhaps feeling ignored in the bedroom and full of sexual desire he turned to JonBenet, for whom he took out his sexual frustrations. Perhaps he detested JonBenet for the attention she received from Patsy. John perhaps wanted out, but he didn't want to lose half or most of his earnings in a nasty divorce. Not again. Making Patsy the "patsy" for this crime would solve his problem. John's handwriting experts conveniently ruled him out as the author of the ransom note, but not Patsy. Hmmmm. Why would they not have ruled Patsy out as well? The evidence left behind pointed to Patsy. The fibers from her sweater on the duct tape, her paint brush being used as a garrote, the nylon rope that was purchased by Patsy at an Army/Navy store. Certainly looks like the killer wanted to have the finger pointed at Patsy.

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  40. that's also something that has crossed my mind ;)

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    1. As I see it, there is NO evidence pointing to Patsy. The writing on the note bears very little resemblance to hers, that's a myth I've debunked on this blog. And it's not surprising that her fibers would be found at the crime scene since JonBenet was at the crime scene and she'd been in close contact with her mother all day.

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    2. Patsy's biggest "lie" was her story about cleaning up the broken window with the housekeeper. It is interesting, is it not, that her lie was not a clean lie? She had no reason to include the housekeeper in the tale, and yet she did. She may have been gaslighted by John, but if he were to implant a memory he certainly would not have stuck a second person in the basement with the broom and Patsy. On some level she may have wanted more questions to be asked. Mm

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    3. It makes sense, to me at least, that John might have "gaslighted" her, i.e., implanted a false memory. Because regardless of what you might think of John's window story, Patsy's tale of cleaning up after him with the aid of her housekeeper (who denies it) seems extremely odd. An implanted memory can't always be completely controlled. If Patsy thought it was logical for Linda to help her with the cleanup then that's how she might have "remembered" it.

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    4. I see your point. I guess I keep returning to the notion that over time Patsy "leaked" clues to the real story. JR not only wrote the note, he appears to have created a huge national spin machine to convince all doubters. He led with the theory that the best defense is a good offense, and it worked. Still, she was the weak link.

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  41. i don't think the comments above, are saying so much as to patsy, just that john could have made it look like patsy did it. you said yourself doc, that some comments made in the rn, were in fact things patsy would say to john, such as" good southern common sense" as a joke,as he wasn't from there.
    do you think he may have tried to point the guilt towards patsy?

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    1. No, I don't think so. The whole purpose of the kidnap staging was to point to an intruder, NOT someone in the house. That would have been far too dangerous, imo.

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  42. Dear DocG:



    I never hear anyone talk about the pineapple found in Jon
    Benet's stomach and a bowl of pineapple found on the kitchen
    table. The Ramseys stated that JonBenet was asleep in the
    car and they carried her to bed without awaking her. I believe
    that is a lie and they lied about the pineapple only because they
    forgot they already told the police she was asleep the whole time. Patsy stated there was no pineapple in the house (and JB did not eat pineapple at the dinner party). I wonder if any of the detectives were astute enough to look through Patsy Ramsey's pantry or find her grocery receipts for the few weeks prior via credit card statements. They might have caught her in a blatent lie. Anyway, what kidnapper is going to bring a can of pineapple to a crime. Where was the can itself? Did they fish it out of the garbage and get fingerprints from it. (The cops were so lame.). Also, when they questioned Burke, they should have asked him what JonBenet was doing on the ride home. Sleeping? Maybe not. Also, the Ramsey's
    said Burke was asleep the whole time before the police came, but you can hear him in the background on the 911 call and a friend who took him home with them thought it very odd that he did not ask where his sister was or why all the cops were there. He was playing a game or something during the entire ride and said nothing. They thought he was acting extremely odd. Anyway, I think one of the Ramseys killed her with a blow to the head and thinking she was dead, strangled
    her to make it look like an intruder or maybe Burke did it because he hated her. He had hit her on the head with a golf club prior to this. If Burke did it, PR would
    definitely try to cover it up to save him and their reputation.
    Also, there is a video on the web where the female detective, being the only cop in the house had an aha moment with JR when he put JB's body on the floor. She said she was so frightened by the way he looked at her that she put her hand on her gun. I believe she has written a book which I intend to read. That makes two detectives that think the Ramsey's did it.
    Another thought, if an intruder/kidnapper had not meant to kill JB, he could still have left the note and taken her dead body. She didn't weigh that much. If they didn't know she was dead they might have paid the ransom. It simply doesn't make sense to leave a note with a dead body.


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    1. If you read more in this blog all your questions will be answered. I don't have time to answer them all here. However, it's not true that Patsy denied there was pineapple in the home. She denied serving it to JonBenet, that's all. If John and Patsy were in it together there would have been no need to lie. However, if John is the one who fed her the pineapple after she'd been put to bed, then there would certainly be a good reason for HIM to lie about it.

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  43. autopsy showed jonbenet was strangled first, as ther was no blood from head wound

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    1. This is what Cyril Wecht concluded and he could be right. However, as I understand it, most pathologists who've examined the autopsy feel it more likely the strangulation came last. There WAS internal bleeding from the head wound. The question has been whether there was enough to be consistent with one version or the other.

