The Sixth Greatest Mystery of All Time:  Who killed the Lindbergh baby, the Black Dahlia, Nicole Simpson and Jon Ramsey Benet?

MurderMysteryLogoAre you a “Crime Voyeur?”  Do you religiously follow all of the “Crimes of the Century?”  Can you hardly wait for the next tidbit of evidence or the suspect interview?  Do you spin your own theories based on conjecture rather than facts?  Do you get exasperated with the police, relatives, witnesses, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and jurors who are all so biased that they would not know the truth if it hit them between their eyes?  Of course, “who done it” is so elementary “My Dear Watson”, that Sherlock Holmes would not waste five minutes on the case.  But even though the case is elementary to all but the blind, you succumb to the newspapers and lurid TV stories with full knowledge that the media is selling RED.  If it’s red, it’s read!  Gore sells more!  When it bleeds, people read!

(Murder Mystery – Scouting For Girls)  Listen to the song as you read my blog.

So okay, I confess, mea culpa, I am a junkie for crime cases.  I too am one of the ones to spin theories and suspects out of thin air and “hardly facts.”  Alas, if only we were forensics specialists or the lead detectives, we could have these cases wrapped up as fast as they do on Glades or Midsomer Murders or Bones.  In less time than it takes to sweat a suspect, we would have the murder weapon, confession, body, motive and a jury screaming for blood.  Hang em high!  If you do the crime, you pay the time!

Why is it that no one else but us (and of course TV detectives) can figure out the obvious?  The clues are staring the police in the face but they don’t see them.  How can they miss the connections that are so apparent to us?  If only they would ask for our help.  We could easily solve the case.  But no, they are the professionals and they don’t want our help.  Thus, the case drags on and on and all the time we sit here knowing full well “who done it.” columbo

So you want to know who killed Nicole Simpson or Jon Ramsey Benet!  Well, you probably already know but either you do not want to believe it or you want Moses to come down with the perps name written on two tablets along with a confession.   If so, you have watched too many TV detective crime solving stories.  Understand that in TV crime solving procedure, everything is black and white.  There are no politics in TV murders or missing bodies.  The suspect only needs a little persuasion done by our intrepid crime fighters and a full confession is forth coming along with the motive and murder weapon.  The body has already been found or you would not have much if any story.  Most TV dramas start off with the discovery of the gruesome remains of a cadaver followed by much flippant analysis between the Medical Examiner and the lead detective or between the lead detective (LD) and the forensic pathologist (FP).

LD – They found the body about 11 PM in the park under the Cypress tree. 

FP – You mean with anyone else but me? (Laughs)

LD – That mean you want to tell me where you were between 10 and 12 PM last night? (Smirk)

FP – If you don’t remember, I’m not telling you. (Giggles)

LD – I suppose we should go over that again tonight, but right now we have a murder mystery and only 60 minutes minus 30 minutes of commercials to solve it.  (Serious)

FP – You bet.  Don’t think our advertisers and sponsor would want us to go over our time slot.

Did you pick up the “subtle” innuendoes about sex between our crime fighting team?  Did you notice how nonchalant they were over the body that was torn limb from limb or left in a reeking vat of sulfuric acid?  It takes a lot of fortitude to be a TV dick.  I am sure that most real life detectives wish they had these abilities.  Of course, if they did, they would be making closer to a million dollars a year and not under a hundred thousand dollars a year.  Real life is not fair.  Not only do TV dicks solve crimes faster they make a whole lot more money doing it.

off_beat_detective_stories_195905It seems like in the “good old days” (Whenever they were), it was much easier to solve crimes.  You did not have to waste as much time on procedure, facts, evidence and suspect rights.  Things started going south when the Miranda decision was rendered and suddenly suspects were entitled to their rights.  It is a lot easier to solve crimes when you can bypass this legal roadblock.  I mean really, why should I need a search warrant to look through your house or car?  Why should I need probable cause to wiretap your phone?  Why can’t I search you without consent or your lawyer being present?  How can anyone expect me to solve the crime if these legalities are tying my hands?  What ever happened to good old country justice?  Back when we knew they were guilty but couldn’t prove it and hung em anyway?  What a waste of time these trivial legalities are.  Real cases take years to solve and on TV they do it in less than 60 minutes and that often includes the trial.  Maybe we should be hiring more TV detectives on the real police force.

