DNA Double Down – JonBenet Ramsey

Describing the communications between Andy Horita, Investigator at the Boulder DA’s Office and DNA Custom Casework/Humanitarian Supervisor at Bode Technology, Angela Williamson, PhD., these memo entries speak in more detail about the amazing find by Bode of the same profile on the exterior waistband of the longJohns as exists in CODIS of the unknown male aka UM1.

On 5/21/08, at approximately 0933hours, I spoke with Williamson about the serological source of the touch DNA profile she developed from the exterior right and left sides of the white long johns worn by the victim. She stated that the scraping technique she used avoided any area of staining. She did not attempt to determine the serological source of the samples but did not believe that the source was saliva. Williamson did not believe that the DNA profiles from the exterior right and left portions of the victim’s long johns and the profile from the inside of the crotch of the underwear were both deposited via contamination from the autopsy table.

She noted that she believed the serological source of the DNA profile developed from the underwear was “probably saliva.”

On 6/12/08, at approximately 1444 hours, I spoke to Williamson and requested that she complete a statistical analysis of the profile she developed from the long underwear bottoms.

On 6/24/08, I received a report from Bode regarding the statistical probability of selecting a random, unrelated individual who would be included as a possible contributor to the mixture found on the exterior top right half of the white long underwear bottoms at four of the CODIS loci.

Unfortunately, this report was not included with all the CORAFiles, but at least part of it is printed here on the front page of the 6-20-2008 Bode Lab Report …  

Bode Technology Lab Report 6-20-2021 pg. 1

According to the SWGDAM Recommendations to the FBI Director on the “Interim Plan for the Release of Information in the Event of a ‘Partial Match’ at NDIS”

When DNA profiles are compared, there are well-understood statistical patterns of expected allele sharing that can be calculated for unrelated as well as closely related individuals. These patterns of genetic sharing have been used in medical genetics as well as to help in the identification of disaster victims and missing persons. All of the genetic sharing between two DNA profiles can be distilled into a likelihood ratio that can then allow a statistical evaluation of how much more likely the match resulted from related versus unrelated individuals.

Evaluating the two samples, the right exterior longJohns profile and the profile in CODIS, this statistical probability seeks to answer these questions:

What is the probability of obtaining these DNA typing results if the POI is a contributor? And what is the probability of obtaining these results if the POI is not a contributor?

The Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists NEAFS has produced the following training materials on probabilistic genotyping. These training materials were presented at Probabilistic DNA Mixture Interpretation Workshop: Likelihood Ratios for Mixture Samples 9-25-2015.

Laws of Probability

Likelihood Ratios – Single Contributor

Likelihood Ratios – Binary

Likelihood Ratios – Semi-continuous

Therefore, according to these documents the interpretation of the Bode Technology Lab Report 6-20-2008, the results of the exterior waistband sample can be read as follows:

The DNA typing results are about 6,200 times more probable if the DNA came from the Person of Interest (CODIS Profile) and an Unknown Contributor (Exterior Right Waistband Profile) than if the DNA came from two Unknown Contributors in the US Caucasian population.

The DNA typing results are about 12,000 times more probable if the DNA came from the Person of Interest (CODIS Profile) and an Unknown Contributor (Exterior Right Waistband Profile) than if the DNA came from two Unknown Contributors in the US African America population.

The DNA typing results are about 6,600 times more probable if the DNA came from the Person of Interest (CODIS Profile) and an Unknown Contributor (Exterior Right Waistband Profile) than if the DNA came from two Unknown Contributors in the US Southwest Hispanic population.

The DNA typing results are about 6,200 times more probable if the DNA came from the Person of Interest (CODIS Profile) and an Unknown Contributor (Exterior Right Waistband Profile) than if the DNA came from two Unknown Contributors in the US Southwest Hispanic population.

First Word of Success Justice for JonBenet

This is the third part of my series about the testing of the evidence in the JonBenet Murder Mystery. Communication was actually pretty quiet between the Bode Labs and the DA Office between the end of their conference in December 2007 until actual testing began early the next year. After first testing the panties there was no new evidence to add. But I view the fact they could not replicate the UM1 profile outside the blood spots all the more rare for his DNA to be found in the wound from a sexual assault. They went on to test the white long johns with success. On this test they had something to add to the evidentiary file as described below:

2/11/08

Hi Andy,

I have completed testing of the cuttings from the crotch. At this point I was not able to reproduce the mixture profile; I only have data consistent with Jon Benet with no indication of a mixture. From here we could go back to the actual underpants. It appears the area where the mixture DNA profile was obtained from was on the edge of the cutting from the crotch. We could match up the cutting and determine a larger area from the underwear to cut. Going forward what would you like the next step(s) to be: test vaginal/anal swabs, test long johns, resample underwear?

