Henri McPhee

Bournemouth, UK

#70 Jul 24, 2012
This matter of whether the Gideon Epstein handwriting testimony would be admissible at a trial was ruled on by Judge Carnes in 2003:

"Consideration of Epstein'. Testimony That He Was Absolutely Certain that Mrs. Ramaey Wrote the Ransom Note
The Court has earlier indicated its conclusion that there is insufficient reliability to Mr. Epstein's methodology to permit him to state his conclusion that Mrs. Ramsey wrote the Ransom Note. As noted supra, Epstein opined that he is "100 percent certain" that Patsy Ramsey wrote the Ransom Note and that "there
is absolutely no doubt" that she is the author. Supra at 51. The Court believes its conclusion on the admissibility of this evidence to be correct. Further, as the identify of the writer is virtually the only evidence that plaintiff can offer to shoulder its burden, then the question of the identity of the writer is synonymous with the underlying question in this litigation: did Mrs. Ramsey kill her child. Nevertheless, even if the Court were to permit Epstein to testify as to the above conclusion, the Court does not believe his testimony would provide the "clear and convincing evidence" necessary for a reasonable finder of fact to conclude that Mrs. Ramsey wrote the note.
docG

Pittsburgh, PA

#71 Jul 24, 2012
DrSeussMd wrote:
Sounds more like eenie meenie miney mo to do it that way. There are standards than come into play here - It isn't a guessing game.<quoted text>
I'm afraid it is. If you've been following this case you'll know how many different interpretations have been offered by various "experts" on the status of the Ramsey ransom note. The CBI people couldn't rule Patsy out but couldn't rule her in either. She was excluded by a Secret Service expert. Darnay Hoffmann paid a bunch of people to check her handwriting but only reported the results that implicated her (very scientific that one). One of the similarities noted was Patsy's tendency toward margin drift. Unfortunately there is no margin drift in the note, so I'm wondering what sort of guessing game that was.

At least one other expert is very suspicious of John and has posted comparisons of several of his exemplars with the note.

I looked carefully at several of these reports and what they all have in common is failure to do a controlled analysis with at least some degree of scientific method, to exclude bias. As should be clear by now literally all the Patsy dunnit "experts" show strong signs of bias. I wonder whether any of them compared her exemplars with Johns. Since there's never any mention of that I assume they didn't bother. Why should they when all eyes are on Patsy the Patsy.
Henri McPhee

Bournemouth, UK

#72 Jul 24, 2012
More:

As stated before, "clear and convincing" evidence requires "a clear conviction, without hesitancy of the truth." Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, 497 U.S. 261, 2BS n. 11 (1990). The parties have agreed that handwriting analysis is, at best, an inexact and subjective tool used to provide probative, but not clear and convincing evidence, of a questioned document's author.(SMF 212; PSMF 212.) Nonetheless, the Court will assume that there could be cases where the handwriting in question is either so obviously not the handwriting of a particular individual or so close a match to that person's penmanship, that a finder of fact could comfortably rely on the handwriting, alone, to reach a particular conclusion. Indeed, well before the days of forensic handwriting experts, courts have allowed lay witnesses to testify that they recognized the handwriting of particular documents as the handwriting of someone with whose penmanship they were familiar. Further, appropriate testimony of forensic experts can greatly assist the jury in its undertaking.

That said, while there may be cases in which handwriting examination, alone, can be dispositive, this case is not one of that group. Here, as noted, several factors necessarily reduce the weight a reasonable juror could give to Epstein's conclusion. First, Epstein did not consult the original Ransom Note nor obtain original exemplars from Mrs. Ramsey. Second, as noted by defendants, Epstein deviated from the very methodology that he has previously asserted was necessary to make a reasoned judgment. Most significant to the Court in its determination that Epstein's conclusion cannot carry the day for plaintiff, however, is the unanimity of opinion among six other experts that Mrs. Ramsey cannot be determined to have been the writer of the Note. As noted supra, the Boulder Police Department and District Attorney's Office had consulted six other handwriting experts, all of whom reviewed the original Ransom Note and exemplars. Supra at 21-22. Although two of these experts were hired by defendants, four were independent experts hired by the pol ice. None of these six experts were able to identify Mrs. Ramsey as the author of the Ransom Note. Instead, their consensus was that she "probably did not" write the Ransom Note. Supra at n. 14.

