On the other hand, an extremely valuable investigative tool has almost been ignored -- the favorite tool of the legendary Sherlock Holmes -- logical deduction, also known as inference. Let me give you a few examples of how logical inference can be put to work in understanding certain meaningful aspects of this case:
My first, and most important, example is the 911 call, which I won't dwell on since I've already discussed it many times. Knowing that Patsy and not John made that call enables us to infer that John and not Patsy must be the guilty party and that Patsy must be innocent. For my explanation, see, for example http://solvingjonbenet.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-911-call.html
Here's another example, less central to the case as a whole, but nonetheless revealing. From The O'Reilly Factor, August 30, 1999:
COSSACK: Patsy, let me ask you a question. When I was a lawyer and before I would let my clients take a lie detector test, I used to made sure that they could pass their lie detector tests. I know you have very excellent lawyers, I know some of your lawyers. Have you privately taken a lie detector test? either of you? or both of you? and have you passed it already?
J. RAMSEY: You were asked the question, go ahead.
P. RAMSEY: I think that is kind of an inappropriate question, if you're so up on -- i think that's lawyer-client privilege and I don't wish to ruin that but...
J. RAMSEY: Being a lawyer, also recognize that any lawyer would tell their clients: Do not, under any circumstances, take a police polygraph test. They are subjective. We've gotten a number of letters from former polygraphers, we got one the other day from a retired FBI polygrapher, who said I could make the pope look deceptive, if I chose to do so. We got a letter from a state attorney general who said: You are absolutely correct, it must be fair and independent if you are going to do this. Don't give up on the point.It's not difficult to infer from this exchange that the Ramseys were in fact given a privately administered polygraph, and that one or both of them failed. Instead of answering the question, Patsy invokes lawyer-client privilege, which is of course irrelevant, since she is the client and not the lawyer, and is free to reveal whatever she chooses. And John follows up immediately by subtly changing the subject from an already administered private polygraph to a not yet administered police polygraph. If they hadn't been given a private polygraph it would have been very easy for them to say so, and if they'd passed any such polygraph they would certainly not have wanted to hide that fact.
Here's another example, relating this time to the publicly reported polygraph both finally took after being cornered into agreeing to take one during the same O'Reilly Factor interview.
From the Rocky Mountain News of May 25, 2000:
Edward Gelb, a respected California-based polygrapher, said he administered two tests to John Ramsey and three to Patsy Ramsey earlier this month. Both were asked whether they killed JonBenet or knew the killer. Patsy Ramsey also was asked whether she wrote the ransom note found in their home.It should be noted that the Ramseys refused to take a polygraph independently administered by a law enforcement agency, such as the Boulder Police Dept. or the FBI, but chose instead to hire a polygrapher of their own, whose examination, and report, they could control under the auspices of lawyer-client privilege. In this case, the inference to be drawn is not as straightforward but imo no less telling: the one who failed the earlier, private polygraph must have been John, and the question he failed on must have been about the ransom note.
How do we know this? Well, first of all, there was no reason for Gelb to refrain from asking the exact same questions of both John and Patsy. While it's true that, as far as Gelb was concerned, John had been "ruled out" as writer of the note, that doesn't mean he had no knowledge of who actually did write it. So the logical question to ask both of them would have been "do you know who wrote the ransom note?" NOT "did your yourself write it?" However, if John had failed the earlier, privately administered, polygraph when questioned about the note, then there is no way he would have agreed to be given the same question in an exam that was going to be reported publicly. And the fact that Gelb asked only Patsy and not John about the note confirms this. By logical deduction we are able to determine that, in all likelihood, John must have failed an earlier polygraph when asked about the ransom note.
For another example, we can turn to a completely different aspect of the case, the broken basement window. John claimed he had broken that window at some unspecified earlier date, possibly the previous summer. If in fact the window had not been broken previously, and the break was in fact fresh, then, given the lack of any evidence that anyone had actually passed through it, that could mean only one thing: someone living inside the house had broken the glass on the night of the murder, to clumsily stage an intruder breakin at that point.
