The Grand Juror Doesn’t Speak

AMY:  Do you feel you know who killed JonBenet Ramsey?

JUROR:  I highly suspect I do.

AMY:  And who do you think that is?

JUROR:  I wish not to answer.

Did ABC really think viewers would be OK with that?  That they could name a show “JonBenet:  Grand Juror Speaks,” have a logo with those exact words emblazoned at the bottom of the screen for most of the hour…. Then have the juror say, nah, not gonna answer the one thing everyone wants to know.  WTF!

I should have known better than to get my hopes up with the juror when I saw that Lawrence Kobilinsky was being dragged out of his crypt to [yet again] comment on the misleading DNA.   Here’s what he said on A&E back in September:

“I think the inescapable conclusion is that an unidentified male committed this crime.  This person committed that sexual assault and murdered JonBenet.” – Lawrence Kobilinsky, A&E

Inescapable?  Well whoever it was, they’ve escaped detection for 20 years.  Clearly that evidence isn’t exactly rock solid.  But for a moment 20/20 dangles a carrot and makes the viewer think that perhaps Kobilinsky has had a change of heart.  They declare that they’ve obtained the DNA reports – guess what, so have a lot of other people.  After he pores over them in a bit of a drumroll moment, and admits the two spots of Touch DNA on JonBenet’s clothing are ‘not perfect’ nor would he say the spots are a ‘match,’ Kobilinsky says Mary Lacy was right to exonerate the Ramseys.  Dr. Baden doesn’t agree.  Neither do several other experts.  Neither does the current DA, Stan Garnett.  Nor do we.

“What I am confident about is that the Ramsey case is more than a DNA case, and to ever have a prosecutable case, we have to have several different parts of it come together. DNA would be a part of it. We need a number of other things as well.” – Stan Garnett, Daily Camera

As for the mysterious grand juror, are there any insights we can glean from him at all?


AMY:  Before you became a grand juror, what did you know about the JonBenet Ramsey case?

JUROR:  Very little.  I saw that there was a little girl dressed up with, in my opinion, a sexual persona and it disgusted me and I turned off the TV.

Interesting that he was so turned off by the pageants.  I wonder if his opinion of that changed during the proceedings or if they played any part in the indictments.  We wouldn’t know, because unfortunately Amy Robach only asked him three questions, at least that we got to see.

He next shares what it was like to be in that basement when the jurors were taken on a field trip to see the house.  His response seems to support the same thing both housekeepers, Linda Hoffman Pugh and Linda Wilcox, said about the unlikeliness of an intruder committing this crime.

JUROR:  In the basement where she was found it was actually kind of an obscure layout.  And you had to, to go into, you come down the stairwell, and you had to go into another room to find a door that was closed.  It was a very eerie feeling.  It was like, somebody had been killed here.

The next question I found a bit ridiculous.  We’ve all known since 2013 that the grand jury voted to indict on two charges, so what’s the point of asking this?

AMY:  Was there enough evidence to indict John and Patsy Ramsey of a crime?

JUROR:  Based upon the evidence that was presented I believe that’s correct. 

This for me was probably the most interesting answer of the entire [brief] exchange.  The way he says ‘based upon the evidence that was presented’ you get the sense that he feels he voted accordingly but perhaps not as he would have liked had there been other information given or factors met.  And if that’s the case, what was missing for him?

AMY:  (voiceover) But did he believe the Ramseys would be convicted?

JUROR:  No.  There is no way that I would be able to say ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ this is the person.

He doesn’t hesitate at all on this answer.  But what’s frustrating is Robach has asked him a pretty vague question.  One would assume, when she asked him if the Ramseys would be convicted, she meant for the charges the grand jury voted to indict them on.  But she doesn’t exactly clarify that.  And his answer seems to suggest he was referring to which of them [John or Patsy] committed the actual murder.

Hasn’t that always been the problem with this case though… trying to pin “murder” on only one of the three?  In our narratives we explain precisely why this doesn’t work.

AMY:  There was no smoking gun?

JUROR:  Not to the point of knowing exactly what happened, or exactly who was involved, no.  And you are the district attorney, if you know, if you know that going in, it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars to do it.

It’s a pretty cryptic and also contradictory interview, isn’t it?  He agrees there was evidence to indict, so he clearly feels there were crimes committed that were provable.  But he also feels strongly there wasn’t enough for a conviction, but a conviction of what and of who?  Murder, accessory, neglect? We just don’t know.

