The reversal set is 19 words long coming as a series of statements typical in RS. Almost all is completely acceptable linguistically, however the [v] is really an [n] with some frication, and there is an evident [l] in [you up] which makes it sound like [heal up] on closer listening. The fact that there is only 2 or 3 phonemes out of over 60 that are ‘out of kilter’ perception-wise makes the reversal set worthy of consideration. In FS one can perceive phonemes that are not ordinarily a component of the word, and therefore consideration ought to be given to RS in the same way. In addition, if there is a ‘voice’ communicating in the reverse of the speaker’s words, then it stands to reason that not all of it will be heard clearly and precisely. One needs to weigh up what is right about the reversal and what is dubious in order to determine its worth.
If any of the statements are genuine, then we may see Jessica (spoken as in the 3rd person) being viral – the crazy mother everywhere looking. The desire to find and be with her child – pick you up honey and Mummy’s here. And the deadly mountain and ice associated with a mountain. Alternatively, ice refers to the drug.
RS: May answer the others. She came [v]iral. Pick you up honey. Kill said ice. Mummy’s here. Kill mountain here.
FS: I hear little kid voices [or anything I am like] [crazy Mum status like you know following people around making sure that it’s not him].
answer – i[t’s not] no[t] is not articulated in the FS and does not occur in the RS. [t’s] produces RS [s] and contributes to the RS [er], The [er] is influenced by the [th] in [the] and is weak as it would be in FS.
the others [sure that it] [the] takes some of [it] and FS [th] disappears. [other] comes at [ure tha]. The RS [s] actually disappears into the [sh] in [she] in the next reversal as it would naturally in FS.
she mak[ing s]ure [ng] disappears in the RS
[v]iral peop[le around] At [nd] one there is [n] or [m]. As phonemes in FS don’t always sound like what is intended, I have included this as a possibility.
pick [peop] [k] perception occurs
you up [following] [f] is perceived as [p], [y] comes from [i], FS [ng] disappears. There is an [l] occurring in the RS from the FS [ll] therefore this is imprecise.
honey [you know]
said ice [status] [st] becomes [c]
mummy’s cra[zy] mum
here [cra] [c] becomes an aspirated sound which adds to perception of [here].
kill [like] [like] typically produces [kill]. Here the vowel is produced a bit lower but is still acceptable.
mountain any[thing I am] Vowel diphthong a bit imperfect but reasonable, [t] occurs at palate closure after RS [ng] and before [I] moving straight th [n], which is quite normal. FS [th] assimilates with the [n].
here [or any] [n] is weak in the FS and disappears in the RS.
This is an assessment of language-like speech in the reverse speech of Burke Ramsey and the police interviewer during Burke’s police interview as a child.
The examples here represent words that could be perceived, however, in many instances alternatives can be heard. Therefore, there is no certainty with the offerings presented here.
In situations where there is any lack of audio quality or where there is spontaneous speech that is spoken at greater than medium pace, and especially where both occur together together, the possibilities of hearing language not there increases. This is true for forward speech, and applies also to reverse speech.
Comprehension of speech is aided when applying one’s internal grammar and context to the discourse, and this is aided by hearing longer examples of speech. As there is not the greater length of utterances occurring in reverse speech as there is in forward speech, this benefit is somewhat smaller. However, internal grammar can be applied. Context is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can help identify language, yet at the same time create biased expectations and projections into the sounds. Also, one does not know what meanderings the unconscious will produce, and so whether or not the language is associated directly with the forward speech context. Though, it is possible one may hear a series of reversals over a relatively short time period, and realise that they are related to a context of sorts in themselves.
If one records short extracts of forward speech and listens closely to the forward speech, one will often hear sounds that don’t fit the words meant to be spoken, and it can even sound like something else. This is also a problem for reverse speech. Are you hearing what is meant to be said, or something else?
In ascertaining recorded language, it is important to understand how speech sounds, syllables and words interact with each other in forwards speech, and also how audio quality affects speech sounds by masking phonemes. This understanding needs to be applied to reverse speech to ascertain possibilities and parameters within which to operate.
Forward speech dialogue
BR: I was like laying in bed with my eyes open all night. So I was thinking of what might have happened.
PI: Did you hear Mum and Dad talking?
BR: I just heard Mum like going sicko/psycho.
PI: Going psycho?
BR: Yeah, like go like, you know
PI: Did you go down to see what’s going on?
BR: (?) down, and stayed in bed
BR: Our murder,/mother walked around, (the) then they hear the threa[t] [I was like laying in bed with my eyes open all night]
our murder op[en all night]
our n[ight] [t] does not occur in the RS. There is no evidence of any articulation towards the high front vowel in [I], and with the time period extending a little longer than a shortened cut [I] that could occur before consonant, I won’t claim [I] as a possibility.
mother/murder op[en all n]ight [m] comes at [l n]. [rd]/[th] occurs at FS [n]. It sounds most like murder, however, audio quality could mask sounds, and [mother] is a possibility.
walked eye[s op]en The labial op] gives a sense of [wa]. The FS[ [s] provides the [ed] ending (this can occur in the RS).
around [m eye]s [m] can be heard as [n]. [r] can be heard around [y].