  -Amy

On 3/25/08, I received via FedEx envelope containing the Bode Technology case file relating to the testing of the “White long underwear bottoms. BPD020TET, CBI #6,” identified by Bode as item 2807-101-05. Four samples were collected from this item and individually identified by appending a letter (from A-D) to the end of their sample number. The samples were taken from the (A) exterior top right half of long johns, (B) exterior top left half of long johns, (C) interior top right half of long johns, (D) interior top left half of long johns. The report indicates that DNA analysis of the exterior top right and left portions of the long johns reveal the presence of a mixture that includes the victim and one or more male contributors. Notably, the profile developed by the Denver PD, and previously uploaded to the CODIS database as a forensic unknown profile and the profiles developed from the exterior top right and left portions of the long johns were consistent. Therefore, the male contributor to the CODIS profile could not be excluded from having contributed to the mixture developed from these samples.

On 3/27/08, at approximately 0845 hours, I spoke to Williamson about the laboratory report I received on 3/25/08. It was her opinion that the serological source of the profile developed from the two samples that matched the CODIS profile was probably not a fluid, but the result of touch contact with those areas of the item. When asked about the possibility of testing for the male contributor’s racial background, Williamson noted that due to the fact that the profile obtained was a mixture it may not be possible to perform such a test.

I then asked Williamson about the history of “touch DNA” testing. She stated that she introduced the technique to the Bode laboratory in July of 2007.  Prior to that, she had used it successfully in Australia. She noted that in a particular case involving a “serial groper” she was able to develop the suspect’s profile from touch DNA analysis of the victims’ clothing. The success of the technique depends on how long the contact was made and how much DNA the depositor sheds. She explained that the touch DNA technique involves shaving the outer surface of a substrate (such as clothing), rather than cutting out a sample of the material. With the cutting method, the wearer of the clothing’s DNA profile often overwhelms or masks the profile of the touch depositor.

Williamson suggested that a database search be conducted to compare the unknown male profile to deceased victims of homicides or suspicious suicides. She noted that such searches have resulted in database matches in Baltimore, Maryland.

Investigative Memo http://jonbenetramsey.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/128162457/20071101-HoritaLongMemo.pdf

Evidence Journey for JonBenet

Once again from Andy Horita, Boulder DA Investigator, comes another excerpt in his DNA Bode Evidence documentation from December 2007. Last time I wrote about his Investigative Memo as noted in the Ramsey Case File with a description of evidence items. Now Andy is heading to Virginia with a suitcase full of precious evidence. His narrative is smooth and precise and I like his writing. He is matter of fact, Joe Friday kind of guy. And this is long but all of it is an interesting glimpse into the JonBenet Ramsey Death Investigation. I would have loved attending this Forensic Science Analysis and Discussion personally.  It is a rare glimpse into the JonBenet Ramsey Death Investigation. But it is also like a basic science report/field trip.

I can’t help but think perhaps Mary Lacy planned on the CORAFiles being released to the public eventually. It only makes sense in light of the criticism she has received.

These are Andy’s observations…

Overview

On 11/30/07, at approximately 1042 hours, Tom Bennett sent, via fax, the 2-page Bode Technology Case Submission form, along with a 6-page case overview. The case submission form listed the following items to be submitted for testing: Ligature from neck. BPD #22TET, CBI # 008, Broken paintbrush handle (attached to #1 above),  Ligature from right wrist. BPD #018TET, CBI #166, Black duct tape. BPD # 010 KKY, CBI #15),  White long underwear bottoms. BPD #020, CBI #6

Although the 6-page case overview was prepared entirely by Bennett, he listed my name as the author (see page 6), because I was to be the investigator accompanying the evidence to the lab and providing the case overview presentation. I noted, after the fax had been sent, that the sentence on page 3, which states, “The Boulder DA Office has not been provided the sequence of the STR analysis of DNA obtained from the Ramsey family members” was not accurate. I discovered the known profiles for the Ramsey family members within the materials prepared by the Boulder Police Department, and delivered in electronic format, upon an earlier request by the elected District Attorney, Mary Lacy (then Keenan) several years prior.

Also, in the 6-page case overview that was prepared by Bennett (see page 3), was a reference to “Colorado Bureau of Investigation Specimen number GSLDPD99178617,” however it should be noted that the Denver Police Department’s Crime Laboratory completed the analysis of the sample in question and developed the STR profile that was uploaded to the CODIS database. Also, the specific profile that was developed by the DPD crime lab, and uploaded to CODIS, was not the distal stain from CBI item number 7-2.

Bennett’s case summary also notes that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s lab declined to conduct DNA analysis of the garrote “due to the high probability of a DNA mixture being present on the garrote as a result of all persons who have handled the item from the point of manufacture to present.” It should also be noted that in the course of preparing the case overview presentation for the Bode forensic scientists, I noticed that the forensic knot expert from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Corporal Van Tassel, appeared to not be wearing protective gloves in photos depicting his analysis and reconstruction of the knots. Also, the paintbrush piece that was used to construct the knot was depicted in the photographs of the un-gloved knot expert.

