5/24/97 Miller FAX
Darney Hoffman

From Letter to District Attorney Alex Hunter
May 24, 1997

1) Patsy’s possible participation in this crime is the single most significant clue to this murder.

2) Although research shows that fathers are more likely to kill members of their families (over 80% of the time), Patsy Ramsey fits the profile of older women who kill family members. Remember: until forty years ago most intrafamilial homicides were caused by women.

3) Older women are most likely to kill their younger daughters. Frequently, it is the prospect of divorce or impending single parenthood, coupled with suicidal depression that often leads these mother's to think and respond anomically (i.e., "amorally"), which means they grow to believe that killing their children will actually "benefit" them. (Remember Patsy Ramsey's Susan Smith-like remark during her first CNN interview on January 1, 1997 when she referred to JonBenét as perhaps being "better off" not living old enough to become a cancer victim, or to experience the other heartaches of adulthood? This is classic "anomic" thinking by a parent who has just murdered their child).

4) The events in Patsy's life just prior to the day of the murder are highly significant: i.e., an isolated and comparatively unhappy, depressed older woman, about to turn forty; whose sixteen year marriage to an older man was showing signs of stress; whose body had begun to betray her former good looks with a sex organ cancer; whose beautiful and talented daughter began serving as a bittersweet reminder of lost youth, and whose unhappiness and disappointment in her gilded cage existence a thousand miles from her family and hometown of Atlanta, Georgia are clear indicators that Patsy may have been harboring suicidally depressed thoughts.

5) The need for Patsy to establish some kind of control in her life made her relationship with her daughter paramount. After all, Patsy had already lost control over where she lived, her body, her marriage to John, and the general direction of her life. Controlling JonBenét was the single most important "safety valve" in Patsy's life.

6) Patsy began losing control over JonBenét as her daughter reached six years old. At that age, children are no longer interested in satisfying their parents emotional needs to the exclusion of their own. This is the age when many children become openly resistant to continuing with their ballet, or ice skating, or piano lessons which have often been "forced" on them by their overly ambitious parents. It's an age when they just want to be "kids."

7) JonBenét displayed the usual degree of resistance, even demonstrating it with bedwetting.

8) Patsy began sensing her daughter's increasing independence, but she was too emotionally vulnerable and needy to completely accept it.

9) JonBenét’s bedwetting just became another in a series of frustrations and disappointments, and, consequently, took on greater symbolic importance than it normally would have were Patsy not sensing that her own life was "cascading" out of control.

10) Losing control of her daughter might have presented an intolerable threat to Patsy's psychological survival and may have even contributed to suicidal thinking on Patsy's part.

11) Suicidal thinking is the most common and prevalent emotional component in female homicides of family members, especially involving their younger children.

12) Although the precipitating event of the night of JonBenét’s murder remains unclear, the injury to JonBenét’s head is more constant with a parent who flew into a sudden rage, than with a parent involved in a pattern of sex abuse that resulted in an accidental homicide.

13) Patsy Ramsey's psychological profile does more to explain why she was more likely to go into a sudden rage (probably at the loss of control over JonBenét) than John Ramsey, who, by all accounts, was an absentee parent with little or no psychological investment in controlling his daughter's behavior that we know about. John had had three children by a prior marriage, and so had "been there, done that" as a parent. Sociological studies of affluent families show the husbands as assuming the role of "sole" financial support, with mothers assuming the more traditional roles as the exclusive arbiters of the children's behavioral development. While their husbands measure their success and status among their peers with wealth, these wives measure their status and success by how well they raise and control their children's behavior.

14) If Patsy Ramsey did, in fact, strike her daughter on the head with a blunt object in a blind rage, what would she have done next? Answer: What she had always done in the past, which was to go to John and have him "save" her.

15) "Saving" women like Patsy is what John Ramsey is all about. A man who made a fortune by creating a hands-on business, which he started on his kitchen table, and which he also "micro-managed," would be accustomed to playing Pygmalion to Patsy's Eliza Doolittle. As a former naval officer and airplane pilot, John Ramsey sees himself as calm and experienced in crisis management -- in fact, he prides himself in it.