(the) then they lay[in’ in bed with] FS [b] disappears. At slower speeds one can hear a short syllable before [then] from [with]. It sounds most like [the], and I will accept it as a ‘stumble’ that oten occurs in FS. In [then they], the [in’ in] provides a lengthened [n] which gives [n th]. This then follows normal assimilation of [th] adjacent [n].
hear [lay] some aspiration occurs, and [r] is perceived at [l].
the [like] the alveolar [l] dominated allowing a sense of [t]. Of course, audio quality aids this as well
threa[t] [I was] the fricative of the [s] gives a sense of [th], and the [w] gives a sense of [r]. Lack of evidence of an unreleased [t] final
BR: She walks, it’s a walk/this walk. My Mom the/was shit [I just heard Mum like going sicko]
If this reversal has an association with the previous one, then [murder] may meant to be [mother]. Also, see reversal below from the Dr Phil interview in 2016.
she walks [sicko] Before [w] it sounds like there is an [sh] occurring – he produces some vocal noise, however, it is likely the audio is lending something to it. [w] comes from the rounded vowel. [s] comes from [s].
it’s a/this walk [it’s] comes from the lengthened [s]; [a] comes from the vowel in [ing], It may also be [this walk]. [w] comes from the rounded vowel [o], and [k] comes from [g].
my mom [mum like] [like] simply sounds like fricative noise. I have assumed [my] here. A general hearing gives one the sense of [my mom].
the/was shit [I just heard] It could also sound like [momma] at this point, however, there is a new word beginning after [mom]. This point is at the end of [heard], and is most like [the], however, [was] is a possibility.The [sh] comes from the distorted production of [just]. An unreleased [t] final is assumed here.
PI: it’s all this [d]enied bullshit [did you go down and see what’s going on?]
There is no obvious [th]is or [d]enied; however, in spontaneous speech, elision of these sounds is possible.
it’s all [what’s]
this [see] Elision occurs at [th] with a labial approximate in its place. The failure to articulate [th] would occur in FS.
denied [down] The double syllable effect in [dow-n] give some sense of [denied]. There is no initial [d]; however, assimilation to the preceding [s] is quite possible.
bullshit [did she go] A sense of [b] is possible on release of FS g[o].. The [g] is silent and di[d] is silent. [ll] is not there, however, in spontaneous speech this is possible.
Before the beginning of this reversal is a word that can sound like [murder]
murder [going on] This can be heard in different ways, therefore there is a degree of uncertainty. Sense of [m] is at [n]. Sense of [r] occurs around [ng]. Sense of [d] occurs at the release and onset of FS [o] and [i] respectively. [er] occurs at [o]. The [g] is silent.
One has to separate it from the following sibilant sound to get a better sense of it.
I have included here one from Burke’s 2016 interview with Dr Phil.
RS: Mom out there. Remember answer
FS: The [first thing I remember is my Mom] bursting in my room really frantic saying like oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, running around my room looking for Jon Benet.
There is no [b] in “remember”, however I think this does not exclude it as the documented reversal.
This could indicate coaching from his parents when he was a child, or refer to a rehearsed response to his mother.
One gets from this the sense of someone (Mom?) walking around. Using the word [shit] with [Mom] could either refer to her feeling ‘pyscho’ at JonBenet missing, or alternatively, Burke’s unease that she was walking around that night. He does seem to say that (he?) is [nervous].
Here I present and discuss a number of reversals from the Ramseys that have been documented by others and are accessible on the internet.
RS: I done it. It’s a show you’re running
FS: to ah to immediately look [you know the directions], [and I know] there are other directions being looked at
done it [and I] – ramping energy gives a sense of /d/, and final gives a sense of unreleased /t/. This is reasonable.
I – There is no certainty as to where the reversal begins. Cutting it at this point is a bit opportunistic. One can cut it at [oi] so that there is some resemblance to I. One could cut it at another point so that it may sound like who done it It can be cut at another point to sound a bit like boy done it. The sound is actually /w/ from ‘know’, not /b/, but perception can allow one to hear /b/. The sound just before it can be cut to sound like The boy done it or Have I done it? Actually the change in acoustic energy indicates that the reversal may begin around this point.
What this begins with, therefore, remains a question.
It’s a show you’re running – this is a possibility; it could also be See a show you’re running
This is a [I just said] – This is possible, however it can just as easily be something else such as death is a, or death/that to the – however, the audio quality seems to mask /s/ sibilants.
Plan – this is possible, however it could also be plant
Following on is
This section is quite clear. Is it part of the reversal either intrinsically, or added to it? (It almost sounds like it is added as an afterthought). Or does it represent coincidental sounds? If it represents coincidental sounds then one needs to realise that what sounds like language is not always language. The only sentence structure that would make sense with these words is This is a plant/plan of India or even, strangely enough – Death to/is a plant of India
And I – if you start at the beginning of the FS section there is: an’ (th)en I
Plan the note [Jonbenet] – It is possible that plan and note are there, though audio quality excludes any certainty. There is a syllable in the middle; this is documented as the. It is the /b/ in Jonbenet. It can be heard as /m/ in reverse on close examination. So, if the words are plan and note, it sounds something like planemnote. and as /m/ can easily be heard as /n/, then planennote, and then the double [nn] can easily be heard as planenote. This middle syllable is what is assumed to be the. The [ed] is only assumed, as evidence is lacking. However, if [ed] is assumed to be the middle syllable then maybe it is planted, as in I planted note (without the). But the /t/ then will have to be assumed. On top of all this, phoneme ambiguity means that there is no guarantee that it is even plan or planted. /pl/ can also be heard as /t/, for example.
