- There is a distinction to be made between an untruth and a lie. Someone may assert something that is not in fact true, but for a perfectly innocent reason: confusion, faulty memory, "gaslighting," etc. I would not call that a "lie." And in the context of a criminal investigation, an untruth is meaningful only if the untruth is relevant to the case and the suspect has something to gain by asserting it.
- There is a distinction to be made between a statement that is deceptive and a statement that implies guilt. For example, someone might be deceptive regarding some question about his bank account because he fudged a bit on his taxes. That doesn't necessarily mean that he embezzled any funds.
26. Patsy spotted a "Santa bear" in a photo from JBR's room and insisted that she'd never seen it before, suggesting that it must have been placed there by "the intruder." As it turns out the bear was an award given to JonBenet in a recent pageant, which tells us that Patsy lied.
To evaluate the above accusation, we need to ask ourselves what Patsy expected to gain if she was consciously aware of the source of this item but willfully lied about it. Of course she was obviously eager to find anything that might be traced to an intruder, not necessarily because she was guilty, but because she was under suspicion of murder and desperately wanted to find any evidence that might clear her. If that item truly didn't belong in the house, then it must have originated with "the intruder" and she would be off the hook. And that holds regardless of whether she was actually guilty of anything or totally innocent, but under suspicion. Therefor, to me, it looks as though she saw what she wanted to see and "conveniently" forgot about the actual source of that toy. It's a form of confirmation bias and not at all uncommon. To assume she knew the truth and deliberately lied to throw the investigators off the scent, we have to ask what good that could have done her. If she knew that the item was awarded during a recent pageant, then she would also have known that the truth would come out sooner or later, once the people who ran the pageant found out about it. As it turned out, that's what happened and it became a serious embarrassment -- as she would certainly have been able to anticipate if she'd been deliberately lying. It seems to me that Patsy's memory, affected by the heavy medication she'd been under, was unreliable, and that, coupled with her strong desire to find intruder evidence, was what led her to believe an untruth. I see no reason to treat this as a lie, because there was no reason for her to be deceptive regarding something that could so easily be checked.
27. Patsy claimed she knew nothing about the fact that Burke had at one time owned a pair of Hi-Tec boots with a compass on them. It's hard to believe she didn't know what sort of footwear her own child owned, so she must have been lying.
Here there are two possibilities. Either Patsy truly knew nothing about these boots, possibly because they were a gift from some other party, maybe an aunt or grandparent and Burke didn't wear them very often -- OR she was being deliberately deceptive because she so badly wanted to support Lou Smit's theory that the Hi-Tec print found near JBR's body must have come from the "intruder." In neither case can this be seen as evidence of guilt. Finding intruder evidence would have been important to Patsy whether she was guilty or not.
28. Patsy changed her story regarding the little red "heart" found drawn on JBR's hand, first claiming that she had seen it "that morning" and then correcting herself later when she realized that she could not have seen it that morning unless she had seen JBR's body prior to its discovery by John.
As seems clear to me Patsy just got confused. It's possible that she thought it was still morning when the body was found by John. And it's possible she just had a memory lapse, due to the medications she was on. What leads me to doubt that this could have been a lie is the fact that she would have had nothing to gain by it. If she herself had drawn that heart on her daughter's dead body, as has so often been assumed, she could easily have "confessed" to drawing it while putting her to bed that night, while still very much alive. Why draw suspicion on herself by saying something that implied guilty knowledge when lying about it would have been so much easier?
29. Patsy lied to Barbara Fernie about a damaged door that she knew had been broken into in the past, implying that it could have been due to a recent breakin attempt by "the intruder."
This incident was reported in James Kolar's book, p. 327. Barbara had apparently noticed damage to a door in the Ramsey house and Patsy had reassured her that this was old and probably due to John breaking in at some point after forgetting his keys (man, the guy was incredibly forgetful about all sorts of things). But Fernie recalled an advertisement in a Denver newspaper, "placed by Ramsey attorneys and taking up at least half of the page of the newspaper, [purporting] that this may have been a possible point of entry used by the kidnapper of JonBenet." Due to this obvious attempt to mislead the public, the Fernies "severed their contact with [the Ramsey] family. . ."
Note that there is nothing in Fernie's story, as reported by Kolar, that tells us Patsy lied about that door. What was deceptive was the ad taken out by the attorneys, and we have no way of knowing whether Patsy had anything to do with that. Very possibly it was prompted by John without any input from Patsy at all. He does seem to have been the one actively working with the lawyers, while Patsy seems to have taken a more passive role. While we have no way of knowing what role Patsy might have played in that very deceptive ad, the commonly held notion that she lied about it to Barbara Fernie is clearly not true.
30. Patsy's descriptions of what happened prior to the 911 call are contradictory regarding both the sequence of events and the question of whose decision it was to make that call. There is no question she lied about at least some of the details.
As I've often argued, we have no reason to believe anything they said regarding what happened during that period of time. In one interview Patsy said that calling the police was her idea, and that she ran downstairs to make it while John went to check on Burke. But in their book she presents a very different version, in which they are both in the kitchen together and he tells her to make the call. While we have no way of telling what really happened, as I see it the call must have been her idea -- and John must have manipulated her into changing her story to make it look like it was his idea. This hypothesis, based on certain facts and logical inferences based on those facts, is a central tenet of my theory of the case, as extrapolated throughout this blog and in my book. If my theory is correct, we have a case of a lie told by an innocent person in support of another lie told by a guilty person she believes to be innocent. Two lies, told for completely different reasons.
31. Patsy claimed she cleaned up broken glass in the basement after John broke in several months prior to his daughter's murder. Either the incident actually happened, which seems highly unlikely, or Patsy was lying to support John's fabricated story.
Of all the purported lies by Patsy, this is the toughest one to explain, admittedly. But now that we've had a chance to review all the other alleged "lies," it should be clear that this is the ONLY such case, all the others being relatively easy to account for. I've gone into this issue at length in some recent blog posts so there's no need to pursue it yet again. As I see it, 1. given all the evidence pointing away from Patsy as either the murderer or an accomplice, it's hard to believe she would suddenly decide to deliberately lie to support someone she knew to be guilty; 2. there is no easy way to explain her testimony as either the truth OR a lie. If it were true, then why wasn't her story supported by the only independent eye witness, Linda the housekeeper? And if it were a lie, then why would she include Linda in her story, knowing that Linda could not have been there and would have denied it. As I see it, this leaves us with no choice but to conclude that she must somehow have been manipulated into telling this story, in a manner similar to the way she was manipulated regarding the 911 call. "Gaslighting" comes to mind, but there are simpler methods of implanting a false memory that might have been used.
Of course, if I had wanted to avoid the touchy issue of false memory, and make it easier on myself, I could have claimed that an innocent Patsy eventually awoke to the truth that her husband had killed her daughter, but nevertheless decided to stick by him, as he was her sole support, both financially and legally. That would make it easier to explain Patsy's deceptive story, but given everything we know about her and her relation with her daughter, I refuse to accept it. If she had ever learned the truth about John's involvement I feel sure she would have left him, and reported him to the authorities.