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Picket Fence

[911 Call] 911 Call
December 26, 1996
5:52 AM

JonBenet, Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation
Released on April 11, 2000
Written by Steve Thomas with Don Davis

Excerpts from Steve Thomas book, "JonBenet, Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation" showing dialog from the 911 call and other information that related directly to the 911 call the morning of December 26, 1996 and whether Burke Ramsey was sleeping or awake.

Page 14: "The first word of what had happened came at 5:52am on the morning after Christmas Day, when Patsy Ramsey dialed the 911 emergency number."

PR: (inaudible) police.
911: (inaudible)
PR: 755 Fifteenth Street
911: What is going on there maíam?
PR: We have a kidnapping...Hurry, please
911: Explain to me what is going on, ok?
PR: We have a ...Thereís a note left and our daughter is gone
911: A note was left and your daughter is gone?
PR: Yes.
911: How old is you daughter?
PR: She is six years old she is blond...six years old
911: How long ago was this?
PR: I donít know. Just found a note a note and my daughter is missing
911: Does it say who took her?
PR: What?
911: Does it say who took her?
PR: No I donít know itís there...there is a ransom note here.
911: Itís a ransom note.
PR: It says S.B.T.C. Victory...please
911: Ok, whatís your name? Are you...
PR: Patsy Ramsey...I am the mother. Oh my God. Please.
911: Iím...Ok, Iím sending an officer over, ok?
PR: Please.
911: Do you know how long sheís been gone?
PR: No, I donít, please, we just got up and sheís not here. O my God Please.
911: Ok.
PR: Please send somebody.
911: I am, honey.
PR: Please.
911: Take a deep breath (inaudible).
PR: Hurry, hurry, hurry (inaudible).
911: Patsy? Patsy? Patsy? Patsy? Patsy?

Page 15: "The telephone call gave us a cornerstone of evidence, not so much for what was easily heard but for what was found when experts washed out the background noise. It has been my experience as a police officer that such emergency calls are virtually unchallengeable. They are tape-recored, and either something was said or it was not. Tapes can be so powerful that prosecutors regularly play them so a jury can hear the actual voices and emotions of the participants.

In preliminary examinations, detectives thought they could hear some more words being spoken between the time Patsy Ramsey said, "Hurry, hurry, hurry" and when the call was terminated. However, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service could not lift anything from the background noise on the tape. As a final effort several months later, we contacted the electronic wizards at the Aerospace Corporation in Los Angeles and asked them to try and decipher the sounds behind the noise.

Their work produced a startling conclusion. Patsy apparently had trouble hanging up the telephone, and before it rested on the cradle she was heard to moan, "Help me, Jesus, Help me, Jesus." Her husband was heard to bark, "We're not talking to you." And in the background was a young-sounding voice: "What did you find?" It was JonBenet's brother, Burke.

The Ramseys would repeatedly tell us that their son did not wake up at any point throughout the night of the crime. We knew differently."

Page 317: With his legs pulled up and his chin on his knees, Burke said he played some Nintendo on the afternoon of December 25. When showed a photograph of the pineapple and bowl, he recognized the bowl. That showed it belonged in the house and not brought in by an intruder. He recalled nothing unusual at the Whites' party other than getting a mild shock from the electric deer fence outside. He said his sister fell asleep in the car on the way home but awakened to help carry presents into the house of a friend. When they got home, JonBenet walked in slowly and walked up the spiral stairs to bed, just ahead of Patsy. That was quite a difference from the initial and frequently repeated story that she was carried to bed. I felt that this poor kid was confused and that he really had no idea what had happened that night. He heard the house creaking during the night, he said, and when he awoke, his mother was turning on the lights and in a rush, saying, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh," then his father turned the lights on and off again. Burke stayed in bed wondering if something had happened. He heard his father trying to calm his mother, then telling her to call the police. Burke told the detective he did not get out of bed that morning and that a policeman looked into his room. He recalled thinking that when the police arrived "we would probably be tied up all day" and that he was disappointed the family would not be going to Charlevoix as planned."

