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S01.E02: Part Two 2016.09.19

2 hours ago, Mittengirl said:

For me, the issue is not if Burke knew how to tie that particular knot, but if he would even know what a garrote is.  I am leaning towards no.  I just don't think that is something a kid would know about.   Some people have mentioned him possibly learning about that it scouting, but I find that hard to believe considering he was only a Cub Scout.   I don't see them teaching third graders how to choke something to death.

I agree with this, but I still think it's totally possible that he hit her in the head with the flashlight and even maybe choked her in some other way. I think the garrote was staged to make it look like a sex crime. An adult intruder would not have to hit a 6 year old child in the head. He would have been able to subdue her just by the difference in size and strength. An adult could have snapped her neck. The head injury to me says anger just as the smeared feces, especially on her brand new box of candy.

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Good special. I've always suspected Burke, because the intruder theory makes no sense (especially that ransom note).

A few people didn't like that the friend who took their portraits talked to media and was iced out. The Ramsay's also told their friends not to talk to the police. What parent would do that if their child had been murdered by an intruder? Oh, yeah, none.

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5 hours ago, Andromeda said:

The Ramsay's also told their friends not to talk to the police. What parent would do that if their child had been murdered by an intruder? Oh, yeah, none.

I would be going door to door begging anyone who saw anything at all to run to the police, I'd drive them there myself, I don't care if it was a squirrel running through the yard, everyone tell the police whatever you can! I wouldn't care if all my dirty laundry was aired if it meant finding the person who killed my little girl and protecting my son who could well be the next target. Really, I wouldn't feel safe until the killer was found and tried and found guilty. But hey, to each his own. Possibly their reputation was more important than their daughter.

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I keep hearing that Burke was in Boy Scouts and keep wondering if this garrote is something he would have learned how to make in Boy Scouts. Might it have some other use? The experts on this show pointed out how pointless/useless it would have been for an adult to make such a thing since they could just as easily pull on the rope with their hands during strangulation. Which makes me wonder if a nine-year old would have needed the extra leverage of a garrote in order to accomplish that level of strangulation.

I don't think Burke did the garrote.  As I've posted elsewhere, the Ramseys had a pleasure boat and I'm sure John knows how to tie all sorts of knots from tying in his boat.  Can't picture Patsy getting her hair or nails mussed to do that.  IMO this speaks against an intruder.  If the motive was kidnapping and something went wrong and JonBenet was killed, why not just take the body anyway and wait for a ransom?  The Lindbergh baby was dead but a ransom note was still sent (too bad we can't discuss the theories that his daddy did it).  So if you believe an intruder did it, then why would anyone go to the trouble of a garrote?  What if those paint brushes hadn't been there?  Why not just use your bare hands, or as Dr. Spitz pointed out, why the elaborate garrote?  Just take the rope and strangle her.  If she was going to get kidnapped, I don't think anyone's explained how they were going to get her out of the house through the basement window.  Yes, I've seen Smit and the woman New Scotland Yard agent going into the basement from the window, but I want to see someone holding onto a little girl climb up on a wobbly suitcase and scramble out the basement window.

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The garrote is interesting because why would any adult need such a device to strange such a tiny little child? It would have been pretty easy to strangle her with your hands, or just a rope if the intruder didn't wear gloves (which if it was an intruder they must have because there were no fingerprints on the window or the note or her room or anywhere, right?), so why go through the trouble of making a garrote, there in the house, providing more time to get caught? It makes so freaking sense.

I'm not convinced that Burke didn't make it, unfortunately. Simply because no one else makes sense. Not that he really does except in a kid logic kind of way. It is weird as part of the cover up because it is unnecessary. If it was made as part of the cover up then it was made after she was dead. She was, therefore, dead from the bash on the head so why fake a strangling? Seriously, if this case were fiction everyone would bash it for being too unbelievable.

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4 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

The garrote is interesting because why would any adult need such a device to strange such a tiny little child? It would have been pretty easy to strangle her with your hands, or just a rope if the intruder didn't wear gloves (which if it was an intruder they must have because there were no fingerprints on the window or the note or her room or anywhere, right?), so why go through the trouble of making a garrote, there in the house, providing more time to get caught? It makes so freaking sense.

I'm not convinced that Burke didn't make it, unfortunately. Simply because no one else makes sense. Not that he really does except in a kid logic kind of way. It is weird as part of the cover up because it is unnecessary. If it was made as part of the cover up then it was made after she was dead. She was, therefore, dead from the bash on the head so why fake a strangling? Seriously, if this case were fiction everyone would bash it for being too unbelievable.

