The 911 call
The tape first aired on the TODAY show, on July 8th, 2003.  The 911 tape had NEVER been played publicly before.

In an email Lin Wood sent to jameson:  "I gave NBC the actual 911 cassette tape provided to me and when I got it back on Tuesday, I overnighted it to King for Wednesday delivery. I have not made a copy as I wanted NBC and CNN to have the actual 911 cassette tape provided to me by the DA's office."

Listen to the 911 tape as played on the TODAY show, HERE!

Scripps also has the tape available, but it is a shorter version - you can listen to that HERE.

But the longest copy was converted by a poster (Dave) and that is HERE



        Dispatcher: 911 emergency


         Patsy:  Police!

         Dispatcher: What's going on?

         Patsy: I'm at seven fifty-five 15th Street.

         Dispatcher: What's going on there, ma'am?

         Patsy: We have a kidnapping. Hurry, please.

         Dispatcher: Explain to me what's going on, OK?

         Patsy: There, we have a, there's a note left and our daughter's gone.

         Dispatcher: A note was left and your daughter is gone?

         Patsy: Yes.

         Dispatcher: How old is your daughter?

         Patsy: She's six years old. She's blonde, six years old.

         Dispatcher: How long ago was this?

         Patsy: I don't know. I just found the note and my daughter's gone.

         Dispatcher: Does it say who took her?

         Patsy: What?

         Dispatcher: Does it say who took her?

         Patsy: No. I don't know. It's, there's a, there's a ransom note here.

         Dispatcher: It's a ransom note?

         Patsy: It's say SBTC, victory. Please.

         Dispatcher: OK, what's your name? Are you Pats...

         Patsy: Patsy Ramsey, I'm the mother. Oh, my God! Please!

         Dispatcher: I'm, OK, I'm sending an officer over, OK?

         Patsy: Please!

         Dispatcher: Do you know how long she's been gone?

         Patsy: No, I don't. Please, we just got up and she's not here. Oh, my God! Please!

         Dispatcher: OK, calm...

         Patsy: Please send somebody.

         Dispatcher: I am, honey.

         Patsy: Please.

         Dispatcher: Take a deep breath for me, OK?

         Patsy: Hurry. Hurry. Hurry!

         Dispatcher: Patsy! Patsy? Patsy? Patsy?


After the 2nd "Patsy", there is a click that appears to be the sound of Patsy hanging up the phone.
After the last "Patsy". there is clicking that most believe is the sound of the 911 operator typing.

This tape, this transcript, is in total disagreement with Steve Thomas' report.

Read this Q&A, taken from a chat Steve Thomas had with Bill Bickel, an Internet chat host.

crimeADM: "Did you hear the 911 tape personally... and if so, once and for all, was Burke on it?"

Steve Thomas: "I heard the 911 tape, repeatedly, as did the other detectives. The consensus was unanimous, as supported by the enhancement-- there is a 3rd voice on the tape, appears to be Burke  ... unless there was someone else present who has never been identified."

No one but Steve Thomas has come forward and said they heard a third voice or the conversations he reported.  Aerospace tells media they "stand by their work", but they will not share a report so no one really knows what 'their work" means.  And now we can all hear that cassette tape - - there is no third voice.

So where did the third voice come from?

The following information has been attributed to an unnamed inside source.  I have reason to believe this source was a secretary-type who was listening in on conversations between the BPD and others....  and it concerns me because it seems (to me) to show an investigation anxious to put this crime on the Ramseys.

We have heard the tape, it makes the first sentence of this account seem....  whatever .... I will leave it to the reader to decide for themselves.

         "While re-listening to the recording of the 911 call made by Patsy in the early morning of December 26, detectives thought they could hear a conversation in the background while Patsy was attempting to hang up the phone. On April 21, Det. Melissa Hickman flew to Los Angeles to meet with Mike Epstein and Jim Roeder, engineers at Aerospace Corporation, for purposes of enhancing the recording of the 911 call received at the Boulder Regional Dispatch Center.

         At her first meeting with the three engineers, Hickman was told that it appeared that the cassette had been recorded in a Dictaphone format which would require a special recorder to re-copy. Hickman drove to the nearest Dictaphone company which was located in the San Fernando Valley. A Dictaphone technician examined the tape and told Hickman that the information was not recorded in Dictaphone format. Hickman, feeling the frustration of the proverbial goose chase, returned to her hotel.

         That evening, Roeder called her at the hotel and asked her to return to Aerospace. Roeder had decided that the tape probably had been recorded on a regular format which could be copied digitally by their computer. A hard drive disk was made of the tape, and this disk was copied to a JAZ drive, a large disk with more memory than a standard floppy disk.

         On the morning of April 22, Hickman met again with Roeder in his office at Aerospace. The detective and the engineer went to a small lab to work with the disk to try to filter out extraneous noise and enhance the voices in the background. Roeder made several variations using different noise reduction settings, and those recordings were then copied onto the JAZ drive. They returned to Roeder's office where they were able to further enhance the disk. With this latest enhancement, they were able to hear two voices on the tape - one of which sounded like a juvenile male, and the second one appeared to be Patsy. The first words seemed to belong to the juvenile, and then Patsy is heard to say, "Help me Jesus, help me Jesus." The voice again appeared to be the "juvenile male saying, "Please, what do I do?'' Hickman and Roeder agreed to meet again in the morning to continue enhancing the tape.

