LAST EDITED ON Apr-12-03 AT 12:05 PM (EST)
Below are posts I've saved from a couple years ago....I edited out some of it....follow the action in Dirty Harry and compare to the ransom note:
Posted by Maikai on Feb-02-00 at 01:15 AM (EST)
I rented this again, since I don't remember much from the last time I saw it several months ago. I'm convinced the killer either taped the movie or rented or bought the video, and watched it over and over...stopping in pertinent places, and taking notes. There's a lot more of this in the ransom note, IMO, then any of the other movies.
I hope some of you watch it and post your comments.
1 . "Ransom Note"
Posted by Maikai on Feb-02-00 at 01:23 AM (EST)
It starts out with a psychopathic killer, that's been killing people. The lastest is a girl in a bathing suit swimming in a rooftop swimming pool. She is shot by the psycho from another rooftop. Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood), comes on the scene and finds the bullet casing. There is also a note posted nearby that reads:
"To the City of San Francisco"
I will enjoy killing one person everyday until you pay me the one hundred thousand dollars ($l00,000).
If you agree say so tomorrow morning in (word crossed off) Personal column San Francisco Chronicle and I will set up meeting. If I do not hear from you it will be my next pleasure to kill a catholic priest of a nigger.
Note: The camera shows a closeup when the note is showed on a screen in police headquarters.
Certain words are IDENTICAL to those in the ransom note. ie: you (same strokes); not.
The g, with that curl on the bottom is the same, y, h, e and r are the same. I didn't notice it at first until I stopped it with pause, and then compared it to the ransom note.
The psycho kidnaps a l4 year old girl. She apparently was placed put underground, where the air will run out at a certain time. He sends her bra, and a tooth he pulled out with a pliers. He ups the ransom to $200,000, in used l0's and 20's and wants them delivered in a yellow bag.
The Mayor wants to pay the ransom. Dirty Harry says, "you know she's dead, don't you?"
Mayor tell Harry they will pay the money, so Harry is fitted with a wire. He goes to the appointed phone booth.
Psycho says "I bounce you all over town to make sure you're alone. Make sure. If I even think you're being followed, the girl dies. If you talk to anyone...I don't care if it's a pekinese pissing against a lamppost the girl dies."
Harry: "Is she ok?"
Psycho: "Just shutup and listen. No car. I give you a certain amount of time to go from phone booth to phone booth. If the phone rings four times she dies."
You listen. I am watching you---not all the time, but you won't know when or where. Now--get to Forest Hill Station as fast as you can. "
Psycho: I hope you're not stupid.
Harry runs around answering phones, and follows instructions.
Psycho: Yeah. It sounds like you had a good rest---you'll need it. I'm going to give you a nice little run this time---you better make--bercause if you don't---dead girl.
(A Jesus Saves neon sign is prominent during this scene)
The final call the psycho tells Harry to go to the cross. It is a big cement cross at the entrance to a tunnel. It looks around 50 feet high--it is VERY big, and prominent throughout the scene.
Psycho confronts Dirty Harry.
Psycho: "One wrong move---anything--I'll kill you and the girl both. Understand?"
There's more conversation..psycho gives orders, tells him to drop gun, etc. then tells him to turn
and face the cross, and to put his face right up against the cross. Camera closes in on Harry looking way up the cross.
Psycho, in read ski mask, starts kicking Harry--and tells him he better not pass out yet.
Psycho: "I changed my mind. I'm going to let her die---I just wanted you to know that---understand? I just wanted to make sure yo uknew that before I killed you.
Callahan has a hidden knife and stabs psycho in leg. His partner comes to help out and starts shooting--psycho gets away.
Callahan gets reamed by his superior, and says the mayor wants to know "why we screwed everything up?"
Callahan traces the psycho to the doctor that treated him in the ER room. Doctor had recognized him as a guy that sells programs, and lives at the stadium nearby. The groundskeeper lets him live in a backroom. Callahan corners him on the field, and asks "where's the girl?" Turns out Callahan was right--psycho had killed her, and they take her body out of some kind of hole.
Callahan is at the DA's office, wanting to charge the psycho. DA is mad---telling him he had no right to assault the psycho....no right to confiscate his gun without a search warrant. DA says he will walk, and he will not spend l/2Million dollars of taxpayers money on a trial they can't win. The problem is we don't have the evidence.