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    2. Blood vessels in JonBenet's eyes had also ruptured indicating she was still alive when she was being strangled. There is also evidence that she dug her fingernails into her neck trying to separate the rope from her throat. Would she have been able to do that after sustaining such a massive head blow?

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    3. She could have still been alive after the head blow, so the petechial hemorrhages don't necessary tell us what came first. And apparently none of her skin cells were found under her nails, suggesting that she wasn't struggling with the noose as it was being tightened. And it's been reported that there were no scratches on her neck either. How reliable any of this is I'm not sure, but it's reported in the Case Encyclopedia: http://jonbenetramsey.pbworks.com/w/page/11682481/Interpreting%20the%20Evidence#WhichCameFirstHeadBloworStrangulation

      I don't have the medical examiner's report handy so if you do, maybe you could check.

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    4. The fingernail marks were reported from Kolar's book.

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    5. I believe the autopsy report stated there was a large area of hemorrhaging on the right side when her scalp was lifted.

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    6. "The fingernail marks were reported from Kolar's book."

      Yes, but in the autopsy these marks are referred to as "petechial hemorrhages." Kolar may have been misled by a photo showing these marks on her neck, above and below the mark left by the ligature. Petechial hemorrhages are small, dotlike marks due to blood emerging from inside, most likely due to the pressure of the ligature as it was tightened. That's what the marks in the photo do look like. I see no sign of anything that looks like a scratch made by fingernails and nothing of that sort is reported in the autopsy.

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  44. why did john, secretly call a hardware store to check what patsy had bought on 2 separate occasions in early december? he was looking for itemised purchases.

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    1. Never heard of that one before. What's your source?

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    2. I also read about this from Perfect Murder, Perfect Town. I cannot recall who actually made the calls. The hardware store employees alerted the BPD who then traced the second call.

      RV

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    3. Was this call supposed to have come before or after the night of the murder?

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  45. Lawrence Schiller book, I' m reading, it was mentioned twice, first I think p179 then a bit later.

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  46. Lawrence Schiller book I' m reading, think first mentioned on p179 then again later

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  47. it was not john who called the hardware store. it was someone pretending to be him.

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    1. Wasn't it a reporter?

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  48. The source was Lawrence Schiller book, perfect murder, perfect town, it is me ruined twice in the book, first on p179, john had enquired to the store of purchases patsy had made in early Dec, john was told to call back on a certain day, which he did, the police waited for the call back to the store, and traced it, it john was being deceptive.

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  49. Sorry meant mentioned, predicted txt on phone

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    1. Anonymous, your previous comment seems to have been lost on the blog, but I did find it in my email so I'll post it here:

      "The source was Lawrence Schiller book, perfect murder, perfect town, it is me ruined [i.e., "mentioned"] twice in the book, first on p179, john had enquired to the store of purchases patsy had made in early Dec, john was told to call back on a certain day, which he did, the police waited for the call back to the store, and traced it, it john was being deceptive."

      My edition of PMPT is different from yours. In mine (the original hardback) this is discussed on p. 136. And as Lee Dumett has already noted, the call appears to have been fake. It wasn't traced to the Ramsey home but to a "skip tracing" firm that people use to hide their identity. Looks like someone was doing a little snooping and misrepresented himself as John Ramsey to get information.

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  50. Speaking of the evidence that disappeared (duct tape, cord, missing underpants of Jon Benet), it was reported that John disappeared for a period of time that morning while Det. Linda Arndt was there. I believe this is the time when he returned to the basement to do some additional staging (knowing the police might very well find the body) and perhaps disposing of some of the evidence. What explanation did he give about his disappearance? I don't recall reading anything about this, but certainly he was questioned about it.

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    1. He said he was checking his mail! As I recall Arndt reported he was out of sight for over an hour, so that's not much of an explanation. No one knows where he went or what he did, but that time frame certainly gave him the opportunity to do all sorts of things, including staging in the basement and dumping evidence either down the toilet or down a nearby sewer drain.

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    2. It is inconceivable to me that he was gone for so long and nobody (excluding Det. Arndt) wondered where he was or what he was doing. And why on earth didn't Det. Arndt go looking for him? Since he is the one that the "kidnappers" made clear they wanted to deal with, you would think everyone would be looking to him for direction of what to do next or just for comfort and consolation (especially Patsy). I mean, if the same thing happened in my family and my husband disappeared for that length of time, I would SURELY wonder where he was and even look for him. John must have felt pretty sure nobody would miss him or find him . . . or perhaps he was acting out of pure desperation since his plan of being alone that day was foiled and he had no choice but to disappear to finish his "business" in the basement.

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    3. That is the issue. Det. Arndt found that Patsy and John were not acting like parents who had a kidnapped daughter - they were separated most of the morning in separate rooms and didn't communicate much, didn't lean on each other for support. Either Patsy and John were in on it together or Patsy didn't want to be around John that morning. For a woman who was so distraught that she called police as well as many of her friends to come over to the house, even though the ransom note said to not speak to anyone or JonBenet would be beheaded, she certainly didn't want to be around her husband during that morning. Nor did she or John make any comments when the kidnappers didn't call when they said they would. Either Patsy knew something happened to JonBenet and she was waiting to see how things would play out or she was much more involved.

