It's Time to Apologize to the Ramseys

Whether John Mark Karr ultimately is convicted or not of the most famous tabloid crime since O.J. Simpson stalked the night, the first thing that ought to happen is that the authorities should hold a press conference and publicly name from A to Z all those quick-to-judge people who so loudly and repeatedly and with creepy glee accused John and Patsy Ramsey of murdering their beautiful little child in 1996.

There were so many of these would-be lynchers, they were so presumptuous and self-certain and smug, they went on so relentlessly for years, and now they appear to have been wrong about what happened to JonBenet. And not just wrong in an innocent bystander sort of way, but wrong in the sense that they are perpetrators of a blood libel against a family that had already suffered enough.

Even in an impolite era of talk radio, cable television and Internet chat rooms where nasty accusations fly like leaves in autumn it still ought to be out of bounds to blithely accuse parents of murdering their own when the evidence against them isn't overwhelming. And the evidence against John and Patsy Ramsey, such as it was, never came close to being overwhelming.

Wherever the Ramsey case goes from here -- to a tumultuous pre-trial phase and then on, perhaps, to a trial that will make last year's Michael Jackson trial seem like a Woodrow Wilson School lecture -- it is now apparent beyond any reasonable doubt that the officials who believed the deed was done by an outsider prevailed in law and fact over those who believed JonBenet was murdered by her family as part of an "inside job."

The tension between those two camps in the case existed from the earliest hours of the Ramsey investigation and, thanks to horrible police work that contaminated the crime scene before the sun had set on that first awful day in Boulder, led to the stalemate that precluded any indictment until now.

Incidentally, those same officials who ought to publicly finger for shame all of the Ramseys' quick-draw accusers should also make sure that a public apology is offered to all of the law enforcement officials, including men like local detective Lou Smit, who were pilloried for rising to the defense of the Ramseys, for pushing the "outsider" theory, when it truly mattered. Without the courage of those men and women, either John or Patsy Ramsey, or both, could easily have been convicted of murder in the frenzied rush to judgment that swirled around them in the last few years of the last century. It happens all the time in this country, the convenient-if-not-always-accurate matching of crime and suspect, but it didn't happen here.

I cannot remember how many times in the past 10 years I have been asked "who killed JonBenet," how many times I had to answer "I don't know" and how often my questioner would wrinkle his or her nose in disatisfaction with my answer. I cannot tell you how many people I know decided to chime in with their opinion of what went on in the Ramsey house that night without having a clue about the evidence or the facts or even what was and was not physically possible given the time, space and manner restrictions that the crime scene imposed upon the case. Hopefully, now, all that will end regardless of what happens to this man, Karr, who already has become a household name for all of the wrong reasons. Maybe he is not guilty. Maybe he is guilty of a lesser crime. Or maybe not. Finally, after nearly a decade of endless and useless speculation, we are a lot closer than we were yesterday to getting some answers.

-- By Andrew Cohen

By Hal Straus |  August 16, 2006; 9:03 PM ET
Previous: See You All Back Here Soon | Next: What if Karr is a Stool Pigeon, Too?


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I remember that this case was big on the cable news shows. I think it would be interesting to know the cable talking heads that were so sure that the Ramsey's were guilty.

Posted by: RT | August 16, 2006 09:32 PM

This will end up as a page 5-error correction in all newspapers. Shame on the Boulder police's inept investigation and also the steady stream of leaks from the Boulder County District Attorney's office about that inept investigation. Shame on the people that judged the Ramsey's guilty before any trial ensued. I truly believe that this ordeal drove Mrs. Ramsey to an early grave.

Posted by: Michael1945 | August 16, 2006 10:41 PM

Bill O'Reilly of Fox "News" called them "murderers". Does anyone think that he'll apologize?

Yeah, we all know the answer to that one.

Posted by: Gaithersburg, MD | August 16, 2006 11:05 PM

It may be a silver lining, but stories like this help us all when trying to determine the credibility of news sources.

Are you compiling such a list? And if not, do you know of any reputable source that is?

Thank you.

Posted by: DLB | August 17, 2006 01:03 AM

Apologize? The media? They are all too busy tripping over themselves to announce that they never believed the Ramseys were guilty in the first place. The truly unbiased stories about this case were few and far between. At least reporters will stop ending every story on the case with the phrase "The Ramseys remain under an umbrella of suspicion". Never was a phrase used so frequently and inappropriately to leave the impression of guilt.

Posted by: kc | August 17, 2006 02:12 AM

Agreed. But if we find out some day that they arrested Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman's killer, and it wasn't OJ, will you apologize for saying he "stalked the night"?

Posted by: Mike | August 17, 2006 03:01 AM

Put this one together with the Olympic bombing in Atlanta, the Mormon girl that got kidnapped from her house by that religious nutcase, Wen Ho Lee, and finally the guy that took all the heat in the anthrax chase. In all of these we have had our "objective" official investigators trashing the wrong suspects in the media, not to mention faking lie detector results to suit their purposes.

All of our law enforcement folk are not corrupt. Unfortunately, I can't distinguish the corrupt from the uncorrupt on sight in advance. So for me, mum is the word and no voluntary searches allowed, until I am thoroughly lawyered up. Sad, isn't it?

Posted by: Cayambe | August 17, 2006 03:16 AM

I have prayed for years that the killer would be found. I felt very sad for the Ramsays who had to grieve amidst the awful accusations against them.

Posted by: Mike | August 17, 2006 03:28 AM

I knew that this honorable family had nothing to do with this crime.

America owes this family so much.

I prayed for peace for them.

I love this country but you have some crazy white folks (yes I am Black) who believe what ever they say is right.

How do I know - look at the brothers who have died or those left on death row for what?

Because what some white males believed no proof is needed - but white is right.............
I am so sorry her Mom is gone.

I hurt so much for this family.

Posted by: Rosetta Miller Perry | August 17, 2006 04:00 AM

I would add to the list of misreporting the announcement that the lady who had an anxiety attack had a screwdriver, gel & a note about AQ. Who was the set of media bozos that broadcast & printed that garbage? Cheney was right: never, never believe first reports.

Posted by: Steve Dansker | August 17, 2006 04:07 AM

I didn't rush to convict the Ramsays, but I won't rush to clear them, either. Let's hear the evidence first. This whole case stunk from day one and there are still too many unanswered questions.

Posted by: | August 17, 2006 04:43 AM

My advisor in college, Michael Tracey, worked on this case relentlessly for years from the perspective of why the media perpetuated the false accusation of the parents. His documentaries convinced me early on that the parents did not do it, but he was ridiculed and attacked for years. You can still find numerous posts attacking him -- google his name and you will be stunned at what you find.

Posted by: Chloe | August 17, 2006 05:32 AM

It's a good thing the Ramsey family had the resources to fend off indictments against family members. A poor or middle class family may not have been able to do so.

Posted by: Dannoday | August 17, 2006 07:19 AM

I'm not sure why people see the capture of Karr as a vindication of the Ramseys, it appears he loved her because they put her in pageants, and he has not spoken how he knows them, maybe they know him and that's why the statement is so neutral on him.