He does seem to think he knows who the killer is.  So why would it be a total waste for a jury to hear this case?  Isn’t that where justice is supposed to play out – in a courtroom?  There was obviously enough of something presented for him to positively think that he knows who did it.  But maybe that’s where the clue lies, in all of this silence.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume he believes the killer is one of the family members.  Even though we don’t know exactly what evidence was presented, we do know who [most] of the witnesses were and they were all Ramsey-centric.  So, which one of the three is it?  Does his hesitation stem from the very same reason the records remain so tightly sealed after all these years?

The Craven Silence and The Day After Christmas trilogies

are available on Amazon.



Our Reaction to the CNN Special Report: JonBenet

I didn’t have much hope for the CNN special, to be honest.  With the usual suspects like Pam Barday, Bob Whitson and clips of Lou Smit talking about the broken window that John could care less about on December 26th, you can expect Apologia.  At least in their marketing efforts they didn’t hoodwink us like the 20/20 special did.  We’ll get to that program in our next blog.

If you want a sense of how fluffy this “special report” really is, just visit Jean Casarez’s Twitter feed where you’ll find a picture of her and John together draped by a beautiful, sweeping background. Doesn’t exactly look like a murder interrogation; more like somebody who’s awe-struck and didn’t do their homework.

Jean sends out another tweet that says:  “It was really amazing to learn so much more about this case…”  Whatever she learned, she must have learned it off camera, because from what I saw, it was rehash and nonsense.  She mostly sat doe-eyed through the interview with John, never once challenging him on things like why his and Patsy’s fingerprints are absent from the ransom note that they were man-handling on the morning of December 26th.

How about this gem:

When John is asked about being indicted for abuse/neglect, he admits, he should have been better about locking the doors and checking the alarm.  Does John really think we’re that dumb?  Do people really get indicted for feloniously neglecting their children to the point they die because they didn’t lock their door?

Even better, when asked how he felt about being labeled an “accessory,” John doesn’t know what that means.  Not only that, he doesn’t seem to remember that particular indictment at all.

“Really?  I didn’t know that.  I don’t even know what that means, frankly.” – John Ramsey

While we’re being frank, let’s take a look at what John has to say about the indictments in their book Death of Innocence [originally published in 2000, excerpts in green].

“After thirteen long months of looking at all the evidence presented by the special prosecutors and police, the Boulder grand jury said no to an indictment

It takes a mountain of evidence to convict, but only a paltry amount of evidence to indict.  Yet in the eyes of the grand jurors, even that did not exist.”

Hmm.  Did his lawyers fail to mention to him and Patsy in 1999: Oh by the way, you dodged a bullet?  Are we really to believe they had no clue?  Or, is it more likely they knew that we’d have no clue, since everything was sealed?

Perhaps we’ll cut Jean Casarez some slack, and assume she hasn’t read their book.

“Of course, in the months that followed the grand jury’s secret decision, there was much speculation by the media on what the grand jury did conclude.  To suggest that it voted to indict and that the D.A. refused to go along, as some of the media speculated, is pure folly.”

Pure folly, indeed.  johnandjan

The “special report” ends with John and his new wife, Jan, taking a leisurely stroll through the red rocks of the Southwest.  I guess the paid-for PR message of the month is if they can move on, why can’t we?   I guess the joke’s on us.


Book 3 in our The Day After Christmas trilogy will be published next week.  Parts 1 and 2 are available now on Amazon.


JonBenet Ramsey Case Insights: #2 Red Flags Surround Photo 17.7

Before 09:00 on the day after Christmas, 1996, detectives asked John Ramsey for the film inside his camera.  John promptly took a number of photos in order to reach the end of the film reel.  Inadvertently John took a photograph of the wet bar area and a short glass table with two legal notepads on it.  This was Photo 17.7 from John’s own personal camera with film that also contained Christmas Day photos.  In 17.7 two notepads are clearly visible on the knee high glass table.  But in crime scene photographs taken during the “kidnapping phase” some unknown time later the notepads were missing from the glass table**.

  • Were they missing because John had already handed both pads to police? spiral-staircase
  • Or had the pads been moved before more police arrived***?
  • Where did John go when asked by detectives for samples of his handwriting?
  • Where did he collect the pads?
  • Did he collect them from the glass table as Photo 17.7 suggests?
  • Or did he collect them from somewhere else?
  • If the latter, then what?…

Let’s quickly get acquainted with this area of the house.  You see the infamous spiral staircase in the background where the three page ransom note sat on one of the bottom steps.  Directly to the right of the spiral staircase are the steps that lead down to the butler pantry [also called butler’s kitchen].  JonBenet and Patsy occasionally used the butler pantry area for painting.


