A41On December 26, 1996, the beaten and strangled body of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found hidden in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado, home. Immediately, police and media suspicion focused on her wealthy parents, John Bennet Ramsey and Patricia (Patsy) Ramsey, as being responsible. Nowtwenty years laterthe child beauty queen’s cold case has little new to offer except for the recent suggestion that JonBenet never really died and that she’s actually the current pop-star, Katy Perry.

A31Setting stupid conspiracy theories aside, the fact remains that someone viciously slaughtered JonBenet. The little girl became a cultural obsession and the person or persons guilty of JonBenet’s death were never prosecuted. Was it a lack of viable suspects? Lack of admissible evidence? A homicide investigation mishandled right from the start? Or was it failure to properly decipher the murder mystery’s most important clue—the ransom note?

Here’s a look at what the case facts tell us about who really killed JonBenet Ramsey.

Patsy Ramsey claimed to have come downstairs to the kitchen at five o’clock on Boxing Day morning and found a two-and-a-half page, hand-written ransom note on the landing of their secondary staircase. The author directed the letter at John Ramsey and claimed to represent a group of individuals from a foreign faction who were “in possession” of JonBenet. The note demanded a ransom of $118,000 be paid in certain bills or JonBenet would die.

A2Boulder Police recorded Patsy Ramsey’s report being phoned in at 5:51 am. Two patrol officers attended and took basic information but did not treat the Ramsey house as a crime scene. It was not secured, nor searched, and an unrecorded number of people had access to the residence until early afternoon when a detective took over and asked a family friend to assist John Ramsey to search the house for “anything unusual”.

The recorded events are confusing but it’s said John Ramsey located JonBenet’s dead body in a far corner of a basement wine cellar, covered with her bedroom blanket. She had a ligature cord around her neck, her hands were bound above her head, and her mouth was sealed with duct tape. John Ramsey apparently removed the tape and carried the body up to the living room where it was laid in front of the Christmas tree. The police were called back and the case began being treated as a homicide.

A32A forensic crime scene examination identified several points of unsecured ingress to the house but no sign of forced entry nor anything to clearly suggest an unauthorized intruder had been present.

Prominent was the ligature or cord around JonBenet’s neck that was tied to a wooden handle, described as a “garrote”. It was physically matched to a broken paint brush handle in Patsy’s art room which was in the basement, near the wine cellar. Similar pieces of cord were also found in the home. As well, the pad which the note-paper originated from was located on the main floor, as was the pen used to write it.

The Ramsey parents were not formally interviewed, no statements were taken, and continuity of the note—being a prime piece of evidence—as well as its forensic treatment was questionably handled.

A10The pathologist attended the residence at 6 pm and did a cursory examination of JonBenet’s body before removing her to the morgue. She was dressed in a white nightie and white panties with white tights overtop. The panties and tights were soaked in urine. Postmortem changes were advanced with rigor mortis already passing and early decomposition presenting.

Though the stages of mortis are not precise science for conclusively identifying the time of death, the body’s physical condition suggested that JonBenet had been dead for a considerable time, estimated between 10 pm the previous evening and no later than 5:51 am when the police report was received.

In pathologist John E. Meyer’s words — “Far closer to 10 pm than to 5 am.”

JonBenet’s autopsy determined her cause of death as “asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma” and the medical diagnosis was:

I. Ligature strangulation

  1. Circumferential ligature with associated ligature furrow of neck
  2. Abrasions and petechial hemorrhages, neck
  3. Petechial hemorrhages, conjunctival surfaces of eyes and skin of face

II. Craniocerebral injuries

  1. Scalp contusion
  2. Linear comminuted fracture of right skull
  3. Linear pattern of contusions of right cerebral hemisphere
  4. Subarachnoid and subdural hemorrhage
  5. Small contusions, tips of temporal lobes

III. Abrasion of right cheek

IV. Abrasion/contusion, posterior right shoulder

V. Abrasions of lower left back and posterior left lower leg

VI. Abrasion and vascular congestion of vaginal mucosa

VII. Ligature of right wrist

VIII. Toxicology

  1. Blood ethanol – none detected
  2. Blood drug screen – no drugs detected

A23From reading this, it’s clear JonBenet received a massive blow to the upper right of her head from contact with a blunt object, approximately an hour or more before death. This is supported by the contusion (bruise, not a laceration or cut) to her scalp, the linear fractures to her skull, and the subdural (underlying) hemorrhaging (bleeding) in her brain. This cannot occur after death and the known pathology established a considerable time period elapsed between when the blow was administered and when the cardiovascular system stopped functioning. The pathologist opinioned that JonBenet was alive but unconscious for an hour, possibly an hour-and-a-half, before she was strangled.

It’s also clear that ligature asphyxia (strangling with the cord) was her death’s triggering mechanism and this is corroborated by the presence of petechial hemorrhages (tiny bloodspots) in her eyes and on her face. This is a classic symptom of mechanical strangulation and is peculiar to the airway being violently interrupted.

A16The presence of various abrasions and contusions are evident of physical violence being inflicted on JonBenet prior to death, as is the violation of her vaginal area. Her cheek abrasion is consistent with a slap to the face, her shoulder and legs marks are consistent with her still-alive body being roughly handled as if dragged, but caution must be taken in interpreting her vaginal injury as being consistent with sexual assault.

There was no presence of semen, however some blood spotting was noted in her underwear. Later forensic examination would identify a foreign pubic hair on her blanket and an unknown DNA sample on her underwear that was consistent with a male contributor.

The police and district attorney’s investigation focused on the improbability that a total stranger would break into the home, severely wound JonBenet, then kill her at least an hour later after packing her body from an upper bedroom and down two floors to the basement of a house in which three others were present—all the while hanging around to write a lengthy note.

A27From the start, Patsy Ramsey’s behavior was suspect—as was her husband’s. Though there was no suggestion of previous child abuse in the home, it was well known Patsy Ramsey selfishly promoted her daughter like a trophy doll who she desperately wanted to shine in fame and fortune.

As police and media attention centered on the Ramseys, they limited their contact with investigators and quickly “lawyered-up” until a controlled, counter-offensive in the media could be established.

A3The evidence against the Ramseys was examined by a grand jury empaneled during a ten-month period in 1998. The jury returned an indictment against John and Patsy Ramsey on charges of child abuse resulting in JonBenet’s death but was quashed by the district attorney who felt there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction. The grand jury’s findings were sealed and only released to the public in 2013, seven years after Patsy Ramsay’s death from cancer.

To this day, the smoking gun in JonBenet’s homicide is the alleged ransom note.

If the note is legitimate, then it’s a kidnapping that went sideways. If it’s fraudulent, it’s a murder staged to look like a kidnapping. Regardless, there’s no doubt the note’s author is responsible for killing JonBenet and it’s within the note where the killer reveals their true identity.

Let’s look at it:


The note needs to be examined in three ways.

First—was there any forensic evidence present to physically identify the author? I can’t imagine it not being fingerprinted nor examined for DNA, however I can’t find any internet reference one way or the other and existing photos don’t show the normal discoloration associated with chemically checking for fingerprints on paper.

A33Second—what do forensic handwriting analysists say about the writer? A number of document examiners have analyzed the note and have eliminated John Ramsey as well as fifty-three other subjects as the author. But, they cannot rule Patsy Ramsay out as penning it. To be fair, no one conclusively states she was the writer but all agree the author intentionally attempted to disguise themselves.

Third—what does the science of statement analysis tell us? It’s here where the killer’s identity is revealed.

Let’s look at the note again:

*   *   *

Mr. Ramsey,

Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction. We don respect your bussiness but not the country that it serves. At this time we have your daughter in our posession. She is safe and unharmed and if you want her to see 1997, you must follow our instructions to the letter.

You will withdraw $118,000.00 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills. Make sure that you bring an adequate size attache to the bank. When you get home you will put the money in a brown paper bag. I will call you between 8 and 10 am tomorrow to instruct you on delivery. The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested. If we monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence a earlierdelivery pick-up of your daughter.

Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of your daughter. You will also be denied her remains for proper burial. The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them. Speaking to anyone about your situation, such as Police, F.B.I., etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies. If you alert bank authorities, she dies. If the money is in any way marked or tampered with, she dies. You will be scanned for electronic devices and if any are found, she dies. You can try to deceive us but be warned that we are familiar with Law enforcement countermeasures and tactics. You stand a 99% chance of killing your daughter if you try to out smart us. Follow our instructions and you stand a 100% chance of getting her back.

You and your family are under constant scrutiny as well as the authorities. Don’t try to grow a brain John. You are not the only fat cat around so don’t think that killing will be difficult. Don’t underestimate us John. Use that good southern common sense of yours. It is up to you now John!



*   *   *



The first thing that comes to my mind when reading the note is that it’s nonsense.

A37It’s complete and utter bullshit and here’s why:


  • It’s very long with a lot of unnecessary, redundant information. It’s written on three pieces of paper which took a considerable amount of time to compose. True ransom notes are exceptionally rare and all are short and to the point: “We have your daughter! We will kill her if you don’t give us X-amount of money by __!. Wait for instructions!! DO NOT call the police or she dies!!!
  • The writer introduces themself as representing a “group of individuals from a small foreign faction“. Foreign? Faction? Who calls themselves a foreign faction?
  • Patsy had been up an hour before calling police

    Patsy had been up an hour before calling police

    The writer states to not respect Ramsey’s business, but not his country then changes the message by striking out “don’t” to reflect a friendlier tone.

  • The asking sum of $118,000.00 is a bizarre number. Some examiners equate it to a similar salary bonus amount John Ramsey recently collected but how would a foreigner know if it’s even in his bank account never mind how much?
  • Calling “tomorrow between 8 and 10 am” indicates the note was written before midnight on December 25th.
  • “The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be well rested” indicates someone thinking about a lack of sleep before the event is exposed.
  • And hence” is a unique phrase that’s rarely used except in very formal correspondence or in biblical phrases.
  • A18There are obvious misspellings in common words like “possession” and “business” while more easily erred words such as “adequate”, “attache (with the accent)”, “deceive”, “deviation”, and “scrutiny”. Otherwise, the writer uses proper punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure which indicates an attempt at disguise by a person with a fair degree of education.
  • The use of exclamation points in only the opening and closing is not realistic of a desperate person’s threat. You’d expect emphasis being put on the instructions to get money and threats to retaliate.
  • Beheaded” and “stray dog” indicate a feint towards some sort of middle-eastern ethnic decoy.
  • Proper burial” is indicative of someone who knew what JonBenet’s final disposal would be. Burial was the accepted practice in the Ramsays’ religious faith, rather than cremation.
  • The phrase “two gentlemen watching over” stands right out. “Gentlemen” being a term used in a ransom note? Totally unrealistic. And “watching over” is another term like “and hence” where it doesn’t remotely resemble normal speech, rather it reflects a biblical overtone where “God watches over”.
  • A44I advise you not to provoke them” and “I advise you to be rested” are passive statements and reflect a feminine touch.
  • Four times the writer uses the phrase “she dies.” If JonBenet was still alive when the note was written, the author would likely use the term “she will die”. This indicates the writer knew JonBenet was already dead.
  • The note’s address changes from “Mr. Ramsey” being used once to “John” being repeated three times. This is far too familiar for an unknown kidnapper and strongly indicates the writer knew John Ramsey personally.
  • The closing terms “Victory!” and “S.B.T.Cappear cryptic and of some personal, religious significance to the writer.

*   *   *

A45A principle behind the science of statement analysis is that truthful people rarely use synonyms. They remain consistent in language whereas deceitful people change language and weave in synonyms to distract. Another principle is that people expose their psychological profile in their writing.

So what does the JonBenet Ramsay note say about the author?

It’s clearly a deceitful attempt to distort the facts, using unrealistic, bizarre, and unbelievable demands to shift attention from the reality of the situation. It’s apparently written by a woman of higher education, with a religious background, familiar with John Ramsey, who can’t bear to bring JonBenet’s name into the equation, yet cryptically reveals a personal message.

A47It’s written in characters that can’t be eliminated from Patsy Ramsey’s known handwriting and it was written with a Sharpie pen and foolscap paper found in her home—the home in which JonBenet was murdered and who’s body was stashed on the cold basement floor.

Patsy Ramsey denied culpability until her death but denials are cheaper than a thrift store suit. A look at her psychological profile is telling.

A48Patsy Ramsay was a beauty queen, herself—crowned Miss West Virginia in 1977. She graduated from university with a B.A. in journalism and was a devout member of the Episcopalian church and a wealthy socialite in her community. Perversely, she flaunted an air of modest integrity while flogging every chance to sexually exploit her six-year-old daughter in front of every pageant and camera she could find.

Patsy Ramsey was an educated, articulate, and calculating woman. She was also very religious.

It’s in the Bible where the key to the ransom note’s lock is hidden.

The terms “watching over” and “and hence” are consistent with a religious mindset and they are known to be used in the Ramsey family Christmas message which Patsy wrote the year after JonBenet’s death.

The numeric figure “118” is highly revealing and it fits with a notable Bible passage recognized by the Episcopalian faith. It’s found in Corinthians 1:18.

For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

A46Significant are the note’s closings—“Victory!” and “S.B.T.C”. Victory is well established as a Christian slogan which refers to Christ’s triumph by rising from the dead and symbolizing the triumph of good over evil and the forgiveness and everlasting salvation of a soul from sin. “S.B.T.C” is the well-known acronym for “Saved By The Cross.”

The “Victory” reference is also revealed in Corinthians 15:51-57.

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must be put on the imperishable, and this mortal must be put on immortality… then will come about the saying that is written “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In my opinion, a convincing case is made that Patsy Ramsay was the author of the ransom note and, therefore, the person who really killed JonBenet.

A25It’s also likely that John Ramsey had some knowledge and was covering up for his wife. He’s already had a previous daughter die—now a second—and he couldn’t bear to lose the rest of the family. Only he will know.

But this still leaves the question of why Patsy Ramsey killed her daughter? What were the horrific circumstances that led to such a senseless, barbaric crime?

I think the best theory is offered by Steve Thomas who is the original Boulder detective who investigated the case and wrote the book “JonBenet—Inside The Ramsey Murder Investigation“.

