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).

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Open Forum Part Two

Since the previous post now has over 200 comments, I've decided to continue the discussion here.

213 comments:

  1. My point was that the window either had to be broken before or after the 911 call…correct? I never stated that you (Doc) or anybody else said it was made after the 911 call, just saying those were the two possibilities. Here is the problem with the whole window scene. The Ransom Note’s sole purpose to start was to fool Patsy initially. Johns whole plan hinged on PR not only believing the contents of the note, but also not calling the police. Doc, you can’t have it both ways. Of course the window was broken to fool PR, because if not, then why break that window at all? His soul objective had to be to get the body out of the house, so in order to do this, he had to convince Patsy and ONLY Patsy that the kidnapping was very real and according to the Ransom Note that was left, that John and only John had to handle this. Sorry, but I just can’t go along with a theory that John was so concerned at that very moment of the police, when if the RN did its job, he wouldn’t have to worry about the police for a few days. As CH said, it would have been so easy to lift the grate in the window to add to the believability that the window was an entrance point for the intruder.

    Oh I almost forgot, the broken window was to fool Patsy, not the police just yet. So, Patsy reads this ransom note and then he would take the extreme risk of leading Patsy downstairs where she would have been in the same vicinity as the body to see the broken window? Doc, Im not trying to argue for arguments sake, but how can you honestly believe that at the moment he is trying to cover up this crime, his concern is a broken window that he wasn't really going to have to worry about for at least a day when the police are called?

    -J

    -J

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    1. J,

      The way I'm looking at it, the RN may have convinced her all by itself (and apparently it did) but JR couldn't be sure that PR wouldn't start searching the house. (a lot of people have said that would be their first reaction, and while we can't say PR should behave the way others do, neither can we be surprised if she does) If she goes to the basement, the window staging (if it was staged) had to be convincing.

      In Doc's theory, re: the window, a hole in the glass and some packing peanuts is all that is necessary to fool PR. In my view JR couldn't be sure that she wouldn't come close enough to see the grate in place, nor could he be sure what (if anything) she might think about it. IMO it would have been extremely risky to allow Patsy to see a partially staged window.

      And I agree, if staging the window was the plan, then, initially, it was meant to fool Patsy. The police come into the picture a day or two afterward, if JR can carry out the full plan.

      Imagine what would happen had PR seen the grate but was to panicky to consider it's importance at that moment. JR would still be able to carry out his overall plan. Later, during the police interviews, she'd tell the police she saw the grate in place before going off to the neighbor's with BR for "safety". JR's goose would be cooked at that point. IOWs JR simply couldn't risk letting her see partial staging. He'd either have to prevent her from going into the basement at all costs (and how could he w/o making her suspicious?) or he'd have to have the window fully staged in case she happened to look at it.

      CH

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    2. I'm sorry, CH, but I'm having all sorts of problems with your logic. Patsy reads the note, John convinces her not to call the police. She goes down into the basement and sees the broken window. John says: "Look. This must be how the kidnapper got in and also how he got out." So she takes a peek into the window well and sees that the grate is still in place. So what? The kidnapper might have replaced it so no one in the neighborhood would notice anything unusual. Or just out of habit, without thinking.

      Seeing the grate in place most certainly does not, in itself, blow John's staging. What the police noticed was not only that it was not in place, but that it had never been disturbed at all. No footprints in the lawn near the grate. A spider web linking the grate to the lawn. I really doubt that Patsy would have bothered to check that closely.

      Of course, John would have been taking a huge risk and she might not have gone along with his plan. Just as she insisted on calling 911, no doubt against his wishes, and contrary to what he'd been planning. The staging of the kidnapping was a desperate act involving considerable risk to beging with. So sure, he'd have been taking a risk showing the broken window to Patsy. Just as he was taking a huge risk when he assaulted his daughter.

      You can't just say he would not have done something because it was too much of a risk, because everything about his plan was risky. He'd have weighed the risks and done what seemed least risky, but there would always have been risks.

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    3. I'd suggest it's very very unlikely the intruder would be concerned with someone in the neighborhood seeing the grate out of place in the dark. Nor do I think it likely any intruder would have been so habituated to removing and replacing grates that he'd have done it on auto-pilot.

      "Seeing the grate in place most certainly does not, in itself, blow John's staging"

      Then why in your view did he unstage? The grate in place is fatal to a believable intruder scenario. (At least an intruder coming through the window)

      Had the grate been removed there would be little to nothing of the webs for police to notice. In the cold of late December it's unlikely there would be any footprints.

      Patsy doesn't need to check webs or footprints, she only needs to see the grate in place. The problems are multiple; 1. She might be suspicious then and there, wondering why any intruder would bother replacing it. 2. She might tell police, later that the grate was in place when she looked at the window. Had JR later removed it, that would be the end for JR. 3. She might know that JR staged the window. In fact, there is no maybe about it. Had she seen the grate in place and later it had been removed, she'd come to know that through her lawyers. She'd know JR did it, even though later he'd be ruled out as the author of the RN.

      I can say he wouldn't have done something because it's too risky when that risk could be completely avoided by removing the grate. There are risks he can't avoid, risks he can mitigate, and risks he can eliminate altogether. He can eliminate the risk of PR seeing the grate by removing it.

      CH

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  2. Well, to continue with the window,

    I'm looking at two basic questions that in my mind go in the following time sequence.

    1. Why would JR fail to complete the window staging, while PR slept, when apparently there is nothing left to do but plop the grate out onto the lawn? He has an additional 15 to 30 seconds of work to do to complete the window staging, yet opts to leave it for later? At this time he's not concerned about getting his clothes dirty because he's planing to be upstairs showering when PR gets out of bed. I can see no really convincing reason he'd leave that simple task undone when it really damages the credibility of the intruder theory. (So much so that he apparently has to unstage later)

    He couldn't be sure what PR's reaction would be and if she insisted on searching the house for JBR how could he keep her out of the basement ? PR is not a trained investigator, but she's not a moron either. She knows, or would soon figure out, that if the grate is in place no one came in that way.

    Now, it's certainly possible that he felt just a broken pane was sufficient to sell PR on the kidnapping scenario. But it's pretty risky. Again, should she insist on searching for JBR, she might see the grate, and if she doesn't put 2 + 2 together right then and there, she surely would in due time.

    JR's objective, at this point, is to stage a kidnapping convincingly enough that PR buys it. I'm simply suggesting that completing the window staging makes more sense than leaving it undone. Yet, he leaves it undone. That doesn't mean the whole DocG theory is "out the window" if you'll excuse the pun, but it should give us pause.

    2. Given the fact that the window was incompletely staged, and given that PR unexpectedly called 911, JR realizes the police are about to show up and that his partial staging is going to look very suspicious. So, as I see it, he has two options;

    A. He can clean up the glass and claim that he broke the window months prior. But (with due respect to Erica) he runs the risk that others know very well the window wasn't broken earlier. In the case of PR, even if she won't rat him out, she might well know the truth of the matter.

    Doc, has a good explanation of why PR might be induced to lie about the window, and Erica has a good explanation as to why PR simply might not remember correctly. What I'm trying to point out is that JR has to rely on this, whereas completing the staging does not require anyone else to "play ball" knowingly or unwittingly.

    B. He can simply pull up the chair (which thanks to the Daily Beast video of the basement we know was nearby) pop out the grate and then he has a completely staged window consistent with a kidnapping. If he was worried about his clothes I'm sure he could find something to cover up with.

    CH

    (to be continued)

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  3. (continuing)

    Excuse me for belaboring the point but I want to make it again in slightly different form. JR needs either to unstage his partly staged window scene, or he needs to complete the staging. He knows the police are on the way and he knows he has only a few minutes. He can opt to do the quick thing and pop the grate out but he chooses to do the more time consuming and difficult thing -clean up the glass, which also necessitates putting the glass somewhere (e.g. hiding it)

    Now, I am not questioning the overall DocG theory, because to me it has more explanatory power than any other RDI theory.

    However, I am questioning what's going on with the window. It seems to me there is no convincing reason not to complete the staging while PR is asleep. It's just a matter of pushing the grate up and out.

    I can accept that he may not have wanted to dirty his clothes, after the 911 call. He had just recently emerged from the shower and was wearing fresh clothes and it would have been hard to explain getting them dirty. Or would it? He had to go to the basement in any case, (*) so he could say he was searching, found the window open, pulled up the chair to see the window well better and got dirty in the process. He could also tell the police that he found the probable entry point rather than telling them the house was all secured. This is all he really needs - a believable IDI scenario.


    I don't believe for a minute that a millionaire lived for several months with a broken window. Glass was found that morning, still there apparently from the poor cleanup job months prior (yeah, right). Bugs would come in during the summer. Cold air would come in or hot air would escape during the winter. Plus a broken window provides an entry point for a real break in.

    So there is no doubt in my mind that JR broke the window the night of the murder. Yet, that being the case, why not complete the window staging?

    We have an apparently "unstaged" window when a completely staged one would have left less to chance and would be more convincing both for PR and the Police.

    'm troubled by his failure to complete the staging of the window before going back upstairs. I see no convincing reason for him to leave the one last element undone, and some good reasons why it would be better to have completed the staging.

    (*) Since we are talking about going back down the basement to unstage the window, how does JR explain this apparently strange behavior? PR has just found a RN and has called 911 and instead of JR staying with her he suddenly dashes into the basement only to return a few minutes later. Surely PR had to notice this. I don't recall that any explanation was ever given.

    CH

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    1. To me the most likely reason John did not complete the window staging was that he was interrupted. My guess is he heard Patsy moving around. He knew he needed to be present right when she found the ransom note, so that she could be controlled..He heard her her moving / or thought he did and panicked..and rushed back up stairs....
      Also- to based John's actions on logical thought dismisses the panic he must have been experiencing...his thoughts must have been going a million miles an hour..so looking at the window too hard - beyond it original intention- to supply a point of entry- is useless.
      He had potentially done the worst thing he could ever imagine..all he was thinking it has to look like someone else did this horrible thing.
      Owl

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    2. It's certainly possible that he heard (or thought he heard) her getting up. But, two things;

      1. IIRC, he was in the shower when she got out of bed (at least that is how they are both telling the story) So, if that's true (and if PR is not a co-conspirator it must be true) then he'd already done everything except pop the grate out.

      2. Even if he thought he heard her getting up and moving about, he'd know at that point she was already up. No way he could get from the basement to the bedroom w/o being seen if she's already getting up. So at that point, why not finish staging?

      CH

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  4. One thing I really like about Doc's approach is that he uses only the "real" evidence - IOWs that which we can all agree on.

    I don't put much stock in "sounds" and other things that can't be verified, so what follows is just pure wild speculation proving absolutely noting. That said-

    What about what Mr. Stanton heard? (the husband of the flakey Mrs. Stanton who maybe heard a scream, maybe that night or some other night) He claims to have heard a sound he likens to metal on cement. Most people have speculated that it may have been the paint cans in the basement (But why the heck would JR be moving paint cans in the middle of staging a kidnapping to cover a murder?)

    What if the sound he heard was in fact metal on cement, but rather than the paint cans, it was the sound of JR trying to move the metal grate off the cement ledge of the window well? Maybe JR tried to pop out the grate but couldn't do it from below ? Maybe the awkward angle made it impossible to do? Maybe (since he damn sure had never been down that widow well before) he didn't really know how to remove the grate? Maybe there was more to it than just pushing up and out?

    Just speculation. All in all I'm pretty sure the grate could be pushed out from below and again I find no convincing reason that JR would leave that part of the staging for a later time. Yet, apparently, he did.

    CH

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    1. I don't have time to respond to every issue raised in the series of comments just above. However, I think there are some things both of you are forgetting:

      you are assuming John would have done everything precisely the way you envision he should have in order to commit the "perfect crime." But that's not necessarily so. He would have been in a panic. He would have been thinking of several different things at once. He would have been easily distracted. And he was certainly not a master criminal capable of lining up every single one of his pigeons in a row before shooting them. Imo it's certainly possible he just ran out of time at a certain point and at that point either hoped his staging would fly as is, or was planning on completing the staging the following day, after Patsy and Burke had gone off with friends. It would not necessarily have been that easy for him to pop out the grate from below. The window opening was very narrow and filthy and he'd have had to crawl up there first before reaching the grate. It's also possible he just didn't think about the grate, and assumed the broken window, the packing peanuts on the floor and the suitcase agains the wall would be enough.

      as far as Patsy is concerned, she wasn't a detective, she would have been thinking primarily about her daughter's safety and not about investigating the scene at that window. I think it reasonable to assume John expected that the staging he'd already complete would have been enough to convince her -- assuming she was acting suspicious. The tricky part would not have been convincing Patsy but convincing the police -- but if all had gone according to plan, he'd have had a full day and night to pop out the grate and complete the rest of his staging.

      Of course we have no choice but to speculate about what was going on in his mind but I do think my theory is reasonable and accounts for all the evidence. Criminals very often make mistakes when attempting to cover their crimes and in this case I think it reasonable to assume that John too made some mistakes.

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  5. I had a long post which failed to "take" so I'll do it again in a very abbreviated form (win win for the readers)

    Both Doc and I are convinced that the window was broken the night of the murder. Doc suggests partial staging of the window. I suggest instead that the window was never staged as an entry point, but was broken accidentally.

    Doc would agree, I'm sure, that the details of cleaning up the glass and the staging/unstaging (or lack thereof) are purely speculative. So there should be no problem considering an alternate theory, especially since it's still consistent with the overall theory presented by Doc.

    I find it hard to believe that JR would leave the window partially staged since it's very important that it look convincing to both PR and the Police. I don't think he'd leave things to chance. Had he intentionally broken the window that would mean he had already formulated a plan to stage the window as an intruder entry point. IMO that would have lead to a completely staged scene at the window, not something left to attend to later.

    I also find it hard to believe JR cleaned up glass in the few minutes between the 911 call and the arrival of the police. I find it more convincing that he cleaned up while Patsy was asleep.

    As I've noted before, JR would have to dash into the basement, clean up glass in a few minutes, and reappear upstairs. PR has never mentioned JR doing that, nor has JR ever offered an explanation for doing that. I'm skeptical that it ever happened.

    So, I'm suggesting that the window was broken accidentally, as part of the violent activities of the night. JR didn't intend to stage the window as an entry point (because in my view had he intended to do that he'd have carried it out in full) but rather just cleaned up the glass and tried to come up with an explanation for the whole in the window.

    I suggest this is both simpler and more convincing that JR leaving the window partly staged, knowing PR might see the window.

    CH

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  6. Just to be clear on JR running downstairs and back up. What I'm trying to say is that even though PR wouldn't know what JR was doing in the basement she would certainly have noticed that he suddenly left her, was gone a few minutes, the reappeared. Since they have an apparent kidnapping going on this is rather strange behavior. This behavior has never been noted by PR -that is she never mentions that JR suddenly disappears and reappears, nor does JR ever offer an explanation for such behavior. So I'm skeptical that it happened that way.

    CH

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  7. ....um, hole in the window, not "whole" sorry.

    CH

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    1. We usually agree, CH, but in this case we are seeing things very differently. First of all, it's very hard for me to see how the window could have been broken "accidentally." If the accident had occurred prior to the night of the crime, then John would have reported that, rather than coming up with his absurd break-in story. And if it occurred the night of the crime, then what possible circumstances could have led to its getting broken?

      Secondly the broken glass is not the only evidence of staging. Packing peanuts from the window well were found strewn on the floor, suggesting that the "intruder" must have dragged them in as he entered. And what about the suitcase placed flush against the wall right under the broken window, suggesting the intruder used it too boost himself up when leaving?

      As far as Patsy is concerned, she would have been distracted when calling her friends, which could easily have taken five or even ten minutes. Once John realized the police were on the way, he might have run down to the basement to unstage, realizing his incomplete staging was not going to fly. He couldn't complete the staging at that time, as it would have involved climbing through that narrow, filthy window to pop out the grate. He'd have to explain the messy condition of his clothes to the police who'd be arriving in a few minutes.

      Another possibility is John's unstaging shortly after the police arrived. This could have been prompted by some of their remarks when examining the window well. You seem to be implying that Patsy would have been keeping track of John's whereabouts that entire morning, on a moment to moment basis, which is a huge assumption. What I see when trying to visualize what happened is an extremely confused situation and an extremely upset and confused Patsy Ramsey, trying to deal with arriving police and arriving friends. She could easily have lost track of John. And by the way, John admitted going down into the basement that morning, but claimed he couldn't remember exactly when that was.

      As for cleaning up the glass, the hole has been described as "baseball sized," i.e., not very large. So there wouldn't have been all that much glass to pick up. And John seems to have missed a few in any case, since Fleet found some when he went down there.

      It's easy to assume from various media reports that one knows what happened that morning, but those reports and the timelines drawn from them are inconsistent and many details are based on conjecture. I don't see a problem with John going into the basement unnoticed either during Patsy's phone calls or shortly after. I do have a problem with a window getting broken by accident, and coincidentally on the same night an intruder is alleged to have gotten into the house and murdered JonBenet.

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    2. CH made me wonder- I know where the body was ultimately located. But does evidence point to where the actual murder occurred?
      OWL

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    3. I'm suggesting it was broken the night of the murder. How? That's anyone's guess. I'm not suggesting it was an accident unrelated to the murder, I'm suggesting it was unintentionally broken during the night's mayhem.

      I'm sorry, but with the grate in place I simply cannot see the window as a credible entry point, even with packing peanuts. With the grate in place it's obvious no one came in or out that way. The intruder couldn't have dragged the peanuts in if he'd never come in the window. And forgive the repetition, but with the grate in place, it's obvious no one came in the window.

      The suitcase we know FW moved, and we also know that there was a chair nearby, which is a much more stable thing to stand on than a suitcase. An intruder would almost certainly have opted for the chair.

      I'll agree PR might have been distracted. The 911 call is placed at 05:52 and Officer French arrives at 05:59 so he has seven minutes. Perhaps enough time. While I might agree he couldn't complete the staging after the 911 call, I still see no reason he didn't complete it prior to going upstairs for his shower.

      I'm not implying that PR was keeping tabs on JR's whereabouts, I'm implying that his sudden departure might have been considered rather strange. I agree, she may have been distracted and not noticed his sudden departure. At any rate, if had to unstage, he had to unstange.

      I'm not doubting that JR went into the basement that morning, but as you say, he doesn't know what time that was. But if this part of your theory is correct, we know what time it was. It was between 5:52 and 5:59. So in your version of events, JR definitely makes a sudden departure for the basement immediately after the 911 call. Patsy may or may not have noticed the sudden departure but neither of them has ever mentioned anything like that, so either she didn't notice, or it didn't happen.

      I'll agree it's a rather small amount of glass.

      CH

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    4. Now, let me restate my case.

      First, the break is "accidental" in the sense that it's not something JR intended to do, but not unrelated to the mayhem going on that night. It's part and parcel of the events of the night, just not something planned in advance.

      Second, if JR broke the window intentionally, then we know two things for sure; A) he ran the risk of someone hearing the breaking glass (apparently they didn't) which is quite a risk to run intentionally, and B) he had at that point formed a plan to stage the window as an entry point.

      But, he fails to complete the window staging. However this is the only part of the staging left undone. He wipes, he redresses, he hides the body, he writes the RN, he breaks the pane, but leaves the few remaining elements of window staging - which would only take a few more minutes- undone. I'm sorry but that gives me pause. I think it's more probable that if his intent was to stage the window as an intruder entry point, he'd have completed that staging in full.

      I consider it very important that the window staging looks authentic, even to Patsy. As I said before, she'd not a cop, but she'd not a moron either. It would be extremely risky to let her see a partially staged window, possibly tipping her that something is very wrong, and there is no way he could be certain he could keep her form seeing it.

      In my version, he has a small hole in the pane, which he needs to clean up. That's it. He doesn't run the risk -intentionally- of waking the house by breaking glass, and he doesn't leave incomplete, and therefore very fishy looking, partly staged window for PR to see.

      It comes down to this question- why didn't he complete the staging of the window during the night? You are comfortable with your theory, but I'm very uncomfortable with the notion that JR carried out every other element of the staging (RN, wiping, redressing, hiding, etc.) but leaves it for later to finish the window staging. I'm even more troubled by the fact that all that's left to complete the staging is to mess up the sill and pop the grate out. He's two minutes from completing all the staging, why not just finish?

