I've already written at some length about Burke, making it clear, first of all, that, strictly speaking, neither the facts nor the logic of the case absolutely positively rule him out, but at the same time emphasizing the extreme unlikelihood of his involvement. It is, of course, no secret that imo John and only John was responsible for the kidnap staging, including the writing of the "ransom" note and the breakin at the basement window. In this case, as I see it, the facts and the logic all point in the same direction: John and John alone. In all honesty, however, I can't see any facts that tell me with the same degree of confidence that John was also the one who sexually assaulted and killed his daughter. That certainly makes sense in view of everything else we know, but the possibility that John could have been covering for Burke cannot be completely discounted with total certainty. And as we know, this is the theory so strongly hinted at by James Kolar (though he also includes Patsy as a co-conspirator, which I do not), who, as the one-time lead detective on the case, cannot easily be dismissed.
In view of the fact that so many, including Kolar, so strongly suspect Burke, I've decided it's important that I delve more deeply into this issue, to try to understand why so many see him as the most likely suspect and also explain as clearly as I can my conviction that he could not have been involved. This post can be regarded as supplemental to other posts on this blog devoted to the same topic, here and here. And also here. I'll try not to repeat myself more than absolutely necessary.
As I see it, the principal reason why so many suspect Burke was cogently summarized by a Websleuths poster calling himself, "UKGuy": "Well the most consistent theory is BDI. IMO, nothing else explains why the parents would stage together."
A very similar view is expressed on the Topix forum by "Capricorn":
I think the events of that night and my firm belief that Patsy wrote that note, along with the circumstances of the staging, suggest TO ME, imo that Burke would be the only person that both JR and PR would go to those lengths for. I don't think either would have covered to this extreme and for this long for one another.Similar reasoning is exhibited in the following anonymous comment on this blog:
I think Burke was guilty of the killing; Patsy was guilty of writing the ransom note; and both she and John were guilty of the cover-up. God forgive me for passing judgment when I don't have all the facts, but as a mother this is the only scenario I can devise that would tempt me to be complicit in the cover up of the tragic death of a beloved child. If there was no outsider involved--this has to be what happened.As more succinctly seconded in the following comment: "I agree. The only way these two would cover this up is to protect their son."
And yes, this view does make some sense, because it's very hard to see why Patsy would want to go along with a coverup knowing that John had killed the apple of her eye, the daughter she'd doted on and fussed over for years. And similarly, it's equally hard to see why John would have been willing to cover for Patsy if, as Steve Thomas has argued, she was the one who killed JonBenet, regardless of whether this was done by accident, as Thomas believes, or deliberately, out of jealousy or rage. In either case, the innocent spouse would certainly have been enraged at what the guilty one had done, and not in any mood to risk a lifetime in prison to assist in staging an intruder breakin plus kidnap attempt on this person's behalf. As I see it, it's also unlikely that the two of them would take such extreme measures to protect a son who had just murdered his sister, but, in the eyes of a great many following the case, loving parents would risk everything to protect a child, regardless of what he'd done.
Of course, it's true that, as Kolar has established, 9 year old boys are in fact capable of murder, and also, in certain rare instances, can be sexually active. And it's also true that, as Kolar has also established, there is reason to believe Burke was a troubled 9 year old, with emotional issues suggested both by his behavior and the overprotectedness of his parents regarding both his contacts with investigators and his medical records, which are apparently sealed to this day.
As far as this case is concerned, however, there is no evidence whatsoever linking Burke to the sexual molestation and/or death of his sister. One can argue as much as one likes that Burke may have had some sort of sexual interest in JonBenet, might have been jealous of her, could have struck the blow that incapacitated her, and even might possibly have been capable of constructing the "garotte" type device, but all this is pure conjecture obviously, as there is not one piece of real evidence to support it. On the other hand, the notion that John and Patsy would have conspired on a coverup only if Burke were the one responsible for JonBenet's death, does have some logic behind it and is in fact worthy of consideration.
Assuming of course that John and Patsy were operating in lock-step tandem from the start, an assumption made by just about everyone following the case. However, as I've demonstrated at several points in this blog, that could not have been the case. Such a theory makes no sense and in fact leads to absurdities. So I see the case very differently from the way most of those posting on the forums see it. From my point of view, those who suspect Burke are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. If we want to argue that the parents would be conspiring only if Burke did it, then we can turn that around to argue that if Burke did not do it, then the parents would not have been conspiring -- which in turn implies that at least one must be innocent. Which is what I've been arguing all along, thank you.