Callahan says, "what the hell's that?"(meaning the rifle in the office that matches the bullets in other killings) DA repeats that the rifle means zero---it will be inadmissible. Judge comes in and confirms that and says Constitutional Rights were violated, and the search was illegal without hte search warrant. Everything will be excluded. Can't convict psycho of anything, and most likely his 4th, 5th, 6th, and l4th Amendment Rights were violated.
Dirty Harry says he will kill again---he likes it, and storms out.
Harry starts following the psycho around---sees him ogling kids on a schoolground...follows him around to sleazy stripper bars. The psycho gets paranoid, and sick of Harry following him. So psycho pays to have himself beat up, and he ends up in the hospital. He also calls the media, and they come out in full force. Psycho says the San Francisco Police did it to him---and names Harry Callahan. Psycho says the police were trying to nail him for crimes he didn't commit.
Dirty Harry gets yelled at by the commander, and the commander tells him. "Let's get one thing straight---NO SURVEILLENCE--I don't want anymore."
Psycho hijacks a schoolbus....he has sent another note to the mayor's office, (delivered at 8:00 AM) which says:
To The City Of San Francisco
"You have double-crossed me for the last time--I'm warning you to have my $200,000 and a jet airplane ready and waiting. I'll call the mayor's office at one o'clock and tell you about the hostages who I will be happy to kill."
(I wonder why the amount was so low? He could have gotten a lot more!)
Psycho calls, and tells the mayor he has 7 kids, blah blah...Notable...he says "Now listen---listen very carefully."
Harry ends up saving the day.....jumps on the bus as it's travelling down an expressway...get it to stop, and there's a chase scene. He ends up killing the psycho. Harry throws his badge in after him.
In between, there were scenes where Harry saved the day by stopping a suicide....single-handedly catching and shooting bank robbers, and his clothes barely get mussed. He reminded me of Steve Thomas.
There's a lot of parallel themes in this movie and the JBR murder. Several phrases almost verbatim. I don't see how the JBR ransom note could have been written cold---it had to be written out beforehand, IMO----and practiced and recopied....possibly down to some of the same characters/words in the first ransom note in Dirty Harry. I think the killer watched certain movies over and over.
I wonder if classified ads were checked on the 26th, and "if" JR hadn't called police, if there was more to the plan. I wonder if making the police look stupid wasn't part of it. I wonder if someone wanted to be a hero, that may have somehow been connected to the investigation---or via the media. OJ was an example of many people that made money and had careers enhanced due to the media coverage.
8 . "Striking parallels"
Posted by MaskedMan on Feb-02-00 at 02:16 AM (EST)
Again, you've done some good work.
There seem to be parallels between Dirty Harry and the ransom note. The warning not to talk to a dog is in the movie and in the note. The repetition of the phrase "the girl dies" seems like "she dies" in the note. In both, there is a reference to being "rested" and being run around town by the kidnapper.
The ransom note in the Ramsey case doesn't strike me as genuine. The note is too melodramatic and histrionic to be real. It seems to be written for effect, not for ransom. The note tries to strike a pose in every sentence. The ending, "Victory S.B.T.C," is just more pretense. Since there was no abduction, I assume that the note wasn't part of a real kidnapping attempt.
The note could have been partially derived from the movies Dirty Harry and Speed. The line "Don't try to grow a brain" was lifted right out of Speed. How could Patsy have recalled appropriate movie lines to plug into the note? It seems like someone had watched these kidnap/ransom movies recently. It's as if someone even consulted these movies for ideas about how to stage a kidnapping.
10 . "MM...not just the note, "
Posted by Maikai on Feb-02-00 at 02:40 AM (EST)
but some of the themes struck me this time when I watched it: the police looking stupid; the DA and PD fighting; and the setup theme. The first time I was only listening for phrases.
It's almost like someone copied the script (along with some others), and the police & DA followed it. It's one thing to think up a fantasy---another entirely, to actually carry it to extremes. Unless...the fantasy was only that, and not meant to end in murder. "Possibly" one person duped into going along with it---even writing the note---the other the actual killer. Except, you'd think the writer would have some remorse---'course facing a death sentence would be a strong deterrent to keeping ones mouth shut. Wouldn't be the first time a psychopath duped someone into being an accomplice.