Additionally, on page 6 of Bennett’s summary, he states that the long underwear bottoms worn by the victim had not been examined for DNA. My review of the case data indicates that cuttings were taken from the elastic waistband of the long johns by the CBI and tested for the presence of foreign DNA. The serology portion was completed by CBI agent Joe Clayton on 1/9/97. The DNA testing was completed on 5/27/99, but an interpretable profile was not developed using DQAI/PM kits.

The case summary mentions a rope that was found “on a bag on a chair” in the guest bedroom of the Ramsey home. This item may or may not have been found on a chair from the guest bedroom. The notations in the Boulder PD case file are not clear and the single photograph of the area prior to the search does not provide sufficient detail to identify the presence or absence of a bag.

To-Go Evidence

On 11/30/07, I received an email message from Tom Bennett advising me that the case submission form had been received by Bode, and that the evidence items will be ready for pickup at the Boulder Police Department’s Property and Evidence Section.

Also, on 11/30/07, I received a photocopy of Colorado Revised Statute section 24-72-305.5, which refers to “Access to records-denial by custodian – use of records to obtain information for solicitation.” Bennett advised me that the statute should be discussed with representatives from Bode and a signed statement should be obtained regarding the potential use of the documents  we were providing to them and the limitations created by the statute.

On 11/30/07, at approximately 1526 hours, I spoke with Boulder Police Department Property and Evidence Technician Lucy Batton and learned that the requested evidence items were ready to be picked up. At approximately 1545 hours, I arrived at the BPD Property and Evidence section to retrieve the requested evidence items. At approximately 1549 hours, I took possession of the following items: 022TET – Neck Ligature, 018TET – Wrist Ligature, 010KKY – Black Duct Tape, 020TET – White Long Underwear Bottoms, 021TET – Wednesday Panties

The items were transferred to a clean, dry, rolling suitcase. The items remained in their original sealed packaging and were not exposed to extreme temperatures, excessive moisture, or radiation. A zip tie was used to secure the zippers on the suitcase.  The zip-tied suitcase remained in my control continuously until the evidence items were delivered to Bode Technology.

On 12/2/07, I arrived at the Frontier Airlines ticket Counter at the Denver International Airport and presented my credentials to Frontier Aviation Security Coordinator Melissa Lucken and Transportation Security Administration Supervisor Victor Androvich. I explained to them that I was in possession of items of evidence in a sealed rolling suitcase and would prefer that the seal not be broken during the trip. Androvich advised me that the contents of the suitcase would have to be searched in some way, and I agreed to allow it to go through the normal carry-on screening, rather than breaking the chain of custody and potentially contaminating the evidence.

Bode Technology Labs

On 12/3/07, at approximately 0900 hours, Maguire and I arrived at the Bode Technology reception desk (10430 Furnace Road, Suite 107, Lorton, Virginia). We were provided with a security form, issued visitor credentials, and submitted two reference DNA samples (using a sterile cotton swab and a proprietary Bode collection kit).

At the entrance, we were met by Casework Supervisor Angela Williamson, who escorted us to the second-floor conference room where the meeting was to take place. We then met Casework Analyst Amy Jeanguenat, and briefly spoke with Maureen Loftus (then president of the company). During the conversation with Loftus, we were assured that media contacts would be referred back to our office until such time as other arrangements were made. In the meantime, Bode would 11say nothing” either confirming or denying that their lab had received evidence associated with the Ramsey investigation. I provided Loftus with the form letter outlining the statutory provisions of24.72.305.5, C.R.S., limiting the use of criminal justice records for soliciting business for pecuniary gain. Loftus and I signed the form and Loftus excused herself from the meeting.

During the initial phase of the meeting, Williamson and Jeanguenat briefly described the history of Bode Technology and noted the work that the company did to identify the remains of the victims of the 9/11/01 attacks.

PowerPoint Presentation

Over the approximately three hours from 0900 hours to 1200 hours, I presented Williamson and Jeanguenat with a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the facts and controversies surrounding the Ramsey case. A video clip was used to illustrate the geographical location of the Ramsey home and the surrounding Boulder landmarks. Next, a video clip was shown from a Court TV documentary that aired in July of 2006. Photographs and brief biographical information regarding the four individuals who were known to be in the Ramsey home on the night of the murder were shown. A brief mention was made of some of the extended family members, as well.

An overview of the crime scene was provided, including the approximate square footage of the levels of the home and photographs of the scene taken by the Boulder Police Department shortly after the scene was secured. It was noted that the photographs address one of the controversies regarding the absence of “footprints in the snow.” The next series of slides depicted floor plan diagrams with hyperlinked photographs depicting the different areas of the crime scene. A brief discussion of the ransom note and the forensic analysis completed on it was next. The three pages of the ransom note were displayed.