If in fact BDI then as seems obvious, both parents would have known about it, and in order for any sort of coverup to work, both would need to have cooperated in the staging. But if both were in it together, then the 911 call would never have been made while the body was still in the house. And the Ramseys would have had no reason to delay full "cooperation" with the police from day one. As I've argued over and over, John and John alone could have been responsible for the kidnap staging and the note, with Patsy blissfully unaware of any of it. Under such circumstances, there is no longer any need to explain why both Ramsey parents would want to conspire, because clearly they didn't. And all the BDI's are left with are vague and unsubstantiated suspicions based on the extreme unlikelihood of a nine year old boy having a sexual relationship with his six year old sister.
At heart what we keep coming back to in this case is the fateful decision to rule John out as writer of the note. Once that theory is accepted as fact, then we have no choice but to conclude that Patsy must be the one who wrote the note, which, given John's many lies and obfuscations, implies a conspiracy by both parents. And once that's established, then, admittedly, BDI becomes a real possibility, regardless of how far fetched it might seem from every other point of view. But it is far fetched. And knowing as we now know, that both parents were not conspiring, then there is no longer any reasonable case to be made for BDI.
It's also important to think a bit more critically about the circumstances under which a child might either accidentally or deliberately kill another child. Sure, sibling rivalry could be a motive for murder, and as we know very young children are capable of murder. But we're talking about a lot more than a fight between two children, in which one might take a swing at the other and smash her head in. We're talking about a vicious sexual assault that drew blood. We're talking about evidence consistent with chronic sexual molestation. We're talking about strangulation with a device tied together with some fairly sophisticated knotting. Sure, it's possible that a nine year old boy could have done all this, but realistically, how likely is it? And if in fact all he did was bop his sister over the head, then the most likely response of his parents would have been to call 911 and get an ambulance over there as soon as possible -- NOT stage a violent sexual attack complete with "garotte" strangulation and phoney ransom note. That's not covering for your kid, it's pure insanity.
John Ramsey is someone we don't know very well at all. He spent most of his time away from home, on various "business trips" that have never been very closely examined. So when we attempt to assess how likely it is that he could have been molesting a 6 year old, we have no real basis for coming up with any objective evidence one way or the other. Burke, on the other hand, was a nine year old kid under the almost constant supervision of adults, mostly his mother, but also his grandparents and, of course, his teachers. If he had any of the tendencies so diligently researched by Kolar, including any interest in younger girls, or any girls for that matter, or any violent tendencies or any serious behavior problems at all, it's hard to believe these adults would not have known about it. Yet from everything we've heard, Burke was a quiet, docile child, if anything too withdrawn, but certainly not difficult, demanding or violent. There are no reports of fights or bad blood between him and his sister, other than one incident which was in all likelihood an accident.
There is, by the way, a myth prevailing in certain circles that the authorities always knew JonBenet had been killed by Burke, but were helpless to do anything about it because of his age. Wow, that's awfully difficult to swallow, but for some this has become an article of faith. I recall reading, over the last few months, of two different cases where children under the age of 9 are thought to have killed, probably by accident, but not necessarily. And indeed they were never prosecuted. But both cases made national headlines. There was no attempt to "protect them" by covering up what happened, though their names weren't, to my knowledge, reported. I see no reason why the same sort of thing would not have happened if it were known that Burke had killed his sister. His name might not have been mentioned, but the fact that a nine year old had killed someone would certainly have been reported. And the case would certainly have been closed at that point.
Which reminds me that if Burke had been responsible for his sister's death he could not have been prosecuted either, meaning that there would have been no reason for his parents to cover for him. It's been argued that they might not have been aware of this fact. But certainly this would have been something learned from their lawyers very early on. And under the circumstances it seems reasonable to assume that the lawyers could easily have arranged some sort of plea deal through which they could have apologized for misleading the authorities and gotten off with a suspended sentence, since after all they were "only" protecting their child. It's hard to believe that they'd have persisted with such a dangerous game for so many years just to "protect" a child who never needed their protection in the first place.
It would be naive to assume that any of this will make a difference to hardcore Burke "lovers," but at least I've given it my best shot. Though there is no way to prove absolutely and beyond any question that Burke is innocent, I find it completely unreasonable to insist on his guilt. To me that makes little sense at all.