The Court of Public Opinion

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by Arielle, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. Arielle

    Arielle New Member

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    For my own benefit, I am trying to figure out what drives the public opinion of Ramsey guilt. Not necessarily based on what we know now, but on what was known in, say, the first year following the murder. It seems to me that most of what that opinion is based on is related to 4 events or suppositions.
    1) the lack of direct cooperation with the police in allowing unrestrained interviews immediately following the discovery of the body of JonBenet.
    2) The fact of ‘no footprints in the snow’ being put out in the media, making it seem as if it was impossible for any outsider to have gained access to the home during the night.
    3) The CNN interview
    4) The Ransom Note, purportedly in Patsy’s handwriting and writing style.

    Am I correct in this? To me, there is no evidence, at least no direct evidence, to tie anyone, Ramsey or intruder, to the crime. There is lots of circumstantial evidence, but it is hardly conclusive. The rest of the so-called evidence can be spun away depending on who you wish to believe. An example is the DNA. If you choose to believe in Ramsey guilt, that DNA got there by secondary, tertiary, even quaternary transfer or possibly was there even prior to JonBenet ever having worn them. If you choose to believe in Ramsey innocence, that DNA clearly points to the intruder perpetrator.

    Having stated this, I’d like to pick apart each of the points above to see how they affected our own opinions on this case. As most of you know, I am on the fence, leaning toward Ramsey innocence, but I am by no means convinced of their innocence. Every once in a while, something sways me the other way. So, I’ll start by giving my thoughts on each of these points. I’m hoping that this can be an intelligent discussion and not degenerate into a slugfest.

    1) I think that at the beginning, the Ramsey’s influential position in Boulder allowed them a buffer from the police. The police knew they should question the Ramseys, but chose not to so as to not upset powerful people. Then the Ramseys got some incredibly poor advice from Mike Bynum and other attorneys on not speaking with police. I think that the conditions for the interviews were probably set up by the attorneys, not by John and Patsy. Whether they knew about these conditions before hand or even approved of them is unknown to me. I think that the attorneys involved just did what they thought was right to protect their clients interest and John and Patsy naively went along with this, never realizing how this would make them look in the public’s eye. When they realized it and the PR person was hired, it was too late to do anything about it and they were stuck on the track they’d been on.
    2) The ‘no footprints’ thing turned out to be a mistake on the part of the reporter, I believe. (Please correct me if I am wrong) Although there were no footprints in the light snow covering the grassy areas, it was quite possible to reach the house by way of concrete paths that had no snow covering them. This made it seem certain that the Ramseys were guilty at first and even a later retraction could no undo the damage, especially when added with everything else that went on.
    3) Probably the most damning thing against the Ramseys in public opinion was the CNN interview not a week after the murder. What were they thinking? I forget who advised them to do it, but it sure was a mistake. I’ve never seen it and never read the transcripts, so I wont’ pretend to have any knowledge of what went on during it. Many say “they were able to give an interview to CNN not a week after the murder, but they were too distraught to give an interview with the police? This must mean they were guilty.” I’m not sure how the two equate. I think the interview was a stupid thing to do. What could it have accomplished anyway? Its not like JonBenet was still missing and they were pleading for her return. But how giving that interview points to their guilt I don’t know and never will understand. I can see how they could view that as a positive action, putting the story out, etc and how they could view the police interviews as a waste of time. If they didn’t really understand that the police needed to clear them unconditionally before they could move on to other suspects, then I can see how they could think, since they knew they were innocent, extensive interviews with the police would be a waste of everyone’s time. But they aren’t stupid people, so I’m not clear on this point.
    4) The Ransom Note. I remember hearing on the news, back when it was everywhere how it was found that the Ransom Note was written by the mother on the mother’s stationary. I thought at that time, well, why don’t they just arrest her and get it over with? But, contrary to what media would like us to believe, I don’t think it can really be proved that Patsy wrote the note. I have said numerous times that I think the handwriting in that note looks very much like mine. I’ve been to the website comparing Patsy’s writing and the note writing and I am still not convinced. I would think that if it could be proved that she did write the thing, then she would have been charged with something by now just so that some justice would have been done. Charged with extortion at least, or conspiracy to commit murder or something. I’m not sure what, but that is my honest belief. Therefore, I don’t think that it has been proven that she was the note writer. There seem to be as many experts to say she did as that say she didn’t. It would come down to a battle of the experts.

    Okay. That is what I wanted to discuss. I’d really like to see some pro-Ramsey guilt folks give me their versions of what these points mean.

    Sorry for the length of this post, but I was feeling particularly verbose today.
     
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  3. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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    I'd really like to respond to each and every one of these points in real detail, but for lack of time, I'll try to be brief.

