How John Ramsey Continues to Perpetrate a Fraud Upon the Public

By Juror13 and guest-blogger, Cottonstar

The battered justice system had creaked and shuddered, but it had worked!  We had not been indicted! People would have to finally see the jury’s decision as our vindication.”

– John Ramsey, Death of Innocence, 2000

That wasn’t the jury’s decision.  More importantly, John Ramsey knew that wasn’t their decision when he and Patsy co-wrote their book the following year.  That’s fraud.  Rather than saying we weren’t formally indicted by the DA, which is factually true, he chose to manipulate the narrative and instead say the jury – a group of their peers – vindicated them.  They did not.

One would think, now that the grand jury indictments are public knowledge after Judge Robert Lowenbach unsealed them in 2013, that John would be a little humbler with his responses regarding the jury’s vote.

When asked by CNN in September 2016 how he felt about being labeled an accessory to Murder via the indictments, his response:

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

Frankly, nobody’s buying it anymore.  In fact, Aphrodite Jones, who previously believed an intruder was likely responsible for the crime, spoke to Tricia Griffith on Websleuths Radio this week and said she’s since changed her mind.


In 2011, Aphrodite wanted to sincerely explore the intruder theory.  In support of her show, she interviewed John San Agustin, one of the Ramseys’ (multiple) private investigators, as well as John Ramsey in private [for three hours].  She describes San Agustin’s lengthy PowerPoint presentation, including crime scene photos, fancy slides about Touch DNA, and stun guns, as a “nicely wrapped present”.  Add to that Mary Lacy’s public exoneration letter to the Ramseys, and indeed it was a gift – for the Ramseys.  It worked.  It wasn’t until this past year that Aphrodite started to look at the case in more detail, partly due to some of the insights shared by the investigators involved in the CBS show. What she discovered was that there was clearly a diligent effort on behalf of Team Ramsey to distort the investigation.


As Tricia pointed out, why wouldn’t you believe a DA; never before have we ever seen anything as outrageous as a DA “exonerating” individuals while a case is still open.  So at face value, one may be inclined to believe the DA had good reason to clear the family.

“I feel that I had been taken for a ride.” – Aphrodite Jones, October 15, 2017

Believe me, Aphrodite, you’re not alone.

In a People magazine article from December 2016, current DA Stan Garnett says then Boulder DA, Mary Lacy, jumped the gun on July 9, 2008, when, on the basis of DNA analysis from the crime scene, she issued a letter to John Ramsey stating “we do not consider your immediate family including you, your wife, Patsy, and your son Burke to be under any suspicion.  “When any district attorney goes around and starts issuing exonerations based on a particular piece of evidence, that can be very misleading to the public about the nature of the case.”

For 20+ years, the Ramseys have misled and bullied the public.  They’ve hypocritically sat down for interviews and documentaries, touting “the truth [will be] uncovered” while chastising so many others for trying to do the same.  Lin Wood, goes so far as to describe seasoned investigators who participated in the CBS show as playing “an acting role”.  Meanwhile, John is seen “acting” out his new life for the camera, walking on the beach, hand-in-hand with Jan, walking thru picturesque mountains, hob-nobbing with legal analysts. The narrative, I suppose, is that we should think John is a really swell guy.

jeanandjohn  johnandjan

Nevertheless, the public continues to dissent, and team Ramsey responds by suing somebody else.  The latest civil suit filed by John last month, brings us to at least twelve suits (on behalf of Burke and themselves) to-date, related to the case.

If you read through the Complaint, you’ll find, many of the central arguments are rehashed from suit to suit.   Their arguments are old and for the most part, consistent.  What’s far less consistent is what the Ramseys have uttered to the police, to TV and newspaper reporters, and written in their books, over the years.

Cottonstar, who’s vigorously investigated this case, and I, teamed up to analyze the Factual Allegations set out in John’s Complaint.

What is a Factual Allegation?  An allegation, of course, is a claim or assertion that somebody has done something wrong, typically absent of proof.  Factual allegations in a legal complaint have one purpose – to narrate a story.  If the Factual Allegations don’t satisfy each element of the complaint, the case faces dismissal.  John Ramsey’s claims, we feel, are flagrantly unsatisfactory.