In-Depth Evidence Discussions Gone from Narrative

A second video clip from the Court TV documentary discussed the ransom note further. A 3-D computer animation of the floor plan was included in the clip. The autopsy report was discussed next, including the official cause of death statement. Four photographs from the autopsy were included, along with a photograph from the CBI showing the Wednesday underwear and the cutting that was removed from it.

A third video clip from the Court TV documentary was played. The clip included a discussion of the autopsy report, the garrote, skull fracture, Dr. Werner Spitz’s interpretation as a patterned injury, the flashlight recovered from the Ramsey home, the broken paintbrush handle, the stun gun hypothesis, Dr. Michael Doberson’s opinions, a discussion of the basement window, the black duct tape, and the fact that no ropes or cords we’re found in the home that matched the ones used to construct the garrote or wrist ligatures.

A discussion and analysis of the types of knots used was next. The presentation included video clips produced by Corporal John Van Tassel from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and still images that I took of myself illustrating the step-by-step construction of the knots using a much larger diameter rope. Following the discussion and illustration of the knot construction, photographs depicting Corporal John Van Tassel’s knot analysis appeared to show an un-gloved hand and bare arms in the photographs. We briefly discussed cross-contamination issues.

DNA

A general summary of the DNA testing was next. It should be noted that although the slide summarizing the Denver Police Department’s DNA results and possible interpretation issues raised by the mixture profile referred to the “distal portion of stain 2” (slide 45), the actual profile that was developed by Denver PD’s lab did not rely on the distal stain. Rather, the profile was developed from the 7-2 stain. Therefore, the word “distal” was erroneously included in the presentation and a note of this error was made during the presentation.

Following the PowerPoint presentation, I presented Williamson and Jeanguenat with a chart summarizing: the mixture profile data developed by Gregg LaBerge at the Denver Police Department crime lab, the victim’s known profile, and the interpreted suspect’s contribution to the mixture (per the uploaded CODIS forensic unknown profile). The two analysts briefly examined the chart and made markings on the interpreted suspect’s contribution to the profile as they discussed whether they agreed with or had questions about the interpretations that were made.

Generally speaking, Williamson and Jeanguenat stated that they would not feel comfortable reporting that an individual was a major or minor contributor to a mixture when the ratio of the two suspected profiles was less than 3:1. It would be possible to “condition out” the victim’s contribution to a profile if the circumstances justified it.

When asked, Jeanguenat stated that she saw no indication that a third party contributed to the mixture and would “testify in court” to that effect. They noted that the imbalance at the amylogenic locus was “not surprising.” Further, it was their opinion, based on a cursory look at the chart, that the 29-allele call was “iffy.” It was their suggestion that the profile be searched at that locus with (31.2, “‘). Similarly, the analysts indicated a question regarding the 12 allele call at the D5S818 locus. When asked about the apparent lack of concordance at D7S820, Williamson and Jeanguenat both stated that the result was not surprising based on their experience and training. Despite their questions regarding the two allele calls, Williamson noted that the interpretation might have either left off those alleles or that they “might be right anyway.”

STR Testing Kits Methodology

They noted that a relatively new testing kit called Identifiler, made by Applied Biosystems, could be used in lieu of the same company’s two kits (Profiler Plus or COfiler kits). The benefits of using the Identifiler kit include the fact that all 13 core CODIS loci can be amplified using a single kit and a smaller amount of input sample is necessary. Williamson stated that approximately 80% of Bode’s casework is done using the Identifiler kit. One difference with the Identifiler kit is that it amplifies two additional STR loci, namely D2S1338 and D19S433. Similarly, a newer testing kit, also made by Applied Biosystems, called MiniFiler, was designed to amplify the larger STR loci, thus improving the chances of developing a profile from degraded DNA samples. While the Identifiler kit has been used in court and Jeanguenat has testified regarding its use, the MiniFiler kit has not yet undergone trial Court scrutiny.

Flashlight

Williamson mentioned that the flashlight recovered from the Ramsey home could be swabbed for the presence of “touch DNA,” and that the presence of fingerprint powder would not inhibit the amplification.  She noted that she has had success using the “touch DNA” method to recover the male offender’s DNA profile from a swab of the female victim’s pubic hair shaft in a sexual assault case. She described the “touch DNA” collection procedure as: stretching the fabric substrate to be tested, using a sterile scalpel blade to scrape the surface material, and collecting the fiber for analysis. Williamson noted that she has had a roughly 80% success rate with the technique when used on the exterior surface of victim’s clothing, and has used the technique to develop a profile of a “serial groper” in Queensland, Australia (where Williamson previously worked as a forensic scientist)

Serological Testing

The analysts discussed the different serological tests that could be used to test for different biological material and noted that fluid sources were generally more DNA-rich than non-fluid sources. Williamson asked about the specific test that was used by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to screen for the presence of amylase, a protein commonly found in saliva. The testing method used would determine the best course of action with respect to subsequent “touch DNA” testing. In one method, an adhesive screen is placed over the substrate. If such a method were used, touch DNA testing would not have a high likelihood of success.