TV detectives are able to get warrants in less than five minutes and when they don’t have them, they break in anyway.  Ever notice how good TV dicks are at picking locks?  Real detectives never come out of a suspect interview with a confession whereas TV dicks get full confessions in less time than it takes for their coffee to go cold.

TV Dick:  We know you did it. (Nonchalant)

Suspect:  You can’t prove a thing. (Smug)

TV Dick:  You think you are clever, but you left the coffee pot on right after you stabbed your ex-wife to death. (Smile)

Suspect:  So what? (Perplexed)

TV Dick:  Well the water ran out and the butler had to refill the pot (Serene)

Suspect:  You don’t mean to say? (Worried)

TV Dick:  Right, he found the gun in the bottom of the coffee pot that you stashed there when you heard him coming and it had your finger prints all over it. (Resolute)

Suspect:  Dam – never thought anyone would look in the coffee pot.  (Chagrined)

TV Dick:  Next time you murder your ex, turn the coffee pot off.  (Fading laughter)

Did you notice a disconcerting fact that was overlooked during this repartee?  The wife was stabbed to death but the gun was the murder weapon.  Well, such contradictory facts often come up in TV dramas but you need to suspend belief or least put all logic on hold while you watch these crime stories.  Better to save your logic for the real life crimes.   Let’s look at a few of the most famous cases from the last century.  We will thus put a lie to the idea that there is ever a single solitary “crime of the century.”

Who killed Nicole Simpson? 

Well, we know from the facts (Forget the DNA) that he was big, strong, fast and angry.  That rules out just about everybody but O. J. Simpson.  Now if you are a White person you are puzzled by the fact that so many Black people felt O. J. was innocent.  Actually that was not the case.  Every Black person I knew thought O. J. was guilty.  The real question was who was guiltier:  The Police, Nicole or O. J?  Simpson represented a good many things to the Black community.  He was successful, good looking, famous and rich.  He was a Black man who had become respectable and admired in White society.

Oj and GloveThe L.A. Police department was racist, racist and more racist.  Nicole was a White woman taking advantage of her looks to marry a rich Black man and then trying to take him to the cleaners for alimony and child support while screwing as many other guys as she could.  So we have a three way triangle here.  Who is guilty?   Who was in the wrong place at the wrong time?  Who falsified evidence and clearly overlooked any semblance of objective police procedure?  The answers to these questions are as obvious as the lines in your palm.  The MAN who killed Nicole is now doing time for another crime.  Justice will out one way or another.

Who killed the Lindbergh baby?

What wonders about the conflict or confusion in this case?  You are found with the money.  You are spending the money.  You have motive and opportunity and ability.  You have wood from a ladder used in the murder.  You have a witness who recognized your voice.  What is the problem?  Bruno Hauptmann was so guilty it was a crime to even have a trial.  However, did he do it himself or have an accomplice?

The evidence suggests someone else got away scot free.  But I suggest you not worry about it.  Detectives are out to close cases not necessarily find all the guilty parties.  You cannot bring back Baby Charles by finding the other killer.  The parents were satisfied that justice was done.  The courts were satisfied.  The cops were satisfied, so what is the problem?  People seem to hate cases where conspiracies and great complexity do not exist.  Perhaps we are watching too many TV shows where the TV dicks generally have a dozen or more suspects and through mind boggling forensic and analysis techniques gradually narrow it down to the one whom you least suspect.  In real life, the one who you most suspect is probably the guilty party.

Who killed the Black Dahlia?

black_dahliaLong before Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct, we had the Black Dahlia:  Beautiful aspiring actress trying to break into stardom by spending time in bed with the right people.  Was the killer a jilted boyfriend or simply some sick psycho?  Her body was found cut in half and posed in a manner either to provide ultimate humiliation or ultimate revenge.  There was no shortage of suspects or people who confessed to the murder.

“The Black Dahlia murder investigation was conducted by the LAPD. The Department also enlisted the help of hundreds of officers borrowed from other law enforcement agencies. Owing to the nature of the crime, sensational and sometimes inaccurate press coverage focused intense public attention on the case.

