Fingerprints On The Note

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by Barbara, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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    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.
     
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  3. Maikai

    Maikai New Member

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    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.

    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.
     
  4. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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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.
     
  5. Britt

    Britt New Member

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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 :)
     
  6. Britt

    Britt New Member

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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?
     
  7. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    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

     
  8. Maikai

    Maikai New Member

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

     
  9. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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    Maybe his hands were clean too.
     
  10. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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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.



     
  11. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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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.


     
  12. Shylock

    Shylock Former Member

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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/technology/news/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".
     
  13. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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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
     
  14. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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

    Barbara New Member

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    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.
     
  16. Britt

    Britt New Member

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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? :D) 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.
     
  17. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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    Thanks Britt,

    As I have said over the years, in this case the absence of evidence made me then and continues to make me believe in Ramsey involvement

    There is true absence of intruder evidence and there is absence of Ramsey evidence where there SHOULD be Ramsey evidence.

    The flashlight is yet another example. The flashlight in their own house had NO fingerprints on it, inside and out and that is a red flag for sure. They should have had many Ramsey prints on the flashlight and the batteries.
     
  18. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    Actually I thought they were very nice responses. My one question was the use of the word "hold." Yesterday I read that prints will stay on paper much longer than other surfaces so I wondered if that was what he meant by paper holding prints well or if he was just talking paper as a surface for collecting prints.

    I don't recall any official reports being made public. I have a vague recollection about one test which would cause the note to be changed in some way so its usefulness for other examinations was destroyed. Perhaps that is the test where they soak the paper?

    Also I agree with Maikai about being surprised CBI would handle the note without gloves. It may be SOP and my image of how evidence gets handled is just wrong. I'd always assumed people wore gloves when handling evidence. Obviously they don't.

    Since it doesn't seem odd to your experts that paper can be handled and not acquire prints I wonder why it seemed odd to ST. Also I'm wondering if ST's " The only print identified on that note belonged to the document examiner. " simply means there was only one sufficiently complete to be identified and not that there weren't other "ridge details" that just couldn't be linked to specific individuals.
     
  19. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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    Hi Tipper,

    What timing for the above. I wrote back to thank the examiners for their time and just received this back in e mail. Bold is mine.


    This response was from the second letter response I posted.
     
  20. Britt

    Britt New Member

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    Me, too. Seems to me they wouldn't want to risk messing up existing prints nor making extra work for themselves having to eliminate their own prints during the process.

    I wondered the same thing you did when I read the above info -- whether there were any "ridge details" that couldn't be linked to specific individuals. Does no other prints literally mean NO other prints?
     
  21. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    Great timing! Well at least I'm not completely crazy to think gloves should be worn.

    If one were writing fiction about a botched murder investigation and included everything that has happened in this case I think the editors would send it back as not believable.
     

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