Don Foster - Vassar charlatan
Posted in the JonBenet Ramsey Forum
#1 Aug 28, 2007
Carol McKinley on Erin Hart Radio Show - March 16th, 1999
Carol McKinley - "I'll tell you, really, the most important thing in that grand jury, according to the police, is Don Foster's analysis of that note and if you remember Don Foster, he's the guy who discovered who wrote the Unibomber Manifesto -discovered Ted Kaczynski wrote it from phraseology."
Erin Hart - "Right. He also nailed Joe Klein as being the author of Primary Colors."
CM - "Exactly. Well the FBI referred him to Alex Hunter. They hired him on, not hired him on, he's doing this for free, but they brought him on, and he's looked at ten suspects and determined that Patsy Ramsey wrote the note from some of the phrases, some of the exclamation points, things like, she used the word, if she wrote it, attaché in the note and the word business was misspelled. Attaché was spelled correctly. Well, attaché has an accent mark over the e - JonBenét has an accent mark over the e. Stuff like that. He looked at books that she had read during that time, movies that she'd seen during that time, that she might have subliminally written in the note and that's going to be their big push is his analysis of who wrote it. He believes she did."
NOTE - "he's looked at ten suspects...."
#2 Aug 28, 2007
January 29th, 1999 - Matt Sebastian article in the Boulder Camera
"The grand jury investigating the JonBenét Ramsey murder apparently will review the work of a controversial linguist who concluded the 6-year-old's mother wrote the ransom note left in the family home. Although he has not testified before the secret panel, Vassar College professor Donald Foster said he and prosecutor Michael Kane,who is presenting the case to the grand jury, have been discussing the matter. "I've been in communication about how my work should best be presented but was asked not to discuss it," Foster said, declining to elaborate."
"... a source close to the case told the Daily Camera last fall that Foster compared the language of the ransom note to Patsy Ramsey's writings and concluded JonBenét's mother penned the 2½-page note. In fact, officials attending at two-day presentation of the case that detectives made to prosecutors in June called Foster's evidence crucial to the police theory of the crime, the source said."
"Yet six months before going to work for Boulder police, Foster wrote to Patsy Ramsey, saying he believed "absolutely and unequivocally" that she was innocent. Surprised police and prosecutors didn't find out about Foster's letter until several days after the June case presentation."
"Last fall, when news of his letter to Patsy Ramsey surfaced, Foster refused to elaborate on his apparently contradictory analysis. "I think that will be entirely explained in due course," Foster said in October. "
#3 Aug 28, 2007
April 19th, 1999 A Chicago Tribune Article by Amanda Beeler described a speech Foster gave to the Chicago Vassar Club's 1999 Scholarship Benefit. The article was long, mostly a discussion of the Shakespeare piece. But the Ramsey piece was mentioned. I will share the last three paragraphs of the article here.
A recent CBS "48 Hours" broadcast on the
JonBenét Ramsey case implied that Foster had
identified the wrong killer after reading passages on
an Internet chat site that he thought might have been
written by JonBenet's brother. The postings had
been made by a woman with no connection to the
Foster cannot comment on the investigation, but said
he stands by the statements he has made for the
record in the case.
"Don't believe everything you read in the paper,"
Foster warned the Arts Club audience.
#4 Aug 28, 2007
LATER -- Steve Thomas wrote, "...at the end of July Don Foster, the Vassar linguist who had helped make our case, telephoned to tell me that the DA's office had just dismissed him. Not only did they fire Foster but they informed him that he was through doing this kind of work. Citing his internet comments to jameson when he knew nothing about the case, they declared that his later conclusions, when he knew everything, were unreliable.
Rather than fight to use his testimony, they declared that he would be open to impeachment on
that one issue. Furthermore, Foster was given the plain message that is he didn't contact the
FBI and other law enforcement agencies he's worked for and admit he was compromised and damaged goods, then the Boulder DA's office might make the call. "He's cooked here," said one detective.
