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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    enhanced 911 call

    i know that the "enhanced" 911 call has not been released to the public, but the audio is available online "unenhanced," and if you are so inclined (and technically savvy), you can try to hear what people are talking about. the audio is here.

    i have some rather advanced audio software as i am a musician, and i did an experiment. i'm sure my abilities and equipment is not quite the FBI or NASA, but i could definitely hear more talking towards the end of the tape. for my experiment, i tried to enhance what sounded like talking and then played it over and over again to try and decipher what was said. once i decided what i thought was said, i looked up online what others say was said. i'll use schiller as an example...

    from PMPT:

    "Help me Jesus, help me Jesus." That was clearly Patsy’s voice. Then, in the distance, there was another voice, which sounded like JonBenet’s brother.

    "Please, what do I do?" Burke said.

    "We’re not speaking to you," Hickman heard John Ramsey say.

    Patsy screamed again. "Help me Jesus, help me Jesus."

    And then, more clearly, Burke said, "What did you find?"

    my account differed slightly. there seems to me to be 4 segments of speech. i will discuss each of the 4 and relate the times at which they occur.

    #1@1:19 - this sounds like either burke or patsy because it is higher-pitched than the other voice(s) on the tape. i heard it as "What did you do" or "what did i do"

    #2@1:20 - this is a deeper voice, i think john. to me, this is the clearest one. it sounds like "what did you do?"

    #3@1:22 - this sounds like the same voice as #2. it again sounds like "what did you do?" but it's not as clear.

    #4@1:23 - this sounds like a higher pitched voice again. maybe the same as the first, but definitely not john. i hear "wasn't me."

    all together, my guess is this...
    patsy: what did you do
    john: what did you do?
    john(louder and angrier): what did you do?
    burke: wasn't me

    does this get us anywhere? not really other than the fact that the ramseys lied about burke being awake. anyone care to take a crack at the decoding?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    I can't make it out AT ALL, the voice in the background, sounds like a child's voice but at one point it sounds like an echo - do you hear when the operator is saying "Patsy, Patsy Patsy", in the background, it sounds like an Echo of her saying Patsy. That's the last thing I can hear, sounds like a small echo.

    What I DID hear is she said the ransom note was found in JonBenet's bedroom, where the news reports have stated the note was found at the bottom of the staircase.

    Goes to show ya, there's no accounting sometimes for how it's reported.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by KatherineQ

    What I DID hear is she said the ransom note was found in JonBenet's bedroom, where the news reports have stated the note was found at the bottom of the staircase.


    You are right. Patsy states on the 911 tape:


    (EDIT: I'm wrong. It now sounds more like "A note was left and our daughter's gone." Thanks Camper.)

    This contradicts everything we've ever been told about where the note was discovered. The Ramseys have repeatedly said publicly they found the ransom note on one of the bottom steps of the spiral staircase.

    What's going on here?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Welll Hmmm

    Nopey, Patsy says, "Theres a note and our daughter's gone", the dispatcher then says, "There's a note and your daughters gone?"

    I heard what Voice of Reason says, except for the 'wasn't me', I could not hear that part.

    So a short inquisition to Burke was on Mom and Dads mind ASAP.

    ==========The very first few words out of Patsy's mouth sound like a poor movie script. She gives their address the VERY first thing.

    Second guessing as a mom myself, I am afraid, I would just be screaming, "MY DAUGHTERS GONE HELPPPPPPPP".

    Voice of Reason your fine equipment and good ear certainly sends the ???????????? up loud and clear, about Blue Crabs theory, huh, BC? Still a mystery though isn't it?!

    Opinions expressed by me, are mine, based on life experience, and known facts of any given case.

    """I am just a pixel in the universal plan."""

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Camper, I think you're right, I listened again, she says I found a note and my daughter's gone, but I'm not sure. That's what the dispatcher repeats back to her, for sure, the dispatcher says that. Probably Patsy says that too.

    I'm surprised by how Patsy sounds on the phone but I'm often surprised at how people sound on 911 calls. They often sound like they're making the whole thing up - like a prank call. I think people in panic don't always sound like you'd expect them to.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Northern Vermont


    Darn it ! I can't listen to it - my computer is missing some .dll file.

  7. #7
    I've been looking at the various different versions of what might be in that small unknown conversation. There are a few things that I do know about sounds - no special equipment required.

    1) if you take the phone away from your mouth, even put it down on a table or desk, you should not be telling secrets to others in the room without covering the mouthpiece. So, where did Patsy go to cause the volume to drop so dramatically - quite a ways, I would suggest. Could a distraught woman move that quickly, etc. etc. and why would she?

