Tag Archive: John Ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey-Labyrinth of Lies Pt 2

Patsy Ramsey

Patsy Ramsey

To recap from the introductory article, “Labyrinth of Lies” , the crime scene was hopelessly compromised by:

  • First responders from Boulder P.D. failing to check the windowless corner basement room where the body lay
  • Boulder P.D. departing, after a cursory residence walk through leaving just one detective, Linda Arndt, on the premises to await the ransom call with no police radio
  • A large contingent of Ramsey invited visitors who had free rein to walk around the house and yard with neither supervision nor restriction
  • John being allowed to drop out of sight between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  • John moving the corpse from the cellar up to the first floor
  • John removing duct tape from JonBenet’s mouth
  • John removing a blanket that the body laid upon, parts of which had been folded over the corpse creating a “papoose” effect
  • John loosening one of the two wrist bindings

And, oh yes, by Patsy throwing herself over JonBenet’s body as soon as John laid her down on the floor….and oh yes, by Detective Arndt picking JonBenet up from there and laying her under the Christmas tree.  Seriously, this was a farce. (foolish show; mockery; a ridiculous sham.).

From this point forward, a trial, even the thought of “the State of Colorado vs  murderer X ” was as dead as JonBenet.  The perpetrator wouldn’t need an F Lee Bailey to skate out of this.  This be a slam dunk, even for a one eyed public defender.


Jon Benet


The Ransom Note

Full Ransom Note

Full Ransom Note

“Mr. Ramsey,

Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction. We respect your business but not the country that it serves. At this time we have your daughter in our possession. She is safe and unharmed, and if you want her to see 1997, you must follow our instructions to the letter.

You will withdraw $118,000 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills. Make sure that you bring an adequate size attaché to the bank. When you get home you will put the money in a brown paper bag. I will call you between 8 and 10 a.m. tomorrow to instruct you on delivery.

The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested. If we monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence an earlier pickup of your daughter.

Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of your daughter. You will also be denied her remains for proper burial. The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them.

Speaking to anyone about your situation such as police or F.B.I. will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies. If you alert bank authorities, she dies. If the money is in anyway marked or tampered with, she dies. You will be scanned for electronic devices and if any are found, she dies.

You can try to deceive us, but be warned we are familiar with law enforcement counter-measures and tactics. You stand a 99 percent chance of killing your daughter if you try to outsmart us. Follow our instructions and you stand a 100 percent chance of getting her back.

You and your family are under constant scrutiny, as well as the authorities. Don’t try to grow a brain, John. You are not the only fat cat around so don’t think that killing will be difficult.  Don’t underestimate us John.  Use that good southern common sense of yours.  It’s up to you now, John. Victory!  S. B.T.C  Use that good, sense of yours. It’s up to you now, John”

It sounds like it is lifted from a grade B novel. It is long, rambling and ridiculous. Police have always theorized that the killer sat and calmly penned that red herring after slaying JonBenet.  He/She/They have just garroted a six year old child,  cracked her skull in half  and sexually abused her in her own home with three other family members upstairs.  He/She/They stop and write a wordy, rambling ransom note for a dead child. Cool, cool cucumbers.

The pad that it was torn from was found in a kitchen drawer.  The public was told that there was evidence of a practice note left in the pad.  The Sharpie was there among some other pens.  Patsy Ramsey had acknowledged to police that the pad and the Sharpie were hers.


Most of us don’t use the word “hence” very often, if at all.  “Therefore” is what most of us seem to prefer.  The ransom note contains the rarely used  “hence” and the housekeeper, Linda Hoffman Pugh, was quick to point out to Boulder P.D. that Patsy not only used the word “hence” with some frequency but she also used exclamation points in her letters and notes.  Patsy had also been overheard telling John to “grow a brain” from time to time.

There was also the problem of the $118,000 ransom.  John was far, far wealthier than that.  It was an oddly low amount but worse, it matched the bonus check that he received five days earlier.  Who would have known that?