Calling Colorado Bureau of Investigation Laboratory

On 12/3/07, at approximately 1339 hours, I reached the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Laboratory Agent in Charge, Ron Arndt, and spoke with him via speakerphone. Arndt stated that the CBI lab was in the process of evaluating the use of either the Identifiler kit, or a similar kit made by a different manufacturer, Promega Corporation’s PowerPlex 16 kit. At that point, Arndt had not determined which kit is “better.” I asked Arndt to describe the serological testing methods in place at his lab around 1997. He stated that cuttings would have been taken of clothing that tested presumptively positive for saliva, semen, or other fluids. When asked, he stated that his lab would not have used the Phadebas test kit, which would have obliterated any touch DNA.

Laboratory Work

At approximately 1315 hours on 12/3/07, the evidence-containing rolling suitcase was opened by cutting through the zip tie securing the zipper pulls. The following items were then turned over to the Bode Technology evidence technician: Neck Ligature, Paintbrush handle, Wrist Ligature, White Long Underwear Bottoms, Wednesday Panties.

Note that although BPD evidence item 010KKY, the black duct tape, was transported to the Bode Technology laboratory along with the other evidence items listed above, it was determined that it was not as suitable for DNA testing as the other items. Therefore, item 010KKY was returned to the zip-tied rolling suitcase, maintained within my custody and control, and ultimately returned to the Boulder Police Department’s Evidence section.

Serology Room

Next, Williamson went into the forensic serology room within the Bode Technology lab. After donning a clean lab coat, hair net, gloves, mask, eye protection, and undergoing footwear decontamination, Maguire and I followed Williamson into the small, secure room. Maguire and I observed from an approximate distance of three feet from the evidence items as Williamson removed item 021TET from the sealed, intact packaging. She noted that the cutting from that item was not contained within the packaging. Next, Williamson examined the evidence items packaged together as 022TET. It was noted that the brush end of the paintbrush was not packaged with the neck ligature and paintbrush handle (middle section). The items were then re­ sealed, and Williamson, Jeanguenat, Maguire and I returned to the conference room to discuss a plan of action.

Williamson stated that the cutting from item 010KKY should be located and sent to the Bode laboratory via FedEx shipping. Re-testing the underwear would be the first priority. She decided to test the long underwear bottoms for possible touch DNA as the second priority. A third priority would be to test the brush end of the paintbrush (which was not included among the items I provided to Bode).

At approximately 1700 hours, Maguire and I left the Bode Technology facility and returned to our hotel.

CORAFiles Index

Investigative Memo

JonBenet Ramsey Death Investigation

Boulder District Attorney Case Report The following is an excerpt from a Letter written by Andy Horita to the Bode Technology Group dated November 7, 2007. Its purpose was to address evidentiary items for DNA Analysis in the JonBenet Ramsey Death Investigation. The following year Bode conducted testing on some of these items with the most significant findings being DNA on the white longJohns matching an existing profile in CODIS. But more on that later. The CORAFiles is a collection of documents obtained through a Colorado Open Records Act Request. It’s a view of the evidence prior to distortions of those who think they know better than science.

I think it will be good to produce the entire truth about the DNA that is known, either by expert analyst opinion or scientific report. It might be important in this 25th anniversary year to only speak of facts about the DNA. I feel like a lot of people maybe uninformed that the DNA isn’t worthless and you have Doubt. Like the Daily Camera article with 9news in 2016. You may think it is multiple people but it is not nothing. The DAs office made strides with their investigation. Why won’t the Boulder Police Department talk about it?

Finding JonBenet John Ramsey discovered JonBenet lying on the floor of the storage room. She was attired in the same pajamas she wore from the previous night. JonBenet was found lying atop a white colored blanket that had previously been in her bedroom. She was in a supine position with her hands were over her head. John Ramsey found his daughter with a garrote tied around her neck and a ligature around her wrists. No ligature was found on her ankles or legs. A piece of black duct tape was affixed to the mouth of JonBenet.

Mr. Ramsey left the garrote in place. The garrote caused a deep furrow in the neck/throat area of the victim. The furrow was in a horizontal plane. He removed the ligature from JonBenet’s left wrist. This ligature remained attached to JonBenet’s right wrist. Mr. Ramsey carried his daughter upstairs and placed her on a rug adjacent to the front door. A detective with the Boulder Police department picked up the body and carried the deceased to the living room and placed the body on a rug.