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    4. If they'd been together, holding hands and commiserating, then people would have accused them of putting on an act. And in fact, if they were both involved in the staging, they WOULD have put on an act, why not? And what would you expect them to say after the deadline had passed? And if they'd made a huge fuss then THAT would have been seen as an act. Observations like that are fueled, imo, by prior bias. Whatever anyone does or doesn't do can be seen in a negative light if that's what you're looking for. Which is why I try hard to stick with the facts. NO patience for profiling, none.

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    5. If a detective found their behavior odd that morning, someone who was trained to pick up on nuances at crime scenes, that how is that profiling? Isn't that performing due diligence? What would I have expected someone to say after the deadline came and went for information to be provide about their kidnapped daughter whose life was being threatened with a beheading? I won't even dignify that with an answer. I am sure you are smarter than to ask such a question.

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    6. How do you assess guilty behavior? If someone reacts strongly, that could be an honest response or it could be an act. Is it really possible to tell the difference just by observing them? I don't think so. That's what polygraphs are for, and they aren't definitive either. Also, there is so much folklore associated with the case I don't think we can be sure how Patsy or John reacted. To one witness they might not have reacted at all, but someone else might have seen it very differently. When people are under severe stress they sometimes find it hard to react to anything at all. So when you attempt to assess their guilt on such a basis, I'm sorry but that IS profiling, and it is also very unfair.

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  51. I think this case gets twisted into knots every time we try to separate John and Patsy. It seems to me that they both were fully involved, and joined together protecting their only remaining child. It seems very unlikely that they would collude to protect each other.

    They were never going to tell the whole truth, and I doubt ever will, because it would hurt their son. Even if he could not be tried for the crime because of his age, it would wreck his life.

    I have come to feel very sorry for them all, especially Jonbenet, but really, all.

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    1. If you're convinced Burke is the culprit, then what you've written makes perfect sense. But there is no more evidence linking Burke to this crime than linking a stun gun to the crime. Or an intruder for that matter. Just because something could have happened doesn't mean it did happen. JonBenet was sexually assaulted. Her head was bashed in from ear to ear from a single devastating blow. And she was strangled by a ligature device with an intricate knot. NOT what you'd expect from a 9 year old Cub Scout, sorry.

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    2. Cub Scout? Did he learn knots?

      While I believe Doc has made a plausible case against John, I also agree with Doc's point that Burke cannot be dismissed as the culprit. While this scenario raises its own set of problems, it resolves others in my view. If John and Patsy collaborated on the cover-up, that would be consistent with other troubling facts:

      John disappearing for hours from bed without Patsy noticing;
      Patsy wearing the same clothes the next day;
      Patsy lying about the broken window;
      Possible collaboration on the ransom note;
      Burke prior assault of JB with golf club;
      Burke's fingerprint on pineapple bowl;
      No prior evidence of perverse behavior by John.

      Maybe JB threatened Burke, rather than John, with disclosure of their prior inappropriate activities.

      It is true that a ransom note is totally inconsistent with a body in the house. On the other hand, maybe the Ramseys concluded that it would amount to throwing sand in the eyes of inexperienced police and, as bizarre as it was, they might have figured it was their best shot at protecting Burke. I acknowledge that this approach exposed the Ramseys to enormous risk but think that some people would take the chance to protect their child.

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    3. I was a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout and I never learned a thing about knots.

      And I said "technically" Burke couldn't be dismissed. Because technically speaking there is no hard evidence telling us he could not have done it. There is also NO evidence, hard or otherwise, pointing in his direction. Like Lou Smit's stun gun, it's just a possibility -- and a remote one.

      If Patsy had noticed John missing from bed and had come downstairs to check, then there'd have been two murders for the police to investigate. She got lucky.

      Wearing the same outfit the next morning is evidence of innocence, not guilt. If she'd been up all night she would surely have showered and changed.

      Patsy lying about the broken window is not by any stretch of the imagination evidence implicating Burke.

      The golf club incident was an accident. There is no evidence that JonBenet and Burke ever even fought the way so many siblings typically do.

      His prints on the bowl mean nothing because he lived in the house and could have used that bowl for all sorts of things, including his breakfast cereal that morning.

      And, as with John, there is no prior evidence of perverse behavior by Burke. Only there was this one big HUGE difference between them: Burke was a 9 year old child and John was a sexually mature male.

      There is no reason on God's earth for anyone to go the trouble of writing a note like that to stage a kidnapping and then call the police with the body of the victim still
      in the house. That is NOT throwing sand, it is handing the police evidence that YOU are staging a phoney kidnapping. And it's also handing the police evidence with YOUR writing on it. Does NOT compute, sorry.

      Bottom line: As soon as the Ramseys had had a chance to confer with their lawyers they'd have realized that Burke could not be prosecuted for the crime. They'd have gone with their lawyers to the DA and explained what happened, and they probably would have gotten a suspended sentence as part of a plea deal. The world would have seen them as devoted parents overly eager to support their child and they'd have been heros. John would NOT have lost his business and Burke would have gotten some badly needed counseling. End of story.