    2) When you ask a question in the English language, intonation factors come into play. The last word you utter in the question will rise in pitch. This is a researched linguistic detail. So, it makes decoding questions a little easier - if the tone rises, it's intended as a question. Even if you can't hear the words, the tone will be there. So, it should be pretty easy to sort out whether or not these are questions - with or without slick equipment.

    3) When you utter a request or a command, the last word will not rise. 'Help me Jesus' is a request/command. It can also be spiritual or distraught cursing. (I stubbed my toe - Jesus, that hurts!) So, let's look at this.

    Help me... Jesus, help me. is different than
    Help me Jesus. Help me Jesus.

    Again the periods in conversation are placed by ear rather than by actual textual markings. IOW it's open to interpretation by the listener. And according to PMPT, Aerospace did not provide a text - just an enhanced copy of the tape. Detective Melissa Hickman interpreted it. According to ST, Aerospace might have provided text - he says, 'Their work produced a startling conclusion.' This is ambiguous to say the least. Voice of Reason uses his/her own ear with less sophisticated equipment. And the rest of you - are guessing, right?

    According to Voice of Reasons interpretation you have, I think four different utterances. In ST's book (p.14-15) he says 3. The PMPT (286) says 4. What you have to realize is that there are one long string of consonants and vowels interspersed with pauses that have to be broken into text. Intonation can signal the end of utterances as can pauses. (enter a trained linguist? - NOT...) And there are guys (linguists) that are really good at this...really, really good.

    I find the whole thing a little suspect - due to the rapid drop in volume and the lack of expert opinion.

    However, word for word, if you follow ST's transcript of the 911 call, you will hear exactly what he says you will. Case in point:

    PATSY RAMSEY: There we have a ... There's a note left and our daughter's gone.
    DISPATCHER: A note was left and your daughter is gone?

    This is quite clearly what the tape says. So, how come you all get different versions? To me words matter ENORMOUSLY. So, don't rearrange them or change them. You can't discuss anything if you're all winging it. It just creates confusion.

    Now, I don't know about you guys, but I have great difficulty understanding (hearing) the intial contact - specifically 755 - 15th street. This is crucial information. Why didn't the dispatcher ask for clarification? She clarifies just about every other detail, by repetitive feedback, except for the address. She appears to attempt to keep Patsy on the line, but does not direct her to stay on the line. Remember dispatchers have protocols and scripts that they follow. So, what's the deal here?

    Is this tape a red herring?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    This is only a piece of the call - it's possible afterwards, she gets the address repeated again, and it's also possible that when the dispatcher picked up the phone, she already knew the address the call was coming from. She says her name Patsy Ramsey almost unintelligibly, and the dispatcher "gets" it, although she has to repeat other things. It seems quite possible she already knew the address and home owner's names.

    Maybe it's my speakers, maybe it's my ears, maybe it's the quality of the recording. I can make out almost nothing of what Patsy Ramsey is saying, but the dispatcher's words are completely clear.

    And what is that duck quacking sound near the end of the tape? It obscures the other voices.

    edited to add: "The dispatcher says, okay, what's your name? Are you Pat. . " and Patsy Ramsey interrupts to say Patsy Ramsey. The dispatcher already knows who's placing the call.

  9. #9


    DISPATCHER: are you Pat
    DISPATCHER: are you at...

    This is known as backchannelling where speakers break the rules of conversation and interrupt the speaker who has the floor, so to speak. This is done for a variety of reasons - change the topic, create argument, assume the floor, but there is often a significant outcome - confusion. I think that's what Patsy was going for here. An environment of confusion. She also wanted to regain control of direction the conversation would move in. Who knows what the dispatcher was going to ask. What we do know is that Patsy had the option to wait and see or to interrupt and not know. By interrupting she was able to steer the conversation where she wanted it to go.

    I don't know about Boulder, Colorado, but here normally phone numbers turn up a J. or possibly a P. Ramsey. Usually phones are in the husband's name in marriages. Seldom do women put their full names on their phone lines because it can lead to abuse of the system. I doubt 911 has a databank of anyone who might call. It would be a major undertaking to keep it current and with cells etc. totally impossible.

    Katherine - you also said: This is only a piece of the call

    Which piece - the call starts with the dispatcher saying: 911 emergency and ends when Patsy attempts to hang up (or so the story goes). So, what are we missing?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    tape quality etc...

    i don't know if anyone here has ever worked in a government office, but unless it's the CIA or something high up, they, surprisingly, do not have the most high-tech equipment. anyone recall discussion of the FBI's antiquated computer systems post-9/11? phone lines are, for the most part, analog. even more so in 1996. i don't know what they use to record these phone calls, but i'd bet you it's not the most high-tech stuff out there. heck, they couldn't even enhance the call themselves...they had to send it to the astronauts!! and who knows what generation this mp3 that somehow made it to the internet is. i'm not sure if the source of the recording was initially analog or digital, so it may have suffered significant degradation in quality after being copied over and over.

    as for the extra conversation, i started this thread for discussion. i was curious as to what may or may not have been said, but even after listening with my own ears and my own enhancements, i'm still in doubt. it may have been nothing, and it also may have been lines crossing and come from a different conversation.

    i think that the dispatcher tried to keep PR on the phone but failed. she did not direct her to stay, but it wasn't the most calm and controlled conversation. guilty or innocent, the ramsey household was in total mayhem that morning. either someone had just committed a murder, or someone had just had their daughter kidnapped. in either scenario, i would anticipate things to move in a fashion out of the ordinary.

