Ramsey Case Ransom Note - Statement Analysis by Mark McClish

Discussion in 'Evidence Files: Ramsey murder case' started by Dunvegan, Dec 5, 2001.

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  1. Dunvegan

    Dunvegan Guest

    This analysis of the Ramsey Murder case ransom note language is from http://www.statementanalysis.com/ramseynote/


    One of the biggest pieces of evidence that we have in solving this murder is the ransom note. The police as well as the Ramseys believe that whoever wrote the note is probably the killer.

    If the police can match the handwriting in the ransom note to a suspect's handwriting, the case is solved. The problem has been they have not found a match. Even without a positive match, the ransom note is still the key to solving this crime.

    Using Statement Analysis we can examine this ransom note and determine if it is a legitimate ransom note. Was it the intention of the writer to extort money from the Ramseys, or was the note written as a ploy after JonBenet was killed? Determining the veracity of the ransom note is important. If the note is legitimate, then we know we have a kidnapping that went bad.

    This would exclude the Ramseys as possible suspects. Why would they kidnap their own child and demand money from themselves? If the note is fraudulent, then we know this was a murder made to look like a kidnapping. Anyone could be a possible suspect. Let's examine the ransom note left at the Ramsey residence. I have added the numbers in the left hand column to make it easier to reference while analyzing it.

    1. "Mr. Ramsey.
    2. Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign
    3. faction. We respect your bussiness but not the country that it serves. At this
    4. time we have your daughter in our posession. She is safe and unharmed and if
    5. you want her to see 1997, you must follow our instructions to the letter.
    6. You will withdraw $118,000.00 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100
    7. bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills. Make sure that you bring an
    8. adequate size attache to the bank. When you get home you will put the money in
    9. a brown paper bag. I will call you between 8 and 10 am tomorrow to instruct
    10. you on delivery. The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested.
    11. If we monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to arrange
    12. an earlier delivery of the money and hence a earlier pickup of your daughter.
    13. Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of
    14. your daughter. You will also be denied her remains for proper burial. The two
    15. gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise
    16. you not to provoke them. Speaking to anyone about your situation, such as
    17. Police, F.B.I., etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch
    18. you talking to a stray dog, she dies. If you alert bank authorities, she dies.
    19. If the money is in any way marked or tampered with, she dies. You will be
    20. scanned for electronic devices and if any are found, she dies. You can try to
    21. deceive us but be warned that we are familiar with Law enforcement
    22. countermeasures and tactics. You stand a 99% chance of killing your duaghter
    23. if you try to out smart us. Follow our instructions and you stand a 100%
    24. chance of getting her back. You and your family are under constant scrutiny
    25. as well as the authorities. Don't try to grow a brain John. You are not the
    26. only fat cat around so don't think that killing will be difficult. Don't
    27. underestimate us John. Use that good southern common sense of yours. It is
    28. up to you now John!
    29. Victory!
    30. S.B.T.C."

    One of the first things we notice is that this is a very long ransom note. Most ransom notes are short and to the point. "We have your kid and she is safe. It will cost you $400,000 to get her back. Do not call the police. We will be contacting you." This ransom note was written on three pieces of paper. This is our first clue this note may be bogus.

    As we read the ransom note, we find it doesn't make much sense. Line #2, "We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction." What exactly does the writer mean by "group of individuals?" Every group is comprised of individuals. That's what makes it a group.

    Is the writer telling us despite being a group, they maintain their individuality? Most of the year they live separate lives, but everyone once in a while they come together as a group?

    The writer also states in line #2 they "represent a small foreign faction." The use of the word "foreign" doesn't make sense. Even if to us they are foreigners, they wouldn't call themselves foreigners. They are not foreigners to themselves. They would tell us, "We are the Islamic Jihad." Remember you can learn a lot if you ask yourself how you would state something. Then compare your statement with the suspect's statement. If you went to Iran and kidnapped someone, it is doubtful you would leave a note stating you are a foreigner.