Then again, one person, with a murderous intent all along, getting pleasure that his script was followed by the police and DA. And, you know your town better then I----would it be all that unlikely there's a somewhat clever psychopath that managed to blend in? The capitalization of the letters in references to authority figures in the ransom note could have been deliberate--with the killer purposely using capitals, but resented authority.
11 . "Giant Leap....."
Posted by Maikai on Feb-03-00 at 00:52 AM (EST)
Regardless of why the ransom note followed the Dirty Harry/Ransom theme, and the motive for the murder, the question I haven't heard ANY of the BORG answer is.....how did either of the Ramsey's acquire the knowledge of the movies? To the point where specific phrases interspersed throughout the movie were quoted almost verbatim?
It's one thing to argue they had opportunity....another to argue where the knowledge of the movies--not to mention the elaborate staging came from? The ransom note speaks for itself and it is full of movie references/themes---even if it were done as someone else's staging to disguise the true motive. That cannot be disputed.
Was there a copy of Dirty Harry in the Ramsey video collection? Were they so calm, cool, and collected after the "accidental" murder of their cherished daughter---that either of them could sit down and spend hours watching the film to pull out the pertinent phrases---and then compile a logical-sounding note?
PMPT listed l7 reasons the BPD used in presenting the case to the DA.....many of which were entirely circumstantial to weave a web. You can bet if even a copy of "Dirty Harry" or "Speed" were found in the home that it would have been listed as another "gotcha." That did not occur--and nothing during the leaky phase was released that either parent had any knowledge of the films. Nothing has ever been released publicly as to how they could have obtained this knowledge.
12 . "Thanks, Maikai"
Posted by SpiritRain on Feb-03-00 at 06:56 AM (EST)
Excellent thread. I saw Dirty Harry about the time I started the forum. I could help but notice the similarities. I thought we had discussed the SBTC connection on one of the SBTC threads.
But as you mentioned in the above post, how could anyone suspect Patsy of writing this note? Certainly if she had been watching Dirty Harry non stop for hours and hours...freezing certain scenes, someone would have noticed. Also if she had watched Dirty Harry, or Speed, or any of the other movies we've discussed, would there have been Christmas at the Ramsey house? How would Patsy have the time to do all she did for her family and community and watch those movies to write a 3 page ransom note?
I think common sense would tell anyone that it was impossible for Patsy to have written the note.
13 . "SpiritRain......"
Posted by Maikai on Feb-03-00 at 07:26 AM (EST)
How many of the movie lines would you have been able to sit down and write after you saw the movie? No doubt many have better retention then I----but there's very few movies I've seen where I can recall much later on exact wording. Even after viewing the 3 Godfather tapes several times, the only line I can recall is "keep your friends close--but your enemies even closer."
I challenge any BORG lurking or on this forum, to come up with a plausible explaination on how either of the Ramsey's had the intimate knowledge of the movie lines/themes, and also, to offer an explanation of why no one--not Linda Pugh; nor the scads of other people interviewed; ever said either of the Ramseys were drawn to these kinds of films.
16 . "Maikai..."
Posted by Seal on Feb-03-00 at 09:32 AM (EST)
very interesting thread...you have done a great job finding all those quotes in Dirty Harry, and showing the difference of opinions between the law agencies. There is no doubt in my mind that whoever killed JonBenet was a crime cultist...someone who absorbed these movies to the max, memorized lines that they probably sometimes quoted to others...and, IMO, this habit is a big clue to the killer's identity.
I have always agreed that neither Patsy nor John could have sat down after that horrendous crime, and casually penned that note, remembering all those lines from Dirty Harry and Speed. If this was penned before the murder, as I think it was, it would prove this murder was premeditated. There was not an accident that was covered up...JonBenet was murdered intentionally the way I see it. The parents could not have murdered their child intentionally...they were too crazy about that little girl to have even thought about that.
17 . "Unemployed?"
Posted by Maikai on Feb-03-00 at 09:32 AM (EST)
Maybe.....and also needed money. 'Course, I'm employed, and find time for a lot of different things.
