This article was posted 2 years ago (2014) before any documentaries were made. Before Burke spoke publicly.
There were a few key issues regarding reported evidence & allegations in this murder which need to be reviewed. If the reported evidence and allegations are accurate, then the complicity of family members would be beyond any reasonable doubt. Despite efforts to use big gun lawyers to silence the media, authorities & sidetrack attention from primary pieces of evidence to distract attention, it is imperative to remain focused on the key items of evidence which are listed below. Some items of evidence have been contradicted in the media and by authorities, but the key pieces of evidence clearly reveal the prime suspect which we now know led to the grand jury recommendation to indict the parents.
However, there are pertinent issues regarding the DNA which no one has considered. These critical issues regarding the potential innocent transfer of DNA could implicate an innocent person & have been inappropriately used to exonerate the very family members who were allegedly responsible for her death. It is these DNA transfer issues we must examine.
Regarding the DNA on JonBenet’s underwear and reportedly was not tested for 7 years; most police and forensic investigators have never considered the fact that little girls her age, usually drop their underwear around their ankles on the floor when they go to the restroom. At that age, they have not yet learned to not let their panties touch the floor. She was with her parents at a large Christmas gathering prior to going home that night, so her underwear could have easily picked up DNA from the bathroom floor or the toilet at any location where she used the bathroom. This transferred DNA could also wrongfully implicate an innocent person. It could also wrongfully be used to falsely exonerate the perpetrators due to assuming this innocently transferred DNA from a bathroom floor to her underwear was the villain responsible for her demise.
This is one of the dangers of taking DNA info at face value. Never assume. This likely scenario of accidental DNA transfer is something never before considered, mostly because few people are familiar with the toilet habits of little girls allowing their underwear to drop to their ankles and come into contact with the bathroom floor.
DNA has been found on brand new underwear purchased and sealed in a package, unworn from a department store which could only have been contaminated at the manufacturer during the packaging process. DNA can also be transferred by store employees setting out merchandise or someone laundering or putting the underclothing into a drawer, etc. There are many ways to transfer DNA by innocent means.
There are also many ways to transfer foreign pubic hairs from a bathroom floor, tracked in on shoes, from furniture or even transferred from clothing of the owner where it falls off while the owner is in motion or seated. Men’s boxer shorts could easily allow pubic hairs to fall down the inside of their pants let onto the floor or onto their socks where it could fall off anywhere. Especially after scratching or using a bathroom which could dislodge pubic hairs. These are things most people never think about; including crime scene investigators. Perhaps men should think twice about wearing those boxer shorts. Who knows where their pubic hairs could be found since their is nothing to prevent them from freefalling at any location and perhaps being tracked to a crime scene. However, even though briefs would stop the free-fall of loose pubic hairs, it is still possible to dislodge hairs while going through the motions of using a bathroom. I wonder how many innocent men are languishing in prison because of an innocent transfer of DNA?
DNA under fingernails could be obtained while playing with other children, grabbing someone’s arm, grooming another person… there are many ways to obtain foreign DNA under the nails which could remain there for days depending upon how diligent the person is about cleaning under their nails (which most children don’t). Washing the hands does not necessarily clean previously deposited DNA and other materials from under the nails. A child holding hands with someone could conceivably transfer DNA under their nails while gripping a hand.
The pubic hair found on her blanket could have been transferred in the laundry or from the bathroom floor deposited from someone who previously used the bathroom or tracked in by someone who had encountered it at another location or the hair could have come from someone who previously used the blanket or who merely handled or folded the blanket. This transfer could have occurred in the bathroom after her mother impacted the child’s head on the toilet in a rage due to her bedwetting as someone might do similar to pushing a dogs nose into the urine after wetting the carpet. JonBenet could have easily cracked her skull when her mother shoved her head against the toilet. This 8 1/2 inch injury she obtained to the side of her head from an impact on the hard surface of the toilet likely caused the child to have seizures and die. The subdural hematoma indicates she was alive at the time of the head injury. I’m sure this was an unintentional injury by the mother who was sleep deprived, tired, stressed & rushed by their morning flight schedule and overreacted with sudden rage over the bed wetting. A wet washcloth indicates the daughter had been washed off in the bathroom, probably by her mother just before she lost her temper and shoved her daughters head onto the toilet a little harder than she intended. It doesn’t take much of an impact on a hard surface to cause extensive damage to a head. They had wrapped her lifeless body in a blanket and carried her down the stairs to the basement, entangling her hair in the garland on the staircase on the way down. The pubic hair was likely incidental transfer from the bathroom floor or other source as described above and not associated with her death or the perpetrator. The lack of tongue protrusion or any indication that she tried to resist behind the duct tape and lack of petechial hemorrhages or physical struggle indicates the garrote and choking was done after she was dead.