16) One has only to remember how Richard Nixon engineered the Watergate cover-up (a crime he probably didn't initiate) to realize that certain personalities relish the challenge of being able to meet the demands of orchestrating a "cover-up" to "save" their subordinates, who are frequently people they feel morally superior to.

17) Since the single most important element in a parent/child homicide is the issue of CONTROL; and since the parent feels that they have lost control of their child, whether real or imagined, this would explain why the FBI claims that children between the ages of 0-2 are most often killed for uncontrolled crying and screaming ("shaken baby" syndrome), and children between the ages of 2-6 are killed for chronic bedwetting or lose of bowel control.

18) Who in the Ramsey household had the greatest "control issues" in their lives? John or Patsy?

19) The idea that John Ramsey "accidentally" killed JonBenét by strangling her in a strange sex-game ritual, or killed her to keep from being "exposed" by her threatening "to tell mommy", is the least likely of all the scenarios involving a family member being responsible for the murder. As Star Trek's Mr. Spock was so fond of saying: "It's possible, but not probable."

20) Studies show that incest victims are rarely physically hurt or killed by the molesting parent. Several of these studies show that parent pedophiles are remarkably non-violent.

21) The most likely scenario, assuming the injury sequence is one in which the head injury occurred first and the strangulation resulting from the staging occurred later, is one in which Patsy Ramsey assaulted her daughter in a fit of rage involving a "control issue" triggered by JonBenét’s chronic bedwetting, which then resulted in Patsy running to John and begging him to "save" her. John then foolishly agreed to help his wife by "staging" a horrific ritual kidnap/killing, thinking his daughter already dead from the blow to her head. Ironically, John's application of the ligature to JonBenét’s neck actually became the technical cause of JonBenét’s death in the coroner's report -- a completely unforeseen and unintended result -- thereby resulting in John's being "upgraded" from a mere accomplice after-the-fact, to the actual "murderer." When John learned what had occurred when the coroner's report was released several days later, he couldn't believe how far down into a hole he had buried himself.

22) Any theory of this crime, which involves Pasty as the "event initiator", is further borne out by the fact that the Boulder police and FBI have completely failed to drive a wedge between the two parents -- a common occurrence in solving domestic homicides (e.g., Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum). Most police clearances of domestic homicides involve a confession or eyewitness testimony by the "innocent" spouse. Neither Patsy nor John can give the other up -- even if one wanted to -- because they are now both equally culpable.

23) Psychologically, both Ramseys regard, and believe, the event to be "accidental." They are sincere in their expressions of love for their daughter and in their sorrow for her death. Like O.J. Simpson, the Ramseys don't believe "they" have killed anyone. "They" are not capable of murder. Some other "they", serving as their evil twins, or alter egos, reflexively, and defensively, created this accident and then covered it up, to prevent an uncaring world from condemning them. Why should a person's whole life be defined by a momentary loss of control -- to be branded as a murderer for all time, despite the years of good "works" and Christian deeds? Why, indeed, the Ramseys ask. They undoubtedly feel that they are suffering enough already as the result of the enormous public scrutiny and loss of reputation in the community.

They also miss their daughter terribly, suffering enormous guilt and loss, the way most parents do when their children die prematurely from disease or accidents. Parents whose children die from their negligent care of them frequently don't go to jail. Why should the Ramseys?

So, in order to move this case to the next step, your office is probably going to have to take a page out of the prosecution's book in the Joel Steinberg/Hedda Nussbaum case. You may remember that the New York City police arrived in that case only to find a comatose six-year old girl dying on the living room floor of the apartment of a multi-millionaire criminal defense attorney and his common law wife. The DA had no forensic evidence, only two adults, each capable of committing the crime.

What to do? The DA Morgenthau arrested them both (sometimes "One Degree of Separation" between suspects in separate jail cells is more potent than a ton of DNA evidence). As usually happens in these cases, after her arrest, Hedda Nussbaum, with the help of her attorney Barry Scheck, gave Joel up, something she would never have done had she not been arrested and charged with murder. The DA gambled and won. It was worth it.