Audio quality reduces any confidence in this reversal.
The reversal doesn’t end at this point, there is a word following that sounds something like did as a kind of confirmation:
FS: It was the [day after Christma]s so I was going to go visiting
struck her – aft[er Chris]tmas – Although it can sound like there is, there is actually no /t/ in struck. The /r/ has an elevated intensity and the frication of the /s/ may help to give this impression. The sounds are similar to suckter. It is easy in this case to project the /t/ into the sounds to give struck. There is also a /t/ after /k/ giving perception of past simple [ed].
head – the /f/ in after can still be clearly heard making it sound similar to fed
Following on is what appears to be just do it tomorrow/let’s do it tomorrow
A missing phoneme, addition of another, and a phoneme replacement makes this dubious.
FS: at least two people on the face of [this Earth that know]
I’m that [that kno]w – The FS /th/, /t/ and /n/ remain clear in the RS. This means that there is an /n/ followed by a /d/ sound followed by /th/ sounding something like an death. In the audio, note that there is an ‘ooh’ sound first.
person [this Earth] – sounds like the word, except that the final sound is a /d/ if cut at the right point, or /th/ if completely included.
Doubtful phonemes makes this unlikely.
After ‘pers’, there appears to be the start of a second reversal as it changes speed at this point.
Said to save the law
Peo[ple on the face of this] Earth
to save the law appears sound; however the first word could be something else.
RS: seen that rape
This is appropriate. However, it may be that the reversal starts earlier. Also, it sounds like ‘callous you’ following, or possibly ‘careless’ but more like ‘callous’.
FS: There’[s never been any other] projection, any other source
We’re could also be you’re. /l/ in ‘lyin’ can be perceived easily on release of /o/ and onset of /th/ in ‘other’. However, there is an evident /th/ or /f/ which occurs. If this was included we would end up with something like thyin/fyin/thain/fain. In some way the th/f sound needs to be included. It could be You’re/We’re fine with an intonation change giving fine a double vowel, or it could be Worth lyin’. With defence, the /d/ is perceivable in the ramping up in reverse of the /v/ release, while the onset of /v/ disappears in the fricative noise. The /f/ occurs in the ramping up energy of the release of /n/, and /n/ occurs at /n/ in ‘never’. The poor audio quality may have contributed a little to this.
We have here, ignoring audio quality, a statement with very good prosody, but a /th/ or /f/ alters the reversal. Alternatives are – Worth lyin’ in their defence, and You’re/We’re fine in their defence
(Her) rapist [to sit there] – There is her at the beginning. Although one can perceive /p/, the sound is actually /th/. The audio may increase perception of a stop consonant. Although there is /t/ in ‘to’ in the FS at the place of the final in rapist, it presents a disjointed noise. Nevertheless, it is reasonably there.
Our is oh on close examination, but addition of /r/ helps to give a perception of our. The documented reversal has left the /t/ from the FS ‘about’ as the initial, making it sound like though (but addition of the /r/ once again changes perception of the vowel to one in thou). The /t/ is actually the ending of a prior word that is not included – said.
/k/ occurs as in rake. Perception of /p/ occurs on release of [er] in the FS. This has the ability to drown out the /k/ allowing perception of rape. A /t/ does occur at the end allowing perception of hurt.
In the wash up, it is possible there was planning involving (or the note planted). It is possible they are not being truthful – running a show, and perhaps lying in some others’ defence, and perhaps being fooled. I’m the only one’ could refer to something else rather than pointing the finger at Patsy as the murderer, and striking her head and being that person lack the efficacy to be acceptable.
Here is a group of reversals from the 911 call. There are 6 statements occurring which follow directly from each other without any gibberish between for a total of 22 words. At this stage, the Ramsey’s apparently had no knowledge of JonBenet’s whereabouts.
The audio is not of good quality and there is ambiguity in parts of the reversal set. I start out with one possibility, and explore alternatives to it. There is a discussion at the end.
This is the forward speech dialogue:
FS: Patsy: [We have a kidnapping] [hurry please].
Dispatcher: [Explain to me what’s going on, OK?]
Patsy: [There, we have a re…], [there’s a note left] [and our daughter’s gone].
Here is the reverse speech all the way through:
Patsy: Knows you bargain(ed)/Those who bargain(ed) (‘n our daughter’s gone)
Patsy: Everyone did it (there’s a note left)
Patsy: (Help) cover your words (There, we have a re…)
911 dispatcher: Yeah but I know blowing a/the kill (FS: explain to me what’s going on, OK)
Patsy: Killed yeah/gir(l) (FS: hurry please)
Patsy: Your baby’s dead (FS: we have a kidnapping)
Here is the audio with the statements separated:
Knows you bargain(ed)/Those who bargain(ed)[‘n our daughter’s gone] Knows occurs at [‘s gone] where the /g/ disappears and falls into a fricative with the /s/ to produces an /s/ ending. A tap-like initial can also give one the sense of [those]. You comes at FS [er]’s where a possible [y] sound occurs as articulation moves up towards /s/. As there is some aspiration occurring, one may also get a sense of [who]. Bargain comes at [‘n my daught]. The initial is ambiguous and can also sound like /d/. I will assume it is meant to be bargain. Perception of /g/ comes at the FS release of [my] before the onset of FS /d/. There is audio noise at the end of FS [left]. It is quite possible that there is an [ed] ending.