Another possibility is that she was molested at the party before they went home or at some earlier location. I remember reading that there was evidence of long term prior molestation. While other sources claim there was no evidence of molestation whatsoever. I assume any evidence would indicate scarring or damage to the hymen. But I can verify from personal victim experience that not all molesters cause physical damage to their victims. Some are oral gratification molesters which would leave DNA in saliva on the victim without producing damage unless their MO is to force the victim to service the molester which might possibly leave DNA around the victims mouth. But the lack of DNA either from saliva or semen present on JonBenet’s body negates that she was molested that particular night. There were reports that she did have vaginal abrasions with conflicting reports that she did not have abrasions. But all indicate reports there was no DNA on her genitalia which supports the assertion that she likely was not molested at all. If she did sustain fresh vaginal abrasions without any foreign DNA on her body, then any such vaginal abrasions were likely caused by an inanimate object after her death for the purpose of simulating molestation to add credence to the staged kidnapping scenario.
Another source of DNA on her underwear could have been from sitting on the floor with the other children at the party transferring DNA from where she sat. Little girls often sit with their underwear directly in contact with the place they are seated. They have not yet learned to wrap their skirts under them at that age. Since she was involved in numerous pageants wearing easily wrinkled materials like taffeta, her mother probably did not want her to sit on or wrinkle her skirts. Thus, her mother likely encouraged her to sit directly on a surface rather than sit on her skirt. Little girls typically don’t learn how to wrap their skirts under them until they are much older. Usually, most older females learn to wrap their skirts under them before sitting down for hygiene and etiquette reasons.
The proper handling of a young girls underwear in the bathroom or their skirts when seated is usually not learned until the pre-teen years. This is not an issue with boys because they wear pants, so when little boys drop their pants in the bathroom, their underwear drops inside the pants and is protected from the floor.
However, a little girl in a skirt does not have this, so her underwear ends up around her ankles on the floor of whatever bathroom she is in and the underwear would pick up transferred DNA from anyone who was in there before her who might have “missed” the toilet or walked through spit outside, or missed the sink when spitting while brushing teeth, etc. Anything could have been tracked in on someone’s shoes from other locations where they may have walked through spit or other products; or the floor could be contaminated with urine splatter which could have ended up transferred to her underwear at any location where she used the bathroom.
Investigators, Coroners, jurors, prosecutors and judges often react with a knee-jerk acceptance of DNA as the absolute definitive proof of guilt or innocence. The presence of DNA should neither be absolute in proof of guilt NOR as a tool for proving innocence as they have done in this case by ruling out the Ramseys when this could be innocently transferred DNA or an incidental public hair and thus, there may not have been another person present that night. Only those living in the house.
The Ramseys were preparing to leave on a trip early in the morning. However, JonBenet had recently consumed, undigested pineapple in her stomach and was a chronic bed wetter and had wet her bed that morning. Since the pineapple was not at the party and she did not eat it before bed, that means she was awakened after she went to sleep and was in the kitchen where the pineapple was in the refrigerator. Probably when she woke up after wetting her bed since the pineapple was still on the table when the police arrived. Otherwise, it would have been returned to the refrigerator.
Wetting the bed would have infuriated the mother on this particular morning because they had to leave to catch a plane in just a few hours. A urine soaked bed could pose an issue of spontaneous combustion and other problems under the right conditions if left unattended. The mother was likely sleep deprived, exhausted, overextended, stressed and rushed trying to meet their schedule. So a wet bed on this morning would have overly enraged the mother because she wouldn’t have had time to wash the sheets before they left but also could not leave them unlaundered.