      When I ask myself why he didn't finish, the most reasonable answer that occurs is that he never intended to stage the window as an entry point. If he had intended that, he'd have done that. Running out of time doesn't seem likely to me, as he had just a few minutes work remaining to be done. Letting PR potentially see incomplete staging doesn't seem likely either, as -sorry for the repetition- the grate being in place completely destroys the credibility of the window being the intruder's entry.

      So, the simplest answer as to why he'd leave staging incomplete and unconvincing is that he didn't intend to stage the window. It simply got broken during the night.

      CH

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    5. You honestly believe Patsy would have wanted to confirm the authenticity of the window breakin by going outside to check the grate? Her primary concern at that point would be getting her daughter back, not playing detective.

      "I'm sorry, but with the grate in place I simply cannot see the window as a credible entry point, even with packing peanuts."

      Yes. Precisely. Which is why John needed to UN stage. Moreover, how else do you explain the presence of those packing peanuts from the window well on the floor if they weren't part of the staging? Or the suitcase. In your eyes a chair might have been a better choice, but the suitcase was there, up against the window. Fleet saw it. We can't just ignore it -- it was there for a reason.

      In analyzing John's actions we have to take his plan into consideration. If all had gone according to plan he'd have had over 24 hours to complete his staging, so why is it so difficult to imagine that, under time pressure, he would have decided to wait till the next day to crawl through that space and displace the grate.

      Also, once the police arrived and examined the grate, then it would have been too late to climb up there and displace it. They would have already noticed that it was undisturbed.

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    6. No, I have never suggested PR would go outside to check the grate. I'm simply saying she might have chosen to go to the basement (and it would be quite suspicious if JR tried to prevent her) and might see the window. Since, in your view, the broken pane and packing peanuts on the floor indicate a break in, it would be only natural for her to go closer and take a better look at the window. She might, or might not do this, but how could JR be sure? If she noticed the grate still in place she might wonder why the intruder put it back in place after he made his exit. She might wonder not only that morning, but in subsequent days as she runs the events through her mind over and over. IMO, it's important that the staging look real, even for PR. If PR looks at the window and isn't completely sold on the intruder coming in/out then JR has another murder to commit, or he's going to prison. This is not something he can leave to chance. I'm suggesting he would not leave a half-*ssed window staging for PR to see. He'd stage it fully, or not at all.

      I can't explain the peanuts. Maybe JR opened the window while considering what needed to be done, and they blew in. That works in his favor, but not if someone sees the grate in place, then it works against him.

      The suitcase isn't a credible thing to stand on with a chair nearby. Any half way sane intruder is going to stand on the chair to get out the window, not the tottering suitcase. JR would probably realize that, and probably stage accordingly. But he doesn't. We don't know why the suitcase was there, some things at a crime scene are just "there". (We don't know why the blanket or Dr. Suess book are in the suitcase, but that certainly isn't enough reason to entertain JARDI theories - they are just there and we can in fact ignore them) Again, if JR were staging an intruder exit, he'd have chosen the chair vice the suitcase, as would any real life intruder. Something stable is the better choice to climb on. Alos people are used to using a chair to stand on. People stand on chairs to reach things on high shelves, for example. People are not used to standing on suitcases. So, with a chair in plain sight, practically within arms reach is there really any point debating which object should be under the window?

      It's difficult to imagine him waiting to complete the window staging because he has only a few minutes of work left to do to complete it. There really is no time pressure. 2 more minutes for completion. Pull up the chair, crawl in the well, pop the grate - staging complete. Why would he put off two minutes of work and leave that for tomorrow?

      CH (to be continued)

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    7. (continuing)

      Yes, I agree, once the police arrive he couldn't move the grate. His only options upon hearing that Patsy is talking to 911 are to either A) unstage (if indeed the window was staged) or B) complete the staging before the police arrive. If he unstages he has a broken window to explain. If he completes the staging he has nothing to explain and a completely staged realistic looking entry point.

      He has seven minutes to decide and act. He doesn't know exactly how long he has, but he knows it's just a few minutes. He knows the police are going to respond quickly to a kidnapping. So, he can either pop the grate out, finding something to cover his clothing with so he doesn't get dirty. Or clean up the glass and make up an explanation for the break . I don't have a problem with the idea that he decides to clean up (e.g. unstage) rather than complete the staging, during the few minutes that he's waiting for the police to arrive. I do however have a big problem believing he didn't complete the staging before PR found the RN.

      As an aside, I believe the packing peanuts are still on the floor when the police arrive. (otherwise how do we know about them) Why didn't JR dispose of them as well as the glass? If he's unstaging, then he should have picked up the peanuts, if indeed they are supposed to have been brought in by the intruder.

      You have JR putting off 2 minutes of work for a later time when it would leave his staging incomplete and unbelievable. We seem to agree that he'd sooner or later have to crawl into that window well and pop out the grate so why wait? If he waits until daylight he might be seen doing it from outside, and for that matter might be seen doing it from inside - if someone were walking by and saw a grate suddenly pop up onto the lawn. The best time to do it is when it's dark.

      If the window staging would take an additional two hours I could accept that he was out of time, but it simply doesn't take more than an minute or two to pop that grate out onto the lawn. I just find it very hard to believe that he leaves a critical element of window staging undone when it takes very little time to complete, and pretty much has to be done from inside anyway.

      So, by your theory, JR decides to leave the window party staged when he requires only a few more minutes to complete the staging fully. He assumes PR will not go into the basement, and even if she does, she won't look closely at the window, and even if she does, she won't be bothered by the grate being in place. He decides partial unconvincing staging is good enough to fool Patsy. He's risking his life and maybe hers (because if she doesn't buy the staging he has to kill her) on the notion that it doesn't take much to put one over on Patsy.

      CH

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    8. As you know, CH, I go primarily by the facts. Any speculating any of us do has to be consistent with the facts. The facts come first. What might seem reasonable, what might motivate someone to do something one way or another, what that person might or might not have been thinking, all that comes second. Any speculation along such lines has to be consistent with the facts.

      So.

      Fact: the window was found to be broken the morning after the murder.

      Fact: packing peanuts were found strewn on the floor, under the window.

      Fact: a hard suitcase was seen flush against the wall directly under the window.

      Fact: some pieces of glass were found on the floor beneath the broken window.

      Fact: the grate over the top of the window well was undisturbed as was the thick layer of dirt and dust covering the window sill.

      Fact: John claimed he had broken that window himself, months earlier, after losing his key.

      Fact: John was interrogated at length on two separate occasions regarding the circumstances of his earlier break in. He was asked whether the window had ever been repaired, but could not recall.

      Fact: the housekeeper denied knowing anything about any broken window.

      So. How do we explain all the above? Remember, these are facts so EVERY one of the above points must be accounted for in our explanation.

      As I see it, all of the above is consistent with John having staged a breakin at that window the night of the crime and then making up a story about breaking in earlier as part of an effort to unstage his previous staging. If the break had been determined to be old, then the police wouldn't have bothered interrogating John about that window, nor would they have asked whether it had ever been repaired, telling us the break must have been fresh. Since the lack of disturbance of the grate and the window sill tells us that no intruder broke in via that window, it must have been broken from the inside by someone in the house.

      If the window had been broken accidentally, as you suggest, that might account for some of the things that bother you, especially John's failure to complete his staging the previous night. However, that theory does NOT account for all of the FACTS: namely the packing peanuts on the floor and suitcase under the window. John breaking the window deliberately to stage a break in on the night of the crime, and then attempting to unstage, accounts for ALL the facts. It might seem strange to you that he wouldn't have completed his staging, and it might seem odd for him to choose the suitcase rather than a chair (which for all we know might have been weak, or partially broken), but we have no way of knowing what actually happened or what was going on in his mind at the time. However, we DO know what the FACTS of the case are, and your theory is inconsistent with these facts.

      (See following comment for more)

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    9. While the notion of someone staging and then unstaging might seem rather far fetched, it's consistent with the facts. And I've never seen any other explanation that is.

      Now as for the details, you are assuming John would have taken every single possibility into account when staging that window scene, including the possibility that Patsy might get suspicious and want to look more closely at that window. You are assuming in other words, that John was some sort of master criminal capable of taking every single contingency into account. What I see in my mind as I go over this case is someone in a panic, with a lot on his mind, who is trying as best he can to cover his traces. It might seem unreasonable to you that John wouldn't bother to take another minute or so to pop the grate, but the FACT is that the grate was not popped and we have to account for that. If his intent was not to stage a breakin at that point, then how do we account for the packing peanuts and suitcase? And how do we account for his story about breaking in earlier? If that story is a lie, as I believe I've demonstrated, then what else could it be but an alibi, to misdirect the investigators away from his staging on the night of the murder?

      To me the most logical explanation for what bothers you is that he was unable for some reason to complete his staging at that time, and hoped Patsy wouldn't notice that it was incomplete. That accounts for ALL the facts. An accident does not.

      As for the details, it would not have been an easy matter to climb into that narrow window to displace the grate and his clothes would have been a mess. What would he do with them at that point and how could he explain them to Patsy when she woke up? He was supposed to have been fast asleep all night, but she awakes to find filthy clothing lying around? And he too would have been filthy. Suppose she woke up as he entered the bedroom, what was he going to tell her?

      Also you are assuming John would have unstaged only prior to the arrival of the police, but his decision to unstage could have taken place after they arrived, and after he overheard them inspecting the grate. By that time it would have been too late to pop it out.

      If anyone can come up with some other scenario consistent with all the above facts I'd love to hear it. An accidental window break just doesn't fit, sorry.

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    10. Doc,
      Before I respond to specific points, maybe it helps to realize that what I'm suggesting re: the window does not affect your overall theory of the case. Nothing changes. We still have JR, working alone, planning to dump the body, and having his plan foiled by the 911 call.

      All we are discussing is the specifics of what happened with the window, and I think you would agree that both your theory and mine are pure conjecture.

      A second point. Consider that PR wore the same clothes 2 days in a row. That is an uncontested fact. For some, that clearly spells guilt as there is no reason for a wealthy woman with a closet full of designer clothing to wear the same outfit unless she didn't have time to change. For others (including you and I) it clearly spells innocence as she would surely have showered and changed for forensic reasons had she been the guilty party. So while we have FACTS, they are still open to interpretation.

      A final point. If every uncontested fact must be accounted for, then your overall theory of the case fails because you have failed to account for some facts. For example, it is a fact that the pink barbie nightgown is in the WC with the body. Yet your theory doesn't account for that. It's a fact that JB ate pineapple, but your theory doesn't account for it.. You acknowledge it, but you dont' account for it. You don't know how or why she ate pineapple, or with whom. It wouldn't make any difference to your theory whether she ate pineapple or not. It's a fact that the body is clothed in size 12 panties, but again, while acknowledging it, your theory doesn't account for why she is wearing size 12s. Some of the things that are facts simply do not alter the overall logic of the case, so no matter how she came to eat pineapple, or how she came to wear size 12s, or why the barbie nightgown is in the WC with her, it's still the case that the overall logic compels us to realize JR worked alone and had his plans interrupted by an unexpected phone call.

      So, if your overall theory can essentially ignore uncontested facts and not incorporate them, it seems unfair that I should have to account for each of the window facts you've listed. I don't know why the packing nuts are on the floor, or how long they have been there, or how they got there, and neither do you. So, let's be both fair and sensible. If your overall case theory doesn't have to incorporate every fact, then my theory about the window doesn't have to either.

      I'll respond specifics in another post.


      CH

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  8. Hello Doc. I was wondering if you could do us all a huge favor and investigate all of the facts on the West Memphis Three case and give us your opinion. I'm sure you are familiar with it. The HBO documentaries that were produced made the three culprits into victims but left out a lot of facts. They were released from prison last year and a lot of celebrities think they are innocent. Please give us your input on this case. I would be so grateful.
    BG

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  9. Hey BG, the step dad of the one clearly committed the crime of the West Memphis 3 murders. He told police he was out with a friend looking for the boys and that friend re canted the story. Not to mention his DNA was found on one of the boys. It was on one of the documentaries and seemed pretty clear cut

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    1. Yes, you're right about that, but there is also a lot of evidence pointing toward the three teenagers who were put in prison that the documentary conveniently leaves out. I encourage you to research all the facts on this case and hopefully Doc can enlighten us on what he thinks really happened based on those facts.

      BG

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    2. Sorry, BG, but this case is not familiar to me. Since you mentioned it I looked it up via Google, and have been doing some reading. It's a very disturbing case, but also rather complicated, so it's impossible for me to offer an opinion at this point.

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    3. Yes very complicated and that's why I need your opinion. Please research this case and take all the time you need. I'm sure you'll find this case fascinating and worth the time to find the answers that so many people are searching for.
      BG

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  10. Let's start with your list of facts from your post above and go through them one by one.

    "Fact: the window was found to be broken the morning after the murder."

    We both agree with this, and we both account for it. An accident accounts for it just as well as an intentional break. We both conclude it was broken the night of the murder, though strictly speaking, that isn't a fact.

    "Fact: packing peanuts were found strewn on the floor, under the window."

    Neither of us have any idea how they got there. who put them there, how long they have been there or where they originally came from. You see the peanuts as an element of staging placed there by JR. I note that he didn't clean up the peanuts when he cleaned up the glass. I find it strange he unstaged one element but not the other. I think it's completely reasonable to believe the peanuts may have already been strewn on the floor prior to the murder. The room was not exactly neat and tidy.

    "Fact: a hard suitcase was seen flush against the wall directly under the window."

    Additional fact, a chair was within sight, and nearly within reach of the suitcase, so any real intruder, or anyone staging an intruder exit had a choice to use either the suitcase or the chair. No need to wander around the house looking for an alternative to the suitcase, it's right there in plain sight. Given the choices, IMO there is no question the chair would be selected. People do not stand on suitcases when chairs are available, and for good reason; suitcases are likely to tip over, chairs much less so. So, you find the suitcase under the window evidence of JR's staging. To me it clearly tells us he didn't stage the window as an exit because he'd almost certainly have used the chair instead. So I have accounted for the suitcase by dismissing it as an extremely (and I do mean EXTREMELY) unlikely choice.

    "Fact: some pieces of glass were found on the floor beneath the broken window."

    Which means he didn't do a very good job cleaning up, but it's consistent with both an intentional break and an accidental break.

    "Fact: the grate over the top of the window well was undisturbed as was the thick layer of dirt and dust covering the window sill."

    Exactly. And it would have taken all of 2 additional minutes to pop the grate out, and in the process the dirt on the sill would be disturbed. Yet JR, intent on staging the window as entry/exit, fails to do this. And this removal of the grate is far more critical to convincing staging that packing peanuts.

    "Fact: John claimed he had broken that window himself, months earlier, after losing his key."

    We both conclude he's lying.

    "Fact: John was interrogated at length on two separate occasions regarding the circumstances of his earlier break in. He was asked whether the window had ever been repaired, but could not recall."

    We both conclude he's lying.

    "Fact: the housekeeper denied knowing anything about any broken window."
    We both conclude she's telling the truth.

    So, I believe I've accounted for all your facts.

    CH

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  11. There is an overall logic to my theory of the window, and the logic is this - there is no known reason that with 2 minutes of additional effort needed to complete the staging, JR decides to knock off for the day and continue staging later. Aside from the other reasons I've stated in prior posts there is simple time management. Since he has to sooner or later plop that grate out, and since it only takes a couple minutes, and since doing so completes his window staging 100%, there is really no reason not to go ahead and finish the job. Yet he fails to do this. Why?

    It should hit one like a ton of bricks that it's highly unlikely he would not have completed that staging prior to PR waking up, jif staging the window had been his intent.

    from your post above

    As for the details, it would not have been an easy matter to climb into that narrow window to displace the grate and his clothes would have been a mess. What would he do with them at that point and how could he explain them to Patsy when she woke up? He was supposed to have been fast asleep all night, but she awakes to find filthy clothing lying around? And he too would have been filthy. Suppose she woke up as he entered the bedroom, what was he going to tell her?

    We are talking about the period of time before PR wakes up. Why can't he find something to cover himself, or why cant' he remove his outer clothes? I agree, there would be some 'splainin' to do about dirty clothes, but that pales in comparison to 'splainin how the intruder got in/out with the grate still in place.

    Aside from breaking the glass, the removal of the grate is the next most important element of window staging. With a broken window and the grate removed he has successful window staging. With one but not the other, he has nothing. Yet you have him spreading packing nuts around prior to removing the grate.

    "Also you are assuming John would have unstaged only prior to the arrival of the police, but his decision to unstage could have taken place after they arrived, and after he overheard them inspecting the grate. By that time it would have been too late to pop it out."

    It would also be too late to clean up glass. JR met the cops at the door. While it might be possible he cleaned the glass while they were looking around outside, the fact that he meets them at the door suggests he has taken care of an "unstaging" needed. If he's going to clean up glass, he's going to be doing it between the 911 call and the arrival of the police.

    CH

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  12. Doc, it's obvious to me that many of the posters here feel you have a masterful investigative mind and most of us feel you have, indeed, solved this case. So it is not surprising to me that they long to hear your opinions on other unsolved cases. We all yearn to have these mysteries solved.

    Now, as to CH's opinion about the window. As Doc reminds us, we know the facts of this case. We know what WAS done: The body was cleaned and redressed. The rest of the duct tape and cord used for the garrote was missing. The Maglite was cleaned, inside and out. And, of course, the 'piece de resistance' . . . the famous RN (which I believe was copied from a computer draft, as Doc suggests). All of these things took TIME, especially the RN, during a time when JR was undoubtably in a state of panic and fear and probably was not thinking clearly -- and certainly not like a professional criminal. Maybe he simply overlooked the window grate. I think that is entirely possible. His main concern was getting the body out of the house and writing a convincing RN. Even if it dawned on him later that he needed to lift that window grate, he probably just figured he could take care of that at the same time he removed the body which, by the way, he could have done the following NIGHT (hence, no one would have seen him messing with the grate and the outside window area)

    But then Patsy made the 911 call. His plan was foiled. Yes, he could have then raced down to the basement to finish the window staging (as CH suggests because it would have taken only 2 minutes to lift that grate), but I think he was in a major state of panic at this time and may have felt it too risky to go down the basement. After all, what if the police arrived sooner and actually saw the grate pop up? Or saw him coming up from the basement? Or what if Patsy followed him to the basement? Not to mention he'd get his hands and clothes dirty and would then have to explain that.

    As Doc says, I don't think he decided to unstage the window until after the police determined there was no forced entry. Then all he had to do was return to the basement and pick up the broken glass, which I believe he did when he disappeared later than morning when Det. Arndt was there.

    bb

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  13. OK, this is turning out to be an interesting exercise on the logic of the case. So I'll give it one more whirl. But it's also getting tiresome, so this is going to be it.

    The broken glass, the peanuts on the floor, the suitcase under the window and John's lame story about breaking in earlier are all consistent with one another, if we assume he was deliberately staging at the window. If we assume the window break was an accident then we still have to account for these other facts. You say the peanuts could have been there earlier, and yes that's a possibility, granted. But not the suitcase. And not John's fairly tale. The suitcase is an important element of the case, it can't just be shunted aside. It was there for a reason, regardless of what you might happen to think about it's efficiency as a window boost, compared to a chair that you are assuming was stronger than the suitcase. It might not have been.

    Also you fail to offer any explanation of how that window could have accidentally been broken. Note that there is no evidence that any part of the assault took place in the train room. There was no sign of a struggle in that area. So how would the window have gotten broken?

    Also you seem to be assuming that once the window got broken John would have said to himself: "Oh my goodness, now Patsy and also the police are going to think I broke it to stage an intruder breakin. What can I do to point away from that? Guess I'll need to clean up all that glass." Whereas from your perspective it would seem far more logical for him to say: "Gee now that the window got broken anyhow, and could get me in trouble for staging, why don't I built on that to stage an intruder break in at this point? All I'll need to do is complete the effect by crawling through the window and displacing the grate. No one will ever know I did it by accident -- it will certainly look like an intruder was here." But he never did climb through the window or displace the grate, so your theory doesn't really explain what bothers you after all.

    You say that it would have been too late to clean up the glass after the police arrived, but there's no basis for such an assumption. John could easily have snuck down into the basement in all the confusion -- and in fact that's what he himself claimed he did. And his claim that he found the window open and then shut it tells us he must have been down there before Fleet, because Fleet found it closed. The window break looks huge in the video, but it was one part of one single pane in a window that was already small. There would not have been much glass. He could have bagged those pieces in 15 seconds. And there would have been no trace of his actions -- unlike any attempt he might make to crawl through that filthy window, which would have forced him to explain how he got so messed up.

