* DNA Update -- History Repeats Itself: Twice now Boulder District Attorneys have misled the public in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case. [KGOV updated this report on Oct. 28, 2019.]
- DNA Not from a Single Intruder: In 2016 Boulder's Daily Camera and Denver's 9News obtained the crime scene DNA report and their undisputed analysis found that in two of the three DNA specimens, the "a 3rd person's genetic markers" were present. The Camera's headline: DNA in doubt: New analysis challenges DA's exoneration of Ramseys. Further, from USA Today, "three forensic experts who examined the DNA test results and lab reports used by [D.A. Mary] Lacy say they do not support her conclusion. For one thing, a sample on [JonBenet's] underwear identified as coming from 'Unknown Male 1' may in fact be a composite from multiple people". That the DNA was not of a single person but from multiple people removes the "best evidence" for the intruder theory. Further, District Attorney Lacy had been told that the foreign DNA was from multiple people and not from a single intruder! Yet in 2008 Lacy became the second Boulder D.A. to grossly mislead the public, in her case through confirmation bias by withholding the whole truth and implying that the DNA pointed to a single intruder. Of course, this brand new revelation, DNA specimens on JonBenet's underwear from multiple persons, reinforces the theory of the case argued on air for two decades by Denver radio talk show host Bob Enyart.
- Grand Jury Votes to INDICT the Ramseys: The previous district attorney in liberal Boulder, Alex Hunter, in 1999, effectively lied to the nation, mislead everyone into believing that the Ramsey Grand Jury had not voted to indict the parents. The Denver Post quoted Hunter, "The grand jurors have done their work extraordinarily well... we do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated..." But as not revealed until 2013 by the newspaper of record, the Boulder Camera, with this headline: JonBenet Ramsey grand jury voted to indict parents in 1999! This revelation startlingly fulfilled a predicted parallel with the murder case of Robert Redford's daughter's boyfriend. As lead detective Steve Thomas wrote in his bestselling 2000 book JonBenet, "Hunter can continue to dodge questions about what really happened. But it took fifteen years to learn of the deal that was made that cripplled the Thayne Smika grand jury, and no lie can live forever." Prediction confirmed. So the Ramsey grand jurors, even without hearing from the lead detectives and without summoning John and Patsy, voted to indict them with multiple felonies including child abuse resulting in death, as is consistent of course with this BEL report, The Clue the Breaks the Case.
District Attorneys Hunter and Lacy grotesquely misled the public, illustrating that the bureaucracy in an easy-on-crime college town cannot be trusted. (For example, Hunter admitted his city plea-bargained more than 93% of its cases. But that included nearly 100% of its felony cases, such as requiring only three years probation, served in the Caribbean no less, for the fugitive caught 11 years after slitting from ear to ear the throat of a man on the Pearl Street Mall. Hunter also cut a deal to not prosecute the murderer of the boyfriend of Robert Redford's daughter.) So consider instead this report (or listen to today's Bob Enyart Live) from a long-running Denver talk radio program that airs on Colorado's most-powerful radio station, the 50,000-watt AM 670 KLTT. So from our own efforts toward obtaining justice for JonBenet prior to God's coming day of judgment, we submit to you:
Some evidence in the JonBenet Ramsey murder points toward her parents and other evidence seems to clear them. If the whole truth could be discerned, it would explain every piece of evidence, because real events produced every bit of the crime scene. Sometimes, a single key opens many doors, and one piece pulls the puzzle together. JonBenet's murderer inadvertently put the key piece of evidence into the ransom note.
