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  1. #1
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    Fingerprints On The Note

    For me, one of the smoking guns along with the pineapple

    How is it possible that Patsy and John's fingerprints were nowhere to be found on the Ransom note?

    We have heard nonsense that because their hands were "clean", they don't leave prints on paper.

    Is that scientifically possible?

    During a time like that, common sense dictates that nerves kick in and wouldn't hands, palms, etc. perspire? Wouldn't that leave a print? Even a partial print?

    These details, like the pineapple, get swept under the proverbial rug and the explanations range from the logical to the inane.

    Let's see if we can separate the two.

    I say the absence of any of the Ramsey fingerprints on the note is evidence of a cover up.

    Unless someone shows me scientific evidence that it is possible for two really upset people to handle paper and NOT leave any prints, I say it's clear that the Ramseys have quite a bit to hide.
    This is my opinion only
    This post may not be copied to any other forum

    God Bless America

  2. #2
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    Do a search, Barbara

    of fingerprints and paper. You'll find paper can be one of the poorer substances on which to leave fingerprints. You'll also find the way the note was handled is relevant when it comes to the chain of custody.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbara
    For me, one of the smoking guns along with the pineapple

    How is it possible that Patsy and John's fingerprints were nowhere to be found on the Ransom note?

    I say the absence of any of the Ramsey fingerprints on the note is evidence of a cover up.

    Unless someone shows me scientific evidence that it is possible for two really upset people to handle paper and NOT leave any prints, I say it's clear that the Ramseys have quite a bit to hide.
    On the contrary---it shows they read portions--and reacted. Didn't spend a lot of time analyzing and handling it---and both had washed their hands that morning---besides which Colorado is a dry climate--you don't perspire much. How come Fleet White's fingerprints aren't on it? Didn't he read the original note? I'd say the same reason.

    Last comment editted because it was a personal comment towards another poster.

  3. #3
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    I have searched and nowhere could I find that fingerprints can not be lifted from paper, nor did I find ANYWHERE that "clean hands" prevent fingerprints from being left. Utter nonsense. Paper picks up fingerprints just fine according to the searches I perfomed

    However, to be fair, I have written a few places asking those very questions. Please show me your research that states otherwise.

    I will post any responses I get, favorable or not to my theory.
    This is my opinion only
    This post may not be copied to any other forum

    God Bless America

  4. #4
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    Great questions, Barbara.

    The note was obviously capable of picking up prints. From Thomas's book:

    One thing we managed to keep from them for a while was that the lab analysts had a partial print from the ransom note. However, it didn't belong to the killer but to Chet Ubowski of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, who handled the note during his examination. The only print identified on that note belonged to the document examiner. There was no indication that an intruder had ever touched the ransom note. And it seemed odd to us that no prints were on the note from either of the parents, who presumably would have handled it and even gripped it tightly. ITRMI, p. 223 pb.

    This note spent a lot of time on the floor -- first on the stairs and then on the hallway floor -- so naturally the Ramseys went to the floor to do their reading. Doesn't everyone? So, see, they didn't handle the note... maybe didn't want to get their hands dirty ? literally speaking, of course
    The intruder is innocent! JMO

  5. #5
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    And a question occurs: how did the note get itself from the stairs to the hall floor?

    Maybe the same way the pineapple got into JB's digestive system without her eating it?
    The intruder is innocent! JMO

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbara
    I have searched and nowhere could I find that fingerprints can not be lifted from paper, nor did I find ANYWHERE that "clean hands" prevent fingerprints from being left. Utter nonsense. Paper picks up fingerprints just fine according to the searches I perfomed

    However, to be fair, I have written a few places asking those very questions. Please show me your research that states otherwise.

    I will post any responses I get, favorable or not to my theory.
    I have heard that paper is not a good surface for fingerprints although not an impossible one. Hard, smooth surfaces seem to be the best.

    http://www.science.siu.edu/ijshs/Fingerprints.pdf



    Items such as glass, aluminum, polished metals, polished woods, plastic bags, porcelain, china, smooth painted surfaces and hard plastic are ideal surfaces for fingerprints. Rough or porous surfaces, such as raw wood, grained leather, and cloth tend not to yield as adequate fingerprints

    Another possible variable is the condition of the skin at the time the object is touched.

    Dry, clean skin may not leave as good a print as skin with more oil on it or any other sticky substance.