    More in my next comment . . . .



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    1. As for the reason John failed to complete his staging, I think bb explains that quite well. There were a great many things he needed to do and chances are he simply ran out of time. And since his plan would have enabled him to complete his staging after dark the next day, that would not have worried him.

      "If every uncontested fact must be accounted for, then your overall theory of the case fails because you have failed to account for some facts. For example, it is a fact that the pink barbie nightgown is in the WC with the body. Yet your theory doesn't account for that. It's a fact that JB ate pineapple, but your theory doesn't account for it.. You acknowledge it, but you dont' account for it. You don't know how or why she ate pineapple, or with whom."

      It's not necessary to account for every detail. But it IS important that one's theory is consistent with all the evidence. Nothing you mention is inconsistent with my theory, despite the fact that I can't account for every single thing. But the packing peanuts and the suitcase are NOT consistent with an accidental window break. And even granted the unlikely possibility that those peanuts might have gotten onto the floor in some other way, the suitcase can't be so easily explained. Nor can John's elaborate story, which is clearly an alibi to point away from his staging. And even if the window had broken accidentally then, according to your logic, John's best bet would have been to take that as a cue to stage a breakin at that point. After all, what would Patsy say if she went down into the basement and noticed the broken window. Wouldn't she have assumed this was how the intruder got in? So even if it was an accident, according to your logic, John would have wanted to follow through, making it look like an intruder breakin, because, after all, as you say, all he'd need to do would be climb into the window and displace the grate. Instead, he simply leaves it there, doing nothing more than cleaning up the glass? He's just murdered his daughter, he knows police will be on the scene in a day or so at least, and he knows he's going to have to explain that broken window. So what is he going to say? Oh that's nothing, the window broke by accident while I was murdering my daughter? If as you say, all he'd have needed to do would be complete the staging, and assuming he had plenty of time to do that, as you've argued, then why make up an elaborate story about breaking in earlier? Why not just displace the grate and turn it into a break in point for "the intruder"?

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    2. After unstaging what he allegedly staged at the basement window, John must have realized that the facts now showed either someone inside the house committed the crime or someone with a key to the house committed the crime. So he knew he would be a suspect by his own unstaging, but just not as much of one. Oddly, John decided to endorse the intruder theory provided by Lou Smit of someone breaking in through the basement window. Why would John support a theory of someone breaking in through the window after he went through the trouble of unstaging a break in by explaining that he, himself broke the window because he was locked out of the house? Wouldn't it make more sense for him to ignore Lou Smit's theory and pursue someone that had a key to the house?

      BG

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    3. "After unstaging what he allegedly staged at the basement window, John must have realized that the facts now showed either someone inside the house committed the crime or someone with a key to the house committed the crime."

      You make a good point, but your take isn't completely accurate. There's nothing in John's story about breaking in earlier that tells us the "intruder" could not have entered via that window on the night of the murder. In fact this is exactly what John suggested -- that someone might have spotted the already broken window and decided to take advantage of this easy entry point. (Of course, that's absurd, as the broken window could not have been seen from outside the house.) He conveniently failed to mention the spider web or the lack of any displacement of the dirt and grime on the window sill. As did Lou Smit.

      So John never really had to change his story, since his own breaking of the window was not inconsistent with an intruder breakin.

      What's important to remember is that John had no choice when he made up his story. That window break had to be explained. And since there was no sign anyone was in the window well or passed through the window itself, then the only explanation that presented itself was that it had been broken by someone inside the house on the night of the crime. To stage a phony intruder break in. If John hadn't explained that away by concocting his story, he'd have been arrested on the spot. While it's true the staging had not been completed, and looked very much like a botch job, the FACT that the window was broken would have been enough to nail him to the wall. That break had to be explained. (And that would have been true, CH, even if the break had been accidental -- that's not how it would have looked, certainly.) So John had no choice but to make up a story consistent with an earlier break -- and that's what he did.

      Months later, after Lou Smit decided to push the window break-in theory after all, it was convenient for John to go along with that theory, so he did. There's nothing in Lou's theory that contradicted John's story, because, as I mentioned, Lou preferred to think the intruder might have taken advantage of an already broken window. It was all too convenient for both of them to forget all the evidence pointing away from forced entry.

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    4. I agree, the break had to be explained. One way is to make up the silly story about loosing his keys, yada yada yada. Another is a completely staged window.

      It seems to me both your theory and mine have the same problem - JR has to make up a story and hope PR goes along, either because she's confused or because she believes JR is innocent and the police are trying to pin it on him.

      But he's playing with fire, as PR might be very aware that the window wasn't broken.

      At the risk of being tiresome, may I suggest this a further reason to question whether or not JR intended to stage the window? Because if PR has been down the basement earlier in the day or the day before, and if she's been in the train room, then she may no he's lying. So, possibly he wasn't thinking of staging the window and was just desperately floundering for an explanation. Why play with fire when completing the staging (sorry but I have to say this -which would have taken all of 2 minutes) would serve to explain the broken window?

      CH

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  14. Great point, BG. I've wondered that myself. I guess he could always say that he broke the window previously and the intruder just happened to notice it was broken and came in that way. Or an acquaintance or friend could have known about the broken window and knew they could enter that way. Of course, that STILL doesn't explain the in tact spider web on the grate. Once John realized the problem with the grate (that it had not been moved), he would have had to switch gears and point to another entry point or point to someone with a key to the house. In fact, he did change his story about checking all the doors, suggesting the Butler door may have been unlocked (it was actually left open by a detective). But, as you say, why then would he back up Lou Smit's window theory?? I think the answer is that he just wanted to revive the intruder theory in general. The entry point could be debated, but Lou also had his famous stun gun theory, which further bolstered the intruder theory. John had to hang on to anything that pointed to an intruder, otherwise all eyes are on Patsy, Burke or himself, and he probably figured he would be the most likely suspect of the three. Of course he lucked out when he was ruled out and Patsy became the main suspect.


    bb

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    1. That says it pretty well, bb. Only:

      "Once John realized the problem with the grate (that it had not been moved), he would have had to switch gears and point to another entry point or point to someone with a key to the house."

      You're giving John too much credit for being logical. What we read in his various statements was an attempt to toss out any red herrings he could think of. If it was convenient to claim the intruder could have broken into the house via that window then that's what he'd claim. When it was convenient to conjure up an open "Butler door" he had no problem doing that. At one point he even claimed that "seven open doors and windows" were found in the house, which was of course a blatant deception. And if all else failed, he could always claim that countless numbers of individuals had copies of his house keys. I don't see any consistency in any of his comments on this case, just an ability to toss sand into the eyes of the investigators (and the public) whenever he saw the chance.

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    2. The reason JR goes along with LS intruder nonsense is easy - He's LS. He is, at that point, one of the most (if not the most) respected detective in CO. If LS says it was an intruder through the window, then fine. If LS says it was the butler, with the candlestick, in the observatory, then fine. When LS is on your side you go along.

      CH

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  15. Well said Doc. You've shed light on yet another area I was confused about.

    bb

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  16. "OK, this is turning out to be an interesting exercise on the logic of the case. So I'll give it one more whirl. But it's also getting tiresome, so this is going to be it."

    I'm sorry if it's tiresome.

    "The broken glass, the peanuts on the floor, the suitcase under the window and John's lame story about breaking in earlier are all consistent with one another, if we assume he was deliberately staging at the window. ... "

    Yes they are.

    "... If we assume the window break was an accident then we still have to account for these other facts. "

    They were accounted for in a prior post. As you say elsewhere, every detail doesn't have to be accounted for but a theory has to be consistent. In a prior post I accounted for all window related evidence, and it's consistent with JR not staging the window.

    "You say the peanuts could have been there earlier, and yes that's a possibility, granted. But not the suitcase. .... "

    Why not? We have no idea how long the suitcase has been in the basement, or how long it's been near the window.

    "... And not John's fairly tale. The suitcase is an important element of the case, it can't just be shunted aside. It was there for a reason, regardless of what you might happen to think about it's efficiency as a window boost, compared to a chair that you are assuming was stronger than the suitcase. It might not have been."

    You are assuming that the suitcase is an important element of the case, but it's nothing more than an assumption. It could be completely unrelated to the crime or the staging.

    "Also you fail to offer any explanation of how that window could have accidentally been broken. Note that there is no evidence that any part of the assault took place in the train room. There was no sign of a struggle in that area. So how would the window have gotten broken?"

    I thought you said every detail doesn't have to be accounted for? I don't know how the window got broken, nor do you. You are assuming JR broke it intentionally, which is certainly possible. I'm assuming, for the sake of this exercise in logic, that it may have been broken accidentally. The break itself is some proof that the assault may have started in the train room. We can be pretty sure she was garrotted where the urine stain is outside the WC, but we have no idea where she was bashed on the head, there could have been anywhere from a few minutes to almost 2 hours between the bash and the garrotting. If you absolutely need for "for instance" then, for instance, JR could have reared back with the flashlight in hand, and the flashlight slipped out of his hand and hit the window. I'm not suggesting that's what happened, but it could have been some sort of unintended consequence.


    CH

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  17. "Also you seem to be assuming that once the window got broken John would have said to himself: "Oh my goodness, now Patsy and also the police are going to think I broke it to stage an intruder breakin. What can I do to point away from that? Guess I'll need to clean up all that glass." Whereas from your perspective it would seem far more logical for him to say: "Gee now that the window got broken anyhow, and could get me in trouble for staging, why don't I built on that to stage an intruder break in at this point? All I'll need to do is complete the effect by crawling through the window and displacing the grate. No one will ever know I did it by accident -- it will certainly look like an intruder was here." But he never did climb through the window or displace the grate, so your theory doesn't really explain what bothers you after all."

    What bothers me is that IF he was intent on staging an intruder entry/exit through the window, he failed to complete the staging. I can't accept that he ran out of time as it would only take a couple minutes to complete it. So, yes, if that was his plan, it would have been much better to take the extra 2 minutes (while PR is still asleep) and finish his staging in a believable fashion. That he didn't makes me wonder if staging the window was part of the plan to begin with. That seems both logical and reasonable to me. One reason someone might not finish staging (with 2 minutes to 100% completion) is that he was not intending to stage in the first place. One reason for him to only clean up the glass (and not the packing peanuts) and not remove the grate, and use the unstable suitcase rather than the stable chair, is that he wasn't thinking of staging it as an intruder entry/exit point. As far as I'm aware, the first time JR ever suggests the window as an entry/exit point is after LS prays with the family.

    "You say that it would have been too late to clean up the glass after the police arrived, but there's no basis for such an assumption. John could easily have snuck down into the basement in all the confusion -- and in fact that's what he himself claimed he did. And his claim that he found the window open and then shut it tells us he must have been down there before Fleet, because Fleet found it closed. The window break looks huge in the video, but it was one part of one single pane in a window that was already small. There would not have been much glass. He could have bagged those pieces in 15 seconds. And there would have been no trace of his actions -- unlike any attempt he might make to crawl through that filthy window, which would have forced him to explain how he got so messed up."

    Sure there's a basis for the assumption. After the police are in the house (and recall JR meets them at the door) he can't risk being seen cleaning up glass. Yes, there is enough time to do the job when he disappears from LA's view, or at some other time during the confusion, but the longer he waits, the more likely it is someone has been down there and can say whether or not there was broken glass on the floor. Once the police have been in the basement he can't clean up glass they have already seen, and they were down there fairly early. He has either to complete the staging, or unstage, during the 7 minute "window" of time between the 911 call and when the police show up. Again, I don't have a problem with your theory, it's consistent and logical. He may have chosen to unstage. But, again, I have a huge problem with the FACT that he did not complete the staging which would have taken only a couple minutes, had to be done, and left him with staging that looked suspicious.

    CH

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    1. IIRC FW searches the basement shortly after arrival, which is shortly after being called, which in turn is shortly after the 911 call. Also the police check for points of entry shortly after arrival. So, I'm sorry but with people already having been in the basement, JR could not have cleaned up glass later. It had to be before the police arrived.

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    2. " One reason someone might not finish staging (with 2 minutes to 100% completion) is that he was not intending to stage in the first place. One reason for him to only clean up the glass (and not the packing peanuts) and not remove the grate, and use the unstable suitcase rather than the stable chair, is that he wasn't thinking of staging it as an intruder entry/exit point"

      The wording is poor. I shouldn't have said "and use the unstable suitcase rather than the stable chair" Instead I should have said something like "and the reason the unstable suitcase is under the window rather than the more stable chair....."

      Delete
  18. A brief point or two about the suitcase.

    We don't know how long it had been in the basement. One of the kids could have put it here days prior. FW says he moved it and that it was originally "under the window" or words to that effect. Does FW say exactly how close to the wall? It would have to be fairly close, pretty much almost touching the wall to use as a step stool. If it were 2 ft away it wouldn't work very well. I don't know the answer, I'm just asking. I don't recall from the various interviews if FW was asked about it's precise positioning, other than being generally under the window.

    A brief point about packing peanuts. Once one stops to think about the peanuts it becomes obvious that there is no good reason for the window well to contain any appreciable number of peanuts. A few could blow in through the grates, but there is no reason for many to be there. (Unless someone opened a package on the lawn) Thus, there is no reason for the peanuts to be strewn about as a result of the intruder coming through the window.

    A more likely explanation, I suggest, is that the peanuts came from a package -probably a Christmas package- that was opened in the train room. Or possibly PR bought packing peanuts to pack a gift she was sending to someone.

    Maybe this is why JR doesn't clean them up as part of his unstaging.

    CH

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  19. "As for the reason John failed to complete his staging, I think bb explains that quite well. There were a great many things he needed to do and chances are he simply ran out of time. And since his plan would have enabled him to complete his staging after dark the next day, that would not have worried him."

    With respect to both you and bb, I find the explanation very very unconvincing. I hate to sound like a broken record, but, he had all of 2 minutes worth of work left to complete the window staging 100%. Did he have an alarm clock to tell him when it was time to stop staging?

    "If every uncontested fact must be accounted for, then your overall theory of the case fails because you have failed to account for some facts. For example, it is a fact that the pink barbie nightgown is in the WC with the body. Yet your theory doesn't account for that. It's a fact that JB ate pineapple, but your theory doesn't account for it.. You acknowledge it, but you dont' account for it. You don't know how or why she ate pineapple, or with whom."

    It's not necessary to account for every detail. But it IS important that one's theory is consistent with all the evidence. Nothing you mention is inconsistent with my theory, despite the fact that I can't account for every single thing. But the packing peanuts and the suitcase are NOT consistent with an accidental window break."

    Sure the peanuts and suitcase are consistent with an accident. As mentioned in another post, there is no reason for more than a few randomly blown in peanuts to have collected in the window well, so there is no reason an intruder would have brought many in with him, and therefore no reason to account for them as part of staging. The suitcase, as already mentioned, could have been in the basement days, weeks, or months, and one of the kids may have placed it where FW saw it while they were playing with it. (And the notion they were playing with it is buttressed by the fact that there is a Dr. Suess book inside, which was unlikely to have been the property of JAR)

    "... And even granted the unlikely possibility that those peanuts might have gotten onto the floor in some other way, the suitcase can't be so easily explained. "

    See my explanation above.

    "... Nor can John's elaborate story, which is clearly an alibi to point away from his staging. "

    Actually my theory explains that better than yours. In my theory he has, for some reason, decided not to stage the window, so he's hard up for an explanation and comes up with the "lost key" explanation. In your theory he's intending to stage the window all along, decides that the 2 minute warning has gone off and staging must stop even though a completely staged window would serve as a complete and believable explanation for the hole in the glass.

    CG

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    1. CH, not sure why I typed CG

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  20. "... And even if the window had broken accidentally then, according to your logic, John's best bet would have been to take that as a cue to stage a breakin at that point. "

    I think we both agree that would be superior to the key story.

    "... After all, what would Patsy say if she went down into the basement and noticed the broken window. Wouldn't she have assumed this was how the intruder got in?"

    I'm sure she would have assumed it. The problem is if she stepped close enough to the window to look up at the grate (it's a window well, so there is nowhere to look but up) she might become suspicious.

    "So even if it was an accident, according to your logic, John would have wanted to follow through, making it look like an intruder breakin, because, after all, as you say, all he'd need to do would be climb into the window and displace the grate. Instead, he simply leaves it there, doing nothing more than cleaning up the glass?"

    And that's the problem, he leaves it there and only cleans up the glass.

    "... He's just murdered his daughter, he knows police will be on the scene in a day or so at least, and he knows he's going to have to explain that broken window. So what is he going to say? Oh that's nothing, the window broke by accident while I was murdering my daughter? "

    No, of course not. He has to explain it, as you yourself say elsewhere in this series of posts. We both agree the key story is absurd, but it remains an uncontested fact of the case. That's what he does. That's his explanation. '

    "If as you say, all he'd have needed to do would be complete the staging, and assuming he had plenty of time to do that, as you've argued, then why make up an elaborate story about breaking in earlier? Why not just displace the grate and turn it into a break in point for "the intruder"? "

    Why indeed. Yet, again, the facts of the case tell us that is what he does. This is precisely the problem that set me to thinking of an alternate explanation of the window. Logically he should indeed have finished staging the window, if that was the plan.

    So why doesn't he? Perhaps because he had decided against it for some reason. (Or never considered it?)

    CH

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    1. But logically he'd have had no choice but to stage at that window even if he'd broken it by accident. The break would have to be explained, both to Patsy and the police. And as you yourself have said, the simplest thing would just be to take two minutes to displace the grate -- rather than come up with some absurd story about breaking in earlier. So either way, the simplest and most logical thing for him to do would be to stage a break in at that point. And if it's such an easy matter to climb into the window well and displace the grate, that's certainly what he would have intended to do even if that wasn't his plan originally. And he would not, at that point, wanted to clean up the glass, because that would be part of the staging.


      John was in a panic, he was probably thinking of several things at once. Either he ran out of time, or maybe he remembered one other thing he had to do and just forgot about the grate. You are assuming John was logically planning the perfect crime, but this crime was far from perfect. If he hadn't been ruled out by the handwriting experts he'd probably have been brought to trial and convicted years ago and we wouldn't be here now trying to figure it all out.

      I commend you, CH, on your thoroughness. And I understand your puzzlement over the incomplete staging, but I don't see an accidental break as the answer, because it doesn't really solve the problem.

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    2. It would have been better to remove the grate, yet he does not. In your view, that's his intent all along, to remove the grate as part of the window staging. Yet, with only 2 minutes of work left to be done he fails to follow through on his intent. So, you have him failing to do the obvious even though it's part of his plan.

      An accidental break does explain why he makes up an absurd story (which he must do in either version) rather than do the simple expedient and very necessary thing to finish the staging. It wasn't his plan to stage the window.

      CH

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    3. Even if it wasn't his plan, once the window got broken then staging would have been the obvious thing to do. So it matters not whether the break was accidental, the situation he was faced with would have been the same.

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    4. It matters because he may not have formed the intent to stage the window -as good an idea as it was. I think more likely he considered it and decided against it.

      Your argument would logically result in complete staging, but we know that didn't happen.

      CH

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  21. Putting myself in John's situation--perhaps John believed he needed to displace the grate from the outside of the house to complete the staging. Perhaps he thought that because the grate was likely dirty, finger marks would be visible on the underside of the grate if he removed the grate from the window well from inside the basement--which would be consistent with staging being done from the inside of the house. An intruder's fingermarks or handmarks would necessarily be on the top of the grate. I think that John planned to do the grate removal from outdoors the next night for that reason--he thought perhaps right or wrong, forensics would be able to determine if the grate was removed from outside or inside. That's why he didn't remove it at part of the original staging, in my opinion.

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  22. ...and I am assuming John was able to break the window from the outside, by opening the window enough to have room to put his hand out the window to then break it. He would of course do that so it would appear that an intruder broke it from the outside. By the same token he would then necessarily want the grate to also be removed from outside the house so if the handprints were somehow able to be seen by forensics, it would be consistent with happening outdoors, like I explained above. At least that's how I would think as an amateur in crime. kp

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    1. It's possible, but JR's finger or hand prints on the grate, anywhere on the grate are not really a problem because it's his house. He could always claim to have removed the grate at some other time for some purpose.

      It's possible that he tried to move the grate from inside but for some reason could not, but it isn't likely as the dirt on the sill is not disturbed.