Perfect Murder, Perfect Town
Released on February 18, 1999
Written by Lawrence Schiller

Excerpts from Lawrence Schiller's book, "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town" that related directly to the 911 call the morning of December 26, 1996 and whether Burke Ramsey was sleeping or awake during the 911 call.

Page 286: "In February, Detective Trujillo had sent a copy of the tape to the U.S. Secret Service, but their attempt to enhance the recording had not succeeded. Aerospace used a different technology, and voices in the background could now be heard more clearly. Hickman listened to the tape and wrote down what she heard.

"Help me Jesus, help me Jesus." That was clearly Patsyís voice. Then, in the distance, there was another voice, which sounded like JonBenetís brother.

"Please, what do I do?" Burke said.

"Weíre not speaking to you," Hickman heard John Ramsey say.

Patsy screamed again. "Help me Jesus, help me Jesus."

And then, more clearly, Burke said, "What did you find?"

The snippet of conversation was obviously important. Patsy and John had told the police, and CNN on January 1, that when they found JonBenet missing, they checked Burke's room for their daughter, who sometimes slept there. They had never said waht they found in Burkes' room. Later Patsy said they did not awaken Burke until about 7:00 A.M. when her husband roused him to have him taken to the White's house."

Page 523: "On Tuesday, June 9, as agreed, Pete Hofstrom and Dan Schuler traveled to Atlanta to interview Burke Ramsey. In preparation, they consulted the FBI and the Boulder detectives and reviewed the videotape of Burkes' January 8, 1997, interview. The interviews were to be conducted at a local district attornies office and videotaped. On three consecutive days June 10, 11 and 12 for two hours each day JonBenetís brother would be questioned by Schuler, a police officer with a gift for talking to kids, a cop who didnít like guns and never carried one."

Page 524: "When Schuler asked Burke if his mother and father had prepared him for the conversation, he said no. Gently Schuler explored whether Burke thought his sister had sometimes been a bad girl and gotten mad at people. They discussed which people she got mad at and whether she had been mean and nasty to those people. Schuler asked Burke if his mother and father ever got really mad at his sister. Burke said he didn't think so. Schuler's most important questions, never asked directly, was whether JonBenet had ever done something to bring about her death. Again Burke answered no. Had she fallen and hit her head? He didn't remember her doing that. The most delicate part of the interview was getting Bure to answer questions without revealing what the police knew. First, he was asked if he ate any pineapple and when he went to bed. He didn't remember. What did he and his father talk about when they played with his Chrismas gift that night? Just that it was time for bed. Then Schuler asked what happened after Burke went to bed. Did he have any dreams? Did he hear anything in his sleep? Burke said he had heard voices, in the distance. Maybe it was a dream, maybe not. It was so long ago he said. Without mentioning the 911 tape, Schuler asked Burke when he got up that morning and how he awakened. He did not want the Ramsey's to learn what the police knew. The plan was to confront them about the tape during their own interviews, which would probably take place later in the month. Burke said he remembered waking up and hearing a loud conversation from down the hall or on the front stairs. Maybe his mother had come into his room, but he was sure he stayed in his bed and pretended to sleep. He was concerned while he pretended, he said. Burke told Schuler he was awake when his mother made the phone call. His parents might have thought he was asleep but he wasn't he said. When he was asked if he spoke to his parents that morning before being awaken at seven to be taken to the Whites' house, he said no. He said he had stayed in his room the whole time. The 911 tape seem to say otherwise. Had Burke been coached, or had his thinking changed independently since his January 1997 interview? The detectives wondered."

Page 581: "11. The enhanced 911 tape contradicted the version of the events of that morning told by both Patsy and John Ramsey on several occasions to different police officers."

Death of Innocence
Released on March 17, 2000
Written by John and Patsy Ramsey

Excerpts from the Ramsey's book, "Death of Innocence" that related directly to the 911 call the morning of December 26, 1996 and whether their son, Burke Ramsey was sleeping or awake.