#5 Aug 28, 2007
On September 21st, 2001, former detective Steve Thomas was deposed in the Chris Wolf v Ramsey lawsuit. I will share those parts that included information on Don Foster and his involvement in the Ramsey case.
Q. Now, what was Don Foster's -- did he give a written report to you on Chris Wolf's handwriting?
A. He may have. That would be in the Boulder Police Department.
Q. Did you -- do you recall ever reviewing it?
A. I may or may not have. I know that we took him handwriting of several potential suspects. But
no, as I sit here today, I don't recollect Mr. Foster or Dr. Foster's written report on Chris Wolf.
Q. Did Don Foster examine hundreds of writing examples from people ranging from family members
to Internet addicts, from neighbors to Chris Wolf to the McReynolds family and a library of books, films
Q. Do you know what he concluded with respect to each of the individuals that he analyzed?
A. Yeah, that they were not the author of the ransom note.
Q. He eliminated everybody, Don Foster did, didn't he?
A. But one, yes.
Q. Right. In fact Don Foster told you that of all of the hundreds of people of the samples that he had
looked at that he had conclusively eliminated everybody and that it was impossible for anyone to have
written that note other than Patsy Ramsey; that's what Don Foster told you, right?
A. Those are your words, not his, but I --
Q. Excuse me.
A. If I could finish.
Q. Yeah, you sure can.
A. He stated unequivocally that she was the author of the ransom note.
Q. I want to go back. I told you I would do it, let's do it now. Look at page 281 of your book,
please, the hardback copy. The top of the page, the first actually it starts with "Don Foster from
Vassar." Do you see it?
Q. The first paragraph there under that starts "'In my opinion, it is not possible that any individual
except Patsy Ramsey wrote the ransom note.'" Have I read that correctly?
#6 Aug 28, 2007
Q. Earlier we were talking about whose words. Don Foster stated that it was impossible for anyone
else to have written the note except Patsy Ramsey, true?
A. This is his statement, yes, sir.
Q. It was not -- and so I was accurate earlier, that he said to you it's impossible that anyone else
A. Well, when I asked about your earlier quotation, I don't think you said this verbatim. But --
Q. Fine. But he did tell you it was impossible, didn't he, it was not possible, which is saying to you as
a detective, it's impossible that anyone else wrote it according to Don Foster, right?
A. Yes, that was the conclusion that he shared with me, Mr. Wood.
Q. But when you worked with him, and you worked with him a lot, didn't you? You all spent a
considerable amount of time discussing this case, didn't you, you and Don Foster?
A. When you say considerable amount of time, you know, no, I didn't spend weeks or days with Don
Foster, but he was an outside expert that we used in this case, yes.
Q. At any time did Don Foster, himself, ever disclose to you that he had written a letter to Patsy
A. Yeah, I became aware of that at some point.
Q. After the district attorney's office presented you with the information about Jameson, true?
A. I believe that's correct.
Q. Did Don Foster when you were working with him for whatever period of time you spent with
him, when he was giving you his conclusions about the JonBenet Ramsey case and the impossibility
that anybody else wrote that note except Patsy Ramsey, did he ever look at you and say, you know, you
probably ought to know, though, that I did write a letter to Patsy Ramsey where I told her that I was
convinced that she was innocent? He never told you that, did he?
A. We had that conversation at some point.
Q. After he had already been outed by the Boulder DA, true?
Q. Do you think you had it before then and didn't disclose it to your police department in the
A. No, that sounds reasonable.
Q. You would have if you would have known it, you would have told the police department about
that in the June presentation, wouldn't you, sir?
Q. Well, actually the presentation with Foster was in March, wasn't it?
A. If we're talking about 1998.
Q. We are.
A. It was the spring of 1998.
#7 Aug 28, 2007
Q. Mr. Thomas, are you aware of the fact that Patsy Ramsey was asked to give what is known as
request samplers to the police on more than one occasion during the investigation?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you know how many times she was -- on how many different occasions she was asked to
give request samples of her handwriting to the police?
