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  1. #1


    I just had a great idea. I was responding to BlueCrab on another thread. S/he insists that only young boys watch the kind of movies that parallel the ransom note references like from Ruthless People, and Ransom. I disagree, but that is neither here nor there.

    The challenge I am proposing for this thread is to list MOVIES and TV shows from say 1990 - 1996 that the Ramseys would have watched. These movies and TV shows must contain no references that could be used in a ransom note. They can't be funny, or violent. They can't be action adventure as BlueCrab maintains that the Rams would not watch this sort of show.

    So, if we can create a reasonably rich non-violent atmosphere for them to exist in, we can conclude that they were not influenced in any way by the sorts of movies that influenced the note. So, let's give it a go.

  2. #2

    I'll start...

    Sleepless in Seatle (1993)


    Plot Outline: A recently-widowed man's son calls a radio talk show in an attempt to find his father a partner

    There is death in this movie, but it's minor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Northern Vermont

    Why can't they be funny?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Detroit 'Burb

    How Do I Know What They'd Watch?

    But Bro Moon had one, you'll all remember I'm sure. The Prime of Miss Jean Brody? Anybody want to tell what that was about? Only kids would watch the ones that were quoted? Not necessarily so.

  5. #5


    Bensmom98 - Ruthless People - where the majority of the lines were lifted from is a Bette Midler comedy. BlueCrab posted that only young kids would watch these types of movies. Therefore comedies are out. Technically, there are funny bits in Sleepless as well, but...

    Eagle 1. BlueCrab is the one who is posting that the Rams would not watch these sorts of movies, so I thought let's profile who they would be if they were never exposed to 'violent' movies - there must be enough others out there to give us an idea of who they might be, right? TIC

    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - I tried to read the book. I kept dozing off and you've gotta know that mostly I read linguistic texts that are hardly nail-bitters for anyone but me... so maybe someone can give a little synopsis of the storyline provided it's not violent or funny.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    I didn't say the Ramseys would never watch action movies. I simply said that in regard to movies watched in a theatre it is mostly kids lined up to buy tickets, and you seldom see adults in the line. Home movies may be a different matter.

    Nevertheless, in reviewing the '98 interviews, it seems that the Ramseys seldom went to a movie theatre, but did occasionally watch movies at home. John liked old movies with Humphrey Bogart, etc., and Patsy wasn't too interested in movies at all. They put her to sleep. The kids watched lots of movies at home.

    TOM HANEY: "Do you go to the movies a lot?"

    PATSY RAMSEY: "I didn't go to the movies too much. We would usually -- well, we didn't rent many movies. The kids watched a lot of movies."

    TOM HANEY: "So what I guess you are saying is the movies were mainly for the kids."

    PATSY RAMSEY: "Yeah."

    TOM HANEY: "Can you think of any you would have rented for yourself?"

    PATSY RAMSEY: "Braveheart."

    TOM HANEY: "Whose choice was that?"

    PATSY RAMSEY: "John. He and Burke usually go pick them out. I usually fell asleep. John loves like, The African Queen, all of the old movies."

    TOM HANEY: "How about things like Dirty Harry?"

    PATSY RAMSEY: "I don't know."

    TOM HANEY: "Speed?"

    PATSY RAMSEY: "I think I might have seen that on an airplane."

    TOM HANEY: "So do you put John to sleep with some of your choices?"

    PATSY RAMSEY: "No, because I never picked them much. He and Burke would get them."
    Last edited by BlueCrab; 04-03-2005 at 12:22 AM.

  7. #7


    I guess there's not much point in pointing out that this interview was long after the Ramseys knew that the person who wrote the note was heavily influenced by movies. So, they're gonna say what - Oh, yeah, I'm a big movie buff.

    They would like you to believe they did not watch these movies, but there is evidence that they did.

    It must be kinda hard to come up with movies that are non-violent and non-funny, huh? This thread is not getting much response. Think I'll start another one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I'm confused as to what you are asking us to do, and for what purpose?

  9. #9

    what and why?

    Well, I’ll start again. I just typed a whole long reply and then lost it searching for a URL. Anyway, the point of this thread was to define the effects of broadcast media on Patsy Ramsey’s ransom note writing ability. If she would not be affected by the type of movie depicted in the note, I asked people to supply the type of movie that she would watch.

    I warned right off that this would not be easy. The argument is that she did not watch action adventure movies like Ransom, or Ruthless People, which was also a comedy. Therefore I was curious as to what type of movie she would have watched. I suggested one – Sleepless, just to show that it could be done. But so far the response has not exactly been overwhelming.

    Yesterday, while doing some other research on a phrase, I discovered a site that suggests that entertainment events are shaping and infiltrating our language. Broadcasters and journalists pick up and disseminate creative phrases and save us the work of creating our own expressions.

    The site is fascinating and presents a list of commonly used expressions (85 in total if you scroll down) that make it hard to argue that they are not right. So, this being the case, the argument that Patsy Ramsey was exempt from this phenomenon is a hard sell. She would be just as likely to have phrases in her vocabulary and her memory cells as anyone else. The argument that only young boys, or only males, use this language does not work. We all pick up phrases from movies, whether we watch the movies or not, via broadcasters and journalists. Interesting, huh?

