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  1. #1
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    Ransom note analysis

    Hi guys,
    Here is my analysis of the RN, based on http://www.statementanalysis.com/ramseynote/

    To be honest, this is EXACTLY the type of RN that my mother would write if she was ever asked to write one. It's completely naive yet laden with just enough cliches to convince her that it's plausible.

    The biggest give-away that it's not written by a "professional kidnapper" is the lack of conviction in the phrasing. "We might call you", "the two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them." ,"You stand a 99%
    chance
    of killing your daughter if you try to out smart us."

    It is interesting to note that the only time anything truly commanding and compelling is said is when it's in someone else's words (movie lines and cliches). For example: "immediate execution of your daughter", "If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies.", "Don't try to grow a brain John. You are not the only fat cat around so don't think that killing will be difficult".

    Whoever wrote the RN obviously has a problem confronting people and being outright "mean" to people. It seems that the author of the note doesn't usually use words like “hate” or “murder” and finds it difficult to directly insult someone or give bad news that is concise and straight to the point.

    What is most telling is the wording of the following statements: “Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of your daughter… Speaking to anyone about your situation, such as Police, F.B.I., etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you. talking to a stray dog, she dies. If you alert bank authorities, she dies. If the money is in any way marked or tampered with, she dies. You will be scanned for electronic devices and if any are found, she dies.”

    There is no-one attributed to killing JBR. It is, “she dies”, not “we will kill her”. Speaking to the FBI “will result in your daughter being beheaded”, not “if you speak to the FBI we will behead her”. There is an inability to accept responsibility for her death. Her death is being attributed to some sort of outside force; it will just happen, without being anyone’s fault. This seems to admit some sort of denial of culpability for JBR’s death. It implies that the writer of the note knows that she is dead but is unable to come to terms with the fact that the death was caused by someone’s positive actions.

    I think that too much as been made out of the use of the word “hence”. I’m Australian, so I’m not completely aware of the American usage of this word, but I use it all the time, especially when writing. What is important to note about this word, however, is the fact that it is indicative of a higher education. It is mostly used in formal and academic writing and it is unlikely that someone without a university education would use it.

    One thing is for sure, the writer of the note certainly isn’t “foreign”. I agree entirely with Mark McClish’s interpretation that you are unlikely to consider yourself “foreign” even if you are. In my opinion, however, it is the reference to “that good old southern common sense of yours” that is the dead give-away that the author is not foreign. I’m “foreign” and it is highly unlikely that “foreigners” will distinguish between “southern” Americans and “normal” Americans. “Foreigners” would also be completely unaware that southerners are even characterised by their common sense in the first place. The writer of the note is clearly familiar and conscious of the differences between North and South and had probably had to deal with cultural differences between North and South in their everyday life.

    As for the SBTC, I also think too much has been made out of this. I don’t think it (consciously) stands for anything, it was just thrown in for credibility, perhaps to give the “small foreign faction” some sort of name. I do think, however, that the writer of the note commonly abbreviates things in his or her everyday life.

    It is also interesting to note the unfailing use of full-stops in the abbreviations: “F.B.I.” “etc.” “Mr.”, S.B.T.C.”. Again, I’m not sure about the American situation, but in Australia, since the early 90s, it has been unfashionable to abbreviate this way. It is taught in schools just to write “FBI, Mr, etc, SBTC”. The writer has obviously been well taught the old way, so it is likely that he or she completed college at least 10 years before 1996.

    Below is an extremely interesting observation from twinkiesmom that I agree with. I don’t necessarily assert that the author of the note is a trained writer or editor, but they have clearly had a college education that requires careful editing of their writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by twinkiesmom View Post
    I would add another thought to the ransom analysis....I believe the author was trained as a writer from the crossout of the word "delivery." Writers are taught not to repeat the same word in the same sentence if avoidable. IMHO, the writer of the note was trained to edit his/her own writing.