Experts brought in to analyze the note agreed that it had been written by a woman.  A man would have written something short and to the point. They also agreed that the writer must have felt that they had plenty of time.  In the end the consensus was that the writer was female, had had a good education, and was likely thirty five to forty years old (Patsy had just turned forty the month before and she was well educated).

 P’s and Q’s

Patsy's Writing Sample

Patsy’s Writing Sample


Patsy and dozens of other potential suspects were asked to submit handwriting samples. Handwriting experts  concluded that the closest match was Patsy Ramsey.  She scored an overall 72% probability of being the author of the ransom note.  The fact that the legal pad that it was torn from was found in her kitchen drawer raised that to a 99.99999%. Obviously.

Odds and Ends

The Ramsey family had returned from dinner at close friend Fleet White’s home on the 25th at approximately 9:30 p.m.  JonBenet had fallen asleep in the back seat of the car as had nine year old brother Burke. Both were carried to their respective rooms  and placed in their beds.

John awoke first the following morning and he showered.  Patsy got out of bed around 5:30 a.m, dressed and went down the spiral staircase which led to the kitchen.  The three page note was spread out at the bottom of those stairs.

Patsy Ramsey had answered the door for police a little after 6 a.m.  They noted that her hair was combed, she was wearing full makeup and was dressed in black velvet pants and a red top.  This is what she had been wearing the previous evening.  They thought that suspicious, wondering if she had actually been up all night.

There was a bowl of pineapple sitting in a bowl on the table in the breakfast nook  The autopsy revealed that there was pineapple in JonBenet’s small intestine.  How did it get there?  Who fed her pineapple after she had been placed in her bed?  Did someone wake her up and walk her downstairs?

Boulder P.D. found no signs of forcible entry to the house, however there was a broken, unlocked window in the basement under a grate which was large enough for an adult to fit through.  There were also two first floor windows open very slightly, just enough to accommodate  electrical cord that connected to exterior Christmas lights.

There was a Mag-lite flashlight sitting on the kitchen counter.  John’s older son, John Andrew, had given it to John as a gift.  It was clean of any fibers and hair as well as fingerprints and was suspected of creating the odd shaped hole and massive fracture in JonBenet’s skull.

The Ramseys hired a top notch legal team almost immediately.  They also appeared on several television interview programs and held their own press conferences.  From that point forward, Boulder P.D.  played hardball and the Ramseys played extreme defense.

The Body

JonBenet was found laying on her back, duct tape covered her mouth; arms were stretched up and back, hands resting above her head.  She was deep into rigor mortis and smelled of decomposition.  Someone had drawn a vague heart shape in faint red pen on one of her palms, laid her on a blanket and folded the blanket over her “papoose style”.   The white top  that she had worn to Fleet White’s house was still on the body but the bottoms were different.  The bottoms had been changed before JonBenet was tucked in by her parents. The underpants she was wearing were several sizes too big for her and were stained with urine and what looked like blood.

JonBenet-garroteWhite cord wrapped tightly around her neck connected to a peculiar garrote fashioned out of one of Patsy’s paint brushes.   Both ends of the paint brush had been broken off.  The brush end was found in Patsy’s art supply tray which was on the basement floor.  Small wood splinters were found right next to the tray, confirming that the garrote had been made that night and in that spot.  The tip end of the brush was never found.

It was not readily apparent but JonBenet had been dealt a sharp, powerful, single blow to the top rear of her head.   There was a hole in her skull and a fracture more than eight inches long.  On a six year old, that is most of their skull.  This was the work of a vicious psychopath.

JonBenet skull fracture

JonBenet skull fracture

 The Autopsy

The cause of death was ruled to be strangulation by garrote accompanied by a sharp force blow to the head by an unknown object.  Traces of pineapple were found in the small intestine.  The cord around the neck was extremely tight and had dug a deep furrow all the way around the entire circumference of the neck.  There was some bleeding under the scalp but swelling in the tissue, as well as the brain itself, was minimal.

