The date of birth is 08/06/90 and the person’s age is 6 years. The person is female. The medical path is Meyer. The type is coronary autopsy. The autopsy number is 96A-155. The date and time of death is 12/26/96 at 13:23. The date and time of the autopsy is 12/27/96 at 08:15. There is no identification available. The coroner/medical record number is 1714-96-A 137712.
I. Strangulation by ligature A. Ligature wrapped around the neck with a visible mark B. Scratches and small burst blood vessels, neck C. Small burst blood vessels, on the surface of the eyes and skin of the face. FINAL DIAGNOSIS:
E. Small bruises on the sides of the brain.D. Bleeding between the layers of the brain and the protective membrane.C. The right half of the brain, a linear pattern of bruises.B. A fracture that is linear and fragmented on the right side of the skull.A. A bruise on the scalp.II. Injuries to the skull and brain.
III. Scraping of the right cheek.
IV. Scratching/bruise, back right shoulder.
V. Scratches on the lower back and back of the left lower leg.
VI. Wear and vascular congestion of vaginal lining.
Seventh Ligature of the right wrist.
Toxicologic Studies showed no presence of ethanol in the blood and no drugs were detected in the blood drug screen.
CLINICOPATHOLOGICAL CORRELATION: The cause of death for this six-year-old girl is suffocation due to strangulation, in connection with head and brain injury.
John E. Meyer, a pathologist, born on December 27th, 1996.
Around 8:30PM, I departed the residence after examining the corpse. On the lower left side of the neck, a noticeable dried scrape was present. On the outer side of the right cheek, a small area of scrape or bruise below the right ear was observed. A ligature around the right wrist and a ligature around the neck were revealed during a brief examination of the body. The head was turned towards the right. The deceased was discovered lying on her back with her arms extended upwards over her head after removing a blanket and a Colorado Avalanche sweatshirt from the top of the body. The deceased was positioned on her back on the floor in the living room of the house. Initially, I observed the body in the living room of the house. I reached the scene at approximately 8 PM on 12/26 and entered the house where the deceased’s body was located at around 8:20PM. The body of this six-year-old female was first seen by me after I received a call to an address known as 755 – 15th street in Boulder, Colorado, on 12/26/96.
Editorial – Chuck Green – Expenses – Proof – Chronology – Media frenzy – The jury – Public response – Online response – Detective responds – What comes next? – Examination – Key narrative.
Notable Moments from the Archives
On March 10, 1998, the possibility of a grand jury was initially brought up. Then, on July 9, 1998, the Ramseys expressed their thoughts in a television documentary. The grand jury officially began its work on September 16, 1998. On September 29, 1998, the contents of the Ramsey letter were made public. Finally, on September 29, 1998, the Ramseys ended their silence.
Colorado reporters will interview the Ramseys on May 1, 1997 – they will discuss the autopsy report. It is important to note that the ransom was reported on September 3, 1997, through text messages. Additionally, there were affidavits and search warrants related to the texts on September 30, 1997. The chief police officer of Boulder retired amidst controversy on the first anniversary of the murder, which occurred on December 14, 1997.
On January 2, 1997, the Ramseys speak to CNN – On December 27, 1996, the initial report on the homicide is released.
The underwear in the inner crotch area is stained with red areas measuring up to a maximum dimension of 0.5 inches. The white underwear has the words “Wednesday” and rose printed buds on the elastic waistband. The long underwear is stained anteriorly over the crotch area, with no identified defects on the legs. The white long underwear has an elastic waistband containing a blue and red stripe. The right anterior upper sleeve of the shirt contains a dried brown-tan stain measuring 2.5×1.5 inches, consistent with mucous from the mouth or nose. There are no noted defects in the shirt. The end of the cord is frayed, with a double loop in one end and a knot at the other end measuring 15.5 inches in length. There is also a frayed end with a knot measuring 5.5 inches in length. The right wrist of the decedent is loosely tied with a white cord, which contains a silver embroidered star decorated with silver sequins on the anterior mid-chest area of the shirt sleeve. The end of the shirt sleeve measures 5.5 inches in length and is frayed with one end of the tail. The decedent is clothed in a long-sleeved, collarless white knit shirt.
