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[Ramsey Legal Cases] Wolf vs Ramsey Civil Case 1:00-CV-1187-JEC
Carnes Order March 31, 2003 (Page 11 thru 20)

Pages 01-10
Pages 11-20
Ransom Note
Pages 21-30
Pages 31-40
Pages 41-50
Pages 51-60
Summary Judgment
Libel Claim
Pages 61-70
Lou Smit
Intruder Theory
Pages 71-80
Intruder Theory
Doberson/Stun Gun
Pages 81-93
Carnes Order
Page 1-93


SMF - Statement of Material Fact
PSMF - Plaintiff's Statement of Material Fact
PSDMF - Plaintiff's Statement Disputing Material Fact
Dep - Deposition
Def's - Defendants/Defense

Page 11

A series of events transpired that severely compromised the crime scene. Office Rick French of the Boulder Police arrived at the defendants' home in a marked car a few minutes before six a.m., followed soon after by Detective Linda Arndt. (SMF 21; PSMF 21.) Contrary to normal protocol, the police did not seal off the defendants' home, with the sole exception being the interior of JonBenet's bedroom. In other words, any person in the Ramsey house could, and often did, move freely throughout the home (SMF 21; PSMF 22.)

The Whites arrived at defendant's home at approximately 6:00 a.m., and Mr. White, alone, searched the basement within fifteen minutes of arrival. (SMF 23; PSMF 23.) Mr. White testified that when he began his search, the lights were already on in the basement and the door in the hallway leading to the basement "wine cellar" room was opened. (SMF 25; PSMF 25; White Dep. at 147, 151-52.) He further testified that a window in the basement playroom was broken. (SMF 26; PSMF 26; White Dep. at 28, 152


The Court notes, however, that although plaintiff presents such evidence in support of his theory that Mrs. Ramsey was depressed and that her depression contributed to her state of mind on the night of December 25, such evidence, if accepted as true, cuts against plaintiff's theory that Mr. Ramsey assisted his wife in the "cover-up" of JonBenet's murder. In other words, if the marriage was shaky, it arguably seems less likely that the innocent spouse would help the guilty spouse cover up her murder of their child.

10 Although referred to as the "wine cellar," the room was actually used for storage and was "a dark, dirty area" with mold growing on the floor. (F. White Dep. at 228.)

Page 12

& 154.) Under the broken window, Mr. White states there was a suitcase, along with a broken shard of glass. (SMF 27; PSMF 27; White Dep. at 28-29, 156-59, & 265.) He does not, however, remember whether the window was opened or closed. 11 ( SMF 28 ; PSMF 28; White Dep. at 153.) Mr. White also opened the door to the wine cellar room, but he could not see anything inside because it was dark and he could not find the light switch. ( SMF 29 ; PSMF 29; White Dep. at 159-61.)

Later that same morning, at around ten a.m., Mr. Ramsey also searched the basement area alone. He testified he found the broken window partially open. (SMF 30; PSMF 30; J. Ramsey Dep. at 30.) Under the broken window, Mr. Ramsey also saw the same suitcase seen earlier by Mr. White. Mr. Ramsey testified that the suitcase belonged to his family, but was normally stored in a different place. (SMF 31; PSMF 31; J. Ramsey Dep. at 17. ) Mr. Ramsey then returned upstairs. Plaintiff theorizes that Mr. Ramsey actually found JonBenet's body at this time. (PSDMF 57. )

Later that afternoon, Mr. Ramsey and Mr. White together returned to the basement at the suggestion of the Boulder Police. (SMF 32; PSMF 32; White Dep. at 212-217; J. Ramsey Dep. at 17 20.) During this joint search of the basement, the men first


11 Mr. Ramsey testified that the window had been broken the previous summer. (SMF 30; PSMF 30; J. Ramsey Aff. , 30.)

Page 13

examined the playroom and observed the broken window. (SMF 33; PSMF 33.) The men next searched a shower stall located in the basement. {SMF 34; PSMF 34.} Mr. Ramsey then noticed a heavy fireplace grate propped in front of a closet and Mr. White moved the grate so the closet could be searched. (SMF 35: PSMF 35.) Upon finding nothing unusual in the closet, the men proceeded to the wine cellar room. Mr. Ramsey entered the room first, turned on the light and, upon discovery of JonBenet's dead body, he exclaimed "Oh my God, my baby." (SMF 36, 37: PSMF 36, 37; White Dep. at 162-63, 193-93.)

JonBenet had black duct tape covering her mouth, a cord around her neck that was attached to a wooden garrote, and her hands were bound over her head in front of her: she was covered by a light-colored blanket. ( SMF 38: PSMF 38.) A "Barbie" nightgown belonging to JonBenet was also found in the wine cellar near her body. (SMF 149: PSMF 149.) JonBenet's blood was found only on her body and the Barbie nightgown. (SMF 150; PSMF 150.) Mr. Ramsey ripped the duct tape off JonBenet's mouth and attempted to untie her hands. {SMF 39; PSMF 39.} He then carried her body upstairs. {SMF 39: PSMF 39.} It was only upon the discovery of JonBenet's body that the Boulder police began to secure properly the home as the crime scene. (SMF 53: PSMF 53.)