Question in my mind is......if someone did their homework on developing the note---what was the motive all along? Still smacks to me---kidnapping, for $$$.
If a homicidal pedophile---why the note? He'd know an autopsy would reveal the sexual assault.
One person, inexperiened in kidnapping and murder, IMO, fits the profile, and one person may have had a problem controlling JBR. And what type would be into movies...stun guns...bondage...breaking and entering...hi-tec hiking boots...resentful of fat cats?
18 . "I agree Maikai"
Posted by Afton on Feb-03-00 at 11:39 AM (EST)
LAST EDITED ON Feb-03-00 AT 11:39 AM (EST)
I believe it was kidnapping for $$ and the ransom note was written as a thrill to see the police scramble as in the L & L theory.
As to what the anti rams would say about the Ramsey memorizing the movie one liners--I heard one say in past posts that it is easy to do and they could do it and then go on to quote the one liners chapter and verse.
19 . "not quoting line for line"
Posted by LovelyPigeon on Feb-03-00 at 12:05 PM (EST)
but I think I could write a similar note. I've seen all those movies, and although the particulars don't stick with me, the generalities do. The line *don't try and grow a brain* sticks with me at least in part because it became part of the teen jargon in the school where I worked after Speed played in theatres.
Ransom was playing in theatres in December '96, and there are a lot of similar scenes in it too...kidnapping child,short piece of duct tape on mouth, calling with orders not to contact authorities, a complicated delivery scheme with lots of phone calls, warnings of killing if instructions not followed, high tech surveillance,etc.
If I were asked to write a ransom note (as some sort of school assignment maybe) I think I'd come up with a similar one, not with direct quotes, but with the same themes.
I don't think anyone thought there was a "small foreign faction" behind the ransom note...no matter if it was an earnest attempt to gain $$$ or just a ruse to throw off police from the writer's identity.
20 . "Maikai and MM"
Posted by mBm on Feb-03-00 at 12:31 PM (EST)
In regard to the capitalization of certain letters, since I worked for a local police department, I always capitalized letters pertinent to the "organization chart." Thus, it was Police Department, Executive Department, Parks Department, City of Metropolis, etc. However, others, including the local newspapers would always use police department, parks department, city of Metropolis, etc. So the note writer could possibly have been associated with an agency or establishment that used capitalization similarly. From a college, law-enforcement agency, etc.?
Also, since Janet McR was a drama critic for the newspaper, I would really like to know if she reviewed any of these movies and if so, what was her take on them? MM, do you have access to any of her critiques? If you can refer back to them, it would certainly be interesting reading, IMO.
23 . "Interesting "
Posted by Southern_Belle on Feb-03-00 at 02:43 PM (EST)
This thread has changed my mind about the perp being immature. I thought the terms used were silly, now I know why, they came from the movies!
So, the perp might be very mature, intelligent, but remembered these phrases to add for confusion. After realizing this I see the perp was indeed above average in intelligence. He/she knew how to throw the PD off not only with certain terms, words, but with immature ramblings.
Thanks for this thread, it has changed some of my views.
22 . "mBm"
Posted by MaskedMan on Feb-03-00 at 01:24 PM (EST)
I have a very hard time suspecting Janet McReynolds, odd though she is. I can't see any motive for her. Her husband, Bill, who seems harmless to me, has such a big bushy beard that I would think he would have shed a white hair somewhere at the crime scene, especially after all the activity in this crime. I just can't buy it.
By the time the movie Speed came out, Janet was no longer a movie reviewer. I don't know if she reviewed Dirty Harry. That would take some digging.
25 . "SBTC"
Posted by MaskedMan on Feb-03-00 at 04:39 PM (EST)
I seriously doubt that "SBTC" stands for "Saved by the Cross." That's just a wild guess. As far as I know (and I checked into it), there is no standard phrase or cliche such as "saved by the cross" in Christianity.
No one knows what SBTC means. It may mean nothing. There's no way to know for sure, so it's a waste of time trying to figure it out. I think SBTC is probably just random letters designed to create confusion. It's like the "small foreign faction": nonsense.
26 . "Maikai"
Posted by jams on Feb-03-00 at 05:01 PM (EST)
Once again you show yourself to be an excellent sleuth - someone willing to put some effort into the search.