Posted by: cd | August 17, 2006 07:55 AM

Finally. But we can't even say that it's over yet. I agree that an apology needs to be made, and I also think that somehow the media needs to be subdued in their reporting of open cases such as this one. They plant a seed and it seems to grow--whether it's a flower or a weed.

Posted by: mjb | August 17, 2006 08:02 AM

Members of the press self-righteously saying that authorities should apologize is really rich. The press drove this story, fed the feeding frenzy, and enjoyed the ride. The authorities screwed up. But the media allowed themselves to be complicit in it, and then piled on with endless 'investigative stories' that had nothing to do with objectivity. The press enjoys throwing its weight around, but then speedily denies that it has any weight to throw around once it becomes clear that their advocacy journalism was misdirected and highly damaging. They won't take the kind of responsibility for their actions that they always insist others should take when mistakes are made. That's why the press has zero credibility with an increasing portion of the public; people see what the press itself pridefully refuses to see.

Posted by: vajent | August 17, 2006 08:05 AM

It's easy enough to blame the media, but they are corporate owned and market driven. If no one read or watched tabloid news, it wouldn't exist. If no one quoted anonymous sources, they wouldn't exist, or if they did, we wouldn't believe them. The public appetite spurs the media. Competition gets out of hand and the race is not to be right, but to be first.

I cannot entirely absolve the Ramseys in this. I have always found the child beauty pageant scene more than a little creepy.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 17, 2006 08:42 AM

Now, right out of the box, the press is pointing fingers in another direction so that the spotlight of its complicity in "indicting" the Ramseys is deflected. The news cycle Monster must be fed and the press is all too willing to feed it even those who are innocent. There is, in the press, no presumtion of innocence.

Posted by: sm | August 17, 2006 09:27 AM

Karrs wife says he was in alabama with her on the day she was murdered . This clown just wants attention , and the boulder police are more than happy to prosecute anybody who wants to claim this crime .karr says it was a kidnapping for ransom , yet hes a known pedofile .The only thing karr is guilty of is being a sick moron who craves attention .

Posted by: david | August 17, 2006 09:32 AM

Face it, we have a lynch mob mentality in this country. We do not believe in innocent until proven guilty any more than we believe in the Easter Bunny. Cable news has help add to this with its 24/7 coverage and employment of so-called experts who do nothing but speculate and take comments out of context. We, the public have added to it by letting others think for us. We have become an intellectually lazy country and as long as we are, we are in no position to judge the reactions of those in other countries as being backwards because they get upset when offended.

I do hope that Mrs. Ramsey is now at peace with her daughter.

Posted by: Tired of it all | August 17, 2006 09:48 AM

I wonder if Geraldo will apologize. That idiot was so conviced that the Ramsey's did it he went on and on every night. He is such a joke its a wonder why anyone would take him seriously. That must me why he is now on fox news.

Posted by: molly | August 17, 2006 09:54 AM

Anyone familiar with the details of the case would most likely have ruled out the Ramseys a long time ago. She was tazed, strangled with a garrot which allowed the killer to suffocate her to the brink of passing out then revive her, and sexually assaulted. why WHY would a successful business man who just received nearly a $120,000 BONUS do that to their kid?

who knows if this is the guy that killed her. whatever the case, we definitely need to stop blaming the Ramseys for the police's ineptitude and the media's frenzied attempts to always get the most compelling story instead of the right one.

Posted by: | August 17, 2006 10:06 AM

"Since OJ Simpson stalked the night"

The media is guilty, including you Mr. Cohen.

The problem here that you continue to fail to acknowledge is that our society presumes that people are guilty until proven innocent, specifically because we see certain shady details on the news before the matter ever goes to trial. No matter what is decided in court, the world gets to see and examine the limited available facts, skewed and distorted by the media, and come to its own conclusions. To be found not guilty in court really doesn't mean very much in the United States. The Supreme Court is not the highest court in the land. The highest court is public opinion, and the judges are editors.

Personally, I continue to reserve judgement regarding the OJ trial and the Michael Jackson legal issues. Not because I can logically arrive at the conclusion that they might be innocent of the charges based on what I've seen in the news. I reserve judgement because I know that what I see in the news is biased and distorted, and invariably anybody who runs into legal trouble and ends up in the news will be made to look really bad. Never does the news cast a shadow of doubt over the possibility of guilt, because that's just not interesting. Nobody wants to read anything positive about celebrities, do they? So the media feeds it what it wants to see, regardless of whether or not all the facts are available, regardless of whether or not a fair trial has been conducted, and ultimately, regardless of what is right or wrong.

And now that the facts finally came out and reversed public opinion about the Ramseys that every one of you contributed to, you're trying to save face. Coward. You have no sense of decency, and clearly you don't have the courage to admit that you all were to blame for this outrage.

Your comment about OJ Simpson tells me this. You want to remind everybody that there are still monsters out there, and that you are just in pointing them out to us.

Let me ask you something sir: What are you going to say if one day someone other than OJ Simpson comes forward and confesses to elements of those murders that weren't made public previously? Who will be your monster then?

Posted by: * | August 17, 2006 10:09 AM

The media angle of this is complicated, because advocacy journalism takes many forms. You have editorialists in the media who are outright advocates for a particular point of view. But then there are others in the media who are more subtle in their advocacy, but no less imbalanced. The 'investigative reports' that were undertaken by Wolf Blitzer and CNN, Dateline, the CBS Evening News were all heavily slanted. The 'insider' pieces in the press media usually did little more than sell the talking points of the authorities who were convinced that the parents were somehow involved in the murder. This is advocacy journalism too. The fact that this advocacy was cloaked by objective-sounding language actually makes this kind of advocacy more sinister, in my view, because it deceives people more easily. I still remember talking with people at the time this story was swirling around, and I was amazed at the number of people who were absolutely convinced of the Ramseys' guilt because they were able to rehearse the talking points from the previous night's Dateline. When I suggested that Dateline and CNN were presenting a one-sided portrayal of the story that always gave the Ramsey side of the story short-shrift, they would all say that NBC and CNN were committed to objectivity in their news, so the stories they ran must be objective and neutral. Well, that was 10 years ago. I think more and more people have thankfully wised up and see this as the fiction that it is. The problem is that the press is still buying its own story, and that's why they won't take responsibility for the wake they left behind.

Posted by: vajent | August 17, 2006 10:13 AM

I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Cohen's assessment that "we are a lot closer than we were yesterday to getting some answers." That's only true if Karr was ever in Colorado, which is in doubt, and/or if his DNA matches the DNA evidence found at the crime scene. Otherwise, we may be no closer to getting some answers than the day this crime occurred. However, I do agree that trial by press/tabloid is a very bad thing. The "news" on television and much of the print media is coming dangerously close to being nothing but an unending stream of lurid speculation and marginally informed opinions.

Posted by: attorneyofrecord | August 17, 2006 10:39 AM

While I do feel compassion for the Ramseys, they are not entirely blameless. It is irresponsible to put a small child out in the public eye dressed and made up like a glamorous little adult. Anyone could see that photos of that sort would be irresistible to pedophiles and might encourage some of them to try and get closer.