Detective Thomas postulates that Patsy and John Ramsey returned to their home around 10 pm Christmas Day after a social event. Patsy checked on JonBenet and found she’d been bed-wetting again. At the time, Patsy was already on emotional overload—about to pop a breaker. She was under severe psychological stress with heavy socialite commitments, seasonal depression, struggling to face her fortieth birthday, keeping the perfect faceand… who knows what all else.

A50With temper stretched, Patsy severely admonished JonBenet for the urinary mess and likely did an aggressive wiping simulation on her daughter’s crotch, accounting for the “abrasion and vascular congestion of vaginal mucosa”. This escalated to a violent event where JonBenet’s head was smashed into a hard, blunt surface such as a doorframe or piece of furniture which rendered her unconscious with a potentially lethal brain injury.

Possibly thinking JonBenet was dead and probably panicking, Patsy went into damage control which may have involved John Ramsey at this point. It’s inconceivable to think he didn’t know or at least suspect something.

Somewhere during the next hour to an hour-and-a-half, JonBenet was finished off with a garrote fashioned from available materials, her body was moved, and the stage was set to simulate a ritualistic killing. A plan was then devised to deceive the authorities by way of a concocted ransom note which contained a cryptic justification with some hope of divine reconciliation.

A4But what’s really evident to me—why I truly believe both Patricia and John Ramsey were culpable in JonBenet’s murder—is the date on the inscription they jointly approved for the headstone on their daughter’s grave. 

They knew she was dead before midnight.


  1. Lori

    I have been skim reading the comments and found it upsetting I did not find any reality about some of the following claims:

    1. Authorized personnel showed up at the house at 6:30am and claimed the body was found in the house at after 1:00pm by John Ramsey. WHAT…oh…okay!

    2. From the autopsy photos of JonBenet the guilty clearly had an extreme deep seeded hate of her. If it was an attack of rage triggered by something else I think the wounds would have been lower grade.

    3. Young JonBenet had scar tissue in her cervix.

    4. Young JonBenet had been to the doctor over thirty times for vaginal yeast infection.

    5. Young JonBenet had been subjected ritually to extreme costumes, makeup, hair and performance that sexualize life.

    I could go on about other claims I have read about but what was particularly heartbreaking to me was her display of bravery as she was subjected to high levels of stress at such a young age.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Lori. I appreciate your emotional response to the JBR case but it’s a real stretch to infer culpable rage from autopsy photos. Also, there’s no mention of cervical trauma in her autopsy report or any known medical records. As for her Dr-reported yeast infection visits, there’s no official or credible record. But I have to agree about ritualized & sexualized exploitation of this innocent little girl. Exploitation by her mother was truly heartbreaking.

  2. Randie

    I am very impressed with your article. I can understand how you have walked us through Jonbonet’s demise. Very realistic. If I may add a couple points. With the head injury. In ’96 my daughter and I were in a car accident. Her head was fractured. They called it a epidural hematoma. There was extension bleeding between her scalp and skin. However, after being unconscious for about an hour she came to. She spoke and talked as if nothing was wrong, as if there were no injury. Doctors did do surgery. And today she is a funtioning adult. She was 11 at the time.
    Patsy for one of three reasons used a garrot on her daughter:
    1. Girl would tell on her.
    2. Pastsy would take care of an invalid for ever.
    3. She put her out of her misery.
    I had no idea, without exrays that her skelp was fractured. Nor would Patsy. She must have thought she killed her. I think after an hour or so Jonbonet started to come to. Out of one of those three reasons one only holds true…Jonbonet would tell.
    I feel there was a vilolent altercation over bed wetting. A spanking, a beating. I think the girl got away from her, evening threatening to tell tell Daddy. As she ran, I think (per someone’s theory) Patsy grabbed a touphy of Jonbonet’s and hit her, smashed her from behind on the right side.
    I don’t believe the garrot ever came into the picture until Jonbonet started to come to.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks for your thoughts, Randie. You may well be right about JonBenet regaining consciousness. The ligature was applied some time after the skull fracture occurred and the cause of death is clearly from strangulation, not from the skull fracture / subdural hematoma. Quite likely the garrotte was an afterthought and a panicked reaction. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Tim

    I have been going through the crime scene photos tonight along with the real death photos of JonBenet. A couple of things struck me as odd. The outside window ledge was wiped from side to side and you can see the debris piled on either side. Why would someone go to all that trouble and never close the window? My feeling is JonBenet was killed outside and brought through the window or it was staged. Also the cord around her neck almost has no slack or ends to pull on which rules her brother out. She was than likely already dead with the blow to the head. She had 3 to 4 separate strangulation marks to the neck, which leads me to believe the corpse was used for oral stimulation probably with a prophylactic or was repeatedly moved with cord being used as a handle to continually relocate the body.. This would explain the different marks and the burns on the neck with the cord. and the lack of any DNA. A child wouldn’t be that meticulous. This person would also have to feel very safe in their surroundings to do this in the home with others there because a 5 yr old would not be home alone. Also the coroner mentioned her outfit soaked with urine. That can happen upon realization of death and ultimate death. I read many different ways bodies react to impending death in SS files regarding the Holocaust. Trauma to the brain probably also be attributable to this. In conclusion the only thing about this that would make sense is that the son for whatever reason got mad at his sister and struck her on the head and the parents covered for him with the letter, and the cord, and the telegraphed window. I have a problem with her not being found on day 1. How many of us hid in the house at that age? Our parents knew all the places because we used them.

    1. Tim

      Using the cord as a handle would also allow the person to move the body without getting urine on them. Placing the body in a plastic bag and gripping the bag and the cord maybe for relocation? 7 hrs and never once went through the basement? The father is the source of the body being moved at the outset IMO.

    2. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks for your detailed comment, Tim. In the autopsy report, the pathologist is clear that head blow was not fatal. It was the ligature strangulation that killed JonBenet. The person who killed JonBenet was the one who administered the garrotte. IMO, that’s the mark of a calculating adult and not consistent with the brother being responsible for her death. While I think it’s unlikely the brother had anything to do with this, I’m positive he didn’t apply the lethal action. I think it’s a stretch to conclude anything about oral stimulation but you never know – people do weird, weird things.

  4. Nicolett

    I think they should have investigated Johns ex-wife and older children outside of his current marriage… I mean, not to say that they are guilty so much, but perhaps there is a link in that theory… a foreign faction? Someone who knows about the family on a personal level, a group of people that know about their family business, and perhaps they felt forgotten… Maybe they struggled financially, and they blamed John for that. As we all can see, the ransom letter was written to john. And not a whole lot is said about the connection the families had with each other… Just that Jonbenet was buried next to Elizabeth, who had died a few years before her.

    That would be my theory.. although i have to say, I was only 9 years old or so around the time I started seeing this on the news. And just to see it unsolved still to this day, it’s heartbreaking.

      1. Anonymous

        Garry, I would advise the police to pull pharmacy records for the medication family was taking. And track down family doctor in state. The information provided in the interview is not correct. See WHY Jon Benet was seen 27 times. This was never done. I cannot give you any more information than that due to HIPAA Laws. Thank you. If this is done, this case can be solved. Also note everyone was drinking champagne that night. No one has bothered to do this. They asked, but they did not confirm.

  5. Lisa DuPont

    While I respectfully agree with many of the claims stating that Patsy, John, and/or Burke played a part in JonBenet’s murder, I feel that there were many loose ends of the case that police officials and investigators chose to ignore. Now, I’m going to say a few thing, but don’t count me as some sort of a JonBenet’s-Katy-Perry-and-She-Survived! conspiracy theorist. But, what if there was no intruder because the murderer was already in the house? What if the Ramseys had willingly invited the murderer into the house because they didn’t even know what was going to happen? It’s not a long stretch. I don’t know. I just feel that there are many suspects in this case, and that investigators and whatnot need to start looking for other alternatives.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks for your comments, Lisa. I’d say the simple answer is that if the Ramseys had any idea that an outsider was involved they’d have made that information known to the police immediately. One difficult thing about this cold case is trying to decipher what is an actual lead and not some fanciful bit of conspiracy theory. This goes for identifying actual suspects.

  6. doug

    I came upon this site accidentally.

    Here it is New Year’s Eve 2016 and I’m slightly drunk posting a comment on the JonBenet murder.

    That is as preposterous as the ransom letter itself.

    First of all, assume the parents are lying, about everything. They are trying to misdirect and divert attention, even in the most seemingly insignificant comments.

    John Ramsey carried a sleeping JonBenet up to bed. LIE #1. Someone should do a count of the number of lies in this case. John and Patsy are both serial liars, and what chumps people are to believe any of the bs.

    Garry, I love your first reaction to the ransom note. This is total bullshit. Which it totally is. Anyone who thinks otherwise, is a complete fool.

    One of three things happened that night:
    1. Burke accidentally whacked JonBenet with a flashlight. I, like you, don’t totally buy it. But, on the other hand, I’m not as dismissive of the idea as you are. We’re talking about Christmas night! Maybe the two kids together went downstairs with a flashlight to look at their gifts – a dare of some sorts that went horribly wrong.
    2. Patsy loses it. Bedwetting, not using the right spoon to eat the pineapple, whatever. I’ve known women like Patsy before. It seems impossible for some people to believe, but they can both be loving mothers and awful monsters rolled into one.
    3. John Ramsey was abusing his daughter. Doesn’t John seem so smooth? A smooth criminal, you might say. The ransom note can be taken an over-the-top exercise in creative writing (remember Patsy did graduate in journalism), or as the work of a criminal mastermind, where in fact every word is important. $118,000 might be significant because John Ramsey might believe he could actually take this amount out of the bank. It’s not that high a price to pay to avoid being charged with murder. Patsy seems to be taking directions from him. Svengali? His behavior seems highly suspicious. Finding the body, breaking the window the previous summer. . .

    The lies keep piling up. I wish the grand jury had all stood up to a person and said, THIS IS BULLSHIT. GUILTY. BOTH OF YOU. ELECTRIC CHAIR. NO MANICURES.

    1. Mark Kinsman

      Great article. John and Patsy Ramsey abused her and together they covered it up. Patsy was a recovering cancer patient , She had sexual limitations. While she was hospitalized John became very close to Jon Benett in a creepy way, sleeping in bed with her and emmotionaly dependent on her. Patsy was not mentally right due to the cancer and the fact she was a narcissist control freak to begin with. Whatever game they p,aged that night went wrong. They were both involved or one would have sold out the other And the good life over

  7. Samantha

    I strongly believe that this may be the answer to this ongoing mystery but you said the parents knew she was dead before midnight (and they “found” her the next day) but when the people examined her body they were able to find out when she died. Don’t you think that’s how patsy and john knew?

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      The pathologist is on record giving the opinion that JonBenet probably died before midnight and that’s something the killer(s) would know. Officially, JonBenet was discovered around midday on the 26th – I just find it really telling that the headstone reflects the 25th.

      1. James A

        Superb piece Garry. All the JonBenet documentaries have recently been aired in the UK. I found them all frustratingly ‘air brushed’. Having done a lot of reading over the last week, I have no doubts whatsoever that PR wrote the RN – the main indicator of the Ramsey’s guilt to date. Seems to me that the original handwriting analysis was shockingly poor. Several credible experts have since concluded almost certainly that it was Patsy. Your analysis of the nature of wording and phraseology above is spot on.
        I think either PR (most likely) or BR (just maybe) unintentionally wounded JB resulting in a coma and do have doubts as to whether PR finished the job. I think possibly John could have completed this part of the staging. Either way, they really created a truely shocking scene.
        Do you thing the Nancy Krebs accusations about ‘Uncle Jonny’ have any credibility? I am uncertain, but they would help explain the final staging of the body in my mind.
        Surely fresh DNA testing with the most modern techniques on the garrotte etc. will determine once and for all the Ramsey’s guilt. I have read that this will be happening in 2017 – justice for JonBenet!

        1. Garry Rodgers Post author

          Thanks for commenting, James. I think the most likely explanation falls into the Occam’s Razor field where the simplest answer is usually the right one. Most likely, there was some altercation between Patsy and JonBenet that left her severely injured and it got carried away from there with John helping to cover it up. I think the chance that Burke was involved is extremely remote. As for fresh DNA testing on the garrotte, I haven’t heard about that but I can’t see any possible relevance to linking the Ramsays as they had ample opportunity to have their DNA cross contaminated on it.

      2. Lindsay

        Actually, they are on record as saying she died early on the 26th. Only her parents would’ve know she died on the 25th, therefore putting it on her headstone.

    2. Bronnie

      Thanks Gary for enabling us to express our thoughts and feelings on such a challenging topic.
      I have a few theories myself.
      1. I think you are right, the author of the note is indeed, a female or has a feminine way of thinking, or has been influenced by a woman, possibly 2 – 3 people involved.
      2. The person seems to know John personally or could have worked with John or could have been involved with John in the community, as there seems to be a bit of a competitive aspect with John, even a bit of jealousy, sarcasm, even resentment towards John.
      3. The person is very well educated as the note was carefully planned from the deliberate style of writing, errors, the timing, but with a sort of cryptic message of payback to John. Someone must’ve been ticked off with the Ramsey’s. A retrace of his past involvements may .
      However, I honestly don’t think the Ramsey’s were/are responsible for their daughters demise. The person responsible, I feel, was obsessed with Jon Benet and angry at her parents, with the desperate need for money.
      I just can’t wait for this to be put to rest, it’s been going on far too long.

        1. Louise B

          I agree with you 100% Garry. The December 25, 1996 death date told me that the parents knew exactly when their daughter died. Maybe it was a freudian slip thinking Christmas day date would make a more holy inscription not really realizing they were acknowledging they knew when she died. Holidays can be very stressful, it was at the end of a long day, PR was very tired, losing her control, exploding into rage. I know this can happen by even a caring and loving mother personally. It has happened to me by my grandmother and mother, only my mother was extremely abusive even when she was in control. One other thing it was my maternal parent who sexually abused me, very uncommon. I believe though PR was also very loving and attentive to her daughter, not something I experienced, but there is her control thing and there is such a thing as intermittent explosive reaction. Perhaps PR did not have it as many times as in my family. But I remember the son saying he heard his mother screaming the morning JBR was missing and I’ll bet it wasn’t the first time. We do things in anger we really don’t mean to do, but even I have to watch my triggers. I truly believe PR loved JBR very much. I also think the husband/father knew what happened too. Maybe PR thought she had just choked her long enough to have her go unconscious, really hoping she was still somehow alive. We’ll never know. Anger is a horrible thing and when we lose our control over it it makes us very strong. I think also JBR has forgiven her mother and they are reunited. My wish is that JonBenet was surrounded by angels holding her and didn’t feel too much fear. What is your take on Madeline McCann, I don’t know if it being in a different country you can read anything different than the rest of us. But I would like to know what you think happened to her.

