Saturday, February 2, 2013

Understanding the Jonbenet Ramsey Case

The bombshell news that the Grand Jury had voted indictment of John and Patsy Ramsey in the death of Jonbenet Ramsey has begun to settled in.

We have seen both Statement Analysis and Behavioral Analysis indicating guilty knowledge of Jonbenet's death.

Each and every small or seemingly insignificant point, in an of itself, can be dismissed, but when an entire overview is structured before us, a portrait emerges.

I.  Observations
II.  Specific Analysis Explained

I.  Observations

1.  A child was reported missing in a 911 call by the mother.  Specific analysis of the call shows indications of "guilty knowledge."

2.  A very lengthy ransom note was left.  Ransom notes are generally very short, and to the point.  "We have your daughter; we want money."  The kidnappers must move quickly in order to be undetected.

3.  The note was written from items inside the house along with a practice note found.  The author of the note:

a.  Very emotional as seen in the length.
b.  Likely female due to length (and analysis)
c.  The length of the note indicates the author was unafraid of detection while writing it.
d.  The author was educated and had knowledge of John's personal finances and personality.
e.  The author used the phrase, "and hence", which is rarely seen as it is redundant.  Later, a Christmas card written by Patsy used the exact same phrase.  Analysis of the note showed that it was a ruse, and the phrases used in the note came from movies and books that the Ramseys had seen and read.

4.  The child was dressed in a sexualized manner, and photographed as such.

5.  The child was a chronic bed wetter.

6.  The child suffered from chronic urinary tract infections.

Points 4 through 6 suggest sexual abuse.

7.  The autopsy showed vaginal irritation consistent with sexual abuse confirming 4-6.

Again, please keep in mind that any one of these points, alone, can be dismissed, therefore, they must be taken together.

The Grand Jury heard all of these things, and likely many other things which caused them to vote to indict.

This is the first time I have ever read where a District Attorney refused to sign the indictment.  This would have meant, had it been signed, that the war between the state and the high priced attorneys would commence, and a possible plea bargain in the works.  We would have likely learned quite a few ugly details about the home, with parents casting blame one to another.  Had an accidental or unintended death come from the brother, cover up would have been investigated.

8.  Alex Hunter deliberately sought to avoid the confrontation with the lawyers who were superior to him, which led him to leaks, disclosures and speaking to a tabloid reporter.  Police were enraged as he attempted to blame the investigation, but we now know that the presentation to the Grand Jury by the police was sufficient to bring indictment.

Self interest ruled the day.  The Grand Jury heard more than we know, but based only on what we know here, there is enough for an arrest.  How much more so did Hunter's refusal to prosecute reveal his own personal cowardice?

II.  Specific Analysis Explained. 

The following can be found at, the work of the nation's leading and most widely respected analyst.  The posts are brief, and are meant for his students, and not for the general public, therefore, I had added explanations to his findings for non SCAN students and general readership.  The added material is in bold type.

1.  John Ramsey's words in regard to his daughter.   It is almost impossible for a man to molest his own "daughter"; therefore, perpetrating fathers go through a process in their minds which is revealed by the language.  Recall the man who called his victim "my daughter" while his wife was home, but when his wife left, his daughter became, in his language, "the girl" while he molested her.  When his wife returned, the perp called her, "my daughter" again.  This indicated, linguistically, that the victim was "safe" only while the mother was home, but became the "girl" when he victimized her.  This is the verbalized reality. This is why, "the subject is 'dead'; the statement is alive" is a firm principle to follow. 

It was not that he called her "my daughter", but when and where he called her "my daughter" in context.  

It is not that he called her "the girl" that is troublesome, it is the context in which she changed from "my daughter" to "the girl" that indicated molestation.  

To review this, see CHILD MOLESTATION QUIZ

John Ramsey related to the victim in the following:

a)  "JonBenet didn't carry any burdens."

b)  "There is no answer as to why our daughter died."

c)  "...and to know where JonBenet's bedroom was..."

d)  "We wanted to get our daughter buried."

e)  "Like all parents would say she's a perfect child."