I believe the mother either heard her daughter out of bed or else she had gotten up on her own to begin preparations for their trip. Either way, she discovered the wet bed and went to the kitchen to confront her daughter. She probably dragged her daughter into the bathroom, vigorously scrubbed her with a washcloth (I believe a wet washcloth used to clean up the daughter was found) and slammed the side of her head onto the toilet in anger telling her daughter something like, “THAT is where you go to the bathroom!” in a moment of rage. (Similar to pushing your dogs nose into a spot where they urinated to impress upon the animal, the wrongfulness of their action.) The forceful impact of her head on the porcelain cracked her skull as reported in the autopsy and she probably went into seizures and died. The garrote was applied for the staged abduction cover story.
(It doesn’t take a lot of impact to injure someone’s head. I was just barely grazed by the wing of a goose and was astonished to discover my forehead was split open. It doesn’t take much. Any hard surface against your skull, even a mild bump to the head can split the skin, create a hemorrhage, clot or concussion and potential brain damage or death.) This probably caused the mother to panic when she likely saw her daughter go into seizures and die. She knew she would go to jail if she didn’t find a way to cover it up. So the daughter was wrapped in a blanket and taken down to the basement. The mother used her own broken paint brush and the rope (she had reportedly bought from a local store with the tape just a few days earlier according to a store employee) to create the garrote to simulate an intruder killing her daughter. Tape and additional rope was applied to simulate and abduction. If there was vaginal abrasions (conflicting reports) since there was no DNA on the genital area, it was likely caused by an inanimate object like a broom handle or paint brush handle to simulate molestation and kidnapping. The only DNA from what I read was a small speck on her underwear, some nail scrapings and a single pubic hair on her blanket. As described above, the minor amount found was likely transferred by incidental, innocent modes not associated with any criminal action.
Her father admitted to having broken the basement window a few days earlier when he was accidentally locked out. So any signs of scuffs or entry around the window were likely from that earlier incident. The footprint on the floor could have been from any number of previous guests or workmen renovating the home and could have been there for a prolonged period. The parents also could have disposed of the remaining rope and tape off the property before calling the police. I’ll bet no one bothered to check the warmth of the family cars for recent use. But one of the parents also could have gone on a short jog to get rid of the items.
What I find the most scary is the possibility of some innocent guest at the party or at their home might be wrongfully implicated because their DNA was transferred from the floor of a bathroom, etc., by JonBenet’s underwear coming in contact with it on the bathroom floor while she was using the toilet or some other place where she may have been sitting.
After staging the scene, her mother then decided to write out a ransom note on her own note paper with her own pen. No criminal is going to sit and write a 3 page letter in the home either before or after committing such a crime. Certainly no intruder would write a ransom note for kidnapping after leaving their dead daughter in the basement. Nor would they have written such a note while trying to restrain a live child. There were no signs of struggle on the girl or resistance to tape on her mouth or to the garrote around her neck which indicates she was dead before the tape and rope were applied. After her head struck the toilet. If she had been killed by the intruder hitting her in the head, they would not have bothered with the rope and tape and garrote. So since she did not resist the rope and tape, that means she was dead from the head injury. Hence, all of that was staging to make it appear as a phony kidnapping. The mother was in a state of panic and was not thinking clearly about the false scenario she was staging. An intruder would bring a ransom note with them and it would be not more than a couple sentences long. An intruder would not sit in a house and write a ransom note, especially after the child was already dead. Especially not a 3 page dissertation.
It takes a couple hours to write a 3 page letter. Not to mention the fact that there were more than one rewrite of the ransom note on her pad which were discarded. Usually, long, wordy letters are a trait of females. Not males. And the fact that the author knew the exact amount of Ramsey’s bonus plus the ridiculously wordy 3 page letter with preposterous “Patty Hearst type terrorist group rantings” indicates the mother was the only person who could have written that note. Especially considering it was written on her own note paper and her own pen and multiple attempts to write the letter and discard earlier copies occurred in the house. A genuine crook claiming to be some terrorist group would have simply demanded a round sum of money for the child with an order to await instructions and ended with the name of their organization. No more than 3 sentences tops. Can you picture such a person sitting there writing a 3 page ransom note on her pad for 2 hours, taking the time to rewrite their mistakes and then asking for his exact bonus of $118,000 instead of a round sum of $120,000. It is preposterous to even conceive that someone other than Patsy wrote this letter.