    The combination of recently cleaned hands and a paper suirface may account for the lack of prints. I was interested that children's prints apparently disappear more quickly than adults.

    Not really related but an interesting article:
    http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?020527fa_FACT


  7. #7
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    Why is Chet Ubowski's

    fingerprints on the note at all? duh.....this is the guy examining the note for fingerprints....and he handles it without gloves on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Britt
    From Thomas's book:

    One thing we managed to keep from them for a while was that the lab analysts had a partial print from the ransom note. However, it didn't belong to the killer but to Chet Ubowski of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, who handled the note during his examination. The only print identified on that note belonged to the document examiner. There was no indication that an intruder had ever touched the ransom note. And it seemed odd to us that no prints were on the note from either of the parents, who presumably would have handled it and even gripped it tightly. ITRMI, p. 223 pb.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maikai
    fingerprints on the note at all? duh.....this is the guy examining the note for fingerprints....and he handles it without gloves on?
    Maybe his hands were clean too.
    This is my opinion only
    This post may not be copied to any other forum

    God Bless America

  9. #9
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    This is one response I have received from a fingerprint expert. Since I haven't yet asked him if it was okay to print his name, I will just print his letter. If someone does not believe this is from an expert (I have left his initials/credentials), I will
    make an extra effort to get his permission.



    Barbara,

    At first glance it would seem unlikely that no prints
    would be contained on the "kidnapping" note. However,
    if you consider all of the dynamics involved in the
    deposition and development of latent prints, it is not
    so hard to understand.

    Depending upon the type of paper that is handled,
    latent prints are most often readily deposited and
    will remain quite stable for extended periods of time.
    If I accurately recall, the note in the Ramsey case
    was written on a sheet from a legal pad. (Is that
    right? I haven't really followed the case very
    intently). That type of paper usually results in the
    deposition of latent prints and retention of them.
    However, I have examined many, many paper items in
    over 23 years and the simple fact is that just because
    an item is handled, it doesn't mean prints are going
    to be deposited or recovered.

    Development processes that are used on paper basically
    consist of spectral and chemical techniques. Spectral
    development techniques involve the use of a forensic
    light source, such as a laser, to detect inherent
    fluorescence. There are some biological components of
    natural fingerprint residue that will fluoresce under
    excitation within the proper wave-length. Chemical
    treatment of the surface suspected of containing
    latent prints may also enhance the ability to
    visualize prints by means of a light source. These
    techniques are not always successful, however, because
    they are dependent upon either residue components that
    are inherent or that react to the chemical reagent.

    Ninhydrin solution is a development technique that is
    the "workhorse" of latent print development on porous
    paper items. It forms a colored chemical reaction with
    the amino acids contained in natural residue. The
    ridge detail of the print becomes visible in a dark
    purple color - called "Rhueman's Purple". There are
    other chemical methods, such as DFO, Physical
    Developer, and Iodine fuming (which is not as widely
    used in the modern age) that may be applied to paper
    specimens. These all react to different components of
    natural latent print residue.

    The problem with being able to develop and visualize
    latent prints on any surface, including paper, is that
    there are so many variable and dynamic factors
    involving the deposition, stability, and development
    of the prints. While your postulation that it seems
    likely that someone involved in a horrendous crime
    would be perspiring heavily, that is not always the
    case. Again, the many variables involved make it truly
    a chance prospect. The unique physiological processes
    of the individual account for some of this problem. As
    we get older, we tend to perspire less. Our eccrine
    glands (sweat glands) and sebaceous glands (oil
    glands) tend to secrete less. This is just a general
    guideline, there are, of course, exceptions to the
    rules.

    I would tell you from experience that I have seen
    items that I know positively were handled by someone
    that bear no fingerprints. Of course, I have seen
    items that were known to have been handled contain a
    wealth of fingerprints. The prospect is truly by
    "chance," and that's why latent prints are sometimes
    also referred to as "chance impressions."

    Another thing about latent prints on paper, is that
    quite often we may be able to determine that the item
    has been handled, sometimes extensively. We are able
    to clearly see some ridge detail develop. Many times,
    however, the prints do not develop to a degree
    sufficient to allow for individualization or
    exclusion. This primarily results from a lack of
    perspiration on the subject's hands and fingers. The
    ridge detail may be fragmented to the point that it
    cannot be compared. The natural print residue may be
    so diluted that sufficient perspiration (amino acids)
    was not deposited to form a strong enough color
    reaction and the print subsequently is too faint to
    clearly see the detail. So, it may be that prints were
    developed, but they were insufficient in their clarity
    to allow conclusive determination of who they belonged
    to.

