Burke Ramsey vs CBS
Filed December 28, 2016
Seeking: Compensatory Damages: $250 M Punitive Damages: $500 M
Burke Ramsey vs Werner Spitz
Filed October 6, 2016
Seeking: Compensatory Damages: $50 M Punitive Damages: $100 M
Special thanks to guest-blogger, Cottonstar from Websleuths, for this contribution:
“Be prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it. Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.” – The Scout Motto
Burke was in the Boy Scouts for more than 3 years. That’s longer than JonBenet was involved in pageants.
What do we know about Burke and the Boys Scouts? Actually, not a heck of a lot which is odd, right? For all the bragging Patsy did about the achievements of her offspring, why can’t we find a single picture of Burke in his scouting gear?
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When you think of the Durst case, Peter Schwartz isn’t a name that immediately comes to mind. He wasn’t a lifelong friend or business associate like the other witnesses. But he did share an important connection – Gilberte Najamy – and one could argue, had a direct link to the reason Kathie disappeared.
Before we jump into the Peter Schwartz story, let’s first briefly look at a few details from the night of January 31, 1982 – the night Kathie disappeared. The Dursts were 9 years into their marriage but it had been considerably rocky between the two for several years. Kathie was at the tail end of medical school, and many believe she was biding her time to make a break from Bob. What was she waiting for? Schwartz’s testimony gives us some insight.
Bob and Kathie had been at their South Salem cottage together earlier that day. Gilberte, a close friend of Kathie’s, invited her to come to a party at her house in Newtown, CT, a 45-minute drive away. Kathie reluctantly agreed. There’s a whole other side story to Gilberte and that party that I’ll tackle in a different post. But in a nutshell, the party was a Sunday-night rager. Kathie, who arrived disheveled, was there from about 4pm to 7pm, and ended up drinking a few bottles of wine and snorting a good amount of coke, before heading back to her home.
Just this past Monday – July 24, 2017 – Schwartz, 69, balding with longish gray hair on the sides, testified in court that he received a call from Kathie around 6:30pm that night. She was asking about the status of lawsuits – plural – filed against Robert Durst [by Schwartz]. Those lawsuits were a result of a fight that Schwartz and Bob had exactly one year earlier on January 31, 1981.
Durst, wearing a ridiculously oversized blue blazer, was unfazed by Schwartz in court. The only thing I heard Durst say the whole day was “Bagli is here” which he muttered while glaring at us – [Charles] Bagli, from the New York Times, sitting in the seat next to me on my left.
Schwartz was also a resident of Connecticut, living in Danbury. At the time, he owned a retail photography shop in Stamford. He’s since gone on to get a masters degree, ironically, in counseling from WestConn and works as a psychotherapist.
Back to 1981… Gilberte brought Schwartz and his girlfriend at the time, Karen Smith, to a party at the Durst’s apartment in Manhattan.
This was only the 2nd time Schwartz would be in the company of Bob. The first time didn’t go so well either. At a house party at Gilberte’s several months earlier, completely unprovoked, Schwartz had a door kicked into his head courtesy of Bob. While Schwartz didn’t see him kick it, there was nobody else in the room but Bob. Bob didn’t flinch or say a word, just stood there with his trademark who gives a shit look while Schwartz grabbed his head and uttered something like “ouch”. That was that.
Now here we are at encounter #2. After arriving at the Manhattan apartment and spending possibly a few hours there – exactly how long, Schwartz couldn’t say – Bob, the self-admitted pothead, suggested the group go out dancing at one of his favorite spots, Xenon nightclub.
The group of partiers split into two. The first group, which included Bob, took off and went to the clubs. Meanwhile, Schwartz says Kathie suggested the rest of them stay back and hang out at the apartment.
This was 1981, long before people had cells phone and could text their whereabouts every moment of the day. Bob, expecting Kathie to turn up at the club behind him, was clearly not too pleased when she never showed.
Schwartz then describes Bob bursting into the apartment some time later and saying “you’re the only man here”. The implication being – he thought Kathie was messing around with Schwartz. So while Schwartz sat on the ground with his back against the radiator, Bob rushed towards him and kicked him in the face just below his eye. Bob’s pointed boots ended up breaking the bone in Schwartz’s face.