There was some evidence of recent sexual contact  of an ambiguous nature.  Evidence of rape was not noted, yet the autopsy identified  hyperemia around her vagina extending slightly into the vaginal orifice.  Medical Definition of HYPEREMIA:   excess of blood in a body part (as from an increased flow of blood due to vasodilation) :  congestion

A small abrasion was noted at the 7 o’clock position of the same area.  Small amounts of blood were notated in the vagina and small areas of dry blood were adhered to the labia minor.  No source for the blood was identified in the autopsy….blood, but no wound.


Patsy Ramsey

Patsy Ramsey

Pin the Tail on the Patsy

There was one more poignant, and potentially damning, detail.  JonBenet’s favorite pink night gown, which had been sitting in the basement dryer, was on the floor next to her.  Surely, no intruder would know which item in the dryer was JonBenet’s favorite.

It wasn’t long before Boulder P.D. made it obvious that they had one, and only one, suspect in mind.   The prevailing theory within Boulder P.D. was that JonBenet had wet her bed.  Her enraged mother struck her in the head, possibly with one of JonBenet’s trophies.

The killing was accidental and the frantic mother rushed the body to the basement, staged the strangulation and sex abuse, then sat down and composed the torturously long ransom note,   With no sign of a break in, a 72% handwriting match to the ransom note,  the match between John’s bonus and the $118,000 ransom,  the favorite pink nightie on the floor next to her, the red “heart” on the palm……

It was time, ladies and gentlemen,  to pin the tail on the Patsy.


Part 3 The Worm Turns


JonBenet Ramsey-Labyrinth of Lies

JonBenet Ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey

By 1996, John Ramsey had become a highly successful owner of a software company.  His second wife, Patsy, was an at home mother of two, Burke and JonBenet.  She was also, by that time, in remission from ovarian cancer. Patsy had been a beauty queen in her youth and she zealously promoted her gorgeous young daughter in child beauty pageants.  By the time she was six, JonBenet had won dozens and dozens of titles.  Many who had known her had commented that her poise was remarkable for one so young.

JonBenet and Patsy-Chemo and compassion

JonBenet and Patsy-Chemo and compassion

Housekeeper Linda Hoffman Pugh described JonBenet as being the only sunshine in the house but also noted that both she and brother Burke were chronic bed wetters. JonBenet wanted to be a pediatrician when she grew up, perhaps because she spent so much time at her pediatrician’s office.  She had been there thirty three times over the last three and a half years.  The pediatrician had told Boulder P.D. that this was “not excessive”. He had never seen at any time any evidence of abuse.  Of course medical records are confidential but someone claimed to know that JonBenet was experiencing chronic yeast infections.

December 23, 1996

On December 23rd, the Ramseys had hosted a Christmas party at their home. The elite of Boulder were there although the guest list has never been revealed. John’s company, Access Graphics, had been purchased by Lockheed Martin prior to 1996. Surely, many Lockheed executives were there that night. Lockheed has many military contracts, so one might assume that some military clients were in attendance and perhaps a few local government officials.  John’s company was a major employer in Colorado. There was one peculiarity that evening.  Someone at the Ramsey home had placed a call to 911 at 6:47 p.m.but they hung up without speaking.   Police called back but got voice mail so a car was dispatched.  The responding officer was assured that there was nothing wrong and he left.  Later on, it was speculated that dear friend Fleet White had been using the Ramsey phone in order to arrange for a prescription. Somehow, he had dialed 911.  Others speculated that John had dialed.  The suspected objective, in either case, was to test the emergency response time, surely an intriguing hypothesis.

Boulder, Colorado  Christmas Day 1996

It was right around midnight when a single piercing scream of a little girl shocked one of the Ramsey neighbors awake. She thought the scream came from the Ramsey home and thought it sounded like JonBenet.  But when she failed to hear anything further she fell back asleep.  A second neighbor wondered about the strange lights in the Ramsey kitchen late that night.   No one in the Ramsey home heard the scream.  Sometime later, the neighbor recanted saying that she thought the scream may have been from a day or two prior. Mrs Ramsey wakened around 5:00 a.m. and left her third floor bedroom to go downstairs to start the coffee brewing in the kitchen.  The family was to leave early that morning for their Christmas vacation.  She reached the staircase and was puzzled by the sight of three pages of notebook paper sitting at the bottom of the stairs.  She bent over to read….”Mr. Ramsey, listen carefully”, the note began.  “We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction…At this time, we have your daughter in our possession.”  She ran up to JonBenet’s room and saw that she wasn’t there.  At approximately 5:52 a.m., Patsy phoned 9-1-1. Her heavily labored breathing indicated pure, unbridled panic.  Boulder police responded promptly.