          1. Garry Rodgers Post author

            Hi Louise, No problem going off the subject – especially when you’re talking about Colorado. It’s a beautiful state with spectacular scenery! It’s also nice to hear from someone who doesn’t get all silly about the JBR case. In my experience, the stranger the case – the closer the answer is to home. I simply can’t believe that anyone other than someone within that home killed JonBenet and without a doubt whoever wrote the ransom note was involved in the killing. The only reasonable suspects are the Ramsay parents – absolutely nothing else makes sense. Thanks for stopping by!

          2. Louise B

            Thank you for answering. Again, I really liked how you just stuck to the facts and I’ve never read a better interpretation on the ransom note before. It makes sense to me now the personality of PR and I did not know she was religious. I like detective work but could never be one, I know I’d go insane just looking at a death scene, it would be too disturbing for me. I am going to look at the other things you wrote. Colorado is a significant state for me. My mother was born in Denver. My brother was stationed at Lowry AFB for many years. and the restaurants. Before I die I have to go back for at least one more taco-burrito, I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but that dish is amazing! Never mind that in 1979 when my first nephew was born there, my 72 yr old grandmother and I drove (I did all the driving) to Denver from Lakewood, CA in a automatic-stick VW beetle bug. Yep, every time I had to start it I’d get underneath it to make a jump between the starter and the silenoid. It went out 45 mins outside of Las Vegas at one in the morning. I drove there to take care of my nephew while his parents worked. The mountains of Colorado, nothing compares to the rocky mountains, you have the highest road in the world where the air is so thin trees don’t grow – really weird to be above the timberline. Just don’t get out of your car at the top unless you’re used to the lack of oxygen. I only made to the end of the car, I literally couldn’t breathe! Sorry, I digressed and went off subject.

        2. Annie

          Been reading but how would you explain the unknown male pubic hair on the blanket and foreign DNA underneath Jonbenets fingernails and other garments ? If Patsy did this horrendous act ; would John know about it ? Normally if he knew or suspected he would have turned against her seems to me ; never stayed with her and take his son away from her . If JB would have been accidentally struck on the head by Patsy I cant imagine a parent not calling an ambulance ; but instead choose to strangle their daughter with a garotte ?????? Unless this person is in a complete rage was Patsy known to have rages ? Could friends or invites copy their house key or copy Patsies handwriting ? Maybe someone that was extremely jealous at the success of the Ramseys that wanted to destroy them that anted to destroy their luck & happiness .?

          1. Garry Rodgers Post author

            The foreign pubic hair and unidentified DNA could easily have come from a cross-contaminated, unrelated source. This is becoming an increasingly troublesome problem in forensic cases, especially as DNA identification techniques become more sophisticated. It works wonders for defense counsel tactics who blow the issue into a giant red herring and plant the seed in the jury members’ minds that there had to be a stranger involved. So much of this goes on in the public arena of the JBR case – people go off half-cocked about the smallest, insignificant details and forget the overall picture of applying common sense to what’s known of the facts.

            I’m with you, Annie, about an ambulance being called by any normal parent – but it clearly appears Patsy Ramsay was no normal parent by any stretch. My view is that something really went off the rails within the Ramsay household that night and they ended up creating a worse scenario than what might have been a simple and common case of parental abuse.

          2. Annie

            Thank you 4 your reply ! I meant if JBR would have received a blow to the head from Patsy or Burke ; wouldnt they have called for an ambulance immediately? If Patsy was in rage and strangled JBR as well then why was there an hour of timedifference between the blow and the strangulation? Unless Patsy wanted for an odd & far sought reason to keep up appearances of having a beauty queen pageant as a daughter and would not have been able to live with a handicapped daughter?….! But both the blow and the strangulation are extremely cruel . Not at all a thing a parent would do ; certainly not parents that seemed to worship their family and house to the extreme that they wanted to show off their wealth and happiness to the entire area. I also read that their dog was not there for the weekend I imagine they let him/her stay with neighbours? because they were traveling the next day and could not take their dog with them . Killer knew about their dog being gone ? I understand some DNA could be touch DNA … but how to explain foreign DNA under JBR s fingernails; as sign of defensive against her killer + would someone been able still to defend herself with her hands &nails after having been hit on the head ? Indeed the stranges thing about this tragedy is the ransom note and the handwriting looking like Patsies ; although that could have been copied + the amount of money asked for .+ that could have been known by someone familiar to the Ramseys . If an intruder came in through the basement window instead of someone who had their housekey it must have been a thin and athletic person since the spiderweb was still in tact;or an agile teenager …. someone that had been playing there before and knew the layout of the house ? pedophiles are the types of persons that seem to be attracted to basements.

          3. Garry Rodgers Post author

            Annie, I realize how hard it is to get your head around a parent killing their child but it is an all-too-common occurrence. I think you’re making way too much of the DNA red herring. By being present, it is not conclusive at all that it came from a culpable person. If the DNA were identified to a particular individual, the investigation team would have to put it into perspective as to its relevancy. The JBR case needs to be looked at with an objective, common sense view and not get clouded by personal feelings that a parent couldn’t do this. As for the existence of an outside party, there’s been mountains of false assumptions made by amateur internet sleuths that are simply untrue. As they say in the criminal investigation world, it’s impossible to prove a negative.

        3. Lisa DuPont

          Garry, while I understand that you have beliefs and I respect that, I’d like you to be more open-minded with this case. If the Ramseys have been cleared, instead of trying to prove otherwise, search for other options. I personally believe that the killer was already inside. What if Santa murdered JonBenet? Or the housekeeper? One thing that I can’t get over is how JonBenet’s half-brother was let off the hook completely. Did cops really confirm that he wasn’t in Boulder the night – whatever it may be – of JonBenet’s death? And here’s another strange thing – JonBenet’s babysitter completely disappeared off of the map after her murder. Hmm…isn’t that a LITTLE suspicious? Just saying.

  8. Kate

    As a former beauty queen facing my 44th birthday with a chronic illness myself and a son with autism and all the stress, depression and fear that brings, hurting my 5 year old, who isn’t potty trained and probably won’t be for awhile, will never happen. Ever. There was no history of abuse, we have no psychological profile on Patsy Ramsey. To say she got angry over bed wetting and out of the blue cracked her daughter’s skull is the stretchiest of stretches.

    She also never sexually exploited her daughter.

    It’s a bizarre case, for sure, and we may never know all the answers. I just don’t think enough evidence points to the parents and certainly not enough to point to the brother

    I hope someday this sweet little girl gets justice

    1. Alana Ronald

      Although I respect the expertise of Gary, and the thought & analysis, find several things missing or unexplained.

      a) We aren’t told that JB’s sheets were urine soaked.

      b) Patsy has NEVER been accused by ANYONE of harming her daughter. She was strong enough to go through the ordeal of cancer, and certainly with the thoughts of her own mortality, would she not have clung to the girl she treasured even more under these circumstances?

      c)The housekeeper Linda Pugh reported that she had caught Burke & JB playing “doctor” under the blankets. Was this trustworthy info? If so, was ths just natural curiousity or repeated behaviour that was taught by others who had sexually molested one or both? If not, could this mean she had a reason to lie about it? She asked to borrow a $2000. Was there any link there? Pugh had one of many keys the Ramsey’s had given out over the years.

      d)John wasn’t the Southerner: Patsy was. So are you saying Patsy feigned not knowing that her own husband wasn’t a Southerner to avoid suspicion? That’s very sophisticated thinking & calculated for a woman who has allegedly just killed her daughter.

      e) The “Santa” Bill McReynold promise to JB of a “special” visit after Xmas is intriguing. His daughter had been molested. His son Jesse had kidnapped & had a criminal record. His wife wrote a bizarre play of a child killed in a basement some years ago. They may have had keys. Were there any connection here?

      f) JB & Burke seemed to have been in the care of various people especially when Patsy had to go for chemo. There was an adolescent student who lived, for a time, with one of their friends/neighbours. Fleet White had a son who I understand “babysat” at one point.

      g) A woman who may have been mentally ill claimed she had been molested by the Fleet White Jr. & Sr. & possibly John Ramsey, although, confusingly, I understand there was another convicted pedophile named JR in the area. I believe her last name is Krebs. Was her story all fantasy, vindictive, or was there any truth to these allegations? She tells a rambling tale of someone dictating the ransom note, and of a double group of intersecting pedophiles that somehow “used” JB, possibly for child porn/snuff material. (Yes, know, the idea is abhorrent but we must face all possibilities).

      h) Since the Ramseys gave open houses, many had traipsed through that home. Is it possible that a pedophile or obsessed criminal/disgruntled employee of John entered the home, took an impression of the lock, devised a plan to hurt John where he would feel it most?

      i) A photographer or person involved in pageants had somehow became obsessed with JB & stalked the family, going far too far with his/her desire to “possess” this child?

      j) What of the mysterious death of Michael Helgoth, who had a shrine to JB? What about John Mark Karr & his fantasies? Could there have been any involvement whatsoever?

      k) The movie “Ransom” with Mel Gibson had come out only recently. Was this an inspiration for the ransom note?
      So many questions, and so few answers. The fact that both children had issues with bedwetting & defecation, (Burke’s fecal smearing is troubling) are sometimes signs of sexual molestation.

      But a tiny, puzzling point that may have little to do with the tragedy. Why did the Ramseys give their dog to their neighbours to keep over Xmas? Is it just that it was less bothersome, or timing before they were due to leave? Odd, in my mind, to deprive children of a pet at this time. But the killer may well have known that this dog was away & that his/her deadly plans could be realized without a sentinel disrupting.

      Poor little girl. The family suffered, regardless of who the killer is/was.


      1. Garry Rodgers Post author

        I don’t know anything about these points, Alana. There is so much information out there on the JBR case that is not credible or relevant. It really comes down to the police doing such a terrible job on the investigation so today people are speculating on the most insignificant and misleading things. Setting all these red herrings aside, the fact is that whoever wrote that ransom note was responsible for strangling JonBenet and the only logical suspect is Patsy.

          1. Garry Rodgers Post author

            I’ve seen it mentioned that John Ramsey may have had knot tying experience from Navy training – I’m not sure if the Boulder police did a detailed analysis of the garotte’s knot. Good point and thanks for commenting, Tonya.

  9. Elana Windsor

    Just because Patsy Ramsey was educated and intelligent doesn’t mean she was necessarily manipulative. It seems that you have an issue with strong women, or you wouldn’t put those sentences so closely together. That’s not to say I don’t agree with you that she had something to do with this crime, but not in the way you suggest. I happen to think that Patsy was also an extremely loving, devoted mother. My belief is that that Burke hit JonBenet really hard with the torch, and that the Ramseys thought she was dead. Not knowing that Colorado law would not prosecute a 10 year old, they went into protection mode, because they thought they might lose Burke to some kind of youth detention facility; and worse still, they did not want him to know that he had killed his sister. So they sent him back to bed and staged the rest of the act. I think there was a serious argument between the Ramseys, and that it was John Ramsey (not Patsy) who then staged the rest of the scene. He knew how to tie the knot from his navy days, he was the person who shoved the paintbrush inside JonBenet and tied the knots around her wrist. He is far better at compartmentalising things than Patsy is. He figured that JonBenet was already with God, and that he had to save his son. I don’t think Patsy saw any of it; she simply could not have committed those acts as she’s far too emotional. John was a CEO, and had the kind of personality that knew how to cut off from his emotions. That’s not to say he was a child murderer either – far from it. I don’t think either of these parents would have intentionally harmed either of their children, but they both fought as hard as they could for Burke – to keep him with him, and to keep him from knowing what he did to his sister. After all, when the story finally came out, Burke would know that he did not tie rope around his sister’s neck and do all those other things, right? People will do almost anything to save a child. They are religious people, and to them, JonBenet was already with God. That I happen to think that is delusional thinking is irrelevant, because I’m not the Ramseys. I imagine that “if” I believed in such a “God”, I could convince myself that my child was at peace, and that I had to take care of the one that was living.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Elana – This is an ignorant thing to say that I have a problem with strong women.

      If you really read and understood the content of this post you’ll find that I did an intelligent, analytical and impartial look at what is known of the publically available facts on the JBR case. What you’re spewing is pure emotional speculation that is not based on fact. For one thing, if you read the autopsy report, which is the starting point for determining JonBenet’s cause of death, you’ll find that there was no paintbrush “shoved inside her”. I suggest you get your facts straight before stating a public opinion and that includes making an insinuation about my views on women.

      BTW – for other readers – I always appreciate intelligent comments and you’ll see that I always thank them in my reply. What you don’t see is how many comments I get that are from nutjobs, crazies or people who can’t string logical sentences together. I simply don’t approve them but I never get ones that attack my integrity, especially about how I treat women. I wasn’t going to approve Elana’s comment but I think because this topic has had so much interest and keeps getting traffic, it’s necessary to show how off-the-wall some people get when they let their emotions rule their opinions. This is one of the serious flaws in the jury system.

