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  1. #1
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    Stress and memory

    http://www.mcgill.ca/reporter/35/02/lupien/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

    http://mentalhealth.about.com/b/a/172077.htm

    I've provided 3 links above, but if you google "stress memory" you will discover a plethora of information about what cortisol does to your memory during stressful events. I too find it hard to believe the ramblings of PR during her interviews, but having once gone through a rather traumatic event in my life (not a murder situation) once which rendered me a mental zombie for months, (I often couldn't even finish sentences) I can't help but wonder IF IF this same thing didn't happen to Patsy. I still lean towards RDI, and I think some of Patsy's not answering of questions was purposeful, but in all fairness I also do strongly believe that the stress she was under also boggled her memory.

  2. #2
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    Yes, good point indeed. People are often quick to point out inconsistencies in the R’s behaviour and speech after JB’s murder as “proof” of their guilt. Of course they did not act “normal,” their daughter was murdered, how many of us know for sure we would not have acted the same, appearing dazed, confused and otherwise “weird,” “abnormal,” “not like a normal parent,” etc., after such a tragedy? I don’t suspect the R’s did/will ever act “normal” again, stress induced behaviour does not necessarily imply guilt.

    --------------
    Edited to add:
    It doesn't matter how long between when the trauma (stress) occurs and when interviews/questions about the event are asked, whether its one year or one hundred.

    The point is that stress actually changes the way information about the traumatic event is encoded and subsequently accessed.

    The stress experienced by P&JR did not necessarily end on within a few days, months or even years after JB's murder. Besides the fact that everyone heals in different ways/at different rates, they (J&PR) were reliving the event every moment of every day by way of incessant reports through the media, JB‘s picture (even the autopsy photos for goodness sake!) at every flip of the television channel and newspaper page, constant scrutiny, peering, finger pointing, and obtrusiveness by every Tom, Dick and Harry into their lives, and because of the mere nature of the crime.

    Even if the media and general public had ignored what happened, their (J&P‘s) minds played over and over questions about what they could have or should have done differently, the last moments they had with JB, how such a tragedy could happen, etc. This is known as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), what we use to commonly term “shell shock” with regard to survivors of war… even after many soldiers returned home, the slightest loud sound, dream (waking or sleeping), or the littlest reminder could put them right back onto the battle fields, experiencing all the emotions, fears and pain (emotional and physical) of their time in combat. Can you imagine that, the pain of being shot (or shooting another human being) over and over again, or, in the case at hand, the pain of your own child being murdered (whether it was at your own hands, someone you know or an intruder)? There are few emotions so deep and profound as the love for one’s child, and to lose a child, especially through some utterly senseless and unnatural event as this… its like having your heart ripped out.

    ...

    About general memory retrieval for events occurring before a traumatic event, stress can and does affect the way some people access previous life events, details and occurrences as well. It is as though the entire brain is short circuited or re-mapped, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Some people’s ability to access memories is enhanced, at the other extreme are those who enter into a dissociative fugue state whereby they cannot even remember who they are, and then there are all those persons in between.

    Even if you have never experienced great tragedy in your life, the stress of happy events can affect memory retrieval processes in the same way.

    For those of you who are so bold to judge others’ behaviour as right or wrong, saying you would never do this or that if you were in another person’s shoes, you are obviously most fortunate to never have experienced, e.g., the loss of a child, loved one, or friend through such hideous acts, or any other life tragedy… that or you must be superhuman, all seeing, all knowing, totally immune and invulnerable to life around you.

    ...

    As I have stated many times before, I am not implying the R's are innocent, I do not back any particular IDI, RDI, BDI, etc. theory. I do, however, have strong opinions about people being judged based upon mere conjecture alone, without any facts, evidence or proof to support such prejudice, or when claims of proof are asserted without the slightest bit of logic or rational thought.

    How many times must we drag the R's through the mud and burn them at the stake, so to speak, before we realize this line of (mis) inquiry/action is not working and has not worked/solved this case in almost ten years. Its like watching a mouse run through a maze the same way over and over again, never trying alternative routes to the cheese... how many times must we bang our heads up against the wall before we realize we need to step back for a moment, put our egos and prejudices aside and look at this case from a fresh perspective?

    As Cypros stated above, this case is not "hinged on misstatements." I am glad at least part of our justice system has worked in this case, i.e., convening of the Grand Jury, a group of our peers realized we do not yet know enough about this case, or we have not looked at/examined all the evidence correctly/extensively enough, in order to make a clear finding of guilt (or innocence) with regard to the R's.
    Last edited by leighl; 09-08-2006 at 12:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    The Ramseys were extensively coached by their attorneys before those interviews, they insisted on having copies of previous ones to study so they wouldn't accidently incriminate themselves, and in the 2000 interview they refused to answer any question that had previously been asked in a previous interview. JR and PR's "memories" are entirely selective as can clearly be seen in their tv interviews. One who's "memory" is selective always in their own favor isn't "boggled".

    They lie and their attorneys are well aware that they entrap themselves when interviewed, therefore they refused any interviews they couldn't dictate the conditions and control.

