Nevertheless, I've come up with a strategy that just might work despite the above-stated obstacles. Pay attention, please. This is going to be long, but it's really quite simple and straightforward:
1. I am, first of all, going to assume that the basement window had been broken on the night of the crime, rather than months earlier, as John has claimed. It's not difficult to see through his lame story about having broken in earlier. It's not credible that he and Patsy were unable to recall whether that window had ever been repaired. Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, the housekeeper, denied any knowledge of any broken window and accused them of lying. Especially important is the fact that the investigators insisted on questioning John at great length about this story, and on two separate occasions. This in itself tells me that inspection of the edges of the broken glass revealed them to be fresh, and not encrusted with a layer of dust.
To me it's obvious that his story is a lie. However, Patsy, whom I feel sure was innocent, backed up his story, which creates a serious problem if we want to argue that John and not Patsy wrote the note, and that Patsy called 911 in all innocence, foiling John's plan. There is, however, another approach that I hadn't considered before. The prosecution can agree to accept John's story, or at least not contest it, but focus instead on the findings of the investigators who inspected the broken glass. If they concluded that the edges were fresh, which must have been the case, then that could mean only two things: either John's story is a lie OR the window had been repaired.
If John lied, then obviously his goose is cooked. And if the window had been repaired, then his story about breaking in earlier, lie or no lie, is beside the point. (NB: John would be unable to argue that the window had never been repaired since he's already testified that he can't recall.) The question then becomes: who broke that window and why. It's important to remember at this point that the police saw no sign of forced entry at that window. An undisturbed spider web was found straddling both the grate over the window well and the lawn; another undisturbed spider web was photographed in the window opening itself. A thick layer of undisturbed dust and grime is apparent in a photo of the window sill. Clearly, no one went through that window. If no one went through the window, then there is no way an intruder could have broken the glass. The only other possibility is that the glass was broken from the inside by someone already inside the house. Clear evidence that an intruder breakin had been staged.
So it matters not whether Patsy backed up John's story, because even if his story is true, the evidence tells us the window must have been broken, or rebroken, on the night of the crime, by someone on the inside to stage an intruder breakin. At that point we can forget about any intruder theory. All the unsourced fibers, HiTec boot prints, stun guns, and "touch DNA" in the world isn't going to make that one fly.
2. We can then return to the 911 call to emphasize the fact that it was Patsy and not John who called the police first thing in the morning. The prosecution would point out that if the two of them had been in it together, the call would not have been made, as the discovery of the body hidden in the house nullified the effect of the patently phoney ransom note. And since it was Patsy who made the call, then John must be the guilty one. At this point, John would have no choice but to insist that he forced Patsy to make that call against her will, claiming that, as Steve Thomas has argued, he was not aware at the time that Patsy had "accidentally" killed JonBenet, and written the note to stage a kidnapping.
3. That in itself would be huge, because their story had always been that both agreed without any discussion to call in the police. For the first time, John would be admitting to a lie. And more than just a lie, because what reason would he have had to lie except to cover for Patsy, meaning that at some point, as Thomas argued, he must have figured out that Patsy was the guilty party and decided to collaborate with her on the coverup. And at that point his lawyers would remind us that the statute of limitations had run out on aiding and abetting, so John couldn't be prosecuted.
4. End of case? Not really. Because for one thing it's hard to believe that the CEO of a billion dollar company would want his hysterical wife to call the police rather than take charge and do it himself. For another, it's hard to believe that if Patsy was the guilty party she would meekly have agreed to make that call -- certainly she would have resisted. And if she was refusing to make the call, then why would an innocent John bother to force her to make it when he could easily have made it himself? And finally, once he's admitted to lying, then his credibility has vanished. The jury no longer has any reason to believe anything he says.
5. Regardless of what sort of explanation John might want to offer for not making the call himself, there is a considerable body of additional evidence pointing to him, and not Patsy. First and foremost, JonBenet was the victim of a sexual assault. Her vagina was digitally penetrated, drawing blood. And according to the Medical Examiner's report, there was chronic injury to the wall of the vagina, which, in the opinion of many forensic experts, notably Cyril Wecht, was a surefire indicator of prior sexual abuse. Such evidence points very strongly to a mature male, and not a female, attacker. (Certainly not, by the way, to a nine year old boy, in case John might decide to claim he was only covering for his son, the Cub Scout turned sex maniac.) There are also the fibers from John's shirt found in the victim's panties, panties fresh out of their plastic container, as the original panties had been discarded and JonBenet had been redressed in fresh ones. It's been established, moreover, that the fresh pair of panties were from a set Patsy had purchased for another girl, that were several sizes too large for JonBenet. It's far more likely that her father would have made such a mistake, rather than Patsy, who knew very well the difference between the proper sized and oversized pair. Moreover, the device used to strangle JonBenet was made using a fairly sophisticated knot, the sort of thing John might well have learned to tie in the Navy, and not likely to be the sort of thing your typical housewife and pageant mom would know anything about.
6. We come now to the ransom note itself. On the basis of its content alone we can see it as part of a plan that could only have worked for John, as it was addressed to him, and stated that it was "up to you, John," to raise the ransom and get it to the kidnappers. Which would have put him in complete control of the situation, and given him the perfect cover to dump the body while claiming to have been delivering the ransom -- had Patsy not made the 911 call. Additionally, many exemplars in the note bear a striking resemblance to John's hand as we see it in a legal document that managed to get leaked to one of the tabloids years ago, and has never been contested by anyone in the Ramsey camp. I've produced two graphic displays illustrating this resemblance very clearly. And so has an independent forensic document professional, Fausto Brugnatelli. There are also several words and phrases in the note echoing aspects of John's verbal style, such as his habitual use of percentage figures, his use of the phrase "and hence," his use of the phrase "for proper burial," etc.
7. Finally we come to the apparently decisive decision, on the part of six forensic documentation "experts," to "rule out" John as writer of the note. The defense is sure to press that point, arguing that the "experts" determined John could not possibly have written it, and in all this time no one in law enforcement has ever come forward to challenge that verdict. I've offered several arguments questioning that decision on this blog, but of course my arguments aren't going to carry much water in a court of law.
Turns out, however, I have an ace up my sleeve, in the form of an argument presented by, of all people, Lin Wood, John's principal defender. As paraphrased by judge Julie Carnes, as part of her summation of the defense, in the case Chris Wolf brought against the Ramseys, it goes like this:
Defendants argue that the opinions of plaintiffs' expert should not be admitted because the field of forensic document examination is not sufficiently reliable. In their Brief in Support of the Motion in Limine, defendants argue that the "science" of handwriting analysis does not meet the reliability standards of Rule 702: as the theoretical bases underlying this science have never been tested; error rates are neither known nor measured; and the field lacks both controlling standards and meaningful peer review. (Br. In Supp. Of Mot. In Limine 68 at 2.) (Carnes 2003:49) (see online at http://www.acandyrose.com/03312003carnes31-40.htm) (my emphasis).