2004-01-14: The Bonita Papers-1999 (Fleet/Priscilla White)
From a poster known as "Spade" on the www.forumsforjustice.org forum posted information regarding a person known as "Bonita." Spade wrote: "These are the unedited "notes" of Bonita Sauer, secretary/para-legal to Dan Hoffman. Bonita intended to write a book from the case documents provided to her boss. But Bonita's notes were sold to the tabs by her nephew. Larry Pozner is a partner in the same law firm. I hope he reads his secretary's notes about this case before he runs his mouth about the Ramsey's. (Again) This is a long file, so I suggest copying to your own computer and printing it out. I have checked the important case info and find it accurate, however there is some BS. Please post your questions." On another postings, Spade wrote, "Bonita is the 1st name of the legal secretary who wrote up the Boulder Police reports, mailed them to her nephew in Oregon who in turn double-dealt them to two tabs for $70,000. Bonita had access to all the BPD reports. Keep in mind that Bonita wrote-up her info in 1999"
"The next day, Tuesday, December 24, JonBenet performed at a recital in the afternoon, and the family attended church services at St. John's. The Ramseys had dinner at a local restaurant, Pasta Jay's, owned by a close friend, Jay Elowsky. The remainder of Christmas eve was spent driving around town looking at Christmas lights. Every year during the Christmas Season the city erects the outline of a star with white lights on a nearby hill overlooking Boulder. The family stopped to gaze at this illuminated symbolism of the Christmas season which looked down upon then from the far away hillside. JonBenet insisted they let her out of the car so that she could walk through the star – her child wonderment wanting to experience the feeling of catching a rainbow.
The evening travels concluded with a brief visit at the home of Fleet and Priscilla White. Fleet owned an oil exploration business and had moved to Boulder two years ago from California. The families had met when the Whites rented a home two houses away from the Ramseys before purchasing their current residence. The Whites also had children, Fleet, Jr. and Daphne, closely matching the ages of Burke and JonBenet, and the children had become playmates when they were close neighbors."
That evening would bring another holiday gathering dinner with Fleet and Priscilla White and their family and guests. While getting ready to attend the dinner party, Patsy tried to persuade JonBenet to wear a red sweater and black velvet pants that would match the outfit that Patsy was wearing. Like most independently thinking six-year-olds, JonBenet had other ideas about her evening attire. She insisted on wearing her black velvet jeans and matching black velvet best with a whit crew-neck sweater with a sequin star on the front – an outfit she had helped pick out at a local Gap store. To complete her outfit, she wore a small gold ring on the middle finger of her right hand, a gift from her maternal grandmother, Nedra Paugh, a bracelet on her right wrist – a Christmas gift from her mother, and a gold cross necklace given to her by her aunt Pam.
The Ramsey family arrived at the White residence at approximately 4:30 p.m. With a houseful of relatives and guests, tables were set up in both the living room and dining room in order to provide everyone with a seat. Seafood, including crab, a favorite of the Ramsey children according to Patsy, was one of the main courses served for the holiday meal. After dinner, John and Fleet planted themselves on the living room floor and helped their daughters construct paper jewelry from kits given out by the Whites as gifts to the children attending the dinner party. The evening ended soon after some local carolers, entertaining in the neighborhood, came to the Whites' house, and Fleet and his son went outside and joined in the singing. The Ramseys John, Patsy, Burke and JonBenet, bid goodnight to the Whites at approximately 8:30 p.m."
"Arriving almost immediately after the first officers on scene were John and Barbara Fernie, close friends of both John and Patsy. They were soon joined by Fleet and Priscilla White, with whom the Ramsey family had spent the evening of Christmas day just hours before the disappearance of their daughter. Patsy confirmed that she had called both the Whites and the Ferniest after notifying the police. Bill and Heather Cox, guests staying at the Whites’ home, also appeared. Barbara Fernie called the Ramsey’s pastor, Rev. Rol Haberstock from St. John’s Presbyterian Church, and asked him to come.