    Also, the use of the editor's carat on the second page indicates a trained writer/editor:
    http://www.acandyrose.com/12251996ransompage2.gif
    I also remember reading somewhere that there is a relatively large margin on the left hand side of the RN pages and this is a common convention used by journalists.

    I need to go off-track for a minute, but trust me it is relevant to the ransom note. My mother has no idea of the value of money. She does the grocery shopping, so knows how much that costs, but her husband pays all the bills and the mortgage. She doesn’t know how much money her husband earns and, when they were getting their house valued she estimated that it would be worth “at least $150 000” when it was really worth about $600 000. They have recently taken out another mortgage for $100 000 and she is in a massive panic attack that she will lose her job and they won’t be able to afford the repayments (despite the fact that her husband earns more than enough to pay three times that amount on his income alone).

    $118 000 is the type of figure that my mother would use in a ransom note. It seems like a lot of money to those who aren’t used to having to worry about paying for anything and are unfamiliar with the real value of money. It is such a MASSIVE coincidence that John received an $118 000 bonus that I can’t help but think that the writer of the note had to have been aware of this.

    I believe the following two sentences are also very revealing: “You will also be denied her remains for proper burial. The two gentlemen watching over your daughter…”. These sentences reveal a strong Christian background. I’ve noticed from September 11 that Americans are extremely concerned with their relatives receiving a “proper Christian burial”, something that Australians (mostly non-Christian) aren’t so concerned about. I also agree that “watching over” has strong Christian connotations. The writer of the note is either a “strong Christian”, or has had a Christian upbringing.

    So, in summary, in my opinion, the writer of the note:
    1) Is used to being “charming” and does not usually say aggressive, hateful or insulting things to other people.
    2) Is not a hardened criminal.
    3) Has a college education, probably in an area that requires formal writing.
    4) Is unconcerned about money, probably because he or she doesn’t control the money in his or her every day life.
    5) Has a Christian background
    6) Is American and is southern or has strong southern ties.
    7) Was over 30 in 1996.

  2. #2
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    So, basically- PR wrote the note.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    So, basically- PR wrote the note.
    Well.... it reeks of Patsy, yes. But I like to keep an open mind. Most of John and Patsy's friends would also fit that profile.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega View Post
    Well.... it reeks of Patsy, yes. But I like to keep an open mind. Most of John and Patsy's friends would also fit that profile.
    I would agree with keeping an open mind if the ransom letter had been mailed to a newspaper and JonBenet had been grabbed and was later found dumped somewhere.

    I like this analysis. "Her death is being attributed to some sort of outside force; it will just happen, without being anyone’s fault." That sure sums up the attitude of the family about the death of "that child".

    I've never thought about the $118,000 that way before and it makes a lot of sense.

    I thought Mark McClish also made an interesting comment about using the word hence. "The word "hence" is a transition word. You do not have to use the word "and" with it."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert18 View Post
    I would agree with keeping an open mind if the ransom letter had been mailed to a newspaper and JonBenet had been grabbed and was later found dumped somewhere.

    I like this analysis. "Her death is being attributed to some sort of outside force; it will just happen, without being anyone’s fault." That sure sums up the attitude of the family about the death of "that child".

    I've never thought about the $118,000 that way before and it makes a lot of sense.

    I thought Mark McClish also made an interesting comment about using the word hence. "The word "hence" is a transition word. You do not have to use the word "and" with it."
    The phrase "and hence" is often found in science and engineering texts (try googling the phrase and add -Jonbenet to exclude pages about the ramsey ransom note).
    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

  6. #6
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    I tend to believe SBTC is also part of the Christian influence.

    One thing we know about Patsy is that she was a fighter. The ransom note is a note of failure because of JonBenet's death. But at the end of the note we see Patsy fighting back with SBTC and Victory.