The only conceivable prosecution scenario that should break this case open is a grand jury indictment of the ransom note writer, who is then arrested and jailed on first degree felony murder charges, with no possibility of bail for first degree murder in Colorado. Time to reflect while in the confines of a jail cell should do the trick.

Well, that's it. If you would like to discuss this further, I'd be happy to do so.

Good luck,
you're really going to need it.

Very truly yours,

Darnay Hoffman
Miller's handwriting analysis

American School of Investigative Sciences, Inc.
700 Clermont Street
Denver, Colorado 80220
(303) 394-4280

Mr. Darnay Hoffman, Esq.
Attorney at Law
210 West 70th Street, Suite 200
New York, New York 10023


Date: November 3, 1997

Subject: Patsy Ramsey


Based upon available exemplars compared to the purported "ransom" note in the JonBenét Ramsey murder, the handwriting is probably that of Patsy Ramsey.


Neither the original of the "ransom" note nor original exemplars of Patsy Ramsey's handwriting were available for analysis. Thus the analysis was conducted through comparison of photomechanical reproductions. Access to exemplars was limited. No opportunity to review exemplars of Patsy Ramsey provided police officials was made available. Because of this, the categories of speed and pressure could not be fully examined. In light of these circumstances, the opinion is limited to "probable" rather than "Highly probable" or "definite". Access to further known exemplars would be needed to provide a more definite opinion.

Questioned Document: The Questioned Document (QD) consists of a hand-printed note widely circulated at this time.

Exemplar 1: Exemplar 1 (E- 1) is a note written to a "Miss Kit" dated June 4 (year unknown) in the cursive script of Patsy Ramsey.

Exemplar 2: Exemplar 2 (E-2) is a photograph of JonBenét Ramsey wearing a button which reads "Hello ... I'm Marilyn Monroe" purportedly in the printed hand of Patsy Ramsey.

Exemplar 3: Exemplar 3 (E-3) is a photograph with the words "This is me when I was first born. That's my Mom and the doctor."

Exemplar 4: Exemplar 4 (E-4) is a photograph with the words "I was 1½. I'm having a picture taken."

Exemplar 5: Exemplar 5 (E-5) is a photograph with the words "I was 2. I was going bike riding with my Mom and my Dad."

Exemplar 6: Exemplar 6 (E-6) is a photograph with the words "RAMSEY XMAS ... Ramsey."

Exemplar 7: Exemplar 7 (E-7) is a photograph with the words "Rainbow Fish Players."


Categories of Comparison

Handwriting comparison is based upon eight general categories. Lacking original documents, shape, size, slant, baseline, continuity and arrangement could be compared between the Questioned Document and the Exemplars. Pressure could not be analyzed and speed required estimation. However, of the six categories available, matches in the available categories could be made between the handwriting of Patsy Ramsey and the handwriting in the "ransom" note.

Disguised Writing

It should be noted that the wavering lines and crude lettering as the note begins indicates a disguised writing due to the use of the opposite hand in parts of it. Use of the opposite hand is a favored practice of the anonymous letter writer. Nevertheless, two issues create difficulty in avoiding identification by use of the opposite hand. First, the writer must have a thorough knowledge of the identifying details of one's own handwriting, which is seldom the case. Second, even if a knowledge of one's identifying details is known, the writer must then eliminate those strongly held habits by adopting an entirely new set of habits that would impair identification according to the categories described above. While some prominent traits may be eliminated, those more unconscious but individualistic traits remain available for comparison. In this analysis, the writer did not successfully identify her own traits for elimination and the unconscious, strongly formed habits of the handwriting of Patsy Ramsey remain evident.

A disguised writing typically contains evidence of the conflicting and persistent habits of the natural handwriting and the effort to suppress those habits while trying to letter with the opposite hand. Irregularities and inconsistencies will appear in the form of hesitations, possible variations of slant, grotesque letter formations, patching up of letters and slowly drawn strokes. All of these elements are found in the ransom note.


Shape is one of the more easily identified categories of handwriting, comparison to the untrained eye. In this examination, shape provides numerous examples of Patsy Ramsey's handwriting in the ransom note. Take, for example, the "R" in Ramsey in the salutation of the note. The note's horizontal loop at the top of the "R" begins with an overhang to the left of the down stroke that forms the vertical stroke at the left. This same overhang is found in E-6 in the second "Ramsey." A similar type overhang occurs on page three of the note in the letters "D" where the note states, "Don't try to . . . " and in "Don't under estimate . . ."

