Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by Swirlz, Feb 14, 2018.
You are right- the ever-vigilant R attorney LW is always on the lookout.
finally! this is the best comment i've read so far.. thank you... you're absolutely right.. it wasn't the parents who did the head blow. the clue was on the head injury itself. the severity of the said wound clearly suggest a clear evidence of emotional outburst. it is easy to point fingers at the parents but when you take a closer study at the behavioral aspect of the injury, it's a different person who did it.. plus, there was no known history or records that would indicate that this couple had any form of disturbed behavior or engaged in domestic violence. But it doesn't mean they are not capable of staging a crime to protect someone..
obviously, the demo was not the exact representation of how the headblow was done. i believe it was shown to establish the fact that any boy of Burke's age (during the commision of the crime) has the capability to exert such force to cause the massive concussive impact to the victim's head. take note, the subject was not in an intense emotional state when he did this and the fact that he was only asked to do it. The point is , even without motive and emotional factor involved, the said demo successfully proved the probability of a minor could have committed such attack, regardless if it was accidental or not.
I could see Patsy covering for John because, without his funds, she never would've survived Stage IV ovarian cancer--the most deadly gynecologic cancer--as long as she did. This is the same cancer that killed Gilda Radner, Madeline Kahn & Dinah Shore in much shorter amounts of time. They were all wealthy women with access to healthcare. In fact, I can't think of another person who has survived Stage IV ovarian cancer as long as Patsy did: from 1993 to 2006!
There's also the general addiction to wealth & status thing. It's much harder to go back down a rung in class after living well than to just be poor all along. I can attest to this myself. PR was from West Virginia which isn't exactly a posh state, lol. I can guarantee she feared ever returning to that lifestyle somewhere in the depths of her mind. Protecting her family's "good name" would be another reason to cover for John.
Lord knows what else he could've had on her that he could've used in an abusive, gaslighting way to convince her to participate in a coverup. And ditto for her if she was the killer. They likely had dirt on each other that convinced them to not roll over on the other, but the fact that they weren't split up & interviewed separately immediately by police means we will never know if one of them would've done so. That ship has sailed. If they'd been treated like common people & put in a prison cell without a bunch of PR people & lawyers IMMEDIATELY, things likely would've been different. But they weren't.
In fact, I'd argue that the early mishandling of the crime scene was largely due to their wealth & status rather than the BPD just being "short-staffed" or inexperienced or whatever. If they'd been poor white people in a trailer park or a Black/Mexican middle class family for that matter, they wouldn't have gotten the benefit of the doubt & been told to "search the house to relieve stress" or call their friends over for "support". Police would've been fearful of their friends & on their guard of the family from the get-go, not letting them out of their sight for fear of them pulling out a weapon or something. That's how cops generally behave around poor or minority people.
Sorry for the rant, lol. Just meant to say: I can see how it could've gone either way--Patsy covering for John or vice versa. I firmly believe both parents had something personal to hide or they would've flipped on each other. They also got individual lawyers for themselves which is...weird. I tend to find Agent Ron Walker of the FBI & the grand jury to be among the most credible sources in this case. Their assessments seem most informed: simple, to the point & based on all the evidence. Walker predicted the body would be found before it was & thought the ransom note was a prank initially because it was so ridiculous...and he's seen enough kidnappings to know. Anyway.
Patsy had not been in remission "for years" (that sounds like it could be 4-5 years or more). She is diagnosed when JonBenet is about 3 or a little more. Then she goes into chemotherapy when JonBenet is about 3 ½ .
No doctor is going to declare a patient in remission until the chemotherapy is over (which is around the time that JonBenet turns 4) and the markers have stayed low for at least a year. So while Patsy's chemo was over and she had mostly recovered her strength, they would have just celebrated her remission around the summer that JonBenet turned 5 - almost a year and a half before JonBenet's death.
Sorry to be picky about the terminology, I'm just trying hard to keep track of the various phases of health stress that the Ramseys might have gone through. This should have been a great Christmas for them.
Much of what Patsy did in her life was prompted by her cancer. After having been diagnosed with Stage 3C or IV ovarian cancer, she knew her chance of being alive in 5 years was less than 20%. Patsy lived a long time for someone with this disease. I have always believed that, whichever one of them killed JB, Patsy said, "Listen carefully! I am not going to spend the rest of my short life in jail, or with Burke in jail, so let's get this under control."
