Statement Analysis®

JonBenet Ramsey Murder - John and Patsy Ramsey's Interviews

Because JonBenet's body was found in the house, there was speculation that John and Patsy Ramsey had something to do with the death of their daughter. Let's look at what statement indicate the Ramsey's know who killed their daughter.

On January 1, 1997, one week after JonBenet was murdered, John and Patsy Ramsey gave their first interview which aired on CNN. Correspondent Brian Cabell conducted the interview.

BC: Why did you decide you wanted to talk now?
JR: Well we have been pretty isolated, totally isolated for the last five days, but we've sensed from our friends that this
      this tragedy has touched not just ourselves and our friends but many people. And we know that there's many people
      that are praying for us that are grieving with us. And we want to thank them, to let them know that we are healing,
      and that the grieving that we all have to do is for ourselves and for our loss, but we want to thank those people that
      care about us.

PR: We have just been overwhelmed by the cards and letters and visits and people we haven't seen for years have come
      to call and be supportive in their, many of them are parents, and they know and can feel our grief.

JR: But the other, the other reason is that for our grief to resolve itself we now have to find out why this happened.

The Ramseys stated the reason they conducted this interview was because they wanted to thank those people that were supporting them. They wanted to let their supporters know they are healing. John Ramsey then added they wanted to find out why this happened. In a later interview on May 1, 1997, John Ramsey commented on the CNN interview saying, "We primarily felt the need to thank people and that was the principle reason we did that interview."

Ask yourself how you would answer the question, "Why did you decide you wanted to talk now?" Sure you would want to thank people for their support, and you would want to let everyone know you are okay. However, there is one other thing you would stress at every opportunity. You would tell people, "We need to find out who killed JonBenet." The Ramseys never mention this in responding to this question. If the Ramseys know who killed their daughter, then we could see how they would forget to mention this. In their mind, the killer has already been identified.

On May 1, 1997, the Ramseys gave another interview to several members of the media.

Q:  Mr. Ramsey, what do you want to say to the killer of your daughter?
JR: We'll find you. We will find you. I have that as a sole mission for the rest of my life.
Q:  Patsy?
PR: Likewise. The police and investigators have assured us that this is a case that can be solved. You may be eluding
      the authorities for a time, but God knows who you are and we will find you.

Ask yourself what you would say to the killer. You would probably tell him he will not get away with this. You would probably also tell him to turn himself into the police. After all, that is what you would want. You would want him to surrender to the authorities so this crime is solved. A murderer would be off the street and the judicial process and the healing process could begin. The Ramseys never asked for the killer to turn himself in. If they know who killed their daughter and they do not want that person to go to jail, then we can see how they would not mention this.

In searching for the killer, John Ramsey says, "I have that as a sole mission for the rest my life." We would expect him to say something like, "I will not stop looking for you until you are found" or "I will search for him for the rest of my life if that's what it takes." John Ramsey tells us he will be looking for the killer for the rest of his life. How does he know that it will take him the rest of his life to find the killer? What if the killer was caught the very next day? His mission would then be over. However, if John Ramsey knows who killed his daughter and he does not want to reveal that person, then we can see how he could say, "I have that as a sole mission for the rest of my life."

Q:  If I may follow up, what does it do to you, to hear these comments and reports from profilers, investigators, rampant speculation in public
      that somebody close to you may have been in your home and done this to your daughter?
JR: As a person, I think it makes you very much more guarded. Uh, we felt we lived in a safe community. We still do.
      We weren't terribly concerned about security, privacy, but certainly those issues come right up to the top of your
      priority list when something like this happens, regardless of ultimately who might have done it.

If someone broke into your home, you would probably feel violated. It would cause you to raise your guard. John Ramsey does not tell us with certainty this incident caused him to be more guarded because he said, "I think it makes you very much more guarded." We also see he used the pronoun "you." He is right. You and I would feel more guarded. However, he did not say, "It makes me very much more guarded." He did not personalize his statement.

He also said, "We felt we lived in a safe community. We still do." Even after someone has entered his house and killed his daughter, John Ramsey can say they still live in a safe community. This doesn't make sense. After a tragedy like this, you may not feel like your neighborhood has gone to hell but you definitely would not feel safe. However, if you know who killed your daughter and you know that person will not kill again, then you could say that you still live in a safe community.

