Monday, September 24, 2012

The Ramsey Interview On CNN

We are currently working through the ransom note in an attempt to learn where the language came from, since even deception does not come from a void. 

Statement Analysis of Ramsey CNN interview. Quotes in italics. Statement Analysis in bold type. The inclusion of commentary is also in bold type. The article's commentary is in plain text.  As we work through the ransom note, it is important to bring readers up to date with Statement Analysis (taken from the original blog) 

Note that at the time of the interview, the police had accused the Ramseys of not cooperating.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And Brian is here, he conducted an exclusive interview today with the child's parents, John and Patricia Ramsey.

BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: First of all, from a newsstand point, a couple of item's came out, the Ramsey are going to be putting together their own investigative team, they say, private investigaters. This is not meant as any disrespect, they say, for the Colorado authorities. They just want the best mind possible, they say, looking into this crime.

Note that the family used their financial resources to construct their own "investigatory team" which included defense attorneys. This is a highly unusual step in a child murder. When hiring defense attorneys, the Ramseys:

1. Believed they had a need to attorneys
2. Brought strong public criticism upon themselves.
3. The Ramseys, themselves, brought greater focus upon their own behaviors in terms of Behavioral Analysis, which had already shown that they were not cooperating but hindering the investigation from the very beginning. 

Secondly, they will be offering a reward perhaps as much as $50,000 starting next week. It has been a very difficult week as you might expect for the Ramsey family, a very difficult interview as well, we talked to them for about 45 minutes.  

Do they fear losing the money?  Please note the amount of the money is less than half of his Christmas bonus.  

This is also unusual. The norm is to have money raised for a reward; including law enforcement and private citizens working together to entice somoene with knowledge to come forward.

CABELL: Why did you decide you wanted to talk now?

JOHN B. RAMSEY, JONBENET'S FATHER: Well we have been pretty isolated -- totally isolated -- for the last five days, but we've sensed from our friends that this tragedy has touched not just ourselves and our friends but many people. And we know that there's many people that are praying for us, that are grieving with us. And we want to thank them, to let them know that we are healing, and that we know in our hearts that JonBenet is safe and with God and that the grieving that we all have to do is for ourselves and for our loss, but we want to thank those people that care about us.

Notice first that the question is "why" did you decide to talk "now".

Let's look at John Ramsey's answer as to "why".

"Well we have been pretty isolated -- totally isolated -- for the last five days"

"wellmay be habitual manner of speaking; generally used as a pause to think. As with all habitual speech, we look to see if a pattern develops of when any 'delaying' or pause words are used. It can indicate that the question asked is sensitive.

"we have been pretty isolated". In Statement Analysis, extra words give us additional information. If a sentence works without a word, the word is deemed "extra" and is valuable to the analyst.
"We have been isolated" is a straight forward answer. Here we have the additional word "pretty"; which would indicate a sensitivity. Someone who is "pretty" isolated is somewhat isolated. Remember, words are chosen in less than a microsecond. Ramsey then contradicts himself with another additional word, "totally" isolated.

"for the last five days" is added. This would indicate that they were not "pretty" isolated, or even "totally" isolated before the 5 days.
5 days have elapsed since the death of Jonbenet and police have accused the Ramseys of stalling and not cooperating fully with the investigation. In most investigations, and likely in all murder investigations, it is the norm to reinterview those close to the victim and the police had vented their frustration that the Ramseys were not cooperating with follow up interviews, and later accused the Ramseys of setting boundaries and limits to the interviews.

Ramsey said they were "pretty isolated" but then changed it to "totally" isolated, reducing commitment to the issue.

Next, we have the word "but" which is a refutation of what was previously said.

"but we've sensed from our friends that this tragedy has touched not just ourselves and our friends but many people".

From the morning of the 26th of December, the Ramseys called in a lawyer, minister, and family friends and surrounded themselves with these people. "But" refutes his claim of isolation, which he already weakened with "pretty" and "totally".

Therefore, as he contradicts the view of "isolation" it is determined that John Ramsey is being deceptive.
Note the language of his daughter's murder is a "tragedy" that has "touched" them and others. This is unusually soft language.  We expect to hear rage from the father of a murdered daughter, not something that "touches" but something that devastates and destroys.  One should wonder why he shows no anger towards the murderer, and no rage for justice.  

Ramsey then gives the answer as to "why" they are now speaking:

And we know that there's many people that are praying for us, that are grieving with us. And we want to thank them, to let them know that we are healing

He stated that they came to do this interview to "thank" the people who are praying for them and to tell them that they are "healing".
This is also unusual.

If you found your child murdered in your home, would you feel the need to, a week later, go on national TV to say "thank you" and tell people that you are healing? Would you be healing at such a time of crisis? This gave the appearance of "spin" and a presentation of the family. Why would such a presentation of the family be necessary? If your child was murdered, would you feel a need to have the nation view your family image? For most people, they would be blind by grief and care nothing for what others thought of them. 

Parents of a murdered child would want the killer caught, first and foremost.  Refusing to be interviewed by police, they have instead chosen to go on television and spend their own money to hire their own investigators.  Now, the father uses plural pronouns ("we, us") and employs soft language towards the murder, and its impact, and what is missing is also shocking:  rage towards the killer.

But Ramsey goes on in his answer and gives us an insight into his thinking:

and that we know in our hearts that JonBenet is safe and with God and that the grieving that we all have to do is for ourselves and for our loss, but we want to thank those people that care about us.

The police want to catch Jonbenet's killer.
The Ramseys do not want to help the police catch Jonbenet's killer. 
The Ramseys language shows concern for the sensitivities of others; to thank them. 
The soft language is not expected from innocent parents. 

 They do not show fear that the killer might target their son.
They do not show fear the killer will strike other children.

He tells the nation that Jonbenet is "safe" now that she is dead. 
This indicates that prior to being dead, she was not safe. This is a theme that we now listen for. This is a critical point.   Why was Jonbenet not "safe" before her murder?