A. If my understanding is correct, I think it was five.
Q. Do you know why she was asked to give five separate handwriting samples on five separate
A. That was not my assignment, but given what I knew through the briefings and the detectives who
were handling that assignment I could speculate as to why it became known to me.
Q. Did anybody through hearsay or any other way communicate with you why they were asking
Patsy Ramsey to appear on more than one occasion to give exemplars?
Q. Could you tell me why?
A. Yes. Because apparently the CBI examiner, analyst, expert, had questions or concerns about her
handwriting and similarities with the note.
Q. Did anybody ever express the belief that she was attempting to alter her handwriting?
A. Yes, Don Foster.
Q. Any other person in the investigation?
A. And, again, as I sit here, from memory and without the QD examiner's reports in front of me, Mr.
Hoffman, let me think for a moment. No, not that I can recall.
Q. At what point in time did you say I think Patsy Ramsey killed her daughter?
A. I think the evidence led me to those conclusions and further strengthened my belief in the early
months of 1997.
Q. When in 1997, the early months, what does that mean? Tell me what that means with some
specificity, please, sir.
A. There was not a defining moment in which the bell rang and I noted the date and time. Early in
1997 it became more and more apparent to me that that's where the abundance of evidence was
Q. And you were heavily influenced in that determination by the conclusion of John Foster, weren't
A. Don Foster?
Q. Don Foster, yeah.
A. No, he did not come on board for I think almost another year.
Q. Right. So you had decided in your mind's eye that Patsy Ramsey killed her daughter many
months before Don Foster made the appearance as a consultant in the case, right?
A. Again, Mr. Wood, as I said, I felt there was an abundance of evidence pointing in that direction.
And that became -- and others viewed it the same way, incidentally. And, yes, in those early months
of '97, she looked pretty good for that.
#8 Aug 28, 2007
Q. Yes, sir. Thank you. But that doesn't answer my question. You had decided in your mind's eye
that Patsy Ramsey killed her daughter many months before Don Foster made his appearance as a
consultant in the case, true?
A. I felt that she was the best suspect, yes, many months prior to Don's... Foster's involvement.
Q. Plaintiff's Exhibit Number 2 is Mr. Foster's letter to my client, Patsy Ramsey. Have you seen
that letter before?
A. I haven't looked at it yet.
Q. Do you think there was more than one?
MR. DIAMOND: Can you hold on a second?
MR. WOOD: Did I call that Plaintiff's Exhibit 2, it's Defendants' Exhibit 2, excuse me.
VIDEO TECHNICIAN: The time is 3:53. We're back on the record.
Q.(BY MR. WOOD) Defendants' Exhibit Number 2, you've had an opportunity to review it during
Q. That is what you recall being as being a true and correct copy of a letter that was subsequently
brought to your attention at some point in the investigation that Mr. Foster, Don Foster, had written
to Patsy Ramsey in June of 1997?
A. I had only seen the first page of that.
Q. Does the first page appear to be a true and correct copy of that page that you saw?
MR. DIAMOND: Did you get an audible response?
MR. WOOD: I thought he said yes. Did you get a yes?
THE REPORTER: Yes.
Q. Page 284 -- let me ask you before I go there, during Mr. Foster's presentation, did he talk to you
all about the Dirty Harry movie and the references in the ransom note to it by talking about the fact
that the Ramseys' favorite movie was Animal House and there was a scene in Animal House where
somebody drove a car through the campus and hit a fire hydrant and there was a similar scene in Dirty
Harry like that. Do you recall that?
A. I recall something vaguely similar to that where he was discussing events out of motion pictures.
Q. Didn't you think that was borderline on the absurd, sir, to tie Dirty Harry to the Ramseys because
they liked the movie Animal House and it had a scene in it where somebody ran into a fire hydrant?
Didn't you think that was literally absurd or did you think that was good forensic testing?