    The writer goes on to say in line #3, "We respect your bussiness but not the country that it serves." Are we to believe that JonBenet was kidnapped and then murdered because someone has a hatred for the United States? Most people would agree this crime is not an international incident.

    The writer misspells two common words in lines #3 and 4, "business" and "possessions." However, the writer correctly spells the words "deviation" and "attache" even including the accent on the word "attache." This leads us to believe the writer purposefully misspelled these two words to try to make it look like an uneducated person or a foreigner wrote this note. The two misspellings occur in the first paragraph. After that, the writer uses correct grammar except for using the article "a" when he should have written "an."
    This is further indication the misspellings were done on purpose. The writer showed his true writing skills and forgot to misspell words throughout the note.

    The writer states in line #6, "You will withdraw $118,000.00 from your account.....Make sure that you bring an adequate size attache to the bank." The kidnapper may know the Ramseys are wealthy, but how does he know they have $118,000 in the bank. Most kidnappers would simple state get the money. They don't care where you get it from just get it. They also would not remind you to bring an adequate size case to hold the money.

    In examining the pronouns, we find this crime was not committed by a group. If you are writing for a group, then your language will reflect there are several people involved. Throughout the ransom note, the writer uses the plural pronouns "we," "us" and "our" because he wants to give the impression that a group is responsible for the kidnapping.

    In lines #2 - 4 we find the statements, "We are a group of individuals." "We respect your business." "We have your daughter." In line #5 the writer states, "You must follow our instructions." In line #23, "Follow our instructions." However, in line #13 we have, "Any deviation of <strong>my</strong> instructions."

    If this was a group effort, the writer would have a group mentality and would consistently us the plural pronouns. Look at line #11 and line #9, "<strong>We</strong> might call you" vs "<strong>I</strong> might call you."

    People's words will betry them. The truth will slip out and in this case we can see it in the pronouns. We see deception in this ransom note with the changing pronouns. This kidnapping was not the work of a terrorist group. One person wrote this ransom note. One person and perhaps an accomplice committed this crime. This of course does not prove the ransom note is a fake. It could still be a kidnapping committed by one person. However, since the writer is being deceptive about the number of people involved, we have to wonder if the entire ransom note is a lie.

    In lines #14 and 15, we have an unnecessary word. "The two gentlemen watching <strong>over
    </strong> your daughter." Unnecessary words are words that can be taken out of the sentence, and yet the sentence still makes sense. The writer could have stated, "The two gentlemen watching your daughter." By including the extra word, the writer is including extra information.

    What is the difference between watching someone and watching over someone? The best example I can think of is in reference to God. If I say that God is watching over me, I visualize God keeping his distance. He sees me, but he also see the entire world at the same time. He can see me because I am part of the world.

    While He is watching over me He is also watching over others. The word "over" means God is spreading His watchful eye upon the earth. However, if I say that God is watching me it becomes more personal. Even though He can see the entire world, He is focusing His attention on me.

    Another example would be if a friend asked you to "watch over" his house while he was out of town. In this case he probably wants you to stop by every once in a while andmake sure everything is okay. Maybe you will pick up his mail and water his plants. However, if he asked you to "watch" his house he probably wants you to housesit. He wants you to be there where you can keep a close eye on things.

    In a kidnapping, the kidnappers should be "watching" the abductee. They will want to keep a close eye on her. They want to make sure she doesn't escape or alert someone that she needs help. They will want to make sure she doesn't harm herself if her being alive is dependent upon them receiving the ransom. When the writer of the ransom note said they were "watching over" JonBenet, he was telling us they were not keeping a close eye on her.

    There are only two reasons why you would not closely watch your hostage: 1. If you knew for certain she was alright and could not escape; 2. If you knew she was dead.

    Since a dead body isn't going anywhere, it is something you "watch over." Based on the language used, it appears the writer knew JonBenet was dead when he wrote the ransom note.

