Special thanks to guest-blogger, Cottonstar from Websleuths, for this contribution:
“Be prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it. Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.” – The Scout Motto
Burke was in the Boy Scouts for more than 3 years. That’s longer than JonBenet was involved in pageants.
What do we know about Burke and the Boys Scouts? Actually, not a heck of a lot which is odd, right? For all the bragging Patsy did about the achievements of her offspring, why can’t we find a single picture of Burke in his scouting gear?
What we do have, though, are pics of a flashlight, nylon cord and a tightening stick. All items found in the Boy Scout Handbook as needed checklist items for successful scouting adventures.
Tightening stick? Yes, I called it a tightening stick because that’s exactly what was found hanging from JonBenet’s neck when her body was discovered. A tightening stick is described on pg.150 of The Boy Scout Handbook, 10th edition, the same copy Burke was rumored to have received on Christmas morning, 1996.
Use a tightening stick to draw your lashings extra snug.
The “garrote” wasn’t a garrote per se, and wasn’t used how a real garrote would function [the cord was double knotted at the back of JonBenet’s neck] if someone was trying to murder someone in a sexually deviant way.
In the autopsy report, the medical examiner describes the evidence as a “wooden stick”. The word “garrote” only enters the narrative at the same time JonBenet’s pageant videos make the airwaves, then suddenly, the conversation shifts [thanks in part to Ramsey PR, and Lou Smit] to… It must have been a pedophile – a sadistic, monster!
Let’s address the complexity of the knot tied around the stick. Knot tying has long been part of the scouting program. A Google search of scouting knots reveal the knot tied on the stick – a prusik knot/hitch – is one of the most basic knots Scouts learn.
From Patsy Ramsey’s annual Christmas newsletter to family and friends in 1995, we learn more about the Ramseys’ level of knot use and expertise:
“This year John [former active-duty Navy], John Andrew [former advanced Eagle Scout], and Melinda took the crew of Miss America (our sailing sloop) to victories in the NOOD races in Chicago and a 4th Place Division Finish of the Chicago-Mackinaw Island Race. Seventy-knot winds in the MAC race really made the finish line look pretty good!”
In the same newsletter, we also learn that:
“He [Burke] continues with Boy Scouting and the piano. This winter he is the tallest guy on his basketball team. Summer on Charlevoix was spent taking golf and sailing lessons each day. Burke is quite the sailor!”
It seems Burke is also quite the camper. That same summer in 1995, at Camp McSauba in Charlevoix, Burke was awarded Best All-Around Camper. Scouting, sailing, and camping. All three of these activities require a basic, if not extensive, knowledge and use of various knots and hitches. Not only does it seem Burke had a great deal of training and experience with knots, but he had highly-trained instructors in his immediate family.
Something else I’ve recently learned, has shed light on a previously ignored piece of evidence collected from the Ramsey’s basement. There’s an old boatswain mate’s trick used in the Navy and in sailing for learning to tie knots. A wire, such as a copper wire, is formed into a loose exemplar of a particular style of knot, which can later be used as a guide when tying rope. Boatswain mates are known to carry around these wires for that purpose. It seems, these same type of wires were found at the crime scene in at least two places: the boiler room wire tied in knot (5BAH) and the wine cellar wire near body (7KKY). Did the intruder, in the pitch dark of the Ramsey basement, forget how to tie the knot he wanted and leave his exemplars behind?
KANE: We have been provided, and again, one of the sources of this information is confidential grand jury material I can tell you in the question, but we have been provided information from two sources that your son Burke, prior to the murder of your daughter, owned and wore Hi-Tec boots that had a compass on them, which makes them distinctive. Do you recall — if you don’t recall that they actually were Hi-Tec, do you remember Burke having boots that had a compass on the laces?
JOHN: Vaguely. I don’t know if they were boots or tennis shoes. My memory is they were tennis shoes, but that is very vague. He had boots that had lights on them and all sorts of different things.