On Christmas night 1996, at 755 15th Street (retagged now as 749 15th St.), in the Boulder Colorado mansion of her parents, John and Patricia Ramsey, JonBenet was murdered. Death resulted from both a severe blow to the head that fractured her skull across the length of her head, and by strangulation with a cord tightened with a broken stick around her neck. The six-year-old girl had also been vaginally assaulted prior to her death. Consider the following observations:
· Patsy Ramsey called 911 at 5:52 a.m. on Dec. 26 telling police that her daughter was missing and that she had found a ransom note. Patsy told the police that while walking down their back stairs, a spiral staircase, she found the note laid out in three pages across one of the lower steps. Investigators had a hard time reenacting Patsy's steps on the steep, tight spiral stairway without falling or stepping on the note. (A few months later, reading the handwriting sample from JonBenet's 20-year-old half-brother John Andrew Ramsey, the detectives noted a familiar theme heard from family and friends. "I think it was someone that had intimate knowledge of my family and how we lived day to day. [For example, why] would they leave the ransom note on the back staircase instead of the front?")
· Boulder's 911 operator Kim Archuletta says, "I just remember having that sunken feeling... The problem was, if you hear the frantic in her voice when she's speaking to me, where she couldn't even answer my questions, it immediately stopped... it sounded like she said 'Okay, we've called the police, now what?' And that disturbed me... To me, it seemed rehearsed…"
· At 5:55 a.m. neighbors Fleet and Priscilla White are called to the Ramsey home, along with other friends. (Incidentally, before 6:45 a.m., John Ramsey telephoned his pilot.)
· Detectives found a partial draft of the ransom note in the home, and the legal pad on which the final ransom had been written on three of seven pages torn from the center of the pad. And although it may seem too obvious even to point out, realize that unlike in the JonBenet Ramsey murder:
- a kidnapper doesn't write the ransom note in the house
- a kidnapper doesn't write that he respects his victim's business
- a kidnapper doesn't molest the victim in the house
- a kidnapper doesn't kill the victim in the house
- a kidnapper doesn't ask for money for a corpse
- a kidnapper doesn't hang out writing and rewriting a note
- a kidnapper doesn't leave the victim behind in the house
- a kidnapper doesn't forget to call to arrange to get the ransom money
- a kidnapper doesn't break in on Christmas risking family stay overs
- a kidnapper doesn't put oversized underwear found in the house on the victim
- a kidnapper doesn't bring someone to the crime (3rd person's DNA on a stain), and
- a kidnapper certainly doesn't do ALL of the above.
A predator, likewise, doesn't break in to molest a child while the parents are home and he sure doesn't stop to write a ransom note. (If it helps to think through these observations, replace the word kidnapper above with "intruder". And as Det. Thomas has asked, "Would an intruder take the trouble to fake an elaborate kidnapping to disguise a murder?")
· Ransom note excerpts: "Mr. Ramsey, Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent (sic) a small foreign faction. We respect your bussiness (sic) but not the country that it serves. At this time we have your daughter in our posession (sic). She is safe and unharmed and if you want her to see 1997, you… will withdraw $118,000… I will call you between 8 and 10 am tomorrow to instruct you on delivery. The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested. If we monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence an earlier pickup of your daughter. Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of your daughter. … You can try to deceive us, but be warned we are familiar with Law enforcement countermeasures… You and your family are under constant scutiny (sic) as well as the authorities. Don't try to grow a brain John. … Don't underestimate us John. Use that good, southern common sense of yours. It's up to you now John! Victory! S.B.T.C."
· The note's time element indicates it was composed around midnight. "At this time we have your daughter… I will call you [by] 10 am tomorrow…"
· Consider the phrase, "I advise you to be rested." A kidnapper would not normally give such advice to his victims. And as the detectives have pointed out, no one urges "sleeping people" to get rest.
· The ransom note refers to JonBenet 14 times but never by name. In typical "distancing fashion", and like the 911 call itself, the note states for example, "if you want her to see 1997" avoiding the personal, "If you ever want to see JonBenet again..."
· The letter, abnormally long for a ransom note, would have taken 21 minutes just to write, plus the time to compose and to write the draft version.
· After the note was complete, Patsy's pad of paper was returned to its place on her hallway desk and the pen used was also returned to its place by the phone in the kitchen, the actions of either a very tidy intruder or a mother dispersing the office supplies she used to write the note.
· The ransom demanded a relatively small ransom, exactly equal to Mr. Ramsey's annual bonus as president and CEO from Access Graphics, the billion-dollar company that he helped launch.