Please notice the following:

a.  The subject used the "proper introduction" ("our daughter") only in proximity to the words "died" and "buried".  However, when talking about her in regard to the time when she was alive he used either her first name ("JonBenet") or "child".

b.  It is interesting to note the following:

i.    Many parents who abuse their children have a problem in using the words "son" and "daughter". This is due to the process which a person must undergo in his/her mind before being able to abuse his/her own son/daughter.

Here is where we view the context of the words used.  It is both the context and any changes that are noted.  For more understanding, search the case of Haleigh Cummings in Statement Analysis for linguistic indicators of abuse by her father. 

ii.   In many cases of child abuse which result in murder, we find a change of language after the murder. As if to say that once the victim is dead, the victim is "safe".

This is something we note, particularly when we know the date or even the time of death.  We can sometimes find the time of death from the language of the killer alone. 

iii.   Usually, the word "child" might indicate that speaker might have been abused earlier in childhood, and very likely sexual abuse.

We have "child abuse" and "child molesters" but not often do we hear "kid molester" or "kid abuse"; which is why the word "child" is highlighted.

School teachers use this phrase often, and Avinoam Sapir's upcoming book on Genesis should contain quite a bit of information on the Hebrew word for "child" as it relates to risk or danger.  (pre weaning). 

I would recommend to start the follow-up interview with the following question:

"I have inside knowledge that you might have been abused in childhood, and quite likely sexual abuse.  
How do you relate to it?"

       In my own work, verification of this principle has been consistent.  For example, when a person is asked, "Tell me about what you were like growing up" and they say, "when I was a child..." there is often a history of child abuse, with the higher percentage of abuse being sexual. 

Those who molest children were most always known to have been victims of molestation when growing up.  Most who are molested do not offend.  Offenders, however, were likely victims themselves.  We flag the word "child" for exploration in the interview process. 
Please be on alert to the fact that the subject might answer with a question. In any case, the subject should not be told the source of the information!!!

3.  Patsy Ramsey said:

a)  "...and I said our child had been kidnapped..."

b)  "She loved her daddy... She loved her daddy, she was daddy's girl. She's such a happy spiritual child... she's a very spiritual...deeply...deep sense of understanding the world around her for a very young child."

Note how often the word "child" was used here. 

Please notice the following:

a.  The subject used the word "girl" in regard to "daddy".

One should notice that the overwhelming majority of parents suspected of child abuse (including sexual abuse) relate to their children either by first name or by the gender/sex.

The fact that the word "girl" entered the language in proximity to the word "daddy" would raise the suspicion that the subject knew of JonBenet's sexual abuse by her father.

b.  The word "child" entered in proximity to "daddy's girl". While the word "girl" is in proximity to "daddy", the word "child" is in proximity to the word "spiritual".

It would be safe to suspect that the subject is running a comparison here: "child" is for "spiritual" as "girl" is for "physical" (="daddy").

4.  John Ramsey said:

a)  "...we now have to find out why this happened..."

b)  "...the only way that my family can move on now is to resolve why, who this happened."

Please compare this to Patsy Ramsey who said:

a)  "...we have to find out who did this."

b)  "There is a killer on the loose. I don't know who it is..."

While John wants to know "why" (he doesn't say that he wants to know "what happened"), Patsy wants to know "who did this".

Please also note the following:

a.  In (b) John produced the "who" in a broken sentence. The sentence would have been a good sentence if he were to say, "is to resolve why, who did this." As it is now, the "who" is inserted as an afterthought.

b.  In (b) Patsy said, "I don't know..."

The "editing process" means that the subject can report to us only what the subject knows/remembers. What the subject does not know/remember, the subject would not report to us. Therefore, the phrase "I don't know/remember" in an open statement (which is controlled by the "editing process", unlike answers to specific questions) is a signal of suppressing knowledge.

