828 users online (93 members and 735 guests)  


Websleuths News


Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 111
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    355

    The Ransom Note: a calling card?

    Isn't it amazing! One of the longest ransom notes in the history of kidnapping, handwritten, and nobody can figure out who wrote it!

    Some say it's a little masterpiece; others the war and peace of ransom notes. Some say it was obviously written by a genteel, educated adult; others say it was the work of a youngster. Some say it's author was intelligent and clever. Others say it's goofy and awkward. Some say it displays hatred and ruthlessness; others say it's Hollywoodized nonsense. Some say it's an obvious fake; others say it's genuine. Some say it was written in a panic after her death; others say it was carefully and deliberately crafted prior to her death. Some say it shows familiarity with John and might have been written by Patsy. Others say neither of the Ramseys would use self-incriminatory phrases and information. Some say the writer was inexperienced (as a kidnapper) and insecure. Others say he was clever enough to not use language that could be attributed to him. Whom are we to believe?

    Is there anything about the ransom note that more than one or two of us can agree on?

    How about this for starters: many of the lines were from movies, and there was little in the way of novelty or original thinking as regards the particulars--get the money, put it in a bag, stand by for a call, don't alert the authorities, blah, blah, blah, or she dies; it was about kidnapping through and through and contained a lot of threats. The language was mostly borrowed, which helped to disguise the authorship; but, there were a few exceptions, and maybe it is these exceptions that will prove to be important clues.

    My impression was that the author was paraphrasing quite a lot--remembering the scripts from the movies and putting them into his own words, for the most part; exceptions to this too. He thought that to be convincing (got this from movies=GTFM) you had to specify a container for the money to take with you to the bank. But, he hadn't done the math and been as specific as brand name and model number, so he did the next best thing--he specified "an adequate size attache". Does this show careful planning, or suggest naievete? Do you think John would show up at the bank with a coin purse? He thought you had to instruct that the money be transferred to yet another container for transporting to the drop site GTFM, so he hit upon the "brown paper bag". Wow, real professional, and he didn't bother to specify the size, nor to doubt that there was such a bag in the Ramsey home. You'll need an adequate size attache but any old bag'll do. "I will call you..." GTFM "The delivery will be exhausting...." GTFM. "...I advise you to be rested." GTFM I, we, I, we. "Any deviation...execution" GTFM "Stray dog..." GTFM "..money is in any way marked.." GTFM "...law enforcement countermeasures.." GTFM "Speaking to anyone...Police or FBI" GTFM "...scanned for electronic devices..." GTFM "..under constant scrutiny.." GTFM "..grow a brain..." GTFM "...killing will be difficult." GTFM Get the picture?

    What this author didn't realize, owing to his youth and inexperience, is that a truly convincing ransom note is short and to the point; shall we say, terse.

    There are a few lines in the note that depart from movie script; they are superfluous to the nth degree: "We respect your business..." Huh? "..see 1997..." "..withdraw...from your account." "If we monitor you getting the money early....and hence.....of your daughter." "...deviation OF...instructions..." "... denied her remains..." "The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them." Huh? "...alert bank authorities..." "You can try to deceive us...be warned..." "....stand a 99% chance....stand a 100% chance.." "...fat cat..." "Use that good Southern common sense of yours." "It is up to you now John." "Victory" "SBTC"

    And then there is the exact, unrounded and paltry amount of $118,000 that is in some account.

    Thoughts: Author seemed to respect Patsy; abandoned a note which included her as an addressee. Seemed to fear John (be in awe of him); consider him a tough customer; someone hard to convince. Seemed to have a fairly good command of English; maybe a college student or a bright teenager (an overachiever?). Note was fairly business-like. Author had no problem conceiving of a group who could respect John's business on the one hand and threaten to kill his daughter on the other. I can see young people at work here; discussing this note; going over it; editing it; pefecting it. I can't see an adult writing this; composing this, unless someone extremely NAIVE! And look what happened--not only were they unable to extract the girl from the residence, they ended up killing her.

    Who's protecting whom?
    Last edited by RedChief; 02-26-2005 at 10:30 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by RedChief
    Thoughts: Author seemed to respect Patsy .... Seemed to fear John (be in awe of him) .... consider him a tough customer...
    Respected Patsey and feared John. There's where you're on the right track.