· Detectives found Ramsey handwriting samples in the home that were similar to the style on the "ransom" note.
· The note's immediate misspellings and grammatical error: bussiness, posession, represent[s], were intended to establish the author's ignorance. But, assuming the misdirection was accomplished, the author slid into a more natural use of terms that belie a better education. Adequate, attache, countermeasures, and hence betray the attempted deception. Scutiny for scrutiny was the final reminder of being uneducated. The Ramseys later public use of not only "hence", but the even somewhat less common "and hence", and the particular way in which they used the phrase, are consistent with Ramsey authorship.
· Considering the possibility of an intruder, the police looked for but saw no footprints around the house or outside its windows or in the frost coating of the balcony outside JonBenet's room. Photographic evidence and the early local news reports contradict the later claims that the weather and yard condition were insufficient for an intruder to leave footprints. (Boulder's daily weather data available since 1897, not available officially for December 1996 from the Boulder-located NOAA, yet perhaps preserved here.) Reportedly, the evening of December 25th saw very light snow in Boulder with a temperature range on the 26th from 30 to 53 degrees Fahrenheit. However, neither the lawn nor the slowly melting snow recorded the footprints of any intruder. (By the way, with Boulder at 40 degrees N and the winter Sun low in the sky, the shadows at the Ramsey's east-facing house timestamp this Dec. 26th crime scene photo as just after noon.)
· A room on the opposite side of the basement from JonBenet's body had a wooden casement window with broken glass. John Ramsey indicated that previously he had broken that pane to break into the house. Detectives noted that window had a dusty sill and a large unbroken spiderweb in its upper left corner. (Officers had noted likewise throughout the house cobwebs and painted-closed and undisturbed dust and debris on window sills.) However, regarding the claim of an intruder, the city's police chief later wrote, "Most investigators do not believe there was a legitimate point of entry. It is unknown how an intruder may have gotten in. [Colorado Springs investigator] Lou Smit always believed it was the basement window, but we did not agree with him, as the dust and spider web were undisturbed." Smit in the photo, right, attempted to vindicate the parents but instead makes it obvious that the dust and web disprove the favorite version of the intruder theory. (An accomplished detective, Smit began investigating the Ramsey case with one of the greatest possible biases. He had received alcolades for solving a 1991 case arresting a professed serial murderer who confessed to killing a 13-year-old girl whose father had been wrongly suspected. As though he were reworking the case that made him famous, he once again proclaimed a suspected father innocent, this time, after less than three days in Boulder.)
· There were no signs of forced entry. The alarm system had not been activated. Four people were known to be in the house that night, JonBenet, her parents and her nine-year-old brother Burke. The parents didn't search their son's room for a possible intruder and instead left him alone there throughout much of that day.
· A paintbrush handle was broken in two to make from one half the garrote used to strangle the daughter. Identified by the matching broken ends and multicolored splatter, the other half of the brush was found in a nearby basement room put away in Patsy's plastic tote box that contained her painting supplies. (This was similar to all the "putting away" instances in the crime. The murderer put away into their separate places both the pad and the marker used to write the "ransom" note, and closed two doors, first the one to JonBenet's bedroom and lastly, where someone gently wrapped her in a blanket "like a papoose", as John put it, the door to the basement's far storage room. That door was not only closed but fastening shut with a latch.) On the floor next to Patsy's paint supplies box were the very splinters showing where someone fashioned the murder weapon.
· The Boulder police have no evidence pointing to Burke and have never considered him a suspect in the strangulation (see photo of garrote knot) murder of his sister. (The lack of upward drag marks on the child's neck indicates that she was strangled only and not dragged with it by Burke as some have claimed.) Of course physically, he could have swung the flashlight that may have been what cracked her skull. But that does not explain the complete lack of personal affection toward their daughter in the "ransom" note, such as the fourteen references to her but never by name. The Ramseys knew Boulder, Colorado was a bastion of liberalism. Burke injuring his sister would lead to a frantic 911 call, not to the staging of a molestation (see the Bloomingdale's underwear, below) and murder scene. Even if the sister had died, and especially with the army of lawyers the family could afford, the city would view it as accidental killing of a sibling by a nine-year-old child and Burke would probably not be punished at all. Also, the parents would realize that their well-being would be vulnerable, for decades to come, on Burke not blurting out the truth and exposing them. Further, the sibling theory does not explain the extraordinary behavior of the parents and letting their warning fester for years, of "hold your babies tight" because there's a murderer on the loose.