      1. Jiminy Cricket

        I agree that the most likely suspect is Patsy, though I think it’s possible that Burke caused the skull fracture. According to John Ramsey, the family arrived home from a party around 9 p.m. John carried a sleeping JonBenet to her room and put her on the bed, after which Patsy came in to change JonBenet into her bed clothes. Burke wasn’t tired, and was playing with his Christmas presents. John Ramsey went to bed, while Patsy went to the kitchen to make a snack of pineapple and iced tea for herself and Burke. (Who drinks iced tea late at night in winter when they supposedly have to get up early the next day to catch a flight?) At some point, JonBenet came into the kitchen and had some of the pineapple. It was then that Patsy noticed JonBenet had wet herself. Patsy took her to the bathroom to clean her up, and after a long day, and all the stress of the holidays, she slapped JonBenet so hard that she fell and hit her head on something hard enough to crack her skull–probably the bathtub or toilet bowl. The part I have a hard time believing is that Patsy would do something so gruesome as to strangle JonBenet with a garrotte. However, if she was really furious with her daughter, she might have done it, but I still don’t understand how she would know how to do that. It’s a very unusual weapon, rarely used in spur of the moment crimes of passion, and almost never by women. So, maybe John Ramsey did that part. The fake ransom note that Patsy wrote indicates that she felt hostile toward her husband, perhaps even furious, which would indicate that it was John who strangled JonBenet, after he convinced Patsy that it was the only way to cover up the serious life threatening injury that she caused, which if known, would severely damage their reputation in the community, hurt John’s business, and result in Patsy’s arrest for child abuse, possibly causing Burke to be taken away from them. The fact that Patsy was wearing the same clothes on the morning of the 26th that she was wearing the night of the 25th tells me that she stayed up all night staging the fake kidnapping scene. I can’t help but wonder if Burke knows more about what really happened that night then he lets on.

        HOWEVER, it is possible that while the Ramseys were away at the Christmas Party on the night of the 25th, an intruder got into the house, wrote the note, made the garrotte, hid in the basement, and waited for the family to go to bed, before sneaking into Jon Benet’s room, stunning her with a stun gun, wrapping her in the blanket, carrying her to the basement, hitting her on the head and strangling her to death, before leaving the ransom note on the stairs (not in order to extort money from the Ramseys, but as a sick joke), and slipping away into the night. This person would have to be someone who knew the Ramseys, had been in their house, and was a sadistic psychopath, in the vein of the Manson Family members.

    2. C Garrison

      Patsy R. did come across as a strong woman but , in my humble opinion, she appeared extremely controlling. I believe PR was very invested in her image, the image of her daughter and entire family. I also feel Jon Benet’s participation in beauty pageants was ultimately about the mother as opposed to her child. During press interviews, following JBR’s death, I have noticed Patsy directed much of the conversation. She appeared a perfectionist and such people often set lofty, immovable goals in a life that is riddled with imperfections that are far outside of their control. I agree with other contributors who suggest that the discovery of another bed wetting incident sent the mother into a rage. Perhaps this was also fueled by a few cocktails from the previous party ? All in all a horrible accident that the family then tried to disguise. The ransom note itself is almost embarrassing, so amateur.
      I too believe she loved her daughter. However it is not a question of love but of losing control, not checking herself. Yes she was strong in character but that does not mean she knew when or how to slow down in order to balance self imposed demands.

  10. Chris

    Gary I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog and comments on this subject. I have always had an interest in these high profile cases however the majority of the research I have done is on serial killers. I am always looking for the why of it. The Jonbenet case is one that hit me hard and I have watched just about everything that has ever been on TV about it. Today I just happened to look it up and it led me to you. Just wanted to say great job and thank you for researching so I can stop. I think I can finally 100% say I agree with you that Patsy Ramsey killed her little girl and her husband John helped her cover it up.

  11. Mike G.

    I have never been convinced I’m right about something that is as highly contraversial as this case. John Ramsey and John Ramsey alone murdered his daughter. Several things investigators continue to get wrong.

    1) John wrote the Ransom Note. (The “experts” were wrong!)
    2) “Calling “tomorrow between 8 and 10 am” indicates the note was written before midnight on December 25th.” WRONG! John expected Patsy to find the note on the morning of the 26th! He did NOT want Patsy to call 911 until the next day, nor did the “staged” kidnappers EXPECT the money until the next day, December 27th.
    3) Patsy calling 911 foiled Johns plans to get rid of the body on the 26th.

    All of this and more is spelled out in a book titled “Ruled In” by DocG available on Kindle.

    1. Renee lee

      i’ve always thought that john was the killer. Why don’t more people see it ? And why dont they notice that he now has TWO dead daughters ? coincidence ? c’mon !!! i truly believe that he molests/ rapes his own kids and that the two girls ended up conveniently dead when he either got enraged or just felt endangered by them telling the truth to someone. It has been reported that john can have an explosive rage problem. What a sickening injustice and horrible end that little girl had to go through.

  12. Garry Rodgers

    I thought I’d do a quick update to the original post. Over the last month, two TV specials have aired – one is an interview with Burke Ramsey by “Dr. Phil” McGraw and the other is a CBS documentary with a number of “forensic experts” who analyze the evidence. Not surprisingly, Burke continues to maintain innocence but doesn’t offer anything new. Surprisingly, the “forensic experts” make a hard and fast conclusion that Burke is responsible and killed JonBenet by hitting her in the head with a flashlight.

    To be honest, I haven’t watched either but I do read every comment posted on my blog and I appreciate them. Since the TV specials aired, I’ve had thousands of views on this post and I see from the comments that people are being misled by a few things. First, I caution readers not to put any value in the pineapple issue. That is a red herring if I ever saw one. Secondly, JonBenet did not die from the head blow. She suffered a subdural hemorrhage from it and was alive for quite some time after the blow was administered which is evident by the swelling and bleeding of the brain. Her actual cause of death is very clear. She suffered ligature strangulation which caused anoxia or a lack of oxygen to the brain. This is supported by the petechial hemorrhages in her eyes and the furrowed ligature marks on her neck, as well as evidence from the brain sectioning.

    Burke did not kill his sister. Whoever applied the ligature killed JonBenet and a 9-year-old boy is not capable of calculating, constructing, and applying this ligature. I stand by my statement that whoever wrote the “ransom” note committed the murder and the only logical suspect is Patsy. I also believe that John Ramsey knows full well what happened.

    1. Chris

      I was 14 at the time of this horrible tragedy. I have always thought that the family was involved in the murder of Jonbenet Ramsey. My only question is how did anyone in the house that night know how to make a garrotte? I know it might be a silly question but if you have never made one and you are under extreme pressure to cover up a murder accidental or otherwise who thinks oh yeah I’ll strangle her with a garrotte?

      1. Garry Rodgers Post author

        Who knows what was going through Patsy Ramsey’s mind. If she was capable of strangling her daughter, I can’t see that simply tying a string onto a broken paint brush handle was much of a stretch.

  13. Loretta Stacey

    The CBS theory was that the son killed his sister. There were loop-holes in that theory and too much was missing. If it was over the pineapple, how did she get to the basement? She weighed 45 pounds and Burke was only 10 years old. How did the pineapple get from her stomach to her intestines when it takes many hours for this first part of digestion to occur? Your theory explained some of my questions. But after looking at that note, I think you should examine it further without any reference to Muslims or mid-eastern people. Someone tied that garrote and strangled her, she had deep wounds on the neck. The note references the head being cut off. And be smart John. It’s like Patsy is referring to her husband and giving him an indication of what to do.

  14. the guy in the backgroound

    I was eleven years old when the crime took place and remember the medias constant coverage of the event. I’ve been following the case pretty closely and seen a lot of the coverage from different angles. Some discrepancies seen are the disturbance of the intruder theory. Seen one channel cover the event and said there was no disturbance and further made there claim by mentioning there was a cobweb undisturbed and that the window was too narrow for a person too not disturb the surrounding area. And on the other hand, saw another (I think A&E) saw that the ground had been disturbed and fingerprint marks in blood were found near that broken window. As for Burke, there are inconsistencies with his story of when he said he was supposedly sleeping. Seen at least two to four somewhat different accounts of his time upstairs while in bed. The letter is so interesting and pops out to me of course like others of said. When I finished reading the letter I myself found myself saying this is ridiculous; however, not many have mentioned but that last part is intriguing for me. It pokes at John. Almost a controlled taunt. I do believe in most cases the simple answer is the correct one, however, life is complex and situations can get grey. I believe something unique happened here. One last thing, not much is mentioned about that night before getting home. I never got a clear picture of the events that happened before they got home that night. John’s company Access Graphics was bought up by Lockheed Martin and what I gather is a smart man and obviously a powerful one in some sense. I guess one thing we can agree on is this is such an interesting a case and unfortunate for the girl and maybe some of the family members.

    1. the guy in the backgroound

      sorry for the grammer and english mistakes…the fingerprints i mentioned in post might not have been bloody prints just regular prints. Didn’t want to mislead, seen so many reports lately you get overloaded

    2. Loretta Stacey

      If they arrived home from the party at 10:00 pm and there are fingerprints on the pineapple bowl and spoon the boy is definitely lying. Someone used that flashlight and wiped the fingerprints from the batteries and the outside barrel.

  15. Penny

    I saw the different recent shows about Jonbenet. Dr Phil’s show as well. when this happened years ago I thought that Patsy may have killed Jonbenet but now I think that it could have been Burke and a coverup by the parents. A 2 and a 1/2 page ransom note with Jonbenet already dead is just crazy, One thing I was wondering if parents wanted to find the killer of their daughter then why would John Ramsey pick Jonbenet’s body up and bring her upstairs? Didn’t he know that he needs to leave her body the way he found it so they could find evidence? or did he want it moved so he could destroy evidence? Of course, I don’t know that everything I hear or read is fact. So I may state something that is inaccurate. The forensic pathologist said that the Ramsey’s wouldn’t let him in their home to investigate. HE said maybe they didn’t want them to find something. I heard Ramsey’s wanted police interviews together. Something I noticed recently on 20 year old footage, almost 20., when John was asked if he thought it was a kidnapping he is saying yes but he is nodding his head no. Patsey shook her head as well,

  16. Julie Cantwell

    Also, does anyone else find John Mark Karrs alleged “confession” around the same time as Patsy Ramsey’s death odd?? Was this a set up to try to clear Patsy’s name before she passed away!?
    The whole JMK thing just stinks. Very strange.

  17. Julie Cantwell

    Is it possible that Patsy caused JB’s head wound out of anger bc of bed wetting? Maybe she did twist her shirt tightly (which would cause the marks on her neck).
    Consider this:
    Patsy smacked JB and she fell, striking her head. JB passed out but was not dead yet, but Patsy thought she was dead, freaked out and took her to the basement and staged the scene by putting the rope around her neck (though not tight–just enough to make it look like a Strangulation) and she left her in the basement thinking she was dead. Then while she was upstairs writing the note, JB’s head/ neck continued to swell thus cutting off her oxygen and strangling her to death while she was unconscious! Wasn’t there 45 min.- 2 hours after the head wound that she died?
    If there was no sign of the head wound until autopsy, then maybe Patsy thought she was dead and freaked out and staged the scene though she didn’t actually strangle her, just tried to make it look that way by loosing putting the rope around her neck and then “ignoring” the ransom note by calling the police and inviting over all her friends “talk to a stray dog, she dies”. In this scenario, JR is asleep (took a melatonin) and doesn’t know anything.
    Now, put Burke in a similar situation. He did it without the parents knowledge–possibly an accident. Parents were upstairs getting ready for bed and Burke & JB were having a snack downstairs. Burke continues to play with his toys (like he said on Dr. Phil) and he got upset and hit her or pushed her, etc. A child of 9 would be more likely to think she was dead (not knowing how to check a pulse etc.). After he couldn’t get her to wake up, he drug her to the basement (explains abrasions) and poked her with the train tracks to get her to wake up (she was still alive, but unconscious, which explains the marks-though a kid wouldn’t know that). When he couldn’t wake her, he ran to get Patsy. Then she screams (heard across the street) and tells Burke to go to his room and stay there!
    She loosely places the rope around JB neck to stage the scene (thinking she is dead, but she isnt). Then she gets busy with the ransom note and JB head continues to swell causing strangulation. Maybe Burke doesn’t know that he actually killed her. John was asleep. Clueless.
    Patsy becomes the victim in this situation. Burke stays quiet. Not at all how you would expect a 9 year old to act. I’m 50/50. It was either Patsy or Burke and it was initially an accident that caused a freaked out exhausted Patsy to stage the scene in order to save Burke or herself.

    1. Loretta Stacey

      It took time for the girl to die. The heart still beats after the brain dies. And it took time for the pineapple to digest and move from the stomach to the small intestine. I think with that evidence and the fact that she had small spots in her eyes and face caused from strangulation, she was alive when the garrote was tightened. This also fits into the digestion phase. Rodger’s theory is she was strangled an hour and a half after the blow to the head. Someone wanted her dead, that’s for sure. Instead of calling for help or 911, they killed her. And it would take at least an 1 1/2 hour timeline for the food to digest. The intent of the person or persons is really intentional and vicious. This can’t be over a pineapple or wetting the bed. There’s something else — a behavioral issue or homicidal tendencies involved. Not a normal family or reaction.

    2. kitty

      completely agree with you, i do think it was burke though, i think he snuck back downstairs after his parents went upstairs to bed on the third floor to get a snack of pineapple, jonbenet either went downstairs with him or followed him after she heard him go downstairs. burke doesn’t turn on the light because he doesn’t want his parents to know he is down there and grabs the flashlight. then somehow jonbenet snatches a piece of pineapple and he wacks her over the head with the flashlight. pokes her with the train tracks but realizes she is not waking up after a while and goes gets patsy…

  18. Lori

    Hi Gary,
    I had not followed this case at all, but just getting into it last week, and watching and reading what I could find on it. I have no doubt, that the parents are guilty with murdering this little girl. Interestingly enough, the parents were cool and composed when they showed the reward poster, and in another interview, Patsy’s wearing a beautifully pressed suit, broach, coiffed hair, and perfectly manicured nails. What Mother, who has just lost their child in the most hannis way, has perfect nails. She doesn’t, believe me. And her comment about ‘I loved that little girl” I see it completely the opposite of a show of love. Who is she talking about, a kid down the street. No, again, a mother who has just lost her child is inconsolable, and would say, “I loved my baby with all my heart” “She is an angel, she is perfect, she was the sweetest little baby girl in the world” Most parents cannot even be in front a camera, due to their raw emotions at the time. Are you kidding me, those two looked like they were filming a commercial of some sort. OMG, this should have sent red flags up for the investigators right there. Your observation of the date of death on the headstone is excellent. For me, it is the mother’s paint brush handle found in the little girls vagina. Patsy was making a statement there too. She abused her, physically and probably sexually. She was a classic passive aggressive and hated JonBenet for her beauty and perfection. Of course she claimed she loved her, so do all abusers claim they loved their victims.

