To learn more, let's proceed to the report Miller sent to Darnay, as posted at the Acandyrose website. I've already produced an evaluation of Miller's report on this blog, but at this point I find it necessary to go into more detail.
He begins with this "Synopsis":
Based upon available exemplars compared to the purported "ransom" note in the JonBenét Ramsey murder, the handwriting is probably that of Patsy Ramsey.The "available exemplars," with links appearing at the end of the report, are a subset of those used by Cina Wong: Patsy's "letter to Miss Kit," a badge containing the text "Hello, I'm Marilyn Monroe," a photo caption reading "This is me when I was first born. That's my mom and the doctor," two other photo captions not reproduced, a poster reading "RAMSEY XMAS," and the "Rainbow Fish Players" caption discussed in my previous post. NB: Patsy's letter to Miss Kit is in cursive, thus not really comparable to the note, printed in manuscript; the Marilyn Monroe badge is an example of Patsy's calligraphy, not her writing; the text of the photo caption implies that it was written by Burke, though his mother might have taken on that role for the purpose -- did anyone ever bother to check?; the other two captions might also have been penned by Burke; the RAMSEY XMAS poster, like the badge, is drawn, not written; and the Rainbow Fish Players caption looks like it was formed originally with dots, and filled in, most likely, by Burke or JonBenet (see previous post). Taken as a whole, this is an extremely questionable assortment of odds and ends, hardly representative of anyone's writing, even if we assume it was all actually produced by Patsy.
Yet, according to Miller:
Fortunately, The Globe had given me “nothing but the best” in terms of handwriting specimens with which to compare Patsy’s handwriting to the cryptic letters their lawyers had released.Returning to the Synopsis, note the phrase "probably that of Patsy Ramsey." On his website, he writes of his "conviction" that she wrote it, referring to "a truth I had been certain of for months: that, yes, Patsy had written the ransom note." I'm wondering when his conclusion morphed from "probably" to "certain."
Miller begins the analysis proper with a discussion of "Disguised Writing," noting that,
In this analysis, the writer did not successfully identify her own traits for elimination and the unconscious, strongly formed habits of the handwriting of Patsy Ramsey remain evident.
A disguised writing typically contains evidence of the conflicting and persistent habits of the natural handwriting and the effort to suppress those habits while trying to letter with the opposite hand. Irregularities and inconsistencies will appear in the form of hesitations, possible variations of slant, grotesque letter formations, patching up of letters and slowly drawn strokes. All of these elements are found in the ransom note.Well, yes, I'd agree, more or less, though I'm not sure about the "opposite hand," as there is no way to be certain on that score. We do seem to find at least most of these elements in the ransom note. But what does this have to do with Patsy?
The next section is titled "Shape."
In this examination, shape provides numerous examples of Patsy Ramsey's handwriting in the ransom note. Take, for example, the "R" in Ramsey in the salutation of the note. The note's horizontal loop at the top of the "R" begins with an overhang to the left of the down stroke that forms the vertical stroke at the left. This same overhang is found in E-6 in the second "Ramsey."Miller's E-6 is the same RAMSEY XMAS poster already discussed in my critique of Cina Wong's analysis. What he calls the "second Ramsey" is the small "Ramsey" seen in the lower right of the poster, the only one with overhang:
And here, once again, is the "Ramsey" from the ransom note:
And, as I've already pointed out with reference to Cina Wong's claim, the two overhangs were formed in a completely different manner, the first as an extension of the left vertical, the second as an extension of the loop on the upper right. Nor do the two letters resemble one another in any other respect.
Further on in the letter on page two, the word "Speaking" contains a capital "S". That letter could virtually be superimposed over the capital "S" in "RAMSEY" in E-6. Here, the established habit of a non-curved initiation of the "S" which is then slightly retraced as it moves downward to complete the lower curve and the completion of the letter is obvious.Let's take a look:
I can see that the upper portion of the "S" in "Speaking" looks like a straight line, and it does look a bit as though there is some slight overlap as the writer's hand continues downward to complete the letter. And if you look really closely you might see some evidence of a similar overlap in the word "RAMSEY" on the right, though that's not at all clear from the reproduction provided at the website. But the latter was drawn in block lettering or possibly painted, while the former was written in manuscript style. And the letters are nowhere near identical, so the superimposition suggested by Miller would not be as impressive as he seems to think, as the similarity is far from "obvious." Moreover, the "S" in XMAS from the same poster was formed as one continuous curve, with no straight segment. And I don't see similar "s"s in the other exemplars attributed to Patsy, so it's hard to see this as an "established habit."