  11. #11

    who took her...

    Here's something for consideration. How many of you hear the dispatcher quite clearly the first time she asks: Does it say who took her? I know I do.

    Notice how Patsy responds - What?

    This is the equivalent of any Miss West Virginia asking "Could you repeat the question, please?" PURPOSE - buys time to think.

    Now, turn to the ransom note. You will note - if you just go through and count that there are way too many sentences explaining who took JonBenét. 1 would be way too many, under the circumstances, but I count at least 3, 4 if you include the S.B.T.C

    These sentences all contain ambigous hints at the identity of the kidnappers. Why? They have a death wish?

    So, when someone says to you 'who took your daughter?' - a question, by the way, that I think would be hard to anticipate - I think you're going to need a moment to regroup your thoughts. How much to share and how much to leave others to discover? Because after all, leaving others to discover is what the note is all about. Clues, upon clues, upon clues...and all point away from that home.

    And one last thing -

    PATSY RAMSEY: It says SBTC Victory....Please.

    Not it's from, or it's signed, but IT SAYS.

    I guess one can only LISTEN CAREFULLY! to a letter that actually SAYS S.B.T.C

    Personification at its best. This is a rhetorical term (personification). Orators learn to use rhetorical terms. Orators also find themselves in public speaking venues like the Miss America pageant.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    More On Enhancement

    Here is a page containing all sorts of info regarding the 911 call, the extra voices or lack thereof, etc...there are mp3s of enhancements, loops, etc...

    my personal opinion after listening and reading all of the stuff on that page, is that it is a great primer, but it is written heavily towards the side of the ramseys' innocence. as a former sound engineer myself, i can tell you that the stuff that guy "dave" did with the loops is very misleading, so take it with a grain of salt. primarily, use it as a backdrop, but watch out for the strong language of the advocate...

  13. #13

    v of r...

    Which advocate would that be...hehehe...

    You said: guilty or innocent, the ramsey household was in total mayhem that morning. either someone had just committed a murder, or someone had just had their daughter kidnapped. in either scenario, i would anticipate things to move in a fashion out of the ordinary.

    I say- define 'ordinary.'

    And further I say, because you can define ordinary...so could the Ramseys. If anything happened that was out of the ordinary, choices were made to be out of the ordinary.

    We can all define ordinary. We can all also recognize when things occur that are out of the ordinary. The trick is to look at what should have happened and what did happen and then try to figure out who got what out of the situation? Who controlled the situation? This is very apparent in the 911 call. It's also apparent in the ransom note.

    Remember to ask - who is controlling the situation? Who gains from the situation?

    {{ps...you might also want to ask yourself the same questions about the things you read on the Internet. I do, every time I see stuff misquoted, or misdirected...}}

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Twilight - did you see in the transcripts, the dispatcher does say "are you Pat . . ". So, she does know who's calling from the beginning.

    About her saying it says rather than it's signed, maybe that's a speech habit. Lots of people say "it says" when they read something. As in, "it says here bla bla bla."

    I think this note can be analyzed to death, and sometimes the fact is, you can get really off track that way.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by twilight
    The trick is to look at what should have happened and what did happen and then try to figure out who got what out of the situation? Who controlled the situation? This is very apparent in the 911 call. It's also apparent in the ransom note.
    i completely agree with you. unfortunately, in the legal arena, which is where this would be if someone were ever indicted, that sort of stuff isn't that useful. on the one hand, parents in this situation are expected to act unpredictably, but on the other hand, their behavior was SO bizarre in an entirely different way than one would expect. if you woke up and found one of your two children missing and a ransom note, would you let your other child stay asleep all morning while the cops come to your house? "just stay in bed son, while we sort this whole "kidnapping" out. we'll chat later." and then when you find your daughter's body, with just about full rigor mortis having set in, would you pick her up and carry her upstairs, or would you yell to the police to come downstairs? touch her, fine. hug her, fine. take the tape off her mouth, fine. but pick up a stiff body that's clearly dead and bring it upstairs? it's really just too bad that this crime will never get prosecuted...

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