The only way it makes sense is the person who put the garrotte around her neck didn't know about the fatal head injury.  Jonbenet had evidence of having struggled against stangulation, fingernail marks on her neck.  As someone mentioned upthread, what if someone grabbed her by the neck of her shirt and pulled, causing her to use her hands to try to stop the strangulation?  And then, perhaps that same someone then bashes her on the head with a flashlight, causing her to collapse?  Remember, the skull fracture was not immediately apparent; there was no cut on her scalp, no bleeding.  Now, suppose somebody else comes along, sees that she is dead (or maybe just dying), doesn't know what happened and either doesn't ask or the person who did it cannot or will not tell?  All that is obvious is that she has marks around her neck indicating someone tried to strangle her?  Suppose the second person is trying to protect the person who struck the fatal blow by making the strangulation look more elaborate that it actually was because he/she thinks that that was the cause of death and wants it to look like it was a rather sophisticated assault, maybe to deflect attention from the real culprit who was perhaps a child?

The general consensus of the experts is that the garrotte was applied after she'd already suffered the fatal head injury.  I don't see why anyone would have done that unless they didn't know about the skull fracture.  Even if the garrotte was part of some pedophile's sexual sadism, why do it after she was unconscious?

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which all points to it not having been an intruder. I think the garrote was an attempt to make it look like some vicious intruder. The funny thing is, all the covering up, the garrote, the changed underwear, the note all make the family look even more suspect rather than less so because they overdid everything. Leave her without underwear, just toss a rope around her neck rather than making a fancy garrote, write a really short note (or no note, but I'm guessing they hoped the body wouldn't be found so they went with the note, but then, if they didn't want the body to be found, why the garrote and underwear, unless that's what John was doing in his missing hour once the police got there). These people clearly over thought the whole thing and made it a bloody mess and while they did get away with it legally, they did not in the eyes of a good portion of the public.

Of course it could have been an intruder, but to believe that we have to accept that this person kidnapped her, found some stationary and pens, wrote and rewrote a long, drawn out, rambling note, found some supplies to make a garrote to strangle a girl who was already unconscious, possibly changed her underwear (though she might have done that herself and not been smart enough to take underwear that fit) threw out the rest of the underwear pack, hid her in a room that no one outside the family knew existed, and climbed out the window. That's the ballsiest criminal ever because if I'd killed someone's kid while they were in the house I'd wipe down any prints I could and hightail it out of there as fast as possible.

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The general consensus of the experts is that the garrotte was applied after she'd already suffered the fatal head injury.  I don't see why anyone would have done that unless they didn't know about the skull fracture.  Even if the garrotte was part of some pedophile's sexual sadism, why do it after she was unconscious?

They may not have known the extent of the skull damage--even the coroner/M.E. (whatever title was used) didn't at first, as her scalp was intact. The garrote left some significant damage to the neck too. I used to be better-versed in pre-, peri-, and post-mortem injuries*, but have since lost some of that knowledge over the years (because, I guess, it's not all that germane to my day-to-day adult life...sigh) so maybe someone better versed can elaborate on whether that horrific neck indentation would occur if she was 100% dead already?

It kind of seems like they were throwing everything they could think of at the wall and seeing what stuck as far as what they believed a child murderer/sexual predator would do. Almost theatrical.

* When I was in college as an English major/visual arts minor back in the '90s, I audited a forensic anthropology class even though I had almost zero time in my life to do it (full-time course schedule, full-time job, and part-time job--UGH!). That's how much of a crime-geek I've always been. Eventually though, that information had to be pushed out of my brain, I guess, to make room for mortgages and office work! Boo!

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This is the only one of the recent programs I've watched. I'm not familiar with the two main leads but after this I think I'll check out the podcast. I'm very curious as to what got cut because some of what got left in--the attempts to speak with the Whites, or the ridiculous effort of going to Henry Lee's facility for the testing of non-evidence--could have easily been spared.

I found the discussion of the note to be helpful, as I think the note is the strongest evidence against an intruder. Too long, too obviously written by an amateur and an insider, and too likely to have been written in the house. I also found the 911 tape interesting, as I agreed with at least some of their interpretation. I thought it was called a stun gun because people are stunned into immobility, but it makes more sense now that sometimes suspects get tazed more than once. And I was again amazed at the amateurish police work and what now looks like interference by the DA. 