Just slightly to the right of those butler stairs, on the same level as the spiral staircase, is a small sink and counter area that one could refer to as a wet bar.

Continuing right along that wall, you see the rectangular glass table [with shelves just above it.]  

To the right of the table is the entrance to the kitchen where Patsy dialed 911 and where the Sharpie pen was ultimately found.


Note the position of the white wet bar in the schematic in relation to the spiral staircase and low glass table.

Back to the table in the hallway.  Where are the two white lined notepads?  Why is that significant?  From police photos, the notepads – one of which was Patsy’s and was used to write the Ransom Note – aren’t there.  In Photo 17.7 from John’s own personal camera – with film that contained Christmas Day photos – two notepads are clearly visible on that table.

When exactly where those pads moved, by whom, and why?

Here’s Detective Lou Smit prodding John for an explanation of Photo 17.7 in June 1998.

SMIT:  Just one more question.  I have got a photograph here called 17.7.  Somehow this is in your roll of pictures or someone’s roll of pictures from before [investigators arrived and took photos] okay, and it shows, first of all, put it to the camera so they can see that.  And I am going to show you that.

JOHN:  Yeah.

SMIT:  Do you know who would have taken that photograph?

JOHN:  It’s remotely possible that I was having trouble with my camera, I think, and I don’t remember doing this, but I can remember just clicking camera, trying to see if it worked.

SMIT:  When was that?

JOHN:  I mean, I don’t know.  I mean it was, you know, the only time we got the cameras out were typically at Christmas time.  But this looks like the pad frankly that I gave her [Linda Arndt.]

SMIT:  Does that look like the spot where you would – that you picked it up from?

JOHN:  Yes, my recollection, yeah.

SMIT:  So that could be the actual pad of a picture [I think he means picture of the actual pad] taken prior to what happened?

JOHN:  That’s possible.

Well then why wasn’t it on the table when investigators photographed that table on the morning of December 26th?   In true Ramsey fashion, there’s a whole lotta waffling going on including the I don’t remember, but I remember and the ridiculous statement that they never took pictures other than at Christmas time, but oops, they couldn’t even manage to do that, that year.

As the questioning continued, John’s answers got dodgier and dodgier, but wait til you hear how Patsy responded to the discovery…

*Photo 17.7 has never been shared with the public

**The pads had been moved from the glass table [see red arrow] and placed in a different spiral-staircase_liunknown location, until they were given to the police upon request some time after 09:30. 

***More police arrived around 09:30.  BPD Sergeant Bob Whitson arrives at 09:30 and enters through the rear exterior kitchen door. Per the Bonita Papers: “Whitson and Patterson then asked John for samples of his handwriting.” JonBenet’s bedroom door was sealed around 10:30 that morning.

Read more in The Day After Christmas 3, due out this month.

The first two parts are available on Amazon.

JonBenet Ramsey Case Insights: #1 Burke’s Knife

Why we believe this line of evidence is important: 

We believe Burke’s knife is the most compelling evidence connecting him [let’s say possibly connecting him] to the murder of his sister.

The knife isn’t the murder weapon, however it’s possibly directly linked to the manufacture and assembly of weapons used to subdue, suppress and strangle JonBenét.



What’s also very suspicious to us is when Burke is asked an open-ended question two weeks after JonBenét’s murder by Dr. Bernhard about what he thinks happened to JonBenét, the first weapon Burke mentions is a knife**.

One of the two murder weapons – the Garrotte – appears to be assembled in situ near Patsy’s paint tray on the floor in the corridor opposite the boiler room and leading to the wine cellar.  A urine stain was also discovered here.


This is the spot where the paint caddy was found [the wine cellar doorway is to the right] – the urine stained carpet was cut out and collected for testing.

The question we ought to be asking is: which is more likely, that an unarmed intruder would break in and use all the materials inside the Ramsey home to execute his crime, and then fail to execute it [he didn’t kidnap JonBenét], or that someone in the Ramsey home, someone familiar with the home and all things inside it, used what they usually used in what eventually escalated into the murder of a child?

The distinctive white camping cord could also be traced [theoretically] to a nearby camping store for which the Ramseys held receipts.

We must also utilize the benefit of hindsight and ponder: if the Grand Jury felt the Ramsey parents [both parents] were deserving of indictments on charges of child abuse and neglect, and if the third party they had aided and abetted in the commission of the crime was Burke, we can also see the possible neglect and recklessness in not confiscating a weapon, especially given it may ultimately have been used to kill JonBenét.