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  52. Was anyone in the close circle of the ramsays into martial arts, or involved with the French foreign legion, at anytime, a d did patsy receive theoan back from Linda hp

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  53. There is no doubt that Doc has put in light years more time and effort than me in studying the case. And, I'm not convinced that Burke is the culprit. That said, I believe all these issues can be argued from either side.

    It still strikes me as odd that Patsy was unaware of John's absence from their shared bed for presumably several hours that night. Perhaps she drank at the party (I don't know), perhaps she took sleeping medication (again, I don't know). It just seems unusual to me.

    Again, I think it strange for Patsy to wear the same outfit two days in a row. One interpretation is that she didn't sleep at all due to being preoccupied with staging and development of the ransom note.

    As to lying, it is just hard for me to accept that a totally innocent party (no involvement in murder or cover-up) would actively mislead the police who are searching for the killer of her daughter. This does not necessarily implicate Burke but it does suggest that Patsy may have been involved in the cover-up. And, who but Burke would she be willing to protect?

    Notwithstanding that John the only mature male, I believe it possible that Burke and JB engaged in sexual exploration.

    I agree the ransom note makes little sense. If Burke the culprit, one would have to view it as a desperate effort to confuse the police. Again, if Burke the culprit, it proved successful.

    The cover-up would have been to protect Burke from a life of ignominy, rather than criminal prosecution.

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  54. Please don't embarrass me by reminding me of all the time I've spent on this case! It's become an obsession, I must admit. But in fact I've spent lots more time on other projects more important to me, and I do have a life, I don't spend all my time obsessing over this case, though sometimes it seems that way. Sheesh!

    Anyhow it's not a matter of time put in but of a certain approach to critical thinking that I find important. (And granted, others are entitled to approach this case differently, mine is not necessarily the only valid method.)

    So. Sorry, but to me Patsy's actions and even her lies are far more consistent with innocence than involvement in the staging of a kidnapping, to cover for her, John or Burke.

    If Patsy got up in the middle of the night and noticed John wasn't in bed beside her then she'd probably have rolled over and gone back to sleep. If the police had been able to interrogate her shortly after the body had been found, then she would probably have reported that, if asked. Why do you think John refused to let her be interrogated separately for months? What possible reason could he have had except that he needed time to work on her to convince her NOT to reveal anything that might make him look suspicious? Meanwhile she'd have been on exactly the sort of medications that can cloud one's memory or cause one to forget altogether. If they'd been conspiring together, they'd have gotten their story straight from the start and would have "fully cooperated" with the police from day one.

    Singling out the fact that Patsy wore the same outfit strikes me as similar to noting that she looked funny at a policeman, or failed to react acceptably to the appearance of JonBenet's lifeless body. Once she becomes an object of suspicion then anything that might seem odd or unusual becomes "evidence" against her -- this is just another variety of cherry picking. Wearing the same outfit could just as easily be seen as evidence of innocence, but once you've convinced yourself she's guilty, then it becomes evidence of guilt. To me it's more consistent with innocence than guilt.

    And Patsy's lies show a consistent pattern. She lies ONLY when she is supporting John's version of what happened. And they can be understood once we realize that she was under heavy sedation for some time, to the point that her memory may have become impaired or dissolved completely, which would make it especially easy for John to manipulate. Again I'll point out that if they were in it together, they'd have "cooperated fully" from the start with an agreed upon story. It's only because John needed time to work on her that there was a delay. Can you think of any other reason?

    As for protecting Burke from a life of ignominy, I'm sorry but I just don't see that as a motive for producing such a complicated, bizarre and dangerous coverup. If one of my kids battered and then strangled the other, after sexually assaulting her, my first thought would NOT be "how am I going to protect my dear child from a life of ignominy," but "what can I do to keep myself from beating him within an inch of his life?"

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  55. All good points. Again, I think reasonable people can differ in interpretation of the facts and would welcome other bloggers to weigh in.

    I'll address just one point, which I think Doc makes a couple times: why would Patsy fail to fully cooperate with the police if she and John jointly conducted the cover-up? I could think of several reasons.

    One, because she would be guilty of a felony (obstruction of justice), so why give the police any information at all that could prove inconsistent with other evidence developed in the case?

    Two, because there would be no way for she and John to nail down all the loose ends to their story and possible answers to questions posed by the police in the short period between the murder and interrogation. This is especially so given their bizarre story of a botched kidnapping by an intruder.

    Three, Patsy strikes me as a loose cannon, especially when on medication. So, there's no telling what she might have blurted out in the course of a police interrogation.

    Again, I'm not wed to the Burke as culprit theory although I believe that Kolar, with access to the entire investigative file, makes a plausible case. I recognize, of course, that other investigators reached different conclusions, which is what makes the case so captivating.

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  56. Patsy never struck me as a loose cannon. She is a southern woman, as am I, and she's expressive when she talks like many of us are. In fact, I noticed her looking at John a lot when she spoke, as if she was trying to stick to what he told her she could say/not say. Are you falling for a stereotype of women or do you have something specific that would indicate that she's a loose cannon?

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  57. 'Loose cannon' perhaps a poor choice. I agree with you and Doc that Patsy likely controlled by John and suspect that neither of them would have been comfortable with her cooperating with the police. And, as noted above, this would be but one reason for her refusal to cooperate in my view, again assuming she had a role in the cover-up.