5.  John Ramsey said:

"Well like all parents would say she's a perfect child. But the thing to remember about her was that uh if I would frown she would look at me and say, 'Dad, I don't like that face,' and I would smile, and she'd say, 'that's better.' That's just the way she was."

Please notice the following:

a.  The subject said, "But the thing to remember about her..." The subject didn't say, "But the thing I remember about her..."

By omitting the pronoun "I" the subject violated the formula of "first person singular past tense". This formula establishes commitment on the part of the subject as to what happened. But, since there is no commitment, there is no "Total Belief".

Since the subject ran away from commitment to that part of the story it should be considered as a sensitive point for the subject and is likely to be unreliable.

b.  The word "if" reduces commitment as to what the subject describes in this section.

c.  The word "would" violated the above-mentioned formula of "first person singular past tense".

Since the subject didn't tell us that this actually happened (past tense) we cannot say that it happened.

One should conclude that in the only place in which the subject wanted to portray his relationship with the victim as a good relationship, it is also the only place in the transcript in which the subject avoided commitment by running away from the past tense.

6.  John Ramsey said:

"...when I opened the door, there were no windows in that room and I turned the light on and I... that was her."

Please note that when a subject mentions "turning the lights on" in an open statement, it has been found in the past to be associated with a sexual motive for the crime.

Conclusion: There are enough signals in the language to indicate that John Ramsey is involved in the murder of JonBenet. Patsy Ramsey is likely to have known of the sexual abuse. 

We find that doors opening and closing are sometimes indicative of child sexual abuse, along with references to water (and lights, mentioned above). 

"...when I opened the door, there were no windows in that room and I turned the light on and I... that was her.

Note that this sentence contains no lies.  

The Ramseys refused to cooperate with police.  The Ramseys refused to polygraph and eventually their attorneys went "polygraph shopping" and found one to pass them after a number of failures. 

The polygrapher signed an agreement to not disclose any of the questions asked the Ramseys. 

Jonbenet died in the home at the hands of her parents.  Indications were that she was sexually abused, and the language shows that this came at the hands of her father.  Patsy Ramsey had a reason to cooperate with John in a coverup, likely for several reasons among them that Jonbenet may have died, hitting her head on the bathtub, or falling down the stairs, or something similar, when she woke up in the middle of the night and may have been struck by Patsy.  

Patsy was caught in the lie about Jonbenet not getting up in the middle of the night, eating pineapple. This was in the sensitive time zone. 

The body location was staged.  She died from blunt trauma to the head, with someone having lost their temper with her.  The garroting was staged to make it look like a "small foreign faction" or a torture killing.  She was not tortured.  

The phrases from the note came from words from movies and books in their home (videos) and the attempt to throw off investigators.  The Ramseys likely feared not only not being believed about an unintended death but of losing Burke. 

Had Burke been directly involved, I do not think we would have heard the language of sexual abuse from the father that we did, and I think the smart lawyers would have found a way to get the boy help, rather than criminal fretting over the parents.  

There was no intruder in the home and the Grand Jury knew it. 

Hunter could not bear the public humiliation of a loss so he sabotaged the case, destroyed justice for Jonbenet, and maligned police officers...all for fear of losing in court. 


Trigger said...

Re Burke:

"I think that the smart lawyers would have found a way to get the boy help"

When I read this I thought of the Martha Moxley murder and how her teenage murderer, who had a romantic interest in her, was protected by his family of lawyers.

They found a way to get the boy help and cover up the crime he committed for a lot of years.

Anonymous said...

I browsed the ACLU site and was disappointed to see the lack of involvement in childrens rights. I think an organization that defends civil rights needs to be involved, Jersey Bridgeman would be alive if she had been better able to defend herself; she needed representation after being rescued the first time.

John Mc Gowan said...


Peter, ive put a check list that i use for possible indicators for deception,i was wondering if you and or readers could add or take of my list.

Examine all pronouns.

Check for dropped pronouns.

Check for the over use of the Pronouns "I and WE"

Check verb tenses.

Check articles,A,An/The ETC.

Check for Qualifiers and unnecessary words.

Look for minimising language.

Look for passive language.

Order is important,look at ere people start their statement and the order they list things.

Check time references.

Did the subject answer the question?

Did the subject answwer the question with a question?

Look for the liars number 3.

Look for a reliable denial.

Look for reflective language.

Look for the words"Because,So therfor ETC.

Look for phrases like"i swear to god,on my mums grave ETC.

Look for texy bridging.

Look for anything in the negative.

What is their internal dictionary.

Look for a change in language or words.

Check for words that are repeated and show sensitivity.

Look for the word "left".

Look for alibi building.

look for distancing language.

Look for the words"Sitting,Walking,Standing"ETC.

Statement Breakdown.

Truthfull Approx;25% Befor,50% During,25% After.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou John, this is a useful tool.

Anonymous said...

radKIDS®: Children's Safety Education
Elizabeth Smart's organization that teaches "empowerment" to kids.

Lorriane said...

I am now wondering if comes to some sort of plea deal if John will admit to some responsibility in "Knowing" what happened to Jon Benet but claiming that Patsy is the guilty one of some sort of "accidental" death. ???? Patsy is no longer alive so she could easily be blamed and she wouldn't be able to defend herself if John claimed it was all Patsy's fault.

Jen said...

That's a great check-list John, thanks for posting it!

I've been somewhat immersed in the Jonbenet case for the past few weeks...I've been reading Steve Thomas' book and of course reading all of the posted analysis. Like Peter says in this post...taken together it's obvious that the Ramsey's were indeed responsible for JonBenet's death. I'm interested in reading the new book Foreign Faction by Kholar but I haven't had any luck finding it for download (suggestions welcome). My understanding is he theorizes that Burke was responsible and while I'm interested in reading his opinion, I don't agree that the parents engaged in a coverup for Burkes sake. He was a very young child so any punishment he would have faced would be minimal.

In my opinion it is John and Patsy's shared guilt that binds them together and to this cover-up...if either of them were innocent then it wouldn't have taken long for the innocent one to start questioning what the other was really capable of. A lot of other factors have shaped my opinion which I could write about for days but the bottom line is there's a little girl with signs of current and ongoing sexual abuse laying dead in her own home. It's pretty straightforward until the 'ransom note' is added and since the note was a farce (meaning it only serves to suggest something that DIDN'T happen...she was NOT kidnapped, so money is not going to exchange hands..the note is only meant to distract and confuse the police).

We are left with the question...who would have a reason to compose a note suggesting that a kidnapping had occurred when it hadn't? An intruder would likely be focused on leaving NO EVIDENCE that they were ever there. Only the Ramsey's have a need to suggest there's another possible suspect than the three people in the house at the time of the murder.

Anonymous said...

I am of the opinion an intruder killed Jonbenet and wrote the ransom note. I know people don't believe that, so, what I am curious about, if people believe Patsy wrote the ransom note to cover up an accident, what is her reasoning in using the signature SBTC? I'm not even curious about it means--what I wonder is, if the note was written as a part of a coverup, why would she have included this bizarre "signature"? To me, this is another thing that indicates that it was an intruder.

Anonymous said...

Well, since Patsy read about crimes and if she used these references she might have known about the serial killer who signed his notes BTC.

O/T Peter, in Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony, I noticed she answered a question with a question. "What difference does it make...?"

Anonymous said...

Sorry, it was BTK.

VLW said...

Did the autopsy indeed find "vaginal irritation" consistent with sexual abuse? I read the autopsy report a few years ago, but I don't recall seeing that. Or perhaps it was couched in medical terminology that I failed to understand. Can you cite that, please? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well that would make sense about her "copying" another killer's signature if it was a "copycat" crime but it doesn't seem to make sense if this was a coverup for an accident.
I also believe the ransom note was written before the killing. How could someone in a panicked state write such a long note which seems to have kind of a meandering quality to it as well as have the clarity of mind to recall or come up with so many lines from movies?
Also, one thing that doesn't make sense to me, if Jon Benet's death had been an accident, why would the Ramsey's have staged things to look so much
worse than an accident?

drdebo said...