We now have Patsy Ramsey's answer to "why" they are speaking now:

PATRICIA RAMSEY, JONBENET'S MOTHER: We have just been overwhelmed by the cards and letters and visits and people we haven't seen for years have come to call and be supportive in their -- many of them are parents, and they know and can feel our grief.

She reported that they (plural) have been overwhelmed by cards, letters and visits, including people that they have not seen for years.

This shows that the sensitivity indicators in John Ramsey's language ( he went from being pretty isolated to totally isolated as police attempted to get them in to talk) shows deception. John reported that he and Patsy were "totally" isolated in the past 5 days; but Patsy Ramsey reported that they were "overwhelmed" which included people visiting tha they had not seen for years. 

One cannot be totally isolated and overwhelmed by people.  "Cards, letters, and visits" have overwhelmed them (plural according to her language).

Therefore, the answer given as to "why" is not acceptable.  He has come forward because they were isolated?  She has come forth because she has been overwhelmed with people.

Investigators listening to the CNN interview would then ask themselves:

Why do the Ramseys have the need to lie?
Why do the Ramseys have the need to avoid being interviewed separately?

RAMSEY, J: But the other -- the other reason is that -- for our grief to resolve itself we now have to find out why this happened.

John Ramsey then says that there is another reason why they came forward, so soon after their daughter's murder, to speak to the nation: the need to know "why" Jonbenet was murdered.
He does not ask the expected:  Who done it?  The "who done it?" exists only in mysteries that need to be solved.

Note: Avinoam Sapir, Labratory for Scientific Interrogation pointed out that John Ramsey did not ask "who" killed his daughter; only "why"; which is an indication that he knew who killed her.  Please see his analysis at for more detail. 

CABELL: There has been some question as to why you hired a defense attorney.

RAMSEY, J: I know. Well, we were fortunate from almost the moment that we found the note to be surrounded by friends, our minister, our family doctor, a personal friend of mine who is also an attorney, and we relied on their guidance almost from that moment on and my friend suggested that it would be foolish not to have knowledgeable counsel to help both us and with the investigation.

Note the timing:   It was important for them to have people there at a certain point.  It is not when they found the body that he refers to, but the finding of the note.  What would be the most important reference point for you?  Finding a fake ransom note, or finding your daughter's body?  He could have chosen any particular moment:  he chose the note. 

Note that John Ramsey gives a time line for being "surrounded" by friends as being "almost the moment" that "we" found the note. This is weighed against his "total isolation".  One should wonder why it is that he reports being isolated, collectively, while being "surrounded" by people.  

This leads to the question:  Who has isolated John Ramsey?

Please note that John Ramsey refused to be interviewed by police by himself.  Patsy Ramsey refused to be interviewed by police by herself.  Perhaps this is the "isolation" he refers to:  from police.  He has defense attorneys to protect him and Patsy and has surrounded himself with supporters. 

The only people that John and Patsy Ramsey were isolated from were those responsible for finding Jonbenet's killer. 

Note also that his friend "suggested" that it would be "foolish" not to have "knowledgeable counsel" (not just "counsel") to help both "us" (not to help "us" but "both" us; additional wording emphasizing why both would need attorneys) and to help with the investigation.

Question:  How would defense attorneys help "with the investigation"? 

Answer:  Defense attorneys seek to stop the flow of information in order to protect their clients. 

Solving Jonbenet's murder means getting information. 

Solving Jonbenet's murder and the work of defense attorneys is in opposition. 

By stalling interviews; by shopping various polygraphers, by refusing to release the results, by making the rules of the interviews, and so forth, they have opposed the flow of information. In short, by doing everything they could to sabotage the investigation, including orchestrating a public appearance on national television a week from the murder, the defense attorneys have done what they could to stop information.

This is in stark contrast to John Walsh, America's Most Wanted; and the general behavior of innocent parents. Innocent parents take immediate polygraphs, interviews, DNA submissions; in short, innocent parents do anything they can to help; and are often found "pestering" law enforcement daily for answers. Note that John Ramsey's initial reaction was to arrange to fly his family out of Boulder; leaving behind his daughter's body; something parents are generally unable to bear even the thought.

John Ramsey's statement shows that he knew, from the finding of the note, that he needed "counsel" and in particular, he was going to need a lawyer to help with "the investigation."  The only people who need lawyers in investigations are the guilty.  

RAMSEY, P: And if anyone knows anything, please, please help us. For the safety of all of the children, we have to find out who did this.

Note that Patsy wants to find out "who" did this, for the "safety of all of the children" which may have been in response to the public statement by police that Boulder was safe from an unknown child killer.  This is different than John Ramsey's statement.  

But is her statement strong?  She gives the reason to find out "who" did this:  for the safety of all the children.  This is her reason "why", which is sensitive.  It is not for justice for Jonbenet, nor even safety for her own son, but for "all the children."

This must be taken in context with what she first says:

"if anyone knows anything"

Would not someone know something?  Why the need to qualify with the word, "if"?  This reminds me of Jeremy Irwin who told media that his daughter was kidnapped, only to say "if someone has her..." reducing his commitment to the notion of a kidnapping. 

RAMSEY, J: Not because we're angry, but because we have got to go on.

A missing child, or a murdered child is something very personal to a parent.  It is unusual to hear them always speak in the plural.  The expected is the more personal use of the pronoun, "I" when speaking, even as a spokesman for both.  The overabundance of the word "we" in situations likes these suggests a need or desire to share guilt/responsibility (Dillingham)

John is not angry. This is not the reaction of an innocent father who's daughter has just been murdered.  Please note the position in which the body was found, a staging to appear to show Jonbenet tortured before death. 

If your child was murdered, you would be angry.  If your child was tortured before being murdered, your anger would burn hotter than words could describe accurately.  