Prior instances of injury to JonBenét by Burke*** ought to have necessitated at least the removal of objects, items and weapons that could be [and perhaps were] used to injure her.

  1. FACT: Burke had his own Swiss army knife, and it has his name on it. [The Ramseys concede in their book that Burke owned at least one knife, and the housekeeper, Linda Hoffman-Pugh does too. In his own testimony, during a 1998 interview with Detective Dan Schuler, Burke conceded he had two knives.] SMF/PSMF
  2. FORENSIC: The paintbrush used as a garrotte appears to be whittled. A fragment consistent with the paintbrush [of whittled wood] was found in JonBenét’s genitalia, described in her autopsy as birefringent material. One [Swiss] red pocket knife was listed in an evidence list dated December 26 [page 10] as 42KKY.
  3. TESTIMONIAL: Housekeeper witnesses Burke whittling; confiscates Burke’s knife

Source: Charlie Brennan, Denver Rocky Mountain News, August 2nd 1999:

Hoffmann-Pugh made good on her threat. [According to Hoffman-Pugh she] “got tired of laundry-area-outside-jonbenet-bedroomcleaning [the wood shavings] up… [Burke had] been asked to do it over paper or a bag or something. So, I just put the knife up one day, in a cupboard over the sink in that area outside of JonBenét’s room” on the home’s second level, an area that also had a microwave and laundry facilities. Hoffman-Pugh said she didn’t tell JonBenét’s parents where she stowed Burke’s knife.

[Although] Hoffmann-Pugh never saw the knife again… it resurfaced [in the evidence inventory] following the 10-day police search [of the Ramsey home]…Specifically, Detective Kerry Yamaguchi discovered Burke’s knife on a countertop near a sink just down a basement corridor from the [wine cellar] where JonBenét’s body was found.

  1. CIRCUMSTANTIAL: Burke’s knife was found in close proximity in the basement to JonBenét’s corpse in the basement wine cellar, in the region of a couple of metres.
  2.  INFERENCE: Besides the whittling of the garrotte itself, a sharp knife was used to cut the lengths of cord used to tie JonBenét’s wrists and fashion the garrotte.

Burke used his knives for scouts and camping. Two principal tasks scouts must learn file-nov-21-10-28-55-aminclude whittling/kindling wood and the mastery of cords, rope and knots.

An intruder may have armed himself with Burke’s knife, though if he wrote and left the ransom note in the kitchen, why not use a kitchen knife or his own knife?

Conversely, Burke may have used the knife as he habitually did.  Whether it was Burke or an intruder, whoever whittled the garrotte, was the same individual who placed the birefringent wood fragment inside JonBenét’s genitalia.  What we know for sure though, at least if Hoffman-Pugh’s testimony is reliable, is that Burke whittled often.  This seems to skew the likelihood towards Burke using his own knife, and fashioning a garrotte, and tying the sort of knot scouts needed to know about, rather than a random intruder with a very spontaneous and haphazard approach to kidnapping and murder.

6.  TESTIMONY: Burke admits owning a knife, admits it has his name on it, admits using it to tie knots and that his mother Patsy gave it to him.

From the National Enquirer October 3, 2016 article – (these are portions of Burke’s 1998 interview with Detective Dan Schuler):

SCHULER: You have two knives?

BURKE: I have one that says my name on it – it has Switzerland on it.

SCHULER: Uh-huh.

BURKE: That one has a big knife, small knife, saw, corkscrew, screwdriver, flat head screwdriver, toothpick and tweezers. And I think that’s it. And then I have another one that has a saw, scissors, it’s got this little hook thing that you tie knots better with. Um, I said saw? A cork opener.

SCHULER: Both of those Swiss Army knives?

BURKE: One knife is smaller.

SCHULER: Where do you normally keep those? In your scouting stuff?

BURKE: I think I like (inaudible) and I have a little place for them in my room.

SCHULER: Did you take them both camping with you?

BURKE: I just took the —

SCHULER: The one with your name on it?


SCHULER: Oh, okay. So somebody must have given you that one, for a special occasion?

BURKE: My mom.

7. INTERROGATION/Confirmation [December 11, 2001 Patsy Ramsey Deposition Wolf vs Ramsey]

HOFFMAN: One of the most controversial pieces of evidence is a red Boy Scout knife or a whittling knife. I don’t know if it is a Swiss Army knife. Do you know whether or not Burke owned a red knife at any time?

PATSY: He had a couple of them.

HOFFMAN: He had more than one?

PATSY:  I believe so.

HOFFMAN:  Do you know if he had more than one at one time?

