Was someone trying to pretend that they couldn't write English properly,
but after they got past the first paragraph,
forgot to put in more spelling mistakes?
Let's go on.
"You will withdraw $118,000 from your account.
$100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills.
Make sure that you bring an adequate sized attaché to the bank.
When you get home you will put the money in a brown paper bag.
I will call you between 8 and 10 am tomorrow to instruct you on delivery.
The delivery will be exhausting, so I advise you to be rested."
You can see this is a very caring kidnapper.
"If we monitor you getting the money early,
we might call you early to arrange an earlier delivery of the money,
and hence an earlier delivery pick-up of your daughter."
This is the final part.
"Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of
You will also be denied her remains for proper burial.
The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you
so I advise you not to provoke them.
Speaking to anyone about your situation such as police, F.B.I., etc.,
will result in your daughter being beheaded.
If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies.
If you alert bank authorities, she dies.
If the money is in any way marked or tampered with, she dies.
You will be scanned for electronic devices and if any are found, she dies.
You can try to deceive us but
be warned that we are familiar with law enforcement countermeasures and tactics.
You stand a 99% chance of killing your daughter if you try to outsmart us.
Follow our instructions, and you stand a 100% chance of getting her back.
You and your family are under constant scrutiny as well as the authorities.
Don't try and grow a brain John. You are not the only fat cat around
so don't think that killing will be difficult. Don't underestimate us John.
Use that good southern common sense of yours.
It is up to you now John!
Probably one of the most melodramatic ransom notes of all time.
This is something that struck me, "law enforcement countermeasures".
If they were foreigners, they would have probably written police.
Here's another oddity,
"Use that good southern common sense of yours."
Yet, John Ramsey was born in Nebraska.
And this is curious.
If you look back to the beginning of the letter, it starts out "Mr. Ramsey".
How come by the end of the letter, they're now on first name terms?
One oddity that has caused a lot of speculation on the internet
is the signing of the letter "S.B.T.C". And if you go online, you can find all sorts
of speculation about what "S.B.T.C" stands for, from
the very religious "Saved By The Cross", through to "Santa Barbara Tennis Club".
What we can conclude is that this is a very, very strange random note,
and was probably written by somebody merely to
divert attention from searching for the body that was in the house.
So, who did it?
Well, one possibility is an intruder.
So if there's an intruder in the house, he should have left traces
in the other rooms and the hallways because every contact leaves a trace.
The problem is that the house, as a whole, was not recognized as a crime scene,
and the Ramsey family and their friends were present in the house.
So any traces left by any intruder would have been obliterated by all
Now there was a broken window leading into the basement, but
it turns out that had actually been broken by
John Ramsey sometime before when he'd locked himself out.
We also have this evidence of the tape on her mouth.
Well the tape on her mouth, an intruder might have put that there to
quieten her, to silence her, but
as we've said, she was probably already dead or unconscious when it was put there.
Now what about DNA evidence?
Well, if she was subjected to ligature strangulation, we should be able to get DNA
off the ligature, that rope that was used to strangle her, or
we should have been able to get DNA off her clothes.
Well, a certain amount of DNA was obtained from her underwear,
and this, for a while, was regarded as the key to the case.
Now, a man called John Mark Karr had been in communication with
a journalism professor at the University of Colorado called Michael Tracey.
And he'd been sending emails to Michael Tracey,
one of which included the statement, "I was with JonBenet when she died."
Now, John Mark Karr, by 2006, was in Bangkok.
When Michael Tracy informed the Colorado authorities of these emails,
they very quickly got Mr. Karr deported from Bangkok back to Colorado.
And when he got to Colorado, a sample of his DNA was taken.
Now this whole process had been done in a media spotlight with great fanfare,
presumably because the authorities in
Colorado were convinced they now had the perpetrator.
Unfortunately, this is not how to conduct business.
Because when John Mark Karr's DNA was compared to
the DNA sample from the underwear, all charges against him were dropped.
So we saw in the case of Richard the Third
an excellent example of how to manage the media.
We see in the case of John Mark Karr,
an excellent example of how to mismanage the media.
So this case is unsolved, and it's, one reason for
lack of progress is because of mistakes made by the police in the early days.
They failed to recognize the whole crime scene.
So all sorts of people had access to the house
from the morning that JonBenet was known to be missing.
They failed to secure the crime scene, and they failed to search the crime scene.
The body was not found by a police officer;
it was found by the girl's father, brought upstairs to the girl's mother.
So any traces by family members could be
resulting from the search, and therefore, could not be used in evidence.
So, who killed JonBenet Ramsey?
Perhaps we will never know.
BOULDER, CO — It’s easy to feel a little sad for Mark Beckner, the former Boulder, Colorado, police chief and Reddit newbie who did an Ask Me Anything segment this weekend, unaware that his answers were accessible to the entire world.
Beckner was the police chief during the JonBenet Ramsey case. Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet was found murdered in the basement of her home in 1996. The case, full of lurid twists and turns, gripped the nation and made her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, into celebrities as well as persons of interest in the case.