· Detective Linda Arndt, who had arrived before 8:30 a.m. became the only law enforcement officer on the scene after the other officers had left at 10:30 a.m. until the discovery of the body at 1:05 p.m., remembers Mr. Ramsey's demeanor when he initially greeted her as not distraught nor even upset, but cordial.
· Arndt says that the Ramseys did not spend those morning hours in each other's company. While typically, parents cling to one another when a child is injured or killed, Patsy stayed in the sunroom with friends and John stayed mostly in his den, and read his mail in the kitchen (and as he later admitted, snuck off to the basement at one point).
· When asked that morning who might be responsible for the crime, John gave police the name of an employee; and Patsy gave the name of one of her housekeepers. Really.
· Arndt says that 10 a.m., the ransom note deadline, passed unnoticed. She says that the Ramseys did not remark whatsoever regarding the fact that the kidnapper had not called. This was a full three hours before John Ramsey "discovered" his daughter's body.
· Arndt says that she asked the Ramseys and their friends to examine the ransom note for clues, and that almost everyone offered ideas to her except Mr. Ramsey.
· Linda Arndt, who by all appearances months later had a nervous breakdown over the case, says at the time that she was confused about why the Ramseys would not speak to her.
· Arndt suggested Mr. Ramsey search the home. (Up to that moment, at 1 p.m., he hadn't even looked into each room in their house for his daughter.)
· The only FBI agent on the scene that day, Ron Walker, has stated that, "Virtually every staged murder scene that I have seen, the perpetrator manipulates the arrival of friends or other family members, who are then put in a situation where they actually discover the body, or they are with the perpetrator as the body is discovered." So at this point John Ramsey grabbed his friend Fleet White by the arm and "made a beeline" for the basement door, there discovering JonBenét's body.
· When they came upon the corpse in the basement, Ramsey ripped the duct tape from her mouth and picked up the 47 inch long, 45 pound body. The sticky side of the tape had a perfect imprint of the young girls lips, but no indication of a protruding tongue or any effort to dislodge the tape. Thus the tape was used as a prop in staging a scene to make it look like the girl was being abducted.
· A cord was tied, far too loosely to restrain a living child, on the dead girl's wrists to stage an abduction scene.
· The circuitous route to the basement wine cellar where the body was "found" would be very difficult to navigate by a stranger, especially at night, especially if the child had been struggling, and especially when the staircase light switch is not in an expected location on a wall, but above and behind someone entering the stairs. Patsy's mother Nedra Paugh repeated to the detectives what had become a theme from family, a former nanny, and friends. "You couldn't find the basement in that house if you didn't know where it was. You know it was down, but which door would you go through to find it? There's a lot of doors that look like a basement door in that house."
· When Fleet White ran upstairs shouting for an ambulance, Priscilla White and Barbara Fernie left their friend on a couch and hurried toward the comotion but Patsy stayed where she was.
· Arndt saw Mr. Ramsey carrying the body from the basement, JonBenet's unsupported arms extended above her head, and realized that rigor mortis had set in, and that she had been dead for some time. Arndt quotes the father as telling her just then, "It has to be an inside job."
· Such rigor mortis sets in after about six to twelve hours. There was also the scent of decomposition.
· Patsy said her daughter went to bed wearing a red turtleneck although that was found balled up in her bathroom and she was instead wearing what she had worn at the Christmas party, a white pullover. (Patsy for years dealt with severe bed-wetting and similar challenges with her daughter. Detectives took note of this while considered the change of clothes and the unanimous opionion of their pediatric panel that JonBenet suffered previous abuse.)