One reason for eliminating John is his early morning demeanor. According to Arndt's Jan. 7 supplemental report, John smiled and joked even as Patsy was collapsing in tears in another room.
We've heard about men who murder their wives and soon thereafter sign up for the Playboy channel, and kids who kill their parents and soon go on a spending spree. But in the immediate aftermath they try to act appropriately saddened for their law enforcement audience. At least the sane ones do.
John probably recognized Patsy all over the note, but he wouldn't suspect the truth.
John's demeanor changed to nervous and preoccupied later in the morning. Steve Thomas suggests that this was after discovering JonBenet's body in the basement.
I just can't see Patsy doing all of that herself. Or anyone else for that matter. Experts have said even a psychopathic serial killer wouldn't be capable of penning a long note like that after the adrenaline rush of a murder, so I don't buy that a parent could.
In addition to the crazy kidnapper/pedophile/strangulation scenario, someone also had to concoct the decision to invite friends over to contaminate the crime scene, what to say on the 911 call, what to do about Burke & everything else that took place that night & the following morning. I just can't see Patsy formulating all those details alone. And I really can't see her writing that note after strangling/sexually assaulting JBR. I'll always believe John was involved to some extent unless proven otherwise. His interest in True Crime was evident in his reading materials (the John Douglas book) & it's clear he liked action movies that were referenced in the note (Speed is one he admitted to watching "without headphones"). Even if BR did the initial head bash I still feel that JR was responsible for some of the brutal staging...i.e. everything but the ransom note.
Just MOO, of course.
Patsy does benefit from people's assumptions about rich white moms. They even have more credibility than 10yo boys.
For the record, I have come to suspect that Patsy had at least been flirting with constructing a ransom note to frame John, for months possibly. I won't go through my thinking on this. I've done it elsewhere.
We don't know--or at least I don't--why Steve Thomas (and other LE presumably) concluded that John slept through the night (and that Patsy was up all night), but I suspect it was based in part on the different state of their bathrooms. Patsy felt the need to explain why she didn't take a shower. In DOI, she says her shower was broken. I watched a video of the house done by a Ramsey PI. I think I counted 7 showers, 3 on the second floor.
What might John suspect since the truth was unthinkable? A mother-arranged fake kidnapping to extract money from the father? (Farfetched but if he's innocent he'd have to construct something.)
In Agatha Christie's The Adventures of Johnnie Waverley, the father, assisted by a couple of trusted family servants, arranges his son's "kidnapping" to extract money from his penny-pinching wife. Poirot was big on tv in the 1990s. There were two different season 5 episodes on that week. (TAoJW is season 1.)
I rewatched TAoJW. In one of the first scenes, Waverley and Hastings opine that the ransom note must have been written by a foreigner because child kidnappings didn't happen in England. (Poirot was, of course, annoyed.) Later in the episode Poirot remarks that a couple of events were obviously "inside jobs." In 1997 Steve Thomas asks John Ramsey about using the phrase "inside job" on the 26th. John doesn't deny saying it. (The written version of the story has "inside jobs," but no "foreigner.")
I don't know if John and/or Patsy was a Christie fan or familiar with this story in either written or visual form. There was a "Murder on the Orient Express" poster in the basement.
Fake kidnapping for publicity. Boulder is no Hollywood.
The ransom letter was basically seen by the FBI as being one big joke from day one. No one writes ransoms letters that long, it just doesn't happen.
Now that I think about it, in TAoJW much of the discussion centers around whether or not a foreigner wrote the ransom note.
Interesting lead! I hadn't heard of "Poirot" so I Googled and found this on the Wiki:
The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly
Poirot is called in to investigate the kidnapping of three-year-old Johnnie Waverly, the son of Marcus Waverly, from his home, Waverly Court in Surrey. Prior to the kidnapping, the family received anonymous letters that threatened to take the boy unless twenty-five thousand pounds was paid. The police took little interest until the final letter which stated that the boy would be kidnapped at twelve o'clock the next day. On that day, Mrs. Waverly was mildly poisoned and a note was left on Mr. Waverly's pillow that stated, "At Twelve O'clock". Horrified that someone inside the house is involved, Mr. Waverly sacks all of the staff except Tredwell, his long-time butler, and Miss Collins, his wife's trusted secretary-companion. At the appointed time Waverly, his son and Inspector McNeil of Scotland Yard are in a locked room in the house with police posted in the extensive grounds. Precisely at noon the police find a tramp sneaking toward the house. He has cotton wool, chloroform and a post-kidnap note ready to plant. When Waverly and the Inspector dash outside to see what is happening, the boy is taken by car through a now unguarded gate. They hear the village clock chiming twelve and realise that the main clock in the house had been set forward ten minutes. The tramp claims Tredwell employed him but the butler has an alibi for the time that he was said to meet the tramp: he was in the house with Mr. Waverly.
