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December 27, 1996 Through 1997

Page history last edited by -searchinGirl 3 years, 10 months ago

JonBenét Ramsey Case Encyclopedia



December 27

00:01 AM | John Ramsey returned from the airport (Steve Thomas notes).
00:05 AM | Both Patsy and John get valium (Steve Thomas notes).
00:20 AM | John and Patsy Ramsey fall asleep on the living room floor (Steve Thomas notes).
1:50 AM | Patsy gets up and asks if someone is with her son, Burke. She also asked for more pills and says I just want to stay asleep. She also asks if all the doors and windows are locked. She is drowsy and drugged (Steve Thomas notes).
2:00 AM | Patsy gets up to go to the bathroom. She is drowsy and dazed. Sobs every once in a while. At times needs to be supported (Steve Thomas notes).
2:35 AM | Patsy Ramsey goes back to bed (Steve Thomas notes).
2:40 AM | John Ramsey gets up and asks for two pills and walks around crying (Steve Thomas notes).
2:45 AM | John Ramsey goes back to bed (Steve Thomas notes).
2:50 AM | John Ramsey is back up, crying and sobbing at times (Steve Thomas notes).
3:50 AM | Officer Barklow relieved Officer Scott Adams (Steve Thomas notes). 
3:50 AM | Officer Barklow arrives and is briefed (Steve Thomas notes).
4:05 AM | Officer Adams clears scene (Steve Thomas notes).
4:15 AM | Officer Adams briefed Reichenbach (Steve Thomas notes).

8:15 AM | Autopsy. Autopsy conducted at 8:15 AM by Dr. John Meyer, Boulder County Coroner with Det. Linda Arndt and Det. Tom Trujillo in attendance (Byfield 1997:3).

15:00 PM | Second Boulder Search Warrant. Police obtained search warrant for Ramsey house in Boulder. An inventory of property taken is included on pp. 5-7 of that warrant, but a transcribed version including links to photos of selected objects is at acandyrose.com.

Evening | JR Visits Crist Mortuary. JR goes to Crist Mortuary to make funeral and transportation arrangements (assumed this evening and not next because JR is able to give LA the details same evening) (Internet poster Tortoise).

21:30-22:00 PM | Arndt/Mason Interview John Ramsey. Det. Linda Arndt and Sgt Larry Mason go to the Fernie residence and talk to JR. Also in the room are Jeff R, R Westmoreland, M Bynum and Dr Beuff. JR tells them there will be a private memorial service in Boulder on Sunday at 2pm after which they will be flying to Atlanta and JBR's funeral will be held on Tuesday. LA says she will telephone Sat am to arrange interviews for JR & PR  (Internet poster Tortoise).

Ramseys at Fernies. Ramseys stayed at John and Barbara Fernie house.

BPD Press Release: Update on Homicide Investigation (Ramsey Update #02).

December 28

Before Noon | Ramseys Provided Forensic Samples. Ramsey family goes to Boulder police station to answer questions and give samples of hair, blood and handwriting. These include John Ramsey, John Andrew Ramsey and Burke Ramsey; "'Patsy' Ramsey was too distraught to submit to the evidence collection, authorities said" (Daily Times-Call). Internet poster Tortoise shows samples were given before noon at Boulder County Justice Center, that Ramseys were accompanied by an attorney from Haddon, Morgan & Foreman). 

Shortly After Noon | Ramseys Hired Criminal Attorneys. "Shortly after noon that Saturday, without consulting John or Patsy, Bynum told Detective Arndt that the Ramseys would not give any more testimonial evidence without a criminal attorney present, and they would no longer share privileged information with the police. Since he was no longer a criminal attorney, Bynum called Bryan Morgan of Haddon, Morgan and Foreman in Denver, one of Colorado's top firms. By Saturday evening the Ramseys had retained Morgan." (Schiller, 1999a:63).

Afternoon | Pam Paugh Retrieves Items from Ramsey Home. Patsy Ramsey's sister, Pam Paugh, returned to the Ramsey house to get some personal belongings, some clothing, and some things appropriate for JonBenet's burial. Full details at acandyrose.com. Internet poster Tortoise says items includeJR's bible and the My Twinn doll.