  19. Libby

    I read somewhere in an article that the S.B.T.C. in the ransom letter could stand for Subic Bay Training Camp. John Ramsey was in the Navy’s engineering corps and was stationed there in the Phillippines during the late sixties. I still think Patsy Ramsey wrote the letter, but perhaps the Phillippines training facility, which surely she would’ve known about (or it was John’s idea to use the acronym), would fit the writer’s intention of making it look like “a small foreign faction”.

  20. Judy M.

    Your blog is interesting as well as many of the ideas in the comments. I still have a few thoughts and questions of my own regarding the guilt of the Ramseys.

    I’m not so sure of their guilt. The family lived in a very large house with I think three levels AND an unfinished basement. If there was an intruder there is no indication of when the break-in occurred. There was access- John Ramsey broke a window in the basement when he locked himself out of the house at some earlier date and I’ve always assumed that he was indeed able to gain access to the house by going through that window. An intruders, using the same path, would also have been able to gain access.

    I also wonder when and how it was decided that the break in would have had to occur when the Ramsey family was home and asleep upstairs. I think it is entirely plausible that the break-in/intrusion may have occurred when the family was at the party. If an intruder was watching the house he could see that the family was dressed for a party and draw the conclusion that they would be gone for awhile. The basement provided a perfect hiding place- perfect for a home base as a place to return after trips upstairs to look around, perfect as a place to bring Jon Benet to carry out the rest of the crime. If there was an intruder and his plan was to get closer to Jon Benet, perhaps the larger plan to take her away was hatched once entry was gained and he could see all of the possibilities. It is easy to see that the basement was not a normally used part of the home- it was a storage area. It wasn’t “finished” and anyone who has lived in a home with an unfinished basement knows you don’t often venture down the stairs for reasons other than fetching a stored item or bringing down an item to be stored.

    The basement may have even been the catharsis for many of the plans that were thought out while the intruder spent more and more time in the house. The basement would have given the intruder tiime to go upstairs and see the layout of the bedrooms, to learn that there was access to the upstairs via two different staircases, to locate a suitcase large enough to hide Jon Benet in to take out of the basement window. If an intruder broke in after seeing the family leave for a party because of his sick sexual interest in Jon Benet, a somewhat public figure in Boulder, he would have had plenty of time to come to an understanding that he could hide in the basement even after the family returned home. He could have easily heard the family going upstairs for bed and would have known exactly where to find Jon Benet sleeping.

    Hours spent in the house before the Ramsey’s return would have given the intruders time to hatch a plan to kidnap her AND to write the rambling ransom note using a pad of paper and a pen found in the kitchen desk. Checking out the house with the Ramsey’s gone would have given him time to rummage through the Ramsey’s personal items and see their checking deposits. John Ramsey had recently deposited the Christmas bonus check- so why not turn the kidnapping for perverted needs into a financial gain as well. Maybe this guy was bitter about his own poverty after seeing the luxurious way the Ramsey’s lived.

    I have always wondered why folks are so surprised that a dish of pineapple on the counter had Patsy’s and Burke’s fingerprints on it. These were two people who lived in the house. How do you unload the dishwasher without getting your fingerprints on the contents? I’ve read that Burke often helped with the unloading of the dishwasher. Sometimes when you go for a bowl in a cabinet you touch other bowls.

    If Jon Benet was a bed wetter perhaps when she wet the bed that night it woke her up and she went downstairs looking for her family. Downstairs was where she last saw them if there is truth in the Ramsey’s statements that she was brought into the house after the party already asleep and put to bed. I know the washing machine was in the kitchen area from other things I have read. She was found in the basement with a nightgown by her- maybe she came down to put her wet clothes in the washing machine and to put on the Barbie nighty that was found next to her dead body. If an intruder was preparing to go upstairs and fetch her for kidnapping and she interrupted they could have even tried to make their presence seem normal by offering her something to eat. Maybe they already knew that one of Jon Benet’s favorite foods was pineapple because they had been in the audience of one of her pageants. Anyone who watches Toddlers and Tiaras will know that the announcers at the pageants give the audience a list of the contestant’s favorite foods- and it has been reported that pineapple was one of Jon Benet’s favorite foods.

    Next comes the ransom note. I cannot figure out why parents who, in the hopes of covering up a crime, would write a kidnap note knowing that they had left their child’s dead body in their own basement. If they have accidentally killed her and want us to believe there was in intruder, why a ransom note. Why bother with it. A dead little girl with a strange garrote around her neck would indicate an intruder. Patsy called 911 and immediately spoke of the note. Even if the note is flaky as all get out I still don’t understand why that points to Patsy. Aren’t there any men on the planet who go on and on and on, who have strange ways of expressing themselves? If an intruder, with hours of time to kill waiting for the family to return home found the checkbook and got mad that John Ramsey had such a large amount sitting around in his checking account after having decided to kidnap Jon Benet when they found a way to get her out of the house, why would he not decide to ask for a ransom that could be easily obtained? To my mind, the kidnap note makes no sense to forward the Ramsey’s guilt but more sense if the perpetrator was an intruder.

    I also want to add that the ransom note looks like the handwriting is shaky- which would be how a note written while wearing thick gloves would look. Misspelled words? I am college educated and have a big vocabulary but I can’t spell worth a fig. I’ve had the auto spelling tool correct my spelling of possess each time I’ve tried to write it. I spell it wrong exactly the same way as the ransom note writer.

    Someone else’s DNA was found on the child’s underwear, on the thermal underwear too. Why is this consistently ignored as proof that there was an intruder?

    I know I’ve gone on and on, like a woman! but to recap- someone out there knew of Jon Benet because of pageants and invades the home because there is an opportunity to do so. Being in the home where she lives incites their lust to possess her and there is a place to hide and wait for her return. There is a big suitcase in which to stash her once she is apprehended and subdued. They have time and materials at the ready to concoct a ransom note because knowing that Ramsey had money will possiblyl result in financial gain for the perpetrator. While the person is waiting for time to pass so that they are sure the family is sleeping Jon Benet appears with her blanket (normal for a kid) and her dry nightgown with plans to change her clothes and put the wet things right into the washer and the bad guy tries to make his presence seem normal to her. She was a little kid- he could have said anything to convince her he was supposed to be there.

    At some point the perpetrator needed to get Jon Benet into the basement to remove her from the home. Maybe he hit her over the head because she wanted to go back upstairs (afterall the maglite was left on the kitchen counter) , maybe she got uncomfortable with the way he was acting. Maybe he tazed her to subdue her and she came to while he was carrying her downstairs and was dropped against the railing and injured her head. She ended up in the basement with a cord around her neck after sustaining a head injury. Someone got their DNA on her. If the plan was to take her out of the home to have sexual use of her and this person was a creepy, horrible pedophile, maybe he couldn’t wait to get at her. The basement gave him the time and privacy as long as she couldn’t scream. Would this have resulted in the garrote or was this part of the sexual plans for this sicko. We have never been told this DNA was semen but I’m guessing if there was DNA and it was found in her underpants that a rape occurred. Fiber evidence was found in the suitcase. The intruder did try to stuff her in the suitcase but it was found impossible to remove the suitcase through the window- it was too large and the shape was not conducive to it going through the window if there was something (someone) packed inside.

    AS for the date on the headstone, that is a very interesting point and when I first read it I wondered…and then decided that perhaps, since Dec. 25 was the last time the Ramsey’s saw her alive they chose the date to signify her LIFE span, as they knew it. I can believe that Patsy would have found comfort in thinking of her little girl as a Christmas angel.

  21. Donna bingha

    I can’t believe people are still wondering about this case. Within a month, I figured it out. The note, we can all agree (hopefully) was a ruse by Patsy. Now, why would she write such a thing? I don’t think she would have even covered up for her husband; it had to be Burke. Patsy loved JonBenet just like she said in her interview “…I love[d] that child with every fibre of my being.” I believe that. I don’t think for a moment she ever lay a hand on either of her children. And she was spot on when she said in one interview,”…I have survived stage [3?] cancer. Bedwetting is nothing in the face of that [something like that].” I am the oldest of 3 children. I was the only girl and had two little brothers. I also got a little rough with horseplay and out and out and out meanness towards my oldest of the two brothers. Anyone who doesn’t think a nine almost-ten boy could conk his sister on the head with the flashlight he stole down the stairs to see presents with, or the bat, golf club – any number of things, has either no experience with children, or one really sweet one. Parents of one, say it is all in the “nurture.” Parents of two, know it is all in the “nature.” It was an awful family tragedy. The creepy young man on Dr. Phil with his unnerving frozen smile and mostly-diverted eyes, is the only one who could have done it. Poor Patsy. Poor John. Poor Burke. But mostly, poor JonBenet. The DNA results are ridiculous, also. The makers of the new underwear had to have touched the garment many times. Or the packager of the items. Too bad people are not brave enough to come forth with all of the real facts. Either the libel suits or their respective situations (like civil employment) may be preventing this. It would be nice to see it put to bed. Either “out” Burke or live in la-la land. The truth is Burke did not commit a crime of murder. He was nine years old at the time and culpability in Colorado at that age is probably a hand slap and possibly the psychiatric help he needs or needed. It is done and dusted. Seeing this poor little girl being exploited over and over again by media is sickening. They never deliver what they allude to or promise: discovery of the REAL killer of JonBenet. I just hope JonBenet was at least close to death when the garrote was applied. I don’t think even the darkest of us could defile a beloved child like that. But maybe the fear of Burke won out and she did her best to protect him. I’ll be she had no clue what was coming …

  22. Emma Lily

    What about Burke? I know this article was published prior to the television interview, but he admits to getting out of bed that night to sneak downstairs to play with a toy. And the bowl of pineapple — the prints on the bowl and spoon were non other than Burke and Patsy’s. It is my theory that Burke accidentally delivered the head injury and Patsy covered it up, believing her to be dead. I really believe it was a case of two young children who snuck downstairs to play with their Christmas toys and possibly have a snack, and an altercation ensued. Who else would Patsy try to protect and go to such great lengths to make it look as if someone else did it? Burke. That’s also why they denied interrogation of Burke until he had been fully coached — they were afraid he’d get scared and crack, implicating all of them. This is just my theory since the interview aired. Just looking at his body language made me very uncomfortable, socially awkward or not. His eyes would repeatedly look down and dart to the right when asked direct questions about his sister’s death. That implies a lie…he knows.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      I haven’t seen the interview(s) with Burke, Emma, so I can’t comment on that. What I can say is that if in the remote chance the initial incident was an accident, then the Ramsey adults would have been screaming to 911 for help. To me, the Burke-did-it theory is fantasy.

      1. Ryan

        I don’t get how police ruled out the broken window as a point of entry. If John Ramsey broke the window because he locked himself out of his house then obviously he used it as a point of entry?

        1. J

          Getting out of the window is the problem. Not to mention whoever wrote the ransom note literally spent hours inside the house undetected. Even btk killer could not have done that.

      2. Christine

        Thank you, Mr. Rogers, for your thoughtful and intriguing post.
        Also, I am glad you mentioned the date of death.I always thought that was odd and incriminating. No parent wants to think their precious child died on Christmas. If you had the option of picking either date you would pick December 26th, that is unless you knew your poor little girl’s death did occur on Christmas.

    2. J

      Exactly! When the Ramseys are being interviewed and they tell the police or the media they didn’t kill their daughter, they are totally telling the truth. In the interviews that’s the one place where you cab tell they are quick to answer and don’t avert their eyes or try to deceive. That’s why they passed the polygraph test because no one ever asked them about burke! Infact when Patsy is being interviewed by the police and Lou Smit she says specially that nor her or John killed jonbenet. She makes a point to mention themselves but not burke. Everyone thinks it’s impossible for a 9 year old to kill a child but that’s simply not true.

  23. KB

    This article sounds plausible, but I cannot rid myself of the feeling that if an accident occurred that rendered Jon Benet unconscious with a serious injury of any kind a mother who loves her child would jump through any hoops trying to save that child’s life, including putting herself at risk for child-abuse charges, etc. I just have to believe that Patsy Ramsey could not have strangled her child to “finish her off” or neglected to obtain prompt care and professional diagnosis of that child’s injuries. I know that there are stories in the news all the time where parents murder their children, but the pieces of that puzzle just do not fit here.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Unfortunately, mothers do kill their children and people like Patsy Ramsey can be real life monsters. They do not fit into the comfortable image of what most people would like a mother to be like.

      1. CC

        I agree Garry. , No one (including me) wants to believe a mother could hide an injury to their child.. let alone not phone for help. I wonder if mom could have grabbed a trophy and hit JonBenet.. those can do some major damage with a little effort.

        1. Garry Rodgers Post author

          As horribly ironic as it sounds, a trophy could have done the skull damage. Something of significant mass connected with her head and it wasn’t a human appendage. Thanks for reading & commenting, CC.

  24. Michele Hood

    Hi Gary – Patsy was originally diagnosed with and was treated for Ovarian cancer in 1993. Her cancer was in remission when JonBenet died, but the treatment may have caused Patsy to go into early menopause. I remember what an emotional roller coaster my mother’s menopause was, for her and our family. Her emotions were all over the place – angry for the littlest things, crying for no reason, etc. If Patsy was going through menopause, it could explain over-reacting, snappish behavior – like raging at a little girl who wet the bed. Patsy may have yanked JonBenet out of the bed and thrown her against furniture (or against something in the bathroom, like a sink) where she smacked her head.
    Little kids sometimes get UTIs and bladder infections, especially when they’re learning to gauge their bathroom habits. Maybe JonBenet had an infection like that, and the blood in her underwear was due to such an infection. It would also explain the bed wetting.
    Also, in regards to the note, especially the use and proper accentuation of the word “attaché.” I noticed that JonBenet’s name contains an accent mark on her gravestone. I think that Patsy loved affectation, and that’s why she used an accent mark in her daughter’s
    faux-French name. She was familiar with the accent
    mark, used it whenever she wrote JonBenet’s name, and would certainly included it wherever else she could, just to make herself seem sophisticated.
    I believe that Patsy was an abusive mother, both emotionally and physically. That would explain why Burke was so afraid of coming out of his room the morning of the murder, and why he was such a passive child. I do think that Patsy killed JonBenet. I believe the blow to the head was a mistake, and that she strangled JonBenet when she figured out that she was still alive. I think she knew that her abusive history would be exposed, and she was afraid of going to prison, as well as the damage the allegations would have done to her perfect reputation. That’s why she finished her off. And Patsy convinced herself that, because JonBenet was injured accidently, God would forgive her. That’s how she was able to live with herself. I really think John went along with his wife to protect her. I don’t think they ever told Burke the truth of what happened that night.
    Thanks! Michele

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      That’s an interesting observation about early menopause, Michele. Thanks. There’s no doubt something was making Patsy imbalanced. That’s also an interesting observation about the accent mark – it’s not something most people would use, certainly not Americans. If I’m not mistaken, JonBenet was named after her father John Bennet Ramsey.