         When Hickman returned to Aerospace the next morning to meet with Roeder, he said that he had continued listening to the disk after Hickman had left for the evening. He and another engineer had played the original version of the 911 call that had been transferred to the JAZ drive and found that to be the clearest recording. Both engineers had heard three distinct voices on the tape and written down that they thought was being said. The tape was then played for Hickman. After listening to the tape three or four times, Hickman heard John Ramsey say “We're not speaking to you”. In what sounded like a very angry voice. Patsy then says, “Help me Jesus, help me Jesus,” and finally Burke is clearly heard to say, “ Well, what did you find?”, with an emphasis on the word “did.” After Hickman told the engineers her impression of the conversation, Roeder handed her a piece of notepaper containing the conversation heard by himself and his fellow engineer – the conversation as written down was exactly as Hickman herself had just heard."

It seems that the BPD was out to invent evidence. That is my honest take on this at the moment - - a very disturbing view of what was going on.

After the tape was released on the TODAY show, Dateline did a more in depth report, then Larry King devoted an hour to the story.  An excerpt:

     LARRY KING: Steve Thomas, who appeared on this show with the Ramseys accused Patsy of being the murderer. He was the one that claimed JonBenét's brother, Burke, could be heard at the end of the 911 tape.

     WOOD: Absolutely, and that information was leaked out from the Boulder Police Department in September of 1998. Again, allegedly the smoking gun, the objective proof that the Ramseys were lying.  Well, in fact, that conversation is not on that tape. It's been enhanced by the FBI, the Secret Service, they found nothing. I gave it to one of the rival networks, NBC News. They hired two independent experts. They tested it. There absolutely is no voice on there discernible that belongs to Burke or John or Patsy.

     KING: We had Patsy being interrogated by investigators about the 911 call and whether or not she talked to anyone else at the end of the call. Let's listen to that from 1998.

                       (BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

                       TOM HANEY: Was there any conversation immediately following your last words to the dispatcher?

                       P. RAMSEY: I don't remember. I was out of my mind. My child was missing. I was trying to convey that to the person on the other end of the line. OK? I don't remember.   If you have it on tape and would like me to hear it, I'll listen to it and see if that jogs my memory.

                       HANEY:  It is on tape.

                       P. RAMSEY: OK. All right. Well, if you've got the tape and we can play it then I'll try and help you.

                       (END VIDEOTAPE)

                       KING: And you enhanced the tape, and there was no conversation.

                       WOOD: The test shows that there was no conversation. And you noticed that when Patsy said, "Play the tape, I'll listen. Maybe it will jog my memory." They don't play the tape.

                       KING: Where did they get the idea from?

                       WOOD: You know, Larry, there was a --  the evidence was established that there was, in fact, a plan by the Boulder Police Department to leak information accusatory to the Ramseys to the media, in an effort to convince the public that they were guilty, to pressure them so that somehow they might confess.   I think that this tape was part of that plan; it's objective evidence of that plan. It was either intentional fabrication or it was the product of an imaginative but prejudiced mind. Because you listen to the tape as a lay person, there's no way that at the end of the tape the background noise could be a conversation. There's no way that a wall phone could not have been hung up.      It was leaked, it was damaging. It's one of many things that was leaked about this family that I think has led to a public perception that they were involved, a perception, by the way, which I think has dramatically changed in the last several months in terms of how people feel about this family, how the public...

                       KING: Now the public looks at it differently.

                       WOOD: I think the public gets it. I think that they understand that this family was, in fact, victimized by a biased investigation, a flawed and failed investigation.

A few comments:
1. I wish they had let that bit of the interrogation tape air just 10 seconds longer.  Patsy asked Tom Haney to play the tape - she said, "Well, if you've got the tape and we can play it then I'll try and help you.", and he changed the subject.  He asked her for the date of JonBenét's birth.

2. I would point out that Haney said there was "something" on the tape - - he didn't say Burke's voice was there.

3. I have been in the house with journalists, and there actually WAS an incident where we handled the phone and the phone did not properly hang up.  That does NOT appear to be what happened on the morning of the 26th, but I need to report that it did happen at least once at a later date.

Now, CBS, 48 Hours, had also been working on a Ramsey piece.  That program was expected to air in May, but it was pulled, and the reason became fodder for many discussions on the forum.

Newspapers reported that CBS "declined to air the tape because there was also a compact disc copy of the 911 call with more noises at the end that could not conclusively be analyzed."  They quoted Al Briganti, executive editor of 48 Hours - "Our own analysis showed that there was something there. It's almost impossible to detect what it was.  It was in conflict with what Lin (Wood) felt was on the tape, so we felt we didn't really have a story."

I had met Mr. Briganti before and wrote to him for his thoughts.  He allowed me to post this on my forum:
         "We never came to a conclusion as to what exactly was on the full 911 audio. On the CD
         loaned to us, one does hear some noise after what appears to be a hang up attempt. Our
         expert and even one of NBC?s concluded as much, but interestingly the Katie Couric report
         never made much of this. The question remains what is that noise, and does it rise to the level
         of the discussion described by Steve Thomas? We certainly were not able to confirm that. But,
         neither were we able to confirm that there was ?nothing? at the end of the tape as Lin Wood
         contends. Any serious journalist wishing to advance this heavily reported story would have to
         answer those questions."

Since the CD was a copy of the cassette, didn't exist until some time in 2003 and included more "noise" than the cassette, I don't feel CBS should have given it the weight they did.  But in any case, they are not saying they heard voices on the tape, not at all.

Some BORG argue that we need to hear the "enhanced" tape to hear the voices.

Well, the "enhanced" tapes that Steve Thomas spoke about are unavailable to the public.  The Boulder police and DA have not shared them.