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    1. If John and Patsy knew what happened and were collaborating in a coverup then it's hard for me to imagine what the police might have found that they wouldn't have already known about. In fact, talking to the police would have helped them learn what they might be thinking about whatever it is they did find. And they'd have had plenty of time to get their story straight since they were calling the shots, not the police. They could have taken a week or so to get their act together and then agreed to "fully cooperate." But instead it was a matter of months, much longer than would have been needed. I think John needed time to work on Patsy, to convince her to support his version of what happened and maybe also convince her that her own memories were unreliable because of all the heavy duty meds she took to help her sleep and calm her down.

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  58. Rarely is it advantageous for a guilty party to cooperate with the police.

    But, to get to the heart of the matter, assuming the choices of the killer are limited to John or Burke, the case for me comes down to whether one believes that John conducted the staging, wrote the ransom note and performed other aspects of the cover-up alone AND duped Patsy into lying and endorsing the intruder theory, or whether the two of them collaborated in the cover-up from the outset.

    Needless to say, I don't know the answer.

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    1. As I understand it, most lawyers will advise their clients not to talk to the police UNTIL they've had a chance to meet with their lawyer first. When the police interview does occur, the lawyer will be present. During the interview the lawyer may interrupt and "forbid" his client from providing answers that might implicate him. In almost all cases that I've ever heard of, this takes place fairly promptly, within a week or so, or even on the next day. I can't say for sure, but my gut tells me that it's highly unusual for members of a "victimized" family, guilty or not, to simply refuse to cooperate with the police for months on end. And I don't think any lawyer would advocate that, because it's a red flag, making his client look even more suspicious and inviting more intensive police investigation. Certainly it looks really bad for someone claiming to be an innocent victim to blow off the police the way John Ramsey did. I'm not a lawyer, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

      There is no way the two of them collaborated on any aspect of this crime. I DO know the answer to that one and it is no. For my reasons, you need to read more on this blog or read my book.

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  59. If you think about it, say something happened to JonBenet that early morning and in order for her body to be found in the house, someone had to find her. Would it look better for Patsy or John to call the police and say that they found their dead daughter in the home and have police come over after that fact and do an investigation? Or would it be better to lure the police to the home with a kidnapping threat/ransom note, have them investigate the home and all parties, then find JonBenet's body? The note was a deflection away from anyone in the home. If there was no note and they simply called to say they found their dead daughter, it would raise so many questions about the Ramsey's and they would most likely be found guilty even if there was no evidence against them. The note is what keeps them from being looked at as criminals.

    I don't think I buy the theory that John intended to get rid of Jonbent's body from the house. Otherwise, he would have brought her body out to the car during the night so that he could get rid of her body after he sped off to the bank, instead of waiting to do this after Patsy woke up and found the note. What better time to bring her body out to the car than in the middle of the night - he could have used the cover up of packing the car with suitcases since they were intending to leave on a trip the next morning - if anyone saw him. Also, knowing that Patsy would be out of her mind once she found the note, there would be no telling what should would have done - screamed so loudly that the neighbors called the police? Scoured the house looking for her daughter only to find her body? Called the cops - like she actually did - allowing the police to find Jonbenet's body? Why didn't John just leave his daughter in the basement, have Patsy wake up and find that JonBenet was missing and have her look all over the house or call police? Her body would have been found inside the home one way or the other. Or, why didn't John bring her body out the car in the middle of the nigh, while "packing" for the trip, and wake up the next morning "discover" that his daughter was missing and then go out to "search" for her - using that time to get rid of her body? Why didn't John wake up early, pack the car, then "find" the ransom note, wake his wife up and say they need to follow the note to the "T" and that he will run to the bank to get some money and return to wait for the call. That way if Patsy called anyone for help, John would have already been out the door with the body. Why did John leave everything up to Patsy that morning? Wouldn't this man know how emotional his wife was? How distraught his wife would be to learn all this information from the note? If John wanted control of the situation, he would have made sure he had control of the situation that morning and not leave it all up to his emotional wife. His leaving the note on the steps for his wife to find does not make a whole lot of sense. Also, finding the note of the steps is what Patsy says happened, we do not know if that is actually true. I think they were ok with living under a cloud of suspicion rather than being in jail.

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    1. First of all, with the body found in the house, the note does NOTHING for them -- it just makes them look more suspicious. Doubly so if one of them wrote it, because they literally handed evidence of that person's guilt to the police. Sorry, but such a strategy makes no sense. The only reason they got away with it was due to the very strange decision by the "experts" to rule John out. If John had NOT been ruled out, I feel sure he would have been arrested and tried very early on, since he and he alone was THE suspect at the outset. What the note would have done, had Patsy not called the police, was give John a day and the following night to dump the body while claiming to deliver the ransom. The plan is clearly spelled out in the note, if you read between the lines.

      Your point about getting the body into the trunk of the car as soon as possible is well taken. But don't forget, we have no way of knowing where the body was when the police were called. There was a period of over an hour when, according to det. Arndt, John was out of her sight. During that time he could easily have moved the body from the trunk of the car into the windowless room. It's also possible that he thought it too risky to store the body in the trunk, because if anything had gone wrong and it had been found in that place, it would have been all over for him then and there.