Lin Wood recently told Westword during a Q&A that one of the central claims in John’s lawsuit is the accusation that John perpetrated a criminal cover-up of the crime [CBS asserts] committed by Burke.

Wood sells this as if it’s the most absurd thing he’s ever heard.  I guess, just like John, Wood kinda sorta forgot that a Grand Jury, after examining the evidence, also believed John may have committed a criminal cover-up [was an accessory to Murder] and wanted him to answer to those allegations at trial.  It would be nice if rather than completely and repeatedly evading the details of the indictment by moaning about unsophisticated jurors and ham sandwiches, somebody on Team Ramsey could actually, intelligently, address the following:

On or about December 25, and December 26, 1996 in Boulder County, Colorado, John Bennett Ramsey did unlawfully, knowingly and feloniously render assistance to a person, with intent to hinder, delay and prevent the discovery, detention, apprehension, prosecution, conviction and punishment of such person for the commission of a crime, knowing the person being assisted has committed and was suspected of the crime of Murder in the First Degree and Child Abuse Resulting in Death. – Count VII [A True Bill]

Since the statute of limitations for these charges has long since passed, it’ll never adequately be addressed in court.  All we can do now, for the time being, is address the fraud perpetrated by the Ramseys, with the help of their council, by pointing out their changing stories.

Note:  The complaint contains 141 Factual Allegations.  For purposes of brevity, we’ve addressed some of the most glaring contradictions and mendacious statements.


  1. Twenty years later, with the crime remaining unsolved, Defendants stole the headlines and viewership by maliciously and falsely accusing John of covering-up Burke’s crime in their four-hour Documentary, which they promised would reveal JonBenet’s killer.

REBUTTAL:  Burke Ramsey’s interview with Dr. Phil was the first JonBenet special to air in September 2016, ahead of the other special programming, including CBS’s The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey.  Weren’t John and Burke Ramsey the ones to “steal the headlines” by jockeying to have their interview broadcast first?  Also, let’s not ignore that Dr. Phil and John Ramsey share Lin Wood as their lawyer and both men conveniently appeared on the show in defense of Burke, along with Dr. Phil – not exactly an impartial host – who defended Burke himself in Episode 3.  Making sure you’re first in line to share your story is indeed controlling the narrative, is it not?

  1. Both the judicial system and the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office have previously declared John’s innocence in the death of his daughter.

REBUTTAL:  While John may enjoy a presumption of innocence, considering the case never went to trial, a judicial system has not declared John innocent.

  1. Despite being fully aware of Judge Carnes’ order, Defendants ignored and did not disclose the Wolf Decision during the Documentary, including many of key facts and information cited therein in support of Judge Carne’s decision.

REBUTTAL:  First, the purpose of the CBS show was to investigate the homicide of JonBenet Ramsey, not to revisit a civil case filed by a journalist, presided over by Judge Carnes.  Second, see the first paragraph of this blog post.  The Ramseys repeatedly made public statements about the Grand Jury clearing them of all charges, when they knew that was a total fabrication.  When John and Patsy appeared on Connecting Point with Reverend Wayne Cordiero, on a show where John praised God and spoke of living a good and spiritual life, he not only lied, but threw in a joke for good measure when he said [at 7:25 in the video]: “Thankfully the system did work.  Obviously a grand jury looked at our case and said, No.  And [chuckling] I will always be available for jury duty now that I see how important it is.”

  1. On July 9, 2008, former Boulder DA Lacy relied on newly discovered [Touch] DNA evidence to officially exonerate the Ramsey family (including John) in an open letter released to the public. DA Lacy found: New scientific evidence convinces us that it is appropriate, given the circumstances of this case, to state that we do not consider your immediate family including you, your wife, Patsy, and your son, Burke, to be under any suspicion in the commission of this crime. [snipped]

REBUTTAL:   First, start with this article which talks about the efficacy of Touch DNA.  Then consider this…. From…experts said the evidence showed that the DNA samples recovered from the long johns came from at least two people in addition to JonBenet – something Lacy’s office was told, according to documents obtained by the Camera and 9NEWs, but that she made no mention of in clearing the Ramseys. The presence of a third person’s genetic markers has never before been publicly revealed. The presence of that DNA on JonBenet’s underwear and long johns, be it from one or multiple people, may very well be innocent; the profiles were developed from minute samples that could have been the result of inconsequential contact with other people, or transferred from another piece of clothing.”  And this is the rock-solid evidence Lacy used to declare this murder a “DNA case” and in turn, completely cleared the Ramsey family of any wrong-doing.

