Hours before publishing our latest book, I spoke with Loen Kelley, a producer at HLN. HLN is an affiliate of CNN and a major contributor to the Mainstream Media narrative surrounding the JonBenét Ramsey case.
Kelley had gotten wind that we might have valuable information; they wanted to know exactly what we had. But essentially what they wanted boiled down to this:
“What’s your smoking gun?”
How about an arsenal? We have a mountain of evidence. The Ramsey case is the Mount Everest of criminal cases. Just as Mount Everest is the world’s tallest mountain, so too is the Ramsey case the world’s tallest mountain of criminal evidence.
We’ve completed two trilogies on this case with a third trilogy to go. How are 9 narratives possible on one case about one little girl? Easy. Alex Hunter, the Boulder District Attorney at the time described the evidentiary mountain of the Ramsey case as greater “than any I’ve ever prosecuted in 29 years.” Of course Hunter went on to cite a lack of evidence when he railroaded the case in August 1999.
Boulder police interviewed more than 600 people in this case; investigated over 140 potential suspects, reviewed more than 3,400 letters and 700 telephone tips and logged 1400 items of evidence. The case file in 2000 was approximately 40,000 pages long. That’s not 40 000 words – 40,000 pages. That’s 80 individual 500 page paperback books – all 80 filled not with fluff but wall to wall with facts and evidence. And that was 17 years ago.
In terms of 80 paperbacks of evidence, what exactly is a smoking gun? Is it a True Bill stating that the Ramseys are accused of being accessories not only to a first degree murder, but a murderer also considered guilty of child abuse? Not sexual abuse, child abuse.
Is the smoking gun Burke Ramsey saying he often slept with his sexualized sister in his sister’s bed? Is the smoking gun a life-size doll found naked in the playroom that gave a little boy weird ideas about his sister? Is the smoking gun the cutesy photos taken surreptitiously of JonBenét in the laundry room of the basement? Is the smoking gun a book providing a blueprint for murder, written by an FBI profiler, that was found and photographed in the house and then disappeared? Is the smoking gun a moment where – confronted with the incriminating photograph 17.7 – Patsy Ramsey burst out crying? Or is the smoking gun the levitating Ransom Note – pieces of paper floating from one side of the Ramsey home to the other, pages the Ramseys admit they hardly read and never touched.
But HLN say they want something tangible – like a solid piece of new DNA evidence. They want a magic trick where KAZAM here’s the DNA and it points to….
It’s the 21st century and there’s a reason 20 year old unsolved cases are unsolved. It’s because we’re not paying attention. Because we’ve lost the capacity to “listen carefully.” We want a quick fix solution that’s no longer than 140 characters in a Tweet.
Sometimes the most obvious truth is the most recondite. The biggest smoke from the biggest gun occurred right at the beginning of this case. The first police officer on the scene arrived at the Ramsey home before 06:00, before dawn. He noticed trace snow had covered the exterior of the home, and surrounded all of it. Nowhere was there any evidence of footprints leading away from the house. The officer knew before entering the house that the crime had been reported as a kidnapping. You’re approaching a home at more than an hour and twenty minutes before the crack of dawn with the idea of someone stealing a child out of the home. The first thing you’re going to notice is why that doesn’t make any sense. There are no footprints on the virgin snow leading to the front door, and no footprints anywhere else.
I said to the producer [who has an affiliation with CNN’s Jean Casarez / John Ramsey interview that aired this week] why not directly address what John Ramsey said on that show – that he didn’t know he was indicted as an accessory to murder, and that he doesn’t even know what “accessory” means. Wouldn’t the public appreciate that – a real response to obvious misdirection? Can you guess what the producer said? It was something along the lines of – “I heard about that, but didn’t really watch the show.” Then reiterated they’re looking for some type of solid, physical evidence. But this is a circumstantial evidence case! Ugh.
These are the types of conversations – that although make you want to bang your head against the wall – ultimately reinforce the work we’re doing.
You want a smoking gun? How about this. Neither Patsy’s nor John’s fingerprints are on the Ransom Note. But one fingerprint was found – it belonged to the technician who examined the note. Make sense?
The Ramseys are the ones who found it, read it and moved it, according to their various versions of events. Was this a case of possibly making the scene a little bit “too clean?”
And then this… on January 1, 1997, when the Ramseys did their CNN interview, Cabell asks John what he did immediately after finding the Ransom Note. John says this:
“We went to check our son’s room, sometimes she sleeps in there.”
And Jean Casarez adds [as a voiceover clip] “there was no sign of JonBenét in her brother, Burke’s, room.”
Yet, when questioned by police just four months later, Patsy completely contradicts what John has just said.
From BOULDER POLICE INTERVIEW April 1997 police interview:
TRUJILLO: Okay. Do you have an idea if JonBenét moved over towards Burke’s room at all that night? Slept in his room?
PATSY: Um, I can’t remember, can’t remember.
TRUJILLO: Okay. Is that something that she would normally do?
There’s a reason murders are tougher to figure out than election results are to predict. The folks who commit murder have a huge stake in getting away with it. They don’t want any obvious evidence out there, so evidence is destroyed, removed, and what can’t be removed is clouded over with confusion and murk.
This case is a very murky case, with a lot of murk hanging over the simplest things like:
- Which neighbor arrived at the Ramsey’s first?
- What happened to the Ramseys’ phone records for December?
- What happened to JonBenét’s panties?
- In a case where everything was found inside the home [pen, paper, garrotte stick], why don’t we know where the cord or duct tape came from?
- Why is the ownership of the supposed murder weapon – the MagLite torch – so murky?
- Why are there no fingerprints on the murder weapon or on the Ransom Note?
- Why do the Ramseys say they took their daughter straight to bed yet there’s a bowl of pineapple on the table with Patsy’s and Burke’s fingerprints on it, and undigested pineapple in the child’s stomach contents 12 hours after her death?
Unlike HLN, we don’t try to pluck a single smoking gun out of the ether. We look at everything – all the latest interviews, the search warrants, the historical record of police reports, the medical reports, the books, the documentaries, etc. – and then we conduct our own interviews, we speak to our own experts and we crystallize it all into a psychology that makes sense.
Only when we’re satisfied we’ve answered “Why?” in an authentic way, in a way that rings true, do we consider our work done. That’s our process. The vast majority of reviews from the reading public validate our work as enlightening and revelatory, more than anything else that’s out there including Ramsey Apologia, “definitive” books, and experts involved directly with the case.
As for those experts – there have been legendary detectives assigned to this case that have been defeated by their own shortsightedness. There have been experts in DNA that, it turns out, have made a mess. There have been people at the helm of this case that buried it. There has been a circus of fools running ragged over a case that is complicated but not unsolvable.
We believe we’ve solved the psychology of this case. As far as we know, no one else has. Some have made a few stabs at who and how, but none have addressed why. We have.
Our work needs exposure. We can’t put it any more simply than that. It needs exposure, not for us, for JonBenét.
Coming in 2017…