      As for the rest, it's important to understand that John's plan would have been a last ditch desperate attempt to get away with murder. It would certainly have involved some very real risks, but he would have had no choice but to give it a try. I'm not claiming it was a perfect, foolproof plan by any means. However, if Patsy had not called 911 I think there would have been a decent chance that it could have worked for him. I see no explanation for the note other than as part of a plan to stage a phoney kidnapping. And the only way for the plan to have worked would have been for them not to call the police until the body and all the other evidence was safely out of the house.

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  60. I don't think JR could have or would have moved the body from the car to the windowless room while a detective and friends were in the house. It would be nearly impossible to do w/o being seen by someone. He'd have to carry it from the car into the house and down the basement.

    It's possible that he moved the body from one location in the basement, to another. He could for example have originally put the body in the crawl space in the basement, then moved it to the windowless room. The crawl space probably wouldn't be checked by Patsy, whereas the WC might well be checked.

    Since the killing likely happened in the basement, the basement is a sensible place to hide the body.

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    1. For a considerable length of time, Arndt was the only police officer present in the home. She was upstairs, and busy keeping an eye on JonBenet's body, Patsy, and all the friends. During that time (over an hour as I recall) John was out of her sight and could have done all sorts of things without being observed.

      The garage was connected to the house, so John could have moved the body from the car trunk to the basement room without being observed by neighbors. It would have been risky, but it would definitely be better than having the police at some point search the car and discover JonBenet's body in the trunk. He got lucky and was not observed.

      At least that's one possibility. Another is that, as I say, he could have decided not to store it in the trunk initially out of fear that something could go wrong and it could be discovered there, either by Patsy or the police.

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    2. Oops, my mistake. Arndt was upstairs with Patsy and the friends, but NOT with JonBenet's body, which had not yet been discovered.

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    3. It's possible, but not all that probable. There was only one cop in the house for a while, but she was not the only other person. It would be very dangerous to carry the body in from the car - one of the invited guests, or one of the victim's advocates, or Rev. Holverstock, might see. Patsy might see. Relocating the body from one level of the house to another would only be done before the cops arrived. If the body was in the trunk of the car it was moved into the basement between the time the 911 call was placed and the time the cops showed up, imo.

      Relocating within the basement is possible, if no one else was down there at the time.

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  61. Doc, don't get me wrong, I'm still a strong advocate of your theory but I still have to ask myself questions. Maybe you can help. If John's original purpose was to only have to trick Patsy with the Ransom Note, why didn't he just type it and print it out? Why risk Patsy being able to recognize his handwriting?

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    1. Good question.

      Printers make lots of noise, so printing it out could have awakened Patsy or Burke.

      Also, if the note got into the hands of the authorities, they could probably have traced it to his printer. Every printhead has unique wear marks that can be identified from a printout.

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    2. I think if there was no ransom note then the police would have wondered more so as to why John (and Patsy) did not search the house thoroughly, if they did not have the kidnapping theory.

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    3. The only reason for John to hide the body in the basement was directly connected with the note. The two go together as elements in the kidnap staging. The body needed to be hidden so Patsy would assume JonBenet had been taken out of the house.

      If they were in it together, and had not decided to stage a kidnapping then there would have been no reason to hide the body. They'd have openly displayed it, probably in her bedroom -- claiming that some sort of pedophile psychopath had broken into the house and attacked her.

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  62. Doc I have asked this before and though its supposedly not completely reliable, the fibers from JR's shirt being on the INSIDE of JBR's underwear is the smoking gun! His story was that he took a sleeping JBR upstairs and she went straight to bed. He doesnt mention a changing of the underwear, nor does he mention being up with her at any point in the night. There is not 1 explanation to explain his shirt fibers being there, unless he was there when she died.
    The next morning when JR "found" JBR, was there shirt fibers from JR found from the night before mixed with the shirt he was wearing in the morning? I understand that there is fibers can transfer, but she was wearing different underwear then the night before!
    The RN to me was simply JR believing he was smarter than anybody else and he thought just like Jodi Arias, he could fool everybody. Had PR and JR been interviews seperately from the beginning or had JR not been ruled out OR had there been more than 1 detective on scene, JR would be sitting in a cell right now.

    -J

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    1. I too felt convinced at one point that John's fibers could be a smoking gun. However, CH explained, in a comment on another post, that they could have gotten inside those panties indirectly. Since John carried JonBenet into the house, his fibers could have gotten onto her hands, and been transferred from her fingers to other parts of her body, including the crotch area. Fiber evidence from the clothing of someone already close to the victim is rarely enough to prove much of anything.

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    2. I would just like to add that if Jonbenet was asleep when the Ramsey's got home, then she could have had John's shirt fibers on her fingers but would not have touched the crotch area during her sleep. Could they have been on her fingers from earlier in the evening, and she went to the bathroom, transferring the fibers then? Certainly it is possible. I personally feel its very unlikely, given that she was wiped down, and we suppose she was wiped down to remove John's sperm, any blood, and prints. Surely he would have wiped this area. I know we can't prove anything, but isn't it odd that of all the things JR touched that evening and could have transferred to her crotch, and even after being wiped down, that fibers from John's shirt would be found. Wonder what the odds are of just finding his shirt in her crotch but no dog fibers, mom's fibers, toilet paper fibers, etc.