    A better question would be at the time those interviews were finally conducted, what was the cause of their "stress"? The first interview occurred in April of 1997, more than a year after the murder. Any real stress they would have been under in those interviews would not have been due to the death of their daughter. What other "stress" may they have been under in those interviews the first of which did not even occur until over a year after the murder?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by s_finch
    http://www.mcgill.ca/reporter/35/02/lupien/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

    http://mentalhealth.about.com/b/a/172077.htm

    I've provided 3 links above, but if you google "stress memory" you will discover a plethora of information about what cortisol does to your memory during stressful events. I too find it hard to believe the ramblings of PR during her interviews, but having once gone through a rather traumatic event in my life (not a murder situation) once which rendered me a mental zombie for months, (I often couldn't even finish sentences) I can't help but wonder IF IF this same thing didn't happen to Patsy. I still lean towards RDI, and I think some of Patsy's not answering of questions was purposeful, but in all fairness I also do strongly believe that the stress she was under also boggled her memory.
    I am glad you posted this. I have been thinking about this a lot and now you have done the research. Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PagingDrDetect
    The Ramseys were extensively coached by their attorneys before those interviews, they insisted on having copies of previous ones to study so they wouldn't accidently incriminate themselves, and in the 2000 interview they refused to answer any question that had previously been asked in a previous interview. JR and PR's "memories" are entirely selective as can clearly be seen in their tv interviews. One who's "memory" is selective always in their own favor isn't "boggled".

    They lie and their attorneys are well aware that they entrap themselves when interviewed, therefore they refused any interviews they couldn't dictate the conditions and control.
    Very true, Dr.

  6. #6
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    I agree that it is useless to try to prove someone is guilty based only on some inconsistencies in their statements. Sometimes we just mistate things whether it is due to stress or confusion or whatever. I once witnessed an accident where a car hit a bicyclist that ran a red light. I saw the whole thing and it was clearly the bicyclist's fault. I stopped to help and when the police came they asked me what I saw. The first thing out of my mouth was to say that the CAR ran a red light. I didn't even realize what I had done but I saw the horrified look on the driver's face. She must have been terrified that she would be held responsible for hitting the bicyclist. I had to think a second and then I corrected myself and clarified that it was the bicyclist who ran the red light and the car was not at fault. It has always bothered me that I said such an obviously wrong thing. I don't know if it was stress from witnessing this young man get hit and cracking his head on the asphalt, or temporary confusion or what. I knew exactly what I had seen and done and yet I said something different. I am just glad that I was able to clear things up immediately and that the poor woman was not blamed for the bad judgement of the bicyclist.

    This case, however, is not hinged on misstatements.

  7. #7
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    What bothers me in reading Patsy Ramsey's interviews is the number of times she just doesn't remember or know specific things one would expect her to know. Some examples:

    She doesn't remember if she held an office in her senior year in high school.
    She and I are the same age and I'm sure I can remember more details about high school than that--especially if I'd held an office in my senior year--that would have been quite an accomplishment that I wouldn't have forgotten.

    She doesn't remember if JonBenet might have moved into Burke's room Christmas night.
    This MUST have been discussed over and over--every move of her daughter on that night had to be questioned many times. And wouldn't she or John have checked if the other bed in Burke's room had been slept in or on? This is a detail I feel she should have known without a doubt.

    She doesn't know John's salary, nor the amount of his substantial bonus in 1996.
    OK, I can possibly forgive not knowing John's salary--they most likely had accountants handling money matters. BUT, the bonus is another thing that MUST have been discussed if not prior to JonBenet's death, than certainly after it. The amount was too similar to the ransom amount--she HAD to know that.

    She doesn't know anything about the woman with whom John cheated on his first wife.
    Sure. They've been married how many years? Why deny that you knew he cheated?

    She doesn't know what time they were supposed to meet the pilot on the morning of 12/26.

    Another point which had to have been discussed many times that morning alone. Why did they have to get up early? To meet the pilot. She had SO much to do that morning--finish packing, get 2 kids ready to leave, etc. She HAD to have known when the plane was scheduled to leave. I can't believe she didn't know.

    She doesn't know if she ever read the entire ransom note.

    Huh? LIke someone else said, any other parent would have MEMORIZED that note, looking for clues--they had how many hours before JonBenet was found? Why would she not have read the note? We know she read the first few lines, and we know she read the closing. OK, so she was in shock, terrified, etc. If she didn't read the entire note, then fine. But to not KNOW if she did or not???

    She doesn't know if she had the basement window fixed or not.

    Possible to forget? Maybe. But in the 4 months since, you'd think she or John would have searched their records to see if the window had truly been fixed, because if it HAD, perhaps the repairman should be questioned. And if it HADN'T, then she'd know that. But to still not know?

    She doesn't know what is meant by the term "glamour shot".

    I find this very hard to believe, given Patsy's experience in beauty pageants, etc.

    She didn't know that the ransom note was written on paper found inside her home.