But I'm very disappointed that there wasn't more discussion of the DNA evidence--how much was found, where, and of what probative value. I've gotten more info from this board, although some of it's contradictory. I'd pay to see the remaining footage if there's more discussion of the DNA and the other autopsy findings. I suppose there's a chance they'll cover this in their podcast. 

On the whole I thought this was a good, non-sensationalized effort to review the record (except for getting that 10-year-old to bash the bewigged pig skull). It looks predetermined, but that may be editing. And Henry Lee tends to raise my hackles, because I think he's a publicity hound. I found the rest of the team generally credible. I don't think there's a theory out there that explains all the evidence without seeming emotionally or practically outrageous, but this convinced me that Burke-did-it is probably the best theory. And that we'll never really know.

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Their podcast episodes about this case were removed (likely due to the pending lawsuit), but it is still well worth checking out.  I've gotten totally hooked on it after the show.

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Didn't Patsy hide gifts in the room?  perhaps the underwear was in there too and grabbed in a rush.

I think they have a lot of evidence for Burke.  Before this special I didn't realize that he had so many issues.  Another random thought what if an intruder did it but Patsy thought itwas Burke so she tried to cover it up?  if you have a child who is disturbed to smearing feces and has previously hurt his sister then you find her dead perhaps you assume he finally lost it.  

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Now the lawsuits have been filed, as was speculated here almost immediately.  It's Burke's right to file them, but I still believe he's the one responsible for his sister's death, be it intentional or accidental.  CBS had to know lawsuits were likely given the content of the broadcast, so it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

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51 minutes ago, Ohmo said:

Now the lawsuits have been filed, as was speculated here almost immediately.  It's Burke's right to file them, but I still believe he's the one responsible for his sister's death, be it intentional or accidental.  CBS had to know lawsuits were likely given the content of the broadcast, so it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

I almost wonder if CBS doesn't welcome the chance to depose both Burke and his father.  Discovery for the case will undoubtedly include requests for Burke's psychiatric records; there might be a smoking gun there although it seems like the case wouldn't have been filed if the Ramseys thought there was anything out there that would potentially incriminate them.  Even if Burke is beyond prosecution, his father isn't; and there is the possibility that this will lead to charges of abuse of a corpse, obstruction of justice or perjury.

If CBS manages to uncover new information through this, it is going to be a major  coup.

Edited by doodlebug.
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I don't blame Burke for suing.  There was nothing in that show that convinced me that he killed his sister.  Could he have?  Sure.  But nothing convinced me that it was more likely him, than his mother.  I don't believe the intruder theory and strongly believe it was Patsy accidentally/unintentionally hurting JB, thinking she killed her and covering it up, with some help from John at some point.  I wouldn't be surprised if Burke knew of the coverup that morning.

Bottom line, for me, is that the show presented some damning evidence that Patsy was heavily involved early on and that someone in the family killed JB.  But, I thought they decided early on that Burke was guilty and then made the evidence fit their theory.  Nothing they presented ruled out Patsy, or John for that matter.  IMO.

It is interesting that basically no one suspects John.  Aside from the standard "Dad sexually abusing daughter" stereotype, there seems to have never been any real blame placed on him until the coverup occurs.  I don't know why I think this, but I feel like John would have taken JB to the hospital if he had been informed as soon as she got hurt initially.  It would have been easier to explain away an injury than a dead body.  Kids rough housing, child slipping in bath tub - easy excuses for a head injury.  And when coming from a rich, influential person?  Not going to raise suspicion.

Edited by Mittengirl.
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30 minutes ago, Mittengirl said:

It is interesting that basically no one suspects John.

That actually is interesting because, really, while I can make a case for both Patsy and Burke, and I do think it was someone in that house and not an intruder, I never once thought John had anything to do with it, other than after the fact/covering up. I think it might be because of what a bungled mess it all was, that I think a successful businessman who doesn't seem as emotional as his wife would have come up with a much better cover-up if he had been involved from the very beginning.

I can only imagine what went through his head when he woke up, half way through the worlds most convoluted cover-up and had to try to make this work. Ironically, it is the fact that the cover-up was so poorly done, and more so that the family has so many important people in their pocket, that helped whichever one it was get away with murder.

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I hope Burke wins the lawsuit; its disgusting how people dragged his entire person-hood through the mud just for ratings and normalized the act of arrogantly describing him as a killer despite there being no evidence. 