      CH

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    2. I think John's biggest concern after the horrible events of that night was to get the body out of the house. I am convinced of that because it appears the body was hidden in the WC, wrapped snuggly in a blanket, with the door latched. He obviously could not remove the body with people in the house and he obviously knew he had to do it later. That had to be his biggest concern! HIs only way to buy time was to come up with a convincing RN that would get everyone out of the house. HIs mind was racing and he was probably thinking more about what he'd say in the RN, and how he'd disguise his writing, than remembering to remove the window grate. You're talking about a man who just molested then murdered his daughter. Do you honestly think he was thinking logically about every step to stage the scene? If he was, he certainly would not have written that RN with pen and paper from his own house. Things were done haphazardly that night: he did manage to clean the Maglite, inside and out, but forgot to remove the pineapple. He cleaned and redressed JonBenet, but grabbed the wrong, oversized underwear. Frankly, I think he either just didn't think about the window grate or figured he would have time to do it later. He had a dead body in his basement. That probably trumped the window grate.


      bb

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    3. bb,

      We know he wasn't thinking logically because if he was, he'd have completed the window staging by removing the grate. So he either illogically decides to knock off work (from staging) with only 2 minutes of work left to do, or he was not thinking about staging at all (or had considered it and rejected it)

      As for writing the RN on paper from his own house, there was no other choice. He needed a RN. There being no all night stationary store open Christmas eve, he had only one option.

      CH

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  23. I think we've about beat this to death, so I'll let it rest, but I would like to make one final point.

    If the break was an unintended event, and if staging the window was not part of the original plan, (perhaps the plan all along was to make it look like an "inside job") then it might be that JR instinctively cleaned up the glass prior to realizing he should stage the window. Depending on how he disposed of the glass it may no longer have been available when it occurred to him staging the window would be a better alternative. W/o the broken pieces of glass he can't convincingly stage the window, even if he removes the grate.

    CH

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    1. I recognize this is conjecture...but heck he could have broken the window out of his own anger/ frustration at what he had done...after carrying his daughter's dead body, the reality of what he had done overcame him...and he threw something/ or hit the window with something....
      As abusive as he was, I do not believe he intended to murder her that night...and regretted that he lost control
      in my humble opinion...that seems the most likely way the window got broke..
      The suit case as a stepping stool seems illogical...and the packing peanuts probably were being stored there.
      BUT carrying your daughter's lifeless body- after getting her barbie gown for her- the grief hit him, and he raged in that room..and a window got broke.

      Delete
    2. That's a possibility.

      CH

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  24. Lot to take in with all of the above posts. Since we don't have a surveillance camera, I have always wondered what happened first. JR breaking the window or JR writing the RN? There are a lot of posts about JR being in a state of panic, which Im sure he was, but yet there is a 3 page ransom note that had to take planning and time.

    I have stated previously and will again, that the RN's first purpose HAD to be to fool PR. If Patsy isn't fooled by it, then the police are called and the plan is foiled. So, if the purpose of the RN was to fool Patsy, then the broken window initially had to be with that in mind as well. This is where a problem comes in. If Patsy just believes the note and John is able to get her and BR out of the house, then all is fine. BUT, if PR needs to see a point of entry and John shows her the broken window, then he has bigger issues. Doc has always stated that he would use the next 24 hours with PR out of the house to further stage, but how would that work? He can't show Patsy a broken window and then when the cops show up, the grate is moved and the scene is more elaborate then when she saw it. SO, even though he was under pressure and may not have been thinking clearly, the way the window was the morning PR read the note was exactly how the window was going to have to stay with no further staging.

    I guess it just makes me wonder if he immediately panics, then breaks the window to create an intruder entry point. OR does he stop to think and then comes up with the RN, followed by the broken window. JR clearly isn't a criminal mastermind, but he also didn't just write a 10 word ransom note in crayon.

    -J

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    1. You raise an interesting point. Which reminds us how difficult it is to recreate what actually happened and what was going on in John's mind as he staged his kidnapping scenario. Which is why I always fall back on the facts. We know the window was broken. We also know the grate was undisturbed. We can easily infer that John's story about breaking in earlier is a fabrication. We also know the note is long and complicated and obviously took a good deal of time and planning.

      How do we put all that together?

      The note is so complex, so carefully thought out, and also so carefully disguised, that I'm often tempted with the thought that John might have written it ahead of time. I'm on the fence about this, but it remains a possibility, however remote.

      Nevertheless, the fact remains that no intruder scenario makes any sense. And we know that Patsy could not have both written that note and called 911 knowing the body of the victim was still in the house. We also know that John would not have concocted his elaborate fairly tale break in unless he in fact had staged a phony intruder break in at the basement window. CH might not agree, but as far as I'm concerned it's a pretty solid inference.

      Given the facts and clear inferences based on those facts we already know a great deal. While that isn't enough to enable us to fill in all the blanks with any degree of certainty, it IS enough for us to argue that there's really no need to explain exactly what happened and why, despite the existence of so many really strange puzzles.

      As far as Patsy is concerned, yes, I do think John was probably planning to show her the basement window, assuming she'd expressed any suspicions. But I doubt very much that he'd have anticipated her wanting to examine that window in any degree of detail. I think it reasonable to suppose that in his mind showing her the broken window, the packing peanuts and the suitcase would have been enough. It's certainly possible she would have taken a look inside the window well to check the grate, but 1. there is nothing suspicious per se about an un-displaced grate and 2. John probably was just hoping she wouldn't need to do any sleuthing and would take his word for it. So I don't see any problem with John's incomplete staging as far as Patsy is concerned. Patsy might well have figured out that it was staged, but that was one just one of the many risks John had no choice but to take.

      In the unlikely event that Patsy had actually checked the grate, then John would have simply left it as is, but would have produced other signs of an intruder's presence. Since the intruder might have replaced the grate in its slot, he would still have been able to convincingly stage a break in, if he'd had time the following day.

      It's possible, of course, that John never intended to show Patsy the basement window, but could have been hoping the note was enough to convince her JBR had been kidnapped. We have no way of knowing what was going on in his mind, but he would certainly have been taking some huge risks.

      Now if Patsy had actually figured out that the kidnapping was phony, we'd have probably had two murder victims to think about, not just one.

      Delete
    2. J-
      In the theories regarding this crime, I always find it confusing that the assumption is made that John is in the mind-frame to brutally assault/murder his child...then is supposed to instantly switch to 'cover-up' mode.

      Basically I think this was the course of events on that fateful nite.
      John gets JonBenet up to have a private Christmas celebration.
      She says something which enraged him. In his anger he kills her.
      Regret overcomes him, he makes a pitiful attempt at remorse with the blanket/ gown. He places her in the most hidden place he can imagine..not wanting to face what he has done.
      Finally he recognizes that morning is coming. He creates the ransom note with enough specific details to convince Patsy,that it was some particular threat-he felt that she would believe. I don't think he got much more staging accomplished than the note..He put a lot thought into it. BUT he underestimated a mother reaction to the words 'GONE"
      BUT she FREAKED out and called the police...
      OWL


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    3. I don't think it's so much that JR was planning to show her the window as not being able to prevent her, should she want to search the house. IMO it's just as critical to stage convincingly for PR as for the police because he can't have her saying later that the grate was in place, or figuring out on her own that the intrusion must have been staged.

      It's not that PR would have inspected it in detail, it's just that if she came close enough she'd notice the grate in place.

      "1. there is nothing suspicious per se about an un-displaced grate ..." You have got to be kidding. If that were true then there would be no need for unstaging, the police would have accepted that after making his exit the intruder took the time to replace the grate - perhaps for fear someone might fall in the window well and get hurt.

      CH

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    4. Initially it was the undisturbed spider web that looked suspicious, not the fact that the grate was still in place.

      Delete
  25. Good points; I do think John was very skilled at 'gas lighting' and convincing Patsy of things that weren't necessarily true. If she happened to see the broken window, I could envision John insisting she stay back from inspecting it carefully and finding ways to distract her. Even if she saw the grate there, John could likely convince her it was loose and had the appearance of being moved. He'd come up with something convincing to Patsy. Remember how Patsy in an interview elaborately described finding it broken, having her work staff clean it up and having her cleaning lady vacuum it twice to get up every last shard since her kids played down there. Interesting that a few shards were easily found by John that day. Hard to believe after such a careful double vacuuming was completed months before by Patsy's housekeeper, according to Patsy. kp

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  26. ...and the elaborate cleaning up story by the housekeeper is clearly a total fabrication. I continue to believe John was able to convince Patsy the broken window/clean up is exactly what happened by gas-lighting a vulnerable, sleep-deprived, medicated, 'chemo-brained' individual, who simply didn't remember. kp

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    1. Yes. The fact that she mentioned being assisted by the housekeeper does strongly suggest gaslighting. If this were an outright lie, she would not have mentioned Linda at all, knowing full well she'd deny it. However, if John managed to implant a false memory of cleaning up that glass, then it would have been natural for her to include Linda in that memory, since Linda was always the one she relied on to clean things up.

      Delete
    2. And if I recall correctly, not one person could confirm the story of the broken window and him needing to strip down to his underwear (correct?) to get into the house. He didn't tell anyone?? That's the kind of funny story you'd share with all your friends at the next cocktail party if that really happened. .

      Delete
    3. It's exactly the kind of story that would be shared. If someone couldn't confirm the story as an eye witness they could certainly remember him relating the story.

      I'm uneasy about the gaslighting because while it's possible, and I don't doubt JR is pretty good at it, how does he know she didn't look at the window earlier that day? She might know very well that the window wasn't broken earlier.

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    4. That's what gaslighting is all about. Getting someone to doubt what they've seen with their own two eyes.

      Delete
  27. Doc, I have thought about every single way to try and make a case that an IDI. But, every time I think I have something, I then cannot explain why would JR close the window that morning and then 3 months later say that he crawled through that window to explain why it was broken. Its what truly makes this case so fascinating, is that between 9:30 pm – 5:40 am a horrific crime happened and in the morning the cops arrive to a lot of evidence that all seems to contradict itself. I don’t agree with every single thing with your theory, but I will say that other then potentially BR being the perpetrator, I don’t have anything else that could even make sense.

    One other thing though regarding the broken window. I have seen the video of the spider web on the window, but do we know at what time exactly that video was taken? The reason I ask is because I don’t think the spider web actually proves anything. Is there a way to tell the “age” of a spider web? A quick google search will say that it takes about an hour for a spider to make a web, so that web could have been created after the 911 call was made correct?

    -J

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  28. If I can respond--I read that it could be determined exactly what kind of spider created that web by the web's appearance, and that particular spider was not active in cold winter weather. I've also read that maybe it warmed up enough that day for that particular spider to be active again--but that possibility sounds very far fetched to me. kp

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  29. ...also just read the intact web was seen in the AM when it was still very cold--so the hibernating spider would not have woken up and created a web that morning already, even though it got up to 51 degrees later that day. kp

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    1. There are actually two different webs to consider. The first one we learned about is the one connecting the outside of the grate to the lawn. That was discovered by the police shortly after they arrived. And that was the web examined by the expert who concluded the spider who wove it would not have been active in winter.

      The second web is new evidence, revealed by James Kolar in a video released in association with his book. That web was located in a corner of the window itself and the fact that it is seen intact is interpreted by Kolar as yet one more proof that no one passed through that window the previous night. It's clearly a cobweb -- no way it was created the night of the crime, it was definitely old.

      Delete
  30. Thanks Doc and kp for the clarification on that.

    -J

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  31. I am always interested in things that have not been figured out in this case, and there are a great many. It's a good thing I don't lose sleep over these or I might never sleep again . I believe that these mysteries might hold a key in solving the case, or at least indicting John. There are many things that puzzle me and we may never know the answers: which came first, the blow to the head or the garroting?; why was there pineapple on the counter and who ate it and with whom?; weird clues in the ransom note, most notably the demand for $118,000; and, of course, all the questions concerning the window (as evidenced by all the recent posts), and many, many others.

    But here's one that still haunts me and I keep thinking it could hold a bigger clue in itself. What caused those marks on JonBenet's neck and back --- the ones Lou Smit felt certain a stun gun caused? I know Kolar believes toy train tracks match perfectly, and though that might be true, I cannot go along with his BDI theory. I don't recall if Dr. Wecht had an opinion on the cause of these marks.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

    bb



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    1. bb,

      I can't go along with BDI either. I found a website that measured the distance between the marks. I don't remember how many centimeters (and I'm far too lazy to go look it up again) but I compared that number with the distance between the tracks for the correct guage RR tracks, and the numbers do not match. So, I'm wondering where Kolar gets this idea that it could have been train tracks? But skin can be pinched or stretched, so perhaps the distance only has to be a close match, not an exact one. What I can't see is why anyone (even BR) would jab her with RR tracks. You never know what kids will do, but see we both reject BDI it's even harder to see JR doing that.

      JMO but I think Kolar set out to solve the case by combing the records, but got lost in the detail and couldn't put 2+2 together. He got caught in what Doc refers to as the "morass" and couldn't find his way out of the darkness. This is not to imply he's a dummy, this case has baffled some brilliant people.

      CH

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  32. CH, I'm sure you've seen the video of Lou Smit entering the window, but you've probably forgotten the details. To jog your memory, please take another look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KkcRBbTpmM

    Note that Smit does not displace the grate, but simply moves one end upward. And after he enters, he just lets it fall back into place. It's possible the grate is actually hinged at one end, though that's not completely clear. An intruder could have entered the same way, and also just let the grate fall into place upon leaving. There would have been no need for him to displace the grate. And if John had tried to displace it from below, it would probably just have fallen back into place. The spider web would have been broken, but John would have had no way of knowing about that until he overheard the police discussing it.

    What concerned the police was not the fact that it wasn't displaced, but the fact that the spider web wasn't disturbed. If you don't believe me, check out PMPT again and you'll see several references to that web and the controversy surrounding it.

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    1. Thank you for this video. I had completely forgotten seeing it before. It does appear the grate is hinged, so that would explain not removing it, as it's not really possible. Or at least not necessary. So, if the window is staged as a break in point, the grate is going to be in place. It wouldn't have mattered then, if PR had seen it or not, as she probably knows it's hinged, so she would not have become suspicious about it.

      Until seeing the video I was convinced your version of the window events was just about dead. Now I'll have to admit that it's a very likely scenario. The grate doesn't need to be out, and very likely cannot be out, and that was my chief objection. My other objections about the staging are relatively minor compared to the issue of the grate.

      I don't consider the video fatal to my theory, as I think it's still quite possible that staging was never intended. We have a suitcase for a step stool which I would still suggest is unlikely with a chair nearby. I think that would make any detective suspicious. But JR doesn't have to stage to avoid all suspicion, just well enough to make it plausible. So we have a hole, and a suitcase that serve to stage the window. (and before unstaging, the glass too) IMO the packing nuts probably are unrelated to the staging -which is why JR doesn't unstage them. I think the staging is at least plausible.

      On the whole I think my theory has had a lot of wind taken out of it's sails by the video. The grate was the main thing.

      I think you'll agree that since JR doesn't need to remove the grate (indeed probably cannot remove it) all that's left to do is mess up the dirt on the sill. He doesn't do this either. But this is a minor objection, and I can accept this is an oversight, as JR is not an experience B&E man.

      I wont bother asking why JR didn't do something about the spider webs, I can accept that he probably didn't know about them. You'd have to really be paying attention to details, in semi darkness to see them. It's unlikely PR would have noticed the spider webs.

      I'm still left with two questons;

      The first question is mostly hypothetical. Was JR ever going to go back and look at the grate more carefully? If he never went back and looked more closely at the grate, in the daylight, he might have been done in by the spider webs anyway.

      (to be continued)

      CH

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    2. (continuing)



      The second question is this - since the removal of the grate is a non-issue, and does not detract at all from the staging of an intruder, what's the necessity of unstaging?

      I had been under the impression that the main reason JR unstaged is that the grate was in place, making the staging look phoney. Since the grate can't be displaced, that can't be the reason for JR's decision to unstage.

      So did he know about the spider webs and that was his reason for unstaging? If so why not grab a broom and knock down the webs? It's possible he was saving it for later, but then we are back to the question of time management - why wait to do something that only takes a few seconds? Even if this was being saved for later, this is still something he could do in the minutes while he was waiting for the police to arrive, w/o getting into the window well.

      Was it because of the undisturbed dirt that he decided to unstage? That could have been handled with nothing more than a bare hand, or whisk broom or a piece of cardboard, and could have been done in the minutes that he was waiting for the police to arrive. It would have been faster and easier than picking up glass. There would have been no need to enter the window well to disturb the dirt on the sill.

      So, the way I'm looking at it, the grate is a complete non-issue. It cannot be removed, and therefor cannot be the reason JR decided to unstage. So what factors made him think his staging would not be accepted by the police?

      In your theory the hole, the suitcase (and possibly the peanuts) along with the glass on the floor would add up to sufficiently convincing staging. It seems to me JR has all of that in place at the time of the 911 call. So it could only have been the spider webs or the undisturbed dirt that motivated him to unstage (unless I've missed something). Both these issues are quick and easy to deal with - much easier than picking up pieces of glass. If he knew about these issues it's hard to see why he didn't deal with them either before PR got up, or in the minutes he was waiting for the police to arrive. If he didn't know about them (hadn't noticed the webs, hadn't really considered needing to disturb the dirt) then they can't serve as reasons to unstage.

      CH

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    3. CH, obviously we have no way of knowing what John was thinking and why he decided to do what he did. But we DO know that he decided to tell a huge whopper about breaking in earlier, so there must have been a reason for coming up with such a story. I think it likely he overheard the police discussing the spider web. He eventually managed to find an "expert" who claimed the web could have been woven after the intruder left. However, at that particular time, i.e., shortly after the police arrived, he would have seen that web as a serious problem. He could have been there when they found it, or he could have overheard them discussing it. Either way, an undisturbed web on that grate meant no one could have opened it the previous night, thus making the broken window extremely suspicious. If no one passed through the grate, then it looked like the window could have been broken only by someone inside the house. That someone's goose would have been cooked.

      Now the question of timing comes into play. Would he have had enough time to run down into the basement and clean up the glass before the police went down there -- and also before Fleet White went down there, because according to his testimony he was down there pretty early.

      And here again it's all important to follow the facts, and not let ourselves get distracted by anything other than the facts.

      Fact: the window had been broken.

      Fact: an undisturbed spider web made it likely that no intruder had entered the previous night. Later, the police would discover that the thick layer of dirt and dust on the window sill was undisturbed.

      Conclusion: no one had passed through that window the previous night.

      Conclusion: either the window was broken by someone inside the house on the night of the crime OR it had been broken on an earlier occasion, for some innocent reason.

      Since we both agree that John's story about breaking it earlier is a fabrication, then we can also agree that John broke it the night of the crime.

      So: what happened to the broken glass?

      You now agree that there is no longer any reason to assume the window was broken by accident. Which means John must have broken it as part of his kidnap staging.

      (Continued in the following comment)

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    4. (continued from previous comment)

      If John broke the window as staging then obviously the broken glass would have been part of that staging. Therefore the only explanation I can come up with is that he must have cleaned up that glass in order to UN stage his previous staging -- which is consistent with his story about breaking in earlier.

      So when could he have done that?

      If the discovery of the spider web was what triggered his decision to unstage, then the glass would have been cleaned up after the police arrived. Would he have had time to do that before the police, or Fleet, went down there and checked that basement room?

      At this point, the facts can no longer help us. All we have are some timelines, informing us of when the police arrived, when the various friends arrived, when the police entered the basement, when Fleet White entered the basement. And unfortunately these timelines are inconsistent. Not surprising, considering how confusing that scene must have been. These timelines were all put together after the fact, obviously, and based either on police reports or media interviews. And we have no way of knowing which i accurate or if any are accurate.

      As far as the facts are concerned, however, we know that John must have cleaned up that glass after deciding to unstage -- and that he must have found a way to do that before the police or Fleet entered that basement room. Whether there are elements in some timeline that suggest he would not have had time to do that I don't know. But for sure he did it, and for sure those timelines are estimates, based on the recollections of people functioning in a highly confused environment.

      So as far as I'm concerned I have no problem concluding that John must have made his way into that basement as soon as possible after making his decision to unstage. The small amount of glass could have been cleaned up in less than a minute and placed in a paper bag or garbage bag, for disposal later. That may have been all he'd have had the chance to do. There's no way he could undo that spider web, so completing his staging would not have been an option. All he could do was unstage. And clearly, that's what he did.

      Delete
    5. "Now the question of timing comes into play. Would he have had enough time to run down into the basement and clean up the glass before the police went down there -- and also before Fleet White went down there, because according to his testimony he was down there pretty early."