Despite suspicions, the Ramseys were exonerated in 2008 after DNA evidence pointed to an unknown male unrelated to the Ramsey family. Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy even wrote a letter to the family apologizing for any pain caused by a suggestion of involvement in the crime.
To this day it is still unclear who killed the little girl.
On Reddit, Beckner’s responses shed a lot of light on some of the more complex and questionable parts of the case. However, he later told the Boulder-based Daily Camera newspaper that he had misgivings about the online chat, calling it a “misunderstanding and naivete on my part.”
Since Beckner’s comments have been deleted, it’s impossible to link to individual responses, but all of his answers can be found in a cached version of the thread at http://extras.denverpost.com/jonbenetAMA.html.
Though Beckner may regret the AMA, Reddit users were impressed with his candor, and we still learned some really interesting things from his answers:
1. What happened physically to JonBenet
Beckner: “We know from the evidence she was hit in the head very hard with an unknown object, possibly a flashlight or similar type item. The blow knocked her into unconsciousness, which could have led someone to believe she was dead. The strangulation came 45 minutes to two hours after the head strike, based on the swelling on the brain. While the head wound would have eventually killed her, the strangulation actually did kill her. The rest of the scene we believe was staged, including the vaginal trauma, to make it look like a kidnapping/assault gone bad.”
2. His personal theories on who did it
Beckner: “I have avoided saying who I believe is responsible and let the facts speak for themselves. There are several viable theories.”
3. Patsy Ramsey’s infamous handwriting test
Context: The day JonBenet was found dead, her mother Patsy claimed she found a 2.5-page handwritten ransom note in their home, demanding $118,000 for JonBenet’s return. The police later determined the note was written on paper from a notebook in the Ramseys’ house. The Ramseys underwent handwriting analysis to determine whether they could have written the note. John Ramsey’s sample seemed to show he didn’t write it, but Patsy Ramsey’s sample was labeled “inconclusive” and police at the time said they would pursue “unrehearsed” samples to examine. However, in the letter to John Ramsey, District Attorney Mary Lacy mentioned that she did not consider anyone in Ramsey’s immediate family to be under any suspicion in the commission of the crime.
Q: “When Patsy wrote out the sample ransom note for handwriting comparison, it is interesting that she wrote “$118,000″ out fully in words (as if trying to be different from the note). Who writes out long numbers in words? Does this seem contrived to you?”
Beckner: “The handwriting experts noted several strange observations.”
4. The uniqueness of the 2.5-page ransom note
Beckner: “The FBI told us they’d never seen a 2.5 page ransom note.”
“No note has ever been written at the scene, and then left at the scene with the dead victim at the scene, other than this case.”
5. Whether the crime scene was mishandled
Context: The investigation was plagued with claims the crime scene at the Ramseys’ house was not preserved properly, and that unauthorized individuals were allowed to move about the crime scene while the investigation was in progress.
Beckner: “Yes, the crime scene was not handled properly and this later affected the investigation. [The Ramseys’] position in the community may have had something to do with decisions made that day, but I think the primary reason was a perfect storm-type scenario. It was the Christmas holiday and we were short staffed, we faced a situation as I said earlier that no one in the country had ever seen before or since, and there was confusion at the scene… As a result, some evidence was compromised.”
“Yes, after that initial day, we felt pressure from the DA’s office not to push too hard on the Ramseys. This was a constant source of frustration and much could be written about this and the reasons for it.”
6. Whether the motive for the killing/assault was purely sexual
Context: A 1999 grand jury report indicated there was reason to believe JonBenet was “sexually assaulted.” Details from an autopsy and comments from some experts, including one cited in a 1997 Vanity Fair article indicated the girl had abnormal genital injuries or conditions that could suggest sexual contact of some sort prior to the day of her death.
Beckner: “It just didn’t seem to fit the totality of the circumstances. Remember, she was hit on the head first, hard enough to render her unconscious. Then there was the staging of a kidnapping. Why do that if the motive is purely sexual?”
7. What he thought about the John Mark Karr confession
Context: John Mark Karr was a father and teacher residing in Thailand who, in 2006, claimed he was sexually involved with JonBenet at the time of her death and that her killing was accidental. However, DNA tests confirmed he was not a match to DNA found in the girl’s underwear, and there was no reason to believe he was anywhere near the scene.
Beckner: “My gut reaction was that [District Attorney] Mary Lacy did not know the facts of the case and was making a big mistake. His confession, once they shared it with us, did not match the evidence at the scene. After she asked for our help in proving he did it, we knew in about 18 hours he was not the guy. We were able to confirm he was not even in Colorado at the time by just doing some routine checking and then obtained photos of him in Georgia at the time. The DNA test, which she thought would prove he did it, proved her wrong.”
8. How the case affected his career
Beckner: “For me, it actually helped propel me to the chief’s position once Tom Koby left. It also gave me some credibility in the community based on a different approach I took with the media. I was more open and forthcoming with the media and I think that helped.”
9. Why people are so fascinated with this case
Beckner: “The media attention and the intrigue of a good murder mystery attracts lots of people. Add a small beauty queen and it only intensifies the interest. If only 1% of the population is crazy, in our country alone that would mean there are about 3,600,000 crazy people out there wanting to give us their wacky ideas.”