JonBenet Ramsey-Labyrinth of Lies Part 6
And the Wind Cries Mary
“After all the jacks are in their boxes, and the clowns have all gone to bed,
you can hear happiness staggering on down the street, footprints dress in red.
And the wind whispers …Mary.
A broom is drearily sweeping up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life.
Somewhere a Queen is weeping, somewhere a King has no wife.
And the wind it cries ….Mary.” Jimi Hendrix
The Ransom Note
Back in 1997, magazines and tabloids trumpeted that handwriting experts hired by Boulder PD felt that there was a 73% chance that Patsy Ramsey had written the infamous ransom note. Examination of a deposition taken of John Ramsey in conjunction with a lawsuit filed by journalist Christopher Wolf yielded a firmly contrary point of view.
When probed about the possibility that his wife had written the note, John Ramsey stated in unequivocal terms that he did not believe that she had. He described her handwriting as being feminine and fluid, unlike the uneven and choppy writing style of the person who penned the lengthy note. He added that Patsy had been very well educated and the the misspelling of the words business (“bussiness”) and possession (“posession”) precluded her as author of the note. He was certain that his wife did not write it.
Patsy insisted to the day she died that she had not written the note nor had anything to do with her daughter’s murder. No matter. 73% is a nice, strong percentage. And no matter that it made no sense whatsoever for a murdering mother to pen a rambling three page ransom note, yet leave her child’s cold corpse in the basement where it could be discovered. One wonders if it ever occur to the Boulder PD that they were looking at a sophisticated misdirection of blame? Might someone have been trying to pull off a perfect crime?
The experts pointed to distinctive words and phrases salted in the note here and there which they felt really, really screamed “Patsy”; the word “hence” for example. She was known to use “hence” from time to time. Did she harbor some secret animosity toward her entrepreneurial and very successful husband, enough to scribble this highly insulting gem, “don’t try to grow a brain, John”? And why would she make the mistake of telling him to “use that good southern common sense”? Patsy knew that John did not come from the south. They were residents of Atlanta before they moved to Boulder. Patsy was born and raised in West Virginia but John had grown up in Michigan. John was no southerner. Whomever wrote the note did not know that.
In hopes of generating leads that would result in identifying JonBenet’s killer a forum called Webbsleuths was created. It was moderated by an individual using the screen name Jameson. In late 2001, using the screen names “No7ThirdPlace” and “I Know”, a person came in to the forum and began to share a breathtakingly peculiar story, a story which Boulder P.D. saw fit to ignore.
“No7ThirdPlace” posted a series of details about a personal experience that slowly unfolded between late 1992 through 1995. Over time, “No7ThirdPlace/”I Know” ” came to realize that those experiences held a critical clue to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. It took many attempts and the intervention of Jameson to get Boulder P.D.’s attention. When a detective finally did speak with “I Know”, his manner was rude and demeaning . The clue conveyed to the police came to nothing. The lead was ignored.
And the Wind Cries Mary (while softly whispering Jasper, Alabama)
“I Know” had made the acquaintance of a woman named Mary after her friend, Carrie Smith Lawson, had been kidnapped in September 1991 . The twenty five year old Mrs. Lawson had received a call from someone who claimed to work at a local hospital. “Come quick! It’s your father”, she was told.
Carrie and her husband rushed out of their home in Jasper, Alabama only to be set upon by masked assailants, as the husband Earl Lawson told the story. They tied Earl up and abducted Carrie in her own Ford Explorer. Two days later, she was allowed to place a call to her husband. The kidnappers wanted $300,000 in ransom which was to be left in a specified tunnel. The ransom money was delivered but Carrie was not returned. Police subsequently made a relatively swift arrest of one Karen McPherson.
McPherson quickly rolled on her distant cousin, Jerry Bland and admitted to being the voice on the phone. As police surrounded Bland’s house, he shot himself in the head. Most of the $300,000 ransom was recovered from his attic. But there was also significant cash in his car which was linked to a recent cocaine deal. Jerry had a hobby, Jerry had a part-time job. Remember the death of the daughter of an ex-housekeeper of the Ramseys in Boulder a couple of weeks before JonBenet? (see part 5)
Some weeks later, Carrie’s Ford Explorer was recovered from a wooded area some 45 miles away from Jasper, but Carrie was never to be seen again. She was declared dead by the court two years later.
“I Know” had been friends with Carrie and was deeply distraught when Carrie disappeared. Around the time Carrie disappeared, prime suspect Jerry Bland was captured on a security camera in Tuscaloosa, some fifty miles to the south. Volunteer search teams looked everywhere between Jasper and Tuscaloosa.
A semi regular customer of the Handy Dandy convenience store where “I Know” worked as cashier started talking to “I Know” about the searches. The man’s name was Jim and after some time, he offered to introduce “I Know” to his wife, Mary. Over time, A casual friendship developed and several months along the way, Mary shared that she was working on a book about the Carrie Lawson kidnapping case. One day,sometime in 1992, Mary asked “I Know”‘ to assist with her book. Mary, it seems, needed some help writing a ransom note for her novel which she planned to title “The Perfect Murder”.
“I Know”claimed not to have seen a copy of the Ramsey note until 2001 (doubtful) but was horrified to realize that it was the note that had been written for Mary’s book six years earlier! It was supposed to be for a novel about the disappearance of friend, Carrie Lawson. Instead, it had been used in a real life murder of a six year old.
Jameson became intrigued enough with “I Know”‘s story to agree to a meeting in order to get a writing sample. “I Know” wrote the entire statement in front of Jameson and neither of them had brought a copy of the Ramsey ransom note to the meeting. Here follows the handwriting sample that “I Know” produced under Jameson’s watchful eye. :
Here is the full Ramsey ransom note:
Keeping in mind that six years had elapsed between the time each note was created, there are, indeed, many striking similarities between the two handwriting samples. the most striking similarity is with the formation of the word “that” in both notes as well as the consistent use of the typewriter style small “a”. There is also a mixed slant in both notes as well as a similar choppiness and lack of fluidity.
After many frustrating attempts to reach Boulder P.D., “I Know” finally reached out to Ramsey attorney Lin Wood and Wood, in turn, made an introduction to the highly respected cold case ace, Lou Smit According to “I Know”, Smit seemed confused by the narrative. Nothing happened from speaking with Smit
“I Know” provided them disturbing video tapes of Mary and Mary’s friends and even offered to take a polygraph exam. Nothing. No follow up, no investigation. Nothing.
It was time to track down “I Know” and ask some very important questions. But the last post on the Webbsleuths site was in 2006. Would it even be possible to find an anonymous forum commenter more than nine years after they had gone silent? And would they talk to me if I found them?
To be continued Part 7 Searching for “No7ThirdPlace/IKnow”