  7. #7
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    It's the context in which the 'and hence' is used,plus the fact those words were in the liturgy that she admitted she and John 'merged together,after each writing their own version.'(from DOI).(another one of Patsy's confessions,IMO).I think they did the same w the RN..each wrote a version and it was merged into one (probably the reason so many pages were missing from the notepad):


    from Mark McClish's analysis:

    8. Many Ramsey supporters believe the Ramseys did subconsciously adopt the phrase "and hence" found in the ransom note. Okay. I will admit it is possible. But lets take a closer look at the phrase "and hence." When we look at the original ransom note we find the writer had crossed out a word. 13. delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested. If we
    14. monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to
    15. arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence a earlier
    16. delivery pickup of your daughter.
    The writer started to say that upon receiving the money he would "deliver" JonBenet to her parents. He then realized that a kidnapper would not deliver the hostage but would tell the authorities where she could be found. Therefore, he changed it to "pick-up." It is doubtful that a kidnapper would make this mistake.

    More importantly, an examination of the author's writing style shows us that whatever comes before the phrase "and hence" comes after the phrase "and hence."
    13. delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested. If we
    14. monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to
    15. arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence a earlier
    16. delivery pickup of your daughter.
    We see the same writing style in the Ramsey's Christmas message.
    "Had there been no birth of Christ, there would be no hope of eternal life, and, hence, no hope of ever being with our loved ones again."
    So, the Ramsey supporters would have us believe that the Ramseys not only adopted the word "hence" they also adopted the phrase "and hence" and they also adopted the killer's writing style! Possible but not probable.
    something to ponder:

    When the corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and the mortal have put on immortality, then shall we be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

    O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?

    The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.
    But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1 Corinthians 15:54-57

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert18 View Post
    I tend to believe SBTC is also part of the Christian influence.

    One thing we know about Patsy is that she was a fighter. The ransom note is a note of failure because of JonBenet's death. But at the end of the note we see Patsy fighting back with SBTC and Victory.
    I agree with you. I think that SBTC means, Saved By The Cross...and often the word victory is placed before that. (I was raised in a southern church). There is VICTORY, because we are Saved By The Cross. There is also a southern Hymns with the words victory and cross in them..."Victory In The Cross", just to name one. I believe that she was in a major hurry and panic, and wrote down the first thing that popped into her head. Why in the world would a kidnapper write...VICTORY, anyway?? What is he victorious for? All he has is a kidnapped child, no money, YET....as the RN is being written. And the "kidnapper" would have had to have known that the house would have been searched, and that she would eventually be found. Where is the VICTORY? Why would a kidnapper write such a ridiculous thing? IMO...it was a woman with a Christian background that wrote that RN....PATSY.
    "This time we get it right."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert18 View Post
    I tend to believe SBTC is also part of the Christian influence.

    One thing we know about Patsy is that she was a fighter. The ransom note is a note of failure because of JonBenet's death. But at the end of the note we see Patsy fighting back with SBTC and Victory.
    it does fit in with the word victory,so either it means saved by the cross or its from the bible verses in the bible that were found open.
    something to ponder:

    When the corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and the mortal have put on immortality, then shall we be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

    O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?

    The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.
    But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1 Corinthians 15:54-57

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ames View Post
    I agree with you. I think that SBTC means, Saved By The Cross...and often the word victory is placed before that. (I was raised in a southern church). There is VICTORY, because we are Saved By The Cross. There is also a southern Hymns with the words victory and cross in them..."Victory In The Cross", just to name one. I believe that she was in a major hurry and panic, and wrote down the first thing that popped into her head. Why in the world would a kidnapper write...VICTORY, anyway?? What is he victorious for? All he has is a kidnapped child, no money, YET....as the RN is being written. And the "kidnapper" would have had to have known that the house would have been searched, and that she would eventually be found. Where is the VICTORY? Why would a kidnapper write such a ridiculous thing? IMO...it was a woman with a Christian background that wrote that RN....PATSY.
    it sounds very feminine,too,I think that part was her idea,not JR's.
    something to ponder:

    When the corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and the mortal have put on immortality, then shall we be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

    O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?