Page 11: ""There's a note downstairs." I can bearly speak. "Someone has taken JonBenet." I feel the blood rushing from my head. For a moment I feel like fainting. "She's gone!" I cry. "JonBenet is gone!" My stomach wrenches.

John tears down the stairs; he seems to be shouting, but nothing makes any sense.

"Burke! John yells. What about Burke?"

Both of us race to Burke's room at the far end of the second floor and find him apparently still sleep. Best not to arouse him until we figure out what's happening here, I think. He's better off asleep for now. I step into the hall.

John runs down the main stairs and into the back hallway. I grasp my stomach and run after him. By the time I get to him he is down on his hands and knees staring at the sheets of paper spread out on the floor in front of him. He is examining the ransom note, under the ceiling lights of the back hall."

Page 12: ""What do we do?" I stammer.
He shouts, "Call the police!"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, call them!"

"Standing next to the wall phone, I instantly dial 911, and try to make the voice on the other end of the line understand. It is as if she doesn't believe what I am saying. I slam the phone back into its cradle on the wall. Got to have someone here, I think. I dial the Fernies' number. "We need help!" I scream "Please come over here!" I take another deep breath and grab the phone again from it's cradle, dialing the Whites this time. "JonBenet's missing!" I yell"

Page 201: " One of the most creatively written stories came out in August, claiming that they had obtained a copy of the taped conversation when I called 911 early in the morning of December 26, 1996, asking the police to come at once to our house. The tabloids had come up with a new twist. The National Enquirer ran a story saying that our telephone had not been hung up properly and the police had heard additional voices on the 911 tape. The tape, the story said, had been enhanced technologically to produce a message, which supposedly occurred in the hallway area near the kitchen,"

Page 202: "just after I "thought" I hung up the telephone. According to unnamed sources, the Enquirer claimed that you could now hear Burke on the tape saying, "Please, what do I do?" and John replying, "We're not speaking to you." Obviously, if this were true, then John and I had been inaccurate when we testified that we had not awaken Burke or talked with him until later in the morning. Their scenario ran along the lines that we couldn't have possibly forgotten such an important conversation. Therefore, the enhanced tapes were represent a major flaw in our explanations. We must have done something we were trying to cover up. John and I saw the story as another one of those crazy accounts the tabloids kept running on us. We knew it was probably a police leak that in time would be viewed as misinformation. As a matter of fact, an accurate account was later published in Newsweek. The magazine reported that some of the people who had hard the tape - the police - thought they heard Burke's voice, while others said no conversation was hard, even after the tape was enhanced in the lab. Why would the police have had to enhance the tape if the wall phone was off the hook? We wondered."

Page 270: " They also questioned me at some length about the 911 call and wanted to know where Burke was during this time. I told them that he had been asleep in bed until I got him up to go to Fleet White's house."

The National Enquirer Article - April 3, 2001

The following is only a short section of the interview given by John and Patsy Ramsey to the National Enquirer regarding their son, Burke Ramsey and whether he was sleeping or awake during the 911 call the morning of December 26, 1996. Click the link above to read the complete article

April 3, 2001
The National Enquirer - Ramseys change their story about murder night
By David Wright & Don Gentile

"John and Patsy Ramsey have changed the story they told cops about their daughter JonBenet's murder -- they now admit their son Burke was awake during that Christmas 1996 nightmare!

In an exclusive ENQUIRER interview, the nation's most infamous murder suspects say Burke was jolted awake by screams in their Boulder, Colo. home.

"Burke knew something horrible had happened. He heard us screaming. He heard Patsy ...a woman in terror," John confessed. "We thought he was asleep but he wasn't. Burke was awake.

"Burke was frightened. He had tears in his eyes. He knew something very, very wrong was going on."

Until being questioned by The ENQUIRER, the Ramseys had always insisted that Burke was still sleeping when police arrived at their home after Patsy's 911 call.