  25. Chelle Harper

    Hi from Australia.

    I agree with the majority on this tragic case and among all of the strange occurrences one of the most compelling pieces is the blanket covering the child.

    A killer intruder? No.

    Someone who could not look at what they have done? Yes.

    Who would be capable of such a thing and then to add compassion possibly love to a young child? Mummy.

  26. MagnumPI

    I am a 48 hour/dateline freak, so this is right up my alley. I just recently have become interested in this case. Here is what I immediately thought of:

    1. Who attended the tour of homes? Were there any visitors that stood out ( maybe asked way too many questions about Jon benet or was found wondering off)

    2. Who attended the party at their house on Christmas Eve? Was there heavy drinking? Was there supervision for the children at this party ( babysitter, housekeeper, etc)

    3. What was the atmosphere at the party they attended Christmas Day? We’re the Ramsey’s drinking? Did they appear to be fighting? Was patsy Ramsey tired?

    I ask these questions because I think the killer has to be someone that is familiar with the home ( either a family friend, housekeeper or family/friend of housekeeper, or jealous co worker/neighbor/friend of patsy). Also the killer has some knowledge of johns recent bonus. It has been said that only a few people knew about his bonus. I think that is BS. People talk/overhear things. The killer sounds like a psycho with an unhealthy obsession with Jon benet. I don’t think the killer planned on killing her or writing a ransom. That would explain the ransom note/ cover up. The killer probably took her to basement to take her with them. When they couldn’t fit her through window (which explains the abrasions) they left her.

    Honestly, if Patsy and john were involved, one of them would have broke by now. Patsy had nothing to lose when she was dying. As a Christian she knows that she needs to confess for forgiveness. She did not confess. Also, the unknown pubic hair and dna point to someone else. They need to investigate the parties directly before her disappearance. See who all was in that house. Someone noticed someone acting strange before and after the murder. Maybe someone moved away afterwards. I am not convinced that the parents were involved. Sorry

      1. Cathy

        Gary, and everyone else. I believe in my heart mommie dearest DID kill JonBenet; and I believe your impression(s) of how everything occurred is most likely very very close, if not exact. Am I the only one who sees the similarities in mommie’s SLOW blinking… to the other mommie killer Susan Smith? Does anyone remember that mommie on camera early on trying to “fake” cry, “fake” anguish.., HER slow closing eyes? So very similar. And referring to JonBenet as I loved “that child”.. she wanted her to be “perfect”, and a “woman” at age 6. It is so obvious. I am reading Steve Thomas’s book now… and I agree 100%. I searched the Internet this weekend., and saw a short clip of a Christmas video of the day mommie killed her.. they are sitting in front of the C tree, mommie is smiling toward video camera- probably dear daddy… and grabs JonBenet , turns her roughly toward cam. In the “last” pic of JonBenet alive.. (You have it above) look close at dear mommie… she’s got her death grip on JonBenet’s arm.. It is as obvious now as it was 20 years ago. * I have been a nurse 30 years, I have seen plenty of child abuse, many at the hands of mom. Whether your “skill”, “profession”.. is as a Nurse, detective, Dr… whatever; you get VERY good at sizing up such a situation- your instincts are NOT wrong. Maybe some people have a higher instinct/ intuition- I know within 2-3 MINUTES of examining a NEW patient , listening to their “symptoms”, “pain”… that they are leading up to try and ask for NARCOTICS- *every single time-/ I’ve never been wrong. This skill is with a good detective as well- you just KNOW. We will never know if daddy helped mommie- or if he just assessed the situation and decided to protect 1. Reputation 2. Burke 3. Mommie. (In that order) I see he has remarried, I have NO doubt when he passes she will have NO “stories”.. such as “Daddy knew”- because daddy isn’t stupid enough to EVER confide such a thing. He’s very controlled. And I’ve read a lot about how Burke turned out.. he’s very socially awkward, (well… we all know why) and I think dear daddy is manipulating these new “stories”.. finally featuring none other than tada!!! Burke’s opinion (mmm… finally- yea) this is merely daddy laying further “protection” around Burke.. in the upcoming passing of daddy-( eventually) These 2 people got away with 1. Child abuse and 2. Murder.. Money does offer more..
        It’s very sad.

    1. Jan Novak

      For MagnumPI….I, too, initially had the same thoughts and ideas but nothing would gel. Of course, that’s being based on what was released to the press and reported in the tabloids. I’m embarrassed to admit now I thought sure it was the Santa dude back then! But Garry’s analysis of the “ransom” note is like the letter is screaming out the writer’s identity and he heard it loud and clear! And now I get it and assume the horrific nature of the case kept my blinders on all that time previously. In fact, I went to work today as if in stupor and walked around saying, “Patsy did it! Patsy did it!”. Everyone knew what I meant and wondered why it took me so long to come to the conclusions myself. Like many, I didn’t want to believe it. But now….no doubt. I’m a Garry “Gar-ryb-ber” now……(lke a Justin Be-lieb-ber). : )) But I see Dateline ID has three shows coming on tonight, tmr, and next night and will apply Garry’s theories against the three-part series..Tks!

  27. Joe Broadmeadow

    There is a commonality of this case and O.J. Simpson in the manner in which they were handled by the police. Because the Ramsey’s and O.J. were wealthy and well-known in the community The cases were treated differently then they should have.

    Had these cases happened in a poor or middle class neighborhood the outcome would be much different

    Money buys, or deters, justice

  28. Dusty

    Fascinating analysis of the ransom note. Wow. It’s so logically outlined there’s no doubt it’s accurate. You’ve swayed me! Got a few questions though: (1) The duct tape and nylon cord used in the crime were never matched to anything in the Ramsey house. What do you think happened to them? (2) Part of the paint brush, stun gun and murder weapon used to assault JonBenét were never found. What do you think happened to them? (3) Lou Smit made a strong case for the intruder theory. Why do you consider it invalid? (4) Unsourced male DNA was found on the waistband of JonBenét’s pants and underwear. Two separate places. Why do you consider it invalid? Thank you in advance. : )

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      I’m not familiar enough with the minute details of the evidence, Dusty, but from what I know there is no validity to the stun gun rumor. There is nothing in the autopsy report that supports that a stun gun was used and I think you have to be careful about referring to a murder weapon as anything but the ligature that was found on her body. The PM report is clear that the blunt object head trauma was not fatal – what instrument caused this is not known. I also don’t know of any evidence that supports an intruder. The unidentified DNA could easily have come from contamination. That’s becoming more of a difficulty in crime scene processing with increasingly sophisticated technology. Sorry, I can’t be more specific – I don’t think many questions in the JBR case will ever be answered.

  29. Eileen Phillips

    My question is this about the denials. I watch shows where the criminals DNA proves guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt, along with other evidence, and the criminal lies and proclaims innocence despite being caught with undeniable evidence. John and Patsy , especially now John after the 20 year mark, are so convincing in their interviews about their innocence and persecution by the media. But no other theory makes any sense other than they were involved…but….could they lie so well? It is confusing the brain.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Something I learned early in the police business is that virtually all suspects lie. Denials are totally self-serving so they’re worthless as evidence. Once people like John and Patsy started lying about the facts, especially in public, it became impossible to reverse their position. After awhile, the lies were natural for them. If you set their denials aside and just look at the case facts, I don’t see how anyone could support the theory that a total stranger was involved. Had they been tried, they would have been subject to testifying in their own defense or refusing to take the stand. Either way, they’d have been in a terrible position and I’m sure a jury would have convicted them. Thanks for commenting, Eileen.

      1. Eileen Phillips

        Yes suspects lie, yet they are especially convincing. There are so many variables in this, yet, as a mother I do not think I could pull off such a strong facade if I had accidentally or purposely killed my child…I would so crack. What do you make of the stun gun marks?
        The pineapple figures in because the parents claimed that JonBenet was asleep after coming home from the party and they carried her into the home and put her straight to bed. But the pineapple in her digestive tract suggested she had more recently eaten it than that.

        1. Eileen Phillips

          Last question. If they did contribute to covering up each other or some third party , are they huge cowards, nuts, sociopaths, cultists, or monsters. If my spouse killed my child, I would hate him and not try to ally myself in a cover up with him. It would be totally horrific to condone the brutal staging etc. It is way too physco or evil.
          I have always been put off by the blatant sexual way the child was presented in pageants, excused by saying Patsy was herself a beauty queen so this was her world. Her neighbor said that Patsy left Patsy’s dress and crown on her bed for viewing when they opened their home for holiday tour. She said Patsy ran down the aisle at the service throwing up her hands to the sky.
          Linda Arnt never revealed her theory of who did it, and John really discredited her on TV. Burke on Dr. Phil is strange with his plastered on smile…last thing said.

        2. Garry Rodgers Post author

          I don’t believe there is anything to the stun gun rumor, Eileen. It’s just a piece of misinformation that always seems to happen in high profile cases. If the Ramseys said JonBenet was asleep when they came home, that may be true but it still wouldn’t make the pineapple a relevant issue. She may have eaten it shortly before falling asleep. Take into account the pathologist’s opinion that death was “far closer to 10 pm than 5 am”.

          1. Eileen

            On the Dateline special, they showed three marks. One on her cheek, two on her body. Round brown marks. Not confirmed stun gun, but some think so. The Ramseys say JonBenet was asleep when they took her home from their car straight to bed. They found a bowl of pineapple on the counter with Patsy and Burke’s fingerprints. That is why they say she must have eaten it at home before bedtime when they claimed she went to bed asleep from next door. Thanks for all of your research and input.

  30. Jan Novak

    Just watched the TV show and have been reading the tabloids filled with the “latest” suspects. This little girl’s death still haunts me. I just did a Web search and came across your and all the comments. I have absolutely NO doubt now that Patsy simply lost it, finished off her daughter (who was apparently actually still alive) as part of the cover up, and John was an accomplice. No doubt. And your explanation of that crazy note makes total sense! And yeah, the kids were fed pineapple as a treat before bed. Panic will obviously make you do horrific things, like even take a stun gun to your child. The show should have interviewed you to be complete in its reporting. Thank you.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      I’ll have to watch the show – it certainly seems to be stirring the case as I’m getting tons of visits to this blog post. I must be missing something about the significance of the pineapple… I don’t understand the relevance other than JonBenet likely ate it within a few hours of her death. The pathologist’s opinion is that death probably occurred before midnight on the 25th so it’s consistent with a bedtime snack. Thanks for commenting, Jan.

      1. Chris

        The significance of the pineapple is that one of the TV shows experts said that whoever gave her the pineapple was the killer. They kept bringing it up I think it was thee CBS special.

  31. Ken

    Very insightful and thoughtful analysis Gary. I like a lot of folks have always felt it was Patsy, and her and John staged scene to cover the truth up. One thing I have always found interesting, when watching interviews with the Ramsey’s, a couple of things always struck me as odd. 1) in the interviews they did, they always seemed so staged. 2) the reactions of Patsy and John were starkly different. In the interviews I have watched she was always the emotional one, crying in a few and on the verge of tears in others. While John never showed emotion, he was almost very cold in his demeanor and words. On one interview he had a very cold look when he glanced over at Patsy. That to me was always very telling, like he knew what she did but didn’t want to lose her too.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks, Ken. I have to say I’ve never seen any of the interviews with the Ramseys. As far as I know, the ones now available on the internet are all done by media outlets rather than properly controlled evidentiary interviews conducted by professional officers. My experience with media interviews is that a lot is lost or misrepresented through camera angles and editing.

    2. Kimberly

      What interesting reading! I hadn’t thought about the case for a while, but with the commercial regarding the upcoming interview with Burke playing so often these last few weeks…I decided to Google “Who really killed JonBenet?”…and the results brought me here. I have to admit, originally I believed the Ramsey’s were innocent. I mean…how could THESE people possibly have done such a horrible thing. Surely it had to be a crazed, perverted stranger…who broke in…and killed JonBenet. But…now…It seems quite possible indeed that Patsy just might have been the one…and John…perhaps out of guilt…covered up. Especially after reading the letter more thoroughly…I don’t think I ever read it in it’s entirety before now. Yep…the letter convinced me…and I’ll tell you why… When I first started this post…I had one question. After reading the theories regarding the date on JonBenet’s headstone…I wanted to ask…what time the coroner ruled her time of death. I was sure whatever they put on her headstone…was the time the coroner stated in his report. Then it dawned on me…that I could probably Google that, too…and I did…and it was the 26th…sort of…as he couldn’t exactly determine, as you probably already know. So I returned to this post to answer my own question…and that is when it hit me…it HAD to be Patsy… and all those who came to this conclusion before me…were right! It had to be a female who wrote that note…just as it has to be a female who wrote THIS post. I am almost certain a man would have merely asked…”So…what time did the coroner rule her time of death?” 🙂
      I’m looking forward to seeing the JBR interview next week…and I will look back here to see what you might have picked up after finally hearing from the elusive Burke. Although I am certain nothing of importance will be revealed…or we would have heard by now.

      1. Garry Rodgers Post author

        Hi Kimberly, The date of death on the autopsy report from the Boulder County Coroner Office is December 26 and the time is placed at 13:23 which I gather is the time JonBenet was found. I searched around and can’t easily find an actual death certificate which is a separate document which is sent to the department of vital statistics to register the death. Because the same coroner would fill this out I can’t see there being a different date from what’s on the autopsy report. Thanks for commenting!

        1. Michelle

          When I heard the 911 operator when she was talking to pasty when she called the 911 operator said she heard 3 voices in the back ground because the phone did not hang up. I think it was Burke that killed her and John and patsy coveted it up. My opinion.