An innocent parent would have boiling wrath.  This is the expected.  

Objection:  John Ramsey is just numb with shock. 
Answer:     his refusal to cooperate with police shows an intellect engaged for a reason.  He showed anger at the police, and not the killer; this showed emotions engaged.  His language towards the killer is consistently soft.  He is not numb, but working the publicity and propaganda well. 

John Ramsey called the brutal murder a "tragedy"
John Ramsey did not ask who killed Jonbenet.
John Ramsey did not call for the killer to be caught. 
John Ramsey used soft language to describe the impact of the murder as "touched" lives. 
Now, John Ramsey makes sure people know he is not "angry." 

Where is the righteous anger and indignation of a father of a murdered daughter?

Why would John Ramsey want the public to think that they are not angry? This was another criticism of "spin" against the Ramseys, seeking to portray themselves in the most positive light possible. It is an unnatural reaction that suggests deception.

 A mother bear robbed of its whelp is dangerous; how much more so the parents (John says "we") of a murdered child? It was the anger that John Walsh felt that he eventually channeled into helping others and turned it into "America's Most Wanted."

 Remember, this is just a week away from the murder where his daughter was found bound and with a garrote around her neck. 

RAMSEY, P: We can't -- we can't --

RAMSEY, J: This -- we cannot go on until we know why. There's no answer as to why our daughter died.

John repeats that he wants to know why (not who) but then tells us that there is no answer as to "why". This raises our own question: Why would there be no answer?

CABELL: Are you fully convinced that your daughter was kidnapped by some outsiders outside your family or circle of friends?

RAMSEY, J: Yes. I -- we don't -- you know, it's just so hard to know, but we are -- our family is a loving family. It's a gentle family. We have lost one child. We know how precious their lives are .

Follow the pronouns:  Before he can complete one sentence, he says, "I, we, you" which is a strong indication that he is deceptively withholding information through self censoring.

Broken sentences are indications of withholding information; including Patsy's "we can't" above. Here, John changes his flow of information so that he can tell the nation that they are a "loving" family.

Repetition shows sensitivity. John Ramsey repeats "family" with regards to public image. There are two things he wants the nation to know:

The family is loving.

This is an indication that the family had turmoil and stress. When a subject must tell us that they are "loving", there is a reason why it is included. Most families are considered "loving" and don't feel the need to say so. But John Ramsey goes further. He not only wants the public to know that they were "loving" but also that they were "gentle".

"Gentle" is a term applied to someone who is not violent. Why is it important for John Ramsey to tell the public that his family is "gentle"? This raises more questions.

He also says they lost "one" child.

Note: John Ramsey lost an older daughter in a car accident years earlier.

CABELL: Mrs. Ramsey -- you found the note. Was it a handwritten note, three pages?

Note the question asked.

RAMSEY, P: I didn't -- I couldn't read the whole thing I -- I just gotten up.

The broken sentence tells us that she is withholding information. She began with "didn't" but then changes to "couldn't".

We also have Patsy Ramsey giving us the reason why she didn't or couldn't read the note: she had just gotten up. When a subject tells us the reason of something, it is highly sensitive.

We were on our -- it was the day after Christmas, and we were going to go visiting, and it was quite early in the morning, and I had got dressed

Here, Patsy tells us she was awake and alert enough to get dressed.

and was on my way to the kitchen to make some coffee, and we have a back staircase from the bedroom areas,

Again, she is telling us "why" and not "what happened" indicating an area of sensitivity

and I always come down that staircase, and I am usually the first one down.

We now come upon an important aspect in Statement Analysis and an indication that Patsy Ramsey may be being deceptive.

In Statement Analysis, we only believe what we are told and do not interpret. If someone does not mention being married, we do not conclude that they are married. If they do not tell us that they did something, we do not attribute that thing to them as having been done

Here, Patsy Ramsey does not tell us that she came down the stairs and found the note. This is an indication that she is being deceptive.

for example

Supervisor: "What time did you get to work today?"
Employee: "Oh, man. I usually get to work a few minutes before 8. I like to get my coffee and be ready for the clients. I think they appreciate my punctuality and how ready I am for them at 8 on the dot!"
Note: the subject did not answer the question. The subject would like you to interpret that she was there a few minutes early but does not say so. Lying is stressful and people attempt to avoid lying.

Note: In Statement Analysis, when someone does not answer a question, the subject has answered the question.

Here, Patsy Ramsey tells us what she usually does. We cannot say that she came down the steps and found the note after getting dressed; on her way to making coffee.

Statement Analysis deems that this account is not reliable and that Patsy Ramsey is being deceptive. We cannot say that this happened, leading to the question: Why is she lying? Did she go to bed that night?

Because the answer is not reliable, we not only question about her coming down the stairs, but she was not likely the "first" one that morning.

And the note was lying across the -- three pages -- across the run of one of the stair treads, and it was kind of dimly lit.

Statement Analysis is 90% rules of grammar. It is 10% specific language and engaging principles of discourse. We flag unusual words for all statements. We flag when a subject mentions an inanimate object as "lying, laying, sitting, seated, standing, stood, etc" as an indication of tension present. This is especially useful when "drugs are sitting on the table", as this type of description is generally an indicator that the subject put the drugs on the table, since drugs don't "sit" or "lay".

This is an indication that Patsy Ramsey, the subject, likely placed the note on the stairs.

"across one of the stair treads. It was dimly lit"

This is an indication of deception. When a subject gives extra details, it can often be an attempt to persuade, just as too vague a report is an indication of deception. A good example is found with Casey Anthony's description of Zanny the Nanny, where Casey went into unnecessary (and unrealistic) detail, including teeth, family, hair straightener, dog, and so on, in an attempt to persuade rather than report. 