    I don't understand why some posters think that only juvenile males watch and absorb the lingo of action movies. Anyone of any gender or age writing a ficticious ransom note might employ such hackneyed phrases.

    Woodsman.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    US
    Posts
    1,599
    It would be interesting to know if John usually left home with an attache. It's almost as if the writer knew that John carried one, but the writer wanted him to take an adequate one on this particular trip. Perhaps John had more than one attache in his office?

    Also, the writer implies that he/she will be at the bank. He says to bring an attache, rather than take one. This is probably just incorrect grammar, but it does imply nonetheless.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,053
    RedChief,

    I agree with your analyses of the ransom note. It was written by a very young person.

    Even John Ramsey admits it was likely written by a juvenile. In the 1998 interview:

    JOHN RAMSEY: "The ransom note seemed childish, in terms of a young person."

    BlueCrab

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    355

    Southerner's are renowned for their common sense?

    Nehemiah,

    Yeah, "bring" instead of take; my thoughts exactly; here, to bring it, means to have it with you when you arrive here; here, to take it, means, to have it in your possession when you depart there. I, too, got the early impression that someone at the bank may have been involved. I'm told that there is no significance to this choice; some people use these terms interchangeably. If you are a Southerner, perhaps you would care to inform us whether "bring" is a Southern preference. I have yet to hear the opinion of a Southerner regarding "watching over" being a Southern preference. Miss Daisey threw me a curve. But, what if the writer had written, "Be sure to 'take'....."? Would we then suspect that the writer was someone in his household?

    "Good southern [sic] common sense.": Are Southerner's renowned for good common sense? How does good common sense differ from just plain ole common sense? This "good" business appears to be an idosyncrasy. In DOI, Patsy refers to her friend's "good driving sense."

    The "two gentlemen": DOI is replete with these two and those two and two of these and two of those, mostly used by Patsy. But, how can we know who wrote what? These two (oh, my God!) are in the habit of composing documents together. How do we know that what is, by implication, attributable to Patsy, wasn't written by John, and vice versa? Similarly, how do we know who put "and hence" in the liturgy? "Wherever we go, whatever we do..."

    Then there was the use of OF instead of FROM in the deviation warning. A grammatical error; one of many actually. I thought the use of "and" in "..in our posession and if you want..." was odd; should have been "but". Not what I'd expect from a journalistic genius. The errors could have been deliberate, but it seems to me there were too few of them for that. Some of the logic was a bit off also; e.g., "If you want her to see 1997 you must follow our instructions to the letter." Purists would be pulling their hair out. Should have said, "She won't live to see 1997 unless you follow our instructions to the letter." 1997 was mentioned a couple of times in the XMAS letter. It seems the Ramseys (Patsy, especially?) viewed the New Year as being a new beginning for her and her family; a fresh start; a renewal; that life is lived one year at a time; periods with definite beginnings and endings, like quarters in a basketball game; you discard the old and embrace the new. I don't see it that way; hardly ever celebrate New Years; just another day for me; 24 hours in an interminable continuum.