The Ramseys may not have killed their daughter, but they exploited her in a way that made her vulnerable to the worst kind of deviants.

Posted by: occasionalposter | August 17, 2006 10:42 AM

Rosetta Miller Perry writes:

"Because what some white males believed no proof is needed - but white is right............."

Excuse me? You are a racist and a sexist, and white males have no more to do with the suspicion of JonBenet's parents than black women, or any other group.

Posted by: Jon M | August 17, 2006 10:53 AM

The presumption of innocence is a Constitutional requirement for jurors. It was never meant as a requirement for common citizens to shut off their brains and presume everyone is innocent regardless of the evidence. When kids get hurt, such as Jean Benet, it is usually by a family member. There is no reason for anyone to feel bad about putting the parents under a blanket of suspicion.

While people are free to think critically about these cases, journalists should be held to a higher standard...and, in fact, raise the discussion to a higher level. While the rest of us can talk to our neighbors about the facts, suspicions, innuendoes, etc., I expect journalists, who have greater access to the real facts, to provide an unbiased reporting. Unfortunately, they failed in this case.

Posted by: ajm | August 17, 2006 10:56 AM

They are still guilty of forcing their daughter into those horrific "beauty pageants." Who can watch that footage and not cringe?

Posted by: E in TX | August 17, 2006 10:57 AM

I agree that many people jumped to conclusions about the parents, but maybe we're doing the same thing here about Karr.

Per the New York Times article on Karr's arrest, Karr's ex-wife says he was with her, in another state, on the day the child was murdered. And per a story on WTOP radio this morning, the ex-wife left him, with their 3 children, after some concerns about child-pornograpy - the ex-wife doesn't sound like someone who'd want to provide him with a false alibi.

Before we get too wound up, let's wait for the DNA tests to come back. This guy may just be a creepy "fan" of the child looking for attention (supposedly he had lots of photos of her from those contests) or one of those weird people who confess to crimes they didn't commit.

Seems to me that children's beauty pageants should be classified as child pornography. They must be appealing to pedophiles - they can watch from the audience, they can take or buy photos, maybe they can even volunteer to help with the program... all those little girls dressed up in sexy clothes and parading on stage - and parents think this is a good idea?

If you're pretty at 6, you'll still be pretty at 18 - enter a pageant then, if you must.

Posted by: Questioner | August 17, 2006 11:17 AM

We still don't know enough information to say whether or not the Ramseys were involved with JonBenet's murder, and neither does Andrew Cohen.

I wouldn't argue that people wrongly rushed to judge the Ramseys. At the same time, though, it seems fairly "presumptuous and self-certain and smug" to assume he knows exactly where guilt lies (or does not lie) before all of the facts are in, and before John Mark Karr has had his day in court.

Posted by: | August 17, 2006 11:25 AM

How can anyone propose that the autorities apoligize? Ten years ago they followed the evidence which overwhelmingly pointed towards someone in the family. If it had not been for the expertise of the police in 1996 they would not have been able to link this suspect to the victim. It was the media, with their twenty four a day coverage, that drove the frenzy that branded the Ramsey's guilty.

Posted by: JT | August 17, 2006 11:31 AM

I saw that article about the ex-wife providing an alibi as well. It's crazy to think that this guy could be some deranged freak who's actually innocent of the crime. The fact that he coughed up the confession rather than fight in court makes me wonder.

I would just like to add that his looks disturb me a great deal. It's that skinny little neck. Ugh.

Posted by: Jon M | August 17, 2006 11:32 AM

The guy did not do it. Just wait. Listen to experts on this case such as Michael Baden, who is making a convincing case already that this loon, who has been obsessed with the case for years, ain't the guy. Read about the case. Apologize to the Ramseys? No way, pal. They did it. Or covered it up. Or both. Just wait.

Posted by: | August 17, 2006 11:33 AM

The Ramseys, so far as I recall, did little to dispel peoples' suspicions about them - something one might reasonably have expected them to do given that they opted to go the high public profile route in the investigation of the case. They behaved far outside the range of expected behavior in the minds of many for people in the position in which they found themselves.

The hindsight shown here with stunning, 20-20 clarity is somewhat amusing because it indulges the same mindless anemometric bandwagonism that it seeks to criticize.

Posted by: Joey_The_Clown | August 17, 2006 11:42 AM

At the very top of the list of people who should apologize is our very own Governor. Bill Owens made a press release where he basically told the Ramsey's they would not get away with the murder.

Posted by: Barbie | August 17, 2006 11:44 AM

Something not right. Hulk not convinced puny human did it. Hulk mad. Hulk SMASH!

Posted by: Hulk | August 17, 2006 12:20 PM

Still a little early to apologize to the Ramsey parents. Henry Lee's opinion (and others) remains that the person who killed JonBenet was very familiar with the Ramsey house. Negligent or intentional parental participation in the crime, or broader failure to protect their daughter, has not been ruled out. I believe Ramsey attorney Lin Wood refused to comment on how the Ramseys knew John Karr. So let's see what happens.

Posted by: Richard | August 17, 2006 12:20 PM

Not so fast, Mr. Cohen. Your own apology may be coming soon, for accusing those who accused the Ramsey's prematurely. At the end of your column you toss in that you don't know if Karr is guilty, but the rest of the column sounds pretty sure he is. The point is that we still don't know. The police don't know, the media doesn't know, no one except the actual killer knows.

The irony is that the type of restraint that you called for with regard to the Ramseys is manifestly absent with regard to Karr. This guy seems like a monster, but people confess all the time to crimes they did not commit, especially when the crimes are infamous.

So a call for restraint and withholding of judgements? Absolutely. But I don't think anybody has more to apologize about today than they did before this arrest. We have no more real knowledge today than we did yesterday.

Posted by: Christov | August 17, 2006 12:46 PM

When you outlaw flying, only outlaws will fly.

Posted by: frankiefrisch | August 17, 2006 12:48 PM

"it is now apparent beyond any reasonable doubt that the officials who believed the deed was done by an outsider prevailed in law and fact over those who believed JonBenet was murdered by her family as part of an "inside job."

HOW can anyone who is in favor of whitholding of judgement make a statement like THIS? Why is it now apparent? Not only apparent, but "now apparent beyond any reasonable doubt," when already there are lots of reasonable doubts about whether he was ever in Colorado? Mr. Cohen, I think that Bill O'Reilly's old slot at Inside Edition is still open.

Posted by: Christov | August 17, 2006 12:54 PM

Another issue that hasn't been confronted is the connection between the false accusations & the (perhaps) premature death of the suspected person. i was just reading an article about how stress affects health (the doctor cited Kenneth Lay & others):

and I think this doctor is right....when the mind can't manage what is happening, sometimes the body finds a way to protect itself by shutting down.

sad stuff.

Posted by: AtlantaReader | August 17, 2006 12:56 PM

It sickens me that people still want to blame the Ramsey's for even entering their child in a beauty pageant, and claim that it directly lead to her death.