    The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.
    But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1 Corinthians 15:54-57


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMO8778 View Post
    it sounds very feminine,too,I think that part was her idea,not JR's.
    Yes it does...I think you are right. I couldn't imagine John saying..."Patsy, sign the note with the intitials of Saved By The Cross, they would NEVER be able to figure THAT one out." Yep, Patsy thought of that one all on her own. Coming from a religious background, she probably heard that phrase all of her life.
    "This time we get it right."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ames View Post
    Yes it does...I think you are right. I couldn't imagine John saying..."Patsy, sign the note with the intitials of Saved By The Cross, they would NEVER be able to figure THAT one out." Yep, Patsy thought of that one all on her own. Coming from a religious background, she probably heard that phrase all of her life.
    and the victory,too.what would a man say,(much less a terrorist,or rather,a group of ppl pretending to be terrroists)..I don't think it would be victory.
    something to ponder:

    When the corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and the mortal have put on immortality, then shall we be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

    O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?

    The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.
    But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1 Corinthians 15:54-57

  13. #13
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    Right on Omega

    Omega,
    After a 25 year career as a newspaper reporter and public relations representative, I have been posting for years that the ransom letter was a blueprint for someone familiar with the style of writing a news story or press release.
    It's not just the wide margins, it's the large indents which begin each paragraph of the letter. Although it's not typewritten, the letter shows other evidence the writer was familiar with writing as a journalist.
    How the time is written in the instructions of when the kidnappers will call iis classic AP style used by most newspapers and reporters.
    Proofreading symbols also appear on the letter (the carat to insert a word).
    I see the letter as being a glaring fake as a ransom note.
    Much time and description is spent by the writer to warn the parents (or John) not to alert authorities. These warnings are certainly out of balance to the amount of instructions give to John on how to recover his daughter. I would suppose the money trade for the child would be specific and written so there is no mistake in reading the directions. Instead we find bare bone directions to recover Jon Benet.
    The kidnappers state they will contact John "tomorrow." Without a date on the letter indicating when it was written, "tomorrow" has no specific meaning.
    If the idea of a kidnapping is getting money, this was a poor way to notify the parents. Whoever wrote this letter did not have a money exchange on his or her mind.
    I thoroughly appreciated your post on the ransom letter. Many wonderful points are given. Good job.
    The Hokey Pokey Clinic - A good place to turn yourself around:

  14. #14
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    Then palms of victory, crowns of glory, Palms of victory, I shall wear.

    "Then palms of victory, crowns of glory, Palms of victory, I shall wear."

    The above is from an old, southern-gospel song. The extracted line describes the rewards of a Christian, who after suffering on earth and through much weary traveling, finally receives at their death a heavenly victory and gets to wear their crown (rewards for bearing up under the sufferings on earth).

    This theme is repeated in several Christian beliefs in the South where I grew up.

    How about "Victory! She Bears The Crown" as a possibility for "Victory! S.B.T.C."?



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMO8778 View Post
    and the victory,too.what would a man say,(much less a terrorist,or rather,a group of ppl pretending to be terrroists)..I don't think it would be victory.
    No, if it was some terrorist that was "angry" at John..enough to kill his daughter, the very LAST thing that they would write would be Victory. What totally amazes me, is that this intruder/killer/kidnapper/terrorist hated John so much that they killed his daughter...but yet...there was not ONE curse word in that ransom note. I find that odd...in fact the note was not in an angry tone at all. I personally think that if it had of been a real murder/kidnapping (not necessarily in that order)....that it would have said...something like..."Listen here you s.o.b." instead of "Mr. Ramsey"...."We have your daughter, you mother fuc-er. Bring us $118,000.00 in unmarked bills, to the shed behind Market street at 9:00 am today...or you will never see her alive again". And that is all it would say....how many other kidnapping notes (even the ones on tv), where the kidnapper signs off on the note? Much less with the words VICTORY, SBTC. It would have been more like "Rot in h-ll, you sob"...SBTC. IF they had of signed off at all. The ransom note wasn't written by a mad terrorist.....it was was written by a WOMAN with a Christian background, that probably never cussed. That's why there aren't any in the RN.
    "This time we get it right."

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