Not everyone sees it that way, of course. No matter whom you might suspect, it's possible to claim that your theory is based on what you perceive as "the facts": it's a "fact" that Burke and JonBenet ate pineapple together, as evidenced by his fingerprints on the bowl; it's a "fact" that an intruder was present, as evidenced by the absence of any source for the tape or cord used to control the victim; it's a "fact" that Patsy Ramsey wrote the "ransom note," as evidenced by the long list of "matches" found between her writing and that of the note; it's a "fact" that John Ramsey could not have written the note, as he was "ruled out" by a team of "experts"; it's a "fact" that JonBenet was assaulted by a mysterious stranger, as evidenced by the three sources of foreign DNA found on her clothing; it's a "fact" that she was stun gunned, as evidenced by marks found on her body that could "only" have been made by such a device. One could go on and on in this vein.
Trouble is, these "facts" take us in all sorts of different directions and in any case there are serious disagreements regarding each and every one. What is a fact for you might well be seen as an assumption by someone else. So, in order to bolster your theory it's necessary to argue over and over again endlessly that this, that and the other MUST be the case, because, because, and because. Resulting in what I have called "the morass," an endless cycle of assertion and counter-assertion that has taken us all in circles for years and gotten us nowhere.
However: at a certain point I realized that not all the so-called "facts" were the same. There were "facts" that could easily be challenged, but there were also facts that could not be challenged, facts that everyone actually agreed on. And if one limited oneself to those facts and those facts only, then, remarkably enough, it was possible to make out a path that might actually take us somewhere.
We can start with the most important fact of all, the fact of the ransom note. No one can dispute the existence of this key piece of evidence. Nor has anyone ever disputed the fact that the paper on which the note was written originated in a notepad found in the Ramsey home. These facts alone tell us there could have been no intruder. Why?
A pedophile with a sexual interest in the victim would have had no reason to write a note. A burglar would have had no reason to write a note. Someone "out to get" the Ramseys would have had no reason to write a ransom note, and if he'd desired a note of any kind would have prepared one ahead of time. Someone entering the house with the intent to kidnap would have written his note ahead of time. Someone who'd entered the house with some other motive, but who decided at the last minute to kidnap JonBenet, would not have wanted or needed to write such a long, detailed note, dotting every i and crossing every t. Someone intending to "frame" Patsy or John by making it look like one of them wrote the note would not have written it in his own hand, however disguised, but attempted a forgery. Yet none of the professionals who've examined the note have ever even suggested forgery. John was "ruled out," and Patsy deemed "unlikely." Comparisons with Patsy's hand have focused on certain letter by letter "matches," but her overall style is radically different from that of the note, as I have demonstrated. I can think of no other motive -- nor have I ever seen any other motive presented by anyone over 20 years of heated discussion of this case. While it's possible to speculate about some diabolically clever person whose only motive was to sow confusion, that takes us well beyond the realm of reasonable doubt, as anyone accused of any crime could easily invent such a person, out to make him look bad.
Once an intruder is ruled out, then, as painful as it is, we have no other choice but to focus on the three remaining members of the Ramsey household: Patsy, Burke and John. And while the debate has raged for so many years as to which of these three could have committed the crime, or, indeed, whether all three were in it together, there is yet another fact, universally agreed on, that enables us, finally, to decide:
First thing in the morning, shortly after the ransom note is discovered, Patsy Ramsey calls 911, reporting that her daughter has been kidnapped. Fact! Patsy is the one who makes that call. John later claims, for good reason, that he told her to make it -- and she agrees -- but this is NOT a fact. That claim, which becomes their "official" version of what happened, is contradicted by a very different version, offered by Patsy when interviewed for an A&E special:
The rest of Patsy's statement has been cut in this version. Here is her full statement, from a transcript of the original documentary:
Man: The ransom note said, speaking to anyone about your situation such as the police, FBI etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies.If the call had been made while the two of them were together in the kitchen, with him telling her to make the call, why would she later state that she told him she was going to make the call, and then "ran downstairs" to make it while he "ran to check on Burke," whose room was UPstairs. As is evident from the video, John is sitting right next to her when she offers this version, and does not blink an eye. We may never know which version is the correct one, or whether both are fabrications, but what we DO know is that there is no basis for concluding that John told Patsy to make that call. And good reason to conclude that she made the call of her own volition, and against his will. As we shall see.
Patsy - "I said, 'I'm going to call the police and he said OK. And I think he ran to check on Burke. And I ran downstairs and, you know, dialed 911."
We must move now from the fact of the 911 call to the logic behind it. Which returns us to the all important "ransom note." If there was no intruder (see above), then the only possible motive for writing such a note would be to stage a kidnapping. And the only way to stage a kidnapping is to get the body of the victim out of the house before the police are called. Clearly, therefore, the person who wrote that note would NOT have wanted the police called while the body was lying in the basement, waiting to be discovered. Thus the FACT that Patsy is the one who called 911 tells us she could not have been the one who wrote it. Nor could she have been involved in staging the kidnapping, or she would not have wanted to make that call. While one might be tempted to suggest that Patsy wrote the note and an innocent John, with no knowledge of what she had done, forced her to call against her will, on a little reflection it's easy to see the flaw in such reasoning: if Patsy had written the note she would certainly have resisted any effort on John's part to induce her to call 911, and in the face of such resistance there is no reason on Earth why John could not have picked up the receiver and made the call himself.
Thus: based on the FACTS, and clear inferences based on those facts, we can rule out an intruder and we can rule out Patsy. Burke was clearly too young to have written that note. Leaving only John as the mastermind behind both the note and the kidnap staging in general. And once we realize that the note could only have been written by John, with no involvement from Patsy, then the identity of the killer should be obvious. While it's been argued that Burke could be the one who killed his sister, with his parents covering for him, once Patsy is ruled out that theory becomes extremely unlikely. (For a thorough discussion of Burke's possible involvement see my blog post here.)
For me, this is the essence of the case. And while it's possible to raise all sorts of objections, based on this that or the other little detail which might seem to implicate Patsy, Burke or even an intruder, in every case we are dealing with assumptions and speculations, NOT facts. As I see it, the undisputed facts point in one direction and one direction only. All else is conjecture.
Could I be wrong? Yes, of course. However, in the immortal words of the legendary detective known to the world as "Monk": "I don't think so."