· At 1:30 p.m. a detective overheard John Ramsey talking by phone to his pilot and arranging a trip to Atlanta that evening for himself, his wife and son. Det. Sgt. Larry Mason told him, "You can't leave."
· Literally, within only a few hours of finding their daughter's dead body, the Ramseys began assembling their team of many lawyers and private investigators. John hired separate attorneys for him and Patsy. They paid for lawyers for a number of other family members, and very early even hired a high-powered public relations expert. In the early days of the case the Boulder police unwisely treated the Ramseys like nothing other than victims. Yet apparently it never occured to John or to his very capable private investigators, who were hard at work by the day after the murder, to share anything, not even "a shred of their findings", with the police who were at work searching for whoever did this to JonBenet.
· From the autopsy, the coroner Dr. John Meyer found evidence of sexual assault from the previous night: a small abrasion and small amounts of her own blood in both her underwear and vagina. Three medical experts consulting for the police say that the injuries were also consistent with prior sexual abuse. As the Denver Post reported, the Dec. 27 autopsy "found scraping and swelling of the child's vaginal area, as well as a series of scrapes on the back of her right shoulder, left lower back and left lower leg. Sheila Rappaport, a Denver prosecutor who tries individuals accused of sexually assaulting or killing small children, said such a pattern is indicative" of such assault. (Because skull fractures often do not produce bleeding, the minimal blood from JonBenet's large fracture does not indicate whether she had first been strangled.) A black light helped reveal that her body had been wiped clean but that a residue of blood was left on her thighs. (Also, the paintbrush handle that was used as a ligature had a broken-off tip never found at the house.) "Cause of death of this six year old female is asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma."
· In an unguarded moment during an online chat in 2015 in a forum which he thought was relatively private, Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner placed more focus on the parents than he normally would. He wrote, "We know from the evidence she was hit in the head very hard with an unknown object, possibly a flashlight or similar type item. The blow knocked her into deep unconsciousness, which could have led someone to believe she was dead. The strangulation came 45 minutes to two hours after the head strike, based on the swelling on the brain. While the head wound would have eventually killed her, the strangulation actually did kill her. The rest of the scene we believe was staged, including the vaginal trauma, to make it look like a kidnapping/assault gone bad."
· John Ramsey says that he had carried a sleeping JonBenet from the car straight to her bed that night. The coroner found something in her stomach "which may represent fragment of pineapple." The party she attended that night had served no pineapple, but police found a bowl of pineapple on the Ramsey's dinning room table, with only Patsy's fingerprints on the bowl and spoon.
· The murderer draped one of JonBenet's blankets around her body. That blanket held a pubic hair not linked to any family member. Unidentifiable DNA material, not from a single intruder, but a "composite from multiple people", was on her underwear and beneath her fingernails. Also, DNA "on her long johns appear to come from JonBenet and at least two other people, not one". An unidentifiable palm print of unknown age was on the wine cellar door. The panties on her body were too large for JonBenet and with her long johns, contained a stain with male DNA which could not be linked to any house member but which was later linked, in 2008, to DNA on the waistband of the long johns that she was also wearing. (It is true of course that even new clothing can come with DNA present, but new clothes don't come with DNA in stains, as with JonBenet's clothing.)
· Upon viewing the body, Patsy exclaimed that she had never before seen the underwear on her daughter's corpse. Detectives later found out that Patsy had recently purchased that very pair of underwear at Bloomingdale's in New York for her 12-year-old niece, but that JonBenet begged to have it kept for her, so Patsy put it away to save it for her. Prior to the murder, even friends of the family knew of this underwear story. If Patsy did recognize the distinctive underwear, and was lying, then she was trying to point the police to the exculpatory evidence, which she knew had been planted. The underwear alone proves the case. (Recovery of such vital evidence occurred despite Boulder's untrustworthy and obstructionist district attorney running interference for the Ramseys, for example, by repeatedly denying search warrant applications and hindering investigators' standard efforts to obtain credit card and telephone records, etc.)