Page 14

JonBenet's body was bound with complicated rope slipknots and a garrotte attached to her body. (Defs.' Br. In Supp. Of Summ. J. [67] at 19; SMF163; PSMF 163.) The slipknots and the garrote are both sophisticated bondage devices designed to give control to the user. (SMF 161, 164; PSMF 161, 164.) Evidence from these devices suggests they were made by someone with expertise using rope and cords, which cords could not be found or "sourced" within defendants' home. (SMF 169; PSMF 169.) The garrote consisted of a wooden handle fashioned from the middle of a paintbrush, found in the paint tray in the boiler room. The end of a nylon cord was tied to this wooden handle and, on the other end, was a loop with a slipknot, with JonBenet's neck within the loop. (SMF 157-158; PSMF 157-15B.) The end portion of the paintbrush used to construct the garrote was never found. (SMF 159; PSMF 159.) No evidence exists that either defendant knew how to tie such knots. (SMF 162; PSMF 162.) Further, fibers consistent with those of the cord used to make the slip knots and garrote were found on JonBenet's bed. (SMF 16B; PSMF 16B.) Although plaintiff agrees the garrote is the instrument used to murder JonBenet, he argues that the cord with which the wrists were tied would not have bound a live child and is evidence of a staging. (PSDMF 51.)

The black duct tape used on JonBenet's mouth has also not been sourced to defendants. (SMF 170; PSMF 170.) Both ends

Page 15

of the duct tape found on her were torn, indicating that it came from a roll of tape that had been used before. (SMF 171; PSMF 171.) No similar duct tape was found in the house, nor is there evidence that defendants ever used or owned such duct tape. (SMF 172; PSMF 172.) Plaintiff also notes that the strip of duct tape found on JonBenet's mouth had a bloody mucous on it and a "perfect set of child's lip prints, which did not indicate a tongue impression or resistance." (PSDMF 53.) Animal hair, alleged to be from a beaver, was found on the duct tape. (SMF 183; PSMF 183.) Nothing in defendants' home matches the hair. (SMF 183; PSMF 183. ) Dark animal hairs were found on JonBenet's hands that also have not been matched to anything in defendants' home. (SMF 184; PSMF 184.)

Several recently-made unidentified shoeprints were found in the basement, imprinted in mold growing on the basement floor. (SMF 151; PSMF 151.) In particular, a shoeprint of a "HI-TEC" brand mark on the sole of a shoe was found. (SMF 152; PSMF 152.) Defendants do not own any "HI-TEC" brand shoes, and none of the shoes found in their home match the shoeprint marks. ( SMF 153; PSMF 153.) Another partial shoeprint was found near where JonBenet's body was found. ( SMF 155; PSMF 155. ) This shoeprint left only a partial logo. The owner of the "HI-TEC" shoe that made the shoeprints at the murder scene has never been identified. (SMF 154, 155; PSMF 154, 155.) In addition, on

Page 16

the wine-cellar door, there is a palmprint that does not match either of defendants' palmprints. (SMF 156; PSMF 156.) The individual to whom it belongs had not yet been identified. (SMF 156; PSMF 156.)

Finally, items were left behind that defendants assert they did not own. (Defs.' Br. In Supp. Of Summ. J. (67] at 18-19.) A baseball bat not owned by the Ramseys found on the north side of the house has fibers consistent with fibers found in the carpet in the basement where JonBenet's body was found. (SMF 185; PSMF 185. ) A rope was found inside a brown paper sack in the guest bedroom of defendants' home, neither of which belonged to defendants. (SMF 181; PSMF 181.) Small pieces of the brown sack material were found in the "vacuuming" of JonBenet's bed and in the body bag that was used to transport her body. (SMF 181; PSMF 181. ) Brown cotton fibers on JonBenet's body, the paintbrush, the duct tape and on the ligature were not sourced and do not match anything in the Ramsey home. (SMF 181; PSMF 181. )

The autopsy of JonBenet's body was conducted on December 27, 1996 by the Boulder County Coroner's Office. (SMF 40; PSMF 40. ) The cause of JonBenet's death was asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma. (SMF 41; PSMF 41.) The autopsy report supports the conclusion that she was alive before she was asphyxiated by strangulation and that she fought her

Page 17

attacker in some manner. (SMF 42-43, 46, 48; PSMF 42-43, 46, 48. ) Evidence gathered during the autopsy is consistent with the inference that she struggled to remove the garrote from her neck. (SMF 44; PSMF 44.) Moreover, both parties agree the autopsy report reveals injury to JonBenet's genitalia consistent with a sexual assault shortly before her death. (SMF 48; PSMF 48.) 12 Although no head injury was visible when she was first discovered, the autopsy revealed that she received a severe blow to her head shortly before or around the time of the murder. (SMF 51; PSMF 51. See also Report of Michael Doberson, M.D., Ph.D. at 6(C) attach as Ex. 3 to Defs . ' Ex. Vol. I, Part A (stating the "presence of hemorrhage does indicated that the victim was alive when she sustained the head injury, however the relative small amount of subdural hemorrhage indicates that the injury occurred in the perimortem (close to death)13 period.").)