Given the contrary opinion of six other experts, whose ability to examine the documents was necessarily superior to Epstein's, and given Epstein's failure to explain the methodology by which he can make absolute pronouncements concerning the authorship of a document, this Court does not believe that a reasonable jury could conclude that Mrs. Ramsey was the author of the Ransom Note, solely on the basis of Epstein's professed opinion to that effect. In reaching this conclusion, the Court is aware that it is not permitted to make credibility judgments in ruling on summary judgment motions. For example, were there six eyewitnesses on one side of a question and one eyewitness on the other side, the Court would not take from a jury the factual question on which these witnesses were testifying. With regard to Epstein's testimony, however, the Court is not attempting to assess credibility. Mr. Epstein may sincerely believe that Mrs. Ramsey wrote the Note and the jury may well credit his sincerity. Nevertheless, no matter how earnest Epstein may be, the fact remains that he has not explained his basis for reaching absolute certainty in his conclusion and, accordingly, the weight and impact of his testimony would necessarily be less than the weight of the contrary testimony of six other experts."

“WAX ON”

Since: Jul 10

WAX OFF

#73 Jul 24, 2012
That doesn't make the individual methods a guessing game.
docG wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm afraid it is. If you've been following this case you'll know how many different interpretations have been offered by various "experts" on the status of the Ramsey ransom note.
docG

Pittsburgh, PA

#74 Jul 24, 2012
Thank you, Mr. McPhee, what you've presented makes a lot of sense. On its face the notion of "absolute certainty" is suspect. Science never operates on such a basis. The findings of a professional are appropriately expressed in statistical terms, since statistics reflect the existence of a systematic procedure, whereas absolute certainty is nothing more than an opinion.

In any case there is a huge difference between identifying the writer of a questioned document of the usual sort and identifying the writer of a deliberately deceitful document, where it can be expected that the writer disguised his or her hand. Since there is no means of determining what methods were used to deceive it is probably impossible to identify such a writer solely on the basis of handwriting alone. Which is why I find it impossible to accept the ruling out of John Ramsey in this case.

For my own assessment of the case, and why I believe John to be the writer of the note, and Pasty to be innocent, I refer you to my blog: http://solvingjonbenet.blogspot.com/

For me it is the logic of the case alone, based only on uncontested facts, that points to John and tells us Patsy could not have written it. This has nothing to do with handwriting analysis, which as I see it is a bogus science, but with the simple facts of the case taken as a whole.

“WAX ON”

Since: Jul 10

WAX OFF

#75 Jul 24, 2012
Did any of the experts say JR wrote the note?

And would it still be a bogus science if they had agreed he wrote it?

Neither statistics no linguistics look at the 'intent', because there is no way to derive intent.
docG wrote:
Thank you, Mr. McPhee, what you've presented makes a lot of sense. On its face the notion of "absolute certainty" is suspect. Science never operates on such a basis. The findings of a professional are appropriately expressed in statistical terms, since statistics reflect the existence of a systematic procedure, whereas absolute certainty is nothing more than an opinion.
In any case there is a huge difference between identifying the writer of a questioned document of the usual sort and identifying the writer of a deliberately deceitful document, where it can be expected that the writer disguised his or her hand. Since there is no means of determining what methods were used to deceive it is probably impossible to identify such a writer solely on the basis of handwriting alone. Which is why I find it impossible to accept the ruling out of John Ramsey in this case.
For my own assessment of the case, and why I believe John to be the writer of the note, and Pasty to be innocent, I refer you to my blog: http://solvingjonbenet.blogspot.com/
For me it is the logic of the case alone, based only on uncontested facts, that points to John and tells us Patsy could not have written it. This has nothing to do with handwriting analysis, which as I see it is a bogus science, but with the simple facts of the case taken as a whole.