      As far as I'm concerned the only times he could have cleaned up glass were: 1. while PR slept, or 2. during the 7 minute window of time between the 911 call and the arrival of the police. JR meets the police at the door and FW and wife are there very shortly after 6. Very very unlikely he'd risk anyone seeing him clean up glass.

      "Conclusion: no one had passed through that window the previous night."

      Agreed.

      "Conclusion: either the window was broken by someone inside the house on the night of the crime OR it had been broken on an earlier occasion, for some innocent reason. "

      Agreed.

      "Since we both agree that John's story about breaking it earlier is a fabrication, then we can also agree that John broke it the night of the crime."

      Agreed.

      "So: what happened to the broken glass?"

      "You now agree that there is no longer any reason to assume the window was broken by accident. Which means John must have broken it as part of his kidnap staging."

      No, I don't agree. I think my theory is still possible, just not nearly as certain, now that we know the grate doesn't have to be displaced. The fact that the grate doesn't have to be removed keeps your theory from collapsing, and leaves it a convincing theory, but not the only one consistent with the facts.

      (Continued in the following comment)

      CH

      Delete
    6. (continued from previous comment)

      "If John broke the window as staging then obviously the broken glass would have been part of that staging. Therefore the only explanation I can come up with is that he must have cleaned up that glass in order to UN stage his previous staging -- which is consistent with his story about breaking in earlier."

      OR, the break was unintended and he cleaned it up w/o thinking about staging the window, which is also consistent with the facts.

      "So when could he have done that?"

      Again, the only plausible times for him to clean up glass are: 1. while PR slept, or 2. during the 7 minutes between the 911 call and the arrival of the police. The notion that he cleaned up glass while police were around, along with friends of the family is very very unlikely.

      "If the discovery of the spider web was what triggered his decision to unstage, then the glass would have been cleaned up after the police arrived. Would he have had time to do that before the police, or Fleet, went down there and checked that basement room?"

      Yes, during the time between the 911 call and the arrival of the police. There is enough time to either complete the staging (knock down the cob web and disturb the dirt in the sill. Or, clean up the glass.

      "At this point, the facts can no longer help us. All we have are some timelines, informing us of when the police arrived, when the various friends arrived, when the police entered the basement, when Fleet White entered the basement. And unfortunately these timelines are inconsistent. Not surprising, considering how confusing that scene must have been. These timelines were all put together after the fact, obviously, and based either on police reports or media interviews. And we have no way of knowing which i accurate or if any are accurate."

      There is general agreement that FW was in the basement shortly after arrival, and also that the police checked for points of entry/exit early on.

      "As far as the facts are concerned, however, we know that John must have cleaned up that glass after deciding to unstage -- and that he must have found a way to do that before the police or Fleet entered that basement room. ... "

      Yes, he did it, if not earlier in the night, during the time he was waiting for the cops to show up.

      "So as far as I'm concerned I have no problem concluding that John must have made his way into that basement as soon as possible after making his decision to unstage. The small amount of glass could have been cleaned up in less than a minute and placed in a paper bag or garbage bag, for disposal later. ... "

      I don't have a problem with it either. In fact, if JR did stage the window I have no doubt he made his way to the basement to undo (rather than complete?) the staging as soon as he knew the police were on the way. This of course means that he knows there is something wrong with the staging. He doesn't have to wait to hear the police talking about it (and there is no evidence that he did hear the police talking about it) He already knew the staging wasn't going to fly. So the question is what did he know? That the spider web was intact? That the dirt on the sill was not disturbed? I have pretty much the same questions about these that I had about the grate. If he knows the staging needs to be done, why put it off? And even if he did put it off why not complete the staging rather than undo the staging?

      "... That may have been all he'd have had the chance to do. There's no way he could undo that spider web,..."

      "... so completing his staging would not have been an option. All he could do was unstage. And clearly, that's what he did."

      CH

      All he needed to do was either use a broom to dislodge the web, or simply raise the grate (using the broom) a few inches, thus tearing the web away. 15 seconds. Disturbing the dirt, likewise, about 15 seconds.

      Delete
  33. Hi everyone, this what Lou Smit said on Larry King Interview:
    "If John Ramsey was involved in the killing of JonBenet, and he went through all of this rigmarole to have the garrote and to put the wrist ligatures on, and to put the duct tape on her mouth and to put her in the basement, why is it that the first thing he did when he went downstairs is to take off the duct tape, which he had just staged to put on there? Why would he take off the wrist ligature, which he had just put on there to make it look like she was bound, and then why would he take her upstairs after they put her in this cellar to be found by the police? It doesn't make sense. Why would you unstage something that you just staged?"

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Ciao

    AF

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    1. Lou was responding to Steve Thomas's theory that JonBenet's murder was staged to make it look like a pedophile attack. Imo there was never any attempt to stage a pedophile attack. The attack (by her father) was real. The "garotte" was real. The wrist ligatures might have been added after the police arrived, to make it look more consistent with a kidnapping attempt -- but John's actions when he found the body did nothing to undo that staging. He made sure to interact with the body in order to explain away any evidence that could point to him as the attacker, especially DNA and fiber evidence.

      So in this case his motive would not have been unstaging, but contamination of the crime scene. Also, by being the one who found her he could describe the scene any way that suited him. For example, he said the body was "right out in the open," near the door. Imo it was probably hidden carefully away in a corner, under a blanket.

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  34. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0105/28/lkl.00.html

    AF

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  35. I believe it is a man and I say that for a couple of reasons: No. 1, this person did sexually assault JonBenet. She was sexually assaulted that night. She did bleed, which means that it was done before she died. She was brutally struck on the head, a very, very violent blow -- very coordinated in order to do that with one shot. I believe that -- and the garrote was very deeply embedded in JonBenet's neck. There is male foreign DNA. I think it suggests strongly that it was a man, but I will not rule out the probability that it could be a man and a woman or even two men.

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    1. I invite you to do more reading in this blog -- the first two posts are the best place to start. The facts tell us that JonBenet could not have been attacked by an intruder of any kind.

      Delete
  36. Doc, regarding your above post about the un-staging of the window, if JR did go downstairs in the morning to either clean up the glass or check to make sure he didn't leave any glass, what was his plan at that point? The story about having to crawl through the window well at an earlier point because he lost his keys doesn't come till months later right? So, did he just know that broken glass being found would show that the window was broken that night and he would worry about a story later? I agree the story about having to crawl through the window months earlier is most likely complete BS, but if he came up with that the morning of, then that is pretty impressive!

    -J

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    1. Yes, it IS impressive. As I see it, John must have broken that window on the night of the crime to stage an intruder break-in. He would also have scooped up some packing peanuts from the window well and dropped them on the floor. And also found that hard suitcase and placed it flush against the wall just underneath the window. And of course, the pieces of broken glass from the broken window pane were part of that same staging.

      The window staging was part of a more complicated plan that involved the ransom note, and the "kidnapper" waiting to call him on the following morning. Which would have given him a full day to pick up any loose ends in his staging, raise the ransom money from the bank, and dump his victim's body and get rid of any incriminating evidence while claiming he was delivering the ransom.

      Patsy's 911 call would have come as a huge, unexpected shock, completely destroying his carefully crafted plan. The most immediate question on his mind would have been: are the police going to buy my window staging? And he would have had his answer when he observed the police examining the window grate and noticing the spider web.

      The undisturbed web on the window grate meant that no one had entered the window well the previous night. It would have been clear to him at that moment that his window staging was going to backfire. If no one entered the house via that window, then the broken pane meant that someone from inside the house was staging a phony break-in. And he would no doubt have been immediately arrested.

      At that point he probably thought the game was up. What's so impressive is that he was able, at the last minute, to formulate a plan B that ultimately saved his neck.

      The only way to save himself was to un-stage his previous staging. And the most pressing part of plan B would have involved the broken glass on the floor. If he could get rid of that glass then he could claim the window had been broken on some earlier occasion, and could not therefore have been due to staging.

      This is why, as I see it, he must have run down to the basement as soon as he saw his chance, cleaned up the glass, placed it in a bag and hid it among the mounds of detritus in that basement. As it happened, he missed some pieces, which Fleet White found when he entered that same area shortly afterward.

      He would then have come up with his story about breaking the window earlier, which he announced to White early that afternoon when both of them went down to the basement on orders from Det. Arndt. This was actually a masterful piece of misdirection. After all, if he had staged the window break in, then why would he have wanted to un-stage it afterward? Well, if you've read what I've written above you know why. But the police were completely fooled. And John got away with murder!

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    2. It's not only impressive, it's premature. More on that in another post.

      CH

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    3. "Yes, it IS impressive. As I see it, John must have broken that window on the night of the crime to stage an intruder break-in. He would also have scooped up some packing peanuts from the window well and dropped them on the floor. ... "

      But why would there be packing peanuts in the window well? And if he scooped them out of the window well, the dirt would be disturbed, and we know it wasn't. I think it's quite unlikely the peanuts are related to the staging. Note that he does not unstage the peanuts. But if they are supposed to have been brought in by the intruder, and he's unstaging the intruder...... well, then he has to unstage the peanuts.

      CH

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    4. Packing peanuts were in fact in the window well. How they got there, who knows? But they were there. Once again I'll call on Lou Smit to help me out.

      Take a look a the photos of the window well, as presented by Lou in his famous Power Point presentation: http://solvingjonbenet.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-lou-smit-show.html

      The little white dots you see piled up mainly to the right of the well were, as I understand it, identified as packing peanuts. According to Smit the area just in front of the central window has been cleared of such debris, which he sees as a disturbance attributable to an intruder. However, as I pointed out, an intruder would not have cleared out that area, but crushed the debris lying in it. It looks more to me as though someone from inside the basement had scooped up material from that part of the well. And since packing peanuts from the well were found on the floor of the basement, just under the window, that would be consistent with someone scooping them from the well and dropping them on the floor, as part of a staging attempt.

      Is some other explanation possible? Certainly. But that's why I see the peanuts on the floor as part of the staging. It's true, however, that they could have gotten there for some other reason.

      "And if he scooped them out of the window well, the dirt would be disturbed, and we know it wasn't."

      Yes it was. You can see it in the photo, the area in front of the central window is relatively clear. Smit pointed that out and he was correct. (Though his misinterpreted it's meaning.)

      As to why John decided not to clean up the peanuts as well, my guess is that he was simply pressed for time. It's also possible that they were not part of the staging after all. Or else John hoped they wouldn't be seen as such.

      CH, I admire your thoroughness, but imo you are over-thinking this whole issue. It seems to me like you are seeing it more like a game or a puzzle rather than a real-life series of events. It strikes me as pedantic to attempt to account for every single thing John did or might have done. He was not a robot, but a human being. He seems to have been rather clever, but clearly he didn't take every single contingency into account.

      Delete
    5. OK, I'll accept that the peanuts were in the window. Still, JR doesn't clean them up, and as you point out, they'd be crushed under the intruder's feet if he really had brought them in with him.

      Pressed for time is one of those all purpose reasons that can always be resorted to, and there is no way to deny it. But I'm skeptical of that rationale, because there is another element of unstaging left undone, which would only take a few seconds - moving the suitcase. JR had to clean glass in the vicinity of the suitcase anyway, so why not just move it 2 feet to the right and eliminate it as a staged element?

      As you would have it, the hole, the packing peanuts, and the suitcase add up to an obvious attempt to stage the window. JR is left with 2 of those 3 elements still in place. So, the age of the break in the window is largely irrelevant. An intruder can still come in using an old break, and there are still peanuts on the floor, and there is still a suitcase under the window, so the window scene still looks staged doesn't it? IOWs, claiming the break was old really doesn't get JR anywhere if the other elements are as convincing as you think they are.

      I would accept that he might not have time to pick up all the packing peanuts, but not moving the suitcase? That would almost be necessary just to clean up the glass. Yet this is another element left unstaged.

      I'm not looking at these issues as a game or a mental exercise, I'm trying to figure out why JR did certain things, or more to the point, why he didn't. Why didn't he just complete his staging while PR slept, if indeed that was the plan all along?

      Finally, I think we need to get clear on the disturbance of the dirt. (at least I need to get clear) You are now saying the dirt was disturbed, and the photo shows that, so we have another element of staging, one that can't be unstaged unless JR can find some dirt to throw back in.

      So, we have a break that can be explained as old, given that there is no glass present, but that doesn't keep an intruder from using the old hole for entry, nor does it keep someone from staging the window as an entry/exit for an intruder. In your view, the disturbed dirt, the suitcase for a step stool, the packing peanuts and the hole all add up to clear evidence of staging. Surely then, it must have looked the same to the police. All JR manages with his break in story is to make the break (apparently) old rather than fresh, but the overall scene would still look staged wouldn't it? I'm having trouble seeing that JR achieved anything at all with his break-in story. Why would it be necessary to get Patsy to go along with his lie about him breaking in when old it seemingly accomplishes is that he seems to have staged a window with an old break vs staging a window with a fresh break?

      CH

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    6. "An intruder can still come in using an old break, and there are still peanuts on the floor, and there is still a suitcase under the window, so the window scene still looks staged doesn't it?"

      To me it does, yes. But the police apparently chose to overlook those details because they were convinced by John's story about breaking in earlier, which was what they wanted to hear (because it pointed away from that window as an intruder's entry/exit point). That's what I meant by the term "misdirection."

      The bottom line is that the broken window, the packing peanuts and the suitcase were in fact present in that basement and their presence must be taken into account, not just ignored. If there was no intruder then what were they doing there?

      If you prefer to think that the window just happened to get broken by accident, the packing peanuts just happened to leap from the window well to the floor, and the suitcase just happened to be positioned flush against the wall just under the broken window, that's fine with me. It's a free country and you can believe what you like. But I'm tired of arguing with you on these issues and see no need to continue. I believe I've made my position clear.

      Delete
    7. Well now that I know the peanuts were in the window well, I have to accept that they are -probably- part of the staging. The suitcase could have been put there by JR (it's an extremely poor choice with a chair nearby) but it could also have been put there by one of the children. To have an alternative explanation is not the same thing as ignoring the evidence.

      It's not so much that any individual item had to be placed by JR, because, imo, there are reasonable alternative explanations for all of the staging elements. What makes your theory more favorable is that it's not just one item but several. The window is broken, the suitcase was under the window, the peanuts are on the sill and the floor, the dirt is disturbed. Any one of those can be explained without the need for JR to have placed it there as part of staging. It's the sum total of the elements that to me make it more likely JR staged, then unstaged the window.

      Somewhere on your blog you had said that your theory of the case was the original police theory, and I think it may well be that the police were not misdirected, at least not until the handwriting "experts" got involved. So I'm not sure the police ignored JR's other staging elements.

      Again, I don't believe JR gained much by just unstaging the glass and leaving all he other elements in place. I can't help wondering what he was thinking.

      Delete
  37. Good explanation, thanks!

    You mentioned it in your above post, but if you aren't sick of responding to post's, I have one more thing for you. The RN as you stated above was written the way it was to hopefully deter PR from calling the police and allowing John to complete the staging and removal of the body. So, what really bugs me, how does he let Patsy pick up that phone? As John was writing that note he had to be thinking that if Patsy doesn't buy it, then he is done. In other words ( 911 call = life of prison and destroyed reputation for John) The shower in the morning by John may have just been part of his normal routine, but also a way to clean off any evidence that he was involved. We obviously don't know and will never know for sure exactly what happened after Patsy woke up, but I just feel like John would have wanted to be in complete control. I understand wanting Patsy specifically to find the note, but how does he not do everything in his power to persuade her to not pick up the phone?
    Everything John did to cover up the crime hinged on 1 single moment when Patsy picks up the phone and at the exact moment when she dials and speaks with the 911 operator, Johns life should have been over. I know that any response to this is speculation, but I just don't understand how John allowed that phone to be dialed. He could have played the "scared that somebody wanted them dead card" or said "Patsy do not pick up that phone until we think about this." Maybe he did argue with her, but he seems like a person who gets his way, so if he didnt want that phone dialed, I dont think it would have been.

    -J

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    1. Why assume this person would simply try to persuade? The whole situation is based on him being a person capable of horrific violence.
      It is a hard stretch that he was a brutal child rapist/ murder but could NOT PERSUADE his wife not to call 911.
      The is a drastic inconsistency.
      Yet then this theory swings back that he controls her well enough to gaslight her...
      Something is being overlooked. Perhaps Burke came into play at some point?

      Delete
    2. J,

      One possibility for JR allowing the phone call is that she dialed 911 when he was on the other side of the room. It would take only a couple seconds and once the last "1" is dialed, that's it. Even if the phone hangs up at that point, the dispatcher is supposed to send the police.

      Though I don't believe PR was in on the coverup (much less the murder) I do think she may have been suspicious of JR and may have wanted the police. Then too, she may just have figured that they needed the police, despite the warnings in the RN.

      This would might have played out differently in the old days, before 911 service. She'd have had to dial 9 digits and even then there is no assurance that the police would be sent if the phone was suddenly hung up.

      CH

      Delete
    3. "I just don't understand how John allowed that phone to be dialed."

      According to Patsy's version of what happened, as quoted in the A&E documentary, John went to check on Burke and she ran downstairs to make the call. (See the third post on this blog for the details.) Under those circumstances John could not have stopped her. Once again, I must emphasize the importance of sticking to the facts and not trying to over-analyze the details, because it's all too easy to assume one knows what happened when in fact one does not.

      "Though I don't believe PR was in on the coverup (much less the murder) I do think she may have been suspicious of JR and may have wanted the police."

      Yes. This strikes me a likely reason for her to ignore the warnings in the note and call 911 anyhow. It's also consistent with her inviting her friends over, as she may have been afraid of John at that point.


      Delete
  38. J-
    I do believe that John committed this crime...but DogG's theory is so strongly based on Patsy making the phone call- believing it proves her innocence and so much more.
    BUT I think John could have physically restrained Patsy saying'' I can't let you call- they will behead her" even threatening her if needed..after all he had done with the note supposedly to fool Patsy- but he could not prevent her from calling??? Truly this phone would represent his exposure/ potential life in prison...
    My biggest problem with DogG's theory- which I agree has the ultimate correct conclusion....is that this murder has a deeply psychological based motive- but this theory presents that John's driving intention after JonBenet's death was cover-up..a person does not act so extremely out of emotional dysfunction then have the emotional functionality to think about a multi- layer staging plan....All of his mental energy was focused on that ransom note....
    To attempt an solve this crime you must address the psychological issues at hand...Psychology has predictable patterns of behavior...a father who sexually abuses his young daughter (NOT STEP- but biological child) acts out of ownership and narcissism...sexual deviance is a vast/ well researched area of psychology. It is not conjecture, anymore more than profiling.
    The psychological aspect of this type crime is being overlooked.
    To dismiss John's reaction to what he had just done- you can not truly understand his decisions at the time.
    The FBI must know John committed this crime.

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    1. I respect your take on this but I must admit I am deeply suspicious of profiling, and I believe many of the errors associated with this case were made because certain people, both professional and amateur, attempted to apply profiling principles, including psychology of course, to the actions of Patsy, John, Burke and any other intruder suspect one might want to point a finger at. Profiling sometimes makes sense but it can also be highly misleading. My reason for suspecting John has nothing to do with my assessment of his psychology, but solely with the facts of the case per se.

      But that's me, maybe I'm being unfair. If you want to apply psychological principles to this case, be my guest. But imo you won't get very far because everyone seems to have a different opinion when it comes to such matters.

      Delete
  39. Doc says,

    "This is why, as I see it, he must have run down to the basement as soon as he saw his chance, cleaned up the glass, placed it in a bag and hid it among the mounds of detritus in that basement. "

    I'm not convinced that John overheard any conversations by the police about there being no entry through the window. He would have had to be with them, outside, standing right by them, to hear this. Would the police really allow him to overhear their conversations? And wouldn't that make him look suspicious if he was following them around, listening to them talk?

    And if he DID happen to overhear something that made him decide to unstage the window, it would be very risky for him to return to the basement while the police were there. Also, if he removed the broken glass, how could he be sure that no one had already seen it, like FW for instance.

    Lastly, where would he put it? He couldn't exactly come upstairs with a bag of broken glass, so he would have had to hide it or dispose of it, all while the police were upstairs and outside. If he disposed of it, where? He couldn't exactly dig a hole while people were around, or ditch it in the alley with neighbors looking on. And if he hid it in the basement, why didn't the police find it? I can see him getting rid of the evidence that night, after the crime was committed, because it was dark and everyone was asleep. But getting rid of the broken glass AFTER the police and other people are in the house, is something I'm not convinced of.