          1. Garry Rodgers Post author

            Thanks for commenting, Michelle. I think it’s important to consider the pathologist’s opinion that JonBenet was alive for at least an hour after she suffered the head blow. During that time the garrotte must have been fashioned, her body taken to the basement, and she was strangled – not necessarily in that order. Personally, I can’t believe a young boy like Burke would be capable of this. As well, if the parents were innocent, they would have been screaming to 911 for medical attention.

        2. AW

          Interesting that you cannot find a death certificate. Perhaps because it doesn’t exist. Let’s think out of the box that perhaps her parents were part of the illuminati elite and JB isn’t dead at all. There are too many similarities to JB, Patsy Ramsey and Katy Perry. The nose tells it to a T. Sheer speculation sure but it is another thought after all worth looking at.

  32. Bill Berotti

    Why would any moderately intelligent person who had just killed her own daughter think that writing a long, rambling ramson note would help to conceal the identity of the killer? If you were to ask a thousand moderately smart people whether they would write such a note if they were desperate to protect themselves in that situation, I doubt even a single person would say writing the note would be the thing to do. And whether or not handwriting experts have the actual expertise, I cannot immagine anyone thinking they could write a long note without revealing their identity to a handwriting expert regardless of how hard they tried to alter their handwriting. Your analysis may be correct in every respect, but what conceivable reason would she have for writing that long note?

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      I think you’re thinking too rationally, Bill. Rational is not how someone who just killed their own daughter would think or act. The note has Patsy’s handwriting similarity and personality on it. I don’t think that rationality has any part in how Patsy behaved after she killed JonBenet, so asking a thousand rational people is not going to explain her actions. She did what she did.

      1. Bill Berotti

        You make a good point. I am sure there is a selection bias effect here. Had the mother done what was rational or expected, we would not still be talking about this case.

  33. Christopher


    Thanks to your spectacularly thorough analysis, I don’t see how any rational person examining the multitude of evidence in this case can come to any conclusion other than a Ramsey killed JonBenet.

    I’ve always felt the real smoking gun of this case–something this analysis didn’t touch upon–was the pineapple found in JonBenet’s digestive tract during autopsy. It’s been reported that there was a bowl of pineapple in the kitchen the day JonBenet’s body was found in which both Patsy and Burke’s fingerprints were found. Both Patsy and John denied ever giving JonBenet pineapple the night she died. Why lie about something so innocuous if it weren’t significant to her death?

    I posit Patsy lied about the pineapple because it would prove neither she, JonBenet, nor Burke went straight to bed that night. If JonBenet supposedly died before midnight, and she was eating pineapple at 10pm or later, as her autopsy would suggest, it leaves a VERY short window for an intruder to abduct her from her bed, bash her head in, sexually assault her, then wait 30 minutes to an hour and half and strangle her to death with a garrote fashioned out of a broken paintbrush.

    As for the catastrophic blow to the head, I believe the evidence strongly suggests that the injury was caused by a blunt force object, not by contact against a door, toilet, or bathtub.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi, Christopher. I’m not sure what to make of the pineapple but I agree the head blow was done by a blunt object swung at her, not a bump against a fixed surface. My conviction is that Patsy Ramsey was involved and that John had to know about it. I think the boy was just too young to be culpable. Thanks for commenting!

    2. Renee Rose

      The answer is always the simple one. I go back to the most telling evidence. A big one is the slap across the face.
      A woman slaps faces. Men, do not. I see Patsy slapping Jon Benet out of utter frustration for some childhood action such as wetting the bed or mouthing off.
      Never in a million years, would her father or brother slap her across the face. That’s a girl thing.
      The garrote was made from a paint brush from Patsy’s possessions. Yeah, her father could have grabbed it, but I don’t think Mr. Ramsey would think “Oooh, I’ll use one of Patsy’s paint brushes to fashion myself a garrote!!!!!”
      No. Again, Patsy is written all over this.
      And yes, the stupid, stupid ransom letter. Women talk too much. Men HATE writing letters, talking on the phone and other activities that women participate in.
      No man would write a long-winded ridiculous ransom letter. A man would write down the facts and leave it at that. Had it been written by a man or young man even, it would have been limited to a small paragraph, with the facts only.
      Patsy had zero patience with Jon Benet. She expected perfection. During the child beauty pageants, Jon Benet always had to have perfect hair, perfect makeup, etc…At home, Patsy wasn’t a mother who put up with bed wetting or any other child-like occurrences that were normal for a little girl having the weight of world on her shoulders.
      Patsy had a horrible temper.
      She first slapped Jon Benet for wetting herself or some other minor offense, but then lost complete control of her temper and hit her daughter over the head giving her a fatal head injury. After Jon Benet would not wake up, she realized the hit on the head was severe and that she had gone too far so she panicked and set up the scene for a strangulation, possible sexual assault and ransom.
      I’ve always had a difficult time believing she actually got away with it, but she did because of many police and technical screw ups.
      Her husband knew his wife killed their daughter and his only choice was to help cover it up so the family name, reputation and estate wouldn’t come crumbling down.
      Patsy DID have karma catch up to her in my opinion when she suffered and died from cancer.
      Not good enough, but it will have to do and she has to answer to God for what she did.
      NOTHING is complicated.
      It’s always, always someone the victim knows. Murders by random strangers are extremely rare.
      It’s always the simple answer.

  34. Frank

    Hi and thanks for tour blogging and Interest in the case. I have researched and studied it for 12 years myself and have learned to read and listen more than give my theory. It is impossible I have found to put all of the clues and pieces together, and personally believe that some of the facts and evidence that doesnt fit must not be related in ways that we think it does. Ive accepted that we may never know.
    We know that the kidnapping intruder does not fit the equation for so many reasons however, so it leaves us with the murder-cover-up scenario.
    I do find both john and patsy conspired together in the cover-up and feel that you dudnt allude enough to Johns role in this murder as well. The note also has a sence of him telling Patsy things to write as well. Then there is the sexual abuse found… Sad stuff.
    Thanks again

  35. Rose

    Sadly, I always saw something in Pasty that made me question her approach to the murder of her child…something in her eyes and her body language that was so telling. Yet I dismissed it, I just could not bring myself to think it could be her. As a caregiver for twenty years…I see it now. I wanted it to be John yet something in his eyes I hated to admit out loud always felt to me as he did not kill that child. You’re analysis well..most likely..is correct. Thank you. People in the world (like you), who’s education for bringing facts, logic, and lets face, good old common sense always make a difference. I hope these talents you possess continue to help outside of this blog. In a case like this It was and still is highly needed. That innocent child JonBennet at least in this world, will never see justice. How truly sad.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks very much for your thoughtful comment, Rose. Many people react to cases like the Ramsey one on an emotional level rather than on a rational one. I’ve been a student of the JFK Assassination for my whole life and it never stops amazing me how some people – the conspiracy theorists – fail to exercise common sense when coming to a conclusion about what happened. In the JFK case, it’s usually because it’s what they want to believe rather than what the evidence shows. In the Ramsey case, the evidence clearly suggests JonBenet’s death was caused by family members but I don’t believe this will ever be proven in the justice system.

  36. Lisa Daly

    What about the fact that the knots made on the cord found on her body were complex knots. Not a knot to do in a hurry. Someone very skilled in that department. Also interesting that John Ramsey was in the Navy and maybe would have the knowledge to tie these knots. I don’t think he did it, but I do think he helped cover it up.

  37. Syndelle

    Great article and certainly eye-opening. I too followed the story when it happened and kept thinking how could it be the mother, because it truly seemed she loved her kids, all the effort put into JonBenet’s pageants etc.
    After reading your excellent article, I could picture a drunken Patsy slapping her daughter for bed wetting and having that slap cause her daughter to smash her head on something and then dominoing into the end result. It could’ve very well began as an accident, in fact I’ve seen this scenario before in movies. The most chilling fact is her grave stone and Patsy’s early death is a perfect nod to Karma.

  38. Mary

    Great logical/common sense conclusion. Re bed-wetting, ask any Mom who has dealt with frustration. Re ransom letter (called thevWarand Peace of ransom notes) , its length and content: a psychiatrist wrote an entire book on that epistle, and you’ve made the same points without the torturous shrink talk. There’s never been any doubt in my mind that Patsy, exhausted by the holidays which incl a tour of her home, party hosting, and a round of others, left her frazzled. Jon Benet’s bed-wetting took her over the edge; results were tragic. Also feel your take on John’s complicity is on point: after loosing his second daughter and fear for his wife, who not incidentally, according to friends was his “Jackie ” (Kennedy!); he went along. Besides which, fear of fall-out: his business, standing in the community, etc. Finally, I too wonder about brother Burke and how he could be asleep during the flurry of cover-up activities. That said, call to cops so early in the AM might have been before he woke up from sound post-Xmas sleep. Thanks for the intelligent cogent analysis.

  39. Kenny Edwards

    I agree with your conclusions Garry. But that Gettysburg address of a ransom note unsettles me. Why write so much? She was a clever woman. The longer the note, the more likely she was to self a incriminate. Was it a subconscious attempt to confess her crime after John forbade her from coming clean?

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi Kenney. I honestly have no idea what was going through her mind. The case is so bizarre and horrific that I don’t think it can be analyzed from a normal perspective.

      1. A Jackson

        Madeline covered this last night, 9/9/16. In the clip it showed an interview with the Ramsey’s on CNN. The reporter asked John “Do you think the perpetrator will be caught?” John paused, blinked a long blink and said yes, yes, than shaking his head no, back and forth, said yes, has to be found.
        Before his statement, Patsy Ramsey while shaking her head back and forth no, said there is a killer on the loose, shaking head again no,” for the safety of all the chikdren we have to find out who did this still shaking her head NO. This CNN interview is SO TELLING. A must watch!

  40. jameson

    Whether it be intentional or accidental, do you think any parent could write that note after murdering their daughter? Between adrenalin and tears, is that really what you would expect?

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      I have no problem whatsoever believing that Patsy Ramsay wrote that note, Jameson. No problem whatsoever. Tell me what other conspiracy theories you subscribe to. Where do you stand on JFK?

  41. jameson

    Did you read Federal Judge Julie Carnes’ decision on this case. Unsourced cord and tape and DNA that was actually MIXED with JonBenet’s blood in her panties points to an intruder. The use of a stun gun and garrote points to an intruder (no link between the Ramseys and stungun. No parent in this country has ever killed their own child using a garrote.) No motive or history of neglect, abuse or mental illness.
    The DA cleared the family in 2008. Do you find it so easy to dismiss that?
    And the unsourced fibers and Hi-tec boot print?

    You have a couple other errors. She was not wearing a nightie and tights, she was wearing a sweater she wore to a Christmas dinner and long johns.

    Just saying….

    1. Traci Bischof

      Yes Jameson she did write the note….but I believe it was in order to protect Burke and her beloved reputation. It was not a sweater it was a little long sleeved shirt with a silver sparkly star on the front…let’s keep it real now.
      How much other misinformation have you spread through the years.
      A LOT!


    Yes the inscription on Jon Benet’s grave stone is so evident of the knowledge and guilt of both of her parents regarding her untimely death. I can also relate with Patsy’s rage over her daughter’s constant bed wetting, possibly a common nuisance among mommies. I guess, immediately after the accidental crime, Patsy recovered her faith and remembered she was still a Christian. THAT IS WHY THE KILLER MADE SURE TO COVER JON BENET WITH A WHITE BLANKET-it is so telling of a parent’s love to her child. Even in the midst of death, Patty was still reassuring her daughter everything will be fine…and in that case she was also seeking forgiveness.

  43. Alison Bruns

    I read in other places that, besides her own pediatrician, other doctors and forensic doctors saw evidence of prior sexual assault. Also that it could have been a blunt object that injured her then and previously. Is all of that hearsay or can you find any corroboration on this? I became convinced it was the son, but at 9 he’d have to be a very disturbed child to be so violent. I read in an interview with Barabara Walters he had said he never let anyone he didn’t know get near his son- yet his son was a senior in college at the time. That seems like a whole lot of control for a child that old. Finally, what about the grand jury’s finding of true bill for the Ramsey’s of felony child abuse that led to death with the actual murderer not listed or redacted? I read all about the way Lockhead Martin was protecting them until the deal to buy his company went thru. I think it’s fitting in the interview he gave financial advice about what not to do. It is truly what he deserves. But then again if the family is really going to sue every media outlet that accuses them I guess that’s his financial plan. But all the rumors about the son must have come from somewhere. Thank you very much for your response and your analysis of the case. Have you done the Cobain case as well?

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      As far as I know, Alison, there was no evidence of any previous abuse in the family – sexually or other. As for the 9 year old son/brother, I can’t imagine this being a reality. I think the Ramsey case is an abnormality in many ways including the police investigation and the media hype which is where the son rumors came from. Kurt Cobain? No – I don’t know anything about the case except that it was a ruled a suicide. I’ll take a peek and see if there’s a story. Thanks for commenting!

  44. Mike

    Like Garry, I guess, I do not believe in the intruder theory. At the same time it seems absolutely inconceivable to me that parents like the Ramseys without a history of violence would have been able to disguise the crime and strangle their own child (even if they believed her to be dead already). That to me is not logical. If they thought their daughter dead already, why go through the horrendous experience of strangling her? To make sure she was really dead? To fake the fact she’d died of a blow to the head? Surely, as educated as they were, they knew they couldn’t fake the cause of death that way.
    I simply can’t believe parents would go through so much trouble and pain. Unless they were protecting someone else…

      1. Mike

        I believe much of the evidence had been highly contaminated by the time the body/crime scenes were examined, and what was left did not (still doesn’t) make any sense (the pineapple, the ransom note, the spiderweb…) Would you agree with that?

  45. Nophil Rizvi

    Very interesting analysis Garry, I followed the investigation back when it was still big news and I remember how the focus of the investigation seemed to always linger on the parents despite the apparent pressure from unknown quarters to “go easy” on them.

    1. What you say makes a lot of sense but I wonder how you would explain the presence of the pubic hair and semen from an unknown male contributor IF Patsy was the one who orchestrated the whole crime and John helped cover it up?

    2. Also, why haven’t the police used modern forensic methods like DNA profiling to at least attempt to identify and possibly eliminate this unknown male as a person of interest? Did the parents ever undergo a polygraph?