    I invite you to go take a look at the list of commonly used phrases. The one I was researching was ‘not a happy camper,’ because my son-in-law drew it to my attention when I used it in conversation at the dinner table on Sunday night. Where did it come from? – he asked. So, I spent several hours yesterday trying to figure it out. My kinda mystery. Anyway, I gave up when I got to:

    Trite Me

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    How about this one?

    Hook (1991):

    Plot outline from IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102057/plotsummary

    Peter Pan (Williams) has grown up to be a cut-throat merger and acquisitions lawyer, and is married to Wendy's granddaughter. Captain Hook (Hoffman) kidnaps his children, and Peter returns to Never Land with Tinkerbell (Roberts). With the help of her and the Lost Boys, he must remember how to be Peter Pan again in order to save his children by battling with Captain Hook once again.

    Peter Pan is now a Fat Cat with kidnapped children...Hmmm...

    Certainly a family film. I am sure the Rs watched this one at least once.

    I don't remember much of the language from the film, except for the nanny who cried, "The children were screaming!," or something to that effect.
    The above is my opinion only based on published accounts of the case.

  11. #11


    That is indeed a fine movie that I'm sure a lot of us watched, but alas, Patsy did not watch that sort of movie according to some of the posters on this forum. You see it was a kidnap movie and that's not allowed. Patsy only watched light hearted stuff. This thread is to determine if any such movies exist that she might have been able to watch. You see, even innocuous stuff like Peter Pan has elements that poor Patsy would not be able to stomach and that would ultimately polute her naivety and make her just as capable as any other adult of penning that note.

    This thread is intended to examplify the sort of movies Patsy would have been able to watch and the sort of person that would make her and the sort of note she would be able to pen.

    The argument is that the Ramsey parents did not watch the sort of movies that would contribute to their being able to pen a ransom note. They were so sheltered - apparently - that they weren't even able to read one. I'm just asking people to put their movies where their mouths are. Nicely, of course. Without sarcasm. If they didn't watch all the violent and humorous stuff the rest of us were watching - what did they watch? You see, not so easy to answer.

    If still confused - stick TIC!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Here's how I see the Ramsey's movie viewings:

    o John liked the oldies (Humphrey Bogart, etc.)

    o Patsy liked comedies (Chevy Chase, etc.)

    o Burke liked action (Mel Gibson, etc.)

    o JonBenet liked cartoons (Disney, etc.)

    However, according to the police interviews, John and Burke were the ones who went to Blockbuster and picked out the movies. When it was a movie appropriate for the whole family they watched it together on the big screen in the master bedroom. At other times Patsy had to watch whatever John brought home, and consequently she often fell asleep watching. Burke and JonBenet had VCR's in their respective bedrooms and watched whatever Burke brought home for the two of them from Blockbuster.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCrab
    Here's how I see the Ramsey's movie viewings:

    o John liked the oldies (Humphrey Bogart, etc.)

    o Patsy liked comedies (Chevy Chase, etc.)

    o Burke liked action (Mel Gibson, etc.)

    o JonBenet liked cartoons (Disney, etc.)
    The idea was to post movies that the Rams would have watched that are not violent or funny. You yourself said they didn't watch that sort of movie. Only young boys would watch that sort of movie.

    BlueCrab said: On Ransom Note thread... One can study the ransom note til they're blue in the face and hypothesize all sorts of scenarios, but there's one thing about that note that's constant and cannot be diversified -- the naive references to action movie adages. That spells teenage male to me and nothing but teenage male.
    underlining is mine.

    Teenagers? Burke was not a teenager. But you said he
    liked action (Mel Gibson etc.)
    Look at your quote.

    So, let’s look at Patsy. Say for instance, the Chevy Chase comedy classic, Christmas Vacation that she said she liked - but alas, that is a violent movie with a kidnapping theme, so you probably don't want to go there.

    Now, in the same comedy genre is Ruthless People. It is also a little violent (arguably less so than Christmas Vacation) but also has a kidnapping theme. So, maybe you're right about Patsy liking that sort of funny dangerous movie - ya know the Chevy Chase type.

    If so, you need to know that a great deal of the text of the ransom note does parallel Ruthless People. Do you know where most of the differences lie? In the lines that contain distancing from the victim.

    Odd, huh?

  14. #14
    Does anybody really believe it when Patsy says that they do not watch violent movies???


    Give me a break! I can almost guarantee that they rented every "popular" movie out there....AND...one movie that I know the Ramseys watched in 1996....

    "The Usual Suspects"
    ...We have said to ourselves, look, there is never going to be a victory in this, there is no victory...John Ramsey: 6/24/98

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by twilight

    Teenagers? Burke was not a teenager.


    I stand by my theory that a fifth person was likely in the house that night. That person was either a teen, or a young adult, or a highly intelligent and mature 10-year-old. IMO the note has young male written all over it. I think BR probably wrote it and the other young person helped with the text.

    Besides, the missing crime scene evidence didn't grow wings and fly out of the broken basement window all by itself. The roll of black duct tape; the rest of the white nylon cord; the tip of the paint brush handle; the dark-colored wipe-down cloth; the size 6 panties; the red ink pen; the stun gun; and the 9 pages from the notepad; were never found and, IMO, were taken out of the house by a non-Ramsey -- the fifth person in the house that night.


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