But several others have "enhanced" the cassette and CD since they have been made available - for network TV and for attorneys and just for the Hell of it - - and not one has come up with a tape that has a conversation on it.

If anyone has "enhanced" that tape and feels they have uncovered a real conversation, with identifiable words, if they are willing to take credit for same, I will include it on this page.

That only seems fair.



"Update on 911 enhancement" - August 24, 2003
         Dave has been doing all he could to clean up and enhance the 911 casette and CD tapes. He has
         asked that these new copies be shared and I am happy to do that.

         Tape 1 is the casette tape - the one that the BPD had enhanced long ago, the one Lin Wood shared
         with the networks. In the casette, I don't hear anything that I would bring to any lab to enhance. At
         the end, I think Patsy hangs up while the 911 operator was calling her name. Then I hear what I would
         think is the tape recorder - the repeated sound that sounds just like my own reel-to-reel turning a

         Tape 3 is the enhancement of the end of the casette tape- - the section where the BPD says they
         heard conversation. Please listen to it.

         Tape 2 is the CD. The CD was made in 2003 as part of a larger project - the BPD started putting all
         the 911 calls on CD for more secure storage - - and the Ramsey 911 call was included. In the CD, we
         hear much more, the actual moment when the operator starts talking to Patsy. In some ways, the CD
         isn't as good as the casette - BUT I think it is very important because it DOES contain the noises at
         the front of the conversation. IfI had been investigating the case, I might have had THOSE parts
         enhanced, but that did NOT happen. At first I didn't understand why the BPD had cut off the front of
         the 911 tape - - butnow I think I do know. I think the police heard what I heard - - the same
         repeated sound found at the end of the tape. Listen for yourself and see if you agree. Then realize
         that if the sound was there before and after - - - it is hardly likely the sound was from the Ramsey
         house at all - - it was more likely from the recording equipment at the 911 emergency center.

         Tape 4 is an MP3 file that is made up of three loops from
         the audio CD track.
         In the Left channel are various audio sections, one from the point
         before the call is answered, from the supposed Burke voice, and from
         the extra CD stuff at the very end.
         In the Right channel is the supposed John voice.

         What do YOU hear?

         A report from Dave follows to document what he did - - be warned that it may be detailed and
         confusing to some of us....

         He mentions two more bits and I will put them here asap.

         This is what Dave says about them:
         "They are from the cassette tape, comparing the timing of the supposed Burke and supposed John
         voices. They are filtered out in a way that shows that they cannot be voices over the Ramsey phone
         line, and they are compared to each other in Left and Right stereo channels so you can hear that the
         timing is suspiciously similar. This leads me to conclude that they are NOT voices, and that there is
         something too mechanical about them, suggesting a mechanical origin."

         Report to follow.

         (for the record, the enhancement done by Aerospace for the Boulder police is not public. I think it may
         well be sealed as "grand jury evidence" and that would mean NO ONE has heard it since the grand jury

Dave's Report

Audio Analysis of the 911 Call
         of Patsy Ramsey

         20 August 2003, 24 August 2003

         "Dave" on Jameson's Webbsleuths (


         Copies of the recording of the emergency 911 call made by Patsy Ramsey were analyzed using audio
         software; results are discussed. It is concluded that purported conversation between the Ramseys is a
         combination of several different noise sources that give only the appearance of conversation. MP3®
         files have been produced which demonstrate both spectral differences between noise sources and the
         similarity between different sections of the recordings in terms of timing and cadence, suggesting a
         repetitive, mechanical source for some of the sources.


         On 26 December 1996, Patsy Ramsey, then of Boulder, Colorado, made a 911 emergency call to the
         Boulder Regional Communication Center to report the kidnapping of her daughter, JonBenét. The 911
         call was recorded, and very recently (July 2003) the Boulder County District Attorney's office has
         released audio copies of Patsy Ramsey's 911 call in the form of audio cassette tapes and audio CD's.

         A controversy has existed ever since 1997 as to whether or not the recording of the 911 call contains
         unintentionally overheard conversation between members of the Ramsey family after the point where it
         was assumed that Patsy had hung up the phone. Some of those investigating the case of the murder
         of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey seem to think that this issue is a very important one while others
         believe that regardless of what is on the tape, it is of very little evidentiary value, unless it is a
         confession of some sort. The main issue appears to be whether or not Burke Ramsey, JonBenét's older
         brother, was awake at the time of the 911 call. The Ramseys had maintained that Burke was asleep at
         this time while certain investigators had maintained that he was awake and speaking with his parents,
         therefore that the elder Ramseys engaged in some sort of deception, so perhaps lied about the
         circumstances surrounding the death of their daughter.

         This report contains a technical discussion of testing that was done on both an audio cassette
         recording and an audio CD that were obtained from the Boulder County DA's office. The audio cassette
         and CD track are described, various types of processing are discussed, including separate processing
         and testing of portions of the recordings that some believe to be conversation. The conclusion is
         reached that these purported conversations are almost certainly not actually conversation by the
         Ramseys which is being picked up over their phone line and recorded after Patsy thought she had hung
         up the phone. If there is such conversation during the controversial audio sections, it is not audible
         even after various types of enhancement. Instead it appears that different types of noise with
         different spectral characteristics are superimposed in such a manner as to produce the appearance of
         voices. The appearance of voices would no doubt be especially strong in the presence of imagination
         empowered by suggestion and wishful thinking.

         Audio Processing

         A cassette tape and an audio CD of the emergency 911 call made by Patsy Ramsey on 26 December
         1996 were obtained from the Boulder County District Attorney's office in Boulder, Colorado. For a more
         complete description of the audio processing steps applied, please refer to the Appendix. What follows
         here is a summary in text form, but is still intended primarily for a technical audience.

         The "tape" was a recording on a common-usage, 120-minute audio cassette, a Maxell® UR,
         normal-bias tape. This tape was played on a Pioneer® CW-650R dual-cassette tape deck. A digitized
         version was produced by feeding the output of the tape deck into a Behringer® Eurorack MX802A
         mixer, the output of which was fed into a Terratech EWX-2496 mastering sound card that was
         installed in a Pentium III® computer. The recording software was Steinberg® WaveLab(tm) Lite, set
         for monophonic recording, 24-bit, 96,000 samples per second.

         The "CD track" was a single audio track on a generic, brandless CD-R or CD-RW, probably CD-R. The
         track data were so-called CD quality or 16-bit, 44,100 samples per second, stereo (actually dual
         monophonic). The audio track was ripped from the CD track using Ahead's Nero® CD burning software
         that was bundled with a Creative Labs® 8432E CD/RW CD burner, reportedly a relabeled Plextor®. The
         stereo image was discovered to be two completely identical monophonic tracks. The left channel of
         the CD track was then upsampled to a monophonic, 24-bit, 96,000 samples per second WAV file using
         Syntrillium's CoolEdit® 2000.

         Both the tape and the upsampled CD track were then processed through EXE Consulting's Engulf
         Audio(tm) software to produce a high-quality stereo image. This high-quality stereo image simulates a
         binaural recording, including stereo separation, echo, and reverb, all calculated in a self-consistent
         manner by solving the 3-D wave equation for a point source in a large enclosure. The simulated
         environment was a large concert hall. The absorption (reverb time T60) was set to 0.30 seconds for
         100 Hz and 0.20 seconds for 4,000 Hz. These reverb times are very short for a large concert hall, but
         the tape is conversation, so the absorption was increased (T60 decreased). As is well known, reverb
         times should be shorter for speech than for orchestral music in order to maintain speech
         comprehension. The ideal listening environment for this simulated binaural recording is studio- quality
         headphones, but with the fast absorption (short reverb times), the use of computer speakers in an
         acoustically dead office space was found to be acceptable. We used primarily studio-quality
         headphones for our testing. Normally, this type of step would be performed later rather than earlier.
         The reason for performing this step first was to create a stereo image so that following processing
         steps could be more readily monitored using studio-quality headphones.

         Both stereo images were subjected to dynamics processing (compression and expansion) to bring up
         low-level sounds, then noise-reduced using Syntrillium's CoolEdit 2000. Noiseprints were taken from the
         stereo images themselves during relatively quiet sections. The tape, in particular, produced a very
         noise-free 24/96 stereo WAV file. The CD track was very noisy to begin with, so didn't produce as
         noise-free a WAV file.

         Both 24/96 stereo WAV files were then downsampled to CD-quality (16- bit, 44,100 stereo) images,
         then compressed using the Fraunhofer Institute's MP3 algorithms, licensed by Syntrillium for their
         CoolEdit 2000 program. The images were compressed at a rate of 256 KBits per second. They are joint
         stereo, MPEG-1, layer 3. (See Reference <2> for a summary of MP3).

         General Characteristics of Recordings

         The cassette recording begins with Patsy Ramsey saying, "?55 Fifteenth Street." The "7" digit is cut
         off at the beginning, but something sounding like the ending "n" sound can be heard. It is possible that
         whoever made the cassette tape copy neglected to take into account the unmagnetized tape leader
         at the beginning of the cassette tape.

         The cassette recording ends with what appears to be typing by the 911 dispatcher. There is a final
         louder click sound as if the dispatcher hit a particular key harder than the others. The CD track begins
         with buzzing, a quick series of pops, a couple of separated pops, more buzzing, a very brief amount of
         noise, then a click which probably was the connection to the Ramsey phone line being made. Patsy
         Ramsey utters something immediately after the click, then the dispatcher says, "911 Emergency."
         Patsy then utters something else which cannot easily be distinguished, then says, "Police!" The 911
         dispatcher starts saying, "What's going..." Then Patsy says, "?55 Fifteenth Street," the point where
         the cassette recording starts. It is difficult to hear the "7" of the Ramsey home address in this case
         because the 911 dispatcher is talking at that point, as Patsy interrupts her.

         The CD track appears to contain another audio section beyond the point where the cassette tape
         recording ends. Immediately after the point where the cassette recording ends at what sounds like a
         final, loud key click, there is a three or four second section of a buzzing sound on the CD track, the
         same as that at the beginning of the track. Then there is a very brief section of noise like an open
         microphone followed by a pop. Following this is a section of noise similar to that which can be heard
         earlier in the track, immediately after the 911 dispatcher said, "Patsy?" for the last time and prior to
         her typing sounds. This later noise section is three or four seconds long. A short series of pops occurs,
         then a short section of buzzing sound on top of the noise ends the CD track.

         The bulk of the recordings are very similar, as would be expected. A very notable difference between
         the recordings is that popping noises occur throughout the CD track that cannot be heard on the
         cassette tape recording. The CD track is in general much noisier than the cassette recording. It
         appears to be a poor-quality digitized version of what is contained on the cassette tape plus additional
         preceding and succeeding audio; however, it does contain this additional, critically important
         information, from a forensic standpoint, at the beginning and end of the track. These additional audio
         sections were used to draw conclusions about the controversial audio sections which some claim
         contain conversation. It is important to note that the controversial sections are NOT contained in the
         additional audio sections that are only on the CD track; the controversial sections potentially
         containing barely perceptible conversation are on BOTH the cassette recording and the CD track.