It was just very early in the morning, and I started to read it, and it was addressed to John. It said "Mr. Ramsey," And it said, "we have your daughter." And I -- you know, it just was -- it just wasn't registering, and I -- I may have gotten through another sentence. I can't -- "we have your daughter." and I don't know if I got any further than that. And I immediately ran back upstairs and pushed open her door, and she was not in her bed, and I screamed for John.

Note: first person singular, past tense, establishes commitment. Here, Patsy accurately reports what the note said. She screamed for John, but reported that Burke (her son)slept through it all. Later, the enhanced 911 call cast doubt on her claim that Burke was asleep.
Broken sentences indicate information that began, but was halted and withheld.
Extra words show sensitivity: note that it was "very" early and that she "immediately" ran upstairs. These words show that it is important to Patsy that the audience know her reaction as immediate. Since it would not be plausible for a mother to read a ransom note, but then stop, make coffee and do her make up, it is unnecessary information and appears as an attempt to persuade.

CABELL: John, you subsequently read the note. Was there anything in there that struck you in any sense?

RAMSEY, J: Well, no. I mean, I read it very fast. I was out of my mind. And it said "Don't call the police." You know, that type of thing. And I told Patsy, call the police immediately. And I think I ran through the house a bit.

RAMSEY, P: We went to check our son.

Is this before or after she called 911? Is this before, after, or during the time when he "ran" through the house, "a bit". Why is "a bit" added? The sentence works without it. It is reasonable to expect that when JonBenet was discovered missing that the large house would be searched, yet John only ran "a bit". Where did he run to?

Note also "our son". A mother will generally say "my" unless:

foster child
step child
step parenting involved

or, there is thoughts of divorce.

RAMSEY, J: Checked our son's room. Sometimes she sleeps in there. And we just were --

Missing pronoun noted. John does not commit to his statement and neither can we. This is likely also not reliable information. Note that she interrupts at this point, showing how sensitive it is. The events run in time.

A truthful account does not tax the memory. It can be repeated like a parade going before your eyes; backwards and forwards. The Ramseys have not been consistent (Burke sleeping) and the time line of events appears sensitive to both Ramseys.

RAMSEY, P: We were just frantic.

CABELL: How did you happen later to look in the basement?

RAMSEY, J: Well, we'd waited until after the time that the call was supposed to have been made to us, and one of the detectives asked me and my friend who was there to go through every inch of the house to see if there was anything unusual or abnormal that looked out of place.

Here we have another indicator of deception. Pronouns are considered the most important part of investigatory speech. Pronouns give ownership and are ingrained within us since our first days of speech. "my daddy" "my toy". Innocent people, for instance, will not take ownership of something they are innocent of:

"for those of you who believe in my guilt..." OJ Simpson

John reported that he found the body. Here, he begins with "we", which is an indication that his account is not reliable. This was hours later. Didn't he search the house ealier when he "ran" through it? Instead, although his daughter had been "missing" for hours, a father didn't search the house, the doors, the windows?

one of the detectives asked me and my friend who was there

"who was there" are additional words. This is sensitive and it is important to John that there were others present. (recall the isolation)

to go through every inch of the house to see if there was anything unusual or abnormal that looked out of place.

RAMSEY, P: Look for clues I guess.

Patsy gives the reason why the house would be searched. John repeats back her words; reflection shows sensitivity. The search is highly sensitive to both. This may be an indication that both knew where the body was.

RAMSEY, J: Look for clues, asking us to do that,

note that this violates the formula of First person singular, past tense for reliability: "asking" is present tense. Since we know from the detective Linda Arndt that she did ask him to search the house (she stated that she feared him), why wouldn't John relate this in past tense? Why the need for sensitivity? This may also indicate that he knew where the body was and as the subject is approached, the sensitivity increases.

give us something more to do to occupy our mind, and so we started in the basement, and -- and we were just looking, and we -- one room in the basement that -- when I opened the door -- there were no windows in that room, and I turned the light on, and I -- that was her.

John then tells us that focus is an issue: not only to look to see if something is abnormal, but to "occupy" "our mind" (note contradiction of singluar v plural) and "we were just looking" with the word "just" as a reduction.

Broken sentence: change of thought; withheld information.

Note: opening and closing of door. When this enters a statement, it is closely linked with sexual abuse of a child. In subjects, it is often found "opening" a door by the abusive parent and "closing" the door often enters into the language of the abused child. For the abused child, the opening of a door represents the start of the sexual abuse, which is too painful often to talk about, so the child will often say he or she remembers the door "closing" as it is often associated with "relief" since the abuser has now left and the abuse is over.

In Statement Analysis, the opening and closing of doors; the turning on and off of lights and the introduction of water (washing, etc) are three indicators of sexual abuse or activity, so that when any of the three enter a statement they are automatically flagged by the analyst.

For example:
"washing my hands
In a sexual homicide, the killer stated that he had picked up the victim hitchiking, and later reports stopping for gas and ". The "washing" of the hands; something people do without reporting it, was an indication that the rape had taken place just prior to the rest stop.

Or, when someone describes going to bed, they don't feel a need to say that they turned off the lights before sleeping; it is just something we all do. But when it is important enough to mention in a statement, it is because it holds importance to the subject: something took place out of the ordinary. This is why Statement Analysis will flag these words.

Here, John Ramsey mentions two factors: opening the door and turning on the light. both are flagged for sexual abuse by John Ramsey.

There are linguistic indications that John Ramsey was likely sexually abusing his daughter. (see for analysis)

RAMSEY, P: She was --

CABELL (on camera): Mr. Ramsey did confirm that duct tape was found on his daughter's mouth. I asked him about a cord found around her neck, that was a report out of Colorado today, he said he didn't see, it could have been there but he was panicked at that point. He picked up the body, ran screaming upstairs, hoping she was still alive, of course she was not.

There was also a reference to another child that was lost. They lost his daughter -- his adult daughter -- about four years ago in an auto accident. This is the second child they have lost.

Note that the CNN interviewer calls John Ramsey's older daughter, who died in a car accident, "his" adult daughter. This is correct usage, without the need to share with Patsy.  This is in context with the almost inability to speak for himself regarding Jonbenet. 

Coming up in just a few minutes, we address the question -- I address the question -- to them of their being suspects themselves. That's natural in a case like this and we'll ask them about that coming up.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: At this hour we're concentrating on the murder of JonBenet Ramsey which has shocked and saddened many in her home town of Boulder, Colorado.

ALLEN: CNN's Brian Cabell this afternoon had exclusive interview with her parents and he's here again with more of the emotional interview after the killing.

CABELL: As you know in cases like this it's very normal police procedure to look at the family first of all as possible suspects in this case. The Ramsey's say they understand this, they're well aware of the Susan Smith case of a couple of years ago, they understand that possibly they would be looked at suspiciously and they say they accept this.

CABELL (off camera): You were asked shortly thereafter for a hair sample and writing sample, blood sample. Who else was asked for this?

RAMSEY, J: Well, Patsy and I, Burke, our son, who is nine, every family member.

John introduces Burke, by name and pronoun. He was likely close to Burke. Social introductions are important. John and Patsy introduced each other differently, indicating that Patsy felt closer to John than John did to Patsy.

For example:

"Mr. Johnson, my supervisor, asked me to..." This type of social introduction is indicative of a good working relationship.

"My supervisor told me..." has the name withheld, and "told" rather than the softer "said", indicating some tension or distance.

John said his entire family.

Note that John introduces Burke as "our" son.  Most parents will say "my son" unless there is a sharing element involved.  A sharing element can be:

1.  Step parenting
2.  Other caregivers not married
3.  Foster parenting
4.  Adoption

5.  Possible impending divorce.  It can be indicative that one parent may be considering divorce. 

CABELL: Including your two elder children?

RAMSEY, J: Uh-huh.

This would affirm that both of his older children gave DNA samples.

CABELL: Any friends?

RAMSEY, J: I don't know.

In a child murder case, the parents are in with the police constantly, and seek to know every possible detail. They also speak to their friends and likely know who the police have spoken to.  They lose sleep attempting to remember any possible detail that might help police find the killer.  This is similar to missing child cases:  the parent never wants the flow of information to police to stop, unless the parent has guilty knowledge of the child's demise and wants to shut off the valve of information.  "And that's all I know" is not something an innocent parent will likely say. 

CABELL: Now, did you give the samples?

RAMSEY, J: Uh-huh.

CABELL: Oh, really? Because the word was that they thought you were too grief stricken. So both of you, you gave samples?


CABELL: Were you offended by that?


RAMSEY, P: It was difficult. But, you know, they need to know -- I mean our hand prints are all over our home, so they need to know if there's -- if there are other ones --

John denied being offended at giving samples and he did not elaborate on the comment made about the difference in information where police reported that they were too upset to provide samples.

The innocent parent of a murdered child is filled with resolve. The anger drives them to not only cooperate, but get others to cooperate and it drives them to stay on top of the police. The mother bear robbed of its whelp is a fiery subject who will be pacified easily. This is why some of the unsolved cases including the South Amboy, NJ case where a 6 year old boy went missing at a carnival, only later to be found beheaded, focused upon the mother (still uncharged) as her post event behavior, along with her deception, brought the focus upon her.

Innocent parents give samples immediately because they are focused on catching the killer. They are filled with angry resolve. They are not insulted. They do not need lawyers. Their boldness is noted by police and they are quickly cleared. This is the norm.

John and Patsy Ramsey were not angry, and they did their best to hinder the investigation into the murder of their daughter.

The Ramseys hired famed FBI profiler, John Douglas, who concluded that John didn't fit the profile of a child killer.  He said that John did not have a history and would not have graduated right to murder.
I have read (and enjoyed) John Douglas' books. 

I have two rebuttals of his premise:

1.  History of abuse. 

There were indicators of abuse. Jonbenet had a series of infections. She was also bedwetting. The doctor saw her many times; far more than normal, and did not make a report. My years in child protective have taught me that doctors do not make reports of well-to-do parents, as suspicion for abuse and/or neglect is low. The well to do family is under less financial strain than others, which can contribute to abuse/neglect.

2. Since that time, news story after news story (now portrayed nightly on HLN) shows harsh crimes committed by those without histories of violence. Recently, a 17 year old was convicted of killer another girl; up close and personal. She had no criminal record and was reportedly not in trouble and was not known for violence in her home nor at school.

There are just those who committ violent crimes who do not "work their way up" the ladder of violence; and though many do, we also have the classic "under reporting"; especially in domestic violence where denial is the norm.  I agree that history is the best predictor of the future, but it is not absolute.  

CABELL: The police said a couple of days ago, to assure other residents of Boulder there is no killer on the loose here, you can be assured everything is under control. You believe it's someone outside your home.

RAMSEY, P: There is a killer on the loose.

RAMSEY, J: Absolutely.

They both are able to say this emphatically.  This appears to be something they know with certainty. 

RAMSEY, P: I don't know who it is. I don't know if it's a he or a she. But if I were a resident of Boulder, I would tell my friends to keep -- keep your babies close to you, there's someone out there.

LSI pointed out that inconsistency in this fear as Patsy described living in a safe neighborhood in another interview.

Please note that this was a week after the murder.  She already has distanced herself from the area in which her daughter was murdered.  She only says "if" she was a resident of Boulder, even though, legally, she was.  
Note the distancing language:

1.  If she was a resident of Boulder
2.  She "would" which is future/conditional tense.  This is not a strong declaration. 
3.  Soft language:  "there's someone out there":   "Someone"?  This is soft language. 

CABELL: An FBI spokesman was quoted as saying at this point they don't regard it necessarily as a kidnapping. You think that's a wrong assumption?