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    3. Well, according to CH, the fibers could have inadvertently been transmitted from her outer clothing or her hair, body, etc., to her panties by her attacker, whoever that might have been. So the presence of those fibers in the panties does not tell us that John was necessarily the attacker. Of course there's lots of evidence that DOES point to John, so imo the fiber evidence isn't all that important.

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  63. Once we decide on a suspect it becomes harder to see evidence as inconclusive. We want to see the black fibers as proving JR is guilty because that's just the "smoking gun" we are looking for, having already decided he's our suspect. In the same fashion, PDIs see the red fibers as the smoking gun because they can't let go of anything that implicates Patsy, having already decided she's the culprit.

    But as Doc has so painstakingly demonstrated, a joint venture between PR/JR would have resulted in dumping the body, and the 911 call would never have been made with the body in the house. So we know Patsy's fibers are not there from direct transfer. But we know that from the logic of the case, not from anything about the fiber evidence itself.

    So, if the red fibers don't have to be a smoking gun proving PR was involved, then logically the black fibers don't have to be a smoking gun either, and for the same reason, secondary transfer is a very real possibility.

    Putting the overall logic of the case aside, and just seeing where the fiber evidence leads, we have these possibilities- Black fibers from direct transfer, red from secondary, showing JR is the culprit, PR is innocent. Black from secondary, red from primary, showing PR as culprit, JR as innocent. Both colors from direct, meaning both JR/PR were involved in the staging (a perennial favorite theory on the websites) or both from indirect, meaning neither was involved. (A fifth possibility is presented below) Is there a way to tell what's most likely, just from the nature of the fiber evidence itself? No. There is really nothing suspicious about fibers that belong to family members being found anywhere in the home or anywhere on the victim. We either have to accept that secondary transfer is a possibility for both the black and red (JR/PR) fibers, or we have to reject the possibility of secondary transfer, but there is no logic to that. There is no reason the fibers (either color) couldn't be transferred indirectly.


    Imagine that the Ramsey dog had been at home and that the dog's hairs were found ENTWINED in the garrotte, or INSIDE the panties. Would we conclude that this "smoking gun" proves the dog molested JB, fashioned a garrotte and strangled her? We'd simply accept the reality of indirect transfer. The fiber evidence we are dealing with is a good deal smaller than a single strand of dog hair. The fibers would be very easy to transfer, indirectly. This would be especially true if JR carried her upstairs, and PR redressed her for bed, their fibers would be all over JB, on the body, the clothes, and the hair. There's also no telling where a child, sleeping or awake, might touch herself, transferring fibers in the process.

    -Continued....

    -CH

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  64. ..... Continuing from above

    post on the various JB websites try to "corroborate" direct transfer of the red fibers by pretending they couldn't be in different places by secondary transfer. But of That's not to say secondary transfer is more (or less) likely than primary transfer. As far as I can see there is no way to say one transfer method is more (or less) likely than the other. That doesn't stop people from trying of course. Many who course, they could be, simply having been transferred by the killer's hands when he touched the different objects (rope, tote, tape, etc.). Also this "corroboration" due to finding fibers in multiple places is curiously lacking in the case of the black shirt fibers, yet it rarely stops people from thinking JR was in on the killing/staging. IOWs people assume direct transfer of JR's fibers w/o the "corroboration" of finding them in multiple places.

    Though logically JR is our strongest suspect, by far, and the logic that Doc presents tells us he's our suspect, we might be chagrined to find that he was unclothed (it's a possibility) during the molestation/wiping down/murder. Who knows what state of dress/undress the molester was in when he did his perverted acts? It might be a case where the killer transferred his own fibers, by secondary transfer.
    If we are careful to be logical, the fiber evidence tells us absolutely nothing, as the fibers belong to family members and the possibility (though not the fact) of secondary transfer is great.

    -CH

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    1. I see a portion of my continuation got cut off, but I think people can make sense of it.

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  65. That's not to say secondary transfer is more (or less) likely than primary transfer. As far as I can see there is no way to say one transfer method is more (or less) likely than the other. That doesn't stop people from trying of course. Many who post on the various JB websites try to "corroborate" direct transfer of the red fibers by pretending they couldn't be in different places by secondary transfer. But of course, they could be, simply having been transferred by the killer's hands when he touched the different objects (rope, tote, tape, etc.). Also this "corroboration" due to finding fibers in multiple places is curiously lacking in the case of the black shirt fibers, yet it rarely stops people from thinking JR was in on the killing/staging. IOWs people assume direct transfer of JR's fibers w/o the "corroboration" of finding them in multiple places.

    Though logically JR is our strongest suspect, by far, and the logic that Doc presents tells us he's our suspect, we might be chagrined to find that he was unclothed (it's a possibility) during the molestation/wiping down/murder. Who knows what state of dress/undress the molester was in when he did his perverted acts? It might be a case where the killer transferred his own fibers, by secondary transfer.
    If we are careful to be logical, the fiber evidence tells us absolutely nothing, as the fibers belong to family members and the possibility (though not the fact) of secondary transfer is great.