Are parents who put their child in a car and get hit by a drunk driver culpable?

Is it something I would do to my child? I assume not, but as I'm not a parent yet I can't say for sure. If my daughter were to come to me one day and say her dearest wish was to compete in a beauty competition, how would I respond? I cannot say. I don't think anyone can.

Posted by: Jen | August 17, 2006 12:58 PM

"I would add to the list of misreporting the announcement that the lady who had an anxiety attack had a screwdriver, gel & a note about AQ. Who was the set of media bozos that broadcast & printed that garbage? Steve Dansker | August 17, 2006 04:07 AM"

Actually, that turned out to be more-or-less true after all. According to the FBI affidavits, there WAS a screwdriver, there were AQ-ish references made by the woman, and her behavior was far more bizarre than just some claustrophobia anxiety.

Posted by: Media right about woman on plane | August 17, 2006 01:07 PM

Jen: you're absolutely right. people are still blaming the Ramseys for JBR's death with ludicrous claims that entering her in a beauty pageant led to her death. that's a ridiculous notion.

guess what? the overwhelming majority of kids that are killed by pedophiles aren't childhood beauty queens. get off that soapbox people!

Joey the Clown: the Ramseys did quite a bit to dispel any notion of their involvement. they actually did EVERYTHING that the police asked them to do and they did it with asperity. they were completely transparent about their lives as well as very cooperative with the police. i have no idea where you got that idea but it must've been from--shock horror--the media.

JT: you said, "Ten years ago they followed the evidence which overwhelmingly pointed towards someone in the family." this is utter BS. the police clearly botched the evidence AND ignored other potential evidence. the entire fiasco started when a dumb officer popped off at the mouth during the initial day or so of the investigation that the murder looked like an inside job. the media and the police took that and ran with it instead of actually doing their jobs. considering that they hadn't even finished processing the scene yet, that's a ridiculous assumption to make.

who knows if this guy killed JBR. i just hope that people stop blaming the Ramseys for their daughter's death. and to those that believe that they are guilty, please PLEASE tell me what was their motive? it wasn't money because John just received a HUGE 6-figure BONUS. if not money, then what was their motive? what would make a seemingly well-adjusted, upper class family strangle their daughter with a garrote and sexually assault her? that's a HEINOUS thing to do to your child and the Ramseys clearly were NEVER capable of that.

Posted by: | August 17, 2006 01:22 PM

How about Mike Adams at Heritages "Town Hall" starting the apologies. He's timing of accusing the parents 2 weeks ago couldn't be mush worse.

Posted by: | August 17, 2006 01:43 PM

Oh, please. Don't be so self-righteous.

First, let's see how this plays out. Quite a few people are questioning this confession. The guy doesn't seem to be playing with a full deck, based on what little had been shown. And the fact he seems to know things others don't isn't surprising, given he had been e-mailing a CU-Boulder professor who did several documentaries on the murder. Believe me, I live in Denver and MANY people in the Boulder area seem to know more than the typical American knows about that murder.

But even all that aside, given how oddly the Ramseys responded after the murder, what did you expect most casual observers would think? There was little public remorse or sadness. There was an immediate attempt to place a legal barrier between the Ramseys and the police. There were inconsistencies in the stories they gave. And there was the preceeding weirdness of the whole JonBenet beauty pageant thing, which I'd wager a majority of Americans found repugnant.

No one has to apologize for voicing thoughts that were on the minds of so many.

Posted by: Ottis | August 17, 2006 02:09 PM

Oh I don't think so....not yet.

There has been NOTHING that puts this guy in Boulder at anytime when this fact, the more we learn, the more likely that this guys is a nut job who wanted the attention.

Where's the evidence he was in Boulder in the YEAR of 1996...much less Dec. 25-26th 1996.

I'm not buying it just yet.

Posted by: Toby | August 17, 2006 02:20 PM

To the poster who said, "guess what? the overwhelming majority of kids that are killed by pedophiles aren't childhood beauty queens. get off that soapbox people!" --

That's very true. But it has nothing to do with the fact that putting out glam photos of a six-year-old girl tricked out to look like a pedophile's dream date is a really good way to attract deviant attention to that kid.

Another poster said that, if her child came to her and wanted to enter a beauty pageant, she wan't sure what she'd do. But I don't think that's really how it happens. You see these documentaries about obsessed moms selling the family assets to pay for tens of thousands of dollars worth of costumes and consultants, and then driving these kids all over the country to compete. The rest of the time, these little girls are on a rigorous training and practice regimens that would exhaust most fashion models.

I don't think that kind of childhood would make any kid happy, so you've got to figure that it's the adults who want the attention and the glory. Patsy Ramsey was so obsessed with this stuff that, as I recall, she laid out her own beauty pageant gown on her bed for a TV interview and tour of her home.

My earlier point was not that the Ramseys are to blame for their daughter's murder but that they are not blameless in her victimization.

I imagine mothers who harbor similar ambitions for their own daughters find this a nasty pill to swallow.

Posted by: occasionalposter | August 17, 2006 02:26 PM

It is interesting to read the comments of those that are still convinced that the Ramseys did it. I'll give you guys one for being stubborn. With such a close minded attitude, you're exactly the kind of person I want on my next tort trial. You'll convict the company before they even get their defense going. I just wish I knew how to pick you guys out without listening to you. I wish there was a "sterotype" person who believes in guilty until proven beyond clear and convincing evidence that they must listen to 20 times before it sinks in that the person/company is innocent. I could make a fortune off of you.

Posted by: Ravid Reader | August 17, 2006 02:40 PM

This Karr guy's story looks to have some pretty big holes. Putting all that aside, assuming that he did do it, instinct says a ransom case usually involves not just one person but a conspiracy? So who would the other conspirators be?

Posted by: Mr. Incredible | August 17, 2006 02:53 PM

What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Fox News Team and Court TV's Nancy Grace should be made to sit for a month and listen to the venom that came out of their mouths about the Ramseys. SHAME ON THE MEDIA.

Posted by: Megan | August 17, 2006 02:58 PM

On John Karr: Hard to say how he could have committed Jon Benet's murder if, as his former wife alleges, he was in Alabama on the date of the crime. Karr's voice on the audio statement is so detached and his obvious desire for the late Mrs. Ramsey's approval so strong that I have strong concerns about Karr's credibility.

On the media feast about the Ramseys' guilt or innocence: The public and the media were not kind to the Ramseys and any of us would want better treatment were we in the same circumstances. I suspect that the stress associated with Jon Benet's death and its aftermath contributed to Mrs. Ramsey's death from ovarian cancer.

The publicly available facts of the case were such, though-- no forced entry; the killer's seeming familiarity with Mr. Ramsey's bonus and with the layout of the Ramsey house-- that it is understandable that many had questions about the innocence of the Ramseys and that the various theories received substantial media coverage. It must be admitted that evidence suggesting a killer unrelated to the family was equally strong. The unusual mix of evidence is what makes this case so puzzling.