Everyone did it [there’s a note left] everyone comes from [note left] [ft] disappears substantially allowing an [e] initial. The [v] comes at the FS [t] in note. [on]e comes at [ote]. There is an [l] before the [v] sound which can be heard on closer listening, which is not part of the word. There is a short period after [v] and before [one] where something else can be heard. This is assumed to be meant to be [ery]. Of course not all of it is heard properly, but that is not a problem as this part of the word is often shortened in normal FS. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to assume [everyone], although the [l] is an issue.
(Help) cover your words [There, we have a re …] The first word is ambiguous as different phonemes can be perceived in it. Here I will use [help] as a possible, reasonable example. [cover] is from [have a]. The initial is ambiguous, and [c] is offered as a possibility. The [e] in FS [we] influences the ending of the word to sound like [ee]; however, this may not be much of an issue as in normal FS the ending [er] followed by [y] can be influenced in this manner. [your] is from [we] where the [y] is produced by [e], the rounded vowel is from [w] and there is also influence from /r/ in [there]. [words] is from [there] where [th] creates a sense of [ds], and the /w/ is influenced by movement in the FS from [there] to [we].
Yeah but I know blowing a kill
Yeah Before articulation of [y] there is /i/ so that it is like [iyeah]. The fricative [kh] sound from [k] in FS [ok] could be acceptable due to the ending. An alternative may be [here’s], though the velar fricative [kh] at the end would have to be accepted as /s/ as would a lack of /h/ aspiration at the initial.
I present here three alternatives to the next two words (I will assume that it is know rather than now):
but I know [going on o]k A sound that has a labial quality occurs at the onset of [o] – [b] is one alternative. RS [t] comes at FS o[n], RS [kn] comes at FS [ng]. FS [g] disappears in the RS.
put on, know In this alternative, /n/ would occur in [on] as well as in [know]; [know] occurs without a gap and the connection between [on] and [know] may not be heard except on closer listening.
what I know – where it is supposed to be /w/ rather than /b/ or /p/. When audio quality is like this, further alternatives become possible.
Here is an analysis of the final part of this section:
blowing a/the kill ex[plain to me what’s] RS [w] occurs at FS [w]. At the onset of FS wha[t]’s, one can perceive /n/ or /l/. At the release of wha[t’s] there is fricative noise. A general listening gives [bl], although there is no [b] in the fricative noise. Nevertheless, if we don’t include the fricative noise, we can still perceive [bl]. (audio here) Therefore I will assume that is the best possibility. Perception of [ing] occurs at [me]. A short syllable can be perceived such as a/the at t[o]. There is fricative noise at [t]o which can be perceived as a velar [k]. Perception of [ill] comes at [plai] where the [p] is silent in the RS. If it is not [kill], an alternative may be [here], where the fricative noise is part of a short word [it], and the initial of the word occurs later (as in blowing it here). That there is no obvious i[t] is not such a problem as this can occur in FS, as well as because of the audio quality. An [l] ending can be perceived quite clearly, however, in the final word.
On this analysis, I will offer three alternatives. I will assume blowing and kill:
But I know, blowing a/the kill
Put on, know blowing a/the kill
What I know, blowing a/the kill
Whatever one, it seems that the dispatcher’s subconscious recognised or believed that Patsy’s rendition was not believable.
Killed yeah/girl [hurry please] The fricative noise of the audio helps one perceive [k]ill. An [ed] could be assumed here. I have offered [yeah] as the second word. This is at the offset of hurr[y]in the FS. A strong [y] may be possible here, though it could also be heard as [g]. The ending has frication audio noise. I will make an assumption of only audio noise and no /s/, so [yeah] rather than [yes]. An alternative is [girl] There is no obvious [l] final, however, ending more like [ir].
Your baby’s dead – I have separated dead from the first two words:
Inknows you bargain(ed)/those who bargain(ed), we need to assess who does or did the bargaining. I will look at bargain as meaning either negotiating some outcome or arriving at an agreement. This could refer either to the writer(s) of the note/kidnappers or to Patsy and family.
With knows you bargain(ed) the subject is missing beforeknows, but verb agreement indicates 3rd person singular he/she. If you, this could be Patsy, and this is an aspect of her unconscious speaking directly to her, telling her that (she) knows you bargained, ie, the dispatcher (this would tie in with the dispatcher’s words in reverse). If knows who bargain(ed), this may indicate some knowledge of 3rd party involvement outside of the family, by another person such as her husband (however, nothing came of this in future investigations if they did have some idea). If those who bargain(ed), we have the 3rd person used referring to others. This could either refer to the writers of the note who bargain for JonBenet, or refer to other family members (but not herself). Alternatively, we have an unconscious aspect of Patsy referring to Patsy and others as being involved in bargaining (arriving at an agreement).
Following is ‘everyone’ did it, which is some form of admission where ‘everyone’ (family?) had some hand in what happened, indirectly and perhaps directly. Theybargainedor came to some agreement among themselves about what to do. Or alternatively, she is placing blame on herself and her husband for what happened even if there is an outside 3rd party involved.
After this is cover your words. This could indicate Patsy telling herself to be very careful about what she chooses to say.