Let us review a few of these items of reported evidence & allegations:
- The child was sleeping upon arrival home from a party & put directly to bed
- She had sometime later, wet her bed
- The child was awakened, probably after wetting the bed
- The child was calmly eating pineapple in the kitchen.
- The bowl of pineapple was still on the table when police arrived.
- A wet washcloth was found & determined she was washed off in the bathroom.
- Possibly by the mother who had awakened & discovered the wet bed
- The child suffered an 8 1/2 inch impact injury to the side of her head
- Possibly by enraged mother who struck her head on toilet in bathroom
- Similar reaction like shoving dogs nose into wet spot on carpet
- Subdural hematoma indicates she was alive when head was struck
- Neighbor heard girl scream at 2 am.
- She was wrapped in a blanket
- Wrapping in blanket on cold basement floor was an act of parental compassion
- No mention of blanket being evident from wetted bed
- Molester would have used blanket from bed, if any
- Had garland from the staircase entangled in her hair
- The child was dressed in pajama long underwear
- Molester would have removed lower clothes
- Tape on her mouth, rope on her hands
- No signs of any struggle or resistance to rope or tape
- No indication of movement of mouth under duct tape
- Likely dead before tape or rope were applied
- Garrote around her neck using a broken paint brush belonging to Patsy
- No sign of struggle against garrote
- No protrusion or resistance from tongue or mouth under tape (normal for strangling)
- No report of petechial hemorrhages from strangulation
- Child was likely dead before garrote was applied
- Store employee stated rope and tape were bought by Patsy just a few days earlier.
- No foreign DNA on child or genitalia which indicates no molestation occurred
- One minute area with DNA on exterior of child’s underwear
- Could be incidental transfer DNA
- Fingernails scraped for DNA
- One foreign pubic hair on blanket
- Could be incidental transfer DNA
- If vaginal abrasions found without DNA indicates inanimate object to stage kidnapping
- Possible object like broom handle or paint brush handle to simulate molestation
- A ridiculous rambling 3 page ransom letter written on Patsy’s pad with Patsy’s pen
- Note was written in house & restarted more than once
- Contained private personal details
- Ransom demand was same amount as John’s bonus $118,000.
- Not rounded off to $120,000 if genuine intruder.
- Referenced father needing to get rest before exhausting ransom delivery
- Indicating author was female and family member
- Note was longwinded, rambling, absurd unknown terrorist group
- Indicative of lifestyle unfamiliar with criminal motives
- Females tend to write longwinded rambling letters
- At least 2 hours were spent writing letter & restarted write overs
- The note pad and pen used to write the ransom note belonged to Patsy.
- No intruder would sit in house writing 2 hour note using Patsy’s notepad and pen
- Intruders would bring ransom note with them
- Intruder notes would be short in content, not written on site
- Broken Basement window & scuff marks
- John said he broke basement window a few days earlier when locked out
- No fresh prints outside
- Print in basement
- Workmen had been in the house for renovations
- Many visitors had been in house over holidays
- Flashlight was found in kitchen and wiped clean
- Possibly used by parent in basement while staging kidnapping?
- Father found daughter with friend
- Went directly to her location
- carried her upstairs & removed tape.
- Visitors in house disturbing evidence.
- No ransom call ever came
- Limited DNA and single pubic hair could easily be innocent transfers from bathroom
- DNA was likely from innocent transfers and not indicative of intruder nor innocence
- Parents claimed son was asleep until police arrived
- Son could be heard asking what was going on during 911 call
- Parents of kidnapped girl would have wakened son to ask if he had seen his sister
- Parents would not have left son sleeping if daughter was truly kidnapped.
- 911 call was proof that son was unaware of events & had just awakened.