  1. In early 1998, former Boulder PD Chief Mark Beckner stated during a news conference that Burke was not involved in the killing of JonBenet, was not a suspect in JonBenet’s murder, and was not being looked at as a suspect.

REBUTTAL:   If they’re referring to the well-known, televised press conference by Becker, the date was actually Dec 1997, not early 1998.  Beckner says in December 1997, “one of the most important tasks yet to do is the re-interviewing of some family members, specifically Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey, and their son, Burke Ramsey. We have made a formal request for these interviews and do expect this to completed in the near future.”

“We have an umbrella of suspicion and people have come and gone under that umbrella.  They [the Ramseys] do remain under an umbrella of suspicions, but, uh, we’re not ready to name any suspects.”  When asked if Burke was a suspect, Beckner answered “At this time, we’re treating him as a witness.” The implication of that statement is not the same as “Burke was not involved in the killing of JonBenet.”


When asked why they were calling the Ramseys back, Beckner also says “it’s been 6 months since they last spoke with them and “it’s not unusual to call people back and re-interview, especially in a case that’s this complex.  Also understand, it’s been approximately 6 months since we last interviewed the Ramseys During that time, there’s been a lot of investigation, we’ve uncovered a lot of new information, we have a lot of new questions, and, uh, they can help us answer those questions.  They are significant in this case and they have information that’s important to us.”

  1. In a sworn affidavit dated October 12, 2000, former Boulder DA Alex Hunter reaffirmed under oath that Burke had never been a suspect in the investigation into his sister’s murder. [snipped]

REBUTTAL:  From sequin star 2000-2006Alex Hunter didn’t devise this affidavit on his own. He was propositioned by Lin Wood on October 11, 2000, to sign an already written [by Wood] affidavit that would help minimize any future appearances by the DA’s office, including Hunter, in further Burke Ramsey litigation.  It’s important to note that Hunter didn’t automatically agree to sign what Wood sent him.  In fact, the portions of the affidavit that Hunter either revised or deleted are telling.  The following is the suggested Paragraph 6 that Hunter revised before signing:

“All questions related to Burke Ramsey’s possible involvement in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey were resolved to the satisfaction of the investigators and Burke Ramsey has never been viewed by investigators as a suspect in connection with the murder of his sister.”   And here’s what Hunter agreed to sign:

“From December 26, 1996, to the date of this affidavit, no evidence has ever been developed in the investigation to justify elevating Burke Ramsey’s status from that of witness to suspect.”  In other words, just because Burke wasn’t formally named a “suspect” doesn’t mean he wasn’t or hasn’t [or won’t be] investigated.  Hunter address this by deleting paragraph 9 and not replacing it.  Here’s the deleted text that he felt was necessary to remove before signing:

“from December 26, 1996 to the date of this Affidavit, Burke Ramsey has not been and is not at present, a suspect in the investigation into the murder of his sister, JonBenet Ramsey.”

  1. After the family returned home, John and Patsy put their children to bed and went to bed themselves soon after.

REBUTTAL:  In Linda Arndt’s police report, she stated: “JonBenet and her brother, Burke, went to bed shortly after the family returned home.  John Ramsey had read to JonBenet after she’d gone to bed, and before she went to sleepThis, reportedly, is what John told Arndt that morning.  Of course, he denies it, but Arndt doesn’t.  It was the last time John would mention reading in his narrative.  In all subsequent questioning, John never mentions reading again.

  1. Burke did not leave his bedroom during the night.

REBUTTAL to 112 & 117:  Burke said on Dr. Phil, in response Dr. Phil’s question about him sneaking out [that night] and going downstairs to play: “Yea. I remember being downstairs after everyone was kinda in bed.”

  1. John and Patsy checked on Burke, who appeared to them to be sleeping in his room.

REBUTTAL:  In Death of Innocence from 2000, and John’s book, the Other Side of Suffering from 2012, both John and Patsy claim to have gone to check on Burke, yet this is in contradiction to what Patsy stated in both her April 1997 and June 1998 interviews with police.  She says she didn’t check on Burke.

