Franks opinion in 1997
#1
I have an very early opinion piece (1997) written by Frank Coffman before he turned BORG.  I thought I would share it today just so new followers of the case can see exactly what we mean when we say people changed over time - - and ask themselves (in the light of the real evidence we have) WHY???

I would note that while we knew about the contents of the note, Frank had some other information wrong, like that she was hit in the head before she was strangled and that she was found wearing a nightie.  But documents released after this piece cleared up those issues (unless you are BORG).


The Premeditated Murder of JonBenet


By Frank Coffman


       "...there are at least two people that know who did this, and that is the killer and

         someone that that person may have confided in." - Patsy Ramsey, May 1


    Ever since JonBenét Ramsey was found dead, there have been signs that her murder was a premeditated crime, not a spur of the moment act.  The method of killing indicates a degree of planning; she was strangled with a garrote, made by attaching a nylon cord to a stick.  The person who prepared that instrument of murder obviously thought ahead and wasn't just acting on a momentary impulse.

    Now, there is more evidence of premeditation.  The ransom note shows signs of being conceived in advance of the murder.  According to published reports, some of the ransom note was derived from movie plots and dialogue, which are quoted fairlyu accurately, indicating that the writer must have seen these movies in the recent past.

    Incredibly, the killer drew upon Hollywood movies for guidance on how to concoct a believable ransom note.  One line in the ransom note is obviously lifted directly from the movie "Speed" (1994).  The ransom note contains the quip: "Don't try to grow a brain," which is the same line that the psycho-killer blurts out in "Speed."

    The writer of the ransom note also borrowed from the plot to "Dirty Harry" (1979), another film about a psycho killer who tried to extort a ransom.  As in "Dirty Harry", the note asserts that the kidnapper will be watching covertly and that the ransom exchange will be a physical ordeal. 

    The note writer also liked the warning in "Dirty Harry" about not talking to anyone, not even to a dog, which turned up in the ransom note as don't "talk to a stray dog."  The note used obscure lines of dialogue that no one would be able to recall unless he had watched the film recently.

    The killer turned to movies about ransom situations for ideas about how to disguise the murder as a kidnapping.  The killer staged the fake abduction to divert suspicion away from himself.  There is evidence the ransom note was written in the house.

    Soon after the murder, some observers noticed similarities between the ransom note and the movie "Ransom," which was playing in Boulder at the time of the murder.  In "Ransom," Mel Gibson plays a self-made multi-millionaire businessman (which describes John Ramsey) whose child is grabbed by a group of kidnappers led by a man who dislikes the father.

    The note-writer's memory of these films, as reflected int he note, are too intact for him to have simply recollected films he saw years ago.  He must have reviewed movies about kidnappings shortly before the murder.  Only movies with ransom plots show up in the note.  He seems to have worked out the kidnapping charade before he committed the murder.

    What can we tell about the killer from the language in the ransom note?  The note-writer uses correct English.  There is no bad grammar, no profanities, no slang.  The note has proper margins and indented paragraphs.  The writer seems to be educated.

    The threats in the ransom note are stated in a conservative, almost polite form:
    "The two gentlemen who have your daughter don't like you.  We advise you not to provoke them ... We respect your business, but not the country it serves  ... We advise you to be well rested."

    This is hardly the language of the street.

    The note's mannerly style indicates that a sophisticated person was trying to sound like a criminal.  he borrowed tough talk from movies, but his true identity keeps showing through.  For instance, instead of asking for the money in a suitcase, the note specifies "an attache case," the mark of a businessman or professional person.

    If there was an intruder, he seems to know his way around the Ramsey home.  He found JonBenét's bedroom without disturbing the other occupants.  The intruder didn't stumble into the wrong bedroom or wake up anyone.  He wasn't a stranger to the house.

    Some commentators have theorized that the murder started as an accident, perhaps during a family fight, when JonBenét was struck with a blow intended for someone else.  But that theory fails because if she was hit in the head by accident, one of her parents would have dialed 911 or rushed her to the emergency room to save her life.  They wouldn't have proceeded to strangle her to death, unless there was a desire to kill her in the first place.

    There is no sensible way to explain away heer death as an accident.  JonBenét was struck in the head with a well-aimed blow of great force, enough to fracture her skull and knock her out.  She was then strangled.  The cause of death was "asphyxia by strangulation."

    There are indications that JonBenét was killed in her bedroom: when she was found dead, her body was wrapped in a blanket from her bed and dressed in a nightie.  Her brother knows nothing about the murder because he was asleep.  Presumably, JonBenét had also gone to bed.

    The crime apparently occurred after bedtime, which is hardly the time for a parent to get into a violent fight with a child.  The circumstances don't fit a rage killing.  Apparently, JonBenét was in her bed, possibly sleeping, when someone with murderous intent entered her room.
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