Compare Miller's example with the "s" in "Ramsey" from John's court document:
Looks to me like the upper segment of this "s" is also a straight line. We see similar examples in other "s"s from the same document, in the words "installer," discrepancy," "separate," "occassions" (sic), "settle," and "is":
We also see many examples of "s"s in the ransom note that have rounded tops. So, if you simply must have a match, then, one way or the other, you'll be sure to find one.
What follows is one of the most notorious examples of confirmation bias I've ever come across. Since I covered this segment of Miller's "analysis" in a previous post, I hope everyone will forgive me if I repeat myself here:
Miller's following paragraph is a masterpiece of presumption, confusion and obfuscation:
The effort to disguise the writing and the failure to do so occurs in the upper case "W" at the beginning of the QD in the word "We" in the sentence "We are a group of individuals . . . " when compared to E- 1 in the upper case "W" in the word "Wednesday." In Patsy Ramsey's strong hand, the first cup of the "W" is squeezed and appears much narrower than in the second cup. In the QD, the opposite occurs as the second cup is squeezed and is thus narrower than the first. This opposite squeezing of the cups occurs as the opposite hand reverses a tendency of the strong hand much like a person making a check mark with the strong hand will reverse that same mark if made with the opposite hand. It creates a mirroring, or a reversal, of the direction of the checkmark. It represents a failure of the writer to recognize her own handwriting characteristics and to avoid those characteristics while using the opposite hand.
Where to begin? Well, first of all, Miller is already, on the basis of no analysis whatsoever, presuming the ransom note is written with the "opposite hand," which would, in Patsy's case, be the left hand. So when he refers, in the fourth line, to Patsy's "strong hand," he is referring to her right hand, and the "W" in question is from the "Wednesday" on the upper right in the letter to Miss Kit:
He is comparing this letter to the "W" in "We are a group of individuals" from the first page of the ransom note:
Get it? This entire paragraph is about the fact that "the first cup of [Patsy's] 'W' is squeezed and appears much narrower than in the second cup," while, "In the QD, the opposite occurs as the second cup is squeezed and is thus narrower than the first. This opposite squeezing of the cups occurs as the opposite hand reverses a tendency of the strong hand . . ."
What, you may ask, is his point? Well, if you assume the note is written with the left hand (which he makes no effort to determine, but which might actually be the case), and Patsy's letter was written with the right hand; and if you assume Patsy wrote both documents (which is, of course, what Miller is trying to establish), then it makes sense to understand the reversal in the relative size of these two "cups" as due to her reversal of hands. But this makes sense only if we already presume ahead of time that Patsy wrote both documents. It tells us nothing whatever about whether that is actually the case, it only offers a theory regarding how certain spacings can get reversed when the opposite hand is used.
Miller makes no effort to claim the two letters actually look alike, which obviously they don't. However, someone reading that paragraph casually and without much effort at critical thinking might get the impression that his observations regarding these two very different exemplars are actually telling us something of relevance. Clearly they are not.
The following paragraph merely enumerates various instances of similar tendencies, found in both Patsy's exemplars and the note, to squeeze one or the other "cups" of the letter "w." Again, such observations are meaningful only if we already know ahead of time that Patsy wrote both the exemplars and the note. If it tells us anything more than that, Miller doesn't say. Nevertheless, he proceeds as though he has somehow presented evidence implicating Patsy -- as though the mere fact that the first "cup" of her "w"s tends to be narrower than the second proves she must have written the note with her opposite hand. He doesn't even seem to notice that this entire analysis is premised on the prior assumption that Patsy must have written the ransom note. Yet the only evidence he provides is the relative cup size of certain letters. He doesn't even attempt to match them. Not surprising, because there are no matches. Not even the relative sizes of the cups match -- unless one conveniently assumes that some sort of mirror image reversal is at work, which, again, remains to be proven.
Miller's next segment relates to "Size." And as should be clear, it's impossible to estimate letter size based on xerox copies, so his conclusion is a bit of a fudge:
Size therefore matches in the QD and the exemplars, but must be qualified due to the degree of estimation required to determine the natural size of Patsy Ramsey's handwriting.
