#Shakedown Stirs Up Old Insights Into JonBenet Ramsey, America’s Most Famous Cold Case, Part 2

What people chose to lie about says a lot.  It offers great insight into their vulnerabilities, their fears and motivations.  There are a number of inconsistencies in the Ramsey’s statements, but let’s focus on just one.  What’s the significance of the bikes?

JB on christmas

While Lou Smit is interviewing John, he asks him how they prepared for Christmas in 1996.  Where were the gifts kept and when did they open them?

From John Ramsey’s Interview with police in 1998:

SMIT: Okay. Did you go to the Barnhill’s to pick up a bike?

JOHN: Yeah, Christmas Eve. We’d given JonBenet a bike; we got Patsy a bike. We were giving Burke a bike but not that year.

This is a specific detail that John remembers and offers up without prompting – they had made a decision that Burke wasn’t getting a bike that year.

JOHN:  Anyway, there was a bike that we put in their basement, and I gone over after the kids mr-barnhill-with-jbs-dogwent to bed to get it to put it under the tree. And Joe went down to the garage and went down to get it and brought it up. I offered to go get it and he said no, he’d go get it himself. I don’t know where it specifically was, whether it was actually in his garage or his basement.

From Websleuths, taken from the Daily Camera on Dec 28, 1996:

“I didn’t see a lot of people over there Christmas Day,” said Barnhill, who had hidden until Christmas Eve the bicycle JonBenet’s father had bought his daughter. “I didn’t see JonBenet with her bike, but I did see (her 10-year-old brother) Burke ride his bike down the lawn there.”

Burke was three years older than JonBenet, and likely had a bike of his own at that stage.  But did he want a new one too?  More importantly, did he want the attention that big gifts tend to bring.  Nobody gushes over a kid opening a random toy.  Who knows, maybe he was even playing with JonBenet’s bike outside.

From John Ramsey’s Interview with police in 1998:

SMIT: You know, I’ve looked at a lot of pictures in regards to this particular case and I can’t remember seeing any bikes. What happened to the bikes?

JOHN: Well, they were in the garage, I guess. JonBenet rode her bike for a moment outside before we went to the White’s; just round the patio. I’m sure that went back in the garage. Patsy’s bike, I don’t know, it could have gone in the garage. I don’t remember.

SMIT: Have you seen it since, Patsy’s bike?

JOHN: Yeah. We have it.

SMIT: (INAUDIBLE) took it?

JOHN: No. We gave, Jonbenet’s bike, we gave away. Patsy’s bike we haven’t (INAUDIBLE).

Now, take note, this whole conversation has been about two bikes.  JonBenet’s and Patsy’s.  John doesn’t pipe in and say if Burke had a bike or where that bike might be.  And Smit had no reason to ask John about Burke’s bike because John told him, Burke didn’t get a bike that year.  Smit moves on to other questioning, but eventually returns to the topic of Christmas Eve, gifts and bikes.  Why?  Because this crime happened on Christmas night.  There’s a good chance the holiday had relevance.  But how?

From John Ramsey’s Interview with police in 1998:

JOHN: Yeah. I don’t remember exactly.  But it was dark, I remember that. Because the lights were on and I remember the starlight. So if we went to five o’clock church that would have been over at six or so. Then we went to dinner and (INAUDIBLE) somewhere around there. I don’t specifically remember the kids going to bed, but I’m sure they went to bed fairly early because they wanted to get up at the crack of dawn. You know, the normal routine was (INAUDIBLE) was as soon as we thought the kids were asleep we got Christmas organized.

SMIT: And how would you do that? What would you do to organize Christmas?

JOHN: Well, we’d get up, haul the presents and put them under the tree. And a lot of the things were not wrapped so the kids had the surprise when they came down. And we put those out and we got the bike.

SMIT: Where would you keep these bikes?

JOHN: They were usually in the basement. That was Patsy’s department. But I think she kept them in that cellar room. We usually kept all of Christmas stuff in there. Our Christmas trees and lights and that stuff, the trim.

SMIT: So you think that somebody would have gone down to get those? Did you go down there?

JOHN: I don’t remember specifically. I mean —

SMIT: Kind of think about that because that’s kind of important. Who was in the basement close to the time of Christmas?

JOHN: Well certainly we both would have been because Patsy did most of her wrapping down there. And that’s where all the present stuff was stored. So in the process of getting ready for Christmas that would certainly have been down there and been in there. The only thing I remember is going over to Joe’s and getting the bike out of his garage. And then after Patsy went upstairs, I had her bike in our garage and I got that out and put it by the tree. And then I went upstairs.

John is still crystal clear with his memory of only two bikes.  He remembers exactly where they hid JonBenet’s, as well as Patsy’s, prior to Christmas day.  If they had gotten a bike for Burke, wouldn’t they have hidden that at the Barnhill’s too?

