The Anatomy of a Motive

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by Voice of Reason, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Voice of Reason

    Voice of Reason New Member

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    i know that a bunch of you hear have read some of FBI profiler John Douglas' books. they really are great if you are interested in criminal profiling. i recommend starting with "Mindhunter" since that was the first. i never read the one that specifically addressed this case, but i have read that he feels the Ramseys are innocent, although reading his other writings, i'm not really sure how he came to that conclusion.

    anyway, i picked up one of his other books, "The Anatomy of a Motive", which basically is the story to why killers kill. i came across an interesting passage, that i thought was worth sharing with the folks here...

    from p. 26, "The Anatomy of a Motive", by John Douglas

    "If the body is wrapped in a sheet or blanket, say, or obviously cared for after death, that's going to suggest that the killer had some tender feelings toward the victim, maybe even remorse. On the other hand, if the body is mutilated and/or left in plain sight, or casually dumped by the side of a road, that tells me the killer had contempt for the victim, maybe even a disdain for women in general."

    i'm aware that douglas dismisses the blanket in the JBR case as a means by which the killer used to carry the body from her room, but it seems that more steps were taken to show "care" for the body. aside from the blanket, you also have the body in the basement, and hidden in a room. furthermore, she was possibly sexually assaulted, yet left fully-clothed. this does not seem to suggest the work of a sex-crazed killer, but rather someone close to JBR.

    i guess i'll have to read douglas' book directly on point about the ramsey case, because i have tremendous respect for his work, and put a lot of stock behind his conclusions about violent crime. my problem is that the conclusions he supposedly draws in the ramsey book do not seem to parallel with anything else i've read by him. perhaps someone whose read the book could shed some light here...
     
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  3. BlueCrab

    BlueCrab New Member

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    In "The Cases That Haunt Us" John Douglas writes that neither John Ramsey nor Patsy Ramsey killed JonBenet, but he also writes "The killer is a young man or teen with a personal and specific grudge against John Ramsey".

    I agree fully with Douglas' conclusion.
     
  4. Miss Daisey

    Miss Daisey Former Member

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    Blue Crab,

    The "grudge" part of Douglas' theory is the most interesting, IMO.

    That awful head wound.. possibly occuring after death.. speaks to someone that meant to make a statement to John... 'here's your precious kid, fat cat'....The strangulation had already killed her. Why bash in her head?

    BTW, where was Patsey's bike finally located? I haven't been able to find anything about that yet.
     
  5. BlueCrab

    BlueCrab New Member

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    Miss Daisey,

    I don't know who took Patsy's bike or how they got it back, if it was even taken in the first place. But my "guess" is that it was found about 5 blocks away.
     
  6. sissi

    sissi Former Member

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    hmm, interesting..since there has NEVER been a mention of that bike being stolen..my guess is ..the bike was never stolen!
     
  7. LazyCat08

    LazyCat08 I may not be Glenn Beck, but I am a thinker......

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    But couldn't this also suggest that the body was found, moved, altered and or hidden by someone close to her after the murder occurred? Meaning that the person who "took care" of the body may not have been the same person who murdered her? Either that or a parent knew that the scene had to be concealed or cleaned up - which would suggest that they knew who killed her or they had something to hide with regards to the circumstances of her death.
    I would think that if you found your 6 year old daughters dead body - strangled, beaten, naked and/ or bound - your first instinct would be to hold her and then to cover her in some way. I don't think that a parent or someone close to the victim would think - "this is a crime scene so I shouldn't touch anything" - ya know? :confused:
     
  8. LazyCat08

    LazyCat08 I may not be Glenn Beck, but I am a thinker......

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    I have to respectfully disagree with this - well, maybe he is right that the person who commited the crime wanted to get revenge on JR or the family - but the evidence suggests to me that the person who did this - or someone involved - was VERY sick and deranged - or wanted it to look that way. It's one this to kidnap the child to get at JR or to get money -I think it's quite enough to kill her to make some point or hurt the family in a way that couldn't never be fixed. BUT to sexually assault and beat a six year old child - why do that? How could anyone do that unless they were totally psycho to begin with?

    I don't know, nothing makes ense in the case. I feel like for all we know - aliens could've abducted he JBR , preformed some bizarre ritual sacrifice on her and then beamed her dead body back to the basement!!!
     
  9. RedChief

    RedChief New Member

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    The evidence suggests that JonBenet lived for a while after being clubbed, and the evidence suggests that JonBenet lived for a while after the noose was tightened around her neck.

    The evidence does not suggest that she was first strangled to death, then beat on the head. Nor does it suggest that she was first beaten to death, then necklaced with the cord.