BRAVO Peter! Al that needed to be established and said- thank you- at least YOU gave her justice!

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla Bell Reynolds
I think the parents cleaned up the baesment. JonBenet had green bits in her hair according to the autopsy report, I think it came from the fake trees/garland that were stored in the basement, and the small circular bruises could have come from the ends of the garlands bows.

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla Bell Reynolds

PR: He carried her and put her in bed and I got her, you know, (skips time,ttc)PULLED OFF EVERYTHING AND PUT HER, I LEFT THE SHIRT ON AND PUT THE PANTS ON.


When she says PULLED OFF EVERYTHING I think she's talking about Christmans garland.
I think JonBenet was unrecognizable LOOKED AT IT FOR A SPLIT SECOND

Lis said...

Anon, I think that Patsy meant to sign the note "STBC" (soon to be continued) but mixed up the letters.

Didn't we hear the same stuff about Isa Celis being very wise beyond her years?

Lis said...

John, thanks for the checklist! I've been working on something similar but I seem to get bogged down by the details.

Lis said...

Anon, they staged it because they preferred that a stranger be blamed for a horrific crime than they be seen as responsible for even an accident.

The fact that they staged a sexual homicide implies to me that they expected an autopsy to show sexual activity had taken place.

Jen said...

Hi Anon9:24

I see the length of the note as nervous rambling rather than relaxed writing..also the argument could be made that the length itself, along with the excessive details shows a need to convince (as the note is being written, more details are being added as an attempt to convince police this is a 'real' ransom note). The S.B.T.C signature is nonsense just like the rest of the note...the author isn't a 'foreign faction' and they are not monitoring the Ramsey's, the police, the media, the banks, etc...all of the info in the note is lies, catch phrases from movies and 'red herring' leads for the police to follow while the Ramsey's jet out of state and run from police interviews for months.

As far as why the parents would engage in such a cover-up, rather than report an accidental this case 'accidental' doesn't mean that what happened was a non-criminal act or an accident like her falling down the stairs...rather 'accidental' means they didn't mean to kill her but their actions led to her death (either by rage or by abuse). So in that case engaging in a cover-up makes perfect sense...they don't want to lose their lifestyle, their business and their family when they didn't mean for this to they feel justified in doing whatever it takes to skirt the consequences.

Baxtie said...

The cause of death on the official autopsy report is listed as "asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma." The autopsy is posted on the link below.

Baxtie said...

Also, nothing is mentioned in the autopsy report about any "green bits" being in her hair.

Anonymous said...

TT: Okay. What did Burke do? Did he fall asleep on the way home also?
PR: No.
TT: Okay.
PR: He didn’t. I think he was, he’s still wanting to play.
TT: Okay. What did Burke do when you got home then.
PR: Um, I don’t remember exactly, but I think he went to go play with something. I think maybe he and John were fussing with something. A toy he wanted to put together or something.
TT: Okay.

TT: Okay. Burke and John go downstairs to play?
PR: No, I don’t really, don’t remember where they were. I was, after I got her ready for bed I just kind of ran about doing my last minute things and. . .

Shayna said...

Patsy claimed she was quite religious. I've heard the theory that SBTC stands for "saved by the cross."

Anonymous said...

Burke reportedly was allowed to run around alone, interact with others after the funeral, parents didn't keep him close to themselves. If Burke knew anything, or was involvold in any way, they would have not let him do so. I am convinced, Burke didn't know anything about the crime. If he was innocent, and the parents guilty, what a terrible thing to do to allow their son to live the rest of his life under suspcion.

If prior sexual abuse was determined by several doctors, why weren't there actions about that?
Was it proven if the signs of the abuse that night came before or after the death?

It was shocking to read how many danger they put their daughter in, having tours in the house, giving keys to so many people to their home, having so many people in and out of their house all the time, dressing her inapproprietly and yet (as it seems) still her parents meant the biggest danger for her.