    Why wouldn't he just leave the glass there and proceed with his story that he broke the window but that the glass had never been cleaned up? Then he wouldn't have to "gaslight" Patsy into believing she and the housekeeper had cleaned it up. I mean, neither of them seemed to remember arranging to get it fixed, other than saying that the housekeeper's husband was suppose to do it, so it would be believable (at least to me) that they wouldn't realize the glass was still down there also. They both seemed very vague about that broken window and it seems to me that it would be easier for John to concoct a story that he THOUGHT the window had been fixed, including the clean up of glass, and he could certainly "gaslight" Patsy into backing that story. That way they wouldn't have to bring the housekeeper into their story who, as we know, said she did NOT clean up any glass with Patsy.


    bb

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    1. I agree, it would have been foolish to try to clean up glass after the police arrived. IMO it's very unlikely to have happened that way.

      I also agree that "where to put it" is a problem. Since, as I see it, he could only have unstaged during the 7 minutes between PR's 911 call and the arrival of the police, he couldn't know at that time that he'd have a chance to wander away out of sight of detective Arendt.

      Finally I agree he'd be better off formulating a response that didn't require gaslighting PR. More on that in another post.

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    2. "Why wouldn't he just leave the glass there and proceed with his story that he broke the window but that the glass had never been cleaned up? Then he wouldn't have to "gaslight" Patsy into believing she and the housekeeper had cleaned it up."

      Well, maybe if you were there advising him on what to do, he would have taken your advice and just left the glass there, claiming it had never been cleaned up, as you say. But that's NOT what he did, is it?

      It strikes me that you too are overthinking these details. They are what they are, regardless of whether or not you or anyone else might be able to come up with a better plan. What's been reported about the glass is what happened. The window got broken. Yet only a few shards of broken glass were found. If you want to believe John's story, fine. I don't. And if you agree with me on that point, then you'll probably agree that the glass was broken the night of the crime.

      As for CH's theory, I'm sorry but it makes no sense to me at all. I can't think of a single plausible reason for the window to have been broken accidentally. And I doubt very much that a jury would buy such a story either. It sounds contrived and coming from a lawyer it would clearly sound like spin.

      Some people posting here are overthinking this case and also making assumptions that might very well be incorrect. Just like the assumption CH made regarding the necessity of displacing the window grate. To be honest, I myself made a similar assumption, since I too believed John could have been planning to displace that grate the following night. Turns out the grate might well have been hinged and thus could not be displaced after all.

      It's easy to assume we know what went on when we actually don't know. Which is why I prefer to stick to the facts, as I've stated over and over on this blog.

      As I see it, the facts tell us the window break was staged. The facts also tell us John's story about breaking the window the previous summer was a lie. Which means that at some point he must have decided to unstage. If the break was staged, then at what point would he have decided to unstage?

      And I must confess: I can't be sure. The most likely scenario I can come up with is that John could have overheard the police discussing the grate, realized his staging was about to backfire and headed for the basement to clean up the glass. I have no problem with his doing that before the police went down there and before Fleet White went down there, because there would have been a good deal of confusion at the scene at that time. Would it have been risky? Of course. But everything John did that night and the following morning was risky.

      Is it possible he decided to unstage before the police arrived? Yes, but in that case I have no idea what could have prompted that decision. Unless he'd been planning to complete his staging the following night, realized it was incomplete and that the police would discover that it was incomplete. I can accept that interpretation as well, but to me it's not as convincing.

      That's really all I can say on this matter. I'm all explained out at this point.

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    3. I'll have some more to say about this in a another post but for now I'll point out that while some elements of the crime involved risk that was unavoidable, locking himself into a story that Patsy could deny outright, and needing very much to successfully gaslight her, isn't a risk he needed to take.

      CH

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    4. bb is the first to post on an issue that has been bothering me, so I'll make my comments as a reply to bb's post.

      Essentially bb notes that JR has trapped himself by telling a story which, if it's to be believed, has to be corroborated, and probably by PR. Since the event never happened he has to rely on PR to lie, either deliberately as Doc details in his post ................ or unwittingly after being implanted with false memory, or gaslighted.

      Doc's post is worth reading again, it's very well thought out. However there is a timing problem. In order for JR to manipulate PR into backing up his break-in story, it's necessary that PR beleives in JR's innocence. As things turned out this was not a problem. JR was ruled out as the author of the RN, so PR "knew" he as innocent and therefore had no problem lying to protect him. The timing problem should be apparent - JR commits to this story on Dec. 26th, but there is no way he can know at that time that he would later be ruled out.

      He has, on the 26th, forced himself into a situation where he must be successful in gaslighting PR. He can't fail, or he's done for. He can't know on the 26th how the investigation will proceed. He can't really even know that Patsy won't contradict him.

      This is at least cause for wonder.

      CH

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    5. Great point! CH
      To me obviously this points towards them being on the same side- shared goal- having his each others back..
      She knew he was creating staging, He was certain she would cover ANY story he told regarding the window,
      the gaslighting thing is a lil' too convenient..anytime Patsy acts in cohoots with John then 'she was obviously gaslighted'..
      It dismisses Patsy so completely...

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    6. You make an excellent point, CH. And you can add this to roughly 100 or more other little mini-mysteries that make this case such a challenge to puzzle out. I admit it does sound like a stretch to claim Patsy was manipulated into lying rather than lying because she was "in on it." However, when we consider the facts, and the logic of the case as a whole, then, as you well know, we have no choice but to rule Patsy out as far as complicity in the crime and cover-up is concerned. And if we rule her out, then we have no choice but to consider gaslighting, or some other form of manipulation.

      You are absolutely right to note the time lapse between the murder and the moment when John is "ruled out" as writer of the note. So we must consider what was going on in Patsy's life during that time. And what we know is that for much of that time she is being described as a "basket case." From all accounts John made sure she was under heavy sedation for some time after the murder, to the point that she could hardly lift her head, as described by friends.

      While it's true that during this time she was able to put in an appearance, with John, on television and also appear at the funeral, she was in no condition to think logically about what had happened the night of the murder and the following morning. It's also very possible she hadn't even learned about John's earlier break-in story. He'd mentioned it to Fleet White, and possibly one of the investigators, but Patsy would have been in terrible shape after JBR's body had been discovered, so it's very possible she just never heard that story at all. The logical person to tell her would have been John and of course he would have been in no hurry to inform her of his lies.

      It's important to remember that John and his legal team kept Patsy from the authorities for months. Why? If they'd been in it together they'd have got their story straight from the start and would have "fully cooperated" from the start. So the point you raise actually goes a long way to explain why the police interview was delayed for so long.

      While she may never have heard about John's window story during those first few weeks or months, if she'd been interrogated early on, and asked whether she knew anything about John breaking into the house the previous summer, she'd certainly have denied it. Just as Linda denied it.

      So. John at first made sure she was "medicated" to the point where she couldn't think straight most the time. And John then made sure she wasn't questioned for several months, giving him plenty of time to work on her.

      So the issue you raise actually solves one of the mysteries of the case, i.e., why did "the Ramseys" resist being questioned by the police for so long. Answer: John needed time to work on her.

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  40. Doc and CH, regarding your opinion on the 911 call and Patsy possibly calling because she was suspicious of John

    Listening to the 911 call, it 100% sounds to me like a person who believes that her daughter was taken. I have never questioned the believability of that call, as I believe Patsy was just a Mom who believes her daughter was kidnapped. I just can't see any way possible that Patsy was in "fear" of John at that moment. It just doesn't make any sense as if she was truly in fear of her husband enough to dial 911. Nobody came forward that day or since that has ever said Patsy was in “fear” of John. Not to mention they stayed married until she died in 2006. SO, this is why the call is confusing to me.

    We can always write it off to Patsy just in panic and the first thing you think of is dialing the police. The biggest problem I have is that once again (911 call = JAIL) for John in that moment. If John didn’t want the phone dialed, then it wouldn’t have been dialed. There would have been nothing suspicious about John, the man of the house restraining Patsy from dialing the phone, because in that moment, she seemed to believe a foreign faction had her daughter who was going to behead JBR. Doc, I know your feeling about sticking to the Facts, but unfortunately, after the facts, we are left to put the actions of the people involved under a microscope. In doing so, we must observe that John’s plan according to your theory was to eventually bury his daughter bound and gagged somewhere. Proceeded by making phony phone calls to further the “kidnapping” theory. So, a guy who molested, bound and gagged and murdered his daughter was just going to leave it up to pure chance that Patsy believes the note enough to not dial 911? I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but despite not being a criminal mastermind, John has been smart enough to avoid prosecution for 18 years. So, for the last time I will say it. How does John not take control and tell Patsy that under no circumstance can they call the authorities until the kidnappers call????? The RN, broken window, then broken window story, then accusing neighbors, etc was all to avoid getting arrested………but yet, he lets his flustered wife just dial a phone that was essentially in that moment locking his jail cell.

    -J

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    1. Here again, you are assuming that John would have been in complete control of all elements of his crime and coverup and would have been capable of picking up every single stitch in every single thing he did that night and the following morning. I don't see it that way at all. What I see is someone who had never been in this sort of situation before in his life, desperately trying to do whatever seemed necessary to keep himself out of prison.

      No question, he made mistakes. And if the investigation had been done carefully enough, and the evidence evaluated logically enough he would never have gotten away with it. As I see it, John would have felt confident that the warnings in the note would have prevented Patsy from calling the police. I myself find it difficult to believe she'd call the police after reading that note. But the FACT remains that she did. What exactly transpired between them we have no way of knowing. But the FACT is that she made the 911 call.

      Now as far as the emotions she displayed during the call, I see no reason to believe the emotions were contrived. She certainly believed her daughter's life was in danger and so it's not hard to understand why she'd be hysterical. But it's possible that her motivation for making that call (and then calling her friends) could have had something to do with her fear that her life might be in danger. I see no contradiction between the emotions expressed in the call and an unexpressed fear for her own life. But I could be wrong and maybe she called simply because she felt she needed the police after all, despite the warnings. We have no way of knowing, so it's all conjecture as far as her motive for making that call is concerned. The FACT remains that she DID make the call. And logically it's not difficult to see that she would not have made it if she were involved in staging a phony kidnapping. Everything else is conjecture.

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    2. J,

      If you don't mind I'd like to weigh in on this one too. First, I see no reason to make any determination as to whether Patsy was faking, or genuinely concerned for her daughter's life. We'd have to really know Patsy personally to get any sort of "gut" feeling about whether or not she's putting on an act. Since we don't know her personally, we have to go with the logic of the case - she wouldn't have made the call if she were in on the crime/coverup, so it must be real.

      The only way JR could absolutely prevent her from calling is to stay within arm's length of her all day. Even if he'd persuaded her to take BR and go to a friend's house for their "safety" (which is part of Doc's overall theory) she might well have called the police from the friends house.

      She may have reasoned that their best chance to the JBR back was to involve the police. JR's position of course would be "We don't dare risk calling the police or they'll chop her head off". As "logical" as JR's position sounds, in most kidnap situations the best chance really is to involve the police. So, PR may either have reasoned, or just intuited that calling 911 was necessary.

      She may simply not have believed all the threats. The note goes on and on and on and quotes directly from movies and at least for me that gives the note a sort of blustering quality that makes it hard to take seriously.

      Finally, it's just a stray thought of mine that she might have been a little suspicious of JR. We don't really know what went on in that house in any detail. If we accept that PR got up while JR was in the shower, went down the circular stairs, found the RN, etc. we are only taking the Ramsey's word for it. There could have been something which gave Patsy that "hinky" feeling. Later, with JR ruled out, she would realize how "silly" she have been, having suspicions about JR.

      As crucial as it was to prevent that phone call, there really isn't any way that JR could have prevented it.

      CH

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    3. Regarding Patsy, you are totally correct that none of us on here knew her or knew her personality. My point regarding her sounding genuine on the 911 call was simply that on that call and in the interviews I have seen of her, she never at any point strikes me as somebody who is acting.

      CH - you make a fair point regarding John preventing the 911 call forever, as Patsy could have gone to a friends house and dialed 911. Two Things here - 1. Worrying about what Patsy did once she was out of the house wouldn't have been a concern in that moment. John's life of freedom was hinging on Patsy believing the note enough that she would leave and that would allow John to carry out his plan of removing the body. Nothing after the 911 call is relevant, because I am simply speaking of John's state of mind BEFORE she picked up the phone and dialed.
      2. I still just don't believe that she was suspicious of John. She never said anything to that, even to the point of testifying to some ridiculous story about John crawling through the window. Also, as she was dying from the cancer, she never said anything about suspecting John to the point that somebody has come forward.

      -J

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    4. " My point regarding her sounding genuine on the 911 call was simply that on that call and in the interviews I have seen of her, she never at any point strikes me as somebody who is acting. "

      And my point is this - if the acting was good, it wouldn't strike you as acting. If she wasn't acting, it also wouldn't strike you as acting. But you can't tell the difference w/o knowing her. I agree with you, it doesn't sound to me like it's an act, but my opinion really isn't worth anything because I can't tell when she's acting and when she isn't.

      Regardless of JR's state of mind before the 911 call, he simply cannot have complete total minute to minute control of her.

      CH

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  41. Hey Doc, I don't for a second believe Patsy was involved whatsoever just as you believe. My point is that everything that happened after the 911 call is completely irrelevant to my point. If John wrote the RN, and I believe he probably did, he wrote it with the intention of getting Patsy and Burke out of the house the next day to give him time to dispose of the body. Jobenet's body HAD to be out of the house before anybody found her, so in writing the note, John felt that he would provide himself an opportunity to complete that task. Once the body was out of the house and buried, John probably felt that he would be mostly home free. So, this is where my point comes in. The ONLY thing that screws up Johns plan would have been the police being called. We have no way of knowing what John’s state of mind was, but he was calm enough and smart enough to write a 3 page ransom note, leave it in a perfect spot for Patsy to find and go upstairs, lay down and then shower in the morning. Of course we do not know what was said between John and Patsy leading up to the call, but we do have audio of the call, which was the sound of a frantic mother. I know I keep repeating myself, but a 911 call by Patsy was certain doom for John with the body in the house. He couldn’t have known in that moment that the police wouldn’t come in full force and do a sloppy job of investigating. In that moment he had to be thinking that he has a broken window downstairs along with the body of his daughter either hidden or in full view of anybody who took a second to look around downstairs.

    We don’t know if John was in complete control that morning, because it would just be pure speculation. BUT, the 1 single thing that was the most important in anything that happened in the entire case was the 911 call. The one thing that John HAD to be in control of, he wasn’t. So, it just makes me ask WHY?

    -J

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    1. I've asked that same question.

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    2. To answer your question- my logic says he was not in full control of Patsy at the moment of the call because he did not need to be. She was involved. She made the call because he was controlling something else deemed more important at the moment...perhaps getting the body hide as well as possible before the police arrived or staging/ upstaging the window.
      She called because something occurred- that made the well laid plans change. The most unexplained/ examined evidence (FACTS) is what Burke was doing. His very awareness that Jonbenet was gone could have forced that call.

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    3. See below for my response to that possibility.

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  42. ...and when he was asked why he didn't make the call himself, he apparently said something lame like "Patsy does the phone calling in our home. John the CEO? I don't think he asked Patsy to make the calls for him when he made those several calls to his pilot and his lawyers that day.
    After she made the initial 911 call, John knew he if he protested, Patsy would say "John said not to call and I did anyway." That would leave a mess for him to constantly have to justify--conversations he wouldn't want. His goal was to lay low. He probably didn't want to call 911 because he knew he couldn't and wouldn't sound genuine; also knowing the 911 call would be taped. He'd never hear the end of it. I also don't know if Patsy rushed to the call before John could carefully pretend to read the note--he had to act as if he knew nothing about the kidnapper's order to not call police, right? kp

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  43. “He probably didn't want to call 911 because he knew he couldn't and wouldn't sound genuine”

    Kp- Sorry, why on Earth would JR want to call 911? Sounding genuine would be the absolute last thing on his mind.....the focus was the dead body in the basement that he HAD to get out of the house asap!

    Again, this is simply my take on it, but John went to bed, woke up and showered knowing all the while he was doing so with not only his daughters lifeless body 2 floors below, but also a Ransom Note waiting to be read by Patsy on the stairs. So, in order for all of the work that John put into the RN working, Patsy MUST believe that the RN is real.....which she seems too on the 911 call. What happens from her reading and apparently believing the contents of the note to then making the call, we can only speculate. John could have hoped that maybe the window scene and ransom note could fool the police, but the 1 small little problem he would have faced was the body still being in the house. Of course as we know now, he was somehow able to wiggle his way out of the mess, but he wouldn’t have known at that time that he was going to encounter such a disorganized police force.

    -J

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  44. J--absolutely right-- for John, the 911 call or call to law enforcement would ideally be the next day when everything was taken care of. I was speculating that after Patsy dialed the call and it was inevitable that 911 was now involved--why didn't John take the phone from Patsy and take over, as she was hysterical. You'd think a typical CEO and father would likely do that.. kp

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    1. Yes. It seems to me that if John wanted that call made he would have made it himself. And if Patsy beat him to it, he'd have taken the phone when she was done and explained the situation more clearly to the 911 operator. He didn't do any of that because, obviously, he did not want that call made. Period. No way no how.

      But that's not the only reason I'm sure John didn't want that call made. And that has to do with the logic of the case, based on the facts. There could have been no intruder. If John and Patsy had been collaborating to stage a kidnapping they would have staged a kidnapping -- not called the police with the body still in the house. And if Patsy did this on her own, without John's knowledge, then there's no way she'd have called 911, for the same reason as in the previous sentence. Finally, if John wanted that call made despite Patsy's objections, I see no reason why he'd need to brow beat her into making it, since he could easily have picked up the receiver and dialed 911 himself.

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  45. Doc, I have always felt that John went downstairs not to UN stage the window scene, but to UN Stage the hidden body. Whether it be the suitcase, or tucked away somewhere else in the basement, the body had to have been hidden for a time when he would get the opportunity to remove it from the house. I know this isn't a new theory, but just feel that this would certainly have been more important than anything near the window as a dead body found hidden would certainly have pointed even more guilt his way. Then of course he HAD to be the one to find the body so he could explain any DNA or evidence on the body.

    -J

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    1. That's an interesting thought. But we need to take the events of that morning one step at a time. The most urgent thing for John to do first thing after Patsy's 911 call is clean up the glass in the basement. For whatever reason, John must have realized his window staging was about to backfire and he needed to be able to explain the broken window away as something that had happened at an earlier date. So first things first.

      A few hours later, Det. Arndt lost track of John for over an hour, and that's when he would have had the opportunity to do some staging in the windowless room.

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  46. I want to take a moment to thank Doc for his patience with all of our (especially my) questioning. It can't be easy feeling like your on the defense.

    Though I'm not playing a game here, I do feel that I think better when being challenged, or in turn, challenging. I like to examine every angle and turn everything over, and I feel we've done that, and at least for me, it has been time well spent.

    Doc has pointed out 3 errors that I"ve made (so far). 1. The grate doesn't have to be removed (and maybe cannot be) 2. The packing peanuts are in the window well, and 3. the dirt on the sill is disturbed. I still feel that the suitcase was a poor choice for a step stool, but there is no denying that it was under the window.
    So, Doc has a well reasoned factually backed theory that these elements were staged by JR to create a phoney entry/exit point for the "kidnapper".

    Further, since we know that JR cleaned up the glass, and that is by definition undoing his staging, he must have been trying to undo the window staging.

    I still have a few "problems" with JR's unstaging and his "break in" story, but they are the kind of problems born of asking Why? and Why not? They'll never really be resolved, but may be worth going over just to make sure we've examined everything.

    So, again, thanks Doc for your patience and your willingness to explain, again, and again.....

    CH

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    1. "3. the dirt on the sill is disturbed."

      To be totally accurate, the dirt on the well adjacent to the sill was disturbed. The sill itself was NOT disturbed. Another good reason to conclude that no one passed through that window.

      Thanks for this gracious post, CH. Your thoughts on this case are welcome, partly because you usually agree with me :-)

      and partly because your ideas are always challenging and interesting. Sorry if I get impatient at times, but you gotta admit you've been wearing me down lately.