    The evidence suggests that these two life-threatening processes overlapped; i.e., while she was dying from lack of oxygen to the brain, she was also dying from brain injury and intracranial bleeding.

    Any theory anyone comes up with has to accommodate these two overlapping processes. Either she first received the impact to the head, and soon thereafter was strangled, or she was strangling at the time she received the head impact. Since one can be strangled to death in four or five minutes (assuming one's assailant doesn't run into difficulty), if the strangulation process began first, the impact to the head would have had to occur within that four to five minute time frame. Since how long she could (as opposed to might) have remained alive with the injured brain is debatable, all one can say with some degree of confidence is that, irrespective of which process was set into motion first, she probably didn't remain alive for more than four or five minutes following application of the neck ligature.
     
  10. RedChief

    RedChief New Member

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    I read that part of The Cases That Haunt Us, which dealt with the JonBenet homicide, several times and checked the book out of the library twice over the span of a few years.

    When I first read it, being a PDI enthusiast, I was stunned, and disappointed and discouraged. I thought Douglas made some cogent arguments.

    Before I read the book, the first time, I was bewildered by his conclusions which he stated on the lobotomy box. I didn't find him very convincing at that time and thought that he was giving the Ramseys an underserved pass; wondered if maybe they hadn't payed him off. Sorry, John. I had read Mind Hunter first.

    After reading the book, for the first time, and finding out that Douglas had been informed by someone he trusted that the blanket WASN'T wrapped around the body, but draped over it (as I have already stated in this forum a few times), I was still a little skeptical of his argument in favor of the body having been carried in the blanket; i.e., that the blanket had been used solely to carry the body and for no other reason. Nevertheless, utlimately, I trusted John Douglas at that time.

    I returned to my study of the case with this new perspective in mind, and still had trouble eliminating the Ramseys. My confidence in my old theory began to return when I purchased and read DOI and discovered so much "evidence" in that book. Still, I couldn't decide for sure who did what, when and for what reason. Years passed, and I checked out the Douglas book again. I had the same reaction to reading it the second time and having my memory refreshed, as I'd had when I first read it--the Ramseys didn't do this.

    Round three.....
     
  11. IrishMist

    IrishMist You can't control the wind - but you can adjust yo

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    This sounds like me. I have gone back and forth, round and round.
    It's so frustrating.
    Bits and pieces fit the Ramsey's did it.
    Bits and pieces fit the Intruder did it.
    The whole HUGE question is How and WHY?
    And on Christmas night...
    To me, Christmas night points away from BOTH the family and the intruder.
    I know, I know, I can't have it both ways...

    But that secret visit after Christmas... that sticks for me. I really believe that has something to do with this case.

    Does anyone think this case will be solved in our lifetime?
     
  12. RedChief

    RedChief New Member

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    I, too, have suspected a Christmas connection: Christmas is a religious holiday (as you well know) as well as a secular consumption frenzy. The Ramseys claimed to be devoutly religious. I don't quite know how this fits into John's infidelity, but, oh well.....or Patsy's narcissism.

    Maybe someone broke into the house hoping to steal some of the goodies that Santa had left there the night before--a bicycle (thinking of Raburn); some jewelry; a look-alike doll...nah. Maybe what began as a burglary ended as a homicide. Wouldn't be the first time, but why the subterfuge?

    Maybe someone who was really pissed at the Ramseys (perhaps especially John) or really jealous of JonBenet's pageant success and viewed her as a formidable competitor (she was Little Miss Christmas--what a perfect time to kill her) hired a hit person. I'd look at the parents/relatives of the girls who competed in that Christmas pageant. There are two ways to capture the Miss America crown: eliminate the competition; win legitimatley.

    If someone pissed at the Ramseys, why choose Christmas??? Maybe Christmas had nothing to do with it; was just an opportunity that presented itself at that time.

    The Santa secret sure raised my eyebrows. But, weren't the Ramseys preparing to celebrate Christmas again in Charlevoix? Maybe someone explained to JonBenet that Santa would be visiting her again there and that she should keep it a secret. The Ramseys say they intended to have gifts for Stewart and Linda and John Andrew and even some gifts for the neighbor kids. No gifts for Burke and JonBenet?
     
  13. UKGuy

    UKGuy Well-Known Member

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    There can only be three people who knew the orientation of the blanket and none have made any public statements on this subject.

    So why should the orientation of the blanket in the wine cellar clear anyone?
     
  14. Jayelles

    Jayelles New Member

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    The only two people who saw the body and blanket in situ were John Ramsey and Fleet White. John Ramsey stated in his police interview that the blanket was "under her completely".

    I wish we knew what Fleet White saw, but we don't, so I think we should give more weight to Johns testimony which is a fact rather than some hearsay of John Douglas (who has gotten numerous details about this case wrong).
     