Poirot travels to Waverly Court and is told of the existence of a priest hole. In it he finds the footprint of a small dog in one corner but no one knew of any such creature small enough in the house. After questioning the child's sacked nurse, Tredwell and Miss Collins, Poirot concludes his investigation. Poirot confronts Mr. Waverly. Poirot says that Waverly kidnapped his own son to get money from his rich but very parsimonious wife. The poisoning of the wife to incapacitate her, the note on the pillow and the re-setting of the clock all point to an inside job, and only Mr. Waverly could sack all of the servants to reduce the level of protection around the child. Tredwell was in on the plan and he did indeed employ the tramp. The footprint of the dog in the priest's hole was from a toy kept there to amuse the boy until he could be spirited away afterwards. A shamefaced Mr. Waverly confesses to Poirot and reveals that the child was presently with his former nurse.
I see some similarities between the show & this case--particularly the phony ransom note & the "inside job" kidnapping plot. This becomes more relevant if the show was airing or re-airing near the time of JBR's killing, obviously. No way to prove they ever watched it but it's another intriguing movie-related clue nonetheless. Nice work!
I'm interested in what might have influenced an innocent John Ramsey's thinking when confronted by a ransom note obviously written by his wife. According to Arndt, Ramsey was calm, smiling and joking during the early part of the morning. What might he imagine was going on?
Season 5, not season 1, seems to have been playing on TV at the time of the murder. The short story had been around for a long time, of course.
In the TV version, Hastings says that the kidnapping must have been done by a "band of foreigners, some gang." That's even more on the nose.
A&E was also showing Poirot in fall and winter '96. I can see that a season 3 episode was showing Christmas week.
The Adventure of the Clapham Cook, which is season 1, episode 1, was on A&E on August 5, 1996. That would put TAoJW on two weeks later probably.
I am pretty new to the true crime community and therefore this case. I was in high school when JonBenet was killed and hearing about it always turned my stomach. I am now reading the Police Files book (on John's 1998 interview). First, a question: is it 100% positive that the blow to the head came first? My impression from what I've read and watched is that it is impossible to tell which came first. IF strangulation came first, I think it is highly likely that JDI. We know JonBenet had been sexually abused before that night and the most likely suspect is the dad. Maybe he was doing so that night in her room. Maybe he used rope to...it's hard to say it. It turns my stomach. But he used it to basically heighten the experience for himself and maybe she had started fighting back. He strangled her accidentally and thought she was dead. He carefully wrapped her in the blanket and ran downstairs, leaving her there. What should he do? He decides to grab the flashlight so he can see outside wherever he's thinking of dumping her body. He gets spooked when the way back upstairs, he hears Burke going to the bathroom or something. (I think the pineapple was at the party & their memories suck & the pineapple on the table was put there by one of the 20 million people in the house the morning of the 26th. They cleaned the kitchen, why would they leave out pineapple from the night before?). So he grabs JonBenet and carries her to the wine cellar. He realizes he needs help, so he bashes her skull with the flashlight. He frames his son so Patsy will help him. She screams when she sees her dead child. This is what the neighbor heard. He makes her help him stage the body, which explains why the thread from her sweater is on the tape and rope. He then forces her to write the note while he dictates it.
I think Patsy called 911 early in a panic. It was too late. If she just hung up, they'd still send someone out. I think the original plan was for them not to call the cops right away, but for them to wait until after the kidnappers didn't call. Until then, John was going to use the big bag for the money to carry out her body, dispose of it, go to the bank, get the money and for her body to be found later by a search team. So, they had to wing it. It's why John "found" the body so fast, even with the light out. It's why he destroyed the crime scene to explain his dna over everything and why he placed her on the floor (even more contaminates). I think once the autopsy was released to the family, Patsy realized that Burke didn't do it, that John must have. However, he had assured their mutual destruction.
I also think it's possible that BDI, but I think it's less likely. I think he's just a weird adult b/c he was under a microscope as a child, especially since there's no evidence he has continued to have a terrible temper or sociopathic tendencies.