One must assume that the condition of the broken glass was examined by the investigators to determine whether it was a fresh break or an old one, but the results of that examination have never been made public. Recently, with the release of a video showing for the first time a close-up of the broken window, it's possible to see some remnants of a cobweb attached to the broken shards, evidence that, to some, means the break must be old. This would be a mistake, however. Spiders always weave complete webs, not isolated strands of webbing. The bits and pieces of cobweb we see hanging off the glass shards can only be the remnants of a once intact web that was destroyed at the time the pane was broken. And if we have no way of determining when that time was, the bits of broken cobweb can tell us nothing of any use.
Never fear, however, because the condition of the window on the night of the crime can be inferred logically. Not on the basis of a direct examination of the glass, but indirectly, based on what was known to the police when they interviewed John and Patsy, both in 1997 and 1998. In 1997, John was interviewed extensively regarding his story about having broken into his house at an earlier time, after having misplaced his keys. (Or having not taken his keys with him when he flew out of town. Or having given his keys to his older son. His story has taken many different forms.) And, again, in 1998, he was also interviewed extensively and in great detail regarding this same story. Also, on both occasions, both he and Patsy were repeatedly questioned regarding whether or not the window had ever been repaired. (They could not recall.)
I'm sorry, but I can come up with no logical reason why the police would take so much time over such questions if it had already been determined that the break was old. If the experts concluded from the condition of the glass that this was an old break, there would have been no reason whatsoever to question John about his story, because obviously he would have been telling the truth, and nothing would be gained by learning the details of his breakin, not to mention whether the window had been repaired, since if the break were an old one then obviously it would not have been repaired. We can infer, therefore, from the nature of their questions, that either this was a fresh break, or, more likely, the investigators had not been able to determine whether it was new or old.
[Added at 1 PM: Looking at this situation from a somewhat different standpoint: when determining whether this was an old or new break, all they'd have needed to do would be examine the edges of the broken shards. If the edges were encrusted with a layer of dust, then clearly the break was old. If the edges were clean, then clearly the break was fresh. If the break was found to be old, then John was telling the truth and there would be no need to question him on this matter; nor would there have been any need to know whether the window had been repaired. Which tells us that the edges must have been clean, indicating a fresh break.
At this point I have a feeling the investigators must have been confused. A fresh break could mean a breakin by a real intruder, which I feel sure they strongly doubted, as there were no other signs of a breakin at that point, OR it could mean John was lying and broke the window himself the night of the crime, to stage a phoney breakin. But if he were staging, then why would he lie about breaking in earlier? I believe they were genuinely puzzled over John's story, which is why they never seem to have followed through on what certainly looks to be a blatant deception. As I see it, John's story is puzzling only when one fails to see it as an alibi, which the authorities apparently never figured out.
In any case, just between us, we should have no difficulty inferring that: 1. the window break must have been fresh; 2. John lied about breaking in earlier; 3. the window must have been broken by John on the night of the crime, NOT months earlier.]
One more example:
In his book, Foreign Faction, James Kolar cites research convincing him that a child as young as nine year old Burke could have been the one who penetrated JonBenet's vagina with his finger. Though he presents no evidence that Burke himself was sexually mature at that age, or even interested in girls, he manages to find some examples of nine year old boys who did all sorts of nasty things, including sexually molesting young females. On this basis, supplemented by various bits and pieces of evidence suggesting that Burke could have been a very disturbed child, he strongly implies that Burke must have both sexually assaulted and murdered his sister. It's necessary for him to include sexual assault in the mix, because JonBenet was in fact digitally penetrated and, given Kolar's conviction that there was no intruder, the only other likely candidate would have been her father -- but since Kolar does not want to go there, seeing John as a good Christian who could never be capable of such a thing, then he has no choice but to pin this incestuous act on Burke.
However: sifting through the various police reports we learn that JonBenet's body had been very thoroughly wiped down and, of course, we have to ask ourselves why. We learn also that her original panties appear to have gone missing -- and she was redressed in a pair much too large for her. Since it's very difficult to understand why the attacker would have gone to the trouble of both wiping down the body and discarding the original underpants for any other reason, it's not difficult to infer that he must have ejaculated and that some of his sperm must have spilled onto both the victim's body and her original underpants. We can infer on the same basis that Burke is not likely to have been the attacker for the simple reason that nine year old boys cannot normally produce sperm. According to medical authorities, boys begin to mature sexually anywhere from the age of 11 on. While some boys mature at an earlier age, they are definitely the exception. And I would venture to say with some confidence that sperm production at age nine would have to be extremely rare.