  15. RedChief

    RedChief New Member

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    I don't see how it could clear anyone, but it might shed some light on the motive of the person who placed it there in that orientation. To anticipate your rejoinder, it could be staging; it could also be a sign of respect, compassion, remorse or the like. But what smart person (having staging expertise) would attempt to stage a convincing scene, portraying a certain homidice scenario, yet add an element that is obviously counter to that scenario--the papoose adornment?

    The great FBI profiler, John Douglas, himself, in his book, Mindhunter, said (and I paraphrase) that when it appears that the victim has received tender/compassionate/dignified treatment after his/her death, the person rendering that treatment is probably someone close to the victim; e.g., a family member. To me, this is just plain common sense. Of course, "probably" doesn't mean without a doubt, but in recognizing what may be signs of emotional attachment, isn't the investigator prompted to investigate the family?

    Suppose that JonBenet's body had been dismembered and the parts strewn throughout the basement. Would you suspect a parent had been involved in the death and/or staging? Of course, a shrewd parent-perpetrator, could do that to mislead the investigators. Bearing that in mind, in addition to looking for other evidence, the investigator would probably look into the background of the parent to satisfy himself that they weren't the sort who'd resort to such monstrous extremes. Things are not always what they seem.

    In this case, we have John finding the body, with Fleet in attendance. Fleet said he touched the ankle of the child and found it cold. The body was yet lying on the blanket at that time. Fleet can affirm or deny what John reported, so John's testimony must be evaluated on that basis. John can't lie and get away with it. John has gone on record as reporting that the body was wrapped like an "Indian papoose." That is undeniable. He said the blanket was under her. That is undeniable. He said her head lay on the blanket. That is undeniable. I believe he said (not stating this as a fact) that it appeared that someone had intended to comfort her. He never once testified, that I'm aware of, that the blanket had been unceremoniously draped over the body. The blanket being under the body rules that out. A blanket doesn't get under a body in the process of being draped over it. But, that the body was lovingly (my characterization) wrapped, doesn't rule out the possibility that it had been carried into the cellar in the blanket.

    What if the blanket had been carefully draped over the body, in the manner of a funerary shroud? What would you make of that?

    The devil is in the details, and his DNA is in her underwear...
     
  16. UKGuy

    UKGuy Well-Known Member

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    I have not found the attribution of motives to evidence helpful in looking for JonBenet's killer.

    John Douglas is on record as discounting John or Patsy from being implicated in their daughters death. Was he not employed by them subsequent to his analysis and profile?

    I have read his account which contained most of the salient points. His analysis is in the FBI Behavioural Unit style, which views all criminals as statistical entities, from which conclusions can be drawn about completely unknown people who may or may not be criminals. That this method does not work is self evident from their failures in many different fields.

    So whilst his remarks about the victim being treated in a particular manner can be seen as a sign of potential emotional attachment etc, and are not without merit, they just dont follow in all cases. So this technique ends up being a personal preference in what you wish to select from the crime scene which you can then use to demonstrate some familial relationship.

    i.e. attributing motive to evidence.

    That the blanket was there at all is the important feature of the crime scene.

    Its perfectly reasonable to assume it was used to avoid the transfer of forensic evidence.

    From its orientation you could surmise if she had already been wrapped in it or had just had it placed over her, then relocated to the wine cellar.

    In the John Douglas manner you can make anything you want of it. You could suggest it was the perpetrator wishing to hide JonBenet's violation from direct familial gaze or discovery!

    But the blanket was with her in the wine cellar, and like most of the other artifacts, they all have linkage with her bedroom, which as you know is my preferred interpretation of the wine cellar evidence e.g. that it is mostly staged.
     
  17. RedChief

    RedChief New Member

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    Yes, UKGuy, and I respect your preferred interpretation, and I would agree that it's reasonable to assume that the blanket was used to avoid the transfer of forensic evidence; however, there was forensic evidence found on the clothing--the same dark fibers that were found in/on the pubic area as well as other stuff; animal hairs, etc. So, I guess this transfer wasn't entirely avoided or those items got there from some unrelated source? Also, if we think the blanket was put in the wine cellar to effect bedroom staging, then we must not think that is the only reason for it; so it has a multiple purpose?

    What do we have from the bedroom that wasn't on the body? We have the blanket--wrapped around the body--and the Barbie gown. If those two items had been absent, would we be justified in thinking she hadn't been abducted from her bedroom? After all, she was wearing her nightclothes when she was found? But, she wasn't wearing her pink jammy bottoms; the jammies were two-piece according to John, so if the jammy bottoms were visible and otherwise readily available when she was put to bed, they could have been put on her instead of the longjohns? Not that it matters a great deal, but I can't tell whether it is the top or the bottom of the pink jammies that's on the bed in the photos; can't even be sure it's either one. There was a photo that was posted on most websites in the early days of JonBenet in those pink jammies with her mother on xmas morning. Now, I can't find it. Most sites that once had it have removed it apparently.
     