On balance, I would say that the Ramseys richly deserve the presumption of innocence. They have been cleared legally and have suffered mightily from Jon Benet's death and, most recently, from Mrs. Ramsey's. Let's respect their grief and their privacy and treat them with the dignity that they deserve.

I do hope that the killer is eventually brought to justice.

Posted by: anon | August 17, 2006 03:47 PM

Just a comment about an ealier posting, OJ was indeed convicted of wrongful death in civil court, so to say that his unwarrented cloud of suspicion is ridiculous

Posted by: Phil | August 17, 2006 03:54 PM

I read Rosetta's response above. I had no idea that this was a White/Black issue - never in a million years. Sounds like Rosetta has a bit too much time on her hands.

Yep, media did jump to conclusions, but that's what we pay them for.

Posted by: David | August 17, 2006 03:56 PM

It is amazing that many contributors still blame the Ramsey's by using the same premise for defending the suspect- individual alibi: "he couldn't have done it, because his wife said he was not in Colarado"

Now if anyone could belive that, why won't the same people believe the Ramsey's alibi of we didn't do it?.

This should not be about who is right or wrong, This should be about allowing our legal system to take it's course without undue interference from anyone.

Posted by: AO | August 17, 2006 03:57 PM

It is amazing that many contributors still blame the Ramsey's by using the same premise for defending the suspect- individual alibi: "he couldn't have done it, because his wife said he was not in Colarado"

Now if anyone could belive that, why won't the same people believe the Ramsey's alibi of we didn't do it?.

This should not be about who is right or wrong, This should be about allowing our legal system to take it's course without undue interference from anyone.

Posted by: AO | August 17, 2006 04:11 PM

hold your point, seems that your column is premature. There remains good reason to believe that someone who knew this girl, lived inside the house, and did not have to pry open windows or doors to get to her is still guilty. Please control yourself and let the case resolve before pulling this immature "told ya so" BS

Posted by: tom | August 17, 2006 04:26 PM

Tom, couldn't agree with you more.

The more I hear Karr's story....the more I think it's still John and Patsy.

Posted by: Toby | August 17, 2006 04:54 PM

As of this moment, there are a dozen reasons to believe that Karr is a lying nut-job and, as always, still a dozen reasons to believe that one or both of the Ramseys were involved in the murder. Very likely that Karr was in Alabama at the time of the murder. If the Ramseys can prove the same, I might reconsider.

Posted by: Rob | August 17, 2006 05:51 PM

Everybody is jumping up and down about the parents -- but what about the brother? He was just about the right age to start to be sexually inquisitive, he knew the house, and the parents wouldn't let the cops within a mile of him. It would seem to me that makes him more suspect than the parents, and that was the real reason for the parents refusal to talk to the police always stemmed from their deisre to protect their son. The parents weren't the murderers, they were just covering it up.

Posted by: The theory no one ever mentions | August 17, 2006 06:21 PM

You are jumping to conclusions right now based on what "appears" to be the case. Prosecutors are trying to avoid previous mistakes saying too much. Karr is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This case is almost ten years old. You couldn't wait a *little* longer to make your point until the man is *actually* found guilty? You're just as guilty of trying to get your licks in first before all the facts are in.

Posted by: Jeff | August 17, 2006 06:36 PM

Easy solution, just wait for the DNA test.

Regarding the media, over the years they've broken down any sense of credibility they may have had by their own actions. In their continuous madhouse rush to gain the next scoop, as well as sell their story they've done away with integrity by any definition. We can't believe half (or more) of the stories we read (or hear) simply because we know the majority of the time the reporting journalists don't care if they're true or not. The MSM is a bloated, self important joke marching headlong toward irrelevance.

Posted by: steve | August 17, 2006 07:04 PM

I would hold off on the apologies. there is no way this guy did it. it was the mom.

Posted by: johannesrolf | August 17, 2006 07:11 PM

It could be that this entire discussion as to the Ramseys is moot. According to Jeffrey Toobin at CNN, "In 2003, [the Ramseys] were officially cleared, after DNA tests on JonBenet Ramsey's clothing showed trace evidence of an unknown male --but not any member of the Ramsey family." If that's true, then apology time came in 2003, not after Mr. Karr confessed to a crime he may or may not have committed. I guess the real question is, why were these DNA results that excluded the Ramseys not trumpeted as loudly as the accusations? And how does a false confession, presuming it is false, have any bearing at all on the underlying question of who is guilty? I also have concerns about laying fault with the Ramseys for even putting their child in the public eye in the first place. This entire society is suffering from a collective infantile fantasy that there is no danger we cannot be protected from and that everything has to be someone else's fault. Maybe JonBenet liked playing dress-up. Maybe this situation is the fault of the perpetrator, whoever that is, and no one else. Maybe we're all just a little too hard on each other.

Posted by: attorneyofrecord | August 17, 2006 08:29 PM

A few questions:
Why did the Boulder DA send folks to drag this guy back from Thailand when he seemed quite willing to return?
Why aren't they (Boulder) waiting for the DNA results?
What about the fact Karr's confession has holes you could drive a truck through, i.e. "I raped her", when there was no indication of vaginal penetration?
I won't even start on issues of cross-contamination in the lab.

Personally I have always suspected an inside job, most likely Patsy, so yesterday when I heard of the new suspect I took it with several grains of salt. If it turns out I was wrong then I apologize for jumping to conclusions but it looks like the media may have done the jumping this time.

Posted by: Skeptical | August 17, 2006 08:49 PM

"Creepy glee"? Name one. I think you're hallucinating.


Posted by: Neil Steinberg | August 17, 2006 08:55 PM

Joey the Clown - can you explain what you mean by 'anemometric bandwagonism'?

Life would be so dull without overeducated pseudo intellectuals like you, no doubt.

Posted by: Wagon Jr. | August 17, 2006 10:05 PM

Hey, if you really want to be disgusted by parents allowing the exploitation of their young children, look at

It is not to be believed.

Posted by: Really disgusted | August 17, 2006 10:38 PM

Hmmm, I should be castigated for studying the heck out of this case and concluding with reasonable certainty that the Ramsey's committed this atrocity? (namely Patsy with John's coverup assistance). Should you be castigated for your misguided attempt to jump on the first fake confession in your zest to prove your own point?

Riddle me this sir: what FEMALE penned that ransome note? (female penmanship and demeanor), who had intimate personal knowledge to author a note in such a fashion? why was the note found on a back set of spiral stairs only known to the immediate family? who would have known how to stealthily traverse that maze of a house in the middle of a night without awaking a mouse while perpretating such a violent crime? why was Patsy's fibers found all over the body, tape, et al? Why did John and Patsy lawyer up IMMEDIATELY and not cooperate with the police? Why did John phone his pilot within a few short HOURS of JonBenet's death in an attmept to leave town? Why was there NO signs of entry or exit on a dark winter night? I could go on and on and on and on. Please do not castigate those who know this case and feel that culpability ONLY lies within that house. Nothing has changed, certainly not with a kook of a confession.

Posted by: Randy | August 18, 2006 03:30 PM

THIS GUY is an idiot!

Karr's singing to play you!

He's no more the culpit than I am - only I lived in Boulder when JonBenet was killed.