The coroner took nail clippings from JonBenet. Male DNA was found under JonBenet's right hand fingernail that does not match that of any Ramsey. (SMF 174; PSMF 174.) Defendants also


12 The bleeding in JonBenet's genital area indicates she was alive when she was assaulted. (SMF 48; PSMF 48.) Her hymen was torn and material consistent with wooden shards from the paintbrush used to make the garrote were found in her vagina. (SMF 48-49; PMSF 48-49.) No evidence, however, suggests that she was the victim of chronic sexual abuse. (SMF 50; PSMF 50.)

1] The Court has not been able to determine from the record how close to death the perimortem period would have been.

Page 18

assert that male DNA was found under JonBenet's left hand fingernail, which also does not match that of any Ramsey. (SMF 173.) In addition, male DNA was found in JonBenet's underwear that does not match that of any Ramsey and has not yet been sourced. (SMF 175, 178; PSMF 175, 178.) The Boulder Police Department has yet to identify the male whose DNA was found at the crime scene. ( SMF 177; PSMF 177.) Finally, a Caucasian "pubic or auxiliary" hair was found on the blanket covering JonBenet's body. (SMF 179; PSMF 179.) The hair does not match that of any Ramsey and has not been sourced. (SMF 180; PSMF 180.)

Finally, the coroner's report notes injuries on the right side of JonBenet's face and left lower back. While defendants assert that these injuries are consistent with the use of a stun gun, plaintiff notes that the coroner's report does not expressly state the injuries were the result of such an instrument. (SMF 47; PSMF 47. ) Dr. Michael Doberson, a forensic pathologist retained by defendants who examined the Boulder Coroner's autopsy report and autopsy photos, concludes the injuries to "the right side of the face as well as on the lower left back are patterned injuries most consistent with the application of a stun gun." (Report of Michael Doberson, M.D., Ph.D. at 5(A), attach. as Ex. 3 to Defs.' Ex. Vol. I, Part A.)

Page 19

II. The Ransom Note

The Ransom Note is believed by all parties to have been written by the killer or an accomplice of the killer and remains an extremely important clue in the murder investigation. (PSDMF 14.) Plaintiff claims that the single best piece of evidence that ties Mrs. Ramsey to the crime is the Ransom Note. (Id. ) Mrs. Ramsey, however, flatly denies that she had anything to do with the note's creation. (SMF 189; PSMF 189.) Due to the pivotal role the Ransom Note plays in plaintiffs' allegation that Mrs. Ramsey was the murderer of her child, the facts surrounding the Ransom Note will be discussed in detail.

The Ransom Note was quite long, and in fact is one of the longest ransom notes in the history of kidnapping cases. (PSDMF 17.) This fact is important because the longer a document is, the harder it becomes to disguise one's handwriting. (PSDMF . 19. ) The Ransom Note is addressed to Mr. Ramsey alone and purports to be written by a group of individuals who "represent a small foreign faction" that have kidnapped defendants' daughter and seek $118,000 for her safe return. The Ransom Note was signed "S.B.T.C.", after the salutation "Victory!" (Ransom Note at 3.) The author of the Ransom Note instructs Mr. Ramsey to "[u]se that good southern [sic] common sense," an obviously inaccurate reference as Mr. Ramsey was originally from Michigan, whereas Mrs. Ramsey was originally from West Virginia. (Id. )

Page 20

In addition, the Ransom Note was drafted on paper taken from the middle of a pad of paper located at defendants' home and with a pen found at defendants' home. Additional sheets were missing from the pad and were never located at defendants' home. The pen used to write the Ransom Note was sourced to defendants' home and found placed back in its normal place by the phone. Finally, there was another page in the pad that had written on it "Mr. and Mrs. I," which many believe to have been an early "false start" of the Ransom Note. (PSDMF 51.)

Both parties agree that the Ransom Note is not an ideal specimen for handwriting analysis, primarily due to the type of writing instrument, a broad fiber-tip pen, used to draft the note. This type of pen distorts and masks fine details to an extent not achievable by other types of pen, as for example a ball point pen. . (SMF 243; PSMF 243.) In addition, the stroke direction used to construct certain letters and subtle handprinting features, such as hesitations and pen lifts, are difficult to ascertain because of the pen used in the Ransom Note. (SMF 244; PSMF 244. ) Finally, the handwriting in the original Ransom Note showed consistency throughout the entire writing. (SMF 246; PSMF 246. ) One of the most common means to disguise one's handwriting is to attempt to make the script erratic throughout the text. In sum, for the above reasons, the Ransom Note is not an ideal

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