April 1997 Transcript:

TRUJILLO:  Right around the corner. Okay. When did you check on Burke during all this? You talked about John going to check on Burke.

PATSY:  Yeah. I think he ran and check on him when I was up, up there uh, you know, it just all happened so fast. I said, ‘Oh, my God. What about Burke?’ And I think he ran in and checked him while I was running back downstairs or something.


PATSY:  But I remember he, you know, I think he ran and checked on him and, and he told me he was okay or whatever.

TRUJILLO:  Okay. Was Burke still in the same bed? He hadn’t moved beds or anything like that?

PATSY:  I don’t know. I didn’t go in there and look.

June 1998 Transcript:

HANEY: Okay. Do you ever go up and check on Burke, you yourself?

PATSY: Oh, yeah. I mean, you mean like that or —

HANEY: This morning, the 26th. Let’s get you back there. We are still pacing around?

PATSY: Right. I don’t think I did. I think John said he was fine

  1. John opened the door to the Wine Cellar, turned on the light, and discovered JonBenet’s body.

This is also addressed later in John’s complaint with the following point:

  1. Defendants [CBS] knew and failed to disclose that John turned the light on before finding JonBenét as confirmed by John and the sole witness, Fleet White.

REBUTTAL:  John has no recollection of turning on the light, so he can’t factually state that he did.  From John’s deposition in Wolf v Ramsey, 2001:

HOFFMAN: When you opened the cellar door, can you describe with the best of your recollection today, what it was that you saw?

JOHN: I saw a white blanket and I knew immediately, I’d found JonBenét.

HOFFMAN: Had you turned the light on? Or.

JOHN: I don’t remember turning the light on (shaking head from side to side)

  1. The Ramsey home was not secure on the night of December 25, 1996. They had not turned their security alarm on, and at least seven windows and one door were found unlocked on the morning of December 26, 1996. A door from the kitchen to the outside was found open.

REBUTTAL:  In Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, Linda Hoffman-Pugh, the Ramsey’s housekeeper, recalls a conversation with Patsy at the memorial service in Boulder:

“Who could have done this to JonBenét?” Patsy asked.

“I wish I knew,” I said. “Are you sure you had all the doors locked?”

Yes, we are sure.”

“Are you sure you pushed the button on the patio door?”

We had all the windows and doors locked,” Patsy said.

  1. A rope was found inside of a brown paper sack in the guest bedroom on the second floor.

REBUTTAL:  The rope was not found in a brown paper sack as proven by the questioning of John by Smit in June 1998.  The brown paper sack seen in the picture was a Boulder PD evidence bag, yet, Wood seems to be implying in his Factual Allegation that somebody carried this rope into the house in a bag.  The rope was found in John Andrew’s back pack (used for climbing/scouting activities – John Andrew, just like Burke, was a scout)

June 1998 Transcript:

SMIT: But he could have had things there in his [John Andrew’s] backpack?

RAMSEY: It wouldn’t have been out of the question.

SMIT: Just for the camera, the photographs we are looking at is photo 113, 114, 115 and 116. – (0535-24)

MORGAN: May I ask just one question. Can you tell us if this is the form in which it was originally found?

SMIT: No, that’s the bag it was put in for evidence.

MORGAN: So the paper bag is just in evidence.

SMIT: Evidence bag. And again that was just found in the room, and it was found in a bag in her room, that’s all I can tell you at this time.

  1. Small pieces of the material of this brown sack were found in JonBenét’s bed and in the body bag that was used to transport her body.

REBUTTAL:  Revisit point #170 above, and you’ll understand just how mischievous this is.  Yes, there were pieces of brown sack found in the body bag and in JonBenet’s bed because it’s from the evidence bags used to collect evidence at the crime scene – as is typical in all investigations.

JonBenet 3

  1. John and Patsy disclaimed ownership and knowledge of that rope.

REBUTTAL:  In Patsy’s June 1998 interview, she couldn’t seem to recall the rope, yet, the rope, or one identical, can be seen in numerous pictures taken around the home from various timeframes.

