Who Broke the Basement Window?

Fairly early on in researching the JonBenet case, Nick and I suspected something was really off with the broken window story.

img_5850At first, the window was no big deal to John.  He didn’t seem to want to draw attention to it. If you want to make the case that someone came in from the outside of the house and broke in, wouldn’t you be cheerleading a broken window as prima facie, bona fide whoopdedoo evidence?  So why does John not even mention it to the cops that morning?  As a concerned parent he should be waving a great big flag at it.  So why doesn’t he?

The police aren’t sure whether there’s been any break in anywhere, and what’s more, are mumbling about no footprints in snow.  But the broken window is John’s big opportunity to say – wow, this is how and where they could have gotten in.  Except John didn’t seem to be thinking that.  Besides this, why is it that the window was broken months ago?

What we want to know is:

  1. Why are there inconsistencies around the window [and what are they exactly?]
  2. If John didn’t break the window, who did?
  3. Was it broken 4-5 months earlier, or on the night of the murder?
  4. If it was broken on the night of the murder, who broke it, how, why and what does this mean?

Late on December 27th, the police first discussed the broken window with John.  It’s 9:30pm and Linda Arndt and Larry Mason are at the Fernie’s house where the Ramseys are staying…

Linda Arndt’s report dated Jan 8, 1997:

John was told that there was a broken window located in the basement of his home.  [In response] John told us that he had broken out a basement window approx. 4 to 5 months ago.  This window was located in the room where the Christmas decorations were kept.  The grate covering the file-nov-29-11-52-31-pmwindow well to this window was not secured.  John had been locked out of the house.  John told us he removed the grate, kicked in the basement window, and gained entrance to the house from this window.  John told us he had not re-secured the window nor had he fixed the window which he had broken.

Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario.  John and/or Patsy intentionally break the glass on Dec 25/25 as part of a staging.  Again, we’re stuck with the quandary of why not bring it to the attention of the police?  Plus, why didn’t they leave the glass on the ground?  If you’re creating the illusion that somebody forced their way in, then leave the evidence and make sure somebody sees it.  They didn’t do that either.

There’s also the possibility that John really did break the window that summer because he was locked out, therefore he really didn’t think it was suspicious when he saw it on December 26.  Nevertheless, a broken window that could be opened from the outside would still be a point of entry/exit, so why not tell the police that?  Why did Patsy say she told the housekeeper about the broken window but the housekeeper, Linda Hoffman Pugh, knew nothing about it from Patsy, let alone saw that it was broken?

In our book The Day After Christmas 2, the plot thickens. We interrogate the statements of John, Patsy and Burke on the broken window.  Who was there when it was broken, when was it broken and how?  Do you think the three offer three consistent statements or do you think all three statements contradict one another?…

Part 2 of The Day After Christmas trilogy is available now, exclusively on Amazon.  Be on the lookout for Part 3 in December.



“Allergic to Nonsense”

Review of…

The Day After Christmas:  JonBenet Ramsey

Pick The Day After Christmas!  by Katharine Polenberg   

In this first installment of their next trilogy (about the unprosecuted murder of JonBenet Ramsey) the authors have raised the bar for true crime. Like the difference between porn and erotica in art, the difference between sensationalist crime writing and this new book is in its effect on the consumer and genre: the higher art and written word must be seen as elevating and honoring its subject.

This is what I see: there is real literary prose here. There is autobiographical analogy from van der Leek that stands alone as haunting short story; there is anthropological and psychological foundation in the cited research for the sense they make of the sensational. 
I like this team.

As I read this book I was reminded of the scene in the film “Infamous” in which Harper Lee and Truman Capote go over their notes and Lee corrects Capote’s recollection of a local’s description of Bonnie Clutter: “If you ever DID see her- not if you ever saw her.” “Good catch” he responds. Capote and Lee were hearing the home-grown vocabulary around the crime scene in the Clutter household. In this series of books we have the benefit of these authors’ equally sharp ears, and their ability to tell us what they think and why. Wilson and van der Leek share a thought process that is clear, instructive and humorously allergic to nonsense.

The Day After Christmas is available exclusively on Amazon



The Reviews are in for The Craven Silence Trilogy

We’re thrilled that our books on JonBenet have expanded the minds of so many and have inspired our readers to further the conversation.  Here’s the latest…

From Katharine Polenberg

Read the 3 installments on Kindle, and I think you brought an intuitive, intelligent enthusiasm to img_5628-2the interrogation via the psychology of the children.  It’s underestimated how much damage the sibling rivalry and parental short-sightedness does to the child’s personality (and the adults who go with the flow!)  It’s so clear, in this telling of yours, that there were always two “only child” offspring in the house:  first a son who is the only child until a sister comes along.  He becomes the “other” child while she is given the turn at being the “only.”  If only the father had adopted his own boy as fiercely as she sank her teeth into her girl.  There’d still have been damaged young people growing up – but they’d at least have grown up physically together and possibly lived equally long lives.


The Craven Silence trilogy can be found exclusively on Amazon



The Changing Stories of John Ramsey, Part 1 [SoundCloud]

There’s no such thing as either silence or noise; both co-exist, just at varying levels.  Have you ever noticed that even in the quietest of places, even when all of nature is still, there’s always a gentle buzzing in our heads?

I was thinking about this today as I was listening to various interviews with John Ramsey, which I recognize may sound weird.  What I mean is that for the last several months, Nick and I have explored the concept of silence as it pertains to the JonBenet Ramsey case.  Silence being the inaction, and then collusion, of a multitude of major players.  The flip side of that coin is deliberate deception.  That’s the part that I consider the noise. The constant chatter pointing us in a different direction, preventing us from being lulled into some total sense of peace.  John has arguably been the noisiest of the bunch.  The question is, why?

Some of his deceptions have been more obvious than others like his claim that he and Patsy didn’t talk to the media in the early days after the murder.  Of course we know that’s not true.  But since John blames the media for being part and parcel to the public’s poor perception of their family, he can’t very well admit to how much he’s used them for his own agenda.

What’s even harder to stomach though is the ping pong match between telling the public to hide their babies – there’s a killer on the loose! – and the good ‘ole Christian act of forgiving everybody no matter what, because yes, God seeks the hearts of killers too…

“I’m sorry… for them, for what… they’ve done.  And I hope that they’ve, uh, learned and, from that experience…” 

Do you notice the hemming and hawing in this statement?  Is it possible for even the most sincere Christians to hope that the killer [assuming the killer is an intruder] of their 6 year old child has learned from “the experience?”  Would they even refer to a murder as an “experience?”  So which is it, John?  Is the killer a dangerous animal that needs to be captured?  Or, is it somebody a lot more like us [hint hint], in which case the killer deserves forgiveness?

Here’s a clue…  the most hot under the collar I’ve seen John [which is still fairly mild] was when the CBS show was on the verge of airing their theory.  You know, the one that hit a little too close to home.  John, for the most part has been calm, “not angry,” getting on with life, in his own words, but suddenly in September he’s “mad.”  Does he say he’s mad because JonBenet was killed and a killer is still on the loose?  Not exactly.

The contradictions don’t stop there.  John dramatically told Dr. Phil last month that he’s done talking to the media.  He basically says never again, no more, see ya, leave me alone.  But then, surprise, he shows up on an Australian radio show just a few weeks later.  When asked why, the closest we get to an answer is… he would like to visit Australia some day.  Huh?  Listen for yourself…