· Officer Barry Harkopp interviewed next door neighbors and reported that Scott Gibbons saw strange lights and movements coming from the kitchen area around midnight; and neighbor Melody Stanton awoke her husband around midnight after hearing a scream, and he stated he heard "the sound of metal clashing against cement." The Ramseys say they heard none of this.
· Police found a Ramsey family flashlight on the kitchen counter, which was not normally kept on that counter, but nearby.
· On Dec. 27, 1996 Patsy Ramsey, being exhausted and lying down, reached up and touched the face of a friend, Pam Griffin, the woman who had made JonBenet's pageant costumes. Griffin thought Patsy was delirious when she asked, "Couldn't you fix this for me?" as though a sewing machine could bring back her daughter. She then remembers Patsy saying, "We didn't mean for this to happen" and Griffin got the definite feeling that in her weakened condition, Patsy had revealed that she knew who the killer was.
· Regarding the ransom note, no fingerprints were found on it even though it was "read" by the Ramseys and moved by them, yet multiple fingerprints from Patsy were found on the pad the pages were taken from. Patsy said only that she didn't recall if she ever touched the note, ran upstairs with it, etc.
· Two minutes of Patsy refusing to acknowledge recognizing her own handwriting on the photos of herself and JonBenet in her own family's photo album. On one of Patsy as a baby she wrote, "This [was] me when I was first born. That's my Mom and the doctor."
· Police experts analyzed handwriting samples from 73 persons in and around the case and only one person could not be ruled out. On March 5, 1997, John Ramsey and Burke were cleared as writers. The investigators believe Patsy wrote the note and on April 14, 1997, they request from her a fifth handwriting sample. An expert used by the FBI assessed for the Boulder PD that after the crime, only one person of those investigated made a conscious effort to change their handwriting. Compared to her previous writings, after she had received a copy of the ransom note, Patsy changed her handwriting habits including for example her distinctive way of writing the lowercase 'a'.
· In addition to her special sign-off and indentation similarities found by detetives, an ABC 20/20 program from 20:10 to 21:30 presents some of over 200 similarities found, including surprising idiosyncrasies, between Patsy's handwriting, with those in the ransom note. (When you reach 21:30, come right back here so you don't miss the most extraordinary evidence!)
· Similarities between multiple ways of forming As and Bs can be seen here as well as similarities forming the letter q like the number 8, the "te" connection, a sharp-pointed c, and the use of a misplaced capital L. With Cina Wong, the same handwriting expert interviewed by 20/20, Investigation Discovery produced this 2-minute ransom note analysis:
· The Ramseys have often resisted cooperating with the ongoing investigation, as for example, on Feb. 19, 1997 when they refused to allow police to interview John's oldest son, John Andrew. A known feud developed early on between the detectives and District Attorney Alex Hunter. Potentially, the FBI or Colorado's attorney general could have brought obstruction of justice charges against Boulder district attorney officials and perhaps even charged Hunter himself with being an accessory after the fact. The unlawful leaking of crucial evidence to the team of lawyers which John Ramsey began assembling within a few hours of the discovery of his daughter's corpse, and the constant blocking of the most routine investigative tools, such as a search warrant for credit card records, would be only the start of the evidence against them. Accusations of conflict of interest suggested the reason for Hunter's frequent conflict with detectives and sheltering of the Ramseys. For example, on Jan. 16, 1998, the Ramseys refused a police request for a second interview, but on June 25th allowed Hunter's office to question them. (This was very possibly done to give the D.A. an excuse to not call them as witnesses before the grand jury, which would have been a much more serious questioning.)
· Linda Wilcox, a housekeeper, described the Ramseys, upon finding a flood in their home, Patsy panicking, and John as controlled but "furious," so filled with "rage" that his eyes "almost changed color." The Denver Post in a nuanced piece, about material reported in the tabloids, indicates nonetheless that another former "housekeeper Geraldine Vodicka... says Mrs. Ramsey was paranoid that her husband 'would be tempted by any pretty young girls he came in contact with.' Therefore, women hired for the household staff had to be 'heavier, older and less attractive' than Mrs. Ramsey..."