Afternoon | PR chooses her funeral outfit from a selection of outfits sent to her by a local store (Internet poster Tortoise).

Afternoon | The Ramseys met with attorneys Bryan Morgan and Patrick Burke at the Fernie's home (AngelFire timeline).

Afternoon | In a telephone conversation, the DA chief trial deputy, Peter Hofstrom, asked Meyer if there was any medical reason to retain custody of the body."I told him no," Meyer said. He said he had decided to release the body on Dec. 29, before investigators made their inquiry (Internet poster Tortoise; details at Daily Camera).

BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #03.

December 29

Big Red Boat Cruise. This is the day the Ramseys originally had planned to take their first cruise on Disney's Big Red Boat in celebration of Patsy's 40th birthday on this day. Full details at acandyrose.com.

2:00 PM | Memorial Service in Boulder. "About 200 family members and friends gathered Sunday at St. John's Episcopal Church in Boulder to mourn the girl's death" (Daily Times Call). Details and pictures at acandyrose.com.

Ramseys Flew to Marietta, GA. The "family flew to Marietta Georgia, in a private jet, piloted by John Ramsey, for JonBenét's funeral" (Bardach 1997). The CNN timeline states they flew to Atlanta.

BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #04.

21:00 PM | Third Boulder Search Warrant. Police obtained search warrant for Ramsey house in Boulder. An inventory of property taken is included on pp. 5-8 of that warrant, but a transcribed version is at acandyrose.com.


December 30

Visitation at Funeral Home. 300 Friends and family visited JonBenet at Mayes-Ward Dobbins Funeral Home in Marietta, Georgia (Daily Camera).

Ramseys Hired Attorneys. John Ramsey hired a prominent criminal attorney, Bryan Morgan, and Patsy hired his partner, Patrick Burke. Patrick Korten received a call from Hal Haddon, Bryan Morgan's other partner, and became the Ramsey family official spokesperson (AngelFire timeline). Kirk Mitchell timeline puts hiring of attorneys and publicist Patrick Korten on December 31.

Blood and Hair Samples Taken. Police take blood and hair samples from John Ramsey and other members of the family (Denver Post timeline). 

Police Clear John Andrew Ramsey and Melinda Ramsey. Police also say that John Andrew Ramsey and Melinda Ramsey – JonBenét’s adult half-siblings – were out of town the day of the murder (Denver Post timeline). 

BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #05. 


December 31


JBR Funeral. Following a funeral at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, JBR was buried in Marietta, GA; she was wearing a pageant gown and glittering tiara (Daily Camera chronology). Details and pictures at acandyrose.com.




1-1-97 | Ramseys CNN Appearance. Ramseys appear on CNN, confirming that John and Patsy each have hired an attorney and that John also hired a private investigator (Zaret 1997).

1-1-97 | Duct Tape and Cord Details Leaked. A report says JonBenet‘s mouth and throat were wrapped with duct tape. A smooth cord, like a parachute cord, was found with a slipknot around JonBenet‘s neck, sources said. The cord had a piece of wood like a gripping handle at one end that could be used to tighten the noose.(Kirk Mitchell timeline).

1-2-97 | Ramseys Return to Boulder. (Daily Times-Call); they stayed with Mike Bynum.

1-2-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #06. 

1-3-97 | Ramseys Return to BoulderJohn and Patsy Ramsey return to Boulder after JonBenét’s funeral (Denver Post timeline).

1-3-97 | Ramseys Hire Private Detective. "The Ramseys have reportedly hired Denver private investigator Ellis Armistead, a former Lakewood police detective and the former chief investigator for the Routt County District Attorney's Office" (Daily Times-Call); Ramseys stayed with Mike Bynum.

1-3-97 | Mayor Says Boulder is Safe: Residents shouldn't think killer is 'wandering streets'.

1-3-97 | Source of RN Paper Revealed. Investigators announce that the ransom note appears to have been torn from a tablet of paper found in the house (Denver Post timeline).

1-4-97 | House Returned to Family. .

1-4-97 | Ramseys Moved to Elowsky House. Ramseys moved in with "Pasta" Jay Elowsky.

1-4-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #08. 

1-4-97 | Reports surface that JonBenet's skull was fractured and the ransom note was written on paper from a tablet in the Ramsey home (Daily Camera case timeline).