Next, is the dispatcher’s wordsbut I know blowing a kill (or put on/what I know). This could indicate that the dispatcher at a subconscious level believed that Patsy is ‘blowing’ her cover up of a killing.
Killed girl/yeahandyour baby’s deadfollow. If the wordskilledand dead are there, or at least one of these words, this would indicate knowledge of her death at some level of consciousness, or a feared expectation that she is no longer alive. The fact that Patsy is apparently holding a new note asking for a ransom to be paid for JonBenet’s return, would place more weight on having the actual knowledge. However, whether this knowledge is known at a conscious level, or at a subconscious level, is a point of argument.
In determining meaning, a question to ask is ‘who’ is doing the reversed speaking, and who is the entity referring to? Is the statement one that is conscious to the speaker, that is, reveals her conscious thoughts, or is the statement from an aspect of the speaker’s subconscious that possesses some semi-autonomy from the conscious thoughts of the speaker? The use of 1st, 2nd and 3rd pronouns and referent words can cause considerable consternation when interpreting meaning, and also, as these words are typically short and unstressed one can get the word wrong. There are three statements from Patsy that possibly contain 2nd person you/your – likely the final two statements and maybe the first statement. When using 2nd person, one is communicating directly to another; in RS this could be the person the speaker is speaking with, an aspect of the speaker’s subconscious speaking to the speaker’s conscious self, or the conscious self of the speaker referring to herself. In this example, we can ignore speaking to another, different person. One – cover your words – could be one of the two other alternatives; a conscious thought, for example. The other two could be communication from a quasi – separate aspect of Patsy attempting to communicate directly to her conscious self. The first statement – knows you bargain(ed) – has a more even-tempered quality than cover your words and killed yeah/girl, which are highly emotional. The last statement – your baby’s dead – is not as even-tempered as the first one, but is not over-emotional like the other two mentioned – there is perhaps a different voice quality to it. Of course, it does not mean here that any of Patsy’s statements are of different aspects. One subconscious self could be telling Patsy that the dispatcher knows you came to an agreement among yourselves (note that the dispatcher seems to reveal that herself), you are all to blame, watch what you say, X killed JonBenet, and she’s dead.
In deciding on sequence of statements, as the reversal statements are continuous without gibberish in between, I have started at the beginning going in the RS direction (or the final statement going in the FS direction).
Looking at the whole picture, we need to determine whether some statements refer to the apparent kidnappers or to Patsy and family. Taking a kidnapper-focused interpretation, we would have either those who bargain(ed) or knows who bargain(ed) referring to the apparent kidnappers, with the second one indicating potential knowledge of the people that may be involved. Everyone did it might indicate some self-blame although there was an outsider involved. It is unknown why she would need to cover her words as she seems willing to blurt out everything about the note and the apparent kidnapping – unless there is some unconscious reaction to it. With killed yeah/girl, we don’t have the subject, and therefore the ‘who’. In this interpretation, she could not have known the child was dead, so this and the final reversal would not have been consciously known to her.
In a Ramsey-focused interpretation, the bargaining refers to the Ramseys conducting this among themselves (arriving at an agreement), and ‘everyone’ in the family were complicit in some way. The dispatcher’s subconscious picks up the subterfuge. There is then admission that JoBenet is dead in the last two reversal statements.
FS: ¹[I picked her up] car²[ried her upstairs]; I d³[on’t know what I was think]ing but I was just horrified I couldn’t speak, I was just …
murder – There is an extra syllable in the FS after “murder” in reverse. There is [p] at the point of [m] in “murder”, but is close enough to [m] to be “murder”. However the softness of [p] may give some the impression of “hurt her” rather than “murder”.
Burkeget that– The alveolar in “picked” [d] disappears in the RS leaving only an aspiration similar to a voiceless labial-velar fricative. The velar [k/g] begins on “get” with a natural elision of the [k] in “Burke” as it would occur in FS (in the audio where I have separated “Burke” I show the ending, which is the natural beginning of “get”). Note: a general listening may give some the sense of ‘did’ rather than ‘get’.
John Ramsey seems to point to Burke’s responsibility in the harming of Jon Benet.
There are other potential reversals. Here is one. The other may be added later:
FS: Linda Arndt [knelt down beside her as I was] and felt for a pulse and looked me in the eye and said she’s dead.
“in my plot” shows that Ramsay concocted a plan.
Wowser originates from Australia, but is known in America. Calling someone a wowser means that their sense of morality seeks to deprive others of what is considered sinful, immoral behaviour. The reversal starts immediately after saying the detective’s name.
If “hurt ass” refers to the topic of the speech, Linda Arndt, perhaps the “voice” considers that she is harming herself by falling into the trap set by Ramsey.
However, an alternative meaning is based on viewing the ‘voice’ as a semi-autonomous aspect of the person’s personality which is referring to the speaker (Ramsay) himself. Here, this subconscious aspect of Ramsey devised the plot (and influenced the man), and refers to Ramsey as a wowser ( a moraliser). As to “hurt ass”, this could refer to Ramsay’s ‘ass’ getting hurt (because he did something illegal), or to a more general, wider field of people (law enforcement, Ramsay’s etc).
RS: Said so I understand
FS: [and that’s when I was just] .. stunned
“I understand” is somewhat imprecise, but reasonably there. This reversal comes after Arndt telling Ramsay, Jon Benet was dead. It is probably confirmation that he understands this.