SMIT: So both bikes then were at the tree. You just took the one from Joe Barnhill and put it by the tree?

JOHN: And brought Patsy’s in from the garage.

SMIT: I was just wondering, like when you brought the bikes back in and Patsy was already in bed and then —

JOHN: Yeah.

A little bit later in the interview, Smit brings up Christmas day again.  For some reason, John’s story suddenly changes.  Unfortunately, Smit, being too smitten with John, doesn’t notice there’s now three bikes, not two.

From John Ramsey’s Interview with police in 1998:

SMIT: Do you remember kind of what the kids got? What she [JonBenet] got?

JOHN: Well JonBenet got a bike. I think Burke got a bike too. It seems like we had three bikes there. JonBenet, I think she got a little doll that was one of these look-a-like dolls that was supposed to look like her. I remember her looking at it and saying, this doesn’t look like me.

SMIT: Was that made specially in a certain spot?

JOHN: Supposedly, I guess. Yeah. That’s a good question. Patsy would know. She got it. It’s one of these – it’s supposed to be a doll that’s made to look like the child.

SMIT: So it’s a specially made item then from a certain kind of store.

JOHN: I believe so, yeah. Patsy, I’m sure, would know specifically where it came from, the details on that. But I seemed to remember her holding it up saying this doesn’t look like me. And she didn’t.

SMIT: And she held it up for you?

JOHN: She did.

SMIT: And can you think of anything else?

JOHN: They always get so much stuff. I guess I don’t remember. It’s always kind of a little bit overloaded with so many things. I remember she did a little (INAUDIBLE) that night and a little jewelry maker wrapped up in little strips of paper and little beads. I remember specifically playing that with her that evening, Christmas day evening.

John peppers his answers with the phrase, I don’t remember, yet he seems to remember a fair amount of details about what JonBenet got for Christmas that year, as well as her reactions.  He even wrote about it in their book The Death of Innocence.

From acandyrose:

“The kids screamed and cheered as they realized that Santa had brought just about everything in their lists.  JonBenet wanted to take her new bike outside for a spin, but Burke suggested, “Let’s get all the other gifts opened first.”  Ah, the wise and experienced big brother.  JonBenet agreed.  They quickly busied themselves playing Santa’s elves and distributing the beautifully wrapped gifts.  JonBenet asked for Burke’s assistance with the name tags since he could read and she couldn’t.  It was the most fun in the world, doling out the gifts and seeing whose pile would become the biggest.”

Once again, we have reference to only JonBenet getting a bike.  Interestingly enough, John mentions Burke’s reaction to JonBenet wanting to take her new toy outside – Burke didn’t want to do that, he wanted to stay in and open other presents… presumably, because he didn’t get a bike too.

Also, isn’t it odd that JonBenet couldn’t read names at the age of six?

img_3140Their book goes on to describe how Patsy doted over JonBenet that morning.  They made a big deal about how they presented the doll to JonBenet.

From acandyrose:

“Patsy rearranged the gifts in JonBenet’s stack so that a very special box would be opened last.  Inside was a My Twinn doll, fashioned to look like JonBenet from pictures Patsy had furnished the dollmaker, with a couple matching outfits so JonBenet and the doll would dress alike.

JonBenet opened the box and examined the doll with a look of curiosity.  “Well, now doesn’t she look like you?” Patsy asked.

JonBenet held the doll at arm’s length and tilted her head slightly.  “I really don’t think she looks that much like me,” she concluded and laid the doll to one side.  She quickly returned to a jewelry craft set, which she had previously opened.  Patsy looked at me, raised her eyebrows, and gave a disappointed shrug.  Sometimes the big gift you had in mind for your kids really wasn’t the hit you had expected.”

Meanwhile, I wonder what Burke is doing on the sidelines while his parents are making a big to-do over a doll and shiny new bike.  I came across an obscure, but very interesting, quote from Joe Barnhill that he gave to a local reporter.

From Websleuths, from the Irish Times 1997:

“It would be heartbreaking if that family was involved. They worshipped her almost as if she were Jesus Christ. The parents are good Christian people. They’re members down at St John’s Episcopalian Church,” Mr Barnhill said, before he excused himself and went back to his mowing.

Fast forward 20 years, and Burke Ramsey just completed a series of interviews for Dr. Phil.  One of the many questions asked was “did you get what you wanted for Christmas?”  Burke doesn’t reply yes or no.  He simply answers “a Nintendo 64.”  That’s the same game Burke grabs on his way out the door on the morning of December 26, when John and Fleet White shuffle him out of the house.   Dr. Phil asks Burke what JonBenet got.  He answers, a big dollhouse, and… “we both got bikes.



For more of #Shakedown’s insights on this case, get a copy of

The Craven Silence.  Available exclusively on Amazon.