1-5-97 | First Charlevoix Search Warrant. Police obtain search warrant for Ramsey house in Charlevoix, Michigan.

1-5-97 | BPD Sergeant Larry Mason removed from investigation after accusations of leaking information to the press (which an internal investigation did not confirm) Daily Camera chronology.

1-5-97 | "Staged" Church Appearance by Ramseys. (Daily Times-Call).

1-6-97 | Website Created. Ramseys created a Website about the case (AngelFire timeline).

1-6-97 | Search Warrants Sealed. Boulder County District Court Judge Diane McDonald seals Boulder search warrants for 30 days; a Michigan judge sealed Charlevoix search warrant (Daily Times-Call)

1-6-97 | BPD Press Release: Next Media Briefing Scheduled (Ramsey Update #09). 

1-7-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #10. 

1-7-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #11. 

1-8-97 | Burke Interview with Psychologist. John and Patsy took Burke to the Child Advocacy Center in Niwot, Colorado, through arrangements made by the Boulder Police department, to be interviewed by Dr. Suzanne Bernard, a specialist in child psychology.

1-8-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #12. 

1-9-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #13. 

1-10-97 | BPD Press Release: Channel 8 to Rebroadcast Community Update and Media Roundtable with Tom Koby (Ramsey Update #14) . 

1-10-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #15.

1-13-97 | Globe Publishes Photos. The Globe publishes leaked photos from the autopsy (Crime Library timeline).

1-13-97 | BPD Press Release: City Responds to Unauthorized Publication of Coroner Photos (Ramsey Update #16).

1-14-97 | Ramseys Hired Handwriting Experts.  "The media report that the Ramseys have hired their own handwriting analysts to evaluate the ransom note, along with former-FBI agent, John Douglas, known for his work in profiling criminals." (Crime Library timeline).

1-14-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #17).

1-20-97 | Major People Magazine Article. This was People's original story on the case.

1-21-97 | Police say they have narrowed their list of suspects (Kirk Mitchell timeline).

1-21-97 | Ransom Amount Leaked. Reports reveal the amount of the ransom demand equaled a work bonus Ramsey received (Kirk Mitchell timeline).

1-22-97 | Ramseys Refuse Lie Detector Test. Ramsey family reportedly refuses to submit to polygraph tests (Kirk Mitchell timeline).

1-23-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #18.

1-24-97 | BPD Press Release: CORRECTION: Fact Sheet on Investigation Statistics (Ramsey Update #19).

1-24-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #20.

1-30-97 | Police obtain search warrant for Ramsey house in Boulder. This document summarizes the investigation (including 3 prior warrants) as of this time. An inventory of property taken between 1-30-97 and 2-5-97 pursuant to that warrant is included in the warrant itself, but a transcribed version is at acandyrose.com.


2-4-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #21. 

2-5-97 | BPD Press Release: City Calculates Costs for Ramsey Investigation (Ramsey Update #22). 

2-5-97 | BPD Press Release: Police Seek Information on Author of Letter (Ramsey Update #23).


3-1-97 | Lawyer Hired for Burke. University of Colorado law professor Patrick Furman hired to join Patrick Burke in representing Patsy Ramsey (Daily Camera chronology).

3-3-97 | Patsy Ramsey gives third handwriting sample (Daily Camera chronology).

3-6-97 | Melinda and John Andrew Ramsey Cleared. Authorities officially clear JonBenet’s adult half brother and half sister, John Andrew and Melinda Ramsey, as suspects (Kirk Mitchell timeline).

3-6-97 | Second Charlevoix Search Warrant. Police obtain search warrant for Ramsey house in Charlevoix, Michigan to obtain further handwriting samples of Patsy Ramsey's.

3-6-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #32. 

3-7-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #33. 

3-10-97 | BPD Press Release: City confirms Dr. Lee's visit to Boulder (Ramsey Update #34). 

3-12-97 | Lou Smit Hired. Boulder DA hired retired Colorado Springs investigator Lou Smit to work on investigation (Daily Camera chronology); Smit's employment contract is dated March 17, 1997.

Date? | Lou Smit banned from BPD's 'war room'

3-20-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #35.

3-28-97 | Korten Fired. Ramseys fired Washington, D.C., consultant Patrick Korten as spokesman (Daily Camera chronology).