· Whereas the pad and pen used to create the "ransom" note, and the 4.5 inch stick used in the ligature strangulation, from Patsy's paintrbrush, and its matching half, had all been found in the house, other items were never recovered. The duct tape roll and any remainder of the cord used were never found in the Ramsey mansion. Likewise, a footprint one foot from the body made in concrete dust from a High-Tec brand boot could not be linked to any shoe in the house. In his well-reasoned theory of the case, Boulder detective Thomas argues that in the early morning hours Patsy left the house to dispose of these items. In our theory of the case, presented just below, John Ramsey was the parent who left the house, leaving behind Patsy to finish writing the "ransom" note, while he disposed of these items and ran one other errand.
· Four fibers on the duct tape have been linked to the black and red jacket that Patsy wore the night before. (It took many months for detectives to get just some of clothes worn that night by the Ramseys. Consider also the single beaver hair, of all things, found at the crime scene that detectives long believed might be matched to the elusive fur boots Patsy had worn that night.) When Patsy greeted an officer at 5:55 a.m. she was wearing the same velvet black pants and jacket she had just worn to the previous evening's Christmas party and her make-up was still on and her hair was still done. Patsy maintains that she dressed that morning prior to finding out that JonBenet was missing. Yet it took the police more than a year to get the clothing the Ramseys were wearing the night before, just as it took months to get their credit card bills and phone records. And Patsy did not change her outfit from one day to the next on two days of TV interviews, which the police interpreted as an effort to manipulate people into thinking that such was her common practice.
· Prosecutors often fail to convict parents who murder a child, because most people cannot even imagine committing such a crime. Sadly, however, Susan Smith drowned her two young boys, just as thousands of parents have murdered their own children, and countless fathers have molested their daughters.Such brutality does happen, and society’s mindset disregarding such behavior results in more victims.
· As a six-year-old beauty queen, JonBenet was dressed provocatively by her mother and coached to saunter like a seductress.
· Lie detector exams, though not admissible in court, can help an investigation yet the Ramseys refused to submit to a law enforcement arranged polygraph. John took offense at being asked by Det. Steve Thomas to take such a test and stated that he thought he might fail because of his guilt at not protecting his daughter. They even refused to submit if the test were conducted by the FBI. Instead, they made a public fanfare of results after their private lawyers arranged their own examinations, the first of which was "inconclusive" and by their second private examination, they "passed".
· Parents have often killed their children and motives include any or a combination of these: anger that becomes unpremediated rage that gets "out of control"; blaming a child for the parents' behavior; aftermath of sexual abuse; mother's jealousy of daughter. JonBenet's actual murder and kidnap scheme came about to cover up an initial crime.
Much of the "ransom" note is inconceivable from the perspective of an intruder. For example, no kidnapper pays a compliment of "respect" to the business of the victim's family, as the JonBenet ransom note does to the Ramsey business. But the clue that breaks the case is the phrase, "I advise you to be rested." No theory of an intruder can explain that phrase, nor much of the above evidence against the Ramseys. However, that key phrase explains the evidence, both the inculpatory and the apparently exculpatory. And it shouts that the parents killed their daughter and then worked to throw the police off the trail. Thus the ransom note is practically a confession. And likewise, the Ramsey answer to the question whether or not either of them got up after going to be that night, instead of saying yes or no, their written evasive answer was, "Neither has a memory of doing so."
