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JonBenet Ramsey Crime Scene Investigation in 2015JonBenet Ramsey Crime Scene Investigation in 2015
Claudia M. BonillaClaudia M. Bonilla
Texas Southern University, Department of Administration of Justice, 3100 Cleburne Street Houston, Texas 77004Texas Southern University, Department of Administration of Justice, 3100 Cleburne Street Houston, Texas 77004
This research examines new technology and techniques that have undoubtedly
increased the significance of crime scene investigation. Forensic scientist and forensic
investigators have learned to improve and develop their skills through the process of trial and
error. Whether it is a technical error or human error these issues can be fixed to prevent
future ones. In the case of JonBenet Ramsey, and along with many others, the nation has
experienced heartache due to botched investigations and inadequate skills in crime scene
processing, collecting and analyzing. Advancements in crime scene investigation include
appropriate training in collection techniques, written procedures, acceptable standards, and
well educated personnel.Technology such as alternative light sources in photography,
linguistics in document analysis, and smaller samples for DNA analysis has significantly
improved the field of forensic science. With knowledge gained from previous mistakes we are
now able to interpret crime scenes more efficiently, solve decade old cases, and exonerate
those who are innocent.
This research was conducted using reevaluated literature reviews, case
information, and crime scene investigation photos and data obtained from the
1996 murder investigation.
Data gathered from the National Institute of Justice , Pherson.org, Pbworks.com,
Forumsforjustice.org, Forensic Magazine and Crime Magazine were analyzed and
evaluated for this study.Data and evidence obtained from original investigations
and files were revaluated with modified techniques to determine quality and
accuracy of data results.
Techniques, training and standard protocols have been restructured to minimize
the chances of contamination and botched investigations
Research has indicated advancements and techniques developed due to the many
flaws exhibited in not only the Ramsey case but various others as well.
Above photograph displays
photographic evidence of the
utensils used to bind and strangle
Left top image displays a briefcase that may have been used during the murder of JonBenet
Ramsey. The angle and position of this briefcase played a vital role in the reconstruction of
JonBenet’s murder. The left bottom image illustrates a potential intruder theory conducted by
investigators. As shown the left bottom image clearly shows the briefcase being used in a different
position. This futher indicated the importance of proper crime scene photography.
Left photo illustrates a
handwriting comparison of
ransom note found at the
JonBenet Ramsey crime scene.
Comparison consist of John
Ramsey’s Handwriting, Actual
Ransom note handwriting, a
ransom note written by Patsy
Ramsey, a spontaneous note
written by Patsy Ramsey and a
London letter also written by
Patsy Ramsey. Picture illustrates
the similarities of slants in writing
as well as the change in
handwriting according to speed.
1. Anderson, Brenda. "Post navigation." Expert handwriting analysis. N.P., 19 july 2013. Web. 27 mar.
2. Crime scene investigation: guides for law enforcement." National Institute of Justice. N.P., N.D. Web.
05 mar. 2015.
3. Decker, Theodore. "DNA analysis could provide complete description of suspect." Forensic magazine.
The columbus dispatch, 11 mar. 2014. Web. 27 mar. 2015.
4. "The disappearance and murder of jonbenét ramsey1 - pherson.Org." - Askives docs. Pherson
Associates, 2012. Web. 27 mar. 2015.
5. "Frontpage." Jonbenet ramsey case encyclopedia /. N.P., N.D. Web. 27 mar. 2015.
6. Mcclish, Mark. "Analysis of the Jonbenet Ramsey ransom note." Analysis of the jonbenet ramsey
ransom note. N.P., 09 july 2001. Web. 05 mar. 2015.
7. Mitchell, Linda L. "The forensic significance of handwriting biometrics." Forensic magazine. N.P., 29
june 2011. Web. 05 mar. 2015.
8. Schade, Lisa l., And arthur eisenberg ph.D. "New tools enhance forensic DNA casework
analysis." Forensic magazine. N.P., 02 jan. 2010. Web. 05 mar. 2015.
9. Scott, Luci. "Researcher making advances in crime-scene investigation." Researcher making advances
in crime-scene investigation. The arizona republic, 31 july 2010. Web. 27 mar. 2015.
Acquired Knowledge from previous criminal cases has significantly improved the use of Forensic Science in future cases and has assisted in the re-
examination of cold case files. By developing and improving their skills Forensic Scientist are able to protect the integrity of evidence and provide
dependable results based on facts of science.