About 60 people confessed to the murder, mostly men. Of those, 25 were considered viable suspects by the Los Angeles District Attorney. In the course of the investigation, some of the original 25 were eliminated, and several new suspects were proposed. Suspects remaining under discussion by various authors and experts include Walter Bayley,[14] Norman Chandler, Leslie Dillon, Joseph A. Dumais, Mark Hansen, George Hill Hodel, George Knowlton, Robert M. “Red” Manley, Patrick S. O’Reilly, Woody Guthrie, Orson Welles, and Jack Anderson Wilson.”   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Dahlia

Which one of her many boyfriends could it have been?  Which one of the many “Avengers” could have done it?  Since she was a gold digging fame seeking femme fatale, each of them probably had plenty of motives.  The evidence suggests that whoever did it had a very sick mind and enjoyed the mutilation more than the murder.  Will we ever know?  Experts say probably not.  But that will not keep us from speculating.

Nothing is more fascinating that a sexy woman, lurid killing, and plenty of suspects.  Once upon a time, we had the antics of the Gods to keep us engrossed.  Greek God stories abound with twisted tales of murder, incest, rape, infanticide, parricide and imaginative revenge.  Today, we have serial killers and an endless series of stories about them.  There are biographies, autobiographies, TV shows, interviews, documentaries, movies and a zillion fictional novels about serial killers.  Type in “serial killers” on Google and you will get over one million hits. Type in “serial killer books” and you will get over two hundred thousand hits.  Who killed the Black Dahlia? Who really cares?  As long as the murders keep coming we can stay glued to the tabloids.  Next please!

Who Killed Jon Ramsey Benet?

Jonbenet-ramseyJon Ramsey Benet was a cute little six year old girl; beauty queen pageant winner at the age of five.  She was found strangled and bludgeoned in the basement of her own upper middle class home.  Suspects:  Parents or Kidnapper?  Initial police investigation focused on parents.  Shoddy forensic work, poor crime scene investigation and perhaps two killers smarter than the police all lead up to a tangled web of “who done it.”  Accusations went back and forth and forth and back.  Parents or kidnappers, kidnappers or parents, parents or kidnappers?

Let’s start from the three basics:  Motive, opportunity and ability.  Who had the motive?  Was it the parents or the kidnappers?  Jon’s mother was said to be high strung and pushy.  She had no apparent motive to kill her daughter but if it was an accident she did not seem like the kind of person to just admit it and take the consequences.  Together with her husband, they had plenty of motive to hide the crime and try to make it look like someone else did it.  The ransom note seems like a pretty farfetched piece of logic for any real kidnappers to have written.  It seems highly unlikely to have been written by anyone who did not know the family well.  If it was a kidnapping and they knew the family well, it stretches the imagination to think that they could have believed they could get away with it.  If Jon knew them and they needed to kill her then how could they follow up the ransom demand for the money?  The kidnappers would only have one motive and that was money.  But money was never taken or put on the table and how could they expect to get any money once Jon’s body was found?  If the kidnappers were really killers solely out for revenge, then why the bit with the ransom note?  Not a good way to get revenge. If you are out for revenge, you want the victim to know it.

Let’s move on to opportunity.  Kidnappers would have had far less opportunity for this crime than the family had.  They would have had to burglar the house, find their way around in the dark, make little or no noise and kill Jon silently so they did not wake her parents up.  If they were going to kidnap the child for money and by some unlucky chance they accidently killed her, then why not take the body and at least go through the charade of ransoming the child for money?  They did not take the body and it does not make sense to think that if they were prepared to take a live child away that they could not have taken her dead body.

Finally, who had the ability to kill Jon?  This is an easy question.  A six year old child could easily be killed by either a male or female adult.   Either by intention or accident, small children or killed every day by negligent parents.

Approximately fifteen children under the age of fourteen die every day in this country as a result of unintentional injuries, totaling more than 5600 children per year.  Although surely not all, many of these deaths were undoubtedly caused by parental negligence.  Yet despite the prevalence of these fatalities, almost no research explores the treatment of these cases by the criminal justice system.  Commentators often assert that parents are rarely prosecuted in cases involving deaths due to parental negligence, but they completely fail to cite any authority for that proposition.  In addition, prosecutors are relying on the common perception that a failure to prosecute is the norm when making charging decisions in individual cases. — CRIME AND PARENTHOOD: THE UNEASY CASE FOR PROSECUTING NEGLIGENT PARENTS Copyright 2006 by Northwestern University School of Law, Northwestern University Law Review, Vol.  100, No. 2

According to data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), 49 States reported a total of 1,593 fatalities.  Based on these data, a nationally estimated 1,640 children died from abuse and neglect in 2012.  The disparity in numbers between the two studies is created by the different definitions of negligence.  It would seem the 2006 study includes potentially accident deaths whereas the 2012 study only includes confirmed reports of abuse or neglect.