Schwartz pinned Bob to the ground and said he’d let him go if he’d calm down. But when the two stood up, Bob attacked him again. This time throwing him against the radiator on the wall. Bob left the room, and Kathie told Schwartz that Bob owned a gun. He described her as being “fearful”. Kathie called the police, then took Schwartz to City Hospital in Manhattan.
The prosecutor, Habib Balian, showed two pictures to the court – one a close-up of Schwartz’s face that showed a swollen/half-shut eye and a significant purple/red bruise below. The second picture showed a foot-long, red mark running horizontally across Schwartz’s back. According to the police report, Bob Durst was arrested on February 1, 1981, at 5:00am.
Criminal charges were filed against Bob, and Schwartz did attend a hearing with Bob there. Those charges, though, were later dropped.
Schwartz’s memory while testifying was fuzzy at times, and he seemed almost reluctant or slightly confused about how the criminal case was resolved. But I’m not so sure he was actually confused. Schwartz had taken notes back in the day when all of this happened, and some of those notes were shared in court. Here’s one related to the charges that was put up on the screen.
Written by Schwartz:
Plead guilty – charge was harassment
Conditional discharge 6 month – still open
Deputy Bureau Chief Bob Warren 553 9192
Attorney to get record
On cross-examination, Dick DeGuerin reminded Schwartz that on February 10, 1982, he told Detective Lewis, who was investigating Kathie’s disappearance, that Durst took a plea on the criminal case. So why is Schwartz being vague now?
Although the criminal case didn’t amount to much, on January 22, 1982, Schwartz decided to file a civil case against Bob. He was asking for $200,000 in exemplary and punitive damages, and $50,000 in compensatory damages. The civil case was eventually settled, but as Schwartz told the court in visible disgust, not exactly to his satisfaction.
Now that you know the backstory about the tension between Schwartz and Bob, let’s revisit January 31, 1982. Kathie arrives at Gilberte’s house in Newtown around 4pm. She’s guzzling wine, doing coke, and complaining quite a bit about the situation with Bob. A picture’s been painted of a woman in deep distress. She picks up the phone and decides to call Schwartz. Although Schwartz testifies this happened around 6:30pm, DeGuerin says Detective Lewis noted on his report that Schwartz told him the call was at 17:00 (5pm). Why does that matter? Well, mostly it makes Schwartz look unreliable. But also, after Kathie disappeared, Bob told police he put her on the 9:17pm train. The time she left Gilberte’s in Newtown matters, especially if Bob is pinpointing a specific time later that night.
What’s important to discuss though is the content of the call.
BALIAN: “Did she [Kathie] tell you she had information about [Bob’s] fraudulent tax filing and that she was using that to get a better divorce settlement?”
Schwartz said he didn’t recall if they discussed that; he’d have to review his statements given to investigator [Joseph] Bacerra. Balian went on to say that Bob was trying to avoid paying taxes and Kathie was forced to sign fraudulent documents.
Although Bob gives the appearance that he cares about money, I think with him, it’s not about the money per se. Obviously, when the guy is renting ghetto apartments and walking around in t-shirts and flip flops, it’s not the money. It’s the fact that it’s his, and he’s entitled to it.
What Kathie wanted to know from Schwartz that night was the status of the legal cases pending against Bob. Not because she was concerned about Bob. No, she wanted Bob to pay. She was livid with Schwartz that the criminal case was dropped. Schwartz said on the stand that he told Kathie he couldn’t discuss it because there was a civil case pending. He said she was “aggravated” that she didn’t get the answers she wanted. He also said when the phone hung up, it sounded like there was somebody else on the phone because he heard a second click. Who was listening in?
Around 7pm, Kathie got a call from Bob telling her to come home. Incredibly, her good buddy Gilberte allowed her to drive. What exactly happened after that, nobody knows. According to Bob, Kathie came home to South Salem, they drank a bottle of wine, had a fight, then he put her on the 9:17pm train from Ketonah station back to the city.
DeGuerin didn’t make much progress in trying to discredit Schwartz. His client settled with him over these injuries years ago, so Bob, admittedly beat Schwartz. DeGuerin raised the point that Schwartz admitted to investigators Gilberte brought a substance that looked like coke to the party in Manhattan the night he was beaten up. His point being, how decent and reliable of a guy is Schwartz if he’s hanging out with cokeheads. A pretty weak point to make when his client’s a druggie too.