On this side of the face, there are possible petechial hemorrhages located on the conjunctival surfaces of both the lower and upper eyelids, but more specifically on the right side. There are much smaller petechial hemorrhages, less than 1mm in size, located on the conjunctival surface of the upper left eyelid. Additionally, there are petechial hemorrhages, also less than 1mm in size, present on the skin of the upper eyelids, both bilaterally and on the left cheek laterally. On the lateral aspect of the lower left eyelid, the maximum dimension of the petechial hemorrhage is 1mm. Below the right ear, just at the angle of the right mandible, there is a rust-colored abrasion area measuring 1.5 inches in length and 3/8 inch in width. This is the evidence of external injury.
The neck is secured with a single gold chain, which forms a charming cross. It appears to be made of white synthetic material, and the blonde hair is entwined in a knot on the posterior aspect of the neck, wrapped around a wooden stick. The word “Korea” is printed in gold letters on one end of the stick, with a glistening varnish surface and several colors of paint. The wooden stick is irregularly broken at both ends. It measures 4.5 inches in length and is tied in multiple loops at one end, with a frayed end measuring 4 inches at the other end. Extending from the knot on the posterior aspect of the neck are two tails, both measuring 17 inches in length. The posterior knot is intact. On the right side of the neck, there is a double black ink mark, and on the left side, there is a single black ink mark. Described as similar to the white cord wrapped around the neck, there is a white cord of similar length tied around the right side of the neck, forming a double knot in the midline of the posterior neck.
The furrow mark on the back of the neck, located below the top of the head, measures 6.75 inches. On the front of the neck, the furrow mark is 8 inches below the top of the head. Towards the rear of the neck, it is mostly horizontal with a slight upward deviation from the horizontal. At the level of the cricoid cartilage, the ligature furrow crosses the front midline of the neck just below the laryngeal prominence. The area containing areas of petechial hemorrhage and abrasion, which includes the ligature furrow above and below the front of the neck, measures approximately 3×2 inches. The width of the furrow ranges from one-eighth of an inch to five/sixteenths of an inch, and it is horizontally oriented with a slight upward deviation. A deep ligature furrow encircles the entire neck.
At its largest dimension, the smaller of the two measures 3/16 by 1/8 inch and the larger one measures 1/8 by 1/16 inch. Roughly 4 inches above the level of the heel, on the back side of the left lower leg, there are two small scratch-like abrasions that are dried and have a rust color. There is no bruising around them. On the left side of the lower back, about 16.25 inches and 17.5 inches below the top of the head, there are two dried abrasions that are rust colored and slightly purple. These measure up to 1 inch in length and 1/16 to 1/8 inch in width. There are several clusters of tiny hemorrhages in the front left shoulder just above the groove where the deltoid and pectoral muscles meet. On the back side of the right shoulder, there is a poorly defined, very shallow area of abrasion/bruising that is pale purple in color and measures up to 3/4 by 1/2 inch at its largest dimension. On the right side of the chin, there is a superficial abrasion that measures 3/16 by 1/8 inch. Similar smaller hemorrhages are present on the skin below the mark left by the ligature on the left side of the neck. The skin just above the ligature mark on the right side of the neck has hemorrhages that consist of multiple small hemorrhages that have merged together, as well as a few larger hemorrhages that measure up to 1/16 and 1/8 inch at their largest dimension. The rest of the abrasions and hemorrhages on the skin above and below the front part of the ligature mark are irregularly shaped, purple to rust colored, and can be found in the middle, right, and left areas of the front part of the neck. This roughly triangular abrasion is slanted with the top part being higher and to the side. The area of abrasion and hemorrhage on the skin of the front part of the neck includes a roughly triangular, parchment-like abrasion that is rust colored and measures 1.5 inches in length with a maximum width of 0.75 inches, located on the lower left side of the neck, just to the left of the centerline.