Further on in the letter on page two, the word "Speaking" contains a capital "S". That letter could virtually be superimposed over the capital "S" in "RAMSEY" in E-6. Here, the established habit of a non-curved initiation of the "S" which is then slightly retraced as it moves downward to complete the lower curve and the completion of the letter is obvious. The "S" in the signature, "S.B.T.C." also bears similarity to this habit. The result of this habit in the formation of the letter "S" is to create a squeezing of the upper curve and a resulting smaller upper curve. This also occurs in lower case letters in E-7 and frequently in the QD, for instance, on page one in the "s" in "advise" and "rested" in the sentence, "I advise you to be rested." It occurs on page two in "also" and in "remains" in the sentence, "You will also be deprived her remains . . ." and in other areas, as well as quite prominently appearing on page three in "is" in the sentence "It is up to you now John!"

The effort to disguise the writing and the failure to do so occurs in the upper case "W" at the beginning of the QD in the word "We" in the sentence "We are a group of individuals . . . " when compared to E- 1 in the upper case "W" in the word "Wednesday." In Patsy Ramsey's strong hand, the first cup of the "W" is squeezed and appears much narrower than in the second cup. In the QD, the opposite occurs as the second cup is squeezed and is thus narrower than the first. This opposite squeezing of the cups occurs as the opposite hand reverses a tendency of the strong hand much like a person making a check mark with the strong hand will reverse that same mark if made with the opposite hand. It creates a mirroring, or a reversal, of the direction of the checkmark. It represents a failure of the writer to recognize her own handwriting characteristics and to avoid those characteristics while using the opposite hand.

Patsy Ramsey, like other writers, has a variety of "styles" in making the same letter. The squeezing of either cups of both the upper case "W" or the lower case "w" occurs throughout the exemplars and the QD. As to Patsy Ramsey's habit with the lower case "w", the right hand cup is found narrower than the left in E-7in the word "Rainbow" as it is also found in the word "we" in the sentence, "At this time we have your daughter in our possession." The habits of the strong hand here appear in the opposite hand. The left hand cup of the lower case "w" is squeezed in E-4 in the word "was" in the sentence, "This is me when I was first born." Squeezing of the left cup is found in the QD on page one in the word "withdraw" in the sentence that reads, "You will withdraw $118,000.00 . . . " It occurs on page two in the word "will" in the sentence, "You will be scanned . . ." It occurs on page three in the word "well" in the sentence "You and your family are under constant scrutiny as well as . . ."

A plethora of other similar incidences of the writing habits of Patsy Ramsey found in the exemplars occurring in the QD abound. They are too numerous for purposes of this report, but can be fully detailed upon request.


The category of size requires some estimation in order to identify the handwriting of Patsy Ramsey as that of the writer of the QD. While the QD was written on 11 by 8½-inch lined tablet paper, the exemplars were not. They vary from stationary to snapshots to notes in a scrapbook to cardboard posters. By mathematically comparing the reduced size of the snapshot in E-7 of 2 and 1/2 inches in width to the standard 3 inches of a Polaroid snapshot, an estimation could be reached of the handwriting size of Patsy Ramsey. Once the calculation is made, the "R" in "Rainbow" compares favorably with the size of the "R" in "Ramsey" in the QD. Similarly, the lower case letters also compare favorably as to size.

As with any disguised writing, some variations in size will occur as the anonymous letter writer adjusts to the awkwardness of the use of the opposite hand. These variations occur as naturally as would some variations in the writer's typical strong hand. Size therefore matches in the QD and the exemplars, but must be qualified due to the degree of estimation required to determine the natural size of Patsy Ramsey's handwriting.


As discussed earlier, variations of slant occur in a disguised writing. In the QD these variations are noted more consistently as the note begins, for instance in the "ll" of "carefully" in the sentence, "Listen carefully." The printed slant for Patsy Ramsey in E-2 through E-7 is vertical, known as an A slant. That is the general slant found in the QD, especially as the writing continues onto pages two and three. It represents, again, another category for comparison where Patsy Ramsey is probably the author of the QD.