RAMSEY, J: I don't know. I mean, there is a -- a note that said -- your daughter has been kidnapped. We have your daughter. We want money. You give us the money; she'll be safely returned.
RAMSEY, P: It seemed like kidnapping to me.

The Ransom note has been extensively analyzed as deceptive (see the analysis of the ransom note at A true ransom note is short, to the point, and demands a lot of money. Patsy was not ruled out as the author, and in it, is the demand for the exact amount of John Ramsey's Christmas bonus. There are also linguistic indicators that Patsy wrote it. It wasn't a kidnapping.

RAMSEY, J: I guess that's what concerns me because if we don't have the full resources of all the law enforcement community on this case, I am going to be very upset.

John is not angry at the murder of his daughter.
John does not ask who killed his daughter.
John will be "upset" (future tense) if he doesn't have the "full" resources of law enforcement, even though Boulder police worked with the FBI. This is likley deceptive.
Note that all those hired by the Ramseys believed that the Ramseys were innocent.
How many families of murdered children hire their own investigators on day one of a case? It is something few can afford, and is generally only done when the case goes cold. Here, we have it while the case is "hot"; with the Ramseys cooperating with their own hired help, but not with the full resources of the "community" in which they lived.

CABELL: Inevitably, speculation on talk shows will focus on you. It's got to be a sickening --

RAMSEY, J: It's nauseating beyond belief.

RAMSEY, P: You know, America has just been hurt so deeply with the -- this -- the tragic things that have happened. The young woman who drove her children into the water, and we don't know what happened with the O.J. Simpson -- and I mean, America is suffering because have lost faith in the American family.

Note that Patsy associates her case with Susan Smith and OJ Simpson.

We are a Christian, God-fearing family. We love our children. We would do anything for our children.

With the alleged murder 'loose" on the streets and unknown, why would Patsy Ramsey feel the need to tell the nation that they are "Christian", "God fearing" and that they love their children?
Innocent parents of murdered children are on the move. They are proactive, helpful, and are often described as "pains in the necks" of law enforcement because they search for the killer. Here, we see why the Ramseys were accused of public relations:

They wouldn't talk repeatedly and freely to the police, but instead spoke to the nation;
they engaged in shameless self promotion; describing themselves as "loving", "gentle", "Christian" and "God fearing" which is designed to influence public opinion rather than contribute anything to finding justice for Jonbenet.

When the bizarre behavior of a parent is called upon, the parent often responds by saying, "there is no book on grieving" or "everyone reacts differently in a tragedy". Cindy Anthony said this when Casey danced, got a tattoo and celebrated Caylee's death.

There is, however, a "book" on how parents react.

There are indicators of guilt and of innocence and law enforcment studies these things in great detail.

A general rule of thumb:

Innocent families work hard with law enforcement to advance the investigation;
Guilty families will hinder the work of law enforcement.

CABELL: Do you truly think the perpetrator will be found?

RAMSEY, J: Yes. Yes. Has to be found.

Repetition shows sensitivity. 

Note the  missing pronoun.   
Question for John:  Who has to be found?

Most people will automatically say "he" or "they", yet, didn't John Ramsey receive a ransom note from a "small foreign faction"? That would mean "they". The missing pronoun shows a lack of committment by John Ramsey.  He cannot even bring himself to say "the SOB killer of my daughter has to be found!" since he is portraying himself in such soft, gentle language.  In the same manner, he offered that they were a "gentle" family. 

Hearing this, from his own language, offered instead of as in response to a question, would lead me to want to know more about possible domestic violence inside the home. 

CABELL: Do you think it's a single individual?

RAMSEY, J: Yes. In my heart I do.

then it is not a small "foriegn faction"?  The ransom note was specifically plural, not singular.  Note that in his "heart" he does.  Elsewhere, does he think there is more than one person responsible, overall, for what happened to Jonbenet?  Does he blame someone else, intellectually, but not in his heart?  

CABELL: Do you take some comfort in believing that JonBenet Ramsey is in a better place.

RAMSEY, J: Yes. That's the one thing we want people dealing with us to know, to believe that, we know that in our heart.

RAMSEY, P: She'll never have to know the loss of a child . She will never have to know cancer or death of a child.

In studies of children murdered by their parents, a strong category arose in which a child was killed to "protect" the child from future abuse. The parent feels that the child (or children) must be saved from "sin" or from "suffering". In these cases, it was often found that the children were suffering at the hands of a family member prior to the death.  

RAMSEY, J: We learned when we lost our first child that people would come forward to us, that sooner or later everyone carries a very heavy burden in this life. And JonBenet didn't carry any burdens.

This is a negation and indicates that Jonbenet did, indeed, suffer from carrying burdens in her young life.
note the language of "our first child"; as Patsy was the step mother and not biological.

CABELL: The Ramseys are staying here in the Atlanta area with family right now. They say they intend to go back to Boulder within a few days, precisely when they're not quite sure. They say when they go back they will sit down with the Boulder police. They will talk. They will tell them anything they want to know.  Note that Patsy Ramsey did not consider herself a resident of Boulder, though she was.  Here, Cabell knows of her intention to return to Boulder. 

ALLEN: Brian, are police saying anymore about the investigation? Leads or evidence from the home?

CABELL: Police have not been particularly forthcoming about leads perhaps deliberately so, but they have said very little as to forced entry, anything like that we simply do not know. The police are keeping that to themselves at this point.

WATERS: What's intriguing to me is the Boulder cop said -- assured the public -- there was no killer on the loose. Now, that suggests they may have a line on who did this. Isn't that what --

CABELL: You start to question that, but keep in mind this was the first and only murder in Boulder this year so there was a bit of panic, a bit of alarm in the community. I think the police were simply trying to tell them: Don't worry we have everything under control, we have police out in the streets. They did step up their surveillance, so perhaps that's the way to explain that.