4-2-97 | JonBenet Ramsey Foundation Created. John Ramsey is listed as Vice President and Treasurer; Patsy Ramsey is listed as President and Secretary.

4-3-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #36.

4-3-97 | 2nd Round of DNA Tests Begin. DNA testing begins at Cellmark Diagnostics in Maryland (City of Boulder lists these as beginning the week of March 31; CNN timeline reports 4-4). This is a second round of testing of DNA in the case. The initial round was conducted at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation labs (Denver Post timeline).

4-8-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #37.

4-10-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #38.

4-11-97 | Patsy Ramsey agrees to provide 4th handwriting sample.

4-15-97 | Ramseys May Move to Atlanta. The Daily Camera reports that the Ramseys plan to sell their Boulder home and may move to Atlanta.

4-15-97 | BPD Press Release: Fifth Handwriting Sample Requested [Patsy Ramsey] (Ramsey Update #39).

4-16-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #40.

4-18-97 | Ramseys Named as Suspects. Boulder DA Alex Hunter for the first time publicly reveals Ramseys are "under an umbrella of suspicion(Denver Post timeline).

4-23-97 | Ramsey Letter to BPDRamsey lawyers send scathing letter to authorities accusing police of a lack of objectivity (Kirk Mitchell timeline).

4-23-97 | BPD Press Release: Boulder Police Department Response To Ramsey Attorneys Letter of 4/23/97 (Ramsey Update #41).

4-27-97 | $100,000 Reward Offered. "The Ramseys run a newspaper ad offering a $100,000 reward for information about JonBenet's killer." (Daily Camera timeline)

4-30-97 | Ramsey First Formal Police Interviews. John and Patsy Ramsey have first formal interviews with police at Boulder County Justice Center (Daily Camera timeline). Patsy Ramsey is interrogated for 6½ hours. Her husband later is interrogated for approximately two hours.

4-30-97 | BPD Press Release: Statement from Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby and Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter (Ramsey Update #42).


5-1-97 | Ramseys Declare InnocenceJohn and Patsy Ramsey, in a rare interview with reporters, declare their innocence. “I did not kill my daughter,” John Ramsey states. His wife states: “Let me assure you that I did not kill JonBenét”  (Denver Post timeline).

5-12-97 | BPD Press Release: District Attorney reacts to Ramsey Ad: Redaction of autopsy report extended (Ramsey Update #43).

5-13-97 | BPD Detective Linda Arndt (the first to arrive at the murder scene) and Detective Melissa Kampf (formerly Melissa Hickman) — are dropped from case (Daily Camera chronology). Kirk Mitchell timeline places this on 5-14-97.

5-14-97 | DNA Tests Returned. The much-anticipated results of additional DNA tests are delivered to Boulder authorities. Sources tell The Denver Post there are “no surprises” in the report.

5-15-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #44.

5-20-97 | Patsy Ramsey provides fifth handwriting sample (Daily Camera chronology).

5-20-97 | BPD Press Release: Fifth handwriting sample obtained (Ramsey Update #45).

5-22-97 | BPD Press Release: Arrest made in theft of log pages (Ramsey Update #46).


6-6-97 | Ramseys Buy Atlanta Home. Ramseys sign contract to purchase Atlanta home on 2 acres 10 miles from where JBR is buried.

6-7-97 | "War Room" Theft. According to BPD, someone gained access to a computer containing Ramsey case information at approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday, June 7. Details at acandyrose.com.

6-12-97 | BPD Press Release: Boulder Police to ask for investigation of possible theft of computer documents (Ramsey Update #47).

6-17-97 | BPD Press Release: Police Re-enter Ramsey's Boulder Home (Ramsey Update #48).

6-18-07 | Foster Letter to Patsy Ramsey. Vassar professor Donald Foster writes a letter to Patsy Ramsey in which he states "I know you are innocent."

6-26-97 | BPD Press ReleaseCBI Concludes Investigation of Computers (Ramsey Update #49). CBI's computer crime division determined an intermittent short circuit occurred in the battery backup to a computer chip making it appear that someone had gained access to the computer on June 7.