Q:  John, would you recommend the death penalty for the person convicted of killing JonBenet?
JR: I would absolutely want the most severe penalty to be brought.
Q:  Patsy?
PR: (Nods silently with tears in her eyes.)

John Ramsey gives a strong answer to this question. However, he does not answer the specific question. He does tell us he wants the death penalty for the person convicted of killing JonBenet. Why didn't he say, "Yes" or "Absolutely, I want the death penalty?" It is possible John Ramsey does not believe in capital punishment. He is now faced with a dilemma with the murder of his daughter. Personal convictions will not allow him to ask for the death penalty. Public opinion will not allow him to say he does not want the death penalty. So, he doesn't answer the specific question.

Another possible reason why he did not answer the question is because he knows who the killer is and he doesn't want this person to be put to death. Remember, when people do not answer the specific question they are withholding information. We get this same impression from Patsy Ramsey who answered the question by only nodding her head. Why doesn't she vocally proclaim she wants the death penalty for the person who killed her child?

On March 17, 2000, John and Patsy Ramsey were interviewed by Barbara Walters on the ABC show 20/20 Friday. The interview coincided with the release of the Ramsey's book The Death of Innocence. In the interview, Patsy Ramsey made the following comment:

PR: The Boulder police would like this to go away. They would like to just close the books on it, pretend that none of it ever
      happened. But we are not going away. We are going to be their worst nightmare. Patsy and John Ramsey are hanging
      in there. Until the day we die we'll be looking for the person that murdered our daughter

In their May 1, 1997 interview, John Ramsey stated that in looking for the killer he would have that as the "sole mission for the rest of my life." Three years later, Patsy Ramsey affirms that the killer will never be found during their lifetime; "Until the day we die we'll be looking for the person that murdered our daughter." How do they know it will take that long to find the killer? This is another indication they know who killed JonBenet and that they will not reveal that person to us.

On March 28, 2000, the John and Patsy Ramsey were interviewed by Larry King on his CNN show Larry King Live. The Ramseys were promoting their book The Death of Innocence.

LK: Patsy, what do you make of a ransom note? Why would a kidnapper write a ransom note when they've killed someone and left that someone in the house? What would be the point of a ransom note, do you think?

Larry King makes a very good point. Why would a kidnapper write a ransom note when JonBenet was already dead? If you believe this was a kidnapping that went bad, then the answer would be that the kidnapper first wrote the ransom note and in the process of removing JonBenet from the house she was killed. Let's see how Patsy Ramsey answered this question.

PR: I don't know, but I hope to ask the killer one of these days.
LK: Can you guess?
PR: I think it was a ruse to throw us off.

First Patsy said, "I don't know." I thought she believed this was a kidnapping that went bad. When Larry King pressed her for an answer she then said, "I think it was a ruse to throw us off." Patsy just supported my theory and the theory of other experts that this was not a kidnapping. That JonBenet was killed and the ransom note was written as a ruse to make it look like it was a botched kidnapping. Realizing what his wife just said, John Ramsey then steps in to clarify things.

LK: From what? I mean, unless he's in the house.
JR: We did two things in the book.
LK: By the way, the book is The Death of Innocence. I should have mentioned that right at the beginning of the show. The book is now
      on sale everywhere. The book is The Death of Innocence. Our guests are the Ramseys. I'm sorry John.
JR: We spent a considerable amount of time describing as best we could what we think happened, and we think the killer
      wrote the note before we came home that night. We think he was in the house while we were out four to five hours.
      The note was written before the crime.

LK: He intended then to kidnap you?
JR: We think it was a kidnapping.
LK: Gone awry?
JR: And something went terribly wrong. That's what seasoned investigators have told us.

John Ramsey now contradicts Patsy's statement. He said, "The note was written before the crime." "We think it was a kidnapping." Patsy said she thought it was written as a ruse. Although John Ramsey used the pronoun "we" apparently Patsy does not believe this was a kidnapping.

We saw Patsy's uncertainness in their first interview on January 1, 1997 with CNN correspondent Brian Cabell.

BC: Are you fully convinced that your daughter was kidnapped by some outsiders outside your family or circle of friends?

The camera then focused on Patsy. Her emotions began to well up as she searched for an answer to Cabell's question. As she was thinking about what to say, she consistently shook her head no. Her body language was saying she was not fully convinced that JonBenet was kidnapped by some outsider. Once again, John Ramsey then stepped in and said, "Yes."

Next - John Mark Karr

Return to the Famous Cases page