    -CH

    Sorry things got jumbled in the cut/past process (I had used too many characters for a single post) I think this reads correctly now.

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    1. All this makes sense to me, CH. I agree that we can't adopt a double standard, finding excuses for Patsy's fibers but none for John's. It's problems such as this that force us, as I see it, to concentrate only on what we know for sure, and to take all the rest with a grain of salt.

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    2. I couldn't agree more. What we know for sure is sufficient to solve the case.

      CH

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  66. CH and Doc, I have read this entire blog, so if this has already been answered, then my apologies. How does secondary transfer explain the fibers being found in the new underwear? I understand there being a transfer of fibers that could have gotten inside JBR's underwear that she wore to the party that night, but not the pair she ended up being found in.
    JR himself says he carried a sleeping JBR from the car to her bed. He doesnt mention changing her clothes at any point that night. He even goes as far as to say that he took medicine to ensure that he slept soundly through the night. Again, if I am wrong about the fibers being found inside the changed pair of underwear then my apologies for wasting time, but I thought that was the case.
    JR might have thought he was so smart wiping down the scene as he would have had plenty of time to do so, but I ust keep coming back to those small fibers that he most likely wouldnt even think to wipe down or remove.

    -J

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  67. J, I had the same questions and the point that has been made, in the postings just above, is that JBR could have picked up fibers anytime during the evening that she either came into direct contact with her dad while he was wearing that shirt, or picked them up via secondary transfer. The killer, regardless of whom it was, could have then picked up the fibers and transferred them to JBR during the assault. So the point has been made that transfers can happen easily enough, and there is nothing conclusive about finding fibers from people that one has been around that could have transferred them to you innocently. I think its very suspicious that John's shirt fibers were found even though she was wiped down, and would like to know what other fibers were also found that were not wiped off. I'm just curious, not really setting out to make a big deal out of it. I think its something the prosecution can give to a jury to think about, though, even though you can build a case with this being a proof-point.

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  68. I meant to say...transferred from somewhere on JBR's clothing to the crotch area during the assault...

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    1. shoot..you CANNOT build a case with this being a proof-point! I mis-typed.

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  69. J

    Maybe this will make things clearer. If the body already had fibers on it, then when the new panties were placed on the body, the fibers would naturally end up on the inside of the panties. It wouldn't matter if the panties were old or new.

    Were there already fibers on the body? We don't know. It's possible. It's also possibly the fibers were deposited directly from JR's shirt to the inside of the panties as he pulled them from their package and opened them up to place them on the body.

    The point is not that indirect transfer is more (or less) likely, the point is that there is no way to determine likeliness of either type of transfer.

    Actually there are clues to the type of transfer, but not in the publicly available info on this case. For example, a low number of fibers is consistent with both primary (direct) and secondary (indirect) transfer. High numbers are more likely from direct transfer. But what are the numbers? All we know is that there were four (4) red fibers on the duct tape. How many black fibers were found in the panties ? We don't know. How many is a lot? We don't know that either, as no "shed test" was done, or at least none reported publicly. A shed test tests how easily a garment gives up fibers. Another variable is the "receiving" garment, how easily does it attract fibers?

    If JR really did carry JB upstairs (BR says no, but 9 year olds are not infallible) then there could easily be black shirt fibers on her clothing, hair, face, and hands. She could easily have transferred the fibers to the "suspicious" location, herself, long before anything nasty took place that night.

    IIRC, Patsy claims to have put the longjohns on JB so that would provide on opportunity for her fibers to be transferred directly to JB, then later, indirectly to some of the objects involved in the crime.

    Why are the fibers still present after wiping down? We are dealing with microscopic (or in some cases barely macroscopic) fibers, so they would stick simply from friction, or tiny amounts of residual moisture. They could still be there even after the blood and/or semen was wiped away.

    You might want to look up the Atlanta child murders and note how fiber evidence was used in that case. I don't have room here to go into detail, but in that case fibers were found on several victims (we only have one victim in the JBR case) and those fibers were matched to the car, and home of the suspect, who did not live with the victims.

    I've tried to think logically and critically in this case, and have failed for many years. I used to think the red and black fibers both were very suspicious. Critical evaluation tells me that they mean nothing. It's the old problem of confirmation bias, if we want to see JR as the culprit, we're likely to think the black fibers mean something. In reality, they don't mean anything.

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  70. Ok, thanks that does help for sure. I cant pretend to know anything about the transferring of fibers, it just seems on the surface so sketchy that the person most on this blog feel committed the crime just also happened to have fibers in the underwear of someone who was murdered and molested. That being said, I will concede that there is really no way to prove that the clothes fibers prove who the killer is.
    I do wonder though if the underwear would still be able to be tested for DNA? If JR's DNA is found on the new underwear, how would he explain that? There have been 40 year old cold cases solved through DNA testing, so to think that this case cant be solved is infuriating.

    -J

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  71. J

    I'm glad my comments were of some use. I'm no expert on fiber transfer but I have spent a lot of time reading up on it.

    Your question about DNA on the underwear is interesting. I hope someone reading this blog can answer. I always find the DNA quite confusing.

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