“May you all come home”

Since: Mar 07

safely Bless you all

#76 Jul 24, 2012
The general consensus seems to be, and that includes the Vidocq society, that a male dictated the note to a female.

I happen to agree with that as I have always said that I thought John dictated while Patsy wrote
docG

Pittsburgh, PA

#77 Jul 24, 2012
Capricorn wrote:
The general consensus seems to be, and that includes the Vidocq society, that a male dictated the note to a female.
I happen to agree with that as I have always said that I thought John dictated while Patsy wrote
So you're saying John killed his daughter and then enlisted his wife to help him in the coverup? WHY would she have wanted to do that? Why wouldn't she have simply decked him? It's amazing to me that people come up with such outlandish scenarios, based on the work of completely bogus handwriting "experts." If John killed his daughter, the last thing he'd want is to let his wife know about it. Grow a brain, Capricorn.:-)
docG

Pittsburgh, PA

#78 Jul 24, 2012
DrSeussMd wrote:
Did any of the experts say JR wrote the note?
And would it still be a bogus science if they had agreed he wrote it?
Neither statistics no linguistics look at the 'intent', because there is no way to derive intent.
<quoted text>
Yes, it would still be bogus. Unless said expert was able to fully justify his or her conclusions on a truly scientific basis using scientific methodology -- which would require double blind controlled testing. I repeat. If someone calling himself an "expert" can pick out a legitimate suspect from a "lineup" of exemplars from at least 10 different people who are not suspects, then I'd be impressed and that person's assessment would be meaningful.

I agree that intent is probably impossible to prove, which tells me handwriting analysis in itself is useless for the Ramsey case. What counts most for me is the question of who would the note have done something for, who could have benefited from it? Surely not a kidnapper, since there was no kidnapping. Surely not Patsy, since she called the cops clearly ignorant of the fact that the body was still in the house and handed over the note herself. Why would she do that if it was in her own hand, and it was so easy for the "experts" to identify her hand. Please.

“May you all come home”

Since: Mar 07

safely Bless you all

#79 Jul 24, 2012
docG wrote:
<quoted text>
So you're saying John killed his daughter and then enlisted his wife to help him in the coverup? WHY would she have wanted to do that? Why wouldn't she have simply decked him? It's amazing to me that people come up with such outlandish scenarios, based on the work of completely bogus handwriting "experts." If John killed his daughter, the last thing he'd want is to let his wife know about it. Grow a brain, Capricorn.:-)
My brain is fully grown; thank you for the concern

I am not saying that John killed his daughter. You are

Since: May 11

Seattle, WA

#80 Jul 24, 2012
Capricorn wrote:
<quoted text>
My brain is fully grown; thank you for the concern
I am not saying that John killed his daughter. You are
I think your brain's full grown too, Cap. LOL
I do believe it's possible that either Burke or Patsy caused the blow to the head, and John knowing that he'd previously molested JonBenet, had to 'help' and strangled and jabbed JonBenet to avoid prosecution. The head blow would leave JB 'changed' and the Ramseys could never deal with that, so he put her down and the rest is history. Patsy may not have even known about the molestation, as it allegedly occured 72-48 hrs before. JMHO

“If life gives you melons”

Since: Nov 06

You might be dyslexic

#81 Jul 24, 2012
docG wrote:
In any case there is a huge difference between identifying the writer of a questioned document of the usual sort and identifying the writer of a deliberately deceitful document, where it can be expected that the writer disguised his or her hand. Since there is no means of determining what methods were used to deceive it is probably impossible to identify such a writer solely on the basis of handwriting alone. Which is why I find it impossible to accept the ruling out of John Ramsey in this case.
What deliberately deceitful document? The ransom note? Only if a Ramsey wrote it would it fall in that category.