It is 100% positive that the headblow came first. Not only do a series of medical experts agree, but if you search the literature on head injuries and brain hematomas, there's no way that the brain can bruise and bleed as JonBenet's did if her heart stops pumping. She has the typical petechical hemorrhages that accompany strangulation (and are a sign that blood from the heart could no longer reach the head) The asphyxiation killed her.
The head blow was severe but might not have been fatal (at least not in 2020, don't know about 1996). She would have had a long recovery. OTOH, she might have died anyway.
I wouldn't go with your own impressions on this. I'd trust the experts, particularly the completely neutral pediatric neuropathologist who has years of world-recognized experience in studying the death of brain cells. JBR's brain didn't just die all of a sudden. Her brain cells were in various states of death when her heart stopped. Cells can die while an organism lives on, but dead brain cells are not good.
I work in this field (forensic and psychiatric anthropology) and have asked many people who are not paid experts about this case (all of us were already professionals when JBR died and have followed it for years.) The headblow came first. No one with any basic knowledge of physiology would argue otherwise, IMO.
Why do you think John is the most likely suspect? Is it because he's the adult male in the house (you're using statistics)?
None of your xcenario makes sense to me, as he didn't strangle her first. Someone hit her on the head first (and it's a linear fracture typical of a blow from above, not a fall).
Every single witness has testified there was no pineapple at the White's party.
By contrast, Patsy admits there was pineapple with milk in her walk-in fridge. Why would you put the pineapple earlier? How does that help your scenario?
The only fingerprints on the pineapple are Patsy's and Burke's. And someone (not the Whites - who had no pineapple) fed pineapple to JonBenet.
They left the flashlight on the counter - why wouldn't they leave the pineapple? They would assume the family wanted to eat it. They left a lot of stuff on the counter, for whatever reason.
Why does he bash her head with the flashlight? How does this relate to "needing help"? When exactly is this occurring?
Oh - well, the neighbor heard the scream at around 1 am, so you're speaking of the previous night.
Personally, if both of them had worked on this scheme all night long, I'd think it would have been a better cover-up.
Patsy stays with this forced cover-up till she dies. I guess that part is possible. I've thought about it. She'd have to be a really different sort of mom to do that. For her pedophile husband (in your story).
I like your scenario about the panicked phone call and the initial plan to get the body out of the house - I think that's very likely. Children who murder often have other problems than sociopathy.
Welcome to Websleuths! You'll see that a lot of us are still into this case and always appreciate a chance to discuss more. Have you been to www.acandyrose.com?
That's why I prefaced my theory with if strangulation came first. I thought they couldn't determine which came first? Obviously the blow to the head ultimately killed her. I should have been more clear in that. John doing it to get help would be as a more likely scenario for Burke to accidentally kill his sister since he had hit her with a blunt object before (bat or club?) so he used a heavy flashlight. I can't bring myself to read the autopsy (if it's publicly available, I have no idea), so I have just read or listened to summaries, which could have been faulty. I think the ransom note took awhile to formulate and write, plus they had to clean the flashlight and wait to pretend like they woke up at a normal time to find the note. I think, if my theory is even close to correct, they did an okay job of covering up for people who never had done so before. Yes, they were indicted, but they were still never charged by the DA.
I'm going off statistics and the fact that the police suspected him as well. They ask Patsy about their love life when she got so sick, so they must have thought her lack of libido from treatments was what drove John to do it. They were trying to figure out his motive.
The pineapple, I was just going off how Patsy couldn't seem to recall a darn thing. I didn't know other witnesses said there wasn't any at the party. It's possible then that Burke got them both some pineapple and milk, John heard them downstairs, tucked JonBenet in and then everything proceeded as I said. Patsy's fingerprint on the bowl could be as simple as touching it that morning or from putting it in the cabinet after doing the dishes.
I know it's hard to believe that Patsy would continue to cover for him, but she probably rationalized it somehow: he couldn't hurt JonBenet anymore, she would be arrested as well, Burke would be alone. In 1998 she told police that she no longer feared dying b/c then she'd be with JonBenet and she was happy alive because she had Burke. No mention of being happy about having John, plus police were noticing a distance between the couple.
Please correct me if I have any facts wrong. I am new to all of this.
Edit: No, I haven't been to that site. What is it?
Edit 2: I think more like a writer than a forensic expert (both my degrees are in English). Everything still has to make sense, but some facts may slip my mind. The most frustrating thing about this case is that no one scenario fits because the crime scene was so compromised. The police dropped the ball; even with "just" a kidnapping, they should have locked down the house.