According to the family friends, the hysterical Patsy was alternating between noncoherent praying to God and Jesus and screaming, " They have my baby.” At one point Patsy screamed at John, “You have to give them the money and get out baby back.” John, attempting to comfort his wife, responded, “We’ll get her back. She'll be okay.''
Within minutes of arriving at the Ramsey home, Fleet decided to look around the house. His own daughter had been missing a few months ago, and after the police were called they found her hiding under her bed. Fleet was hoping that JonBenet too was just hiding somewhere in the house. Since everyone had been told by the police officers not to go upstairs, Fleet went town to the basement. He noticed that the lights were on. He found a small piece of glass from a broken window in a room used for model trains. In checking the latch for the window he discovered that it was unlocked, but closed. Fleet also noticed a blue suitcase was sitting underneath the window. He continued with his search by opening every cupboard and door. He opened the door to the wine cellar, reached inside, but could not find the light switch and could not see inside the room. The wind cellar is completely formed by cement and has no windows. Finding no evidence of anyone entering or leaving from the basement area and no trace of JonBenet, Fleet went back upstairs."
"According to John and Patsy, Burke had remained asleep during Patsy's morning screams and commotion of people coming and going from the residence. At approximately 7:0 a.m., John decided it was time to wake Burke. It had already been decided that Burke would be taken to the White's residence where relatives were still staying for the holidays. John, accompanied by Fleet, went up to Burke's room. John woke his sleeping son, “Why don't you get up, buddy. You're going over to White's house to see Fleet, Jr." Burke's only reaction to the disturbance of his sleep was, "Okay." Burke put his clothes on, grabbed his Nintendo and a couple of Christmas toys to take on his visit to his friend's house, and followed his father and Fleet downstairs. Fleet immediately took Burke outside to his vehicle and drove way. Never once did Burke ask why policemen were at his house. The only conversation that passed between the two during the ride was occasional mention of Burke’s Nintendo he got for Christmas which he had brought with him."
"It was approaching 1:00 p.m. and still no word had come in from the kidnappers. In order to give John something to do to keep him from pacing the floor, Det. Arndt told Fleet, “I need your help in keeping John’s mind occupied. Could you ask him to recheck the house top to bottom to see if anything belonging to JonBenet had been taken or left behind?" Fleet, hesitating, responded, “I think it would be better coming from you.” Arndt located John and asked him to assist Fleet on this search.
John went to the basement door with Fleet following. Fleet first took John to the train room to show him the unlatched broken window that he had discovered on his first excursion into the basement. John explained to Fleet, "I broke that window last summer when I misplaced my house key and had to break in." They searched for broken glass on the floor and found one small splinter. John and Fleet then looked in a broom closet and another small room. While Fleet was still checking other closets, John walked to the wine cellar and tried to pull open the door. Because the top latch was secured, the door would not open. John reached up, undid the latch, and opened the door. Fleet, who was about 20 feet away, heard John exclaim, "Oh my God, oh my God," and went running to the room where John was standing. As Fleet approached the door, John flipped on the wine cellar light switch. Fleet saw the body of JonBenet laying on the floor.
John said he saw the white blanket on the floor as soon as he opened the door, and when the lights came on he saw his daughter laying on the blanket. The sides of the blanket were wrapped over her legs, her head was pointing toward the inside of the room and her feet pointing towards the doorway. Her hands were tied together and laying above her head, and tape covered her mouth. John knelt beside JonBenet and felt her pale white cheeks. He ripped the tape from his daughter's mouth and flung it aside. John then tried to untie the rope binding her hands and discovered that her arms were stiff. 'Fearing that she was dead, John let out a scream of despair. Fleet ran up the basement stairs to the main floor. Appearing extremely distraught, he grabbed a phone, dialed two or three numbers, but then hung up. He turned to go back to the basement door, but then stopped and yelled for someone to call for an ambulance. All eyes were riveted on the basement stairwell door as John's scream was heard by everyone else still in the house."