The most confusing thing for me about this case is, that it is claimed the head injury and the asphyxia from the rope happened really close to each other in time. The investigation could not determine which came first, and both are listed as reasons for death in the autopsy report.

Anonymous said...

Subic Bay Training Center where John was in the Navy.

Skeptical said...

"Analysis of the note showed that it was a ruse, and the phrases used in the note came from movies and books that the Ramseys had seen and read."

Whoa! This sounds more like assumption than analysis. What books? What movies? Where are the references/proof for this? It should be able to be verified.

I also read the autopsy report on line. I don't know how accurate it is, but it did not cite sexual abuse. Perhaps Peter had access to the original.

Mention was made of the two marks that were possibly made by a stun gun. No mention is made of this in the proposed scenario. How does it factor in?

As I pointed out in an earlier post, it is easy for words to slip into our personal vocabulary. In the book "Foreign Faction" the author in speaking about Patsy Ramsey, not quoting Patsy directly, states the following on page 339 "...and 'hence' the need to tear back part of the paper." Wonder where he picked that up?

Anonymous said...

When does anyone think the practice note and final note were written? Why would anyone write a note like that before anything had happened unless Jon Benet's death was planned in advance?

How could anyone have the presence of mind to write it after something had happened? Why stage a kidnapping when you know the body is in the basement looking like a murder?

If it was an accident arising from abuse, or if the parents were trying to save Burke, along with their family reputation, why not get rid of Jon Benet's body, and then go on with a kidnapping plan?

Or why not forget the kidnapping note and simply make it look as if Jon Benet was killed by accident by the kidnapper as he tried to leave...much like some people believe the Lindbergh baby was killed by being dropped as the kidnapper was going down the ladder from the baby's window? An accidental killing, in other words.

I just don't get the note at all, no matter who wrote it. But then I suppose most here would say the Ramsey's thought they'd be safer if nothing made sense. That's the heart of the plan.

It takes some cool customers to write that note and plan all the nonsense stuff around a child's dead body.

I simply do not know. It's crazy from beginning to end...and wouldn't you all admit that the crime scene of the house was not even protected? Everyone and his dog walked all over that house after the "kidnapping". And LE letting John Ramsey go "look for evidence" in the house by himself? I can see why no case would have been won against the Ramseys. Everybody acted crazy.

Trigger said...

John Ramsey had a powerful team of attorneys protecting him, so he was rendered untouchable and out of reach of accountability by LE.

The DA was intimidated and rightly so. All the DA was going to get by prosecuting John and/or Patsy Ramsey was a black eye to the public and eaten alive behind closed doors.

Money buys freedom.

I remember how Pasty dared the police to arrest her or charge her for Jon Benet's murder. Her attitude was "put up or shut up."

I'll bet their lawyers had assured the Ramsey's that they had already bull dozed LE with all their investigation errors and blunders to keep them at bay.

Anonymous said...

Final Diagnosis

Unknown said...

Ok so let me get this straight. An adult needed money so he/she broke into a house to kidnap a 6 year old girl for ransom on impulse. The kidnapper just happened across a pad of paper and wrote a bunch of jibberish instead of calling the next day from a payphone demanding money? And then of course, the 50lb child was too much for a grown adult to handle so the plan was abandoned? If the kidnapping was performed by a pedophile, why the ransom note? Since when are pedophiles also driven by money? Lastly, if I remember correctly, in the 911 call didn't John R tell Burke that he and Patsy weren't talking to him (as though the situation didn't concern him nor was none of his business)?

Unknown said...

The response was to Burke's question of "what is going on?"


Why do the linguistics of using the phrasings 'open window' and 'pushed open the door' suggest sexual abuse? I've searched here and on Google to no avail.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Why do you suppose?


I don't know. I haven't read here extensively other than the Ramsey case. (To notice a common thread in suspect statements.)


I just found this post which answers my question thoroughly: