Releasing letters in ad
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Next Ramsey ad to include letters from ransom note
By ALLI KRUPSKI
Camera Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 30, 1997
An advertisement scheduled for this Sunday's Camera will include samples of individual letters from the handwritten ransom note found by JonBenet Ramsey's mother on Dec. 26.
Ramsey representatives also will distribute fliers detailing the writing on the note "sometime this week," Ramsey spokeswoman Rachelle Zimmer said Tuesday.
The parents of the aspiring beauty queen hope someone will recognize the "distinctive" penmanship and provide information leading to the arrest of the killer of JonBenet, the 6-year-old discovered strangled on Dec. 26.
Since the slaying, Patsy Ramsey has supplied authorities with five handwriting samples. A Colorado Bureau of Investigation anaylsis of the writing ruled out John Ramsey as the author of the note, but hasn't excluded his wife.
John Ramsey, however, recently lashed out at the police investigation into his daughter's homicide. Sunday, the Ramseys placed an ad in the Camera appealing for the public's assistance in solving the crime. The ad listed the Ramseys' tip line as well as characteristics the murderer might have displayed before and after the slaying.
This Sunday's ad will include handwriting samples of a capital "M," "D" and "W," a lower-case "k," "u," "f," "r" and "w," as well some "unusual" connecting letters, such as "Th," according to Zimmer.
Christina Kelley, a forensic document examiner with the Lakewood Police Department, said releasing characters from the note may help apprehend the perpetrator.
"In one case in Florida, they posted the killer's writing on a billboard and they actually solved the case because someone called the police after recognizing the writing," Kelley said.
Nevertheless, publicizing only specific letters may not identify the author, Kelley said. "I can't really tell if the handwriting characteristics (in the Ramseys ad) are significant or not because handwriting identification is based on an accumulation of habits of the author, and one letter wouldn't really represent all of the intricate habits that a person has," Kelley said.
Added former FBI criminal profiler Gregg McCrary:
"If this note is an attempt to disguise writing, then (advertising the letters) will be of less of value because it's not how the person normally writes." McCrary has 25 years of experience working with handwriting experts.
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