Baseline represents not only the "baseline" rule provided in a writing tablet or a checkbook, but also the writer's habits as to where letters are presented in relation to the others. In examining the QD it is noted that the tendency of the writer is to often place some letters above the printed rule. This occurs in the word "withdraw" on page one in the sentence, "You will withdraw $118,000.00 . . . " It occurs naturally without a printed rule in E-7 in the word "Fish." It occurs several times in the word "daughter" on page two and in the word "authorities" on page three. The letter "h" represents more than simply a tendency to rise above the rule. In many of the printed letters "h" in the QD it is noted that the vertical line on the left side initiating the letter does not come all the way down to the baseline. This is a tendency, an unconscious tendency of Patsy Ramsey, in "Fish" in E-7.

Additionally, both upper case "Ms" and lower case "ms" have a brace stroke in the middle which do not return to the baseline in both the QD and in the exemplars. Patsy Ramsey also exhibits a tendency to curve the bottom of the "t" to the right in E-3 in the word "That's" in the sentence, "That's my Mom with the doctor." This occurs frequently in the QD. Examination of the original of the QD, or a better facsimile, and examination or more known exemplars would be useful in identifying further characteristics regarding baseline.


Continuity represents the connecting strokes and distances between letters, words and lines of writing. In the case of the QD, spacing of greater than a letter is noted between most words. This is also the case in E-1, E-3, E-4 and E-5. E-2 and E-6 do provide a basis for this comparison, and E-7, because of a limitation of space, does not open the distances between letters as much as in those where the tendency is found in the QD and in the exemplars where it is noted above. -

As to connecting strokes between letters, the QD frequently squeezes letters together to a point at which they abut each other. This trait is minimally observed in E-2, but is seen more extensively in found in E-3, E-4@ E-5, E-6, and E-7. E- 1, because it is in cursive displays less of this, though it is still evident in some in the words "JonBenét" as the "n" and the "B" nearly abut, in the "N" and "a" in "Nationals" and in the signature, "Patsy and JonBenét."


As to the right hand borders of the QD and E- 1, similarities also appear as variations appear in the extent to which the writer is willing to write onto the end of the page. It should be noted here that none of the other exemplars provide areas for comparison in terms of arrangement as a whole.

Speed and Pressure

In the absence or original documents, speed and pressure cannot be adequately analyzed. However, an examination of the wavering lines, the crude formation of letters, hesitations and patching indicate relatively slow writing which would be consistent with the use of the opposite hand. Additionally, a slow writing such as the QD appears to have been prepared should indicate greater pressure. This, however, cannot be analyzed in absence of the original.


Based upon the exemplars available, the handwriting of the "ransom" note and that of Patsy Ramsey have numerous and significant areas of comparison. Shape of letters is one of the more telling areas of comparison, but this category would not substantiate an opinion on its own. The additional categories of size, slant, baseline, continuity and arrangement add significantly to the opinion that Patsy Ramsey wrote the "ransom" note.

This opinion represents an analysis based upon exemplars believed to be in the hand of Patsy Ramsey. It should be noted that the taking of verified exemplars from Patsy Ramsey was not available to the examiner. It is highly recommended that additional exemplars be provided or located and that access to the original Questioned Document be provided in order to more firmly establish the conclusions of this Questioned Document Analysis.

(Signature of Tom Miller)

This is stuff that Frank Coffman got his hands on - Ibelieve he went to the house and captured some of the photos himself through the window but am not sure - - was he there with Judith Phillips?  That seems to ring a bell but I can't swear either way. 

ANYWAY, this is the kind of "evidence" both Tom Miller (who l;ater married Judith Phillips) and Cina Wong were working with.  Pictures of writing that no one can say was written by ANYONE in particular for sure - - and they did not have access to  the actual ransom note.  So their reports were not acceptable in Jusge Carnes' court.

For those looking for the truth in this cse - - THIS is the quality of proof held up against the Ramseys in this case. 

Is this really the quality of law we hope for in our own lives?

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