PATSY:  Yes.

8. DISPUTE [June 1998 Patsy Ramsey Interrogated by Detectives Thomas Haney and Trip DeMuth]

Not surprisingly, Patsy denies seeing Burke whittle during an interrogation in June 1998, but concedes she’s seen whittle wood in the play room. The denial is reinforced in the Ramsey’s book Death of Innocence**** published in March 2000, approximately six months after their “official exoneration” by the Boulder D.A. Alex Hunter.  In June 1998 Patsy appears to reveal crucial information but also withhold crucial information about Burke.

DEMUTH: Patsy, I read somewhere that Burke would walk through the house whittling sometimes, whittle in the house; is that true?

PATSY:  I never saw him walk through the house whittling. Now I did, on occasion, in the play room see little whittling like wood, kind of whittles, you know.

DEMUTH: You did ever see [Burke] whittle?

PATSY: No, No, I didn’t.

DEMUTH: Is there any reason why Burke would have a knife like this.

PATSY: No. Huh-uh.

But didn’t Burke say Patsy had given him the knives?

9. Additional Points

  1. According to some sources, Burke may have been given a scouting book for Christmas in 1996 which contained, amongst other things, a how-to-guide for making the knot found on the garrotte. This book was not part of the evidence list. We know that on December 28th Pam Paugh, Patsy’s sister, removed a trunk load of items from the Ramsey residence as per Patsy’s directions.
  2. The garrotte knot is known as a prusik hitch, a typical boy scouts or camping knot.
  3. The Bonita Papers also note the location of Burke’s Swiss army knife to JonBenét’, however the wording implies the knife was found in the same room*****.

*Insights are based on research documented in The Craven Silence and The Day After Christmas trilogies, both published between September and December 2016.

**BURKE:  I think that someone took her very quietly and tip-toed down the basement, then, then they took a knife out and [motions with arm]…like that.

***We know for a fact that Burke hit his sister in the face in August 1994, shortly after her fourth birthday.  Was this an isolated incident? In JonBenét’s medical records there are also instances of her bruising her nose after falling on her face on May 8th 1995, another fall and a cut above her left eye in December 1995, in May 1996 JonBenét hurt her fourth finger of her left hand in another fall,.a bloody bowel movement on November  1st, 1994, repeated instances of rashes, inflammation and vaginitis and “trouble sleeping”. On  August 27, 1996  Patsy reported to JonBenét’s  pediatrician that JonBenét had been asking about sex roles and reproduction.

**** Death of Innocence Page 321: “I wondered if, as they walked through the basement, any of the jurors brought up the issue of Burke’s red Swiss army knife, which according to the media had been found on the countertop near a sink, just a short distance from where JonBenét’s body was found. The implication was that the killer could have used the knife to cut the nylon cord used to tied (sic) JonBenét’s wrists together. The cord was also used to make the garrote placed around her neck, which ultimately resulted in her death by strangulation. Linda Hoffmann-Pugh, our cleaning lady, had said on a TV talk show that she thought the issue of the knife was relevant to the murder.

Patsy and I never quite understood why she’d made those statements except that we knew she was mistaken about a number of other issues when she spoke on national television. The truth was that we had no idea where someone might find Burke’s knife at any given time; he has a tendency to leave things lying around when he loses interest in them. The knife could have been anywhere in the house. And we had no idea if the knife had any relationship to anything that happened in the crime.”

1999 February 18 – Lawrence Schillers book “Perfect Murder, Perfect Town

Page 181:

“Burke had this red Scout knife and always whittled. He’d never use a BAG or paper to catch the shavings. He’d whittle all over the place. I asked Patsy to have a talk with him. She answered, “Well I don’t know what to do other than take the knife away from him….After Thanksgiving I took that knife away from him and hid it in the cupboard just outside JonBenét’s room. That’s how that problem was solved….” – Linda Hoffman-Pugh

*****From The Bonita Papers:  A red Swiss army knife was also found lying in the corner of the room away from the blanket. On the floor outside the door to the cellar was a paint tray and acrylic painting supplies. One of the detectives observed a wooden handle to a paint brush, the type used by artists, which appeared to be broken and a piece missing. The floor of the wine cellar was vacuumed to collect any trace evidence. The black duct tape, blanket, nightgown, knife, broken paint brush and paint tray, and vacuumed particles were all collected and logged into evidence.

The Craven Silence and The Day After Christmas

books are available on Amazon

The Day After Christmas 3 is due out mid-December


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…

Did John Ramsey and Mary Lacy intentionally misdirect the case? #JonBenet