    The note is addressed to "Mr. Ramsey." However, towards the end of the note Mr. Ramsey becomes "John." The writer refers to Mr. Ramsey as "John" three times in lines #25, 27 and 28. If this was a foreign faction, they would continually use the term "Mr. Ramsey." Referring to him by his first name is too personal for an unknown kidnapper.

    Everyone has an internal dictionary. Certain words mean certain things. If the kidnappers saw John Ramsey as being "Mr. Ramsey" then they should always refer to him as "Mr. Ramsey." When they change their language and call him "John" there has to be a justification for the change. If the change is unjustified, then they are making up the story.

    The writer's own words tell us this ransom note was not written with the intent to obtain money. The length of the note is an indication this is not a true ransom note. Most kidnappers would not tell you where to get the money from, and they would ask for a lot more than $118,000.

    There is deception in the language, pronouns, and misspelled words. Calling John Ramsey by his first name is too personal for a kidnapper. The writer's internal dictionary involving the words "Mr. Ramsey" and "John" reveal this note was a fabrication. The word "over" shows us the note was written after JonBenet had been killed. Since the ransom note was written as a ruse, we can conclude this was not a kidnapping that turned into a murder, but a murder made to look like a kidnapping.

    This means we cannot exclude the Ramseys as possible suspects.

    Let's look at what evidence ties John and Patsy Ramsey to the ransom note.

    <blockquote>1. The ransom note was written on a pad of paper that was in the Ramsey's residence. Likewise, the pen that was used to write the note also came from their residence.

    2. The killer placed a nylon cord made into a garrote around JonBenet's neck and strangled her. A broken paintbrush belonging to Patsy Ramsey was used to make the garrote.

    3. While handwriting analysis shows that John Ramsey did not write the ransom note, Patsy Ramsey could not be completely eliminated as the writer.

    4. The kidnapper demanded $118,000 from the Ramseys. This is a very unusual amount. Kidnappers are greedy. Most people would ask for a much larger amount. There is a reason why the writer chose $118,000. Even John Ramsey agrees that the number 118 is significant to the killer. It has been reported that in 1996 John Ramsey received a bonus of $118,000. Is this a coincidence? When the writer had to think of a number, $118,000 was on his mind.

    5. In lines #11 and 12, the writer states, "If we monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence a earlier pickup of your daughter."

    The word "hence" is not a common word. When was the last time you used that word in a sentence? We should look to see if this word appears in any writings of John or Patsy Ramsey. Well, it does. On December 14, 1997 the First United Methodist Church in Boulder, Colorado held a memorial service for JonBenet. In the program there was "A Christmas Message from the Ramsey Family." This message was also posted on the Ramsey family's Web site.

    In the message, we find the statement, "Had there been no birth of Christ, there would be no hope of eternal life, and, hence, no hope of ever being with our loved ones again."

    6. The word "hence" is a transition word. You do not have to use the word "and" with it. For example, "There would be no hope of eternal life, hence, no hope of ever being with our loved ones again." The writer of the ransom note used the incorrect phrase "and hence." In their Christmas Message, the Ramseys used this exact same phrase.
    In their book, <i>The Death of Innocence</i>,Patsy
    Ramsey addresses the use of the phrase "and hence."

    <ol>"Actually, I have no idea why we used that phrase. Maybe we'd seen it so many times in reading the ransom note - and having to write itover and over again for the police - that it became a part of our subconscious vocabulary. Who Knows? Then again, maybe people everywhere use the phrase ‘and hence' everyday of the week, because it's a normal part of the English language."</ol>

    Like I said, when was the last time you used that phrase? It is not part of the normal English language. Patsy Ramsey does not tell us why they used that phrase. She only says "maybe" it is because they saw it in the ransom note and had to write it several times for the police. She then asked a question, "Who knows?" She is trying to sweep this under the carpet as if it is no big deal.

    However, this is a very big deal. We have the same incorrect phrase that is in the ransom note, appearing in their writings.

    7. Finally, the pronouns in the ransom note show us this murder was not committed by a group. One person wrote the ransom note and one or two people were responsible for JonBenet's death.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2012
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