Then he used the oh-so boring defense tactic about money – was he flown to Los Angeles on a first class flight and what hotel was he staying at? Also, had he received money for selling pictures or doing interviews? Schwartz says yes, he received somewhere between $3-5,000 for selling pics, but turned down the Jinx, although he would have done it had they offered him $500K. How’s that for honesty. DeGuerin asks – did you watch the Jinx? Schwartz answers no. The gallery laughs when DeGuerin counters: don’t bother watching, the Jinx isn’t very good. DeGuerin loves to take jabs at Jarecki.
I’ll leave you with one final thought that I believe goes to the topic of motive [for Bob making Kathie disappear]. DeGuerin wanted to know if Kathie had his [Schwartz’s] phone number, and if she did, then why. He’s planting the seed that the two were canoodling and maybe even in cahoots against Bob. He pulls out a sheet of Durst residence phone calls revealing three calls, presumably made by Kathie, on December 15, 1981, to Peter Schwartz:
What were they discussing? Schwartz didn’t seem to recall these conversations, which I find not very believable. Not because I think the two were having an affair, but because I got the impression he was intentionally distancing himself from these calls. And why wouldn’t he… 6 weeks later, Kathie vanished off the face of the earth after speaking to Schwartz only hours earlier about going after Bob.
Have you noticed the silence from team Ramsey lately? It’s definitely in contrast to the flurry of threats and lawsuits filed last winter. First there was the $150 million lawsuit against Dr. Werner Spitz who made it clear, after investigating the case for a number of years, he was of the opinion that Burke Ramsey was responsible for his sister’s death. Next was the whopping $750 million slander suit against CBS, and others, involved in the making of the September 2016 documentary.
With the exception of some brief local Michigan coverage that showed Burke in court with his lawyer Lin Wood, there hasn’t been much else reported on the status of the suits. One can always log on to the court site (The Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan) for updates, but it’s interesting that the usually boisterous Wood hasn’t said much as of late.
Even more interesting is
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By Juror13 and guest-blogger, Cottonstar
That wasn’t the jury’s decision. More importantly, John Ramsey knew that wasn’t their decision when he and Patsy co-wrote their book the following year. That’s fraud. Rather than saying we weren’t formally indicted by the DA, which is factually true, he chose to manipulate the narrative and instead say the jury – a group of their peers – vindicated them. They did not.
One would think, now that the grand jury indictments are public knowledge after Judge Robert Lowenbach unsealed them in 2013, that John would be a little humbler with his responses regarding the jury’s vote.
When asked by CNN in September 2016 how he felt about being…
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The trial judge’s failure to protect Arias sufficiently from
the massive, pervasive and prejudicial publicity during her
trial violated her right to a fair trial.
The trial court violated Arias’s right to confront witnesses
and the Rules of Evidence when it allowed Officer
Friedman to repeat statements made to him by Arias’s
grandparents regarding a .25 caliber handgun that was
allegedly stolen from their home during a burglary.
The trial court abused its discretion when she allowed the
state’s expert to testify regarding Arias’s mental state at
the time of the crime.
Arias was forced to wear a stun belt throughout trial, thus
violating her right to a fair trial.
The trial court committed clear error when she refused to
reinstate panelists after the defense brought the
prosecutor’s improper peremptory strikes to her attention.
Pervasive and persistent prosecutorial misconduct denied
Arias her rights to due process and a fair trial.
….For these reasons, Arias respectfully requests that her conviction for First Degree Murder be reversed.
We can expect to see the Answering Brief (in response) by January 4, 2019
by Cottonstar and Juror13
What should we make of the pink Barbie nightgown (12KKY) that was found next to JonBenét’s body in the wine cellar? It’s a piece of evidence that doesn’t fit the scene. It doesn’t belong.
There’s long been what we believe to be a myth that the nightgown is somehow innocently lying next to JonBenét as a random grab from the dryer or a symbol of comfort left by the killer or an accessory who had some sympathy for her.
There’s no question that at some point during or after the murder, based on her injuries and evidence of wiping, JonBenét’s clothing was removed and possibly changed. With that in mind, what does a discarded piece of clothing owned by the victim tell us?
We believe it’s a critical piece of evidence that’s long been ignored. Let’s examine why.