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  47. DogG- Your blog is engrossing. Absolutely so well formatted,,,

    My comments are in reply to the collection of commenters:
    In regard to Patsy being authentic during the phone call- in either scenario 1. she believes her daughter has been abducted 2. she witnessed/participated/ simply aware that her daughter has been murdered. No doubt the emotion displayed was legit. No Acting needed.
    Yet the facts are left requiring interpretation.. which is subjective. The 911 call was illogical- almost anyway you look at it and on many levels. Either as blowing the faked kidnapping plan or not being concerned about keeping a low profile for supposed kidnappers, or the fact that Patsy called instead of John...in accordance with my logic the 911 call needs to be considered in the light of additional facts.
    Going forward- most of the timeline constructed is based on the Ramseys account. They are lacking credibility,seriously.
    Based on my logic- based on the facts- I do not think the 911 proves innocence. It merely strongly suggests that something made Patsy call. be it her innocence or a turn of events,
    So my conjecture of the most likely scenario is that John and Patsy worked to together to begin a staged kidnapping. The ransom note was created, a point of entry was getting staged...until they were interrupted...Burke woke up. It is Christmas morning, looking for Jon Benet...perhaps he starts yelling call 911 or (not likely) starts to call himself- Patsy takes the phone from him...ultimately something happens that forces their hand.
    So Patsy makes the call while John finishes what he can or redirects Burke or moves her body- bottom line Patsy called because John was busy.
    This idea seems more in-line with her inviting friends over. Patsy's behavior were very odd. I can not believe it is all explained by John's manipulation. She had her part. Even the small evidence against her- like the trace fibers on the duct tape..or backing up John's crazy window story. She displayed way too much participation in the after math.
    The truly unsolvable aspect of this crime is the why? For all accounts a normal family- despite their wealth- just sexually assault and murder their child on Christmas night..

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    1. Congratulations. You've come up with an interesting new take on that 911 call. I must admit, I've never considered that possibility. Not sure if you're aware of it, but according to some reports a 911 call was placed before Patsy's 911 call, but it was a hangup. So there is a possibility Burke could have been the one who made that call and his parents forced him to hang up.

      I can't accept this theory, however, though it is certainly ingenious. For one thing Burke would have been much easier to control than Patsy, especially if both John and Patsy were in it together. There'd be two adults taking charge of one child. More important, if John and Patsy were in it together, and let's say Burke called 911 and forced their hand, there would still have been no need for Patsy to spill the beans. She could have called 911 and reassured them that the previous call was just a mistake. And if Burke had objected, they could have shown him the warnings in the note, explaining how dangerous it would be to bring the police to the house while JonBenet was still in the hands of the kidnappers. Even if police had arrived at the house as a result of that call, they could still have reassured them that nothing was amiss and their child just had a vivid imagination. Later, after the body was safely out of the house, they would have of course been able to "tell the truth" and explain their behavior.

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    2. DogG-
      Thank you for your reply...and consideration. I have no doubt you are person who thoroughly contemplates any new perspectives before commenting back.

      I was unaware of previous hang-up call to 911. To my logic that adds an extremely important bit of fact.

      So I still contend that many facts could logically be looked at differently.
      Perhaps Burke finds out Jonbenet is missing before the note was complete.
      OR perhaps he was LOUDLY carrying on, they feared (the pressure might have produced extreme paranoia) that someone might have called the police already- thinking they better call also before the police show up; Worrying that Burke would say his sister is missing; BUT they have not called themselves????
      OR the WORST case for them, a neighbor hears something, comes over (if they don't answer)..then they can not get the person to leave/ or complete the staging.

      Just imagine-
      John and Patsy busy staging...they know Burke will wake up any time, and like all kids, he will yell to his sister it is CHRISTMAS!!....
      Then It happens they hear him- Patsy tries to calm him unsuccessfully...Burke escalates his panic. They keep trying to quiet/ calm him....he won't listen. To them he feels so LOUD, the staging had purposely been so quiet- they began to fear neighbors (maybe up with their own lil' kids) will hear, and either call their house or the police. Either way, they are not ready for any attention yet.

      OR they worried the hang-up had the police on route...

      OR they see Burke on the phone, they yell HANG UP NOW...yet they not sure if the hang up was soon enough or if he was heard for a minute on the other end screaming about his sister.
      Or simplest, John was not in the room with Patsy and Burke- Burke is able to call-somehow- and when Patsy gets the phone, she began to live out the 'staging cover' or (perhaps because he is standing there) Maybe telling Burke made it real to her. Or she just had to do it for Burke. I think other mothers reading will understand the reaction I am referring. He is distraught wanting his sister, Patsy never intended this to happened (her own words). Perhaps Patsy just reacted as mother instead of criminal.

      SO I think the hang-up adds an element of someone re-considering or someone trying to prevent the call....and the hang-up is a fact.

      I have thought about this case for years- never considering Patsy in any way guilty. Unfortunately her behaviors are simply too complicit.

      The true hurdle for me is the absurdity of the attack.The only possibility, I see is John and Patsy were just true sexual deviants.

      Delete
    3. For one thing, it was not Christmas morning. It was the day after Christmas. For another thing, no neighbor has ever come forward with a story about entering the Ramsey household under the circumstances you've suggested. For yet another, there is no evidence that Burke called 911. He certainly never claimed he called 911. And the 911 call (assuming it actually happened -- I don't think it was ever confirmed, it's just a rumor) has been described as a hangup -- nothing was actually said to the operator. Even if Burke was the one who dialed 911 (which I strongly doubt, but technically could have happened), that call would not have forced John and Patsy to report a kidnapping at that time. As I said, they could have reported it as a mistake. Also, if Burke were so out of control it's impossible to believe they'd have allowed him to go off with Fleet White and his wife later that day, when he could easily have described what "really" happened prior to Patsy's call. And if the police came to the house, as I said earlier, they could have dismissed it as a mistake. Burke was a nine year old child, with no reputation for being aggressive or difficult. If he awoke early and noticed that JonBenet was missing, his parents could have explained that they couldn't call the police because she'd been kidnapped. I see no reason to assume he'd run amok at that point.

      The most likely explanation for the 911 hangup (assuming it actually happened) was that John was trying to prevent Patsy from making the call -- which she of course would have made shortly afterward.

      I think you are letting your imagination run away with you. It's possible to imagine all sorts of things. I've read the most fantastic intruder theories, including one involving a pair of burglars with different motives and different personalities, one who killed JonBenet, the other who wrote the note for some obscure reason, apparently out of guilt (???). Some people have fantasized that Patsy wrote the note as a coded message to John. In James Kolar's book he presents a theory involving a group of six midget acrobats, who artfully maneuver through the basement window without leaving a trace, but leave 6 different DNA samples on the clothing of their victim (actually 6 unsourced DNA samples were actually found, according to Kolar).

      Of course, Kolar had his tongue in his cheek -- but a great many people have very seriously concocted all sorts of fantastic scenarios for this case, and many have steadfastly refused to believe they could possibly be wrong.

      There are in fact a great many scenarios one could come up with regarding just about any aspect of the case, but when evaluating them we have to differentiate between what is reasonable and what is not. Because theoretically at least there are an infinite number of possible models for explaining almost anything. And I'm sorry but I don't find your take on what happened that morning reasonable or even remotely likely. You can feel free to accept it if you like -- just as all the others with fantastic theories regarding this case. That's your choice.

      Delete
    4. Re: the 911 "hang up" It seems very unlikely it ever happened. If you dial 911 and hangup, the operator calls your number. There is a record of the call, no matter how it turns out. IOWs there would be two 911 calls recorded -the hang up, and the successful one.

      CH

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    5. Thanks CH. I think I may have gotten the earlier hang-up call, from the Xmas party three days earlier, mixed up with what happened on the morning of the 26th.

      Delete
  48. question? Why did John bring the body up from the wine cellar? If I understand correctly- Jonbenet was over looked by others- John is the one who eventually 'finds' the body?
    If I am correct- it is a fact that John located the body after police searches missed the body.
    Why not wait it out? Hope they miss it? Again He had so much to lose...what the pressure got to him???
    The would not an odor issue yet or in a house that size for awhile.
    Technically the fake kidnapping was not blown until he showed up with the body?
    I am assuming the answer is to have the opportunity to contaminate the body....that is a huge gamble so late in the game.
    In a way, John blew the staged kidnapping just as much as Patsy.

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    1. Once police were on the scene, there was no way John was going to be able to make off with the body. That would have been incredibly risky, even after they'd all gone home, as the house would certainly have been under surveillance. In any case, John was literally ordered by det. Arndt to search the house, and really had no choice. If he'd avoided that room and JonBenet had been found there (probably by Fleet White), that would have been extremely suspicious.

      Delete
  49. Why couldn't the Boulder Police department request help from the dream team who helped solve Ted Bundy murders, Green river murders, atlanta child murders. There were so many cases similar to Jonbenet's, being investigated and solved.

    I am baffled by the ineptness of the Police, and might I add the Ramsey's didnt make things easier.

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    1. The FBI offered to help, but the BPD refused, insisting they could handle it themselves.

      The police certainly do seem to have been inept, but as I see it the real reason the case went nowhere is that the killer's original plan went wrong and he was forced to come up with an alternative plan. This shift of focus seems to have totally baffled the authorities, who could never make up their minds as to who did what and why.

      Delete
  50. Could it be possible that JR didn't unstage, with the exception of moving the body to a
    more visible position after he knew the police were on their way. After all we still have a broken window, a suitcase under, that could look like the intruder was going to lift up
    with the body inside but then got disturbed. Granted JR did not know the outcome of the events of the following morning, but maybe he was willing to admit to the window break and hoped the suitcase would fit in with an intruder theory.

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    1. evej

      Interesting. The break didn't have to be fresh in order to stage the window, and aside from the glass, we really don't have any sign of unstaging so we ought to consider scenarios in which he wasn't unstaging.

      This idea fits better with the fact that he has locked himself into a story which, if false, requires successful gaslighting of PR.

      But, it's very hard to believe the window story that JR tells. Therefore it's more likely the break is fresh, and if so we know he unstaged the glass. We don't know why he didn't do more. IMO he could have at least moved the suitcase.

      CH

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  51. I assume you are talking about staging a window that really was broke months before? Otherwise we know he unstaged the glass.

    CH



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  52. I don't know ch, the story about climbing through last summer as He lost his keys is unbelievable, but I wonder if he broke the window the night before to stage, then possibly cut a finger and blood dripped onto the broken Glass so it had to be thrown Away. There must be a reason the room was staged with a body and glass removed?

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  53. Why does John make the 1:30PM call to his pilot? If he was innocent it looks suspicious, if he's guilty it looks suspicious. According to one site, the call to the pilot was made 20 minutes after Arndt moves JBR's body. Its just one more thing that completely puzzles me about JR.

    Also, I have read that a lot of what has been reported isn't accurate and that a lot of facts are still out there yet to be released. Since this is technically an open investigation, what else could be out there? What don't we know factually regarding an event that might be key to solving this?


    -J

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    1. The most important things we don't know are the details regarding what happened and when. The timelines for the morning of the 26th are inconsistent, which is understandable, given the confusion of that morning and all the people involved. Due to those inconsistencies it's easy to assume that certain events took place in a certain sequence, which may or may not actually be the case. For example, it's usually assumed that Fleet White was the first to enter the basement. But when he arrived, most of the glass had been removed. So, unless we are prepared to accept John's story about breaking the glass the previous summer (and I for one am NOT so prepared), then John must have been down there earlier, to clean up most of the glass.

      Also John claimed he found the window open, an then closed it. And Fleet said it was closed when he found it. So it looks very much like John would have been down there earlier. But according to most accounts it was Fleet.

      All this confusion and inconsistency is, for me, the most important, and potentially misleading, of all the unknowns in this case.

      Delete
  54. sorry, when i post via mobile it seems to get lost. In reply ch, i really don't know,
    perhaps JR did break the window the night before, possibly cutting himself which led to bleeding onto the broken glass and so removing it. All we do know is most of the glass was removed. In reply to -j, the fact of the call to the pilot, i can say that in my opinion is the most troubling thing to lead me to believe the JR theory, if he's innocent why would he make that decision, and so shortly after the death of his child.

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  55. Oh and believe it or not, i'm still on the fence as to who did it. even though Docg puts across the most credible theory.

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  56. Of course we can only speculate as to what info has not been released to the public. One thing that would be very interesting is to know whether or not the police ever found any glass. There are no questions about the missing glass (as opposed to when the glass was broken) in the police interviews, as far as we know.

    CH

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  57. evej - I do believe Doc's theory is most plausible as it really does explain a lot, but I will always leave open the possibility that Burke might have either committed the crime or seen something crucial. Please nobody post about why Burke couldnt have been involved, because we dont have to go down that road again.

    CH- the glass is another great mystery, as it had to go somewhere, and maybe the answer is just as simple as he hid it in a bag or anywhere else in the basement. The problem was that for hours, it was being treated as a kidnapping, so those types of clues weren't being looked at.

    Doc, I am going to preface this by saying that I in no way believe Patsy was involved. That being said, does the 911 call truly rule her out IF John told her to call? Sure, there could have been an argument over it, but if John is yelling at her to make the call, doesn't she have to do it regardless of being guilty?

    -J

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    1. Well, first of all, the 911 call rules out collaboration in the staging by both Patsy and John. If they'd been collaborating, and both knew the note was phony and the body was still in the house, the call would not have been made.

      So what you are proposing implies that John was innocent, and in all innocence told Patsy to make the call. And that means either both are innocent or Patsy is the sole guilty party.

      Given the absurdity of the intruder theory, we can rule out an intruder. Meaning that both cannot be innocent. One must be innocent and the other guilty. Now if John were innocent and Patsy was the one who wrote that note, it's very hard for me to believe she'd be willing to make that call. Also, if John wanted the call made, told her to make it, and she refused (as I feel sure she would), then I see no reason why he couldn't have picked up the receiver and dialed 911 himself. He was a big boy, no? He knew how to use the telephone, no?

      Over and above that, we know that it is John who's actions were suspicious, not Patsy. It was John who, by his own admission, was in the basement early in the AM. We know it was John, who by his own admission, closed the basement window, yet told no one at the time about what might well have been an important clue. And we know it was John who spun the elaborate story about breaking the window the previous summer, which is obviously a fabrication.

      So I'm sorry, but if we have to choose between Patsy, who told a couple white lies to support John's version of what happened, and John, who clearly meddled with the evidence, was out of sight for over an hour, and then lied about breaking the window (not to mention his call to his pilot only a half hour after discovering his daughter's corpse), I have to choose John. As I see it, that's a no brainer, but if you have a different take, that's fine with me.

      Delete
    2. Also, if John is yelling at her to make the call, as you suggest, Patsy is by no means obligated to make it. She could certainly argue that calling in the police would be far too dangerous and could lead to JonBenet being beheaded. That's a really good reason NOT to make that call, and I think most mothers would agree.

      Delete
  58. After working my way through all the window staging posts, one simple thought: I think John unstaged the window not because he heard the police discussing cobwebs, but because he was aware all night long that there was snow on the ground. Living in Colorado, he had at least a chance to mess with the window the next night, after the snow melted (as it often does later in the day). Since Patsy ruined that plan, he likely unstaged before the police arrived but after Patsy called 911.

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  59. OR, more reliably, he may have planned to openly walk the perimeter of the house (under the guise of investigation - make sure no kidnappers hiding in window wells, etc.) and trample the snow completely before evacuating his family - thus allow him to safely complete his staging.

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    1. This is a very believable theory. I, too, think he unstaged the window before the police arrived and not because he overheard their conversations. Didn't he admit going down to the basement before the police arrived?

      bb

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    2. Thanks bb....I am sure I am not the first to come up with it :) It just seems to me that the snow was his first, most obvious problem. And yes, he said he went to the basement before the police arrived.

      MM (forgot to sign prior posts)

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  60. I'm not sure I can credit John with being as cunning as Doc's theory suggests. I contest that John had no intention of trying to dispose of JonBenet's body. Sure, in theory it seems quite brilliant. Don't call the police. Make arrangements with the bank to deliver the ransom money. Dump the body without being seen. Below the surface, this plan had too many risks and made him look more suspicious than anyone else. On the other hand, if the body was found in the house, there would multiple suspects besides himself. Let's face it, if John didn't want Patsy calling the police then he would've made sure that she didn't. There was simply too much at stake for John to have such an oversight. I'm suggesting that not only did John allow Patsy to make that call, he more than likely encouraged it. Call the police. Call friends. Have them contaminate as much of the scene as possible. To make himself stand out more as being innocent, he staged the window so that it appeared to not only be the entry point of the intruder but also an opportunity for himself to prove that he was an honest man by admitting that he himself broke the window instead of blaming the intruder for it. I think this murder was planned. Perhaps several weeks in advance. I'd like to know when exactly the decision was made to take their family trip. I'm convinced that for some reason it was crucial that Jonbenet not make that trip.

    BG

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    1. I would be astonished if this outcome was his plan all along. It was clearly going to be a disaster for him, and the reason he prevailed was not because it was a great plan but because he got lucky: he had money; law enforcement struggled from the beginning; and he just kept throwing reasonable doubt on the mess he was left with. It was effective, but I would be surprised if it was Plan A.

      MM

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    2. May I suggest an experiment for all of you who think JR could have prevented the phone call. Get together with your spouse and ask the spouse to try to make a call ( don't call 911 obviously) and you try to prevent it. Start from the time you both get up an run for say 12 hours and just see what it takes to prevent someone from making a phone call.

      Bottom line, JR could not have prevented a phone call. Not unless he was willing to tie up Patsy and that would look a bit suspicious.

      CH

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  61. http://solvingjonbenet.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-scene-at-window.html

    For anyone interested, see the crime scene photo at the link above. The suitcase is placed with it's end against the wall. We know FW moved the suitcase. How much movement? I'm not sure.

    The point is - with the suitcase placed in that way, it can tip to either side while standing on it. In other photos by LS, it is shown with the broad side against the wall, which would make it easier to stand on.

    While I would tend to dismiss anything from LS's dog and pony show, it's interesting that he has it turned big side against the wall. This positioning makes it more likely that someone could stand on it.

    The suitcase as step stool really bothers me. Small end against the wall is even more tipsy than broad side against the wall.

    CH

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    1. Just to be clear, I'm not relying on the photo to be 100% accurate. (Or even 50%) I'm just pointing out that if this is approximately the position in which FW finds the suitcase, this is an accident waiting to happen.

      CH

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  62. maybe i'm getting a bit lost here. If no-one broke in or exited through that window, JR stands on the chair, breaks the window, puts the chair back, places the suitcase against the wall to make it look like an exit point for the intruder and how the intruder intended to get the body out. ie( kidnapping gone wrong, murder get body out, disturbed).so what relevance does standing on the suitcase have other than staging?

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    1. Since a few shards of glass were found on top of the suitcase, I'm guessing John may have used it to boost himself up while breaking the window. Smit claimed the glass must have been embedded in the "intruder's" shoe and got onto the suitcase when he stood on it, but since there's no evidence anyone passed through the window, that explanation seems unlikely.

      White says he moved the suitcase to get a better look at the window, so the photo doesn't tell us anything about it's position when he found it. I'm assuming it must have been flush against the wall, but I don't think White was ever quoted as actually saying that, so it's a guess.

      We see a chair in some of the photos, but it may have been broken or unstable. The only explanation I can think of for the suitcase is that it was staged to suggest that the "intruder" used it to boost himself up to the window sill. Otherwise what is it doing sitting right up against the wall just under the window? And apparently John used it as a boost while breaking the window, which would explain the shards of glass on top.

      If it were flush against the wall, it would have been stable enough. A chair would have been better, but only if it was sturdy enough to hold him.

      Delete
  63. I think that perhaps the suitcase may have also been staged to look as a potential or possible container to place the body in--to give the appearance that perhaps the "killer" was 'problem solving' with how to best exit with and hide the body. Leaving it there adds to the ominous intrigue. kp

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  64. evej

    The suitcase is not something suitable to stand on. You said it yourself "JR stands on the chair, breaks the window, puts the chair back, place the suitcase against the wall ......" etc.

    JR would stand on the chair, not on the suitcase. A real intruder would also stand on the chair, not the suitcase. One can pull the suitcase up when one is in the window well, but to get to the window well, a chair is a much better choice to stand on than a suitcase. In fact a real intruder trying to get the suitcase up would probably stand on the chair and put the suitcase through the window, then climb into the window well himself.

    The point is, no one is going to stand on that suitcase, especially not with the small end towards the wall. It's going to tip over. The chair is the more natural choice to stand on.