A true kidnapper isnít being deceitful in writing a ransom note.
docG wrote:
For me it is the logic of the case alone, based only on uncontested facts, that points to John and tells us Patsy could not have written it. This has nothing to do with handwriting analysis, which as I see it is a bogus science, but with the simple facts of the case taken as a whole.
I totally disagree on your main point of uncontested, because John was cleared and Patsy wasnít. That to me is contested. I do agree your conclusion has nothing to do with handwriting anaylsis.

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#82 Jul 24, 2012
Capricorn wrote:
<quoted text>
My brain is fully grown; thank you for the concern
I am not saying that John killed his daughter. You are
Your brain is fine but it appears that "docG" is experiencing some brain dysfunction.
The Truth Hurts

Farmington, MI

#83 Jul 24, 2012
Bakatari wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi TTH,
Are you saying that the Ramseys wore gloves?
The only way that their fingerprits were not on the RN, was either they wiped it clean of prints, they never handled the RN, or they wore gloves.
CC
LOL...yes...I think I said that I thought they wore gloves. At the very least, they took care not to touch the paper to the point where they would leave their prints. You CAN write on paper without touching it with your fingers.
I seriously doubt that you can wipe fingerprints off of paper.

Judged:

27

27

27

Reply »
Report Abuse Judge it!
The Truth Hurts

Farmington, MI

#84 Jul 24, 2012
Capricorn wrote:
The general consensus seems to be, and that includes the Vidocq society, that a male dictated the note to a female.
I happen to agree with that as I have always said that I thought John dictated while Patsy wrote
I've always thought that they BOTH had a hand in writing the note. What better way to disguise your writing than to have two people involved in it?
Might help to explain how the note migrated from a "we" stand point at the beginning to a single person "speaking" by the end of the note.

Just a thought.

Judged:

26

26

26

Reply »
Report Abuse Judge it!

Since: Feb 12

Lihue, HI

#85 Jul 24, 2012
The Truth Hurts wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL...yes...I think I said that I thought they wore gloves. At the very least, they took care not to touch the paper to the point where they would leave their prints. You CAN write on paper without touching it with your fingers.
I seriously doubt that you can wipe fingerprints off of paper.
Hi TTH,
I didn't realize that wiping fingerprints off paper may be a problem. My daughter is a criminalist, and I will ask her. Although her specialty is DNA, she has contact with the other people in forensics, such as fingerprints, tiretracks, ballistics, etc.

I will get back to you when I get an answer, which might take a few days. I always thought you could just wipe paper with a cloth or tissue to get rid of fingerprints, but now I am not sure.
CC
nofear

Ashland, KY

#86 Jul 24, 2012
The Truth Hurts wrote:
<quoted text>
I've always thought that they BOTH had a hand in writing the note. What better way to disguise your writing than to have two people involved in it?
Might help to explain how the note migrated from a "we" stand point at the beginning to a single person "speaking" by the end of the note.
Just a thought.
the note i believe was written by the leader of some foreign faction.

S.B.T.C stands for signed by the captain
nofear

Ashland, KY

#87 Jul 24, 2012
I believe this was a failed attempt at a kidnapping.
nofear

Ashland, KY

#88 Jul 24, 2012
Who was in knowing of johns bonus?
The Truth Hurts

Farmington, MI

#89 Jul 24, 2012
nofear wrote:
<quoted text>
the note i believe was written by the leader of some foreign faction.
S.B.T.C stands for signed by the captain
Not many people subscribe to the "foreign faction" theory, including the FBI, Lou Smit, John Ramsey etc....
The captain of what? The foreign faction? LOL
They had a pretty good command of the English language for a "foreign faction."
But if you say so.... ;)

Judged:

25

25

25

Reply »
Report Abuse Judge it!

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

JonBenet Ramsey Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Patsy to Priscilla "Call the FBI" 2 hr moonjack 1
Ransom Note was random 3 hr undrtheradar 24
Did Hunter Know? 8 hr Steve Eller 5
ICU2 's Child Trafficking 12 hr ICU2 193
Jeffrey MacDonald Is Guilty (Sep '08) Wed JTF 7,525
SBTC--Victory May 19 Blackstone Again 61
John Ramsey Role May 19 gotgum 81
More from around the web