Given the large number of children either accidently or otherwise killed by parents, it does not seem far afield to think that either Patsy or John might have accidently killed Jon and then together engaged in an elaborate cover up.  This seems a more likely scenario then either of them calling the police and saying that they killed Jon by accidently hitting her in the head.  However, since the coroner ruled the main cause of death to be strangulation and asphyxia, it is harder to believe that any loving parents could resort to such a cold blooded method of murder, particularly when any actual motive by her parents to kill her did not exist.

Finally, complicating the question of “who done it” is the DNA found on two separate pieces of Jon’s clothing.

“The match of Male DNA on two separate items of clothing worn by the victim at the time of the murder makes it clear to us that an unknown male handled these items. There is no innocent explanation for its incriminating presence at three sites on these two different items of clothing that Jon Benét was wearing at the time of her murder.”  —- Mary T. Lacy, District Attorney (2008-07-09). “Letter from DA to John Ramsey”.  District Attorney’s Office, Twentieth Judicial District, Boulder, Colorado.  Retrieved 2008-07-09.

If the DNA rules out family members (seems like this is logical to assume), if the kidnappers did not seem to want the child and if we rule out revenge on Jon as a motive, we are left with no suspects.  No suspects, unless, the DNA evidence, handwriting analysis and medical examiner’s report are wrong.  If any of these are wrong or all are wrong, the logic of the case points right back to the family.  Either brother, father or mother may have had the Motive, ability and opportunity.  If the evidence is incontrovertible, then as Simpson’s attorney said “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.”  If the evidence is valid, then Jon’s parents are not guilty and we can assume that another motive which has not been uncovered was the reason.  Perhaps some nutcase parent thought Jon was too much competition for her daughter and decided to take matters in her own hands.  Sounds unlikely, but it has been known to happen.

Time for Questions:

Who do you think did it?  Why?  Can you provide Motive, ability and opportunity or just conjecture?

Life is just beginning.

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Russ Hanson
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 22:41:42

    “Limbaugh baby” (a typo? a Freudian slip? )

    Reply

  2. Jeanine
    Sep 30, 2014 @ 15:24:24

    I am guilty of being a crime voyeur. In regard to the three murder mysteries, I’d like to start with the Lindbergh baby. That one is probably the easiest. Bruno! On to the Black Dahlia, I haven’t a clue, but I will say that I have read numerous articles on her murder, and have reached the conclusion that it is a person with surgical expertise…perhaps a doctor?? As for Nicole, I watched every second of the trial, bar none, and I agree that the scoundrel is sitting in prison right now. O.J promised he would find the “real killer/killers”, after he was acquitted, but unless the murderer was a golfer, I did not see or read anywhere that OJ was pursuing this quest. Last, and surely the most pitiful, is Jon Benet Ramsey. The mother. The fact that they were very hasty to hire a lawyer and refuse to speak to the police, did not win them any votes in my book. Mom just lost it! It takes just twenty seconds to render a person unconscious from strangulation, and two minutes or longer to succumb to asphyxiation. While I believe that she may have been able to stop,as two minutes is a long time in the scheme of things, there may have been extinuating circumstances. Only God knows the real killers. These are only my opinions, and surely they are debatable. 🙂 I wish these crimes could have been solved as easy as they are on TV. Of the four crimes, the one that I believe had a suspect with the most motive, was OJ. Seeing Ron Goldman at Nicole’s door and the restaurant slight, was more than his jealous nature could bear.

    Reply

    • johnpersico
      Sep 30, 2014 @ 17:31:36

      But Jeanine, what about the DNA evidence in the Benet Case? How do you explain that? The others I agree except for the surgical. I am not sure he had to be a surgeon. They thought that about Jack the Ripper and now it turns out that he was probably a sailor. I think often the skills etc of these killers are over-rated.

      Reply

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