A. Taken out of context as you represent it today it --
Q. Put it into context, if you would, please.
MR. DIAMOND: Let him finish his answer, please. Go ahead.
A. Taken out of context as you represented today, that may seem odd. But at the time, it was a part
of his presentation. And I don't recall my observation being how you described it as fantastic or
incredible or whatever term you used.
Q. Didn't it bother you a little bit about putting Don Foster's name on this in light of the letter that we
looked at today that you've never even seen the second and third pages of --
Q.-- Mr. Thomas?
Q. Do you still think he's the best linguistic expert in the country?
A. He still does work for law enforcement and seems to be highly regarded and I certainly respect
Q. Did you all send that letter to the FBI and let them know about what Mr. Foster had said to Patsy
A. What letter is that?
Q. The letter that I just showed you today that you had only seen the first page of?
A. I did not.
“If life gives you melons”
Since: Nov 06
You might be dyslexic
#9 Aug 28, 2007
Don't you have your own board to clutter up?
Oh wait, no one can post there except you, I get it!
Can't you just post it there and tell us to go read it?
#10 Aug 28, 2007
Case discussions are considered "Clutter"?
But if anyone wants to read more about Foster and this cse, they need only google
"Don Foster" jameson
#11 Aug 28, 2007
#12 Aug 28, 2007
"No one who cannot rejoice in the discovery of his own mistakes deserves to be called a scholar." - Donald Foster
#13 Aug 28, 2007
After everything has come to pass Jameson?
What is now in this for you?
It still makes me suspicious that you got money from the case.
What is it you really believe?
Is anyone paying you off?
Does the death of a six year old mean nothing to you?
I do not believe that you believe there was still an intruder involved without one of the parents knowing.
You are in the know.....so? What of JonBenet?
#14 Aug 28, 2007
I mean no disrespect for you....but You say it wasn't Fleet White, you say it wasn't others (McReynold's)...
You were close to them....
What was it?
What is your belief
I am not in the "history" here. I just want to know......"Jameson's back"
So tell me what you know.
#15 Aug 28, 2007
I'd say you owe JonBenet that.
it wasn't a serial killer
we all know that.
#16 Aug 29, 2007
Actual case discussions are not clutter, but perhaps what was meant with that statement was that it is all over your board already and every other board out there, including this one. You, over the years, have had 50 threads on every subject, the same stuff started over and over. What do you really have left to say about it Jameson? Nothing that hasn't already been said again and again. I guess the only hope for starting it over here is more people than just you can post on it, and it is actually free. People won't have to pay money so you can delete any dissenting opinions. Perhaps there will not be any more lectures or lies, which would be nice.
#17 Aug 29, 2007
No more lies? That's too much to hope for when it comes to Jameson and the Tracey and Smit groupies. There's no other way to communicate about this case for them. Everyone is a liar and corrupt that feels the Ramseys did this and everyone who doesn't is hailed as a hero.
As far as name calling NOT being productive as per Jameson's remarks.....I say we lost count years ago of the threads at her own forum STARTED BY JAMESON WITH "BORG" IN THE TITLE. The remarks and name calling there were as crass as they got; with Jameson "making no apologies" then or now
But it is ironic that she spews her holier than thou attitude HERE; I guess it's for people and posters who haven't been around for long 'cause everyone else who has been around awhile just laughs and shakes their heads
#18 Sep 1, 2007
I actively seek any information that may result in JonBenet's killer being brought to justice. Others do far less.
No one is paying me.
I know, without the shadow of a doubt, that the Ramseys are absolutely innocent.
#19 Sep 1, 2007
I don't honestly know what the question is here.
"jameson's back"? I never left.
#20 Sep 1, 2007
I don't delete things I disagree with. Never did. There are basic rules which all must follow and the only reason posts have ever been deleted is when they were spam (or worse) on a public forum - or mean-spirited posts that broke the civility rule.
If people don't want to pay to support a forum they use daily, that is their choice. No one forces anyone to join. There are plenty of places to post.
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