"Patsy was coming towards the body Of JonBenet, walking with the Assistance of Rev. Hoverstock, and her friends, the Whites and the Fernies. When she entered the hallway where JonBenet lay, she rushed to her and laid down on top of her dead child. Barbara picked up a gray sweatshirt lying on a chair and placed it over the child’s exposed bare feet. Arndt told the family and friends to gather in a circle around JonBenet while Rev. Hoverstock lead them in a prayer. In spite of the numbing shock and grief felt by everyone in the room, they joined Rev. Haberstock in reciting "The Lord's Prayer" as Patsy lay on top of JonBenet crying and moaning. Suddenly, Patsy raised herself onto her knees, lifted her arms into the air and prayed, "Jesus you raised Lazarus from the dead, raise my baby from the dead''
At 8:30 a.m. on the morning of December 26, unaware of the tragedy in Boulder, Melinda, John Andrew and Stewart Long had taken a private jet from Atlanta to Minneapolis in anticipation of meeting the rest of the Ramsey family to continue on to Charlevoix for the family holiday. Once in Minneapolis, they were contacted and told of the apparent kidnapping. Arrangements were made to fly them immediately to Denver. They took a cab from the Denver airport to the Ramsey residence in Boulder and arrived shortly after 2:00 P.M. When the cab pulled up in front of the house, Patsy was standing in the street crying. The family and friends were shuffled into the Whites' and Fernies' vehicles that were parked in front of the house. John, Stewart and John Andrew got in the van driven by Fernie, and Patsy, Melinda, Barbara and Priscilla got in Fleet’s Suburban. As Fleet drove the women to his house, there was no conversation among the passengers – only Patsy’s incessant chanting of “dear God Jesus, dear God Jesus.” After getting in Fernie's van, John Andrew immediately asked his father what had happened, and John simply stated, “She's with Beth now" As the vehicles proceeded on the drive to the Fernie residence, John related the morning’s events to his son, and stated that he had found JonBenet’s body around 11:00 a.m. that day."
After arriving at the Fernies, the weary and distraught parents tried resting, but to no avail. At one point, Boulder detectives, who were providing 24 hour security at the Fernie residence to insure the safety of the Ramsey family observed John pacing outside the house with John Fernie and Dr. Beuff, family physician. John was overheard by the detectives to say, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” Patsy also was unable to sleep even though heavily medicated. She constantly would get up, pace the floor and sob, “Why did they do this, why did they do this.” She also repeatedly asked where Burke was and if someone was with him. Priscilla had previously retrieved Burke from the White’s residence, but he had been shuffled off upstairs with the other children. Burke, always a quiet child now appeared sad and more reserved than usual. He spent most of his time deeply intent on Nintendo games and shutting out the rest of the world. When he did venture to a room where he parents were, Patsy would rally momentarily and emerge from her deep depression just long enough for everyone to catch a glimpse of a caring, concerned mother.
Before being transported to the Fernie residence, Det. Patterson located Burke at the White’s home to get a brief statement, but Burke had little to add to the story already told by his parents. Burke told the officer that there had not been any family quarrels before or on Christmas Day, and that if there was any discipline from his parents it merely consisted of "talking" to them. One thing Burke did remember which he felt was important to tell the detective was that they had crab for dinner at the Whites' party. Det. Patterson smiled at the child’s observation one of the few smiles he would remember during the preceding hours. Indeed, as Patsy had said, it must have been one of Burke's favorite foods.
"While the Medical Examiner was inspecting the body, the investigation team was continuing to process the residence for evidence. Color photographs and videotape of the interior of the residence had already been taken. The team now concentrated on the wine cellar. Two light switches were located for this room one on the inside east wall 5 feet above the floor level, and the other on the west wall 2 feet above the floor level and 2 feet inside the doorway. Polaroid photos were taken before any of the investigators entered the room. Unfortunately, other officers had tromped through the room immediately after discovery of the body in making their own inspection of the crime scene. Even Fleet admitted that he had returned to the room twice. These actions would hamper the gathering of reliable evidence as the investigation progressed."