No footprints in the snow

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by Jayelles, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Jayelles

    Jayelles New Member

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    This is one of the most worn out statements of the whole case. I have addressed it in the Facts and Fiction thread but I'd like to discuss it here in more details. In order to illustrate my point, I am going to use a post made by jameson yesterday which can be found here:-

    http://www.webbsleuths.org/dcforum/DCForumID61/1220.html



    In fact, this is a highly misleading statement. At first glance one might think that the claim about the footprints and snow has no basis in fact at all. This is what was said by the police:-


    "Sgt Reichenbach states in his report that he had arrived at the Ramsey home at approximately 0600 hours on December 26 and that he had examined the exterior of the Ramsey home as well as the yard. Sgt Reichenbach noted that the air temperature was approximately 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Sgt Reichenbach noted in his report that there was a very light dusting of snow and frost on the exposed grass in the yard outside the Ramsey home. Some of the grass and yard was covered with snow from previous snowfall(s) and this snow was described as being crusty and measuring one-two inches deep. Sgt Reichenbach states that he saw no fresh footprints in any of the snow or in the frost on the grass..."



    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/jonbenet/charlevoix3.html


    The above is a typical police report based upon observation. The Sgt is specific in his description of temperature, and the locality, consistency and depth of the snow which was there and he also described frost covering too.



    jameson goes on to say:-



    Now things start to get muddy. The RST are very keen to discredit anyone who might consider the ramseys as suspects and therefore her opinions start to get personal - it was LIES intended to POISON the public against the Ramseys.



    However, the reports were accurate. There WAS snow and there were no footprints in that snow. End of fact.



    Historical records show that there was a rise in temperature that morning. The crime scene photos are not time stamped, but we know they were taken hours later. Sgt Reichenbach described a light "dusting of snow". How long would this take to disappear with a rise in temperature? Most of us have experienced snow and will know that light dustings of snow can melt and evaporate very quickly indeed. Certainly within an hour or so.



    The irony is, that the RST aren't shy about this rise in temperature. They use it as an argument in favour of a spider wakening from it's sleep and respinning a web on the basement window grate!



    Thinking minds know that. It is the RST who produce those photos and say "look no snow - therefore any statement about there being no footprints in the snow is BORG POISON!!



    The RST are trying desperately to discredit Sgt Reichenbach's eye-witness testimony - yet jameson wants us to accept her photos taken a year later as some sort of proof about the snow and forst that morning!!!!!



    The RST even say Sgt R was wrong about there being frost because the Boulder Weather Station readings for that morning wern't conducive to frost forming. Apart from the fact that the weather reports aren't always accurate, temperatures are not uniform across cities. My temperature guage in my car fluctuates all the time as I drive about town. We can have snow which lies for days and there be no snow on the other side of town. Frost tends to lie thick on grass, trees, my car windscreen.... and not on the roads we drive on. A patch of frost can lie along one side of my garden for days when there is no snow anywhere else and no fresh frost.



    RST spin does not cancel out Sgt Reichenbach's eye witness report.



    The bottom line is that Sgt Reichenbach noted snow and frost in various places around the Ramsey home and he also noted that neither THAT snow nor THOSE frost patches had any footprints in them. Lucky he did because the light dusting of snow was gone a few hours later when the crime scene photographer took the photos.

    I'll add something to this. One leading member of the RST once posted that she thought the crime scene photographs were taken around 7am. I do not think that was the case. The crime scene team arrived after the body was found at 1pm. I think it is most likely that the photos were taken then.
     
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  3. UKGuy

    UKGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well IMO just because its stated there no fresh footprints does not exclude the possibility of old footprints now covered by the fresh fall of snow.

    Also Sgt Reichenbach does not report on all views around the Ramsey house, so although his eyewitness account is helpful, it cannot be considered comprehensive.

    So like the initial house search which yielded no body, its something worth noting, but since it can be spun either way, its not a smoking gun!

    .
     
  4. Jayelles

    Jayelles New Member

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    I guess what I am trying to say is that the RST has spun this into something it never was. You are correct - it isn't a smoking gun. Sgt Reichenbach recorded some observations and this was spun into "BORG poison". The RST have gone out on a limb to show that it was "BORG POISON" using photos taken later that day and even a year later to show that there was no snow - ergo the BORG were lying/Reichenbach was lying. This is a bit like an eyewitness aying they saw a blue car parked on the corner of High Street at 6am and someone else providing photos of the same location - taken several hours later and a year later to "prove" that there was no car parked there!

    FWIW - "the BORG" have a police report as their source for the no footprints in the rost and light dusting of snow. The RST have these un-timemarked photos as theirs.

    Reichenbach never claimed there was a universal covering of snow - just that there was snow and frost in certain areas, and that these were footprint-free.

    This is a classic example of the RST using highly misleading claims in an attempt to discredit the "BORG".

    No footprints in patchy snow cover is a great big storm in a teeny wee teacup.
     
  5. BlueCrab

    BlueCrab New Member

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    The "no footprints in the snow" sworn statement by Sgt. Reichenbach is as close to a smoking gun as we'll ever get.

    There was a light dusting of snow that covered everything; snow doesn't fall in one place on the ground and not another. It was 10 degrees, and it was still pitch black outside, so the snow wouldn't have melted quickly whether it had fallen on the grass or on the sidewalk. Snow doesn't melt in 10 degree weather, especially prior to the sun rising.

    Sgt. Reichenbach documented there were no footprints when he got there at about 6:00 AM. The sun didn't rise until 7:20 AM. Please note that the RST fraudulently uses pictures deceptively taken after the sun came up and things had warmed up. In fact, the temperature rose to 51 degrees that day.

    From the search warrant affidavit: "Sgt. Reichenbach states that he saw no fresh foot prints in any of the snow or in the frost on the grass". That's clear to me, and should be considered a smoking gun fact.

    BlueCrab
     
  6. Jayelles

    Jayelles New Member

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    I often find that snow lies longer on grass than on the path to our front door. I think this may be because water can drain away more easily on grass whereas if the paths have been wet/damp, a light fall of snow would just melt on contact. Snowflakes falling on blades of grass would be held aloft of the damp ground.

    That's beside the point. According to a converter I just used, 10 degrees fahrenheit is -12 degrees celsius!!! Can this be right? That is very, very cold. We were all complainging of the bitter cold last week when it was -7 degrees celsius!

    If this is correct, and Bluecrab is correct in saying that the temp rose to 51 later in the day, that is quite a dramatic rise in temperature and in order to achieve it, the temperature must have risen fairly swiftly - no wonder the snow and frost disappeared!

    On yonder forum, one poster is posting "facts about frost" and historic meterological data about Boulder and saying that there could be no frost. However, the fact remains that Sgt Reichenbach recorded frost AND snow surounding the Ramsey property. This is crucial eye-witness testimony and would be given much more value by a jury than "facts about frost".
     
  7. ellen13

    ellen13 New Member

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    This is about hibernation of spiders in Colorado. I also know that the whole issue of the spider respinning its web has been in dispute, but folks, the fact is this, spiders aren't out in those kind of temperatures. If you can find something that shows me they are, that would be great.


    Read at the bottom of this:
    http://www.dcsm.org/disco/disc1205.htm
     
  8. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    The only import of the "No footprints in the snow" is that it helped form opinions against the Ramseys and contributed to the public viewing everything about them in the light least favorable. It doesn't tell us that someone could not have entered the house that night.

    Even Smit believed it was indicative of Ramsey guilt. The further, more complete information about the driveway and walkways didn't get nearly the play that "No footprints..." got. It wasn't until I read Thomas' depo that I realized what Reichenbach was saying.

    http://denver.rockymountainnews.com/extra/ramsey/0311jon.htm

    Snow at Ramsey house lacked footprints

    Absence of tracks was among first clues that led police to suspect members of family


    By Charlie Brennan

    %%byline%%By Charlie Brennan
    Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

    BOULDER -- Police who went to JonBenet Ramsey's home the morning she was reported missing found no footprints in the snow surrounding the house, sources said Monday.
    That is one of the earliest details that caused investigators to focus their attention on the slain girl's family, police sources said.
    Although there was no significant storm just before police went to the house the morning after Christmas, it had snowed lightly several times from Dec. 23 to 25, weather records show.
    These snowfalls all came on top of a snow cover that persisted from about Dec. 16 through the Dec. 26, when the 6-year-old beauty queen was found sexually assaulted and strangled in the family's basement.
    Still, police said, the first investigators arriving at the Ramsey home in response to mother Patsy Ramsey's 911 call at 5:52 a.m. on Dec. 26 reported no fresh tracks leading to or from the house.
    […]
    March 11, 1997

    What if, instead of saying "no footprints in the snow surrounding the house", Brennan had said "There were no footprints in the snow on the grass but the walkways were clear and you could not tell whether someone had walked on them. This caused the police to focus on the family." It would have been accurate and the only impact might have been to make the public wonder about the thinking capabilities of the BPD


    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0105/28/lkl.00.html
    […]
    KING: Footprints in the snow -- where did they go?

    SMIT: Well, that's one of the reasons that I initially thought perhaps that the Ramseys would have done this. And I think that most of people in this country, when they first heard about this case, were told there were no footprints in the snow. And yet, the photographs themselves show in the area surrounding the entry and exit parts of this house there was no snow. There was some snow in the yard.

    And yet, when the media first reported it, their whole thing was no footprints in the snow. I even remember telling my daughter, I said: "If there is no footprints in the snow, it has to be the Ramseys. There is no way a guy could get into the house unless they came down the chimney." That was just a misnomer. There is evidence, photographic evidence, that there was not snow around that house
    […]

    I don't pay much attention to the arguments about the photos since the lack of snow on the walkway etc gives a way into the house. Having grown up in snowy country I do know you can have snow in protected/shaded areas when the rest of the yard is clear. These areas are the same year after year so photos taken much later aren't completely without value in showing where snow tends to remain vs where it disappears fairly quickly.
     
  9. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    I'm not sure the window well played much of a part in this case. But, I wish I had a spider expert to ask if the warm air coming out from that window (both from the break and when it was opened to cool the basement) might have had an effect on the spider's behavior. Like snakes they seem to be driven by temperature so could this spider have built himself a web with central heating? :)
     
  10. Jayelles

    Jayelles New Member

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    Perhaps I am not explaining this properly. Sgt Reichenbach's report is a FACT. Like it or not, he reported that:-

    a) there was old snow, crusty and 1-2 inches deep in patches
    b) there was frost
    c) there was a light dusting of snow

    and that

    d) there were no footprints in the snow or the frost.

    That is what he wrote in his report. He was an objective eye witness and he recorded conditions at 6am that morning.

    The media ran with his report and reported that there were no footprints in the snow - exactly what he wrote in his report. Since then, the RST have used this to "prove" that the police and media were out to frame the ramseys from the start. They produce photos taken hours and even years later to prove that there was no snow but it's all a moot point. NOTHING changes Sgt Reichenbach's report.

    Snow
    No footprints in the snow

    Reichenbach never said that every inch of ground was covered in snow. Just that was snow with no footprints.

    The media report you quoted is also perfectly accurate and in accordance with Sgt Reichenbach's report.

    Now we can argue smeantics till the cows come home (classic RST tactic) but the FACT remains that there is nothing erroneous about Brennan's report and it is simply childish nonsense to call it "BORG POISON". Facts cannot be "BORG".
     
  11. ellen13

    ellen13 New Member

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    I hear what you're saying, but my point is that the spiders are dead. And if they weren't, why would they be spinning a web to catch insects that would be dead outside in those conditions? Spiders make webs to catch prey and insects aren't too active in the winter.It just doesn't make sense to me that a spider would be active in those conditions.
     
  12. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    I have no problem with Reichenbach's report. He attempted to portray as completely as words can what the exterior etc was. Including that one couldn't tell if anyone had walked on the drive/walkways.

    However, as far as the media reporting goes -
    I think if you only tell part of a story because doing so gives one impression while the complete story would give another then you can't be called accurate.

    For example: If you were to write that while I was away on a trip to New England, mr. tipper had a heart attack and I chose not to interrupt my trip and come home to care for him, you create one impression.

    If you say the same thing but further add I was in New England with my father who was dying, the heart attack was mild and I have three grown children home taking care of mr tipper, and I plan to return home as soon as I am able - you create a very different impression.

    Both stick to facts but only the latter tells the story accurately.

    So then the question becomes: Was Brennan given only half the story (Why?) or did he choose to leave out the walkway information. I don't know.
     
  13. Jayelles

    Jayelles New Member

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    The most worrying thing about your above post is the quote of Smit referring to the fact that the photos show no snow. The photos are meaningless. They only prove that the snow had melted later on when they were taken.

    I thought Smit was smarter than that.
     
  14. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    I don't see a conflict in what they are saying.

    Smit:And yet, the photographs themselves show in the area surrounding the entry and exit parts of this house there was no snow. There was some snow in the yard.

    ST depo:
    A. He said, and he also said this to me, that although there was due to what I think was an 11 degree
    temperature outside, there was a fresh frost and maybe a light dusting of snow on some of the lawn
    areas, but on the sidewalks and walkways around the house, as he put in his report, as I may have put
    in one of my reports, as we presented to the VIP conference, that you could not tell whether or not
    somebody may have walked on those walkways in question.
    Q. Or the wood chips?

    A. I don't recall specifically him talking about the wood chips.


    Whatever time the photos were taken and whatever melting had occurred, snow did not subsequently appear on the walkways.

    The whole point of the "no footprints ..." was the idea that no one could have entered or exited the house without leaving tracks. Therefore it must have been a Ramsey that killed her.

    Why would the incriminating part of Reichenbach's report get leaked but not the exculpatory part? Or did Brennan hold that part back?
     
  15. Jayelles

    Jayelles New Member

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    Why do the RST keep referring to those photos? They are meaningless. They prove only that the snow was gone by the time the photos were taken - which could have been anytime between daylight and night-time on 26th Dec - but most likely IMO in the afternoon when the scene of crime team arrived.

    Why do the RST keep bringing up the "no footprints in the snow" at all? I have never seen any serious RDI case follower present the no footprints in the snow as evidence of ramsey guilt.

    The RDI refer to Reichenbach's report - factual. The RST refer to some tabloid headline - garbage.
     
  16. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    You've lost me. What tabloid headline?

    I've already said I find Reichenbach's report as complete as words can be. Why was the leak less complete?

    We know crime scene technicians were there in the morning. We don't know whether photographers were there then too.

    I don't think serious RDI people bring it up as evidence anymore. (Though I did find a 2005 mention of it on FFJ.) I think it usually gets brought up in reference to the anti-Ramsey public relations campaign that may have been run to a greater or lesser degree by BPD.
     
  17. Voice of Reason

    Voice of Reason New Member

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    I'd like to up the ante on this evidence Jayelles has (thankfully) brought to the attention of the posters here (and hopefully in other places). This is more than a police report. This is information provided under penalties of perjury to a judge to obtain a warrant.

    While a police officer probably has an ethical duty to be truthful in his informal reports, he is required by law to be 100% honest to a judge when applying for a warrant. Unless you think Reichenbach is willing to lie before a judge risking his career and jailtime, this is rock-solid proof that he did not observe any footprints in the snow and that he observed snow and frost on the morning of the 26th.

    You can chisel away at this evidence all you'd like, but the fact remains, if there is ever a case against the Ramseys, Reichenbach will be asked to take the stand, and this is what he will say. Sometimes it blows my mind to hear jameson talk about her self-administered experiments as some sort of evidence. She would be laughed out of court...
     
  18. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    I don't think he did lie in his report. But I don't think his report has any value in incriminating the Ramseys.

    Added: But it did have huge value in the early days of influencing public perception.
     
  19. Voice of Reason

    Voice of Reason New Member

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    I agree, but I do think it holds value in the investigation overall. From this information, I think that a fairly logical inference can be drawn that this was no stranger/outsider/intruder. This was someone who entered through a door and possibly had keys. The idea of a cat burglar or a random neighborhood pedophile has always seemed to conflict with the evidence, IMO.
     
  20. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    Isn't that nice. We're in total agreement. :)
     
  21. tipper

    tipper Former Member

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    Can't vouch for whether they are "serious" RDI or not.

    February-ish 2005

    http://www.forumsforjustice.org/forums/showthread.php?p=80873#post80873


    Wombat:
    I think the lack of footprints - or even more importantly tire tracks - in the snow is a key issue in this case. At 6 in the morning, when the Boulder PD started to arrrive, there would have still been a light covering of snow over the yard and driveway. Cops, even these cops, would have noted them. PMPT and Steve Thomas's book both quote the cops as noting no disturbance in the snow that was still present.
    […]
    I think the stager(s) were going to take JonBenet somewhere when they first decided to make it look like they didn't kill her, and then when it came time to take her outside, they noticed the snow. They didn't know which way the weather was going to go at that point, but they knew they couldn't have a set of tire tracks leaving and then coming back to the house.

    Elle 1:
    Good post, Wombat I've always thought the Ramseys chickened out of taking JonBenét's body away for all the reasons you have stated above, because removing JonBenét's body would have been their best bet. It never ceases to amaze me how the Ramseys managed to get away with this scheme.

    DocG:
    Smit is a phoney. The lack of footprints is for real. There was no intruder!!!!!
     

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