ALLEN: When was the last time they saw JonBenet Ramsey?

CABELL: When they put her to bed Christmas night, as a matter of fact, and sometime between the time they put her to bed and 5:50 or so the following morning she was apparently abducted from her bed.

WATERS: Did I hear the Ramseys are putting out some money to hire private investigators?

CABELL: They will be assembling their own private investigative team, exactly how many individuals we don't know, but private investigators, attorneys, they say they want the best investigative minds in the country. They want to coordinate this with the authorities in Boulder and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. But they are hiring their own people and offer a reward starting next week.

The investigatory team hired by the Ramseys all believed in the Ramsey innocence. Attorneys "polygraph shopped" until they found the results they sought, yet would not release the results of the polygraph; only agreed to allow the polygrapher to be interviewed. The "team" also dictated the terms of the interviews and did everything legal, within their power, to inhibit the investigation.

Readers may draw their own conclusions on why.

WATERS: What kind of reward?

CABELL: Fifty-thousand dollars was the figure he tossed out there. He wasn't absolutely certain but he thought it would be at least $50,000.

Note that this was not public funding nor was it raised voluntarily by the community.

ALLEN: Was there something that struck you the most from your conversation with them?

CABELL: It's just looking at two parents, myself being a parent. It's very difficult to conduct an interview, very difficult to be interviewed about losing a six-year-old child especially in such a violent way.

I wondered if Cabell was shocked that, as a father himself, John Ramsey was not angry.

WATERS: Did you try hard to get them to sit down and talk? Most folks, in this kind of situation, I would think, would be very reluctant to sit in front of a television camera.

Agreed.  It would take time for the anger to be contained enough to speak.  This is not a missing child case, but the innocent parents might take to the cameras to help catch the killer.  This was not the case with the Ramseys.  They were out to change the public's perception of them as being uncooperative with police.  This was a public relations move and they did it for self serving purposes. 

CABELL: They said that they had to get over this five of six days of grieving and burying their daughter, now they want to get on with this new stage of their life, and that is: finding the killer. They wanted to get this off their chest, they want to get this in motion.

Note that Cabell interprets, rather than listens. He is projecting himself as a parent. He would be searching for the killer but that is not what John Ramsey said.

By appealing to people, the Ramseys touched upon the sensivilities of loving parents, especially those who are "Christian" and who are "God fearing" in the public message. In fact, the investigator they hired, Lou Smit, prayed with the Ramseys.

When I first heard of this case, I was shocked at the sexualized appearance of Jonbenet Ramsey; dressed up like a showgirl. Later, I found my own emotional tugging as they appealed to my own religious sentiments and wanted to believe them. John reported that the suspicions made him sick to my stomach. This is something both guilty and innocent people feel and say.

Although written for students, there is much to be seen by all.

Statement Analysis gets to the truth, however, even beyond our own personal persuasions.

From LSI:

" 8. John Ramsey said:
a) "So, as we looked at this group of people that we pulled together, it was not only to advise us in this process, but hopefully to assist the investigation to a closure."

b) "But an arrest is absolutely necessary in our lives for closure."

Patsy Ramsey said:

"We need the one phone call to this number that will help the authorities come to a conclusion to this case.

Please notice that both subjects are talking about "closure" (John) and "conclusion" (Patsy) but not a "solution". "

Most people want a case "solved". Remember, we choose words based upon a signal from the brain that takes place in a microsecond. 

The ransom note analysis is fascinating and it is something that anyone interested in justice should study. The analysis done by LSI was posted for students; it is not an article to the public, so there are things the author does not include because those things are presupposed by the student of Scientific Content Analysis. However, it is still valuable as it concludes that John Ramsey had been sexually abusing his daughter, and that Patsy Ramsey knew of it, and conspired in a cover up after the fact, by writing a fake ransom note; and conspiring with him to use their wealth to hinder the police investigation. 

Thus far, they are successful.

If an accidental death (or injury) took place, they may actually blame each other for the point where Jonbenet died; but both worked together to stage the death scene. This was a family of dark secrets. 


patrice said...

Great job Peter. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Police: “If I told you right now that we have — in the process of being examined — trace evidence that appears to link you to the death of JonBenet, what would you tell me?”

Patsy: “That’s totally impossible. Go re-test.”

Police: “How is it impossible?”

Patsy: “I did not kill my child. I didn’t have a thing to do with it.”

Police: “I’m talking about scientific evidence.”

Patsy: “I don’t give a flying flip how scientific it is. Go back to the damn drawing board. I didn’t do it. John Ramsey didn’t do it, and we don’t have a clue of anybody who did do it. Quit screwing around asking me about things that are ridiculous and let’s find the person that did this.”

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't this ever been analyzed for veracity

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Thank you Peter

I have always felt these parents are guilty of this terrible crime. I don't believe it's safe or healthy to dress a child as a porn star,never was and never will be. Certainly not something loving,caring gentle people would do.

Sus said...

I have not read the entire post yet. I want to comment on JR's use of the word SAFE. The ransom note also said "At this time she is SAFE..."

It seems both John and Patsy saw JonBenet as not safe when she was alive.

Anonymous said...

Doubtful that peter has been the only person using this girl's death as a training seminar for other children.

"It seemed like a kidnapping to me."

I recall more than a decade ago a strange car being in front of my house. I inquired of the neighbors and no one knew who it belonged to or why it was there. I looked inside. "Don't touch it!" one neighbor exclaimed.

Looking through the rear window, I could see a copy of USA Today, a Bible, a golf club, and a couple of children's toys. I went inside for paper and back out again to write down the plate number, inspection sticker information, and the neighborhood gate sticker information that detailed the highly guarded neighborhood from wence it came.

Why would they be in our neighborhood? No one knew.

Went back to working in the yard and turned around and it was gone. Did anyone see who got inside? Yes! An 18 year old who would prefer to park and walk in our area when others wipe his azz in his own.