The victim bore a single rust colored irregular shaped mark on her right cheek (3/8 inch by 1/4 inch) and a rust-colored irregular shaped mark on the right side of her chin (3/16 inch by 1/8 inch). The marks measured about 3.5 centimeters apart. The victim did not display any additional signs of trauma. A rope was found in the guest bedroom, atop a chair. Ramsey family members did not recognize the rope as belonging to them.

Numerous persons that had gathered in the Ramsey residence entered into the living room and stood over the body. Reverend Rolland Haverstock led the group in prayer. John Ramsey held the deceased, stroked her hair, lay beside her, put his arm around her and hugged her.

DNA was collected from the victim and all family members and analyzed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) through the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) format and subsequently through the Short Tandem Repeat (STR) format. A mixture of the victim’s DNA (blood) and DNA of an unknown male, from an unidentified origin, was found on the crotch area and leg band area of the underwear worn by JonBenet. The DNA was analyzed through the STR format and has been entered into CODIS.

History of Items Submitted for DNA Analysis
Garrote: Composed of white colored cord, Olefin (polypropylene) braided, wrapped 6 times around a paintbrush handle (about 4 1/2 inches in length) to form a knot. This knot was located at the back of the victim’s head. The end of the cord attached to the paintbrush handle was singed. The opposite end was formed by making a loop then tying an overhand knot with a left hand chilarity. The loop could then be tightened by pulling on the standing part, thus forming a loop that encircled the neck/throat of JonBenet. The knot holding the broken paintbrush in place was about 17″ from the knot forming the loop encircling the victim’s neck/throat area. Head hair matching the victim’s head hair, was found entwined in the knot at the back of the victim’s head or the knot affixing the broken paintbrush handle to the garrote. A knot expert with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police analyzed the formation of the knot. Two (2) areas of stain on the cord were cut out and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation analyzed the cuttings for DNA. The DNA from the 2 stains matched the victim’s DNA. Other than the 2 cuttings, no other portion of the garrote cord has been analyzed for DNA. The cord did not match any similar cord located in the Ramsey home. John Ramsey carried his daughter up a flight of stairs after discovering her body. John Ramsey may have touched the garrote. Persons standing over the deceased were crying. No one was wearing gloves. The CBI declined to conduct further DNA analysis of the garrote due to a high probability of a DNA mixture being present on the garrote as a result of all persons who have handled the item from the point of manufacture to present.

Paintbrush Handle: The paintbrush handle used in the formation of the garrote, was broken on either end. Tills section of paintbrush handle measured about 4 1/2 inches in length. Portions of a broken paintbrush handle were found in a paint tray in the basement area of the Ramsey home. The broken portions of the paintbrush handle found in the paint tray matched the broken paintbrush handle found in the garrote. The paintbrush handle and broken pieces also had paint spatter on them, consistent with paint spatter in the paint tray. The paint tray and contents belonged to the Ramsey’s. Patsy enjoyed painting as a hobby. No blood was indicated on the paintbrush handle. No fingerprints suitable for identification purposes were developed from the paintbrush handle. No DNA was developed from this item.

Ligature from Wrists: Composed of white colored cord, Olefin (polypropylene) braided, similar in size and construction with the cord used in forming the garrote. When her father found JonBenet Ramsey, a ligature was attached to each of her wrists. Both ends of the wrist ligature were frayed. John Ramsey removed the ligature encircling his daughter’s left wrist. The ligature encircling JonBenet’s right wrist was loosely tied. Both knots remained intact. The knot encircling the victim’s right wrist was tied loosely over her long sleeve white pajamas. Distance between the two loops measured about 15 ½ inches. The knot attached to JonBenet’s right wrist was a larks head knot also known as a cow hitch or a capsized reef knot or more commonly a square knot. The knot that had been removed from the victim’s left wrist by Mr. Ramsey was a “Z” noose with the standing part pulled through the center of the noose knot, which allowed the pulling together of the wrists. No DNA was developed from this item.

Black Piece of Duct Tape: The duct tape affixed to the mouth of JonBenet, was black in color and torn at each end. The duct tape did not match other black duct tape recovered from the Ramsey home. Black duct tape found on the back of wall mounted paintings, differed in thread count and a difference in the color of adhesive. John Ramsey removed the duct tape from JonBenet Ramsey’s mouth. He placed the duct tape on the white colored blanket that JonBenet was lying on. Fleet White, Jr. entered into the basement level storage room after the victim was found. Fleet White Jr. picked up the piece of black colored duct tape from the white colored blanket then placed the piece of duct tape back onto the blanket. Neither Fleet White Jr. nor John Ramsey wore gloves. The black piece of duct tape removed from the mouth of JonBenet Ramsey tested positive for human blood. The blood was analyzed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation; DNA from the blood matched the victim’s DNA profile.