June 1998 Transcript:

PATSY: I don’t recognize it, specifically.”

DEMUTH: “Okay. And that, that particular piece of rope, do you ever remember seeing anything like it around? And if you look at photo 115, you notice the… ends are unusually secured… can you think of any reason to have that kind of rope around?”

PATSY: “I’ve just never seen ends like that, done like that. John had some, you know, boat ropes and things up at the lake, but it seems like when they cut those they kind of melt the ends of them or something to keep them from fraying or something. I’ve never seen one done like that.”

DEMUTH: “The kind of ropes you’re talking about that John used up there”

PATSY: “For the sailboat or”

DEMUTH: “Are they colored the same or similar?”

PATSY: “Well, some of them have like little blue flecks in them or red, or there’s some white ones, you know.”

DEMUTH: “Okay. Do you know what, what those are composed of? Is it a nylon-like that melts?”

PATSY: “Yeah, it must, something that melts, yeah. But it seems to me like they somehow torch the ends and kind of keep them from fraying. I can’t remember seeing any one looking like that.”

DEMUTH: “You don’t remember that being used anywhere in the house or yard or”


DEMUTH: “Would you think that unusual to be found in the house?”

PATSY: Yeah, I mean, Burke had some ropes that he would play with through something out on the playground, you know, in that, in that picture yesterday the rope around the, the fort, you know, or something.” 

DEMUTH: “Right”

PATSY: “Always trying to make a boat or something like that.”

DEMUTH: “This was found inside the house”

PATSY: “Inside the house?”

DEMUTH: “In John Andrew’s room?”

PATSY: “Oh. Maybe it was a, some rope he used for camping or something, I don’t know.”

DEMUTH: “Did he have rope in his room that he would use for camping?”

PATSY: “…I don’t know. I just don’t remember seeing this specifically, and I don’t remember ever seeing a rope like that.”

DEMUTH: “Do you know John Andrew had a rope in that room?”



  1. An unidentified baseball bat was found on the north side of the house containing fibers consistent with fibers found in the carpet in the basement where JonBenét Ramsey’s body was found.

REBUTTAL:  Burke on Dr. Phil: “They showed me a picture of the baseball bat like on the side of the house or something [referring to the black bat on the ledge]. That was my baseball bat.” And by claiming ownership of that bat – he then claims ownership of the basement carpet fibers on the bat as well.

  1. In 2013, it was leaked to the media that the grand jury had voted to recommend that John and Patsy be indicted by the Boulder DA for “commit[ting] a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation which posed a threat of injury to the child’s life or health” and for “render[ing] assistance to a person with the intent to hinder, delay and prevent the discovery, detention, apprehension, prosecution, conviction and punishment of such a person knowing the person being assisted has committed and was suspected of the crime of Murder in the First Degree and Child Abuse Resulting in Death.”

REBUTTAL:  The [unsigned] True Bill Grand Jury indictments weren’t leaked.  Charlie Brennan successfully filed suit in court requesting the documents be made public, citing the Freedom of Information Act, and the judge unsealed the documents.  Unsealed documents are public record.  To my point from the beginning of this post, it resonates that all Lin Wood can say about these extremely damning indictments is that they’re leaked, and even that’s not true.

We’ll leave it at that… for now… and will leave you with this thought from one of the [anonymous] grand jurors who voted to indict John and Patsy on four counts, collectively, in 1999.

“It’s still unresolved,” one juror said. “Somebody did something pretty horrible that wasn’t punished. I’m not saying that I am at peace. But I had sympathy with his (Hunter’s) decision. I could see the problem that he was in. I could understand what he was doing.”Daily Camera, 1/27/13

Why would a juror who spent over a year of their time considering the evidence be understanding of Hunter’s decision to ignore their vote?  What do the jurors know?

jonbenet 11

Our Message to the Media

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:

  1. Which neighbor arrived at the Ramsey’s first?
  2. What happened to the Ramseys’ phone records for December?
  3. What happened to JonBenét’s panties?
  4. 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?
  5. Why is the ownership of the supposed murder weapon – the MagLite torch – so murky?
  6. Why are there no fingerprints on the murder weapon or on the Ransom Note?
  7. 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.


Available on Amazon

Coming in 2017…

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…