         Purported Conversation

         The audio section of both the tape and the CD track that contains purported conversation begins
         shortly after the 911 dispatcher says, "Patsy?" for the fourth time with noise that could possibly be
         interpreted as "We're not speaking to you" and ends with a very brief bit of noise resembling "What did
         you find?" and containing what sounds like a final, hard keystroke. A separate MP3 file was created for
         this particular section from the audio cassette. This should help listeners locate the controversial
         section without having to search for it. This section has slightly different audio processing performed
         on it in order to help bring out the purported conversation so that listeners can easily identify the
         "We're not speaking to you" and "What DID you find" sections. Please refer to the Appendix for more
         complete details on audio processing of this section.

         Analysis of Noise

         Several loops were created from short audio sections extracted from both the digitized cassette tape
         and the ripped CD track. Audio sections were extracted from the purported conversation between the
         Ramseys after the 911 call was assumed to be completed, from a section prior to the 911 call being
         connected to Patsy Ramsey, and from another section on the CD track which appears not to be the
         call from Patsy, but is perhaps part of the recording of a subsequent call.

         Immediately prior to the connection being made to Patsy Ramsey, there is a very brief audio section
         (hereinafter #1) on the CD track that contains noise that sounds as though it could possibly be
         conversation. After the last time the 911 dispatcher says, "Patsy?" (the fourth time), there is another
         audio section (#2) which is relatively quiet except for some noise which sounds as though it could also
         possibly be conversation. It has been alleged at various times since December 1996 that this
         conversation was John Ramsey saying something like, "We're not speaking to you." This audio section
         is contained on both the cassette tape and the CD track. At the time near the last audible (what is
         assumed to be) key press by the 911 dispatcher, there is another section (#3) with noise which could
         possibly be conversation. This has been alleged to be Burke Ramsey saying something like, "What DID
         you find?" This section is contained on both the cassette tape and the CD track. A final audio section
         (#4) containing similar noise to section #2 is contained only on the CD track and follows a section of
         buzzing which resembles that of an amplified ground loop where the ground loop is close to electrical
         equipment such as a computer. Section #4 also sounds like #1 which is immediately prior to the
         connection being made to the Ramsey phone line.

         This last audio section lasts about seven seconds and is somewhat of a mystery. It is not contained
         on the cassette tape at all, and it appears to have nothing whatsoever to do with the call from Patsy.
         The intervening buzzing sound between the audio sections #3 and #4 is very similar to the buzzing
         sound at the very beginning of the CD track, before audio section #1 starts. During both of these
         buzzing sounds, there is no audible input whatsoever, that is no discernible background noise such as
         from an open microphone or anything else such as that. This intervening buzzing sound is the
         strongest evidence that audio section #4 has nothing to do with Patsy's call. It is fortuitous, however,
         that it appears to have the same type of noise as does the recording of Patsy's call, as if it were from
         the same original recording system, perhaps something like a hangup call that came in soon after
         Patsy's call.

         The extracted audio sections were processed again, separately from the rest of the recordings, in
         order to determine whether or not they contained conversation. It was noted early on that these
         noises had higher frequencies than should be passed over the Ramsey phone line; they were also very
         mechanical sounding in their cadence and precision and in their apparently repetitive nature.

         Certain of these audio sections were overlaid with each other, one in the stereo Left channel, the
         other in the stereo Right channel. With this arrangement, the timing of the audio sections could be
         independently altered until a common sound was heard from both the Left and Right channels. If some
         sort of repetitive machine noise was present, it should be possible to synchronize the sounds from the
         two channels so that they became one, at least for any common, repetitive source. We found that we
         could do this with, for example, section #2 in the Right channel and each of the others in the Left
         channel. The composite sections were then looped a number of times for ease of listening. It is much
         easier to comprehend a short audio section if it is repeated a number of times.

         The cassette recording was judged to be probably the most faithful rendition of the master recording
         (evidence tape), even though we did not have access to this master. We judge this because of the
         excessive amount of extra noise on the CD track. With respect to the digitized audio cassette
         recording , it was possible to overlay only audio sections #2 and #3 because sections #1 and #4 were
         not present on the audio tape. Nevertheless, it was possible to find a particular offset time, the same
         as for the CD track, which seemed to join these sections together. Some of the noise was very similar
         in both channels. In particular, the cadence of the two was suspiciously similar.

         Two additional loops were made from this overlay of #2 and #3 ("We're not..." and "What DID...") from
         the digitized audio cassette recording, one with low-pass filtering, the other with high-pass filtering.
         The filtering had a strong effect on certain portions of the noise and not on others, depending on
         which type of filtering was performed. If the noise had been conversation from a single individual
         uttering a sentence, one would not expect a strong filtering effect which caused the first part of the
         sentence to disappear almost completely yet leave the latter portion almost intact. One would also not
         expect two completely different utterances (one a statement and one a question, no less) by two
         different individuals to have the same cadence. Nor would one expect that word of sentences uttered
         in ordinary conversation to be precisely timed as though they were mechanically produced.

         To summarize, the loops created were:

         CD track

         1) Overlay of #2 ("We're not...") in Right channel to #1 (prior to connection) in Left channel.
         2) Overlay of #2 in Right to #3 ("What DID...") in Left.
         3) Overlay of #2 in Right to #4 (end) in Left.