Long Underwear – Bottom Portion, white in color with an elastic waistband: Evidence at the Crime Scene indicated the perpetrator removed or pulled down the long underwear (Bottom) worn by JonBenet. The assault occurred. The underwear was then pulled back up to the original position. John Ramsey would have touched the long underwear after he discovered his daughter in the basement and carried her upstairs. Not previously examined for DNA.

Rope from Guest Bedroom, found on a bag on a chair: The rope located atop a chair in the guest bedroom was not identified as belonging to any member of the Ramsey family. The item has not been examined for DNA nor has the item been examined for any morphological evidence (hairs/fibers).

Autopsy: was conducted on JonBenet Ramsey by Dr. John Meyer, Forensic Pathologist with the Boulder County Coroner’s office. The Forensic Pathologist did not identify any scalp trauma during the external exam at autopsy. Photographs verify there are no sign of head trauma. The internal examination revealed “an extensive area of scalp hemorrhage along the right temporoparietal area “measuring approximately 7 inches by 3 inches.” At the superior extension of this area of hemorrhage is a linear to comminuted skull fracture which extends from the right occipital to posterior parietal area forward to the right frontal area across the parietal portion of the skull.” This fracture measured about 7 inches in length. A rectangular shaped displaced fragment of skull is noted in the posterior parietal area and measured about 1 3/4 inches by 1/2 inch. Microscopic examination revealed some cerebral edema.

DNA Case Overview

Colorado Open Records Act Requests

Websleuths – Error

Last night on the websleuths channel Carol McKinley appeared for an interview as field producer for the 20/20 show that aired last Friday. 

Something new: A source told Carol McKinley that there was a pair of balled up underwear that was soaked with urine that had been thrown behind a chair in JBR’s room. Did not say if they were found wet or dry. She and Lou Smit went round about this as he did not believe there was urine on JBRs sheets. But she said opening the evidence bag smelled of putrid ammonia. No indication of who the source was.

Carol McKinley said Dr Lucy Rorke, who was called in for the Grand Jury believes JBR was hit on the head first and her head wound wasn’t as bad as we have been led to believe and She may have survived with medical care. This contradicts the “red before dead” theory put forth by Whitson that JB strangulation produced red marks indicating that she was alive and not unconscious from the head blow. I don’t know about surviving that injury. And that lack of bleeding in the brain makes sense to me that it was the last horrific thing the perpetrator did.

Carol McKinley also was told that there is not enough DNA for genealogical or familial DNA testing. This doesn’t make sense to me because everything I have read about familial testing indicates they have at least enough profile to relax the stringency standards in CODIS in search of a partial match to a relative. Perhaps it depends on the results of the Y-STR.

As far as genealogy testing we just don’t know what we don’t know but I wish they would tell us. However, it does occur to me that they might be keeping quiet on this so as not to tip off the intruder that they are on to something. That was something Alex Hunter said in not wanting to be deposed for Burke’s lawsuit.

Tricia Griffith is all about Patsy writing the Ransom Note. Several times in the episode she shook her hands in the air proclaiming “Patsy wrote the Note!”. And would go to say that once you reconcile yourself with that “truth” all the other stuff falls into place. A few times Carol McKinley questioned how Patsy could write the note after horribly killing her daughter. And each time Tricia Griffith said I’ll tell you why. Patsy only cared about appearances. She would do anything to protect her image. And she was also very dramatic and such drama filtered through to the note. Of course she bases her analysis on Cina Wong who is not qualified as an expert under the Daubert Standard for Court testimony.

Carol McKinley also said John Andrew is a really nice guy. And Trisha Griffitn said he may be a nice guy but extremely immature because JAR blocked her from his twitter and called her a troll. You go JAR. She is actively discouraging any attempt to solve this case.

Yesterday before the broadcast I got this message from websleuths…

Websleuths – Error: You have been banned for the following reason: Until the Ramsey’s are cleared we do not allow IDI therios

Snap. You would think when banning someone they might actually spell it right but regardless, I thought I was having a couple of meaningful conversations regarding the intruder with these new documentaries. I was hoping for some allowed discussion. I’ve never disliked websleuths even though I think it is a rather circular gabfest often lacking in facts. And then there is the fact that she offered safe haven for years to a pedophile pornographer aka David Hughes/SuperDave who would also discuss his outrageous RDI theories while she promoted his ridiculous book. I guess she is narrow-minded and can’t see the folly of her own ways. Yes Tricia, there is evidence of an intruder.

Once I made that first intruder comment, I was asked some insightful questions by other users and nobody seem all that upset. Maybe some of them want to express their thoughts and ideas too. But I am left with a nagging question. How can the Ramseys be cleared if IDI discussion is not allowed?