There is no identified recent trauma to the perineal, anal, or other remote areas. Minimal amount of thin, watery, red fluid is present in the vaginal vault. The incision reveals no hemorrhage or underlying subcutaneous tissue. There is a faint violet discoloration in a very small area on the right labia majora. The abrasion in the anterior and lateral right vaginal wall appears to involve the distal hymen and possibly extend to the anterior and lateral walls. The abrasion is located on the posterolateral right area of the 1×1 cm hymenal orifice. There is also noticeable hyperemia extending just inside the vaginal orifice. This hyperemia is more noticeable on the posterior and right side, and it appears to be circumferential. The distal vaginal wall and vestibule of the vagina show reddish hyperemia. There is a small amount of dried blood and semifluid present on the skin of the vestibule and fourchette. Along the anterior aspect of the perineum, the edges of the labia majora show closure.
The lower extremities of the joints show mild rigor mortis, with rigor mortis decreasing from 3 to 2, and from 2 to 1. At the time of autopsy initiation, there is also nonblanching livor mortis present on the right side of the face. There is unremarkable dorsal livor mortis on the back. Both hands show livor mortis, and the fingernails of both hands are unremarkable. On the palm of the left hand, there is a red ink drawing in the shape of a heart. On the other side, there is a yellow metal identification bracelet with the date “12/25/96” and the name “JonBenet”. Around the right wrist is a yellow metal band, and on the middle finger of the right hand is a yellow metal ring. There are no palpable masses or organomegaly, and the abdomen is flat with no visible scars. The external genitalia of a prepubescent female are present, with no pubic hair. The tongue is smooth, pink-tan, and granular. The teeth are in good repair and are natural. There is no trauma seen on the buccal mucosa. There is a slight artifact of drying on the tip of the tongue. The lower back of the head is secured with a blue elastic band, and the top of the head is fixed in two ponytails with long blonde hair covering the scalp. There is no identified trauma to the scalp. The external auditory canals are free and patent, and the sclerae are white. The pupils are equally dilated and the eyes are green. There is a small amount of tan mucous material in the nostrils, which are patent. The examination of the right extremities is unremarkable. There is no evidence of hemorrhagic material and the pattern of dried mucous and saliva on the right cheek is consistent with good repair and natural teeth. There is no identified trauma to the scalp. The lower back of the head is secured with a blue elastic band, and the top of the head is fixed in two ponytails with long blonde hair covering the scalp. The body of the well-nourished and well-developed Caucasian female weighs an estimated 45 pounds and measures 47 inches in length. The external examination is unembalmed.
INTERNAL EXAM: The front chest muscles are well developed. No fractures of the breastbone or ribs are detected.
The mediastinal structures appear normal. The aorta and rest of the contents in the mediastinum are evenly distributed. The sections that have been cut have a smooth and pink-tan texture. There are no signs of petechial hemorrhages. The thymus gland, weighing 21 grams, has a typical external appearance.
The blood or fluid of accumulation within the abdomen is observed. The serosa, which is a smooth and shiny covering, normally covers and distributes the contents of the abdomen. The pericardium and epicardium show no abnormalities. The pericardial sac contains approximately 3-4 cc of straw-colored fluid, while the left and right thoracic cavities contain approximately 5 cc of straw-colored fluid. The surfaces of the pleural cavity are shiny and smooth.
Evidence consolidation is observed, with unremarkable vasculature and intrapulmonary bronchi. The cut surfaces of the lungs reveal a mild pressure, with a small amount of watery fluid exuding and intact alveolar architecture. Additionally, scattered occasional subpleural petechial hemorrhage is seen on the surface of each lung. The left lung weighs 175 grams and the right lung weighs 200 grams, both having a normal lobar configuration.