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On ‎12‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 4:59 PM, Mabinogia said:

That actually is interesting because, really, while I can make a case for both Patsy and Burke, and I do think it was someone in that house and not an intruder, I never once thought John had anything to do with it, other than after the fact/covering up. I think it might be because of what a bungled mess it all was, that I think a successful businessman who doesn't seem as emotional as his wife would have come up with a much better cover-up if he had been involved from the very beginning.

I can only imagine what went through his head when he woke up, half way through the worlds most convoluted cover-up and had to try to make this work. Ironically, it is the fact that the cover-up was so poorly done, and more so that the family has so many important people in their pocket, that helped whichever one it was get away with murder.

I think John does benefit from the screwed up mess that was the staging.  Patsy seemed to have been the flighty one (and perhaps not the brightest bulb in the chandelier).  Even without the handwriting analysis excluding him, that ransom note doesn't seem like the work of a corporate executive.  Even if Patsy hadn't worn the same clothes from the night before, John seems like the detail oriented one and would've probably been able to plot a more logical scenario that the one that played out.  I think he came into the process late in the timeline after some of the less intelligent moves had been made (the rambling ransom note, the garrote) and he either didn't have a chance to review it or couldn't change things).  The fact that Patsy was an hysterical trainwreck requiring sedation for weeks afterwards seems to indicate she was either not as emotionally strong and/or had more trouble keeping the secrets than John did. ( I realize the tragic loss of a child affects different people in different ways; but Patsy seems to have been far less functional than many parents would've been.)

Edited by doodlebug.
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17 hours ago, Glade said:

 

I hope Burke wins the lawsuit; its disgusting how people dragged his entire person-hood through the mud just for ratings and normalized the act of arrogantly describing him as a killer despite there being no evidence. 

 

I think it's disgusting that a 6 year old girl was murdered in her own home and no one has ever been brought to justice. Burke is an adult now. He was sheltered long enough. While there is not definitive forensic evidence that would 100% convict any of them, there is a lot that points in Burke's direction. There WAS a grand jury on the matter, and the GJ did recommend indicting the Ramseys. But not on murder charges. It appears, based on their recommendation, they thought the parents were likely guilty of covering the crime up. That leaves Burke, who was a minor at the time. Now he is not, and shouldn't be surprised if people feel more comfortable questioning his role. 

I will never believe there was an intruder in that house that night. Some, or all, of those present know what happened. No one has ever said anything. My thoughts are with Jon Benet, who had her promising, young life ripped from her by someone who was supposed to love her. That's what disgusts me.

Edited by ghoulina.
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2 hours ago, ghoulina said:

I think it's disgusting that a 6 year old girl was murdered in her own home and no one has ever been brought to justice. Burke is an adult now. He was sheltered long enough. While there is not definitive forensic evidence that would 100% convict any of them, there is a lot that points in Burke's direction. There WAS a grand jury on the matter, and the GJ did recommend indicting the Ramseys. But not on murder charges. It appears, based on their recommendation, they thought the parents were likely guilty of covering the crime up. That leaves Burke, who was a minor at the time. Now he is not, and shouldn't be surprised if people feel more comfortable questioning his role. 

I will never believe there was an intruder in that house that night. Some, or all, of those present know what happened. No one has ever said anything. My thoughts are with Jon Benet, who had her promising, young life ripped from her by someone who was supposed to love her. That's what disgusts me.

I agree, whatever testimony the grand jury heard; they apparently didn't feel there was enough evidence to charge John or Patsy with murder.  However, they did feel there was a cover-up orchestrated by the two of them.  Who else would have done it?  Who, other than Burke, would've gotten the parents to try to hide evidence?  I doubt there was anyone else in this world for whom John and Patsy would've done what they apparently did.  And the intruder theory makes no sense at all, both in terms of the murder itself and the obvious staging that took place afterwards.

I wonder if testimony from the grand jury hearings is discoverable in the civil suit?  If so, CBC is going to request it and the whole world is going to hear the evidence that was presented to convince them that the parents weren't murderers but were participants in covering up the crime.

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Isn't it possible that the Grand Jury did think that one of the parents, most likely Patsy, did kill Jon Benet but did not feel there was enough evidence presented to prove it?  I don't necessarily think that their choosing to indict only for child abuse, or whatever the specific charges were, means that they think that neither parent killed her.

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That is true. I guess we'll never know. The GJ recommended certain charges, but the DA ultimately decided not to proceed with a trial. That is the real tragedy here. 

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On 1/2/2017 at 9:40 PM, Mittengirl said:

Isn't it possible that the Grand Jury did think that one of the parents, most likely Patsy, did kill Jon Benet but did not feel there was enough evidence presented to prove it?  I don't necessarily think that their choosing to indict only for child abuse, or whatever the specific charges were, means that they think that neither parent killed her.