FS: and her hands were tied over her head she had tape on her mouth and took the tape off, her eyes were closed .. (Dr Phil) Could you at that point perceive her injuries at the time, could you see her neck and her head (JR) [No, I didn’t I, there was] …
saw it – [there was] The linking /r/ between the two words is a normal occurrence in the English language.
there – [I] The release if [I] creates some perception of a consonant initial in the RS. An approximation of the word only.
‘n did [didn’t]
that one [no, I] The constriction occuring after the release of [no] and the onset of [I] allows some perception that /t/ is meant to be there. [th] comes from the release of [I] and the onset of /d/ in [didn’t]. The sound of /w/ in [one] comes from the rounded vowel [o] in the FS.
What was mentioned in the FS was tied hands, tape on her mouth, and perceiving injuries. JR seems to mention that he saw it (whether this was the tied hands and tape mouth or the injuries), and he appears to say that he did that (again, whether it was the tied hands and taped outh or the injuries.
RS: ¹Near you find killer but/²Must serve the girl – too hot/³They rape brother I show ya
FS: Dr Phil When you talk to her what would you say?
Burke Ramsey: ²[oh just like if there’s some] important thing I was doing like hey thanks for looking out for me and ¹[( ) really looking out for me], and, you know, hope you’re having fun up there ‘cause I’m takin’ some tests you know like, ³[like I wish I was up there righ]t now …
I have mixed the order up as they come behind the forward speech.
Near you find killer but: Burke thanks Jon Benet for looking out for him. The first word is closest to ‘near’, which, of course means the killer is near. If it is Burke, is the response to Dr Phil (as Burke is right in front of him), or to Jon Benet as her brother?
Must serve the girl – too hot: This may indicate feelings of guilt towards Jon Benet. The last part and the next reversal below indicate a classic Christian fear of a hellish afterlife. ‘Too hot’ may refer to a fear of going to hell.
They rape brother I show ya: Burke says he wishes he was with JonBenet (in the afterlife). Like ‘too hot’, the aspect of his subconscious which contains concepts of Hell is informing him what could happen to him.
There is another potential reversal. Burke says he hopes Jon Benet is having fun ‘up there’, and immediately after gives this reversal. Some of it has a sing-song quality with ‘I’ as a double syllable. However, the ending of ‘sa’ is a problemand makes it sound illogical – Girl I think you’re (sack/sat?) – unless the final word is meant to be ‘sad’.
FS: They showed me a picture of the baseball bat like [on the side of the house] or something.
Burke was asked about his baseball bat (considered a possible weapon), which was found at the side of the house. He had stated that he normally leaves it outside on the patio. His reversal states he had it out, but that language implies it was out for a particular purpose. The last part of the reversal can indicate motivating purpose. It can also sound like ‘summer’, but ‘simmer’ is more logical. Simmer indicates restrained anger over a period of time.
Here is a selection of reversals from the first 5 minutes of Isaac’s interview.
RS: Yeah unreliable. Someone near/there, getting(?) life or
Yeah unreliable. Someone near get/need a knife
There is uncertainty over some words. It is important to investigate the alternatives. Isaac is responding to a question about his impression of Jessica and Vernal when he gives this reversal. In the first version, it is ‘getting’, or ‘giving’ or ‘needing’. In the second version, it is ‘get a knife’ or ‘need a knife’. You need to weigh up what it sounds like in the overall utterance, and what it sounds like as a single word. Of course, in forward speech, when listening to an isolated word, you can find it doesn’t quite sound like what you know the person is saying, which you have gathered from a macro listening using grammar, syntactic, and contextual clues. Yet, at the same time, you can’t always trust a macro listening, as what you initially thought something was, turns out to be something else. When there is uncertainty, you need to look at its grammatic and syntactic suitability, and its contextual appropriacy, yet at the same time, guard against accepting what you want to hear, or expect to hear. If it were ‘giving’ or ‘needing’, it remains vague. ‘Getting life’ as in life in prison is less vague and more contextually appropriate. However, once again, one needs to guard against wanting to hear something. If is were ‘get a knife’ or ‘need a knife’, it could reveal:
someone near an unreliable person should protect themselves, or alternatively, ought to use it,
someone actually got knifed or will get knifed by an unreliable person, or
someone near and the unreliable person is one and the same, and ought to be knifed.
There are other reversals that indicate Isaac is critical of someone in the group.
Immediately after giving the reversal as he was describing them as an average family, he stated that he ‘trusted Bob though’, and gave what could be another reversal which sounds something like:
You were involved, destruct shit
The [b] sounds in ‘Bob’ take on enough of a fricative quality to accept the possibility of [v] sounds in ‘involved’. [d] at the end of ‘involved’ quite naturally disappears to a certain extent before consonants in following words, and of course, does so with the [d] in ‘destruct’. I initially thought that it might have been ‘destruction’ with a loss of the [n]; however, there is a [t], and I have documented it as it sounds – ‘destruct shit’. This, of course, can be coincidental-sounding gibberish. One does not have to, nor shouldn’t just accept everything that may sounds like language. If this section was valid (and remember, that is not necessarily so), who is Isaac referring to then? Vernal or Bob, or someone else?