         1) Overlay of #2 in Right to #3 in Left with high-pass filtering.
         2) Overlay of #2 in Right to #3 in Left with low-pass filtering.

         Please refer to the Appendix for more complete details.


         CD track:

         Overlay of #2("We're not...) to #1 (prior to connection):

         The noise loops from the CD track demonstrate a repetitive noise which is present at various times
         throughout the track. In particular, some of that repetitive noise was detected before the 911
         dispatcher answered the 911 call from Patsy Ramsey, audio section #1. A portion of this noise is
         indistinguishable that of #2. The previously purported conversation by John Ramsey, said to be
         something like, "We're not speaking to you" could very well be this repetitive noise ("We're not
         speaking...") plus a second, narrow-band "hooting" type of noise (" you") that appears to be
         centered at approximately 500 Hz, as determined from the tape overlay. The narrow-band hooting
         type of sound is repeated during the sounds that are probably the 911 dispatcher's typing. The
         repetitive noise ("We're not speaking...") may simply be drowned out at this time by the typing sounds.
         It is a part of this "We're not speaking..." section that is similar to the noise of audio section #1,
         recorded prior to the 911 dispatcher answering the call from Patsy.

         Overlay of #2 to #3 ("What DID..."):

         The overlay of sections #2 and #3 displays a very similar cadence for the two different sections. This
         should be very surprising if one is expecting John Ramsey to be saying, "We're not speaking to you"
         and Burke to be saying "What did you find?" These sections are too mechanical and precise to be
         ordinary human conversation. In addition, as just previously mentioned, the long 'u' sound of "
         you" does not have the same spectral characteristics as the part "(We're) not speaking..." because
         the high-pass filtering does away with the former but not the latter, as determined by the tape
         overlay below.

         Overlay of #2 and #4 (end of track):

         The overlay of sections #2 and #4 reveal a repetitive background noise that sounds somewhat like a
         dishwasher operating can be heard in both channels at the same cadence. The cadence is precise
         enough that it would appear to be a machine noise rather than speech, unless someone is purposefully
         speaking in a very mechanical and unnatural manner.

         Summary of CD track overlays:

         Our conclusion is that there is no discernible conversation during the purported "We're not speaking to
         you" and "What DID you find?" sections of the CD track, but that these are instead composed of
         background noises, possibly modulated by the recording equipment, for example the automatic gain
         control (AGC) which is particularly evident after loud keystrokes. In particular, the section that
         precedes the 911 dispatcher's answering of the 911 call (#1) cannot possibly contain speech by the
         Ramseys, yet this early background noise is indistinguishable from the noise that is part of purported
         conversation between the Ramseys (#2). One can easily fool oneself into believing that there is
         conversation, but a more careful examination of the recording, complete with comparisons of one
         section of the recording to another by superposing them together in separate stereo channels, allows
         one to hear that the background noise is repeated at various times throughout the recording. Other
         noises are recorded on top of this repetitive background noise, especially the long 'u' sound, and this
         causes the noise to appear not to be as repetitive as more complete analysis shows it to be. There is
         also some sort of automatic gain control in operation, as was previously mentioned, which may very
         well be causing the repetitive background noise to appear to come and go.

         Tape Overlay:

         When listening to the overlay of samples extracted from the digitized audio cassette recording which
         are high-pass filtered (6,500 and 16,000 Hz bandpass), one can hear ample signal of purported
         conversation which, in that case, sounds like clicking that is distinct from the clearly audible keyboard
         typing sounds. But this shouldn't be the case because phone lines have a fairly steep cutoff at about
         3,000 Hz. Moreover, the long 'u' or "hoot" sound is practically gone. With low-pass filtering (375 and
         750 Hz bandpass), we hear hooting sounds and something from the "What DID you find" purported
         conversation, but not much of the other purported conversation. Conclusion: As with the CD track
         overlay, these noises have different spectral characteristics from voice, and the hooting type of noise
         is again found to have different spectral characteristics from the clicking type of sound.

         Summary of all overlays:

         There appear to be at least four different noise sounds: the background repetitive noise, the
         purported "What DID you find," the purported "We're not speaking...,"and the " you" hooting type
         of sound. None of these have the spectral characteristics of voice over a phone line, although perhaps
         the "...not speaking..." comes closest in our analysis. These noises all have different spectral
         characteristics from each other. If someone said, "(We're) not speaking...," that same person did not
         say, " you." Also, because the hooting (" you") sound is repeated at intervals during the
         typing, and because it is fairly narrow-band, it is unlikely to be the voice of anyone. A very short
         instance of this sound is also heard after the click of Patsy's hangup, immediately before the third
         "Patsy?" The purported "What DID you find" noise is too broad band to be voice over a phone line. The
         "(We're) not speaking..." noise has too many high frequencies at certain specific times (clicks) to be
         voice over a phone line. There appears to be some sort of underlying mechanical cadence to some
         portion of all the audio sections, even though all the sections do display different spectral
         characteristics. Also of interest is that the purported audio sections and the occurrence of the hooting
         sounds during the typing occur in an almost periodic fashion <3>.


