Friday, August 18, 2006

Some thoughts on the JonBenét Ramsey case

I was going to hold off on commenting about the arrest made the other day in the murder of JonBenét Ramsey. But I can't hold off any more. There are some aspects of this that just don't add up for me.
  • First, why would this guy get in touch with Ramsey's mother Patricia just before she died, after all this time? Most child killers prefer to stay underground. Look at the slaying of Christine Jessop. Twenty two years after her murder and eleven after Guy Paul Morin was exonerated, there still have been no new leads in the case.
  • He said he "loved" Ramsey but didn't mean to kill her (yeah, like no one means to strangle anyone). Can anyone figure that one out?
  • He seemed to know details about the case only the police would know. Anyone who read Perfect Murder, Perfect Town by Lawrence Schiller could pretty much figure out the m.o.
    What about the ransom note? How could the suspect know that John Ramsey's bonus that year was $118,000 -- which happened to also be the amount of the ransom? Why not a million or a quarter mill, or some other nice round number?
  • Last but not least, the house in Boulder was actually quite the obstacle course. How could a break and enter artist possibly know the floor plan and all the escape routes unless he or she had visited the house before?
Beyond all that, there's a much bigger issue here: The child beauty pageants. Before Ramsey was murdered, I doubt most people -- even most upper class people -- even knew such things still existed. It's quite literally a legalized form of child pornography; and I don't understand why the press has not focused on this point. It's a perfect breeding ground for sex stalkers. And, let us not forget that in Schiller's book, Pasty (RIP) was confronted by someone who asked her about the propriety of the cattle markets and what she would do if JonBenét refused to participate. Patsy was alleged to have said something like, "There is no way she will say no. You WILL be MISS PAGEANT." (Emphasis mine)

Doesn't that sound like a parent obsessed beyond any rational level of self-control -- especially someone who just happened to be a former beauty queen herself? Sure does to me.

The other thing was the obvious: That the investigation was botched from the start. In any missing child case, standard procedure is to separate both parents and interrogate them separately, and to completely clear out the hosue so forensics can do their work. Instead, the cops walked all over the place completely ruining the crime scene; and the parents didn't meet with the police for several months, giving them plenty of time to come up with some plausible alibi, one that could be completely corroborated by the other. There was good reason why the parents were under an "umbrella of suspicion," because it's usually the parents and other relatives who are normally the prime suspects in any case like this.

Look, I'm not saying we should accuse the parents of anything, or anyone else for that matter. A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. But something tells me something is not quite right here. The confession is probably half-baked, and I think there's way more to the story than we've heard from the media so far.

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