The Craven Silence 2 coming in October.




14 thoughts on “#Shakedown Stirs Up Old Insights Into JonBenet Ramsey, America’s Most Famous Cold Case, Part 2

  1. I’m not getting the relevance. You think it’s odd that John didn’t remember if Burke got a bike or not two years later? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Who cares? Not seeing this as motive for murder by any stretch. A Nintendo 64 was a pretty nice gift for a 9 year old boy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lynne,
      It’s not quite that simple. What we’re trying to do is establish what was happening that day. It’s no secret that the Ramseys wanted the world to believe that everything in their home was shiny and perfect. It wasn’t. Bizarrely, their 6 year old daughter ended up dead in their basement and nobody seems to have a clue why. So, we’re going back to that morning to find clues of what was happening in that house. This is one piece in a very large puzzle we’re assembling.

      I do think it’s a bit naive to believe the Ramseys don’t remember what they gave their kids for Christmas the last morning JonBenet was alive. If you read their book, they remember a lot of very fine details from that morning. It’s not believable to me that John can’t remember if Burke got a bike. It’s even more suspicious that his story changes fairly drastically about that point while being questioned by police. Is it a clue to something that happened later? Maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He remembered the gifts in the early interviews. Two years later, would you remember what gifts your kids got for Christmas? I can’t even remember what my kids got last Christmas.

        I just don’t see any relevance to what happened to JBR. I mean no offense. Research is always good.


  2. Hi Lynne – I’m going to try to address the relevance in a few sentences.

    1. This is a 20 year unsolved mystery.
    2. There seems a strange amount of confusion about Christmas gifts not only from John Ramsey, but Burke as well.
    3. In photographs of Christmas Day 1996 you can clearly see two bicycles, and both have a slanted horizontal bar [in other words, they’re both girls/ladies] bikes.
    4. You may not see the relevance, but a 9 year old child may be very upset if his mother and sister receive a big gift and he doesn’t on Christmas.
    5. In further research – not added here, a psychologist asked Burke what upset him the most. I believe this was when he was an 11 year old. Burke’s answer was “not getting expensive gifts”
    6. CBS The Case Of [which I’m guessing you don’t approve of] posits the motive for JonBenet’s murder as Burke arguing with his sister over a pineapple.
    7. We’re testing that line of thought, but suggesting there may have been a more significant argument over something more significant – and since it was Christmas, we’re wondering whether it has something to do with the gifts one child got versus the other.

    I don’t think you’re being fair to say John Ramsey’s memory is consistent, or that amnesia in certain areas is completely normal. I think a bicycle is a pretty big gift to give a child on Christmas, and we know John went to some personal lengths to hide away JonBenet’s bike. But not Burke’s? We also know John Ramsey’s memory was such that he remembered putting bicycles in the garage, but not what was given for Christmas. There’s also the point of Burke helping his sister read out the names on Christmas cards…extremely fine-tuned memory beside gaping holes in terms of who received what.

    Sorry I find your inability to see relevance here pretty weird. I mean, you are interested in trying to solve the case, or are you interested in shutting down avenues of inquiry?

    If you are interested in solving this case, I’ve love to hear any ideas you might have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I find your fixation on the Christmas gifts to be weird. This is the kind of crap unethical prosecutors take to trial to win cases in which they have no evidence. “We think Burke was mad because he didn’t get a new bike…” — “motive” There is nothing to support what you are suggesting — that he was upset about what he got for XMas or jealous of his sister. You are grasping at straws.

      Why not delve into the weird things — such as the V or heart on JBR’s hand? What about the animal hairs on the duct tape? The unidentified hair on the blanket? Could this have been a Satanic ritual killing? That seems more believable than Burke Ramsey did it.

      I doubt the case will ever be solved. I just think you (and CBS) are going down the wrong path pointing the finger at Burke. Nothing supports his involvement. There needs to be something concrete to support the speculation and there simply isn’t.


  3. There is nothing to support Burke was jealous of his sister? Why do so many people believe that he was – are they all wrong?

    Could this have been a satanic ritual killing? Or an honor killing, or a terrorist attack?

    There needs to be something concrete to support the speculation and there simply isn’t. Like there needs to be something concrete – from outside of the house – to support the more outlandish intruder theory.

    >The Christmas context is not weird at all, and I think you know it, but it’s pointless discussing with you. The first crime in the bible was fratricide, and Jacob came within in a whisker of killing his son Isaac, so ritual killings in families have been with us since the beginning, which is why the stats show murder in the home corresponds to the people who live there.