         After extensive processing and analysis, we conclude that recordings of the 911 emergency call made
         by Patsy Ramsey to report the kidnapping of her daughter JonBenét do not contain any audible
         conversation between any of the Ramseys following Patsy's hanging up the phone. There are too many
         discrepancies between the expectations of voice characteristics and the characteristics of the noises
         which some have reported as conversation for the hypothesis of additional conversation on the
         recording to be accepted. There appear instead to be several different noises with different
         characteristics, including at least one that has a cadence and is repeated. It is suggested that the
         combinations of these noises provide merely an appearance of conversation, particularly to wishful
         thinkers after the idea of conversation has been suggested to them. Unfortunately this noise has not
         only been falsely portrayed as conversation, but the idea that it is conversation has been
         bootstrapped into a demonstration of deception by the Ramseys, and then to a virtual proof of the
         guilt of at least one of the parents.

         Further work could be done to test the actual evidence tape to verify these findings, although one
         shouldn't expect that the spectral characteristics would be appreciably different; however, one may
         find that certain noises that are on the audio cassette and especially on the CD track not to be
         present on the evidence tape. One or more of the several noise sources we found may be due to
         copying rather than due to the original recording. Unless one of these potential copying artifacts is
         masking something, we expect the same conclusions would be reached regarding the lack of audible
         conversation from the Ramseys' phone line after Patsy hung up the phone. We also don't expect any
         revolutionary findings because after various enhancements, we do clearly hear something that we
         could imagine, with a little effort, to be "We're not speaking to you" and "What DID you find?" It would
         also perhaps be beneficial to produce a better-quality audio CD for distribution by the District
         Attorney's office. It may also prove beneficial to determine the actual audio environment during the
         recording of Patsy's 911 call, although it may be far too late to do that accurately if the environment
         has changed considerably.

         Thanks to the Boulder County District Attorney's office for providing the audio cassette and audio CD.
         Thanks to "Jameson" of for encouragement in this project.

         References and Notes

         <1> An attempt was made to acknowledge trademarks the first time they are encountered in this
         document. CoolEdit is a registered trademark of Syntrillium Software Corporation. WaveLab is a
         trademark and Steinberg is a registered trademark of Steinberg Media Technologies AG. Engulf Audio is
         a trademark of EXE Consulting. Pioneer is a registered trademark of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.
         Behringer is a registered trademark of Behringer International GmbH. Nero is a registered trademark of
         Ahead Software. MP3 is a registered trademark of Thomson Multimedia. Maxell is a registered
         trademark of Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. Creative Labs is a registered trademark of Creative Technology Ltd.
         Plextor is a registered trademark of Plextor Corp. Pentium III is a registered trademark of Intel
         Corporation. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Other
         trademarks are trademarks of their respective holders (obviously).

         <2> The following web page contains a good summary of what MP3 is all about as well as links to
         related pages:

         <3> The mechanically repetitive noises during this section sound something like " you,"
         "HOOT-hoot," "HOOT-hoot," "What did..." on the tape and " YOU," "hoot-hoo-hoo-HOOT,"
         "hoot-hoo-hoo-HOOT," "What did you find" on the CD track. Closer examination indicates that the
         "hooting" sounds are also composed of more than one sound. One is almost a short, squawking or
         squeaking sort of hoot whereas the other one, usually following the former by a half second or so, is
         quieter and more drawn out. The short one is particularly noticeable in two occurrences during the
         typing that follows the purported "We're not speaking to you."


         Specific processing steps.

         A) Cassette tape digitizing and processing steps were as follows to produce MP3 file:

         Recorded with Steinberg WaveLab Lite: 24-bit, 96,000, monophonic into
         a Microsoft® Windows® RIFF format PCM WAV file:
         Pioneer CW-650R dual-cassette tape deck to
         Behringer EurorackMX802A mixer to
         Terratech EWX-2496 master recording sound card.

         Engulf Audio from EXE Consulting to create high-quality stereo image:
         Concert Hall room (22.51m X 37.51m X 15.01m)
         Binaural simulation: Solutions obtained at (11.135m, 15.0m, 3.0m)
         (Left) and (11.375m, 15.0m, 3.0m) (Right) in left-handed
         coordinate system. Point source placed at (11.135m, 6.0m, 3.0m)
         in same system, 9.0m from Left solution. Solves 3-D wave
         equation, providing stereo separation, echo, and reverberation in
         a self-consistent manner.
         Absorption: T60 = 0.30 seconds at 100 Hz, 0.20 seconds at 4000 Hz.
         Reverb times kept low to maintain speech comprehension.
         Designed for headphone listening.
         The reason for performing this step first was to create a stereo
         image so that following processing steps could be more readily
         monitored using studio-quality headphones.
         During this process, the resulting file is normalized to very nearly
         0 db while the data are being maintained as double-precision
         floating point.

         CoolEdit 2000 from Syntrillium for the following steps:
         Dynamics Processing:
         flat 1.00 : 1 above -20 dB
         cmp 2.00 : 1 below -20 dB
         exp 10.5 : 1 below -96 dB
         Noise Reduction (primarily removed noise produced by tape deck):
         Noiseprint from section at end of digitized recording of
         cassette tape
         4096-point FFT
         40 db reduction
         Smoothing Amount = 2
         Flat, 100%
         Trimmed end and beginning to remove non-cassette tape audio
         sections. These sections are NOT part of the cassette tape but
         were produced between the time the digitizing program was started
         and the tape deck was started AND between the time that the tape
         deck was stopped and the digitizing program was stopped.
         Downsampled from 24-bit, 96,000 samples per second stereo to CD
         quality (16-bit, 44,100 samples per second stereo),
         Compressed as MP3 using algorithms licensed from Fraunhofer
         Institute. 256KBits per second, constant bit rate, 22,050 Hz
         maximum band width, "High Quality" Codec.