Please help solve by keeping the discussion of solving this crime alive. Thank you.

The Vision of Lou Smit

It’s three o’clock in the morning and we’re looking down on a lifeless corpse. Many things are racing through our minds. Who is he? How was he killed? Who did it? Why? Who’s going to notify the next of kin? So many questions, so few answers.

We start making sketches, recording information on physical description, blood, wounds, clothing. My eyes are drawn to the man’s shoes. I don’t know why, but in almost every case my eyes are drawn to the victim’s shoes. Thoughts flash through my mind: When he put them on the last time, did he even suspect it would be his last? He won’t wear them again. He ‘ll never tie those laces again.

Shoes, shoes, the victim’s shoes, who will stand in the victim’s shoes? I remember something I read long ago: THE DETECTIVE STANDS IN THE VICTIM’S SHOES TO PROTECT “HIS” INTEREST AGAINST THOSE OF ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. I guess- THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. So many awesome responsibilities are associated with standing in the victim’s shoes.

  • It means: Becoming personally involved in the case and with the victim.
  • It means: Consoling relatives and friends.
  • It means: Caring for the victim’s personal possessions and belongings.
  • It means: Respecting that person’s body and integrity no matter what race, creed, social upbringing and past faults or reputation, always remembering that something has been taken from him which is priceless and irreplaceable- his life.
  • It means: Closing all doors and answering all unanswered questions.
  • It means: Solving the crime and finding the right killers.
  • It means: Putting into the case part of yourself, not just making it a nine-to-five job.
  • It means: Going that extra distance, even if all of this distance is uphill. It’s not “just getting by,” but finding that extra piece of evidence or that extra witness, thus developing that extra “depth” to the case.
  • It means: Making commitments and keeping them.
  • It means: Squeezing as much out of the justice system as you can. Granted, sometimes it’s not exactly what you want. Always strive for “everything” that the courts and the law will allow, standing your ground and fighting, even though the odds are long and the battle is tough. Get used to fighting and drawing your lines, trying not to retreat from what is right.
  • So many awesome responsibilities are associated with standing in the victim’s shoes.
  • It means: Always “placing the CASE FIRST.” Don’t let your personal pride and feelings be placed in front of your real job, this is representing the victim.

Remember, try to think of it as not working for the prosecution or the defense. YOU WORK FOR THE VICTIM.

Anyone can stand in this victim’s shoes, either by working on the case directly or by supporting it verbally. Just remember: All of you can stand in their shoes and bring the case one step closer to a successful conclusion.

When the case is finished: You may experience a great deal of personal satisfaction; You may be thanked by the victim’s family and loved ones; I would also like to think that someday, as we travel through eternity, we will meet the victim, who will say, “WELL DONE, FRIEND, WELL DONE.” … from Injustice by Whitson, pg XV

DNA – Silent Witness 9/11

This is a DNA story and tribute to my friend who lost her husband in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, 19 years ago today. She has written a book… Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11 and a short movie… Beyond: Messages from 9/11.

Her story is remarkable and well worth the time. She speaks of others who have experienced the presence of their lost one in moments that can only be described as “I know that was you”. In addition to her story, the firefighter who escaped the rubble and survived and believed he saw an apparition walking away from the rubble of NYC gets me every time. I mean, there is still a dream if you survive the destruction; and maybe even if you don’t, your loved ones left behind will look for signs of you from beyond. In the strangest of places and through the oddest of means, messages of love and light shine through.

The human value of this story is undeniably great; however, the scientific value is equally as impressive. In the aftermath of this rubble, analysts of all kinds traveled to the crime scene and started the tedious work of reconstructing it. The evidence collected advanced DNA Identification Technology using databases and software built on this warehouse of evidence collection. It provided answers to questions some thought they would never know. It evolved into something great and edifying.

I can’t explain, for example, how his wedding band was found and returned to me. It’s a puzzle ring, with four thin interlocking gold bands. How could it have been found in the still-burning pile at Ground Zero? But it was … Eamon’s cousin John Beggins, a New York City police officer assigned to guard Cardinal Egan, was the one who brought me the ring. When I opened the velvet box he handed me, I could see that the ring had come undone, but all the pieces had been found and were intact. Two of the bands were just slightly bent, and there was no hint of any of the gold melting. In a few seconds, I manipulated the pieces and had the ring back in its original form. To me, having this ring returned was a miracle. I viewed it as another “sign” and a message from my husband – a message that everything would be okay and that I can get on with my life.” McEneaney, Bonnie. Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11. Pg. (30).

For me the DNA in the JonBenet Ramsey Case is like that; it is a message from her about her killer. It indicates the presence of another person at the crime scene. An intruder left behind a clue in this victim’s body which then bled onto her underwear. It’s the clue that shouldn’t be ignored, not if the crime is to be solved. DNA is The Silent Witness.