    ST: The note was written from a pad inside the home.
    PR: It was?
    ST: UH-huh.
    PR: Oh, I didn’t know that.


    And let me clarify--she didn't know this IN APRIL 1997. Please. How could she not know that?


    She doesn't know what the investigator means by "small foreign faction".
    If she'd read the first few lines, she would have read that little blurb--I mean, it's written 3 lines above "we have your daughter". Those 3 words should be sending shivers down her spine. But in the interview, she's confused as to what it means. (PR: I’m losing you here. We having trouble with our what small foreign faction, what’s that?)

    There are many, many more things that stood out to me as I read this interview (April 1997), but these are what came to mind right off the bat.
    He's guilty. Get over it.

  8. #8
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    Well-Said

    Quote Originally Posted by s_finch
    http://www.mcgill.ca/reporter/35/02/lupien/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

    http://mentalhealth.about.com/b/a/172077.htm

    I've provided 3 links above, but if you google "stress memory" you will discover a plethora of information about what cortisol does to your memory during stressful events. I too find it hard to believe the ramblings of PR during her interviews, but having once gone through a rather traumatic event in my life (not a murder situation) once which rendered me a mental zombie for months, (I often couldn't even finish sentences) I can't help but wonder IF IF this same thing didn't happen to Patsy. I still lean towards RDI, and I think some of Patsy's not answering of questions was purposeful, but in all fairness I also do strongly believe that the stress she was under also boggled her memory.
    Thanks for the Fairness point.

    Both the R's were taking tranquilizers or anti-depressants, also, someone posted as one of the interviews, Patsy on paxil before the murder and zoloft afterwards.

    This raises the question why did they need these drugs before this happened? Which could also have affected their coherence. Was someone threatening, who's become such a powerful sociopath that people can't defend their own?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle1
    Thanks for the Fairness point.

    Both the R's were taking tranquilizers or anti-depressants, also, someone posted as one of the interviews, Patsy on paxil before the murder and zoloft afterwards.

    This raises the question why did they need these drugs before this happened? Which could also have affected their coherence. Was someone threatening, who's become such a powerful sociopath that people can't defend their own?
    Just a side note, not a personal response to you, Eagle1, but lots of you on this forum obviously don't take SSRI's, but you'd be surprised at the percentage of the population who does. Yes, I take an SSRI and no, it doesn't worsen my memory (age does that, and stress).

  10. #10
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    "The Ramseys were extensively coached by their attorneys before those interviews, they insisted on having copies of previous ones to study so they wouldn't accidently incriminate themselves, and in the 2000 interview they refused to answer any question that had previously been asked in a previous interview. JR and PR's "memories" are entirely selective as can clearly be seen in their tv interviews."

    Sad, but true.
    I'm as mad as HELL and I'm NOT gonna take it anymore!.


  11. #11
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    Good points, all of them. And I'm a firm supportor that in the very least, the Rams covered up if not completely responsible for JBR's death. HOWEVER, from personal experience, I know that even a year after the event, I was unable to remember everything about a tramatic event. When my brothers 2 year old died, they were completely unable to make funeral arrangements (they were both heavily sedated), so it fell on my shoulders. It's all a fog to me, I can't remember picking out the casket, making the funeral arrangements, and the wake afterwards. They asked me for the details a year later, things like exactly what the coffin looked like, who was there (thank goodness for the guest book), details of the service etc. I couldn't remember these important things. I'm in the same boat regarding when my first husband left us without warning on our 10th anniversary. Heck we celebrated by making plans with our parents to renew our wedding vows the night before! I don't remember anything from the next morning when he walked out the door to his new pregnant girlfriend through the next week. I think you go into auto pilot, and do what needs to be done, then block it out. So, even though I think alot of their decisions were made by their lawyers at the time, much has been blocked out as well. Esp. if they're guilty. I don't solely rely on those things by the Rams to implicate them in her murder, but rather just on the evidence present and lack of evidence pointing to an intruder.

  12. #12
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    I can remember 9/11 clear as a bell!
    I'm as mad as HELL and I'm NOT gonna take it anymore!.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave
    I can remember 9/11 clear as a bell!
    Indeed! Sometimes I wish my memory would actually CLOUD a little bit about that particular moment in time!

    Those items ticked off by Betsy in the earlier post DO cause me to wonder about 'ole' Patsy and her 'selective' memory. For such a supposedly "bright" woman with a college education, her inability to discern, remember, and understand many things from her past is extremely questionable!

    As for SRRIs, I take one as well - Zoloft. I do not have a tendency to forget or lose track...and I've been on this for many many years. Indeed, I concur my memory is fading because I'm aging and not due to Zoloft. In my case, STRESS creates a place to form an indelible mark on my memory instead of causing me to "block". I will admit, however, I experienced some real horrific times when I was very young and didn't actually REMEMBER the entire events moment by moment, but I Never forgot. After growing up, I made a decision to try to open up to the memories and they sharpened quite a bit, but not entirely. Take all this as one person's personal observations about this topic.

    gaia
    Simplicity...patience...compassion