Next comes "Slant":
As discussed earlier, variations of slant occur in a disguised writing. In the QD these variations are noted more consistently as the note begins, for instance in the "ll" of "carefully" in the sentence, "Listen carefully." The printed slant for Patsy Ramsey in E-2 through E-7 is vertical, known as an A slant. That is the general slant found in the QD, especially as the writing continues onto pages two and three. It represents, again, another category for comparison where Patsy Ramsey is probably the author of the QD.
What exactly is he saying here? According to Miller, most of Patsy's exemplars are "vertical," i.e. lacking in slant. Sorry, Tom, but that's not how it looks to me. We see a very clear right slant in the Letter to Miss Kit, as well as the Marilyn Monroe badge, and the inscription "This [is] me when I was first born," though the letters in "Rainbow Fish Players" look vertical. The ransom note contains letters that are back slanted and right slanted, though most are, in fact, vertical.
Regardless. Even if we agree that his description is accurate, in what universe does the fact that two documents exhibit the same slant tell us that both were written by the same person? Yes, "it represents a valid category for comparison," but by no stretch of the imagination does it even suggest that "Patsy Ramsey is probably the author of the QD."
In his discussion of "Baseline," Miller notes a tendency in the ransom note "to often place some letters above the printed rule. This occurs in the word "withdraw" on page one in the sentence, "You will withdraw $118,000.00 . . . " It occurs naturally without a printed rule in E-7 in the word "Fish."
Ah, yes. Once again the "Rainbow Fish Players" exemplar. And yes, unlike anything we find anywhere else in any of the exemplars attributed to Patsy, we see an erratic layout, where certain letters hover above the baseline. As I've already made clear, this examplar is completely different from any of the others and was probably traced by a child from a series of dots produced by an adult. We've already seen Patsy's version of the ransom note, so let's take a look at her London Letter:
See any letters hovering above the printed rule? Neither do I. Oh, what the heck, let's take another look at her "ransom note" just to be sure:
And no, sorry, but no cigar. Not one letter written "above the printed rule."
Under "Continuity," Miller notes the unusually wide spacing between words in the ransom note. This is indeed a very interesting, and unusual, feature of this document.
In the case of the QD, spacing of greater than a letter is noted between most words. This is also the case in E-1, E-3, E-4 and E-5.We have no copies of E-4 and E-5, but E-3 ("This [is] me when I was first born") does indeed exhibit wide spacing between words. E-1, the letter to Miss Kit, is a mixed bag in this respect, with some wide and some normal spacings. If we look above, however, to the London Letter and Patsy's version of the ransom note, the spacings look normal. Were they deliberately altered to look different from those in the note? Let's check with the following historic exemplar:
As to connecting strokes between letters, the QD frequently squeezes letters together to a point at which they abut each other. This trait is minimally observed in E-2, but is seen more extensively [as] found in E-3, E-4, E-5, E-6, and E-7.And yes, we can see certain letters that abut one another in the exemplars referred to -- but so what? In order for such a trait to be meaningful we would need statistics regarding the frequency with which letters abut in a large random sample of writings in a similar style from an array of different sources. In itself, such an observation means little, especially, as I'd assume, this is an extremely common trait.
In Miller's last two categories, "Arrangement" and "Speed and Pressure," his comments are brief and his comparisons vague. He sees some evidence that the ransom note was written slowly and suggets that this could be due to use of the opposite hand. But for all his emphasis on this factor, nowhere does he offer any real evidence that the ransom note was written in that manner.
Under OPINION, Miller summarizes the results of his findings:
Based upon the exemplars available, the handwriting of the "ransom" note and that of Patsy Ramsey have numerous and significant areas of comparison. Shape of letters is one of the more telling areas of comparison, but this category would not substantiate an opinion on its own. The additional categories of size, slant, baseline, continuity and arrangement add significantly to the opinion that Patsy Ramsey wrote the "ransom" note.I must say I'm more than a little outraged that anyone could come to such a conclusion based on the very feeble and unconvincing comparisons provided in Miller's report, as demonstrated above. Aside from his observations regarding word to word spacing, which might possibly have some significance, literally nothing else in this lengthy report reflects anything other than confirmation bias. If you doubt me, then by all means go back to the beginning of this post and read it again.