Ransom Letter

Ransom Letter

Inexplicable Behaviors

John Ramsey had already summoned his pastor and several close friends including Fleet White to the house.  All were permitted to wander about the home freely.  Patsy sequestered herself in the sun room away from John.  She wept with  her  hands over her face.  One of the detectives was unnerved by the way Patsy stared at him through splayed fingers,.  Unbeknownst to the detective,he and Patsy were positioned directly over the spot in the basement where Jon Benet would be found later that day. The officers on scene made no effort to contain the family and visitors.  This was an automatic, and possibly deliberate,  contamination of a crime scene; a pure gift to any future legal defense team no matter who the suspect might be. Boulder P.D. made a cursory examination of the house and then left, presumably to prepare for the pending ransom call.  The FBI had been contacted and had been requested to arrange a phone tap. The note stated that there would be a call to the Ramseys between eight and ten a.m. to arrange for the ransom delivery but a call never came.

Linda Arndt

Linda Arndt

One lone detective, Linda Arndt, was instructed to remain with the Ramseys and their guests,   This poor woman was soon to be treated to the creep show to end all creep shows. After the deadline for the ransom call had passed , Detective Arndt  made several phone calls to Boulder P.D. because she needed assistance in controlling the movements of the people inside.  She was told that everyone was in a meeting.   Ms. Arndt was struck by the complete lack of reaction by either parent as the deadline for contact by the kidnappers passed. As eleven a.m. went by, then twelve, then one p.m., Linda could stand it no longer.  She instructed John Ramsey and his best friend, Fleet White, to conduct another search of the house.  She instructed them not to touch or to move anything. John made a beeline to the basement followed by Fleet.  She heard John scream and Fleet call for an ambulance.  Seconds later, John came up from the basement carrying an obviously dead JonBenet.  Her remains already bore the faint smell of decomposition.  He held her at her waist, her body stiff with rigor mortis.  So much for preserving a crime scene. It should be noted here that John Ramsey’s adult son from his first marriage, John Andrew, was interviewed by police.  John Andrew recalled that his father told him that day that JonBenet’s body had been found at 11:00 a.m.   Detective Arndt had reported that John Ramsey had left the house for about an hour  right around 10:00 a.m.

Hopelessly Compromised Crime Scene

John Ramsey

John Ramsey

Not only had John Ramsey picked up the body, carried it through the basement and up into the house, but he had also pulled off duct tape that covered her mouth, loosened the cord that was wrapped around one wrist, and removed her from a blanket that she was wrapped in. Where, one wonders, was John Ramsey’s brain that morning?  Or had he deliberately tampered with evidence to protect the murderer?  And was John the murderer?

Tragic Losses

JonBenet was the second of John’s daughters to die in youth.  His daughter, Elizabeth, from his first marriage had died at age twenty two in a car accident.   Ramsey’s housekeeper thought it strange that John kept a photo album of Elizabeth in his personal bathroom.  The housekeeper had said a lot of things.

The Police Return

A dead body?  Well, that;s a horse of a different color.  Suddenly, all those Boulder Police Officers and Detectives who were too busy having their meeting suddenly found time to rush back over to the Ramsey’s.  The coroner, however,  didn’t swing by until  8:00 p.m. and then he stayed only a few minutes.  JonBenet was finally transported to the morgue around 9:30 p.m. Years later during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Ramsey would describe the moment of finding JonBenet “a relief and a horror at the same time”.  A relief?  In what way could any of that have possibly been a relief ?


Part 2:  Pin the Tail on the Patsy https://adriaen22.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/jonbenet-ramsey-labyrinth-of-lies-pt-2/

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