    "Listen carefully!" Why not "Read carefully"? John Ramsey--"internet posters don't listen with a critical ear." "Group of individuals"--common error. "...respect your bussiness.." SP "At this time we have your daughter in our posession." SP also redundant. "...safe and unharmed..." standard RN jargon; reminds me of the L&L note: "He is at present well and safe..." and the Lindbergh notes--the baby is safe, he is being well cared for, etc., while his body lies in a ditch. Those reassurances are usually 180 degrees from the truth. "..follow our instructions to the letter." standard and L&L. "...withdraw $118,000 from your account." hmmmmmm "...adequate size attache.." In DOI, they never use hyphens in reference to size, even when they should, to be grammatically correct; e.g., child size furniture. "When you get home.." casual/informal language; more formally--"When you return home..." "...you will put the money.." More formally, "you will transfer the money..." An odd mixture of formal and informal. "I will call you.." after "...follow OUR instructions..." Few apostrophes; only in dont's. Female? "...instruct you on delivery." When I first read this I thought it could be referring to birthing instructions. Someone who's undergone birthing. Add "The deliver will be exhausting..." could refer to birthing. "..be rested." birthing; but, also in the movies. "If we monitor you getting the money early..." Unusual use of the word, monitoring; not incorrect, just unusual. Makes you wonder if they mean "we might be monitoring you, and if we see you getting the money, we might call..." or does it mean "We will for sure be monitoring you..." This is a head-scratcher. Might have been embellishment added to warn that he's being monitored (whether he is or not; another false warning). BTW there is some subtleness here and there. This is one example; there are others; e.g., "Make sure...to the bank." Doesn't always spell it out; sometimes implies it. "...will result in.." is repeated. Execution will be immediate; a lot of this "immediate" business in DOI, attributed to Patsy. "...your daughter" repeated; never JonBenet. "You will also be denied her remains for proper burial." This is incorrect; it doesn't follow the previous admonition properly. Should be: "Also, you will be denied her remains..."The two gentlemen....do not particularly like you...so I advise you..." Again, the adjective used a lot in DOI in reference to people; e.g., the two detectives. In DOI, "John is not particularly a cat person." IOW, John does not particularly like cats. "Speaking to anyone.." Not "Talking to anyone..." You speak to people; you talk to dogs; e.g., "If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies." "The boy dies!" Ransom. "You can try to deceive us...but be warned..." Not "trick". A preference for edubabble--high language; educated. "..we are familiar..." Not "we know about..." which would be more common. "..be warned..." Who talks this way, characters in Zena, Warrior Princess? "You stand a 99% chance...a 100% chance..." This shows some thoughtfulness (thinking) on the writer's part. It says, there is a slight chance that she won't be killed if you try to trick us; but, we assure you that she will be returned to you safe and unharmed if you don't deviate from the instructions. I would have preferred, "She's sure to be killed if you trick us...." i.e., 100% in both instances. "You and your family are under constant scrutiny, as well as the authorites." A little sloppy, though perhaps not grammatically incorrect. Would for sure have been correct if they had said, "You, your family and the authorities are under constant scrutiny." Now, how likely is that?????? Obvious nonsense. This questionable construction also appears in DOI. "...situation..." to this writer it means "predicament". Same in DOI. "...your daughter being beheaded." Some argument about the correctness of this: some would prefer "..daughter's being beheaded. The former is an outcome; the latter is an act. "If you alert bank authorities..." pedantic. Authorities is right, though; officials is wrong. Authorities is a general term for people in charge, who have extraordinary powers. "...tampered with..." repeating movie stuff, or some connection to the security field (tamper switch). Might be his own word; pretty insightful. Redundant--if you mark the money, you're tampering with it. "You will be scanned..." Not likely. No savvy kidnapper would want to meet up with John. "Don't underestimate us John." No comma in the John sentences. Shows a familiarity with John? Isn't this precisely what John would probably do--underestimate them? Has this person been underestimated by John before? "Use that good SCC of yours." Sounds like he either knows John, or thinks Southerners have good SCC, thinks John is a Southerner, or has heard someone kidding with John about his being from the South by way of Michigan. Sarcastic? "It is up to you now John." Odd, why didn't write, "It's up to you.."? Formal. "Victory!" numerous connotations. "S.B.T.C" Habit of omitting the last period? This isn't an acronym; it's an abbreviation; right? You will, you will, you will. Your daughter, your daughter, your daughter.

    Remarks: mixture of formal and informal language; some grammatical and logical errors; some spelling errors; some subtletly; some precision; some pedantry; some originality; fairly good command of English; insecure in dealings with John.

    Question: If you know the girl is dead (you killed her, or whatever) at the time you write the note, why do you go on and on and on with the threats?
    Answers: You want the $118,000 regardless, or due to your naivete, you think you have to copy the movies, no matter how many threats your note contains nor how long it becomes? Questions: if you write the note in advance of the girl's death, why such a long note with so many threats? Is there anything believable about the note? Is there any sign of mental illness on the part of the author?

    Of what need was the note?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by RedChief
    Nehemiah,

    Is there any sign of mental illness on the part of the author?
    The fluctuation between "I" and "we" is the strongest indicator of mental illness in the ransom note. "Small foreign faction", "group of individuals" - these terms can either be taken literally or as the workings of a single psychotic person experiencing mulitple personalities bordering on schizophrenia. I believe it was the latter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,389

    Ransom Note

    "Listen carefully!" - as opposed to "Read carefully!" - could this be an indication that the ransom note was dictated by one person and written by another?

    That would also explain the alternating between "We" and "I".
    This is only my opinion

    Let the focus be on Madeleine




    Together we can make a difference





    Alert Viewer in Scotland

    Member of Websleuths since April 2000

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    355

    pay close attention!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayelles
    "Listen carefully!" - as opposed to "Read carefully!" - could this be an indication that the ransom note was dictated by one person and written by another?

    That would also explain the alternating between "We" and "I".
    Jayelles,

    Yes, it could be. I've always viewed the alternating as goof up--a slip of the pen, if you will. There is one instance--"I will call you..", when you might judge this to be permissible, because, technically, there is no mistake in claiming to be a member of a group which has, ostensibly, worked out the instructions--"..our instructions.." and remarking that you (I) will call, because you are, after all, a representative--the one who is writing the note and the one who has been designated to make the call. However, this doesn't exactly square with "...we might call you early...", although this too would be permissible if you view it as suggesting that the note writer may not be available to make that early call and would have to rely on one of the others to make it. Then we could argue which is correct--may or might. I actually consulted the dictionary a lot while analyzing this note. I think I have the exact same issue of the Webster's dictionary that the Ramseys had. When I read about the word, "incest", being flagged in their dictionary, I went and checked my dictionary, and, sure enough, there it was, right in the exact same place on the page.

    As for "read" vs "listen". Don't we often use words like this interchangeably in our writing? For instance, when you are engaging in written communication with someone, who has misquoted you, you might reply, "I didn't say that." In that case you wouldn't being implying that you had spoken but rather that you had written.

    I confess, I wouldn't use listen; but that's my personal preference, obviously. I might say, pay close attention, or simply ATTENTION or URGENT, or even read very carefully. One could also omit this alert entirely. Wouldn't WE HAVE YOUR KID written boldly across the top have attracted some attention, or A NOTE FROM THE KIDNAPPER OF YOUR DAUGHTER? I think this "listen carefully" may also have been copied from the movies. There is another possibility, though remote--the writer had originally intended to speak the message into the phone (at the time he first composed it) like the caller in Ruthless People, but, for some reason, changed his mind, electing to deliver it as a note instead, but forgot to make appropriate alterations. Remember that Smit argued that the "kidnapper" could have forgotten his note, so had to write it on the scene. Smit has lots of interesting ideas, doesn't he.

    John Ramsey--"Internet posters do not listen with a critical ear." I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a.....ransom note. your daughter, your daughter, your daughter..."Oh my God! Which one?", asked Merriman when John called him to report that "my daughter" has been kidnapped. my daughter, my daughter, my daughter...not JonBenet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    355

    psycholinguistics

    Does anyone see any connection (logical or otherwise) between the other crime-scene evidence and (1.) the very fact of the existence of the ransom note, (2.) it's contents, and (3.) the materials which were used to manufacture it?

    Why do you think the author chose to be identified with a small foreign faction? Why do you think he chose to be a representative of the faction? Did the word, "represent" have a different connotation? Did you infer that the faction was a group operating in some country foreign to the U.S. and that the representatives had come to the U.S., or been recruited from among people living here, to engage in such nefarious activities as kidnapping? Did you infer that the group was operating in the U.S. and it's members were non-citizens? Did you infer that it's members were citizens and were a foreign faction in the sense that they had an alliance or allegiance to some country from which they had emigrated? Did you infer that the group, or it's representatives, became aware of John's wealth via media reports touting the sales success of his company? Did you infer that the foreign country was one in which John's company was doing business? Did you infer that the foreign faction was an idea derived from a movie or book? If you were prompted to author this note extemporaneously, how much time would you require if you had loads of knowledge about the subject; if you were totally ignorant of the subject?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Edited to add: which country was not respected; the U.S. or a foreign country?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,594
    The only thing I infer from the note was that Patsy wrote it and boy, was she pissed at John.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    130
    Quote Originally Posted by trixie
    The only thing I infer from the note was that Patsy wrote it and boy, was she pissed at John.
    I agree


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    355

    practice makes perfect

    The so-called practice note may have been abondoned because the writer inadvertently began to include Patsy in the salutation. That may indicate that the writer was in the habit of including Patsy in conjunction with John in certain communications, such as invitations. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey cordially invite you...... Then again, maybe not. It was Patsy's business too, wasn't it?