On that Christmas night, after Patsy put her son to bed, something prompted Patsy to fly into an outburst of rage against JonBenet. Perhaps John had begun to sexually abuse his daughter. Regardless, one form of destructive behavior led to another and at midnight, in a burst of anger and emotion, Patsy grabbed a nearby flashlight and struck her daughter in the head, cracking her skull. The forceful "blow knocked her into deep unconsciousness" which at first could have led the parents "to believe she was dead." Perhaps assuming that their daughter was dead or irreversibly dying and that they could not save her, they set their minds to work on how they could save themselves. Regardless of this horror, neither was willing to give up their millionaire lifestyle. So John and Patsy began to conceal their crimes by staging the scene to look like a kidnapping gone bad. First, they strangle her, which both gets rid of her, and makes what would have been an accidental death appear to be deliberate. Then they planned to dispose of any damning evidence, but realized that, without evidence pointing to someone else, they would be the only suspects. (The misdirection gave opportunity to more than a dozen false confessors and led to the investigation of 200 potential suspects including an electrician, a homeless sex offender, and a former college professor who had just played Santa Claus for JonBenet.) So, if they were to survive, the resourceful Ramseys would have to rework the crime scene to point to an intruder.
They decided to write a ransom note, which John began dictating to Patsy. As they wrote the note they also made a list, or at least mental notes, of what evidence they must dispose of, and what evidence they could gather and plant to divert attention. Their note had to take into account that: it might take them hours to rework the crime scene; the neighbors may have already noticed the commotion and might watch the house or even call 911; John needed to leave the house to dispose of the roll of duct tape, the spool of cord, the tip of the broken paintbrush, the High-Tec boots, the four practice ransom note pages never found, etc.; neighbors may notice them stirring in the house or might see John driving away or returning way past midnight.
Even though they risked being seen, they were not ready to dump their best alibi. The plan they rapidly concocted called for them to tell the police that they were asleep all night, and heard nothing. Their desperation to avert justice led them to try that alibi. Thus, they planned to "wake up" at 6 a.m. and call the police. However, a neighbor or even an officer in a patrol car might have seen John Ramsey up at 3 a.m. Their wording in the note guarded against that risk. If that worst-case scenario occurred, Patsy could then admit: "Yes, we found the note last night. We were afraid to call the police because of the death threat. John rushed out in desperation to find JonBenet, and I searched the house. Then when John returned without her, we reread the note, I advise you to be well rested, and realized that we had better go to bed to get the rest we needed for the next day. When we woke up, thinking more clearly, we realized that we needed help, so we decided to called 911. But we thought it better not to mention that we had been up desperately looking for her last night."
With that pretext, they went to work. John found a pair of unused shoes, and made a footprint next to the body. He then took those shoes, the oversized underpants, and other damning evidence with him as he left the house around 1:30 a.m. He went out of find a public restroom, at a nightclub, a gas station, a diner, or even at a striptease joint or, preferably, an adult bookstore with video stalls. Somewhere along his journey he dropped the damning evidence in the trash. At the restroom, he used the panties that Patsy had recently purchased to pick up a pubic hair, and then rubbed a stain onto the underpants. Meanwhile Patsy decided to rewrite the ransom note, and she authored the final, personal, contradictory lines, "Don't try to grow a brain John. … Use that good, southern common sense of yours. It's up to you now John!" Patsy then saw the broken parts of the paintbrush that John had overlooked and she hid them among her art supplies. Later, Mr. Ramsey returned to the house, planted the lone pubic hair on the blanket, put the stained underwear on the body, and broke the basement window and disturbed the sill (which he later pointed out to Fleet White).
The unidentifiable DNA material on the underwear and under her fingernails was likewise collected by John, but could also have been collected in a day of normal child's play. In his unguarded moment online, police chief Beckner, who had headed up the Ramsey investigation, described the possible sources of that DNA to include "Intentional placement". (If that DNA material had come from an intruder, that would suggest that JonBenet fought and struggled, getting the attention of her neighbors, but not her parents.) To help explain to the police how they could have slept through the attack, Patsy Ramsey had taped their daughter's mouth shut.
Some may think this plan too involved for the Ramseys to pull off. However, John had built a successful defense contracting business, and Patsy had long ago managed to become Miss West Virginia. Further, they had help. Book author and FBI criminal profiler John Douglas wrote Mind Hunter, which reads in part like the JonBenet case in the use of duct tape, ligatures, and similar phrases in its ransom note. Investigators found that hardback in the Ramsey's bedroom.
After rechecking the crime scene, the Ramseys went to bed to rehearse their story. Neither slept that night, neglecting their own advice.
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