The Ramsey's are owed no apology because their own weird behavior indicted themselves. They accused their housekeeper, relative, several neighbors, including Bill Whyte - a Santa Klaus playing university professor. They lawyered up without cooperating with the police investigation and hired a PR firm! Even Mark Klass, whose daughter Poly was dabducted and murdered in California found them suspicious.

Finally, autopsy evidence indicted the Ramsey's: the claim they put her staight to bed after coming home - then how did pinnapple (from their refrigerator) wind up in the dead girl's stomach? Why the lie?

There are, in fact, no cases in FBI files where the child-victim had her body redressed, the crime-scene staged, with no evidence of forced entry. The "intruder" theory of the crime is false.
And now no one can locate John Karr as ever having been in the town where he had to have been to commit the crime!

Can't the WashCompost get their facts staight before going into the crapper?

-T J Olson
Boulder, CO

Posted by: T J Olson | August 19, 2006 04:27 AM

This is a question - not a comment. If the authorities are running DNA results on Mark Karr to see if his DNA matched the DNA left at the crime scene, then wouldn't this same procedure have been done against the Ramseys' to either eliminate or charge them as suspects in their daughter's murder? I am confused....

Posted by: Dawn Gwisdalla | August 19, 2006 09:44 AM

In response to Dawn's question re DNA at scene matching the parents' DNA -- there were many matches -- because they live in house, picked up and hugged JonBenet, touched all objects surrounding her. But, there was also additional DNA found that did not match any family member or other persons under suspicion. Problem with that -- the Ramseys and police allowed a lot of people to come and go in the house before and after they found JonBenet's body. So, that "foreign" DNA could be of the killer or just DNA of anybody else in the house or anybody who had handled objects before they went into the house.

DNA is not good for going out and finding people, investigators have to do that. But DNA is excellent at confirming that a particular person had access to people or objects.

Posted by: Rob | August 19, 2006 10:53 AM

Thank you, Rob, for your answer. One thing does puzzle me, still. Doesn't DNA come from only bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, saliva, etc. or does it also include fingerprints? If it does include fingerprints, then your explanation would make perfect sense. I must say, I was lying awake last night thinking about this and it was driving me crazy!!!

Posted by: dawn gwisdalla | August 19, 2006 01:01 PM

to Randy from

evidence: It was while the police were waiting for the call that they made several critical mistakes. They did not conduct a proper search of the house, the area was not sealed off and friends were allowed to walk in and out at their leisure. No moves were made to protect any forensic evidence.

obtaining a lawyer: While the Ramseys went to stay with friends, their home became a major crime scene. As this was the only murder in Boulder that year, the investigating police had little experience in that type of crime, with very few of them having conducted a murder investigation at all. Regardless, they immediately assumed the Ramseys were guilty. The fact that JonBenet had been found in her own home by her father was considered highly suspicious. By the time her body had been taken from the house that evening, some of their suspicions had been passed to a local journalist.

On December 27, the Rocky Mountain News quoted an Assistant District Attorney as saying, "It was very unusual for a kidnap victim's body to be found at home -- it's not adding up." According to Charlie Brennan, the journalist who wrote the story, the police had also indicated to him that they held a strong belief that the parents were responsible. Julie Hayden, a television reporter for Denver's Channel 7, also covered the story on the same day and drew the same conclusion. She later explained that from her first exposure to the case, the police had made it very clear that they were not scouring the area looking for "some mad kidnapper" but instead, concentrating their efforts on John and Patsy Ramsey.

From that day on, a clear pattern emerged in the coverage of the case. While police chief Tom Koby made little comment, reporters had their own sources, which tended to implicate the Ramseys. At that point, John and Patsy were placed under police protection but were largely unaware of the mounting suspicion against them. One man, however, saw the early warning signs and acted. Mike Bynum, a lawyer friend of John's, hired Brian Morgan to act as their personal counsel. In the same documentary Bynum defended his appointment, stating:

"It is foolish to blindly throw oneself into the maw of the justice system and to trust the result. One simply must be thoughtful about the way one acts, especially in a case of media attention that reaches the point of near hysteria and especially in a case of media attention which, from the outset, portrays certain people as clearly guilty."

He also defended the need for legal representation:

"If you're guilty, you want to think about having a lawyer, and I want to tell you what, if you're innocent you better have a lawyer -- there is no difference."

evidence: While the police made few comments regarding any evidence they had to implicate the parents, the media began to cite their own "evidence." The first "clue" they focused on was the supposed lack of footprints in the snow surrounding the house, which suggested that someone inside was responsible. Later the media admitted that this opinion was based on an official report from a policeman at the scene who noted: -- "Strange, no footprints." The next item was also gleaned from a police report. It stated that there were allegedly no signs of forced entry.

The mayor of Boulder, Leslie Durgan, added further weight to the story when she appeared on television stating: -- "By all reports there was no visible signs of forced entry. The body was found in a place where people are saying, someone had to know the house."

The facts surrounding the so-called "evidence" tell a completely different story.

The first point to come under scrutiny is the snow cover. News video footage shot on December 26 clearly shows that large areas surrounding the house had no snow cover at all. In support of this, Julie Hayden, the television reporter states:

"We looked at the videotape once the footprints in the snow started becoming an issue and one of the things that I observed was, there did not seem to be snow going up to all of the doors. So, in my opinion, this thing about footprints in the snow has always been much ado about nothing because it seemed clear to me that people could have gotten in the house, whether they did or not, without traipsing through the snow."

Even with blatant visual evidence that proved that the theory was groundless, the story continued to be told. Even more doubtful was the claim of "no forced entry." The police report on December 26 noted that there were a number of open windows and at least one open door, therefore an intruder would not need to break in. One possible point of entry was the basement window. Not only was it easily accessible via a ground level lift-out grille, it had been broken sometime before Christmas and could not be secured. These facts, although well documented by the police, did not come to public attention until a year after the event.

When questioned regarding the accuracy of the information he received, reporter Charlie Brennan stated that up until March 1997, he and other members of the press did not know that there was a broken window in the basement and believed that his police source had fed him false information.

The reality of this situation is that an intruder could have easily entered the house through the basement window and moved around the house virtually undetected and unheard. JonBenet's bedroom is one floor below her parents' room, a total distance of 55 feet of walkways, covered by thick carpeting, making it ideal for a soundless approach. Furthermore there is no hidden room. A carpeted spiral staircase, a few feet from her room, leads down to the kitchen. From the kitchen, it is only a few steps to the door that leads to the basement stairs. At the bottom of the stairs is a short corridor that leads directly to the room where her body was found.

The end result? -- No secret room, no need for forced entry and very little snow, which leads to one of two conclusions -- either the press distorted the facts to embellish their story or someone inside the police department leaked false information, intentionally or otherwise. Despite having been proved incorrect, all three bits of misinformation were given continual coverage.

sorry Randy but you're busted.