In 2000, Barbara Walters asked the Ramseys about the nightgown in the wine cellar. This is what John had to say:
JOHN: That’s a very strange… that nightgown should not have been there. It’s, it’s, a clue of some type. We don’t know what.
John is right. It is strange. It shouldn’t be there. Perhaps this next bit of info will shed some light on why it is…
In the last days of 1996, DNA tests revealed JonBenét’s pink nightgown had blood stains on it. Those stains belonged to JonBenét.
Why does her nightgown that supposedly hadn’t been worn that night, or the night before, have her blood on it? Furthermore, why is it balled up next to JonBenét at the murder scene?
An even bigger question to ponder… when JonBenét was found, she wasn’t outwardly bleeding from any exposed areas of her body, so when did that blood get on the nightgown?
Now, take that information and ask yourself, if there’s significance to Burke’s tDNA being found on four areas of her nightgown?
We mentioned this in our last post. Burke could NOT be excluded on ALL FOUR of the areas tested on the nightgown.
When John was questioned in 1998, he appears to let a clue slip.
JOHN: I laid her on the bed. I didn’t — I don’t remember the cover, if the bed was made or not, but I laid her on the bed. Because I knew Patsy would follow up to put her NIGHTGOWN on and get her ready for bed.
Why doesn’t anybody discuss this? Certainly, Lacy and the Ramseys haven’t for obvious reasons. But if any third-party DNA was found on the nightgown, such as Karr’s, or the “Unknown Male 1’s”, then you can bet there would have been a press conference the same day.
What we’re looking for is what Kolar refers to as a “nexus of contact”. He found that in the undigested pineapple in JonBenét’s system and Burke’s fingerprints on the bowl containing the pineapple. We found it in the blood on her nightgown along with Burke’s skin cells.
Both nexuses between brother and sister occurred, presumably, after the Ramseys returned home on Christmas night. Isn’t this further evidence of JonBenét being awake after they returned? A nightgown belonging to JonBenét, with JonBenét’s blood on it, is lying next to her body in the wine cellar with Burke’s tDNA all over it. Not in one spot or two spots – four spots – on the exterior and interior of the bottom hem, and on the front and back of her right and left shoulder.
We believe JonBenét was wearing the nightgown when she was assaulted on Christmas night. We theorize the gown was left next to her on purpose but not with the intention of undoing or caring, but rather as a place to dump all blood evidence in the basement.
All opinions and conclusions included in this post are our own and we don’t claim to know the killer of JonBenét. Our goal is to uncover and bring to light the lesser-known truths of this case.
by Cottonstar and Juror13
We’ve known about the DNA report discovery since 2016, but we’re taking it a step further. Just like Alex Hunter kept the Ramsey indictments secret with the intention of them never being found out, so too did Mary Lacy with the tDNA results from 2007. The reason WHY deserves examination.
It’s maddening when you hear Lacy make statements like: “The public assumes they know more based on what they see in the media, and that’s the part that’s personally difficult for me.” – spoken to journalist, Heath Urie in December 2008
The joke of the matter is Lacy deliberately made sure the public didn’t have all the information. She publicly issued an exoneration letter to the Ramseys without showing us anything to back up her claims that the DNA pointed to a killer, and away from anybody in the family.
She also withheld the tidbit that Burke Ramsey couldn’t be excluded from some of those results.
“Cannot be excluded” means just that – the individual cannot and should not be ruled out as a suspect. Lacy, a seasoned prosecutor, knows this and yet, we have this…
From Lacy’s letter to John Ramsey in 2008:
“…new scientific evidence convinces us that it is appropriate, given the circumstances of this case, to state that we do not consider your immediate family, including you, your wife, Patsy, and your son, Burke, to be under any suspicion in the commission of this crime.”
“The Bode Technology laboratory was able to develop a profile from DNA recovered from the two sides of the long johns. The previously identified profile from the crotch of the underwear worn by JonBenét at the time of the murder matched the DNA recovered from the long johns at Bode.”
In the chart below, the mixed sample collected (in 1996) from the blood stains on the crotch of JonBenét’s underwear is compared to JonBenét’s and Burke’s DNA, as well as the profile identified as “Unknown Male 1”. You can see that “Unknown Male 1” is essentially a column for remaining contribution, or what I prefer to call leftover alleles, that don’t match JonBenét’s. The leftover male alleles are how the “Unknown Male 1” came to be. In the comparison below, you can see that Burke’s alleles are consistent with the alleles from the bloodstain sample in 10 out of 13 markers.