I would love to see the note in the movie posted so we could compare it. Will have to watch the movie to look, but I can't transfer it to the computer - if anyone can that would be real nice.
I do feel like the killer watched these movies a lot - he imagined the thrill of the kill and being the center of attention. I just think he had NO idea now bad the cops would bungle it. God, to think how he must be watching these movies even now and comparing notes.
I think it is a fair guess that he is still watching these movies. JMO - but i would hope if he IS, someone is noticing...
27 . "MM"
Posted by jimb on Feb-03-00 at 05:26 PM (EST)
>>No one knows what SBTC means. It may mean nothing.
You may well be correct in that we will never know for certain what it means. But i do think it means something.
There are too many coincidences here. If the note mentioned an amount other than the 118K net bonus amount, or had something other than SBTC, I would be more inclined to ignore them as merely extraneous. But what are the probabilities that someone randomly picks BOTH the net bonus, and the initials on a picture on 3rd floor and/or on plaque in basement? This would be really coincidental.
I don't believe the writer was someone close to the family, but I do believe the writer knew something of the family. At least John Ramsey's first name. The writer may not have known, or remembered precisely, the name of the company.
Except for stuff like senseless drive-by shootings, rarely do murderers pick their victims purely at random. I believe the killer began to focus in on the R's sometime in the month prior to the murder. And the choice of victim may not have occurred all at once.
Also, I think it quite possible the killer was on the 3rd floor at some time or other. This seems like a more likely spot to see the SBTC on the aircraft-carrier picture, than on the plaque stashed away in the basement. We have no good explanation for the newspaper photo on the 3rd floor that has the X's on business people except for the heart on JR. Perhaps JBR did draw this, but apparently JR never saw it, nor Burke, PR, or LHP.
28 . "Meaningless letters"
Posted by MaskedMan on Feb-03-00 at 08:12 PM (EST)
One reason I think that SBTC must be meaningless is that the writer of the note wouldn't have put in any clues that could be decoded to help solve the crime.
The writer was trying to create a diversion, for instance by blaming a "small foreign faction." Everything in the note is a ruse, including "S.B.T.C." The writer wanted to mislead, not leave hints.
30 . "SBTC?"
Posted by Maikai on Feb-03-00 at 10:43 PM (EST)
Who knows? There was a religious theme---before the l4 year old girl was kidnapped, the killer's next victim was going to be a priest. He was setup, and Dirty Harry spotted him on a rooftop. A large vertical neon sign, with the words "Jesus Saves" was prominent. There was a shootout, and the killer got away. He shot out some of the letters on the sign, while laughing...before he escaped.
The scene at the cross was one of the more dramatic scenes in the movie. The killer was never named in the movie---called "killer" in the credits. No attempt was made to explain why he did what he did, except Dirty Harry's comment that he liked to kill.
The killer taunted Dirty Harry and the police--it was a big game for him. He was portrayed as a nice-looking, white, twenty-something male that could be very charming, and in a flash become this demented killer that liked to hurt people. He knew about evidence---knew his rights.
34 . "MM"
Posted by jimb on Feb-04-00 at 03:19 AM (EST)
One reason I think that SBTC must be meaningless is that the writer of the note wouldn't have put in any clues that could be decoded to help solve the crime.
<< (emphasis mine).
In a prior post of yours you pointed out, cogently IMO, that the note viewed as a whole is directed toward convincing a reader that a 'small foreign faction' is involved. Structurally, the note opens with who they are, and ends with their signature. I agree with your reasoning.
But you can sign with any number of signatures or acronyms. Why not 'AZTC', or 'LATZ", or 'etc...'? Anything. My post was directed at not just one coincidence, 'SBTC', but at two coincidences, i.e. 118K. It is the conjunction of the two that suggests to me that neither the ransom amount nor the signature was random. That is why i do not think either the ransom amount or the signature was meaningless. And, IMO, it is why the note provides a clue, however faint, to the killer's identity.
You raise a good point -- why put in a clue. I don't know. But, I also believe not all killers are entirely rational (if any are). So why assume that this particular killer is entirely rational? I think we have to drop most assumptions here. As Lee said, this one isn't easy.