         B) The CD track was ripped from the audio CD using Ahead Nero into a
         CD-quality, Microsoft Windows RIFF format PCM WAV file (16-bit,
         44,100 samples per second, monophonic). Then the following steps
         were performed:

         Conversion of two-channel identical monophonic to single-channel
         monophonic by removing right channel data using Syntrillium's
         CoolEdit 2000.

         Engulf Audio from EXE Consulting, same conditions as for the tape
         (above, part A).

         CoolEdit 2000 from Syntrillium for the following steps:
         Dynamics Processing, same settings as for tape (above, part A).
         Noise Reduction:
         Noiseprint taken from approximately time = 8.95 seconds to 9.85
         4096-point FFT
         40 db reduction
         NR Level 53
         Sloped Noise Reduction Level: 0 Hz -30.2 %, 48,000 Hz -100%
         Precision Factor = 5
         Smoothing Amount = 2
         No trimming was performed.
         Noise samples for part C were extracted into separate files.
         Downsampled from 24-bit, 96,000 samples per second stereo to CD
         quality (16-bit, 44,100 samples per second stereo),
         Compressed as MP3 using algorithms licensed from Fraunhofer
         Institute. 256KBits per second, constant bit rate, 22,050 Hz
         maximum band width, "High Quality" Codec.

         C) Four noise samples were taken from the 24-bit, 96,000 samples per
         second, stereo file that was upsampled from the CD track (see part
         B above) and were each further compressed according to the
         flat 1.00 : 1 above -10 dB
         cmp 2.99 : 1 below -10 dB
         exp 15.3 : 1 below -96 dB

         The samples were:

         1) From position at beginning of CD track, time = 8.95 seconds to 9.85

         2) From time = 1:18.67 to time = 1:20.10.

         3) From time = 1:23.69 to time = 1:24.67.

         4) From approximately time = 1:28.6 to approximately time = 1:32.9.

         Noise samples #1, 3, and 4 were edited so that only the left channel

         Noise sample #2 was edited so that only the right channel remained.

         Each of noise samples 1, 3, and 4 were overlaid one at a time to noise
         sample 2. Noise sample 2 remained in the right channel while each
         of the others remained in the left.

         Noise samples were then adjusted in overlay so that a repetitive
         background noise common to both the left and right channels was
         synchronized. Although there were other noises in the recordings,
         the common noise, somewhat like that of a dishwasher in operation,
         could be heard in both left and right stereo channels. The
         offsets used were: -0.2 seconds for #2 overlaying #1; -0.4 seconds
         for #2 overlaying #3; +0.7 seconds for #2 overlaying #4. The
         offsets are defined as the offset of the zero for #2 relative to
         the zero of the section to which it is being overlaid, with "zero"
         being defined as the beginning times listed above for each audio

         The FFT filter "Mackie Mid Boost" from Syntrillium's CoolEdit 2000 was
         applied so that the repetitive noise common to both channels could
         be heard more clearly.

         After trimming, the three overlays were each looped eight times for
         ease of listening, then they were concatenated into a single file
         with a 0.3 second silence between them.

         The resulting concatenated file was then downsampled to CD quality,
         then compressed into an MP3 file with the same settings as used

         D) Two noise samples were extracted from the digitized version of the
         cassette tape. These two samples correspond to #2 and #3 above
         (see part C above), the only corresponding ones that are available
         on the cassette tape recording:

         After Engulf Audio processing, samples were extracted.

         Overlaid with 0.3 seconds offset --- times not same for cassette
         recording as for CD track due to difficulty of locating zero.

         Trimmed to area of overlap only.

         Dynamics processing:
         flat 1.00 : 1 above -10 dB
         cmp 2.99 : 1 below -10 dB
         exp 15.3 : 1 below -96 dB

         Filter FFT Mackie Mid Boost

         Quick Filter:
         hi: 187, 375, 750, 1500, 3000, 48,000 Hz sections of filter: -30
         db; 6,500 and 16,000 Hz + 3.7 db
         lo: 187, 1500, 3000, 6500, 16,000, 48,000 Hz sections of filter: -
         30 db; 375 and 750 Hz + 3.7 db

         Amplified: +6.0 db boost.

         Created loops, then MP3 files:
         high: looped eight times, then normalized, downsampled to CD
         quality, compressed to MP3 at 256 KBits per second.
         low: downsampled, looped eight times, compressed to MP3 (not
         normalized) at 256 KBits per second.

         MP3's used "High Quality" codecs as before.

         E) An MP3 file was created from the purported conversation on the
         audio cassette recording. This section begins shortly after the
         fourth time that the 911 dispatcher says, "Patsy?" It was
         processed with the following:

         Normalized to 0db

         Dynamics processing (to bring up low-level sounds):
         flat 1.00 : 1 above -10 dB
         cmp 2.99 : 1 below -10 dB
         exp 15.3 : 1 below -96 dB

         FFT Filter, bandpass (lessen hum):
         220 Hz, 0%; 656 Hz, 100%; 2350 Hz, 100%; 8106 Hz, 0%
         2048-point, Blackman-Harris windowing

         Dynamics processing (to bring volume of keystrokes down):
         cmp 3.00 : 1 above -30 dB
         flat 1.00 : 1 below -30 dB

         Amplify 400%

         Engulf Audio from EXE Consulting, same conditions as for the tape
         (above, part A).

         © Copyright "Dave" on Jameson's Webbsleuths 2003. All rights reserved.

If you have any comments or additions, please e-mail me at 
This page is part of the TimeLine by jameson ò¿ó
Last updated on August 5th, 2003
Copyright 1997-2003 © jameson
All rights reserved.