Lucy said...

"Well, we were fortunate from almost the moment that we found the note to be surrounded by friends, our minister, our family doctor, a personal friend of mine who is also an attorney..."

He read the entire note, which states clearly and with no doubt that JonBenet will be killed if he tells anyone about the kidnapping, even a stray dog. Yet he calls and brings into his home the police (this is normal - even with the threat. But you would expect the frantic parent to tell the police about the threat and beg them to be discrete.) enough friends to "surround" them, a minister, an attorney, etc. John read the note which told him that his daughter would be killed if he told anyone about the kidnapping, and his first response was to throw himself a kidnapping party. Why? He knew the note was a fake. He knew there was no danger in bringing large numbers of people into the home.

Justme said...

That never occurred to me. Great catch. Funny how something can be right in my face and I can't see it.

brosnanfan said...

I have many thoughts on this, and it will take a bit to get them in order, but the one thought that kept rising to the top of my mind while I read this was this:

I have searched for my missing car keys with more passion and urgency than John and Patsy searched for their missing daughter and then her "killer".

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Just wanted to comment on how deliberately vague John was in this interview about the initial search of the house and the secondary search with his friend. My spouse decided to take our child to work early one morning, as I'd been up late sick the night before. Five years later, I can clearly recall my exact trek throughout the house, room by room. I recall exactly what I thought in my panic, debating whether to check with the next-door neighbor or call 911 first. I recall the mounting panic clearly, as well as the overwhelming relief the moment I found the note explaining where she was. I recall that being replaced by serious anger at having been scared so badly(the note was small and left on a counter, rather than on the table where we usually leave notes for each other).

I've intervened in two different domestic violence situations (one 20 years ago, one 4 years ago). I remember the details of both perfectly. Adrenaline does that to you. It's a fight or flight situation and all of your senses are heightened in order to protect you. It's an unconscious response to danger and every detail gets etched into your memory (sights, sounds, smells,etc.) whether you got up at 2:00 a.m., 7:00 a.m., or never went to bed at all.

As a 5-year-old, there was a fire at my private school (two older boys brought a pipe from home and decided to try smoking). To this day, my family laughs that I can pinpoint that exact tobacco blend, regardless of where we are (I'm 44).

So,I didn't buy John's "search" of the house and still don't. If JonBenet had genuinely been missing, I'd have awakened Burke and all three of us would have searched room by room after I called 911. IMO, to make it look plausible, John needed to do the "searching", while Patsy made the 911 call. They couldn't have been too distraught because by their admission, they didn't want to wake Burke. Who thinks about courtesy in an emergency? Not to mention, wouldn't Burke be abruptly woken and duly panicked by the dozens of police cars responding? IMO, they left Burke alone because they knew where JonBenet was and couldn't risk him finding JonBenet (traumatizing).

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Another thing...
Talking about the writing sample, hair sample and blood sample, Cabell asks if the Ramseys were offended. John says a straight out, "No.". Patsy's first words were, "It was difficult." How difficult is it to write a short paragraph or two, pull a few hairs out of your head (or bring your hairbrush to the station), and sit still while the nurse draws 4 or 5 small vials of blood (a five minute or less procedure)? Seriously? Your daughter's been murdered and it's "difficult" for you to do that, so they can clear you and move on to finding the Bad Guy? No, difficult is being six years old and being killed, accidentally or otherwise, by someone you should be able to trust with your life.

This interview is all about the poor picked on Ramseys. Blech! What kind of parent even considers (much less verbalizes) "moving on" six days after their child dies? Seriously! That's a parent who knows who killed their child, why, and how. It's a parent who's already resolved the situation in their own mind and committed to a storyline. It's a parent who has to stonewall and obstruct the investigation, in order to protect his, her, or their interests.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Just an aside, thinking about the touch DNA results today. The foreign DNA on JonBenet's panties could have come from a toilet seat anywhere they visited on Dec. 25th. Children are notorious for not pulling their unmentionables down very far when using the toilet. They could have brushed up against a toilet and picked up DNA material.

Likewise, JonBenet could have picked up DNA material from flushing a toilet with her hands and not washed them fully. When she dressed for bed, she could have transferred that DNA to her leggings when she pulled them on for bed. It's a shame they didn't question the Ramseys on where they had been on the 25th and tested both the toilet seat areas and flush handle areas at those locations. Bathrooms are seriously germy places. For that matter, she could have picked up the foreign DNA from a toilet at her own home on the night of the 25th, if either child had friends over to play who had used the bathroom or if the Ramseys had had recent company over.

Lemon said...


Lemon said...

Patsy Ramsey's life was about image. I believe she wrote the fake ransom note, and was the impetus behind the cover up. Her contempt for John and her warnings in the note to him are telling. I believe JonBenet wet her bed that night in the midst of abuse by her father. He reacted with rage. Alcohol may have been an aggravating factor. Both parents staged her body downstairs. In Patsy's mind of a female kidnapping was one she would be well aware of, Patty Hearst's. The S.L.A. in Patty's kidnapping translated into S.B.T.C. for Patsy, as well as 'small foreign faction', and 'attaché' sounding foreign.

I believe Patsy could cover for John because of her love for image (scandal being anathema) and that in her religious mind it would be 'noble' to 'protect' her husband, and keep what was left of her family together. This would be the "Victory!" for Patty. A successful cover-up and protecting John, thus herself and her image, would be 'victory' for Patsy.

Lemon said...

The above comment was meant for another post.

Anonymous said...

Here's another clue. We the viewers looked at the ransom note and immediately knew something was odd about it. Too long, odd words and phrases. Patsy and John knew who wrote the note knew who the killer was. If they were innocent but intelligent parents what didn't they do? They -themselves- would have torn the note apart and literally screamed 'this is not like a real ransom note' and started pointing out inconsistencies and oddities themselves. They did nothing of the sort.