But now John has admitted to The ENQUIRER that Burke woke up before the 911 call was placed at 5:52 a.m. to summon police."

Patsy Ramsey Deposition - December 11, 2001

The following is only a partion of the deposition by Patsy Ramsey that relates to both John and Patsy Ramsey's interview with the National Enquirer. Click the link above to read the complete deposition.

Page 155
21 MR. WOOD: That question went to
22 making inquiry of her as to why she and her
23 husband granted an interview to The National
24 Enquirer.
25 Since the last thing I want to do is

Page 156
1 to fight a motion battle over that, and because I
2 have been consistent throughout in my
3 representation of the Ramseys, as I think they
4 have been even before I was involved in terms of
5 trying to answer every question, if you will
6 agree that we are not waiving any right to the
7 question of relevancy in allowing her to answer
8 that question, I am going to let her answer it,
9 and effectively withdraw with that understanding
10 my objection and instruction. Is that okay?
11 MR. HOFFMAN: That is fine.
12 MR. WOOD: So with that agreement, if
13 you would like to ask her; and if, Patsy, you
14 would answer the question for him, please.
15 MR. HOFFMAN: I am going to formally
16 ask it.
17 Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) Mrs. Ramsey, I
18 showed you a document that was identified as
19 Plaintiff's Exhibit 13. I am going to show that
20 document to you again. Could you identify what
21 it is that that document purports to be?
22 A. They are copies from a tabloid
23 article, National Enquirer tabloid article.
24 Q. Would you characterize the statements
25 that you made in this article as being statements

Page 157
1 that were made in the course of an interview,
2 formal interview with The National Enquirer?

3 A. It was an interview in conjunction
4 with some litigation for Burke that we were
5 involved with.

6 Q. If it was --
7 MR. HOFFMAN: See, this is why it is
8 a tricky area because for litigation, I don't
9 want to go into what the litigation was about,
10 and, naturally, if she gave it for the purposes
11 of the litigation, then she is required to by
12 law.

13 MR. WOOD: No, it was not given as a
14 requirement of the litigation as a matter of law.

15 MR. HOFFMAN: Oh, okay.
16 MR. WOOD: But I think what she is
17 saying is that the issue about the interview came
18 up in connection with actually the resolution of
19 some of Burke's claims.

20 MR. HOFFMAN: Because I don't want to
21 get into it if this is part of the settlement.
22 If that is really what she is going to say, that
23 she agreed to this interview because it was part
24 of a settlement agreement --
25 MR. WOOD: I don't think that is

Page 158
1 what she said.
2 THE WITNESS: I agreed to the
3 interview because, I mean, we are not afraid to
4 face even our most vile opponent, of which I
5 consider The National Enquirer to be one of the
6 most vile.
7 And, you know, we have faced Steve
8 Thomas. We have faced The National Enquirer. We
9 have nothing to hide. And I am facing you
10 today, Mr. Hoffman.
11 I did not kill my daughter, I did
12 not write the ransom note, and I don't know who
13 did either of those things. And I am not afraid
14 to answer any questions from either you or from
15 them or from the police department or from anyone
16 else, for that matter. And that is why the
17 interview was taken.
18 MR. HOFFMAN: Okay.
19 Q. (By Mr. Hoffman) The only reason I
20 had asked it was in relation to a statement that
21 was made in the book about how disapproving you
22 were of the tabloids, and --
23 A. And to this day I disapprove of the
24 tabloids.
25 Q. And also, I believe Mr. Ramsey once

Page 159
1 stated that it was his intention to see that, if
2 anything came out of this case, it would be a
3 change in the way in which the media reported
4 certain news.
5 And I was just wondering why, after
6 these strong statements of principle, that you
7 basically were willing to give a tabloid an
8 interview. That is all, my only reason for
9 asking that.
10 A. Because we wanted to prove that we
11 have nothing to hide and that we can sufficiently
12 face our most vile opponent.
13 MR. HOFFMAN: Okay. Thank you very
14 much.

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