    3. I also wonder if the garrott was ever tested for DNA, because a rough strangling device fashioned out of household items lying around (as well as the ransom letter being written on paper obtained from the Ramsey’s pad) points towards an impulsive crime as opposed to premeditated. This would mean that mistakes might have been made during the entire charade due to the general state of panic, and a rope/string used to strangle the little girl might have had epithelial traces from the person who handled it. DNA testing has come such a long way since 1996, have they considered giving it another shot?

    4. Abrasions on the legs indicate the body was dragged to the location where it was found, which is the basement. Do we really think that someone dragged the body all the way from her bedroom to the basement (I’m guessing this is a considerable distance judging from the large size of the property)? This was a petite little girl, wouldn’t picking her up and carrying her be the logical step? Who drags a little girl’s body around the house?

    I would love to know what you think of these observations I made.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi Nophil. Thanks for your astute questions and observations. I’ll do my best with each point.

      1. It seems the pubic hair was from cross contamination of the scene. It could easily have been left by a donor unrelated to the crime. As far as I’m aware, there was no semen present. There was unknown DNA from a male contributor on her underwear but no credible source stated it was semen. Again, DNA is dirty stuff and easily cross contaminates.

      2. I’m sure the police are using modern DNA techniques as the case is active. But despite all the advances in technology they still need a name to sample and if the sample is not in a database, then they still have to use the old-fashioned technique of coming up with a name and obtaining a standard to test.

      2A. Both Patsy and John refused to undergo police administered polygraphs. There is evidence that they took private ones – Patsy being inconclusive and John truthful. You have to be very, very careful about putting any weight on privately administered tests as you can buy what you want out there.

      3. I don’t know about DNA on the garrotte. And I also believe the crime was spontaneous and something got carried away.

      4. Dragging may be the wrong term. The abrasions could have happened by scuffing her while carrying her.

      In my opinion, the parents were involved and they had lots of time to do what was done and try to cover it up. But I highly doubt if John Ramsey will ever come clean and Patsy’s no longer capable.

      Thanks for commenting. I realy appreciate it!

      1. Nophil Rizvi

        Thank you for your responses, they all make sense. However I find it rather odd that despite the strong indication of the parent'(s) involvement in the crime, to certain extent, the DA actually let them get away with not submitting to a police polygraph test. Someone with a fresh perspective and approach should now attempt to tie up the loose ends, assuming the Ramseys aren’t protected anymore. John’s proper polygraph test under court order perhaps? It’s a pity that this crime may remain unsolved if John takes the truth with him to the grave.

        1. Garry Rodgers Post author

          Polygraph exams are totally voluntary and there’s no place in the civilized world that I’m aware of where any court has the authority to force a person to take a polygraph. That’s a good thing because polygraphs have their subjective and objective issues. I suspect that John, like Patsy, will go to the grave with the secret of what happened to their daughter. I highly doubt the truth will come out.

  46. Gippy Adams Henry

    Wow! I was so excited to see this blog, Garry! Love all of your blogs, but I’ve been following this case for years. From the very beginning (and I’m not an expert like you, just studying criminal justice back in college now), but I felt sure it was the mother. It all fits. The only thing I believed, and still do, differently is that I think they were both loaded ( with alcohol & whatever else) when they returned home. While Patsy was somewhere undressing for the evening, in a drunken stupor, John got into bed with the child. Patsy found him fondling Jon Benet (or whatever) and went into a rage.

    She appeared to me to be the kind of woman (I was raised by) who would always choose her husband over her child. So, blaming Jon Benet, in her drug induced state (alcohol probably), she killed her. Because of his love for his wife, and again his state, he helped set everything up to save his wife. I used to know a couple like this. Patsy Ramsey was extremely vain and put her daughter out in the public to live a life she could no longer live, but at the same time resented and was jealous of her youth.

    Thanks so much again. So sad, but glad to hear from an expert like yourself that I wasn’t totally off.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thank you very much for the compliments, Gippy. It’s definitely occurred to me there may be sexual overtones but in what research I’ve done, there’s nothing to indicate there was a history of sexual abuse… but you never know what goes on behind closed doors. Same thing for substances abuse – nothing to indicate the Ramseys were big drinkers or druggies but, given that they are both very, very, VERY likely as being responsible for JonBenet’s murder – then who knows what these monsters were up to. I doubt we’ll ever know for sure. So happy to hear that you’re enjoying the blog. I’ve taken on another hi-profile case this week – watch for it on Saturday, April 30th 🙂

  47. Gary Henderson

    Excellent, well-thought-out analysis. I always suspected it was Patsy, and after seeing the contents of the note…I mean, COME ON. Who uses the word ‘attache’ and worries about how much rest the parents get? Not kidnappers, that’s for sure.

    One thing I have wondered for years: Didn’t they have an older son who was present for the entire evening? Where does he fit into all this?

    This was the first time I’d heard of them having lost another daughter, as well. Interesting.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi Gary. Good to hear from you! Patsy and John Ramsey had an older son named Burke who was nine at the time JonBenet was killed. Outside of some whacko conspiracy theories that Burke was responsible, there is no clear record of what his story is. The Boulder police didn’t even take statements from the parents never mind do a controlled interview of the son. The daughter who died was not Patsy’s – she was from a previous marriage John had and I believe the death was accidental – there’s no suggestion that it was foul play that I’m aware of. And the more I think about that note, I have no idea why the police weren’t all over this thing from the first minute – it is so blatantly fraudulent. Thanks for commenting and the compliment 🙂

      1. Gina sellers

        Burke WAS interviewed by the police. Three different times, I believe.
        You need to research the facts before you publish your “stories”. You’re speculating and feeding the uninformed misinformation while blaming a family, just like the media did in the 1990’s, convicting them without the evidence to back up your hypothesis. John Ramsey should sue you.

    2. Dee taylor

      John Ramsey has an older son from his previous marriage. John Andrew. Why has he not been suspect? I think John and Patsy were covering up for one of the sons. It could have been an accident caused by jealousy….Burke was second to Jon Benet. Very apparent in home video. And the time Patsy had to have put into Jon Benet’s pageants. He could have shoved her and she hit her head. Or the older son…..i suspected him at the time this happened. That would answer alot of question.

  48. Michelle Willms

    I was furious at the way this case was handled. I remember following this case very closely. It seemed so obvious to me that the parents were involved (if not downright guilty) from the very beginning – particularly Mrs. Ramsey. I couldn’t believe the way the police allowed the Ramseys to lead the investigation rather than the police leading it.

    I do see how the child abuse event could have escalated to a murder. I am sickened that a mother would do such a thing over bed-wetting (or anything else). It’s common for a child to still be wetting the bed at that age; my son wet the bed for a couple years past that (he has severe ADHD), and I’ve NEVER punished him for bed-wetting, though I know many parents think punishment helps solve the “problem.”

    Thank you for a wonderful article that was very enlightening. I appreciate all the work you do to bring us such insightful works.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi Michelle – I’m with you on how the police lost control of the investigation. Hindsight is usually 20/20 but failure to recognize this as a major crime scene and seal it off was inexcusable. From what I read while researching the piece is that the current Boulder Police Chief has the investigation back from the DA’s office and he seems to be upfront about the mistakes. Where this will ever go, I’m not sure as there seems to be no valuable physical evidence and I sure doubt that whoever knows something will likely step forward – like John Ramsey.

      Also, I with you about not punishing bedwetting. Our son was a chronic wetter until about eight, maybe nine, but he was the opposite of ADHD – it was more like CGASL (Couldn’t Give A Shit Less 🙂 and the only thing was to work with him about regulating liquid intake and getting him up at intervals. Punishment will absolutely not work and anyone who tries it is pushing the abuse fence. Thanks again for your sincere comment and encouragement!

      1. Loretta Stacey

        I’ve don’t have experience with bed-wetting in my family. But I heard that medical conditions can cause this to happen. It isn’t the child’s fault. The brain works at waking us up to use the bathroom. Sometimes it takes a little longer for some than others.

  49. June Lorraine Roberts

    There could be another reason for Dec 25 being used as the date. They had two days to choose from and Christmas Day would be the most poignant on a headstone. Another touch of theatrics perhaps.
    Great analysis Garry!

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      You could be right, June. I think the only one that knows for sure is John Ramsey. I wonder if anyone’s put the question to him. Thanks for commenting and the encouragement. It’s really rewarding to hear that people are appreciating my posts 🙂

  50. Dean M. Watts

    Well done Garry. I remember most about the case at the time being how degraded any real physical evidence had become, as before the authorities had arrived for a proper investigation, family members and others were bouncing around the place, with people like JonBenets father especially handling everything before it had been allowed to be investigated. I knew of a note, but until now its cryptic wording meant nothing to my understanding. This is truly a sad end for an innocent young girl. Here’s hoping for some type of “Death bed confession,” for without this the mystery will remain.

    Again, you’ve supplied much to think about. I love your columns; they have helped many times with my own writing projects! Great blog!

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks, Dean. It’s sure nice to hear comments like yours that people are appreciating my blog posts. I think the Boulder police were terribly remiss (if that’s the right word – I really hate bashing a police department when I don’t know all the facts) in their initial investigation and, as a result, it’s unlikely this case will ever be cleared – unless, like you say, there’s a deathbed confession from John Ramsey but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  51. Stacey

    The simplest explanation is most often the correct one and I believe that to be true in this case. The note sounded like bullshit from the beginning, no sign of forced entry to the home, and her being found in the basement all suggests to me that someone in the house did this. I totally agree with your theory about how it all went down. I feel badly for Patsy and John’s son…gotta wonder if he knew or suspected what happened. Great analysis and great post!

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hey – thanks Stacey! The more I got into researching this post, the more I wondered about the violence in that house that night. There had to be a loud altercation happening before the head injury and then a scurrying of panic and cover-up. Makes me wonder what Burke, the son, heard. Thanks for commenting – and I know you have a remarkable ability to sniff-out bullshit 😉

  52. Rebecca Vance

    I followed this somewhat, but this is the first I was aware of a note. I do not have any experience in Statement Analysis, but I could tell that the note was false, and it didn’t make sense. I didn’t pick up on the biblical inferences though. I’ve thought right from the beginning, that the parents were responsible. They are the only suspects that make sense. Thanks for the great analysis. 🙂

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi from drizzly Vancouver, Becky. Hope the world’s warmer on your side 🙂 Statement analysis is a fascinating discipline and it’s something that’s grown as a side technique to the polygraph. Hey – I think I might just do a blog post on how statement analysis is done. I did one a year or so on “How To Beat The Polygraph” and it went over well so SA is added to the topic list. And I agree that the only logical suspects are JonBenet’s parents. There’s been a couple kooks who have confessed but they’ve been eliminated. But John and Patsy Ramsey sure haven’t!

  53. Anita Rodgers

    Excellent job of putting it together for us, Garry. I always felt it was Patsy but that was more of a gut instinct than anything else. It’s a shame that the killer was never brought to justice.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks for stopping by and for the compliment, Annie. I was the same way until I researched the facts for this post, now I’m 100% convinced Patsy was the primary offender. She went to the grave with her secret but John Ramsey is still out there – it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever confess, though, and I think JonBenet’s death will never be properly put to rest.

  54. Bhaleri

    Great analysis, Garry. I’ve often watched YouTube videos on this case, and the photos of the little girl touched my heart. Such a horrible exploitation of one’s own child. I find it hard to believe this woman was religious. I don’t believe any truly Christian woman would subject her child to early sexualizing. If the death was an accident, I can see her panicking. But she has a lot on her conscience. Date on tomb stone is very telling.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi Bhaleri! Nice to hear from you. I agree that a true Christian would never do such a horrible act and then cover it up, but then Patsy Ramsey was only a Christian in masquerade, like living in an out of touch with reality talent show. I do believe the original injuries to JonBenet resulted from an outburst of anger and were not premeditated… but it’s a giant leap in culpability to fashion a garrote and strangle her daughter after an hour or better of a “cooling-off” period.

  55. Sue Coletta

    I almost posted on this, too. Recently I watched a video of John Ramsey being interviewed after hand-writing experts determined Patsy was the author. Though I agree that he must’ve known, he seemed genuinely shocked. Either that, or he’s a great actor. Hard to tell. This is an exceptional post. You laid out the facts beautifully. The fact that they put Jon Bennet’s date of death as before midnight is quite telling.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Now that doesn’t surprise me that you’d take a swing at this, Sue. I never looked into this case before, but when that ridiculous Katy Perry thing came up last week and I was looking for a subject, I thought hmmm… what’s this really about. I knew there was a note but when I read it for the first time the other day, I said to myself “this is total BS – so what was this Patsy Ramsey all about?” Turns out she was a real piece-a-work and as for John, well I can’t get my head around that he didn’t know – or at least he ought to have known. I’d say a good actor and he’s dirty as a hobo’s roll. But it was when I was image hunting to format the post and I found the headstone with the date… I went “Okay. Okay. These guys are guilty as hell.”

      Thanks for the compliment and I’m looking forward to seeing you top it 🙂

  56. Mathiya Adams

    I followed the Ramsey murder investigation as it was going on. I was impressed that there seemed to be a lot of criticism of the Boulder Police and the prosecutor’s office at the time. While I never was able to “solve” the case in my own mind, I am impressed by your analysis of the case. All too often, we keep hoping that the most improbable explanation is true, whereas “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

    Thank you for another great blog.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi Mathiya! Thanks for commenting 🙂 You’re so right about the improbable being the truth, once you’ve eliminated the impossible. This follows Occam’s Razor where the simplest answer is usually the right one. A tried & true principle of homicide investigation is that “the weirder the case, the closer the answer is to home” – also that most murders are pretty much what they appear to be.

  57. Michael Helms

    Very interesting and informative. I never kept up with the case because it was simply too sad for me to handle at the time. However, I did suspect the parents were involved somehow in the death of their daughter. I also felt that Patsy was most likely the instigator. However, I don’t recall ever reading the note the “perp” left behind. Your dissection of the note was insightful and logical; it also shows you have the mind and training to decipher what most people would overlook. Great job!

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks, Michael. I appreciate that. Statement analysis was something I paid great attention to while in police investigations. There’s quite a science to it but it always starts with the question “Does it make sense?” The Ramsey note makes absolutely no sense and it’s clearly an attempt to mislead investigators – a very amateur attempt.


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