    #1. They were in fact, handled with kid gloves by the police due to their influential position in the community and their connections. 99.9% of the police forces in the world would have secured that house immediately, body or no body. The friends would have been thrown out immediately, etc., etc. I find this most interesting that the same people defending the Ramseys by stating that the police were out to get them conveniently forget that the Ramseys were treated extra special initially because of their position.

    #2 The no footprints in the snow, as far as I know didn't turn out to be a mistake by anyone. I also could be mistaken but some snow was in fact around and there were no footprints. Because some areas had snow and others did not, actually makes this a moot point either way

    #3 The CNN interview was probably the biggest PR mistake the Ramseys could have made. It's a matter of priorities and for the life of me, can't understand why JBR wasn't their priority. They didn't go on CNN to ask for the public's help, they went on to show themselves as victims.

    #4 You are correct. This would come down to a battle of experts if ever in a courtroom. In this case, linguistics also play a role and it can't be proven whose handwriting it is by handwriting alone, at least here. Again, you will find experts who will state that their professional conclusion is that Patsy did/did not write that note and give their odds of probability. It is a subjective issue and as such, will always be a battle by both sides.

    Now finally, I have a lot more to say on all four points, but I MUST, MUST, MUST point out something. Please do not think I am starting a slugfest, but if you look at your first three points, in three of your points you give the Ramseys an automatic pass. In the first point, you immediately discuss the "poor advice from Bynum" , Ramsey naivety, etc. In the second point, you begin by blaming a reporter's error for the footprint issue. In the third post, you again rely on bad advice for the Ramseys for the CNN interview.

    I don't know if you are a parent or not, but I can't imagine any parent that I know who would have a child murdered, and IF they ended up with lawyers for whatever reason, would rely on their attornies advice for what to do to help. I know it is easier said than done, but as a parent, NOBODY is going to tell me how to conduct myself with the police or anyone else when it comes to something like this.

    You say that you are on the fence, but your leanings are definitely toward Ramsey innocence by the way you look at the events in this case. I base this on your way of phrasing the facts. Don't get me wrong. You have absolutely every right to believe whatever you want, but perhaps it would be easier to understand those of us who are convinced the Ramseys are involved if you re-look at all the events, etc. of this case without the "bad advice" type of outlook. It makes a big difference.

    If you look at this case with the idea that Patsy and John Ramsey are adult, intelligent people and parents, who are quite capable of making their own decisions (and both have had to make important ones), without including what others "told them to do" (again, keep in mind, according to the Ramseys)
    you will realize how suspicious they will now appear. I refuse to give them a pass on suspicious behavior based on bad advice. John was a CEO and made his own decisions and Patsy was a cancer patient, beauty queen, college grad who also had a strong will and made many important decisions. Now, when it comes to the most important decisions of all, and decisions from the heart, I will not give them a pass based on bad advice.

    I said I would be brief, but I obviously lied :)
     
  4. BlueCrab

    BlueCrab New Member

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    Arielle,

    We each have our own reasons why we feel the Ramseys are guilty. Here's just a few of mine:

    o The Ramseys lied to the police about Burke being in bed asleep when the enhanced 911 tape proves he was up and talking with the parents. Why lie?

    o The Ramseys continue to lie, obfuscate, and cover up, seven years later.

    o The timeline between when the Ramseys supposedly got up at 5:30 A.M. and when they were to be at the airport at 6:30 doesn't fit. They had to have gotten out of bed earlier than 5:30.

    o John and Patsy say they didn't search the basement looking for JonBenet before calling 911. Ridiculous -- of course they searched for JonBenet, and likely found her, before calling 911.

    o JonBenet ate pineapple about 1 1/2 hours before she died. Burke's fingerprints were on the bowl of pineapple that was left out all night on the table.

    o There seemed to be an intentional effort by the Ramseys to destroy crime scene evidence on that first day, including calling as many friends over to the house as they could, falling on the body of JonBenet, etc.

    o Instead of fully cooperating with the police the Ramseys opted to lawyer up and delay interviews.

    There's many more reasons the Ramseys look guilty to me, but that's enough for now.

    JMO
     
  5. Nehemiah

    Nehemiah Active Member

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    Your Event # 1 keeps me from believing in their innocence. Short and simple.
     
  6. twilight

    twilight Inactive

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    Please name a linguistic expert who has said that Patsy did not write the ransom note. I don't want to hear about handwriting experts - or literary analysts, I want to know who has said the linguistics are wrong.

    Scratch Nehemiah and enter Arielle.
     
  7. Toth

    Toth Inactive

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    [>1) the lack of direct cooperation with the police in allowing unrestrained
    >interviews immediately following the discovery of the body of JonBenet.
    Don't most people know that the four month delay was the Police Chief's fault.
    >2) The fact of ‘no footprints in the snow’ being put out in the media,
    Precisely!! Put out IN the media, not BY the media. This was leaked to the media BY the BPD!! Almost certainly it was intentionally done.

    >4) The Ransom Note, purportedly in Patsy’s handwriting and writing style.
    Again that 'purportedly' was pure media hype. No one could really have believed it and certainly not at the time the stories started circulating.


    >To me, there is no evidence, at least no direct evidence, to tie anyone,
    >Ramsey or intruder, to the crime.
    DNA is pretty direct to me, but I think you are right. Those who want the parents to be guilty would be perfectly willing to allege dodecahedral transfer or whatever and will come up with the most absurd scenarios to justify dismissing what would in any other case be considered not only vital evidence but evidence of the highest quality.
    >1) I think that at the beginning, the Ramsey’s influential position in Boulder
    >allowed them a buffer from the police.
    Not at all !!
    John Ramsey was not that well known. If he mentioned Access Graphics to the patrol officers they probably wouldn't know it from the corner copy shop.
    >The police knew they should question the Ramseys, but chose not to so as to not upset powerful people.
    I doubt that was the reason. After all the cops very promptly targetted these powerful people, openly stated they thought they were guilty and initiated a campaign of media intimidation, so I don't think you can say the cops treated them with kid gloves.
    > Then the Ramseys got some incredibly poor advice from Mike Bynum and
    >other attorneys on not speaking with police.
    This is possible, but I'm not sure on this point.

    >I think that the conditions for the interviews were probably set up by the
    >attorneys, not by John and Patsy.
    Undoubtedly. Certainly at the initial stages Patsy was in no shape to do anything. And even later, when she was better, she was calling the police directly. I certainly think the attorney's conditions were reasonable and proper.

    >2) The ‘no footprints’ thing turned out to be a mistake on the part of the
    >reporter, I believe.
    I don't think so, but even if it were, you didn't see the BPD promptly correcting them. The BPD was very prompt in any Anti-Ramsey activities, however.

    >3) Probably the most damning thing against the Ramseys in public opinion
    >was the CNN interview not a week after the murder.
    I don't think they were wise and I believe it was Fleet White who not advised them to do so, but did so repeatedly and vehemently.
    >What were they thinking?
    A week after they found their daughter murdered, whatever they were thinking, I don't think it was too clear.

    >4) The Ransom Note. I remember hearing on the news, back when it was
    >everywhere how it was found that the Ransom Note was written by the
    >mother on the mother’s stationary.
    You see the bias right there. In what way is a pad of paper that is in the house "the mother's pad"? The pad was from an alcove by the telephone. Is such a pad in your house, only the mothers pad? Wouldn't any intruder have had access to that pad? It turned out later that Fleet White and LHP had each taken pads from the home.
    >There seem to be as many experts to say she did as that say she didn’t.
    >It would come down to a battle of the experts.
    No, it comes down to a battle of the experts versus the "experts" who get their credentials out of a cereal box.
     
  8. Imon128

    Imon128 Former Member

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    Did somebody say cereal? Keenan, Krackle, and Pop?
     
  9. Nehemiah

    Nehemiah Active Member

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    Say what?

    I have no idea why you are asking me this. I've never said the linguistics were right or wrong. I personally don't know a handwriting expert from a literary analyst nor am I interested in such.
     
  10. Toltec

    Toltec New Member

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    It was John Ramsey himself who told Police who wanted to interview he and Patsy to "give us a day".

    What did they do with this "day"? They lawyered up and zipped up for four months.

    GUILTY
     
  11. Toth

    Toth Inactive

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    The police could have gently suggested the urgency of the interview, they didn't.
    The four months was entirely the fault of the BPD and their "I'm in charge, here, FBI and Denver Homicide, get lost, I don't go to anybody, they come to me" attitude.
     
  12. Imon128

    Imon128 Former Member

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    Gently expressed by BPD????? Why GENTLY? Were the R's baby dolls, made of china or the determined-to-find-JBR's killer parents? No, the R's KNEW the urgency of this case. BPD need for info, included.
     
  13. Nehemiah

    Nehemiah Active Member

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    Toth, have you had a bad experience with the police before?
     
  14. twilight

    twilight Inactive

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    Sorry Nehemiah. Somewhere I saw your name...but the post should be directed to Arielle...my mistake...which I will edit.
     
  15. BlueCrab

    BlueCrab New Member

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    Toth, the Boulder Police Department was totally in charge. The crime came 100% under the jurisdiction of Boulder authorities -- and other jurisdictions could enter the case only by invitation from Boulder authorities. Actually, the Boulder cops were not authoritative enough during those first few days; and that's at least partly why the murder is still not solved.

    For instance, they didn't separate John and Patsy on that first day and lock them into their stories. And they let the Ramsey's stay in the house and wreck the evidence. They also let Aunt Pam enter the crime scene and walk out with a cop car full of stuff. How more gentle could they get?

    The Ramseys thanked the investigators by building a legal wall around themselves when asked to come in for interviews.

