Today's title is a term you hear often if you watch detective/cop shows. Need I apologize for watching Law and Order? The term refers to the tendency to blame someone for a crime before all of the facts are in.
I am afraid that I have been guilty, along with most of the known world, of rushing to justice in the Jon Benet Ramsey murder case. For ten years, I have been in agreement with the Boulder justice system that John and Patsy were "under an umbrella of suspicion." After all, Patsy had to be a bit crazed to put her daughter out there for the world to see, dolled up like a woman 4 times her age! Or maybe it was the much older father. Or maybe it was the slightly older jealous brother. Or maybe it was her step-brother.
There didn't seem to be any obvious evidence that someone came into the basement from outside the home - no tracks in the snow, no broken windows. John and Patsy took their surviving young son and ran back to a place where they wouldn't feel the constant scrutiny. But they couldn't escape the National Enquirer, the Globe, or any number of other supermarket rags constantly reminding us that the murder was still unresolved and that some "new evidence" still pointed fingers at Patsy.
Patsy died in June, having fought ovarian cancer for many years, even before the tragedy that forever changed their lives. I can't help but speculate that all of the negative press could have shortened her life.
I am so happy that someone has confessed. I am so sad that this man had taught school and was seeking another teaching job. Who knows what other horrors he has inflicted upon children. I imagine we'll learn more than we ever wanted to know. But there is so much I want to know.
I watched footage of Patsy's funeral where her pastor eulogized her in a way that made me realize she truly loved God and was living for Him. John was quoted this morning saying he would not speculate or comment on anything he knows, especially in light of the trauma they had been through as a family. He said that we should all learn a lesson from this "episode" - that we should be very careful to jump to horrendous conclusions. I thought he was very gracious in light of what they had endured.
The news reports say Patsy knew before she died that there was a viable suspect. I hope God gives her a peak at the news today and that she can rest in peace. I know in the theological part of my mind that she knows no sorrow in heaven. But in my mother's heart, I want her to know that she has been vindicated. I hope she and Jon Benet are having a great reunion.
I hope we didn't rush to excitement, now that so many things are out about this guy. I wish the media would cool it. The first thing I read that concerned me was that he said he picked her up at school and took her to the basement - it was Christmas night, for crying out loud!! Whether or not he did this horrendous crime, he needed to be caught. And put away. Forever.