The normal fashion in the heart is for the ovale foramen to be closed, allowing major vessels to leave and enter. The cusps of the valve are delicate and pliable, without any thrombosis or vegetation. The endocarium is unremarkable and does not contain any infarction or fibrosis areas. The myocardium is tan-pink and homogeneous, without any evidence of atherosclerosis. The coronary arteries have a normal distribution. On the anterior surface of the heart, there are scattered subepicardial petechial hemorrhages. The external configuration of the heart is normal, weighing 100 grams.
The aorta remains open along its entire path, as do its main branches. There is no evidence of atherosclerosis. The vena cava appears normal. Examination of the aorta and vena cava.
The spleen weighs 61 grams and has a finely wrinkled purple capsule. Sections cut through the spleen readily reveal homogeneous and identifiable white and red pulp abnormalities.
The adrenal glands appear to be of normal shape and size, with no intrinsic abnormalities identified in the brown-tan medullary area that overlays the yellow-golden cortex.
Both ureters are patent, allowing the bladder to course through them. The system pelvocaliceal is lined by a gray-white mucosa, which is unremarkable. The renal papillae are sharply demarcated. Cut sections reveal an architecture with corticomedullary contact. The surfaces are glistening and smooth. The left kidney and right kidney both weigh 40 grams, presenting a normal external appearance.
The liver, weighing 625 grams, has a normal external appearance with a glistening and smooth capsule. Sections that were cut reveal no abnormalities with the intact lobular architecture.
The pancreas seems to be within the typical range in terms of size and shape. When divided into sections, it shows finely lobed and tan features. No inherent abnormalities of the organ are identified.
The bladder is constricted and does not hold any urine. The bladder wall is sleek and has a tan-gray hue. No inherent irregularities are noticed.
There are no abnormalities in the cervix. The ovaries and fallopian tubes are both normal and immature. The examination shows that the ovaries and fallopian tubes are both normal and immature. The uterus measures 0.8cm and is 1 x 3 in size, indicating immaturity. The uterus measures 0.8cm and is 1 x 3 in size, indicating immaturity. There are no abnormalities in the upper portions of the vaginal vault. Genitalia:
The common bile duct and the left and right hepatic ducts are patent throughout their course, while the cystic duct is also patent. The mucosa is velvety and smooth, and stones are identified. The gallbladder contains 2-3 cc of amber bile.
The appendix is found. The colon contains smooth green fecal matter. The rest of the small intestine is normal. No bleeding is detected. The yellow to light green-tan visible plant or fruit matter that could be pineapple fragments. The stomach lining is decomposed but shows no signs of bleeding or ulcers. The stomach holds a small quantity (8-11cc) of sticky, green to tan thick mucus without any identified particles. It is covered by gray-white lining. The esophagus is devoid of contents.
Lymphatic System: Normal.
Musculoskeletal System: Normal.
The examination of the brain discloses no additional fractures. The surface of the cerebral cortex, perpendicular to the base of the brain, is characterized by streak-like linear discolorations of purple-gray matter, which were previously described as contusions. There are no additional abnormalities observed in the cerebellum and cerebral hemispheres. Multiple coronal sections of the cerebral hemispheres reveal no evidence of atherosclerosis in the cerebral vasculature. The contusion area measures only half an inch at its maximum dimension. A minimal contusion is present at the tip of the left temporal lobe, appearing similar to a purple quarter-inch contusion at the tip of the right temporal lobe. The contusion area measures 1.75 inches in width and 8 inches in length. Along the lateral aspect of the parietal region and extending posteriorly into the occipital region, there is an extensive linear area of purple contusion. The previously mentioned linear skull fracture underlying the right cerebral hemisphere extends over the entire right hemisphere. There is a thin subarachnoid hemorrhage film overhanging the right cerebral hemisphere, measuring approximately 5 inches in length. No inflammation is identified. The gyri appear flattened and the sulci appear narrowed, but overall the brain architecture is mildly normal. The surface of the right cerebral hemisphere measures approximately 7-8 cc and has a thin subdural hemorrhage film, which is found upon the removal of the skull cap. This fracture measures approximately 8.5 inches in length, extending from the occipital area of the skull to the frontal area on the right side, and further extending to the heparietal posteroparietal region. This comminuted linear skull fracture is associated with an extensive area of hemorrhage, which extends superiorly. There is no evidence of organization in the hemorrhage, suggesting that it is fresh. The area of this fracture measures approximately one and a half inches by three-quarters of an inch, with a roughly rectangular-shaped and displaced fragment. Additionally, there is an extensive area of hemorrhage associated with a linear skull fracture, which extends from the parietal area of the skull to the heparietal posteroparietal region, and further extends to the occipital area. Upon reflection of the skull cap, the brain and skull are observed.
