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

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

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

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Basic Dilemma

Just posted the following at the Topix forum, addressed to all my fellow sleuths, PDI, BDI, JDI and IDI, puzzling over this very puzzling, and vexing case:

Look, as far as this case is concerned, we are all faced with essentially the same dilemma:
No conclusive evidence of an intruder.
Nothing missing from the house.(i.e., no burglary)
No sign of forced entry. An intruder with a key would not have bothered to lock the door behind him when he left.
No reason for any kidnapper to wait to write his ransom note while in the house.
No reason for any kidnapper to not take the body of his victim.
No reason for any kidnapper to leave a note after deciding, for whatever reason, not to actually kidnap his victim.
No reason for a kidnapper to want to leave such a long note, written in his or her own hand, as this could be used as evidence against him.
No reason for any intruder to kill his victim and then hide the body.
No reason for any intruder to want to redress the body in a fresh pair of panties.
If the intruder was not wearing gloves, then we would have expected to find far more DNA and also fingerprints at the scene.
If the intruder was wearing gloves, then obviously he couldn't have been the source of the notorious "touch DNA"

Add up all the above and it's clear there was NO intruder.

Now as far as the Ramseys are concerned:

John ruled out as writer of the note.

Aside from Patsy not being ruled out, there is no evidence linking her to the crime.(Her fibers found at the crime scene could easily have been transferred via the victim herself.)
There was no motive for Patsy to kill her daughter.
There was no motive for Patsy to sexually assault her daughter, nor is it credible that she would want to stage such an assault, involving the penetration of her daughter's vagina and strangulation with a "garotte".
Patsy called 911 first thing in the morning, something the writer of the note specifically warned against and clearly would not have wanted.
The handwriting "experts" have been all over the place. And as I believe I've demonstrated on my blog, neither Patsy's left-hand sample or her London Letter match the writing on the note. Also on my blog I've gone over the reports of all Hoffmann's "experts," and exposed the shoddiness of their methodology, based on cherry picking rather than science.

So. No intruder. John ruled out. No evidence linking Patsy to the crime. Who dunnit?

What I see very little of on any of the forums, or even the books on this case is an acknowledgement of the depths of the above dilemma. The one little twig so many here are clinging to is the "fact" that John was ruled out and Patsy was not ruled out, so by process of elimination, Patsy "wins." Unfortunately such "logic" would never stand up in a court of law, because to prove someone's guilt you need more than the process of elimination, you need evidence, you need facts. And if there are any lawyers present, they know very well that many judges refuse to accept the opinion of handwriting "experts" as valid testimony and don't permit such testimony in their court.

Even if the opinions of handwriting "experts" were allowed in court, the opinions of the most experienced and highly regarded "experts" are almost unanimous in finding it unlikely Patsy wrote the note. Their opinions would certainly prevail over the opinions of "experts" hired (by Darnay Hoffman) with the specific intent of nailing Patsy to the wall. If she had been brought to trial, she would almost certainly have been acquitted.

As I see it, our strategy should be to look for a weak point in the array of various facts and logical propositions presented above. And to me there is one item that stands out like a sore thumb: the decision to rule John out.

Because this is, in fact, neither a fact nor a logical conclusion, but an opinion. And it is, moreover, an opinion that has never been questioned, nor has there ever been even the slightest amount of evidence offered to support it. And, finally, for anyone with a scientific background it is very hard to understand how such a conclusion could possibly be justified via any scientific method currently known in the field of forensics. 


  1. Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It's on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

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  2. Doc I am a big fan of the blog and hold the same belief as you that John was the culprit of this crime. The one thing I cannot wrap my head around is the DNA evidence. They found DNA underneath her fingernails that did not match the ramsey's nor anyone else in their entire system. They also found DNA in her underwear that is believed to be saliva (disgusting). Have you posted a section covering this? What are your thoughts? Was DNA planted? It just doesn't make sense. My hunch is that John either killed her or directly knows who killed his daughter and let the accomplice into his home or provided them with a key during the night of the murder. I dont mean to digress here but any feedback on this would be great.

  3. Well, first of all, it's incorrect to say they didn't find any Ramsey DNA on the body. Of course they would have found it, why wouldn't they, since they were her parents and both were in intimate contact with her at various times that day. As for the rest, it's been pretty well established that the DNA under her fingernails was contaminated at the lab. None of it was taken from skin cells, by the way, so the theory that the DNA was due to the fact that she scratched her attacker does not hold up.

    The DNA found in her underwear was assembled from microscopic fragments found mixed with her own DNA in some blood. It could not be associated with actual cells, so it could have gotten there in any number of ways, possibly from saliva, possibly from a sneeze, or it could simply be residue from some casual contact with another child or adult from school or a party or just about anywhere. If it had been planted, there would certainly have been a lot more of it, so that can safely be ruled out. What is often not understood is how easily such microscopic traces can be transferred due to casual contacts and then retransferred as the recipient touches various articles of clothing or parts of her body. It could even have originated from a dog she petted that had collected traces of the DNA of all the other people who petted it.

    It seems clear to me that the DNA is just another red herring, the sort of thing defense lawyers love to strew in the path of investigators, to slow them down, and also very handy for the usual sort of reasonable doubt defense. For more details on this, I suggest this post and the one that follows. Also, I highly recommend the analysis of the DNA evidence in Kolar's book, which is very thorough and knowledgeable.

  4. so why do i read that even now in 2013 the dna is put through a database, if either contaminated or of no use if was transferred. And what of the clothing i.e pants that were too big, that she was found in.?

  5. First of all, the "touch DNA" they found was not contaminated. And there was enough to make it eligible for the database. But it's eligibility for the database has nothing to do with how it was transferred. No one knows for sure how, so it would still be useful if a match were found. My point is that there is no reason to assume, as the DA assumed, that this has to be the DNA of JonBenet's attacker.

  6. so come on docg, what do you think? did jr have help, or could he have done this on his own. As for dna, are you saying it has nothing to do with her murder.

    1. I see no reason why John would have wanted or needed anyone else's help. I think what happened was strictly between him and his daughter. And if you think about it just a bit, you'll see how unlikely it is that he'd have wanted to share the fact that he'd murdered his daughter with his wife, so she could assist him in a coverup. Why would she have wanted to do that?

      And yes, as far as the dna is concerned, unless a match is found, that "evidence" is meaningless because there are too many ways it could have been innocently transferred. Actually, even if a match were found that might not mean anything either because the intruder theory is so absurd and the possibility of innocent transfer so strong a good lawyer could easily get the matching individual off the hook.