    Having said all of that, I don't know the particulars
    of the examination that was or was not conducted on
    the evidence in this case. Without having reviewed the
    examiner's bench notes and actually having examined
    the evidence myself, I cannot say what conclusions
    should have been reached. It would not surprise me,
    however, that no prints were developed or prints
    having insufficient quality to allow individualization
    were found on the paper. I see this phenomenon over
    and over again in every day case work.

    I hope this answers some of your questions. Perhaps it
    only raises more.

    Sincerely,

    ***** CLPE SCSA
    This is my opinion only
    This post may not be copied to any other forum

    God Bless America

  10. #10
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    This is the other response to my question received so far: Again, I have left out the name as I did not ask permission to print the name.


    Hi,

    I don't know anything about the JonBenet Ramsey case, but I have been a latent print examiner for 6 years so I thought I'd tell you what I thought when I read your post.

    I also disagree about the statement of paper not holding prints well. I have 2 guesses of what may have happened.

    First, there are many different ways to process paper to retrieve latent fingerprints. I would be interested to know which methods they tried. In my office, we normally use 2 or 3 different methods but this isn't common in our industry. I would hope that for a murder case at least 3 methods would be used, but every department doesn't have access to every method. Generally a department only uses what is at their immediate disposal. But just because latent prints weren't found doesn't mean that latent prints weren't left. They may be there, but still hidden to the naked eye.

    Second, if anyone touching the paper was sweating a lot or touching the paper with a lot of pressure or even touching it multiple times in the same place, most processing methods would show a reaction to the chemicals or would show multiple fingerprints overlapping each other but no clear latent prints that are able to be identified were found. It is fairly common for Latent Print Examiner to state "no identifiable latents were found", but this doesn't mean that no ridge detail was found. It just means that they didn't find any that could be individualized to a particular person. I know this is misleading, but it's just easier to say it this way, and it's been accepted in our industry for decades.

    I hope you understood my lame attempt to quickly explain this. If I've confused you, feel free to email me back and I'll try to explain it better.

    Sincerely,
    ***************
    This is my opinion only
    This post may not be copied to any other forum

    God Bless America


  11. #11
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    New fingerprint technology is still being developed that may someday crack this case. Here's a semi-recent article about one new advancement in Britain:
    http://www.platinum-celebs.com/techn...ws/005907.html

    So forget the DNA, if a Patsy or Burke fingerprint is someday found inside the knot on the garrote cord, the Ramsey ship will sink faster than Lin Wood can say "Titanic".

  12. #12
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    Is the report regarding the fingerprint testing on the ransom note available online? Does anyone have the official report? Is it public?

    If someone has it, can you please provide the link?

    Thank you
    This is my opinion only
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    God Bless America

  13. #13
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    So have you reconsidered your opinion that the absence of prints on the note is evidence of a coverup?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tipper
    So have you reconsidered your opinion that the absence of prints on the note is evidence of a coverup?
    Yes I have. That's why I ask for the experts' opinions.

    I am adult enough to admit when I am mistaken. The absence of fingerprints by the parents is still something that bothers me, as other prints were on there, and the absence of any fingerprints on the flashlight also continues to bother me, but I no longer consider it concrete proof of a coverup.

    I still find it suspicious, but not a smoking gun, nor "proof".

    As promised, I posted the letters even though it didn't back me up on my own theory, but I am not an expert. They are and they were nice enough to take the time to respond.

    If only the RST would do the same.
    This is my opinion only
    This post may not be copied to any other forum

    God Bless America

  15. #15
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    So we can conclude that we can draw no conclusions one way or the other from the absence of prints on the note. It is neither evidence of a cover-up nor evidence of Ramsey innocence.

    But it is another piece of non-evidence of an intruder, that mythical character who also left no prints (sorry, that would be a conclusion, wouldn't it? ) It's amazing how much evidence this guy didn't leave.

    Barbara -- thanks so much for checking this out and for posting the above expert explanations. Great work Yes, would that ALL case studiers were as honest in their pursuit of answers.
    The intruder is innocent! JMO

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