    In South Africa we’ve just had four very high profile cases, all to do with husbands killing wives, or son’s murdering their entire families – not just both parents but sister [in the Don Steenkamp case] and brother [in the Van Breda case] too. In the Van Breda case we have three murders but the sister actually survived the ax blows to her head and neck, but suffered retrograde amnesia. It’s obviously more horrible to imagine a son from a well-to-do family dispatching his own flesh and blood. It’s more comforting to imagine it’s a foreign plot, or a pedophile monster, or some anonymous sadist.

    By the way, how are you affiliated with the Ramseys, because it’s clear that you are.

    And do you live in Boulder or Atlanta, because I’m guessing you do.

    Your question about satanic ritual killing actually shows the absurdity and desperation of your argument, which is why I’m not really engaging in a serious discussion with you. Criticise and speculate by all means, but if you have nothing of substance to counter with – and you don’t – then it’s laughable, as these sort of PR agendas tend to be.

    “I doubt the case will ever be solved.”

    Agree 100%. It helps when the people who should care most about solving it would prefer that it isn’t and you seem to be allied with them. Is your instinct also to cover it up with a blanket with easy aspersions?

    Btw Lisa what are those stats exactly – the likelihood of a murder in the home being committed by someone in the home? Because that data is pretty concrete; supported by a huge body of evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynne, who do you think wrote the ransom note? Do you believe that an intruder/killer wrote that note as a sincere note? Do you think they spent 30+ minutes in the home writing it on the family’s paper? How did the intruder find their way down to the basement wine cellar? The police and Fleet White couldn’t even go into/see into that room on the morning of Dec 26. How did the neighbor hear a scream and the family didn’t? Why is Patsy in the same clothes as the night before, make-up fully applied, hair done? Is it really believable to you that upon finding out their daughter was kidnapped/missing that the parents don’t say one single word to their son? Didn’t wake him up? See if he was alive? Ask him if he saw or heard anything? Just curious what you think about those things.


  4. Well, there’s something to be said for intuition, and the lack of. I did a little digging on our commenter Lynne and it turns out this is what she does for a living:

    Part 1:

    “I research and write about questionable cases, unfair trials, police misconduct, wrongful convictions and exonerations.”

    Lynne has written about Steven Avery being innocent, criticising the evidence collected in the burn barrel [is it Teresa Halbach]? She’s also written a bestselling book about the “falsely accused” Brad Cooper – she’s pleading his case even though he pleaded guilty in 2014 to murdering his estranged wife, and both husband and wife were having affairs [Nancy’s second child was apparently a result of an affair in 2005]. Amazing that Cooper pleaded guilty in 2014 and Lynne wrote her #1 bestselling book in October 2015 in spite of that.



  5. Part 2…

    The top commenter on REDDIT [at the above link] writes:

    “The author who wrote the $3 e-book should NOT have been given air time. If you check out the case there was a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing to Brad Cooper. He’s just another smug fuck with no remorse trying to get off on some technicalities.”

    And that seems to be Lynn’es MO – argue the technicalities. Is that really in the true spirit of justice? Is justice about loopholes and wiggle room, or is the spirit of the law a reasonable and sensible search of truth based on all evidence – forensic and circumstantial?

    I had a quick look through Lynne’s research on Cooper and she devotes one entire sentence to Brad’s childhood – which was “happy and normal”. Really? Is that due diligence?

    Of course it’s one thing to campaign for the “innocent”, it’s another to blame the cops as the true villains in these cases. Are the cops really the guilty one’s are they really the one’s who should be investigated. Someone is found murdered in someone’s home, okay, let’s go to the local police station to find the murder suspect in uniform. Are they the true criminals in these crimes? Did the police kill JonBenet Ramsey, Nicole Simpson, Meredith Kercher, Teresa Halbach, Nancy Cooper?

    I wonder what Lynne thinks about OJ Simpson? I guess if it’s your job, if you’re paid to nitpick through forensic evidence and ignore the circumstantial evidence, then you’ll always be criticising the victim and accusing the police. If you’re paid to second guess the case it’s easy, just dismiss the circumstantial evidence and the psychology [who cares why Brad Cooper went to the same store twice on the morning of his wife’s murder, who cares that they had a row at a barbecue the previous evening] – just nitpick the forensics until you find a fragment that legalistically can be disputed. Then wave it like a flag with cries of “Reasonable Doubt”. Is that really an authentic search for truth, let alone justice?

    Lynne’s views on the JonBenet case are fairly reasonable – it’s not a clear case by any means. But her aspersions on poor innocent Steven Avery are ridiculous.


    On her question that there’s zero evidence [do you want forensic evidence?] showing evidence of sibling jealousy, resentment and/or spite, I wonder whether smearing your own shit on your sister’s Christmas gift qualifies?



    • IIRC, the feces smeared on JB’s box of chocolate was not tested, and therefore, cannot positively be identified as BR’s. IMO, the most likely culprit is BR, however, as far as I know, this has not been proven. If you have an official source that proves otherwise, I would love to see it. Thanks.


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