The Ransom Note

The evidence found at the scene, including the ransom note, lead one to believe that Patsy and John Ramsey were involved with their daughters murder. The ransom note Patsy found on the staircase was not only handwritten and unusually lengthy, but it was also written on Patsy’s notepad with her sharpie (The Forensic Outreach Team). This means the writer most likely wrote the lengthy note in the Ramsey house. According to retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent/Profile, Jim Clemente and other experts, the note would have taken the writer 21 and a half minutes to write (CBS Real Crime). This points to Patsy and John, because it is unlikely that an intruder would have 21 minutes to spend inside the Ramsey house without raising suspicion or getting caught. 

The spelling in the ransom note was also unusual. The words “business” and “possession” were misspelled. According to forensic linguistics expert James Fitzgerald, “misspelling serves as an element for disguise” (CBS Real Crime). The writer may have purposely misspelled words to conceal things about themselves such as his or her level of education. Both John and Patsy Ramsey “went to big state schools. . . Michigan State University and West Virginia University” (Lee). It is likely that the Ramsey parents misspelled these words to hide their college educations. Forensic linguistics expert James Fitzgerald also recognized a similarity between the writing in the note and Patsy Ramsey’s own handwriting. He specifically stated, “the font-style printing is a feminine trait . . . Patsy Ramsey used this letter-form in her handwriting” (CBS Real Crime). It is unusual for both handwriting’s to come from the same household and to be so close. 

Another unusual aspect of the ransom note was the tone. According to Forensic Document Examiner Brenda Anderson, “this fake ransom note has less emotion than a typical anonymous threat” (CBS Real Crime). When a writer is trying to threaten or scare someone, he or she will emphasize certain words, however, the ransom note writer did not. This lack of emotion leads to John and Patsy as the writers because there was no real threat. If John and Patsy already knew their daughter wasn’t kidnapped, there would be no reason for them to make an extreme effort to add threats. The length, spelling, handwriting, and lack of emotion in the note point to John and Patsy’s involvement in staging their daughters kidnapping. The note pad and sharpie used also tie to that conclusion as well.