    JMO
     
  16. Shylock

    Shylock Former Member

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    I'll second all of BlueCrab's reasons and add a few of my own:

    o There is no positive proof that anyone, besides John, Pats, and Burke was in the house that night.

    o The ransom note has dozens of exemplars that match known writing by Patsy. Patsy wrote that note. The chance that an intruder couls match so many of Patsy's exemplars is totally impossible.

    o The Ramseys refused to take an FBI polygraph test and went out and bought their own. When Patsy was unable to pass the first polygraph she was given, they went out and hired someone else.

    o The cord and the tape came from the Ramseys local hardware store where they regularly shopped. What are the chances an intruder would buy his needs at the same store. Also, receipts at the store showed the Ramseys purchased items of the same price--too bad the store doesn't track the actual items purchased.

    o The Ramseys got Burke out of the scene as fast as they could. Even though he might have heard something they didn't question him and they stopped the cops on the scene from doing so.

    o Even though their daughter was kidnapped by foreign terrorists, the Ramseys showed no fear that something might also happen to their son. They just sent the kid out to an unsecured location with a video game under his arm--not knowing if they were being watched by the kidnappers who could have then harmed Burke.

    IMO
     
  17. Barbara

    Barbara New Member

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    For the record:

    Law Enforcement IS in charge of murder investigations

    No need to suggest urgency, gentle or otherwise when they are told "give us a day". They gave the Ramseys the benefit of the doubt that the "day" would be all they need, and then they would come in. What other suspect in a murder case says "give me a day" and they actually give them a day?

    "gentle suggestions"? in a murder case? of a child? with the prime suspects?

    Are you kidding?

    One of the "blunders" the BPD made (and there are many), that the RST leave out all the time, is the false belief that the Ramseys would keep their word.
     
  18. Toth

    Toth Inactive

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    They were the parents of a murdered child, they were not 'the prime suspects'. Had the BPD politely reminded John Ramsey that 'your impressions now are important and its best not to wait a day' they could have had their interview.
    I'm not sure when the parents became the prime suspects, perhaps it was within a few hours. It should not have happened at all.
     
  19. cookie

    cookie New Member

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    "They were the parents of a murdered child, they were not 'the prime suspects'. Had the BPD politely reminded John Ramsey that 'your impressions now are important and its best not to wait a day' they could have had their interview.
    I'm not sure when the parents became the prime suspects, perhaps it was within a few hours. It should not have happened at all.

    Sorry, but any time four people go to bed in the same house one night, and then there are only three alive the next morning, those live ones are going to be prime suspects in any case. They may not be labeled as "prime suspects" right away, but they definately are considered as such. It is absurd to believe that it could be any other way at least in the beginning. Had the other three been killed,beaten, or even tied up, then there would be a valid reason to believe that there had been at least one other person inside that home on the night of the murder. But, this was not the case here, and even then, they were given "special treatment" by the Boulder PD. That should have never happened. The consideration shown them has caused irrepairable damage to this case, and that is a fact! This is plain and simple common sense, not great detective work.
     
  20. Nehemiah

    Nehemiah Active Member

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    Do you think the VanDamm's were 'gently and politely' courted by the police during the initial phase of that investigation? How were the Rs initially treated worse than the VDs? I don't know the answer, as I didn't follow that case. (key word is "initially")
     
  21. K777angel

    K777angel New Member

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    You've got to be kidding. The police didn't treat them as the natural suspects ENOUGH! They should have INSISTED that they be separated and interviewed THAT DAY. Instead - because they were wealthy and the Boulder establishment is weak - they afforded them special rights that NO ONE should have when there is a dead and murdered child found in your home.

    It SHOULD have happened Toth. The facts in the young case DEMANDED it happen.
    * A bogus ransom note left in the home
    * No ransom call ever comes
    * Dead child found in home; same child ransom note claimed to "have" in
    author's posession
    *Parents try to flee state
    * Parents unconcerned about rushing to young unprotected son - EVEN after
    finding daughter dead in home; Parents go instead to home of a friend for
    a few hours. Leaving young son vulnerable not only to a second kidnap
    attempt - but to someone OTHER THAN his parents informing him of his
    sister's demise. Unbelievable and it throws out any claim by John Ramsey
    of "fear for their family" as to his excuse why he tried to fly them out of
    state that night.

    Cops SAW and KNEW all of this. And the mistake was NOT to look at the family as prime suspects - the mistake was in not TREATING them as if they were.

    There was not only evidence to point to them right away - statistically the odds were that they were the most likely suspects as well.

    And the Ramseys refusal to hound the police for information and present themselves to them in any way in order to exonerate them (since they claim they are innocent) only further confirmed the rightful suspicion that they were NOT innocent in this crime and had much to hide.

    Their actions since that time have only continued to prove it.
     

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