Posted by: | August 20, 2006 01:13 PM

to The Theory No One Ever Mentions: you said "Everybody is jumping up and down about the parents -- but what about the brother? He was just about the right age to start to be sexually inquisitive, he knew the house, and the parents wouldn't let the cops within a mile of him. It would seem to me that makes him more suspect than the parents, and that was the real reason for the parents refusal to talk to the police always stemmed from their deisre to protect their son. The parents weren't the murderers, they were just covering it up."

sorry but sexual inquisitive and seriously sadistic (ie strangling someone with a garrote to the brink of unconsciousness and bringing them back only to do it again) are two vastly different things. and considering the voracity of the media, would YOU let them near your traumatized kid?

Posted by: | August 20, 2006 01:19 PM

to Randy from concerning John's "pilot":

By Monday, December 30, the Ramseys had returned to Atlanta to bury JonBenet. Again another story was released concerning how they got there. According to the article written by Charlie Brennan, John Ramsey flew his family to Atlanta in his private jet. The story, which had attempted to portray John as an unfeeling elitist, was also false. The jet actually belonged to Lockheed-Martin, the company that had previously purchased Access Graphics, John Ramsey's company. He did not pilot it. The company, hearing of their loss, had offered the services of one of their jets.

wow, now you're really busted.

Posted by: | August 20, 2006 01:31 PM

to Randy: and you used castigate 3 times. here are some synonyms:


Posted by: | August 20, 2006 01:46 PM

Mainstream journalists followed the tabloids. Any mention of the Ramseys attracted readers and pushed up ratings. The stories continually criticized John and Patsy for "degrading" their daughter in "sexualized" pageants and hiring two lawyers which, according to the press, made them look "twice as suspicious." They were accused of refusing to cooperate with the police and of actually delaying the investigation. According to Brian Morgan, their attorney, the reality was quite different: -

"The Ramseys were interviewed on the 26th, the Ramseys were interviewed on the 27th. On the 27th they give samples of physical evidence, blood, hair and fingerprints. When they returned from Atlanta, the Ramseys gave five handwriting samples, voluntarily. To say that the Ramseys had not cooperated in this investigation is a gross mischaracterization."

The samples of handwriting that John and Patsy provided to the police were later found to bear no similarities to those on the ransom note.

The Ramseys desire to cooperate with the police did not last long. Their attitude towards them changed dramatically when they got back to Boulder and learned from Mike Bynum that the previous week, the police had refused to release JonBenet's body until John and Patsy agreed to be interrogated. Even though Bynum had been successful in having the body released in time for the funeral, the police continued to press for additional interviews. After hearing this, John and Patsy Ramsey finally realized that the police, to use John's words -- "Weren't there to help us, they were there to hang us." They became very suspicious and untrusting of the police and made further moves to defend themselves.

and what would you do considering that a mere 24 hours after the investigation began, both the media and police had mentally indicted them?

Posted by: | August 20, 2006 02:33 PM

To the poster above JT: Sure would like to know what the overwhelming evidence was that pointed to the Ramseys? A ransom note that was analyzed by Don Foster who was so discredited and has lawsuits against him for other faulty analyses? A detective, Steve Thomas who theorized that Patsy Ramsey went into a rage and pushed her daughter into a bathtub and then tried to cover it up? LOL -- It has been proven the head injury was the LAST injury she sustained so his theory was entirely bogus not to mention there was no evidence indicating that JonBenet had even wet the bed that night. Rush to judgment.

Too many questions about Karr to believe he did this but I believe the Ramseys had NOTHING to do with their daughter's death.

May Patsy rest in peace with her beloved daughter!!

Posted by: Athena | August 20, 2006 02:36 PM

Me again. To the poster "The theory..... re: Burke Ramsey -- wonder if you are aware he was cleared by a secret Grand Jury. Are you also aware that three years AFTER the murder there was DNA evidence found (blood in underwear and DNA from under her fingernails that did not match ANYONE from the Ramsey family?

I didn't think so! jmo

Posted by: Athena | August 20, 2006 02:41 PM

To The Ramsey Psychophant and Apologist:

Unfortunately, people like you won't see behind the mask. While the Ramsey's case was unfortunately not proveable beyond a reasonable doubt, there was in fact probable cause. (the police were prepared to arrest Patsy....FACT). Your views above are clouded with your own personal viewpoint, certainly not the facts. I won't attempt to drone on like you did in the obvious overwhelming circumstantial evidence that puts the culprit(s) in the house. (no credible evidence of an intruder). Oh......I never said John Ramsey piloted a plane.....scroll up, you'll see that I said he called his pilot to try and schedule a flight out of dodge a mere few hours after his daughter was found dead. (FACT). should read the following......and understand that the "ransom" note was written solely and only to throw off investigaters by a female hand and someone directly speaking to John Ramsey with intimate knoweledge:

Go ahead and educate yourself.

Posted by: Randy | August 20, 2006 07:12 PM

Oh.......and since you love to quote mindlessly without applying your own logic to the bricks in this case, read on:

Again I say, get educated.

Posted by: Randy | August 20, 2006 07:17 PM

What would be the basis for exonerating the Ramsey's? You left it out of your article.

Posted by: Temple3 | August 20, 2006 10:06 PM

to Randy: wow, that entire article is speculation and innuendo. good luck digesting and regurgitating factless, groundless, and biased BS. this was especially interesting considering that the autopsy found no evidence of sexual abuse:

Pathologists working with Boulder police say that JonBenet's vagina showed indications of long-term sexual abuse, according to Det. Thomas, citing "a panel of pediatric experts from around the country." He doesn't name them. He writes there were "no dissenting opinions among them."

and of course he doesn't name them. and i seriously doubt Det. Thomas was able to assemble a "panel of pediatric experts" at all which is why they're all anonymous. if find any credibility in vague statements by officers that clearly botched the investigation, then do you also find credibility in little green men? c'mon...

Posted by: | August 21, 2006 10:38 AM

Again, for the hard of "hearing".

Posted by: Randy | August 21, 2006 11:27 AM

For those who believe in mythology:

Posted by: Randy | August 21, 2006 01:26 PM

Correction for the mythology perveyors:
(disregard prior URL)

Over and out.........buh bye.

Posted by: Randy | August 21, 2006 01:31 PM

interesting diatribe. too bad it's only speculation and not evidence. DNA probabilities would be something to purport but 1 in 10,000 for a handwriting sample is unremarkable.

consider that roughly 300,000 people live in Boulder County, CO. assume that 70% are over the age of 15 (ie young adults or older). that still leaves at least 210 people that would fit those handwriting characteristics.

1 in 10,000 ain't proving anything. wanna convince me, how about a DNA (a truly unique identifier) match that's 1 in 25 million?

and so Randy, what evidence do you go to court with in this case? sorry bubb but your handwriting stats can't really help in the absence of actual physical evidence. and until the police find some of that (oh wait, they botched the scene so how can they now?), you know no better than the government-hiding-aliens conspiracy theorist.