    The note was in letter form, and rather business-like; strange for a ransom note which, in that setting, required no addressee. There may be some significance to that. Let's see....what is the proper form for a ransom letter?
    Darn, it's not in my grammar and composition book. Maybe this will be satisfactory--salutation, introduction, body, yours truly, signature. Yeah, that ought to do it....and don't forget to indent and paragraph.

    Scrutiny: constant close surveillance. Wow! Just thought of something: what were the first names of some of Burke's playmates. S----. Burke. T----. C----? The gang. Nah!

    Group of individuals? A no-no. But, a common mistake. Now, if he/she had written: we are a group of individuals who represent small foreign factions, that would be technically correct. Some folks prefer the pronoun, "who", to the more generic pronoun, "that", when referring to people. It's understood that the group is comprised of people unless otherwise specified; e.g., a group of monkeys bathed in the ice cold water.

    "We respect your bussiness.." You've got to be kidding! Which country does the business serve? This and the small foreign faction are vague as is the term, "represent". Probably indicative of the inauthenticity of the note.

    "At this time..." we are unable to find you a satisfactory position in our company, however, we'll keep your resume on file and should a suitable position arise we will contact you. Thanks for your interest in Access Graphics. "we have your daughter..." in detention for failing to observe proper courtesy toward her teachers. "At this time.." could mean signify that the author had knowledge of the death and was prompted to deceive. "She is safe and unharmed..." Notice how the word, "unharmed", starts out with a bang and ends with a whimper, as if the person could barely force him/herself to write it? "and if you want her to see 1997..." She won't live to see another year unless you do exactly as we say. "you must..." not, "you'd better" "follow our instructions to the letter." Spirit doesn't count. No "E" for effort.

    "You will withdraw...from your account." This person knows about John's bonus. "Make sure..." this is a reminder; a prudent forethought to minimize risk. "you bring..." take/bring/take "an adequate size attache.." An attache of adequate size; a container that's big enough to hold the damn money. You're always forgetting to do that! We don't want to arouse the banker's suspicion by coming to the bank unprepared! Did these guys not know how to calculate the volume of the container that would be necessary? Why is that? Math challenged?

    "When you get home..." The formality is waning. When you return home. "you will put the money..." More informality. you will transfer the money "in a brown paper bag." the most humble of all containers, and would probably split or tear and empty it's contents prematurely, and, again, no size specified.

    I, the writer of this letter, will personally call you at your residence within a certain two-hour time frame, during which you'll have to sit by the phone and wait and worry, "to instruct you on delivery". I'm accustomed to instructing folks on organic gardening. Notice the missing, "the". "The (whoops; there is is) delivery will be exhausting..." not the delivery will exhaust you "so, I advise you to be rested." What is the significance of this? I will educate you about delivery in general, or I will inform you about this delivery in particular? "If we monitor you..." We'll be watching you, and if we see you getting the money early..." How are they going to know that it's money that John is getting, unless they follow him to the bank and peek through the window? As SBP has so aptly pointed out, this sucker probably knows that the Ramseys have planned to leave home early the morning of the 26th. Boy, this guy is well informed. He also knew they'd be gone for a spell Xmas night. Pickup and delivery. This isn't ransom note jargon. This guy is ad-libbing.

    "Any deviation OF my instructions.." not our instructions and the wrong preposition. "will result in the immediate execution of your daughter." It's automatic, fella. You deviate, she's a goner; she's out, poof, like a light. "You will also be denied her remains..." This sounds pretty sophisticated, but the phrase, "denied her remains" appears in lots of books, news articles, etc., about terrorist groups. It sounds rather mature; not something a kid would come up with or utilize.

    "The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you." This, too, sounds rather mature. I can't imagine a kid inventing this; talking like this. Also, it's just plain gratuitous; adds nothing to the topic, and is not in the least scary. So, why was it included?

    "Speaking to anyone will result in..." If you look carefully, rather than listen carefully, you'll notice that the writer displays the habit of capitalizing the "L" when it immediately precedes "t". Lt. is an abbreviation for lieutenant. The letters "L" and "t" appear in Fort Lupton. Do you know anyone who abbreviates Fort Lupton as Ft. Lt. or is/was a lieutenant in a Police force or in the military? Getting pretty creative here, huh. "will result in..." there it is again. The slightest mistake will automatically and immediately result in your daughter's death. It's so clinical. It's so irreversible. It's so not open for discussion.