Having spent a month on a GJ last year, yes, that is entirely possible. There were times that my gut may have told me, "Hey, I *think* this person may have done ________" when it came to a certain charge, but you are read the law and vote true bill or no true bill based on each charge individually. I took diligent notes and weighed the testimony/evidence, which is how I voted and discussed each charge. Many times people were indicted on specific charges, but not all, because there just wasn't enough evidence presented that lined up with the law.

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On 12/31/2016 at 4:59 PM, Mabinogia said:

That actually is interesting because, really, while I can make a case for both Patsy and Burke, and I do think it was someone in that house and not an intruder, I never once thought John had anything to do with it, other than after the fact/covering up. I think it might be because of what a bungled mess it all was, that I think a successful businessman who doesn't seem as emotional as his wife would have come up with a much better cover-up if he had been involved from the very beginning.

I can only imagine what went through his head when he woke up, half way through the worlds most convoluted cover-up and had to try to make this work. Ironically, it is the fact that the cover-up was so poorly done, and more so that the family has so many important people in their pocket, that helped whichever one it was get away with murder.

It's funny because John has always seemingly gotten a pass from the media and law enforcement. However,  his handwriting greatly resembled the ransom note but for some reason he was excluded as a match. There is a handwriting sample out there of his and looks eerily similar to the note.  

 

As for justice for JonBenet,  the Ramseys,  their wealthy Atlanta and Michigan friends just want this to go away.  It's an inconvenience to them which is why there has been no justice.  Sweep it under the rug. Only the ones who dare to speak out (Judith Phillips or the Whites)  are considered the enemy and are to be shunned. 

IIRC, Patsy's medical records were withheld from investigators and in those records you would find her mental health records including information from her psychiatrist . The Ramseys wanted "an island of privacy" so law enforcement were not able to obtain this. Burke's medical records were eventually released but not without protest. I often wonder if Patsy was suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder based on certain statement she's made after JonBenet's murder. 

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I didn't know that about John's handwriting. Interesting.

That "island of privacy" is one of the things that makes them look most guilty. Who, other than someone who had something to do with it, wouldn't do anything they could to find out who murdered their sweet, innocent little daughter? You have to be a whole next level of selfish assholes not to want to stop a child killer from possibly going out, heady on getting away with it, and killing other people's kids. That's just cold.

That handwriting thing...blowing my mind. Because, really, never suspected him at all though I can't exactly say why. It just doesn't seem like he would have done it. I think, it's that he doesn't come across as involved enough in JB's life to have cared enough to kill her. I feel like her death was a crime of passion. Something she did pissed someone off enough to just loose it. We know Burke has lashed out at her before. I could see him, being a child, going too far this time, panicking and trying to cover it up, his parents wake up and help him cover it up because they believe he didn't really mean to do it and didn't want him to ruin his life over a "mistake". I can see Patsy, who comes across as slightly unstable, flipping out over a wet bed, stressed about the trip, maybe worn out from the party whatever, snaps and hits her harder than she meant to, panics, tries to cover it up because it was just a "mistake". I just can't see John doing the same. I think he left the bed wetting type stuff to Patsy.

And that letter just doesn't seem like something he would write, it seems kind of scatter brained. But he would know the same "insider" stuff Patsy would, like the bonus dollar amount etc., so it's possible. Weird, but possible.

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Mark Klaas - father of child murder victim Polly Klaas - contacted the Ramseys to help them after JonBenet was killed.  His primary advice:  Make the police your best friends.  Innocent people do EVERYTHING they can to cooperate with law enforcement.

And we all know how well the Ramseys listened to the advice of someone who had lived through having a child murdered.  Of course, we all know that Mark Klaas was innocent. 

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The Polly Klaas case still haunts me to this day.  It happened about 20 minutes from my house and I had a young daughter at the time. My family was decorating our Christmas tree when they broke into the news to say they found her body.  We never finished the tree.  It stayed half decorated until we took it down. It was our little way of flying the flag at half staff.  If hee friends  hadn't been in the room when she was taken I bet Mark would have been blamed. He did all of the right things, the exact opposite of what the Ramseys did. 

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The garrote is interesting because why would any adult need such a device to strange such a tiny little child?

Maybe, like Anthony Allen Shore, he didn't want to hurt his finger.  The truth is killers have their own logic.  Unless the killer is caught, we'll never really know.

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