Posted by: | August 22, 2006 10:43 AM

and a friend of mine who has a doctorate in statistical analysis and research methodology took a look at that website and automatically dismissed the assumptions presented mathematically.

his quote from email: "The statistical analysis is cute, but totally flawed. The first assumption is that there is a 3 in 1 odds that someone can toggle between printed and cursive writing. It is true there are three possible ways of writing in that set (all cursive, all print, mixed cursive and print) but it doesn't mean every third person writes in a mixed fashion. This flaw is apparent in the other indices as well."

don't believe everything you read on the internet, Randy.

Posted by: | August 23, 2006 10:34 AM

Time to apologize to the Ramsey's.......hmmm, with John Karr being cleared of this-who next will you attempt to bag for this?

Check the FBI analysis of Patsy's handwriting PLEASE. It's available, and might provide you with some insight for your next article.

Posted by: Randy | August 28, 2006 04:28 PM you go, do your homework next time, and quit with the self-grandizing sympathy play.

Posted by: Randy | August 28, 2006 04:31 PM

Did you actually read the article? There's CLEARLY an area for Evidence that Mrs. Ramsey wrote the note AND one for Evidence That She Didn't. maybe you should pay more attention to what the article says.

Evidence that she didn't write it:
During the investigation, the Boulder Police Department and Boulder County District Attorney's Office consulted at least six handwriting experts. (SMF P 191; PSMF P 191.) All of these experts consulted the original Ransom Note and original handwriting exemplars from Mrs. Ramsey. (SMF P 205; PSMF P 205.) Four of these experts were hired by the police and two were hired by defendants. (SMF P 191; PSMF P 191.) None of the six consulted experts identified Mrs. Ramsey as the author of the Ransom Note. (SMF P 195; PSMF P 195.) Rather, the experts' consensus was that she "probably did not" write the Ransom Note. (SMF P 196; PSMF P 196.) On a scale of one to five, with five being elimination as the author of the Ransom Note, the experts placed Mrs. Ramsey at a 4.5 or a 4.0. (SMF P 203; PSMF P 203.)

Evidence that she did:
Gideon Epstein, a forensic document examiner hired by Darnay Hoffman, asserted that he was "100 percent certain" Mrs. Ramsey wrote the Ransom Note. (SMF P 256; PSMF P 256; PSDMF PP 1-2.)"

but even that comes with a caveat:
Methodology: Epstein's analysis has been criticized on grounds that he did not have original samples of either the RN or exemplars, nor did he offer a methodology that would sustain a finding of 100% certainty in his conclusion. "In contrast to the experts relied upon by defendants and by the Boulder Police Department, however, neither of these experts {Epstein and Wong} have ever seen or examined the original Ransom Note. (SMF P 256; PSMF P 256.) In fact, Mr. Epstein and Ms. Wong do not know what "generation" copy of the Ransom Note they examined. (SMF P 257; PSMF P 257.)" (Carnes 2003:27). Epstein "did not consult the original Ransom Note, original handwriting exemplars of Mrs. Ramsey, nor original course-of-business writings of Mrs. Ramsey. (Defs.' Mot. In Limine 68 at 8.)" (Carnes 2003:61). "It is undisputed that a number of subtle and critical handprinting features observable on examination of the original Ransom Note cannot be observed from an examination of a machine copy of the Ransom Note. (SMF P 245; PSMF P 245.)" (Carnes 2003:63).

I sure hope critical reasoning skills aren't required at your job. You seem to miss the bigger picture that, if anything, the experts can't agree that she wrote it. And the one that's "100% certain" used less than certain methods on a non-original xerox to come to that conclusion.

And FYI, it's "self-aggrandizing" not "self-grandizing."

Posted by: | August 29, 2006 10:10 AM

Note to those slow in comprehension:

Knock some sense into that cavernous thing called your brain-the title of this article (and forum) is "It's Time to Apologize to the Ramseys". Read the data and come to your own conclusion, but READ the data.

Your prior post accepted that FACT that many (if not most) of the analysts felt that either Patsy wrote the note or couldn't be excluded. READ the FACTS, draw your own conclusion-but don't regurgitate and continue trying to be part of the club that would shield the Ramsey's from suspision of MURDER.

Posted by: Randy | August 29, 2006 04:43 PM

"Could not be excluded" doesn't mean much besides that a statistical likelihood exists for something.

If a DNA result is 1 in 10,000,000 then that means 300 people in America alone "could not be excluded" from sharing those same genetic markers. The evidence is VERY much less than convincing especially since any concrete evidence like DNA or fingerprints has never been tied to Ms. Ramsey.

Even the experts agreed that felt tip bleeding, photocopying, and the skill/knowledge of the examiner could influence the decision. And the "statistical handwriting analysis" of the letter was seriously flawed and failed scientific muster.

So if the examiners' conclusions are discordant; photocopies with loss of quality were used; and there is no physical evidence tying her to the crime, what scientific proof do you have to persecute her? Nothing--you're left with innuendo bordering on mass media-fueled witchcraft.

Here's a great statistic for you, sir: 75% of all murders are committed by someone close to the victim or that the victim knows personally. As such, these murders are EASY to solve. The 25% of murders that account for stranger violence are notoriously difficult to solve because the clues can't be linked to anyone. If Patsy Ramsey would've killed her daughter, then I'm pretty sure solid physical evidence would've been linked to her, even by the dumb-@ss Boulder cops.

And listen to what you're saying by implicating the Ramseys: they tazed their daughter, bound and gagged her, then used a garrote to strangle her to the brink of death, revive her, and do it all over again?

Kind sir, that takes a seriously deviant mind that has experience molesting and torturing kids. No indication from JonBenet's siblings would point to the Ramseys as child abusers. With no physical evidence, unconfirmed media innuendo about porn movies and girlfriends on the side, AND no testimony from family members that would attest to their ability to commit such a heinous act, it seems that you really need to accept the obvious answer and stop persecuting them.

Posted by: | August 30, 2006 04:20 PM

Read the police reports, study the investigation, and LEARN.

Quit babbling, makes you sound less educated than you are. We already know your sense of reasoning.......sounds like you and Mary Lacy would make quite a team.

Posted by: Randy | August 30, 2006 06:20 PM

Ah the police reports that were seriously flawed? The ones that didn't come close to documenting all the evidence in the house? The ones founded on innuendo? No thanks.

If you call what you've done "studying" the investigation, then you're clearly much less educated than I am. I kinda feel sorry for you...

Posted by: | August 31, 2006 05:15 PM

Ok, try this one on: hey dunderhead,

Even Mary Lacy considers the Ramsey's within the scope of the investigation (ie nobody is cleared, other than presumption of innocence). Must I and everyone else armed with information succumb to your emotional opinions, or are we allowed to have our own views? Are you the arbitor of case studies on crime?

Please........and apologize to the Ramsey's? For crying out loud..........

Posted by: Randy | September 1, 2006 03:19 PM

"and of course he doesn't name them. and i seriously doubt Det. Thomas was able to assemble a 'panel of pediatric experts' at all which is why they're all anonymous."

Their names were:

John McCann

James Monteleone

Virginia Rau

David Jones

Ronald Wright

Richard Krugman

All said JonBenet had been abused for weeks prior to death. Good enough?

Posted by: David | September 9, 2006 02:22 PM

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