Monday, November 22, 2010

The Pineapple evidence

Back to Interpreting the Evidence


Pineapple was found in JBR's small intestine. A bowl of pineapple was found in the breakfast area off from the kitchen. See The Pineapple for more details about this evidence. When this was eaten potentially is an important factor in determining whether she was killed by a stranger or acquaintance intruder whom she did not know, a "friendly" intruder or family member.
  • It seems implausible that a stranger or acquaintance intruder would have had the motivation or ability to get JBR to eat pineapple on her way to being assaulted.
  • It is more plausible to imagine a "friendly" intruder, e.g., in the guise of a "secret visit" from Santa, having the motivation and means to do this, albeit a "diversion" that would have elevated the risk of being caught by the parents or Burke while in the kitchen or dining area. But apart from risk, there is a timing problem. Any such scenario has to allow for the time needed for the pineapple to have digested enough to end up in the small intestine, which could have been as short as an hour, but more likely to have been at least 1-1/2-2 hours.
  • If JBR were fed pineapple by John or Patsy Ramsey, it means they lied to investigators since they have repeatedly asserted she was asleep when they arrived home and that they put her immediately to bed. If the parents were innocent, they would have no good reason to lie about such a matter, so such evidence would point toward parental guilt and a possibly a joint cover-up.
  • An online textbook at Colorado State University notes that "it is difficult to state with any precision how long ingesta remains in the stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Nonetheless, there have been many studies on GI transit, and the table below presents rough estimates for transit times in healthy humans following ingestion of a standard meal (i.e. solid, mixed foods).

50% of stomach contents emptied2.5 to 3 hours
Total emptying of the stomach4 to 5 hours
50% emptying of the small intestine2.5 to 3 hours
Transit through the colon30 to 40 hours

Remember that these are estimates of average transit times, and there is a great deal of variability among individuals and in the small person at different times and after different meals."

  • "There is no evidence in the record that indicates when JonBenet ate the pineapple. Defendants state they did not feed JonBenet pineapple upon returning home from the White's party that evening. (SMF P 13.) Mr. White does not recall if pineapple was served at his dinner party on December 25, 1996. (F. White Dep. at 202.)" (Carnes 2003:9).
  • Burke Never Questioned About Pineapple. Internet poster Jameson claims that Burke was never questioned by BPD about the pineapple.
  • Internet poster Paradox has suggested this passage from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie may be connected to the case: "Sandy Stranger had a feeling at the time that they were supposed to be the happiest days of her life, and on her tenth birthday she said so to her best friend Jenny Gray who had been asked to tea at Sandy's house. The speciality of the feast was pineapple cubes with cream, and the speciality of the day was that they were left to themselves. To Sandy the unfamiliar pineapple had the authentic taste and appearance of happiness and she focused her small eyes closely on the pale gold cubes before she scooped them up in her spoon, and she thought the sharp taste on her tongue was that of a special happiness, which was nothing to do with eating, and was different from the happiness of play that one enjoyed unawares."

Evidence Pineapple Eaten Before Ramseys Came Home

  1. Expert Opinion. "However, one Boulder medical examiner stated it could have been eaten as early as 4:30PM--before the Ramseys left their home for a dinner at the White's" (Schiller 1999a: 558). Internet poster Jameson says she talked with two Colorado coroners who had done reports on the autopsy findings and both asserted the pineapple "had been eaten hours before her death - - probably before she went to the Whites."
  2. Digestion Times Unpredictable. Internet posters also have pointed out that digestion rates are so individualized that it is easily possible the pineapple was eaten before going to the White's dinner on December 25.
  3. Internet poster Jameson believes Burke probably served the pineapple to JBR in the late afternoon of Christmas day before the family went to the Whites for dinner.
  4. Internet poster Jameson, alluding to bagels and "other food" served on the morning of December 26 claims that Patsy recalled being served pineapple by Priscilla White. Internet poster has questioned the reliability of Patsy's memory, citing several instances in which she incorrectly remembered events.

Evidence Pineapple Eaten After Ramseys Came Home

  1. "Based on the condition of the pineapple in her intestine, the experts estimated that JonBenet had eaten it an hour and a half or two hours before she died, most likely after the family returned home that night." (Schiller 1999a: 558).
  2. Internet poster Bluecrab argues the pineapple was eaten "about one hour before she died."
  3. Other Internet posters concur that the pineapple must have been eaten after coming home from the White's.
  4. Green Fecal Matter. According to the autopsy, "The large intestine contains soft green fecal material." According to Internet poster BlueCrab "the cracked crab meal had been digested" and became this fecal material; this is further evidence the pineapple must have been eaten after the meal at the White's.
  5. Did Patsy Lie? "Patsy Ramsey gave Oscar-quality performances during police interviews about the murder, if you believe forensic psychiatrist Dr. Steven E. Pitt, a former consultant for the Boulder police and DA's office who scrutinized the videotaped interviews. Pitt reveals that one particular exchange 'practically made me jump out of my seat. It's the part when Patsy denied any knowledge of how pineapple got into the child's digestive tract after the family arrived home from a party. She snarled that she had put the girl right to bed and had not served her any fruit. But there was a spoon and bowl of fresh pineapple in the breakfast nook and the bowl had Patsy's fingerprints on it. Academy awards have been given for lesser performances. She was a very attractive woman, almost seductive. She knew how to work it'" (The Globe, December 25, 2006; quotation and source provided by Internet poster The Punisher.)

Evidence Pineapple is Unconnected to JBR's Death

  1. Both John and Patsy Ramsey have stated in their 1998 police interviews that they know nothing about the pineapple in the bowl; Patsy does not recall even buying pineapple.
  2. The available evidence suggests the pineapple was not brought by the victims' advocates.
  3. Others have argued that the pineapple was fabricated "evidence" used by police in their interviews to "trip up" the Ramseys and see how they would react; a milder version of this theory is put forward by Internet poster Margoo, who suggests the police could have used the innocent actions of the advocates to put Ramseys in the hot seat during interviews.

My guess is, based on the condition and location of the pineapple in the small intestine, JonBenet ate the pineapple about one hour before she died. JonBenet was in full rigor when carried upstairs from the basement at 1:05 PM on the 26th, which means she likely died approximately 12 hours prior, or 1:00 AM. This in turn suggests she ate the pineapple around midnight.

Other than the pineapple, there was no other food in JonBenet's stomach or small intestine, suggesting she hadn't eaten anything since the cracked crab meal she consumed at about 7:00 PM at the White's house. The cracked crab meal had been digested and was represented by soft green fecal matter in her large intestine.

The fingerprints of Patsy Ramsey and Burke Ramsey were found on the small bowl containing the pineapple left out all night on the breakfast room table. A giant over-sized serving spoon stuck out of the small bowl. Fingerprint test results from the spoon were never released. In addition to the bowl of pineapple, a waterglass containing a spent tea bag, and a large box of Kleenex napkins were on the table. Burke was the resident tea drinker. Fingerprint test results from the waterglass were never released.The breakfast room table arrangement had four chairs, each of them assigned to a Ramsey. The pineapple was close to JonBenet's normal place at the table, and the waterglass was near Burke's normal place at the table.