JonBenet Ramsey-Labyrinth of Lies Part 7
Jasper, Alabama-population 14,222
According to Wikipedia, tiny little Jasper is the county seat of Walker County Alabama, and once ranked among the world’s leading producers of coal. Walker County, it must be noted, bears the dubious distinction of being the “murder for hire capital” of America.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Have Gun, Will Travel
A series of serendipitous and unlikely mini-miracles occurred and suddenly “I Know” was at the other end of the phone. It didn’t seem real, but the urgent, southern voice acted as grounding. The story came out in a wild patchwork of unfinished thoughts, strings of names of unknown people, and rapid fire vignettes. “There was this time John Mark Karr came in to the store where I worked to take some pictures of me. Said he worked for a beauty salon in Atlanta….You know, I drive around town with the names of all the people involved written on my car”. And so it went for about two hours, total stream of consciousness.
Trying to keep this person on topic went about as well as herding cats. “Do you know who Lisa Wallace is? You know about Governor Wallace? Lisa was Wallace’s third wife (1981-1987). Well, she was selling an antique table, a Persian rug and some ivory and I bought it. Mary offered to store the table for me because it wouldn’t fit in my apartment. The apartment was too small. This really started when my friend Carrie got kidnapped. She was never found. I miss her so much”.
“I tried contacting the police so many, many times. They just ignored me. I finally talked to Lou Smit. I wrote that note! I wrote that note for Mary because she said she was writing a book about Carrie! I gave it to her in a paper towel tube, that cardboard thing in the center of the roll She told me to buy a mailing tube, but I didn’t. That made me mad”.
There was no paper or pen handy, having been caught off guard “Better to just let them get it all out”, I thought. Hopefully, there would be another opportunity to pin things down, get the names straight and ask prepared questions. Hopefully.
The second call came in just a few minutes into the super blood moon lunar eclipse in late September. It had been a quiet Sunday and the questions prepared after the first call sat near the phone along with a pen. They had been there for over a week. . There was no way to know when IK would call back, nor if IK would call back.
The moon wasn’t up quite yet. I had gone back in the house to check the time. A few minutes later, the phone rang. The timing was mind numbing. I picked up the receiver and heard that distinctive southern inflection “It’s me, IK“. I grabbed the pen and notebook . “Here we go”, I thought. “here we go”. Just as Earth’s shadow began to slowly move across the face of the moon, it began.
Q. When did you meet Mary?
A. I don’t remember exactly. Let me think. It was after my friend Carrie went missing. She was kidnapped in 1991 on September 11th. There were search teams through the United Methodist Church. People looked for her all the way from here to Tuscaloosa because Carrie’s vehicle was caught on a security camera down there. I couldn’t never go because I had to work. But this customer came in from time to time and he would talk to me about it. He and his wife were in the search. His name was Jim. At some point, he invited me to his house to meet his wife Mary. You know, I think Mary and Jim had something to do with Carrie disappearing, too. I just feel it. Jerry didn’t do that by himself. He didn’t kill himself, either.
(ed. note – police said that suspect Jerry Bland committed suicide as they began to circle the house. IK doesn’t believe that. There were reports that $50,000 was missing from the $300,000. Who got paid and why)?
Q. How long did you know Mary before she mentioned the book?
A. I have to think. She was planning to write a book about the kidnapping. Maybe it was 1992 before I went over there. I don’t remember exactly when. There was a Christmas party in ’94. John Mark Karr was supposed to be there. I don’t think he showed up, though. There’s this man. He scares me. When he came in, I just had to get out of there. So I never saw John Mark there, but I know they were expecting him. You know, when John Mark Karr’s family said he was with them at Christmas Day 1996, they were lying for him. The book, the ransom note had to have been somewhere around the time of that party. I have trouble placing the time. I would like to be hypnotized. I could remember things better.
(ed. note – To me, the way this question was answered indicates a genuine memory process. Notice the associations IK went through in an effort to pinpoint the timeline.)
Q. How old were you back then?
A. Well, I am sixty seven now, so what would that be?
Q. It’s a little over twenty years ago that you are talking about so you would have been in your mid forties. Was Mary about the same age as you?
A. No. She was older
Q. By how much?
A. I am not sure to the year, but I would say she was around ten years older.
Q. What do you remember about her physically?
A. She wasn’t tall, had very tiny feet (giggle). Her hair was dark…. brown, maybe
Q. How about her husband Jim?
A. He wasn’t tall either, salt and pepper hair. He was a few years older than Mary. I can’t recall his eye color. He didn’t have any scars on his face.
Q. The first time we spoke, you talked about a clipboard and sheets of paper. Did Mary hand you a clip board with blank pages on it that you wrote the note on?
A. No. I wrote that note so many times. I kept making mistakes. I started with a small note pad that I bought from the store where I worked. You know, Handy Dandy. We started with that, but it got to be so messy.
Q. Then what was the clip board for?
A. Mary kept her ransom note script on there. She would read to me from it and I was supposed to write it down. She said it was a collaboration, but she never liked my ideas.
Q. Was Mary’s ransom script hand written or typed?
A. I don’t know. I never saw it. Mary held the clip board and read to me from it. She never showed me the script.
(ed. note – At the time of the 1st call, IK had specifically said that they had written the note many times due to making mistakes, losing their place while transcribing, and finally took everything home to finish it. This was after several sessions over at Mary’s home office).
Q. Well, wait a minute, if you never saw the script, what were you transcribing from?
A. I already told you that I bought a small note pad where I worked. The first sessions went in to that pad. But it was a mess. Then I go over there one time and she hands me a big pad. It had pages torn out.
Q. It had been used?
A. Yes. It had a short grocery list on there. You know, there was a palm print on that ransom note. That had to be mine. She got me so mad that I slammed my hand down on one of the pages. (ed. note: there were no prints lifted from the note, not even Ramsey prints)
Q. What did she do that got you so mad?
A. Well, you know this was supposed to be about my friend Carrie. But she tells me to write :Mr. Ramsey”. I said, Mary, who is Mr. Ramsey? That’s not Carrie’s husband’s name. Mary said “that’s one of the characters in my book”. I didn’t know what to think. Then, she tells me “JonBenet”. Well, I can’t spell that, so I ask her how to spell that and she didn’t know. That’s when I got really mad and I told her, these are your characters. How can you have a character but you can’t spell their name? I just was so mad. It didn’t make any sense. I slapped my hand down right on the paper really hard. She couldn’t spell JonBenet, I couldn’t spell it, so I said “why don’t we just say ‘your daughter’? She was ok with that so that is what I wrote. I tried to get her to change a few things, but (other than that) she never would.
Q. What did you try to get her to change?
A. The ransom amount, for one thing. It just didn’t make sense to me to ask for $118,000. I told her ‘that’s such an odd amount…and it’s too low. You should make it a million’. She wouldn’t do it. It had to be $118,000. And I told her to change attache to ‘briefcase’. Wouldn’t do that either.It didn’t feel like much of a collaboration to me.
Q. Ok, ok…then when was the final note written? The one that went into a paper towel tube? The one that ended up at the Ramseys’?
(ed. note – the answer rocked my world)
to be continued in Labyrinth of Lies Part 8