JonBenet Ramsey Crime Scene Investigation 1996 JonBenet Ramsey Crime Scene Investigation 2015
During the crime scene investigation of JonBenet Ramsey the arriving personnel
and lead investigator lacked the adequate amount of education, training and
experience needed to address the crime scene properly.
First responders failed to secure the perimeter of the scene therefore allowing
anyone to enter and leave the home. This resulted in contaminated and tainted
The use of personal protective gear was not enforced during the Ramsey crime
Family members and friends present at the Ramsey crime scene were able to
freely enter and exit the Ramsey residence as well as touch items within and
around the home.
CSI received and secured a note pad that belong to Patsy Ramsey, the mother of
Document examiners discovered obliterations and indentation impressions left
on the remaining pages of the notepad. At the time investigators could not identify
who wrote the alleged ransom note.Officers present at the Ramsey investigation
failed to report and identify the amount of snowfall around the Ramsey home,
therefore providing misleading information.
Responding officers were extremely bias and close minded upon examining the
crime scene. This caused many faults and potentially wrong accusations.
Many photographs were taken during the Ramsey investigation to further
protect the integrity of evidence.
Pictures acquired lacked proper measuring procedures and evidence marker
Quality of lighting in evidence documentation featured photos that did not depict
factual color and also displayed blurred images.
By assigning properly trained and educated CSI personnel to crime scenes
for evidence collection the integrity of evidence protection is increased.
All required procedures and standards must be followed when addressing
a crime scene. It is essential that crime scenes be examined and
documented by persons who specialize in crime scene investigation and
have knowledge of safety protocols.
Personal protective gear such as gloves, face mask, hair mask, boot covers
and hazmat suits, if necessary, are crucial aspects in preventing cross
The ability for family and friends to walk freely and touch potential
evidence during a crime scene investigation has decreased due to proper
first responder protocol.
With the development and increased study of linguistics and handwriting,
Forensic documentation examiners are able to detect documents that may
have been forged or traced.
By comparing multiple reference samples from alleged suspects , Analyst
can analyze the structure of sentences, morphology of text and the
potential speed of handwriting flow.
Environmental settings can often alter visual perception. By thoroughly
examining the scene, crime scene investigators are able to explain and
report outside settings much more accurately.
When entering a crime scene it is important to remain open minded.
Having a biased approach when conducting a crime scene can cause
evidence to be overlooked or misinterpreted. Color filters in Forensic
Science documentation have detected evidence that cannot be see with the
Alternative light sources such as ultraviolet, oblique, and infrared lighting
have helped investigators obtain proper image settings.
The reevaluation of CSI procedures, standards, qualifications and techniques is
necessary to ensure evidence is collected properly and in pristine condition as
Although the use of gloves is widely understood, the use of biohazard suits has
increased over the years due to environmental settings and the understanding of
chemically altered conditions.
Research in the development of new techniques have indicated advanced DNA
sequencing using biomarkers to determine potential characteristics such as eye and
hair color as well as body type and family origin in unidentified remains.
The transition from a standard 35 mm camera to a more optimal digital camera has
further established the correlation between an actual crime scene and crime scene
Improvements in digital enhancements and techniques such as contrast, brightness,
and sharpness can improve the clarity of an image or video. Investigators can use
photography software such as Photoshop or PhotoDeluxe to darken, brighten or
Above photo indicates digital image
analysis. Marks from JonBenet’s leg
were zoomed in and sharpened to
better enhance image results.
Bottom left photo is an image from a photo shoot done featuring JonBenet at
age 6. Bottom right photo illustrates the digital techniques used by Forensic
professionals to display an image of what JonBenet Ramsey could have
looked at the age of 20.
Over the course of many years Forensic Scientist and investigators have
developed more effective and sufficient ways to solve criminal cases. With
recent advancements in crime scene processing, collecting and analyzing, the
use of Forensic Science has become successful and useful in crime solving. In
order to solve a crime correctly the collection, analysis, and preservation of
evidence is essential.An inadequately conducted crime scene investigation
,such as the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation, can lead to tainted,
mishandled or even destroy potential evidence due to negligence or
inadvertent mistakes. As a result, insufficient evidence and testimonies have
lead to many wrongful convictions and unsolved cases. By understanding the
process of trial and error forensic scientist and investigator ors are able to
enhance their knowledge and apply it to future cases. Through this method of
learning there has been a slight increase in the amount of solved cold cases.
Although the case of JonBenet Ramsey is still unsolved, forensic investigators
have continued to analyze and utilize remaining evidence to solve this