    So, either JR intends that the suitcase looks like it was used as a step stool, or he didn't really put the suitcase there and isn't thinking about it in those terms. And if he did put the suitcase there, to serve as the (staged) step stool for the intruder, why didn't he unstage it? It's just a matter of moving it a few feet. Takes 5 seconds, and it's right there where the glass would be.


    CH

    I don't know what to make of this, except I find it very strange.

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    1. First of all, the photo tells us nothing about the original position of the suitcase. However the shards of glass on top strongly suggest John used it to boost himself up while breaking the window. Otherwise, how would they have gotten there? The only position possible when using it as a boost would be with the long side flush against the wall, so I think it safe to presume that was how White found it.

      As I've said, the chair might not have been strong enough to hold him. The hard suitcase certainly would have been. And it would also serve nicely as a boost for an exiting intruder.

      As I see it, John's failure to move it when unstaging can be seen as evidence that he must have been in a great hurry when unstaging, and also seriously distracted. He couldn't think of everything, but he did manage to clean up the most important staging evidence, the broken glass on the floor. It's possible he was just about to move the suitcase when a policeman entered the area.

      The bottom line is that we have no idea what the circumstances were when John went down into that part of the basement. And it's all too easy to make assumptions when evaluating the evidence retrospectively. I'm not as puzzled as CH because I'm willing to accept that John would not have been in a position to pick up every single stitch.

      Delete
    2. As I said, I'm not relying much on the photo to tell us anything accurate. I'm just pointing out that the way it's positioned in the photo, someone is going to fall. It's too bad FW wasn't questioned more extensively about it. Did he turn the suitcase 90 degrees? Or not?

      LS was 5'9" with a bump on his head. About 5'8" w/o the bump. In the video of him coming in the window, once he's standing on the basement floor the top of his head is at about the middle of the broken section of the window. He could easily reach that window without standing on anything.

      Remember, it's different breaking the glass than it is boosting one's self up to the sill. To break the glass one needs to be able to reach it, not bring one's bottom up to the height of the window. JR would have been able to reach the window easily while standing on the floor. Considering that he likely used some sort of tool, so as not to cut his hand, he had even more reach.

      So it appears from the video there would be no need to stand on anything to break the glass, and it seems (at least to me) a pretty safe bet that he didn't. Certainly if he could reach it standing on the floor it would be strange to stand on a tottering suitcase to do it.

      The suitcase was probably there, when the glass was broken, but if we can put any credence at all in the video from the Daily Beast which claims to show the train room a few hours after the body was found, then we have to admit there are several things under the window. Just the suitcase under the center window, but several things under the 3 windows. For the family, it seems to be a place to set things.

      It's always possible that he was both distracted and running out of time. It's also always possible JR simply didn't think of everything.

      IMO he had only 7 minutes to unstage. If, as evej suggests, the body had to be moved first, that would take up a good portion of the time. My feeling is the body was never moved, except perhaps from one part of the WC to another.

      So, we know the suitcase was under the window. We also can be reasonably sure that no one stood on it, as there wasn't an intruder and JR didn't need it to reach the glass. It still could have been placed there, by JR, to serve as the "intruder's" stepping stool.

      If, when the glass was broken, (depending on from which side it was broken) some shards landed on the ledge then picking those up might have caused the "clean" area of the ledge ? Picking them up by hand rather than brushing them across the sill might account for how the ledge gets "cleaned" or disturbed, but not the sill?

      If I'm correct about JR having only the 7 minutes to unstage, then we know a policeman didn't walk in just as he was about to move the suitcase, as JR was upstairs when they arrived and took them to read the RN -IIRC.

      Just puzzling over the particulars of the window. This doesn't change the overall theory of the case, as far as I'm concerned.

      CH

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    3. Just so Doc doesn't feel the need to reply, I don't have any better solution than JR placing the suitcase there to represent a step for the intruder to use. It's obvious the glass was broken that night, and with the other elements of staging, there just isn't any better explanation than JR put it there. It just bothers me. But that's life.

      CH

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    4. CH, it is interesting that there was a chair John talked about a LOT for someone who spoke so vaguely and remembered so little: the chair that he said he moved because it blocked the train room. I wonder if he used that chair as a step and wanted to explain his fresh prints on it.

      I agree that the suitcase was a prop.

      MM

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    5. I admit, it looks like John would not have needed to stand on anything in order to break the window. On the other hand, some shards of glass were found on top of the suitcase and I'm wondering how they got there.

      If the suitcase were already sitting just under the window, then John would have moved it out of the way when he broke the glass, no? The pane of glass that was broken was one of the upper panes, so I still think it possible that John could have used the suitcase to boost himself up there. Otherwise the glass on the suitcase is a bit of a mystery.

      Delete
    6. The suitcase must have been nearby during the break. I don't think it would have to be directly under the window. There's going to be some glass "flying" a bit, even if JR just gently presses until the glass breaks.

      It's also possible JR just set a piece of glass on the suitcase as he cleaned up, probably intending to dispose of it, then forgot it.

      The pane that was broken was the upper left, as viewed from inside the basement.

      I'd have a hard time seeing him standing on a suitcase, trying to keep a hinged frame still, while breaking glass. This is a recipe for injury.

      CH

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    7. You could be right.

      Actually as I recall it was John himself who claimed he found the suitcase flush against the wall, just under the window. But that was months later. He didn't report it on the 26th. And by that time he'd been inspired by Lou Smit to give an intruder break-in at the window another shot. So by the time he finally reported seeing it, the implication was pretty clear that he thought the "intruder" used it to boost himself out the window. And of course we have no reason to accept anything John said, so who knows what that suitcase meant.

      Delete
    8. I wonder if LS came up with his intruder theory partly because it would "explain" the apparent attempt to stage ?

      Delete
    9. Excellent point! It could have been not so much to show how an intruder could have gotten in but primarily to explain away the evidence of staging. By that time Smit was behaving like a defense lawyer, not an independent investigator. His primary intent was to promote reasonable doubt.

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  65. There is no way Patsy would've made that call without John's consent. If he didn't want her to call 911 then he would've easily talked her out of it. After all, their daughter was at risk of being beheaded. This was too important for John to just assume the threats in the ransom note would be enough to dissuade her from calling 911. He would've been standing close by to make sure she didn't and made the point perfectly clear to not call 911.

    BG

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    1. It's a lot easier to make someone do something than to make sure they don't do it. According to Patsy, John went to check on Burke (in other words, went upstairs) and she then ran downstairs to make the call. Reading between the lines it seems as though she faked him out. While he was distracted, she made the call. NB: There was a phone on all floors so no need to go downstairs to make a call.

      As CH stated, there was no way John could have monitored all her movements the entire day. Or even for longer than a minute or so. He could have urged her not to call, she could have agreed not to call. And then when he was distracted made the call anyway.

      The real question is why she made that call, assuming she was aware of the threats. My guess is that she was simply hysterical with anxiety and felt a need to do something rather than just wait around for someone to call.

      Bottom line: the call was made. And would not have been made if both of them were staging a phony kidnapping. Body in the basement ≠ kidnapping. Do the math.

      Delete
  66. The decision of whether or not to call 911 wasn't an easy decision to make. I think that once John's logic was taken into consideration and agreed upon, there is no way Patsy would defy him by calling 911. John was the decision maker in the house. The CEO of a successful business. I'm guessing she leaned on him heavily to make all the tough decisions. Please tell me Doc using the facts of the case, why he wouldn't have given her permission to make that call? Isn't it possible he didn't want to dispose of the body?

    BG

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    1. I doubt JR's logic was agreed upon.

      CH

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    2. BG, I invite you to read (or reread) the first two posts in this blog. They explain the logic of case, based ONLY on the facts. As I see it, clear logical inferences based on the facts tell us there could have been no intruder. The facts also tell us that it was Patsy, and not John, who called 911. And it's possible to conclude from the nature of the note, which was clearly written to stage a kidnapping, that the person who wrote that note would not have wanted the police called until that person had a chance to get the body out of the house. Otherwise, what would be the point of writing that note?

      This tells us Patsy and John could not have been collaborating. And since Patsy made the call then John has to be the guilty party. If John were, as you say, the decision maker, then, assuming he's innocent, HE would have made the call. If Patsy were the guilty party, she would have refused if he told her to make it. And if she refused, he would have have made it.

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  67. BG,
    Regarding getting rid of the body, I have often wondered if John didn't want to get rid of the body. First of all, it would be risky and would take time. Second, perhaps it was too emotionally difficult to do. After all, he did carefully wrap JonBenet in her blanket (he recounts finding her and he describes the blanket saying it was like "somebody had tucked her in.") Everyone knows this is something a killer is more likely to do when they are emotionally connected to their victim. So perhaps he just couldn't bring himself to go dump her body somewhere. I can see that.

    BUT, why leave the ransom note then? Not only is a note a huge piece of evidence that could possibly be tied to him, but it probably also took some time to write. As Doc has said, John had a purpose for the note: to buy time without the police. Why would he do that if he decided not to remove the body? Why would he need to buy more time? In the time it took him to write that note, he could have finished the staging in the basement so that it still looked like she was killed by an intruder. But, instead, he took the time to write a ransom note which contained around 6 different threats to kill JonBenet if the cops were called. Now why would he write that if he had decided to leave the body in the house?

    Bottom line: John wanted the police to think an intruder killed his daughter. He was probably smart enough to know that if he left the body in the house, there would be a really good chance the police would suspect it was an inside job. He had to get the body out. The only way he could do that would be to keep the cops away. The only way he can do that was to prevent Patsy from calling the police. The note was supposed to do that.

    bb

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    1. BB,
      By the same token, why go through the trouble of writing a detailed ransom note and not take the proper precautions to keep Patsy from calling 911? It doesn't add up. Would you so quickly dial 911 after the note clearly warned you that your daughter would be executed? Of course not. It's too risky. Unless your spouse encouraged you to do it. Also, it's odd that Patsy didn't mention to the dispatcher that she was instructed by the note not to call the police. I would've been sure to tell the dispatcher to send someone in plain clothes and and unmarked car. That's always bothered me.

      BG

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  68. CNN interview 1/1/97, five days after the murder of their daughter: " Well, no. I mean, I read it very fast. I was out of my mind. And it said "Don't call the police." You know, that type of thing. And I told Patsy, call the police immediately. And I think I ran through the house a bit." John Ramsey

    Given that Patsy Ramsey was sitting next to John when he said this, it seems unlikely that she was gaslit over a period of months to cover up some argument about calling 911 on 12/26. Early on, Patsy was in collusion with John. We can only speculate why: she might have been afraid of him, afraid of the truth, or possessed guilty knowledge of the events.

    MM

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    1. What would you expect Patsy to have said under those circumstances? "You're wrong, John, that's not the way it happened"? The whole point of their interview was to present a united front. Afterwards, if she'd confronted John, he could have reminded her that she'd been heavily sedated for days and her memory must have been clouded. He could have insisted that he recalled telling her to make the call. So what was she going to do? Call the police and tell them John lied? I feel sure she was manipulated.

      But later, when interviewed for the A&E documentary, she offered a very different version of what happened. And no one seemed to notice. Imo that version is closer to the truth than the "official" version presented over CNN and in their book.

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    2. If John argued with her on 12/26 and tried to dissuade her from calling 911, (and why wouldn't he?), why would he do a 180 six days later and claim he told her to call? It would be so easy for him to say "I was very worried about JonBenet's safety based on the ransom note threats, but Patsy convinced me that the police could help us find her." There. He is on the side of calling 911 AND Patsy has no reason to suspect him. But he said HE told her to call 911. If this is true, then they basically called 911 together and JDI falls apart.

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    3. <----previous post by MM

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    4. "It would be so easy for him to say "I was very worried about JonBenet's safety based on the ransom note threats, but Patsy convinced me that the police could help us find her." There. He is on the side of calling 911 AND Patsy has no reason to suspect him. But he said HE told her to call 911. If this is true, then they basically called 911 together and JDI falls apart."

      You make an interesting point. After all, there is nothing suspicious per se in John arguing against calling the police in the face of all the threats in the note. But John's claim has to be placed in context. Already by the time of the CNN interview he is the leading suspect in the murder of his own daughter. The combination of ransom note plus body found in the house certainly makes it look like an inside job and the police may well have suspected this was not so much a kidnapping gone wrong as a staged kidnapping gone wrong. And since the murder also involved a sexual assault -- not to mention the use of a garrote -- the only mature male in the family (who as a sailor also happened to be familiar with knots) would naturally be the leading suspect.

      If the decision to call 911 had been John's then it would seem unlikely he could have been involved. After all, if you're staging a kidnapping, why call the police before you've had a chance to get rid of the body? So under the circumstances John would have had a very good reason to claim the call was his idea -- this was his opportunity to establish his innocence.

      Of course we have no reason to believe Patsy ever suspected John, so she would not have seen it in that light. And since she'd been heavily sedated for days it would seem reasonable that her memory could have gotten a bit foggy. So it would have been easy for John to manipulate her regarding who made that all important decision.

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  69. Shortly after John says he told her to call 911, Patsy is not stunned into drug-addled silence. She has perhaps the oddest comment in the CNN interview:

    "CABELL: Inevitably, speculation on talk shows will focus on you. It's got to be a sickening --

    RAMSEY, J: It's nauseating beyond belief.

    RAMSEY, P: You know, America has just been hurt so deeply with the -- this -- the tragic things that have happened. The young woman who drove her children into the water, and we don't know what happened with the O.J. Simpson -- and I mean, America is suffering because have lost faith in the American family.

    We are a Christian, God-fearing family. We love our children. We would do anything for our children."

    Five days after the death of her daughter, Patsy Ramsey is explaining the pain of the American public over Susan Smith's and OJ Simpson's lies. It is an incredibly intellectual, even scholarly response to the idea that she and her husband are suspected of murdering their precious girl.

    I hate to sound like a broken record, and I believe John acted alone, but Patsy is a mystery and her actions muddy the water.

    MM

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    1. She could have been prompted by the lawyers. As I see it, it's the facts that count. It's so easy to make assumptions.

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    2. Hi doc, prompted by the lawyers to appear rational and intellectual? To talk about the suffering of the American people who think she is a murderer? I am not saying she did it, I am saying she was one extremely odd mother of a murdered child, and her actions muddy the case.

      If we are to only attend to the facts of the case, one fact is that Patsy joined John in his lies and there is no evidence that she was easy to manipulate. To me she seems strong willed, bright, and connected to many family and friends, not isolated and gaslit by her overpowering husband.

      MM

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    3. I was referring to her references to Susan Smith and O. J. Her lawyers could have prompted her to mention them as examples of tragic events that have caused Americans to "lose faith" in the family.

      "one fact is that Patsy joined John in his lies and there is no evidence that she was easy to manipulate."

      Yes, she lied to support John's lies. But if we assume thereby that she was collaborating with him on the coverup, that assumption is inconsistent with the facts. As I mentioned in my most recent response to BG, if you want to see Patsy and John agreeing to call 911 at that time then you will need to explain why. Either they are both innocent, which means there was an intruder in the house that night. Or they are both guilty and decided to blow the whistle on their kidnap staging for no good reason. Or Patsy is guilty and John is innocent. Which makes it impossible to explain all his many deceptions, half truths and lies.

      So, by all means, take a number and make a choice.

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    4. There are more options. One scenario I have floated before is that John convinced Patsy that Burke somehow hurt/killed JonBenet and John covered it up. I cannot fill in the blanks, I can only assume it happened after she called 911, maybe in the days to follow. Maybe John never even said it out loud, only implied it and she understood the stakes. She could lose her husband and only remaining child if she did not circle the wagons. To me, it explains her lies and passionate, feisty defense of John that would not have happened if she suspected he alone molested and killed JonBenet.

      To argue John alone, you have to explain Patsy. And one explanation we can imagine is that, like the rest of America, she was afraid her son might have had something to do with it.

      MM

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  70. MM,
    You make some interesting points, especially when suggesting that Patsy might have gone along with John's story because she might have "possessed guilty knowledge of the events." I never thought of this reason. But it is very common for women living in a household where abuse is happening to a child(ren) by the father, step-father or boyfriend and the woman will go into a state of denial because it's her only way of dealing with the horrible truth. Patsy may have suspected John was abusing JonBenet or actually saw some type of proof of it, yet choose to just keep quiet. Indeed, she may have feared him.

    Furthermore, John may have known Patsy suspected him or even knew of his guilt, but there was an unspoken agreement between the two of them to not "bear witness" against the other. After all, she professed to being a good Christian woman.

    bb

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  71. As we think about the total case, the sexual abuse by the father in a family with a stay-at-home mother who took her bedwetting daughter to the doctor 27 times in three years, I agree we can guess that Patsy had some level of awareness. If the truth of sexual abuse was too horrible to contemplate, then murder could be in the same category. What doesn't fit is the 911 call. She was either compliant or she was not. If she crossed JR by dialing 911, how did she get so meek and compliant 5 days later to sit and nod when he said HE told her to call?

    MM

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    1. I don't think Patsy was ever meek and compliant. She was manipulated, which is a very different thing. Also she desperately wanted to believe in John's innocence. I find it impossible to believe, however, that she would have remained living in the same house with him if she suspected he'd murdered - or even molested -- the daughter she doted on so strongly.

      Sociopaths are known for their ability to manipulate. As I see it, John Ramsey is a sociopath. So his ability to manipulate Patsy should come as no surprise.

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    2. I can accept that John Ramsey may be a sociopath, but he was not a classic abuser. He did not isolate Patsy and work on twisting her reality the way gaslighters typically do. After the murder they stayed with friends and relatives and there were always other people around. Not typical. In fact, he was not a typical child molester either. He would have had to be far more present and controlling to qualify. By all accounts he was rather distant and traveled a lot.

      It is just another piece that does not fit, another reason this case is so strange.

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    3. <----previous post by MM

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  72. bb, that was in reply to you. Thanks for the idea of denial in the mother....I wonder if she broke ranks with the 911 call and then just immediately slid back into her role? The thing that puzzles is that there is not much about her that seems shy or meek or compliant.

    MM

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  73. To the best of my recollection, Patsy lied only twice: about whose decision it was to call 911, and about cleaning up the broken glass in the basement.

    And on both occasions, her lie was in support of John's version of what happened. It seems clear to me she was manipulated. Other than these two lies, I see no evidence consistent with her involvement in the crime or her knowing complicity in the coverup.

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  74. I agree, I don't think there are any other lies. In fact, during the Katie Couric interview she asks them if it was true that they declined to take polygraphs....John lies and says they were never asked, Patsy carefully says that she thinks that they are not admissible in court, they are voodoo science, but she never says she was not asked.

    MM

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  75. Again, If John was so great at manipulating Patsy, I don't see how he would've had any trouble convincing her to not call 911.

    BG

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    1. So what alternative theory would you offer? If the call were John's idea then clearly he had no role in staging the kidnapping or writing the note. What would be the point of going to all that trouble and risk and then calling the police before you've completed your staging by removing the body?

      And if you'd changed your mind and decided you couldn't go through with your original plan after all, then why report a kidnapping, complete with obviously phony note in your own (or your spouse's) hand? And why hide the body in a remote basement room? Why not display it openly and report a home invasion?

      So what you are implying is that either both are innocent or John is innocent and Patsy both murdered her daughter and staged the kidnapping on her own. In which case you will need to explain the sexual assault and the garotte. And if you see John as innocent, then why does he support Patsy so strongly, and why does he work so hard to delay questioning by the police? Why does he concoct an obviously phony story about breaking that window the previous summer? Why does he close the basement window without telling anyone? Why does he vanish from sight for over an hour while Det. Arndt is keeping everyone else together? Etc.

      And if both are innocent, then how do you explain a kidnapper who enters a home without bringing his note with him? And takes hours to pen a long detailed note while in the house where he could have easily been detected? How do you explain a kidnapper who forgets to kidnap his victim but nevertheless leaves his ransom note for the police to examine? Or someone out to frame John Ramsey who writes the note in his own hand, with no attempt to forge John's?

      So I'm sorry, while it might seem reasonable to you that John wanted that call made, it sounds totally unreasonable to me. Your conviction that John could have prevented Patsy from making it is based on an assumption that is easily refuted and is also inconsistent with an analysis of the case based on the facts.

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  76. BG, I agree. And if Patsy called 911 against his wishes, he could assume she was not 100% on his side. Drugs or no drugs, he would have needed to appease her, not make her more wary by telling a flat lie. He has no idea what she actually knows, six days in. All she needs to say is that he did not go to bed until the wee hours...case closed.

    MM

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