RS: The fun’s over, I’ve said it; I do not tell him the fun’s over
Isaac was saying that Vernal Deorr and Jessica Mitchell decided to go down to the store to get gas, but when they got there it was closed. At that point, he gives the reversal. This appears to be what is going through his subconscious in response to his experiences or beliefs regarding what he is speaking about. There is a conflicting statement. One voice states the fun’s over and claims it has been said, and another denies saying anything. What ‘fun’ refers to here, is open to interpretation. For example, something said in response to deciding to get gas, drive all the way down, then finding out it was to no avail (as in fun and games). Alternatively, when one states ‘the fun’s over, they are saying that someone is caught out.
‘over’ lacks an obvious [v] in both times.The first one is really “oh’ra”, while the second is a bit closer with [w]. Nevertheless, I conclude that they are intended to be the word in question.
RS: Lies they grow; he’s dick satan
Isaac says that when he got up, Jessica, Deorr and Vernal were planning to go and get gas. At the point where he mentions the three names he gives the reversal. It’s possible it may not be ‘lies’. The initial consonant is open to interpretation. It is a reasonable possibility. As often occurs in RS, [t] is glottalised rather than alveolar, and this occurs in ‘satan’. Who is he referring to as dick satan? Vernal? It is also possible that a subconscious aspect may be referring to the speaker himself. If so, it would be an aspect of Isaac that has dislike for Isaac. The pronoun may prove important in this regard in deciding this (such as ‘he’ rather than ‘you’).
RS: No, I don’t need tremors (driver seen no-one)
Isaac is talking about getting up and using the restroom then going back to bed (until midday). He spoke about Bob having whiskey, but said Bob doesn’t drink it; he brought it for others. One would surmise that Isaac was drinking heavily, so he went back to bed and slept the morning.
‘I’ is connected to ‘no’ by [w] which is normal linguistically. Perception of [d] in ‘don’t’ occurs, however sound is more like [n].
No, I don’t need tremors
Immediately following the reversal, he appears to say a word like ‘driver’, although, once again, the [v] is not evident, and then ‘seen no-one’, with [s] sounding like [z]. Of course, one can’t expect RS sounds to be perfectly articulated – they aren’t in forward speech. If ‘seen no-one’ is valid, perhaps it simply refers to him going back to bed, and not seeing others for a while.
RS: And there’s Dennille; so we, we get high
A person’s subconscious will respond to triggers and bring up past experiences and internalisations, or it may respond directly to what it happening at the time of speaking. Of course, there was no-one called Dennille (and we do have to be careful when an unknown name arises as it may not be part of a real reversal). If the Dennille section is relevant, it is more likely a trigger to a past experience or something internalised. Alternatively, some of it may be connected (getting high) to what was happening at the time (the night before that morning).
‘high’ is strongly connected to [t] before it, and this reduces [h] initial; however, I conclude that it is more likely ‘get high’ than not.
RS Youneed my girlfriend
Isaac had just said he went back to bed; when he was asked what time he got up (noon), he gave the reversal. This is likely an example of associated triggering of subconscious thought based on the topic – spending the morning in bed and getting up really late triggered an imaginary why – spending the morning in bed with a girl.
There is a fricative sound between ‘my’ and ‘girlfriend’ from the influence of [b] in the FS. I assume here it is extraneous sound not meant to be part of the reversal.
RS: You said/say Bob
The interviewer asked if Bob Walton had any whiskey, and Isaac first stated he might have had a couple, then immediately changed his mind and said Bob doesn’t drink anymore. At the point where he changed his mind, he gave the reversal. It is like his own subconscious remarked or complained to him about what he said.
These are a few of the potential reversals I have located in the 911 call of Jessica Mitchell.
1. There is uncertain language with the following reversal – whether it is ‘baby’ (2nd [b] not clear) and what the mystery word (?) could be. Also, it appears that the reversal may not begin at ‘the baby’, and that there is a syllable before it which could be ‘hide’. However, I will first look at the reversal without it.
(a) RS: the baby; why hurt you; (tag?) get under.
FS: Mitchell: He’s got shaggy blond hair
Operator: How tall is he? Hello?
Mitchell: I’m not exactly sure how, he’s about thr ….
the baby [he’s ab]out – It is possibly ‘baby’; however the consonants are open to question. The initial [b] actually comes from the onset of [s] before any frication – it may be heard as [b], but not conclusively; the second [b] is less clear, coming at [h] – an assumption is being made, therefore; a short sound at the onset of [h] gives the vowel ending in reverse.
Why hurt you? – exact[ly sure how]
hurt [sure h]ow – where [s] is in ‘sure’, one can perceive the [t] ending for ‘hurt’. Between exact[ly] and [s]ure there is a sibilant sound that can be considered extraneous.
you – exact[ly] – ‘you’ is gained from a combination of the vowel and the roundness of articulation occurring as in the neighbouring sound (sure in FS, hurt in RS).
I have included the syllable before ‘get under’; there is uncertainty, however.
(tag) – e[xact]ly – On close listening it can be like ‘tag’ or ‘cud’ (assuming an alveolar position before the [g] that follows). Both can be heard, and this is probably due to [ct] in the FS. Grammatically and contextually, the most sensible word would be one starting with [t] – ‘tag’ would be one choice, even ‘tie’.
get under [I’m not ex]actly – [g] comes from onset of [x] (egs); [n] from [n] in the FS; the [d] is an overall perception of the word ‘under’ – where [m] is, [n] can be heard which is articulated strongly.
Of course, there is no certainty that ‘the baby’ is genuine.