Everything else is just an attempt to distract attention away from these core issues. Don’t let them sidetrack you with footprints, broken windows, DNA which might be from incidental transfer which wasn’t tested until 7 years after the fact. The real proof is in the 3 page ransom note written in the house, the details in the note, her notepad and pen, the rope & tape she purchased and the paint brush garrote which all tie directly to Patsy. Has anyone bothered to test the ransom note for palm prints made while writing? If you ever start to doubt her complicity, remember those items. The public was furious about the lack of prosecution for the Ramsey case because they did not want another OJ Simpson to get away unscathed. But their worst fears were well founded.
Keep in mind that extreme effort has been made to intimidate & keep this case quiet and sue anyone who talks about it to dissuade anyone else from discussing the case. This is the same level of determination which ensued when this false kidnapping and murder was staged to cover an accidental homicide out of fear of prison and loss of their freedom, family and everything they had worked for. They continued to fight to maintain that freedom every day after her death.
You have to look at things from the other point of view to understand what happened. There is nothing wrong with hiring an attorney whether guilty or innocent. There are enough corrupt or incompetent law enforcement agencies where anyone faced with a serious situation should always hire an attorney, especially if they are innocent. This is not an indication of guilt. It is a necessity to ensure you do not become a victim of bad police work or misdirected forensics. People need to understand this. Running is also not a sign of guilt. It is simply a fear of incarceration. By getting their family out of state, the Ramsey’s limited the Colorado authorities access to them as residents under the protection of another state. They actually conducted a very effective battle to stay out of jail.
I don’t think they were necessarily bad people. I think the daughter was mortally injured in a sudden burst of rage by her mother who was sleep deprived and stressed trying to rush to get the family ready to leave and years of frustration over her bedwetting. Then she made the decision to cover up what she had done in the worst way… but it was the only choice she felt she had to remain free. She would have gone to prison even if her daughter had survived with brain damage.
Their socializing & entertaining among the affluent community appeared to create a protective shell around them but one has to wonder if the DA also had skeletons in his closet behind his unwillingness to prosecute the Ramsey’s despite grand jury recommendation to indict the parents. Criminals these days hire publicists to modify public opinion by seeding the media with positive stories. Does someone in that situation deserve to go to jail? Perhaps, but not more than 5 years. It was unintentional involuntary manslaughter and obstruction of justice. 5 years would be the maximum logically reasonable for her mothers situation. But a jury would have reacted with extreme emotion as if she was a serial killer… due to the death of such a beautiful child and would have given the parents 30 years to life or even death. Juries seldom consider that any one of them could find themselves in the same situation if some day they lost their tempers for a split second.
We don’t know if the father knew, but he did immediately go directly to his daughters location as soon as he had a friend to accompany him. He also contaminated the scene. If he did know, perhaps the mother had some blackmail to use on him for his complicity or assistance after the fact. It is highly possible that both parents would have ended up in prison for life based on the grand jury’s recommendation to indict them both. So they had nothing to lose by fighting tooth and nail to avoid being indicted. The most effective thing they did was to hire an attorney to sue for libel and slander anytime someone published negative information about them. That shut down the media as well as the gov’t officials and authorities. Their aggressive lawyer put the fear of hell into everyone. Between his lawsuits and the proceeds from their book, they managed to fund the shield of aggressive lawyers who effectively kept them out of prison and ended the investigation and any potential prosecution. The DA’s office clearly feared going up against their army of lawyers despite overwhelming evidence that a blind person could see. Also, why is the judge protecting them by sealing the records? You only seal records to protect the innocent. Not the guilty of an unsolved case. But the investigators also missed the boat. Where are the palm prints on the ransom note? How about the pen? How about fingerprints on the duct tape? Did they use luminol in the bathroom? How about luminol on the child?
However, you can’t assume someone’s guilt simply because they hire a lawyer in such a situation because you cannot depend upon the investigators or court system to treat you fairly or justly. It is quite easy to see why JonBenet’s mother was in a state of panic to do something to hide her complicity and to avoid prison. She had nothing to lose by staging an intruder scenario and it seems to have been effective. But the public is still incensed that JonBenet’s death has never been prosecuted. Perhaps we should be grateful that some innocent person was not prosecuted by innocent incidental transferred DNA? We can only hope that investigators will take a different approach with truly understanding the occurrence of transferred DNA before any more innocent persons are convicted and the true perpetrators are correctly identified.
Here are some links: