Patsy protected Burke. What else would any loving mother do? She already lost her prized child and she wasn't about to lose Burke let alone have his reputation scarred. However, she realized 2 things. First, she wouldn't always be here to protect Burke and Second, sooner than later authorities would close in on what really happened that night. This is what worried her most as she lay dying of cancer. She made John promise her that the truth never come out and that Burke must NEVER be connected to the accident. Burke himself only somewhat understood his role, until he entered HS and began having difficulty dealing with past demons. Through counseling and hypnosis he has learned that at the time of the accident he was to young to understand the impact of his actions. Therefor he is NOT guilty in the death of his little sister. However, Burke constantly fears that he might slip up and say the wrong thing. So he keeps mostly to himself. After all, the truth would send his father to prison for covering up the crime and many other charges. Boulder DA would likely sue John for the millions that they have spent on this case. Patsy wanted both John and Burke to have a way out when detectives closed in. So she wrote a full confession and said that she was tired and had struck Jonbenet in the head in a fit of anger and then spent the night alone, covering up her mistake. Of course its a lie, but she would rather be blamed then to have John or Burke suffer the consequences. So the real question is, where are they keeping this signed confession? And does it even matter? Burke was a child that had normal brother/ sister fights. It just got out of hand one time. We should all question ourselves on what we would do in this same situation? Patsy and John feared that some overzealous prosecutor would try to make an example of their family. What if they somehow found a way to blame them for allowing Burke to strike his sister? After all, he had struck her before with a golf club and other people had witnessed Burkes anger outbursts toward Jonbenet in the past. Yes, they were having some behavioral issues with Burke, but never did they think it would go this far. Burke simply couldn't comprehend that swinging a heavy object (carpenters hammer) at his sisters head would lead to her death. He didn't want that to happen. He had swung other objects at her before and that didn't end in her death. At first they didn't even realize the seriousness of what happened. Patsy wanted to take the unconscious Jonbenet to the hospital to have her checked out, but John intervened, telling Patsy that CPS would get involved and may take Jonbenet away pending an investigation. It was better to handle the situation at home. Things got scary very quickly when they were unable to wake her. She began grunting with each breath and she started making violent jerking motions as a yellow fluid drained from her mouth and nose. Soon after, Jonbenet lay lifeless on the floor. They could feel that her skull wasn't right and they realized to their horror that the unthinkable had happened. Now they too would be held responsible for her death because they didn't seek immediate medical aid. So the coverup began.