6-27-97 | Ramsey Handwriting Results RevealedColorado Bureau of Investigation completes an analysis of the fifth handwriting sample from Mrs. Ramsey. Investigators say Ramsey did not write the note, but the results are inconclusive on his wife (Kirk Mitchell timeline).

6-30-97 | BPD Press Release: Boulder Police and DA Investigators Re-Enter Ramsey Home (Ramsey Update #50).


7-3-97 | BPD Press Release: Police Conclude Work at Ramsey Home (Ramsey Update #51).

7-9-97 | Ramseys New Home. Ramseys buy new home in Atlanta ([Daily Camera timeline)

7-14-97 | Autopsy details released (Court order).

7-23-97 | Ramsey steps up his investigation and criticism of police (Kirk Mitchell timeline).

7-24-97 | 3 Denver Attorneys to Provide BPD Pro Bono AdviceDan Hoffman, a past University of Denver Law School dean; Robert N. Miller, a former U.S. Attorney; and Richard N. Baer, of Sherman & Howard, L.L.C. in Denver, have agreed to provide pro bono legal advice to police.

7-29-97 | Seraph Report on Ransom NoteAt the request of the Boulder Police Department, in 1997, Seraph Security Consulting and Training Company in Berwyn delivers a report that analyzes the ransom note and crime scene evidence; the profile of ransom note writer and killer closely matches Patsy Ramsey. 


8-1-97 | BPD Press Release: Police to Work with Legal Experts to Prepare Ramsey Case (Ramsey Update #52).

8-13-97 | Full autopsy released.

8-19-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Investigation Expenses (Ramsey Update #53).


9-2-97 | Patsy Ramsey Calls Larry King Show. Patsy Ramsey called CNN's "Larry King Live" Tuesday night to complain about how her family has been treated by the tabloid press.

9-3-97 | Full Text of RN Published. The full text of the two-and-one-half-page note was published in The Rocky Mountain NewsPrior to its appearance in the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and the upcoming Vanity Fair issue, the only known copies of the ransom note were in the hands of the Boulder District Attorney's office, the Ramseys' legal team and the Boulder Police Department.

9-4-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Update #54 (Webbsleuths forum chat).

9-8-97 | DA Alex Hunter releases photocopy of ransom note (CNN timeline)

9-15-97 | First Book About Case Published. Carlton Smith. Death of a Little Princess: The Tragic Story of the Murder of JonBenét Ramsey (details in Books).

9-16-97 | Major ArticleBardach 1997. Anne Louise Bardach. "Who Killed JonBenet?Vanity Fair, September 16, 1997.  

9-26-97 | BPD Press Release: No Ethical Problem or Conflict of Interest Issues Involving Outside Attorneys
Police Chief Koby Clears Up Misstatements in News Coverage (Ramsey Update #55).


10-8-97 | BPD Press Release: News Conference Scheduled for Friday, Oct. 10 (Ramsey Update #57).

10-10-97 | BPD Press Release: Boulder Police Chief Tom Kobys Remarks to Media on Oct. 10, 1997 (Ramsey Update #58). Koby admits mistakes were made early in the case  (Kirk Mitchell timeline).

10-10-97 | BPD Press Release: Boulder Police Commander Mark Beckner to manage Ramsey investigation (Ramsey Update #59). Replaces John Eller (Kirk Mitchell timeline).


11-14-97 | New York attorney Darnay Hoffman "filed a Complaint in the District Court for Boulder County, Colorado, on his own behalf as a plaintiff, asking that Mr. Hunter be forced to explain why he had not filed murder charges against Mrs. Ramsey. (SMF P 344; PSMF P 344.)." (Carnes 2003:41). The (Daily Camera chronology) lists this date as 11/19.


12-3-97 | BPD Press Release: Ramsey Briefing Scheduled for Friday, Dec. 5 (Ramsey Update #60).

12-5-97 | BPD Press Release: Commander Mark Beckner's Statement to Media on December 5, 1997 (Ramsey Update #61). Beckner says in press conference parents "remain under an umbrella of suspicion" and will be questioned again. Video part 1, part 2, part 3

12-5-97 | BPD Press Release: Report of Expenses Related to Ramsey Investigation (Ramsey Update #62).

12-8-97 | BPD Press Release: City of Boulder and Larry Mason Settle Notice of Claim.



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