  18. Voice of Reason

    Voice of Reason New Member

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    you may think whatever you'd like to regarding John Douglas and his methods, but i think that his work ought to be respected. i don't know how many of you have read "Mindhunter", but if you do, you will learn how his method of catching criminals was often seen as some sort of witchcraft and unscientific when he first began. but if you look at his track record, you will see just how accurate and helpful his work has been in catching perps. i recognize that it is not an exact science, but it is a very well-respected method with a proven track record.

    furthermore, at this point, we have a 3-page ransom note, DNA, tons of money, and plenty of time on this investigation, yet no arrests. even if you are a doubter of john douglas, i would think that this case is a perfect time to take a chance on his work.

    finally, i'm really surprised at how many people think he had an agenda. he has made a lot of money with his books, and he is a man of great stature within his field of work. if you are familiar with his work, you will notice very little sympathy for criminals. he strongly supports the death penalty, and he puts away criminals for a living! to think that he would go against his ethics and let a killer walk, just to make a buck, doesn't seem to fit the bill...
     
  19. RedChief

    RedChief New Member

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    What is the first thing you asked yourself when you first heard about this tragedy? Who did it, and why? The why is the motive. Understanding the motive could lead us to the killer.

    Who would kill a six-yr-old girl in her own home? What could possibly be his/her motive? I know that's where I started with my pondering. Means, opportunity, motive.

    The occupants had both the means and the opportunity, but what was the motive?

    As Voice of Reason has pointed out, she was, in effect, killed twice. What loving parent kills his/her daughter twice? What 9-yr-old brother kills his sister twice?

    What are some common motives: anger, revenge, greed, fear, to keep a potentially devastating secret, jealousy, hatred, psycopathy (more of an explanation than a motive), other....

    What loving parent would elect to finish her off with a garotte (so-called) or with a blow to the head? What if she's found strangling, struggling for breath, and the garotte is loosened but she behaves strangly as if she were brain damaged? Could you envision a blow to the head to put her out of her misery, followed by a re-tightening of the noose? Hard to imagine, isn't it.

    Are we making any progress?
     
  20. RedChief

    RedChief New Member

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    What was Andrea Yates' motive?

    What was Bruno Hauptmann's motive?

    What were Leopold and Loeb's motive/s? Now, there's an interesting case! These guys killed Bobby Frank, a little bratty rich boy--in their estimation--and later hatched the idea to fake a kidnapping and collect a ransom. Their ransom note wasn't much shorter than the Ramsey note. Some of the Ramsey script could well have been borrowed from the L&L note. They could have asked for considerably more money and gotten it. They were both from wealthy families. They didn't need the money; that wasn't the object. They were both brilliant young men; college students with promising careers. The kidnapping prank was in large part what led authorities to them. They made the mistake of typing the note, and the typewriter was traced to one of them. The body was found before the ransom was paid because it hadn't been properly hidden--in a culvert under a railroad track, near it's intersection with 118th street. Well, I'll swan! It's been a while since I read about the case; my memory is a bit fuzzy. They killed the boy for the thrill of it and attempted to collect a ransom for the intellectual challenge of it. Can't say there's not precedent.
     
  21. UKGuy

    UKGuy Well-Known Member

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    An obvious motive is to silence JonBenet. If she had been sexually abused prior to her death, and taking into account that she was anticipating a secret visit after xmas, then she was no stranger to subterfuge and keeping secrets. This kind of behaviour in a child victim, even discounting her pageant role, generally indicates some form of innapropriate behaviour. This is further evidenced by her requests to adults to assist her in her toilet hygiene. That by the age of six she did not regard this behaviour as immodest is pertinent!

    Neither her parents or brother would have "silence" as a motive for killing JonBenet. She was already a willing participant in the pageant drama, loyal to her parents and already sharing a bed with burke on occassions. For any of the Ramsays to consider the murder of a six-year old child as some kind of "motive" or "solution" is obviously a non-starter, its consequences would be worse than the actions undertaken.

    So it falls to considering either an Intruder or family friend/acquaintance as a likely candidate who would have JonBenet's silence as a motive. But the Ramseys would not dissemble or lawyer up for an Intruder, so it appears either a family friend or someone who may have been part of some clandestine Ramsay social scene which also involved JonBenet, and for whom JonBenet had been warned to keep the meetings and visits secret. In effect the motive of silence forms part of a wider conspiracy.
     

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