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/