    Skipping right along: "tampered with.." I consulted a professional accountant. He said he was unfamiliar with that adjective as a descriptor of altered money. Laundered money, yes. Money tampering, no. Tamper is a term used in the security field. IR detectors, for example, have tamper swithes. That's what they're called. They're actually anti-tamper switches.

    To be continued or not, depending on what the future has in store....
    Last edited by RedChief; 03-08-2005 at 12:10 AM. Reason: spelling

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    312

    Ransom Note

    Have you seen the episode of the X-files that is a weird spoof on this case? The script is here:

    http://www.redwolf.com.au/xfiles/season07/7abx10.html

    I don't think that page says what the whole "ransom" note said, though. It begins with "Listen carefully" and the mother is writing it in a dissociative state (where she doesn't remember writing it).

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    343

    what DOES the note tell us?

    I find the ransom note to be very telling. Let's look at the following facts...

    1-The note was written on/with materials from inside the house, therefore, I think most people would agree it was actually WRITTEN inside the house.
    2-The note was 3 pages long.
    3-A practice note was written first.
    4-The author went to great lengths, it seemed, to disguise his/her identity by using other's words from movies, and mixing juvenile spellings with more advanced vocabulary.

    From just these few facts, which are, for the most part, undisputed, I think it is safe to say that the note was either written by a Ramsey or someone who knew the Ramseys. Who would write 3+ pages of carefully thought out work while inside someone else's home illegally? If they were an intruder, they must've known the Ramseys, because they seem to be absolutely fearless, by taking their sweet time. If they were simply some random local creep, why disguise yourself in the note? Somebody went to great lengths to cover their tracks, a circumstance that usually implies someone who knows the victim.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    355

    good points about the note

    I think it was John Douglas, in The Cases That Haunt Us, who observed that (I paraphrase) you have to go through a lot of hoops to conclude that the Ramseys are guilty.

    I think it's safe to say in rebuttal, and using Douglas' own words, you also have to go through a lot of hoops to conclude that they are innocent.

    One of the hoops is that which you mention in your post immediately above (providing someone doesn't crowd me out before I'm finished).

    At first blush, it appears that the note was written in the house, as you say, and there is little question that it was written on paper from the pad found in the house--the one that John handed to the officer when he requested handwriting samples; the one with Patsy's doodles, etc., on it; the one with the missing pages and the so-called practice note (a characterization I don't dispute, though I wonder why it was left behind). There are some who will dispute this conclusion, for various reasons. I can see the dim outline of Occam's razor, approaching through the mist.

    I'm not a handwriting expert, so I don't feel comfortable pontificating on evidence of an attempt to disguise via the lettering; but, it does seem to me, also, that there was an attempt to disguise for the reasons you mentioned.

    Sure, it was a very long note as ransom notes go. Even if the lettering had been normal size, probably it would have crowded a single page. It consists of over 300 words. Maybe that's a better guage of it's length than the number of pages.

    Considering that a terse note with a minimum of words would have sufficed and been more convincing, how DO you explain the long note with it's many threats? Over half the note was devoted to the threats.

    The quality of the writing may be attributable to the level of education of the writer and to his profession (Patsy wasn't a professional journalist), but why did he write such a long and unconvincing note?

    As has been astutely pointed out, Chris Wolf was a professional journalist at the time of the murder, was anti-capitalist, and couldn't account for his whereabouts that night, etc., etc. The McReynolds were both literary professionals also; probably of greater talent that P Ramsey. In fact, several of the persons of interest were well educated people. I don't know what Merv Pugh's educational background was, nor what his profession had been before he fell in love with the bottle. I've known some very intelligent people who have been alcoholics. This is not to muddy the water; just to present a balanced view of the matter.

    It appears to me that the writer was using the note to make some points; to get a message across that had nothing to do with kidnapping. Still, even then, were all those threats really necessary?

    And, yes, "who the hell would edit a RANSOM NOTE?" Therein lies the answer. And who would do it post homicide?

    That's how I see it....
    Last edited by RedChief; 03-10-2005 at 09:57 AM. Reason: fine tuning

Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 ... LastLast