The larynx and trachea are lined with pink-tan smooth mucosa without any abnormalities intrinsic. The sections that were cut reveal a finely lobular and red-tan appearance. The thyroid gland weighs 2 grams and appears normal. Multiple cross sections of the tongue do not show any evidence of traumatic injury or hemorrhage. Examination of the hyoid bone, cricoid cartilage, and thyroid cartilage also do not reveal any evidence of hemorrhage. The remaining sections of the strap musculature in the neck do not show any hemorrhages. Multiple sections of the sternocleidomastoid muscle also do not show any hemorrhages. The anterior strap musculature of the neck is dissected serially. The dissection of the neck is performed after the removal of the brain and organs in the throacoabdominal region.
MICROSCOPIC OBSERVATION: (All sections Stained with H&E).
The brain (N-T), larynx (M), reproductive organs (K-L), thymus and adrenals (J), bladder and thyroid (I), kidney and pancreas (H), spleen and liver (G), lungs (D-F), heart (C), area of abrasion at the 7:00 position (B), scalp hemorrhage (A), and slide key.
Myocardium: Portions of the ventricular myocardium consist of intertwined bundles of cardiac muscle fibers. No fibrosis or inflammation is detected.
Lungs: The alveolar structure of the lungs is well maintained. Pulmonary vascular congestion is observed. No inherent abnormalities are observed.
Spleen: There is slight self-decomposition of the spleen. Both crimson and pale pulp are recognizable.
The thyroid gland is composed of normal-appearing follicles. There is also a small fragment of parathyroid tissue. An isolated area of occasional chronic interstitial infiltrate can be seen.
Mild vascular congestion is observed. Scattered within the thymus are intact Hassall’s corpuscles, and the lymphoid material remains intact. The thymus retains its usual architecture.
Trachea: The submucosa of the trachea shows a mild case of chronic inflammation.
Liver: The lobular structure of the liver is well maintained. No inflammation or inherent abnormality is detected.
Pancreas: There is self-digestion of the pancreas which is otherwise not notable.
The kidney exhibits overall well-preserved architecture, with mild vascular congestion and possibly inflammation in the cortex.
Bladder: The bladder’s transitional epithelium is undergoing autolysis. No notable inherent abnormalities are observed.
Reproductive Organs: Portions of the womb are in line with the prepubescent stages. The ovary appears normal.
Adrenal: The structure of the adrenal gland is well maintained and no inherent abnormalities are observed.
Glial cells are encompassed by translucent halos, just like cortical neurons. Subarachnoid hemorrhage is also detected. There is no indication of the inflammatory invasion or arrangement of the hemorrhage. Sections from the regions of contusion reveal disarrayed blood vessels of the cortex accompanied by adjacent hemorrhage. Brain:
The presence of a small number of red blood cells is observed on the eroded surface of the foreign material, which is birefringent. The smallest piece of tissue from the vaginal wall/hymen, located at the 7 o’clock position, contains epithelial erosion along with underlying capillary congestion. All sections show chronic interstitial inflammation and vascular congestion.
The blood in the tubes is a mixture of deep purple and bright red. The right cheek and both thighs were swabbed for samples. Samples of the eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair from the head were collected. The body bag is white in color. The feet were wrapped in paper bags. Jewelry, nail clippings, and handprints were obtained from paper bags. Oral, rectal, and vaginal swabs were taken. Ligatures, body surfaces, and clothing were also examined for evidence. Hair and fibers were collected as well.