The JonBenet Ramsey Case: Book II– Professional journal review

“Who Will Speak for JonBenet?” Book Review
James O. Raney, M.D., International Journal of Communicative Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy 15:4 (2000).

Summary: In his second book on Ramsey case Hodges reveals new information obtained after he wrote his first book and also investigates the investigators explaining what went wrong. The reviewer comments on the missing motive established by thoughtprint decoding, blind spots of investigators, the need for investigators to reconsider the potential guide the method offers to further investigation, and compares Hodges’ work on the case to the two most popular forensic experts-former FBI profiler John Douglas and Vassar linguist Donald Foster both of whom were consulted on the case.

“…Much information has appeared since publication of A Mother Gone Bad (1998). More investigation of the case, a book authored by the Ramseys, and other public communications seem to complicate rather than clarify the case. Andrew Hodges is steeped in a clinical tradition that solves impasses by examining the therapist and therapeutic frame. This kind of problem is a match for his skills. As a consultant to a therapist might examine the therapist-patient dyad and the therapy frame, in this book Hodges similarly steps back from the disrupted Ramsey family frame to examine the investigators and the investigative frame.

At first glance, he finds the investigators appear to have ignored important obvious and ordinary aspects of the investigation. These interruptions in the investigative frame must have reasons.

The Ramsey parents have responded to the flurry of information and opinion with extraordinary public performances. Hodges speculates that this interaction between the Ramseys and their audiences has generated unconscious reasons for the behaviors, apparent errors and odd comings and goings of all parties. Not only have key investigators failed to make a coherent case, they have failed to comprehend the coherent case that Hodges has made in his first book. (The investigators appear to have also flatly rejected the lengthy forensic analysis that he wrote with his colleagues Jess Groesbeck and Patrick Callahan.) Hodges attributes these failures to their personal and emotional involvement with the Ramseys. (I suspect another reason. The coherence of Hodges’ analysis did catch their attention. Instead of Hodges, who might embarrass them, they found an expert of their own, the Vassar English professor, Donald Foster.)

These investigators, similar to many therapists, seem unaware of the effects of their investigation on their suspects. They also seem unaware that the suspect may influence them and, consequently, the course of their investigation. Hodges’ bipersonal perspective examines how each party may influence the other.

The investigators, as well as others, such as friends, members of the public and the various media are Hodges’ subjects. He applies psychoanalytic methods that Robert Langs refined from object relations…He presumes the written and spoken narratives of his subjects to include derivatives of unconscious meaning. Using this method, he differs from all other investigators.

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