Burke and the “Unknown Male 1” have some interesting similarities, don’t they?
More from Lacy’s “exoneration”:
“The match of male DNA on two separate items of clothing (the underwear and long johns) worn by the victim at the time of the murder makes it clear to us that an unknown male handled these items. Despite substantial efforts over the years to identify the source of this DNA, there is no innocent explanation for its incriminating presence at three sites on these two different items of clothing that JonBenét was wearing at the time of the murder.”
“Based on the DNA results and our serious consideration of all the other evidence, we are comfortable that the profile now in CODIS is the profile of the perpetrator of this murder.”
Lacy repeatedly and boldly refers to the unknown individual as an individual – one person. But the DNA summary couldn’t be clearer. “The remaining DNA contribution should not be considered a single source profile.”
The bogus “Unknown Male 1” profile has unsurprisingly been sitting in CODIS for more than a decade with zero hits.
So, was the “Unknown Male 1” profile a scam all along? In other words, was Lacy pointing us one way to prevent us from looking elsewhere? If she was, Why?
The “Unknown Male 1” has been revealed to be a lie, a myth by design, a farce – it’s never been one person, so we’re not saying the profile is solely Burke. But…that profile is comprised of real people (plural), and we believe there’s enough information to support that Burke is part of the mix. More to the point, that his presence is masked by creating a phantom, single person “Unknown Male 1”.
This idea that Burke’s presence at the murder scene is being masked is bolstered when you add in the findings on the pink nightgown. This also was never publicly revealed until James Kolar revealed it in his book, Foreign Faction.
Burke could also not be excluded as a contributor to ALL four spots that were tested on the pink nightgown found next to JonBenét’s violated body.
It’s interesting that with the advancement of DNA, Mary Lacy became more insistent on ruling out suspects based on whether or not they matched “Unknown Male 1”. It’s a perfect safety net to protect someone from being tied to the scene, while preventing an innocent person from being convicted (John Mark Karr).
“…this is a DNA case and that the best chance for solving the case will be a hit and match on the DNA in the future.” – Lin Wood, 9News, October 2016
To be clear: Burke Ramsey cannot be excluded as a contributor to the tDNA on the waistband of the long johns that JonBenét was found in. Furthermore, on all four samples tested on the pink Barbie nightgown, including the front and back of the hem area, Burke Ramsey’s tDNA is present.
For more analysis on the pink Barbie nightgown and the evidence it reveals, check out our next post, The Pink Nightgown Paradox.
All opinions and conclusions included in this post are our own and we don’t claim to know the killer of JonBenét. Our goal is to uncover and bring to light the lesser-known truths of this case.
From the chapter, On To Rockingham:
At the same exact time over on Rockingham, O.J. wasn’t answering his buzzer. We’re going to pick up the evidence trail right here, leaving San Vicente on June 12th, 1994 at 22:50. From there to Rockingham Avenue it’s approximately a two to three minute drive if you’re hauling ass.
While the Bronco is speeding home Allan Park, an inexperienced limo driver, is waiting outside O.J.’s Rockingham residence. Pay attention to the following facts, because 477 days later [68 weeks and 1 day] the jury would review only one item of evidence – Allan Park’s testimony.
On June 12, 1994, Park had worked for Town and Country Limousine for only three months, having been hired by the owner, Dale St. John, who lived across the street. Being in Southern California, Park had already driven several celebrities, including Garth Brooks, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Faye Dunaway. But when St. John told him to pick up Simpson — the Hall of Fame football player-turned-actor and sports commenter — Park was especially interested. “Of all the people I had driven, I was the most excited about driving him,” Park said. “Just because I’m a big sports fan — I love football. He was an incredible running back.”…Park was supposed to have driven Simpson a couple of previous times, but those trips fell through…
Now at least five minutes must go by between Shively seeing a man in a white Bronco and Park seeing the lights going on at Rockingham. Half a minute to a minute of that time is spent playing dodgems but going nowhere, two to three minutes are spent getting the Bronco to Rockingham, and another two to three minutes is spent…waiting for the right moment to sneak back inside.
What happens in those six or seven minutes after Shively sees the Bronco is critical to the evidence trail in this trial. Let’s start following the evidence trail at….
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