(b) Before it there is a word sounding like ‘ide’ which could be ‘hide’. This is uncertain.
RS: Hide the baby
So, if ‘baby’ is there, we have the mother’s subconscious saying ‘why hurt you’, so this may refer to Deorr. If so, the subconscious doesn’t want the child to be hurt, and if ‘hide’ is indeed there, then the child should be hidden (but then, are we talking about hiding a child that is now alive, or now dead?). Then again, the hurting may be a semi-autonomous aspect of JM talking about JM herself being hurt. Here, the subconscious may want the child out of the way of harm, and ‘get under’ may refer to a place to hide and protect herself and the child.
(c) The next reversal in the FS section appears to be either:
RS: There is no de-icing out there/There is no de-icing. Oh dear.
FS: And he’s got shaggy blond hair
De-icing typically refers to the removal of ice. Alternative, one may entertain the removal of the drug ice from the system. As it was summer and there was no ice, the normal term is strange in the context.
There are a number of FS consonants that have disappeared in order to create this reversal, or ones that have appeared.
There’s – blon[d hair] – on close examination the word is difficult to ascertain, and could even sound somewhat like ‘prays’, however, like in forward speech, words can sound distorted, and understanding of what one says comes from big picture listening. Most likely it is ‘there’s.
no [blon]d – [b] disappears in the FS.
de-icing [shaggy] – [c] comes from [sh] in the FS; [g] in the FS disappears; a perception of [ng] occurs at the glottal/velar [t] at the end of ‘got’ in the FS, and up to the beginning of [sh]; [d] is perceivable at shagg[y] before the onset of [b] in the FS.
Oh dear/out there [and he’s] – [d] or [th] comes from the [s] – although there is an obvious [z] sound, there is enough force to give an impression that one or the other consonant is there; out/oh comes behind ‘got’ – the [g] disappears and the lack of full articulation of [t] also causes its disappearance. One can perceive [t] where [g] is.
(d) The operator said ‘hello’? waiting for Jessica Mitchell to respond. She began talking at the same time. I will not try to record her words as it is very difficult to pick up. In reverse, it sounds like she says:
RS: Here, raping people
The operator, in reverse, almost sounds like she is saying:
RS: Who are (th)ey?
The [th] is actually [l] as in ‘who are lei?’. I have presented this as a possibility in the context, but cannot say whether this is valid here. Approximately 20 seconds later, the operator makes an interesting comment about a rapist in reverse. This is further below.
2. The entire eight second section of forward speech appears to reverse to language.
(a) To spin an axe, probably indicates throwing it, and idiomatically, strong anger.
RS: You screw me. Axe, spin it
FS: It’s so turn right after like the general store and the post office in Leadore [and it’s at Timber Creek].
You – C[reek] – [k] disappears.
screw me [Timber Cr]eek – [t] in the FS creates a little frication, however, does not get in the way, so ‘me’’ is reasonable. [r] I the FS after [c] creates enough frication to perceive a possible [s] in ‘screw’.
Axe – [ks] sound in [x] comes from the [s] in ‘it’s’ and velar constriction at the onset of [a] in ‘at’; [t] in ‘at’ does not cause any issue.
spin it [and it’s] – [t] in FS can be perceived as [p].
(b) It is interesting that the following reversal occurs at ‘in Leadore’.
FS: Hurled on it
FS: It’s so turn right after like the [general store and the post office [in Leadore] and it’s at Timber Creek.
(c) The remaining reversals run together without pause. There may be four statements in all. I have separated the first two from the last two, and will separate again to reveal individual comments.
The following sub-section runs together and can sound like ‘Take parts off but there torn it’. If you isolate ‘there’ and separate it from [f] before it, it is ‘know’. Of course, it does not necessarily mean that it is meant to be ‘know’, as isolating words in forward speech does not always reveal what the speaker was saying – we need to rely on larger speech chunks to understand a speaker.
If genuine, we need to ask what parts are being referred to, removed from what, what was torn, and who knows it? It may be useful in referring to the next reversal following this one for insight, as it runs on without pause.
RS: Take parts off. But know torn it.
FS: It’s so turn right after like the [general store and the post office] in Leadore and it’s at Timber Creek.
But know torn it
Take o[ffice] – a perceivable alveolar stop [t] occurs at [c]; [ff] disappears allowing perception of a near velar articulation [k].
parts – po[st o]ff – [p] is heard before the onset of [f] in the FS.
off [po]st – [p] forms a fricative [f].
But know – s[tore ‘n th]e post – right after the frication of the [ff] and part of the frication of [th] in ‘the’, one gets a short sound, which in the context of the other words, may represent ‘but’ (it could begin with [b]); know occurs at [tore ‘n], ending at the release of [t] in the FS.
torn it [general] store – an approximate [t] occurs around the [l] and the [s] in ‘store’ in the FS; [g] remains ‘open’ in the reverse, and allows a sense of a [t] in ‘it’.
(d) The rest of the run-on reversal is below. Letting someone/some people out and a door sticking may refer to a vehicle.
RS: You let the other side ou(t). ? door stick.
FS: [It’s so turn right after like the] general store
You let the li[ke the] – [l] in reverse occurs at [th] in the FS, and [th] in reverse occurs at [k]!
other – afte[r li]ke the general – this makes the assumption that the level of frication and force of articulation can be accepted as [th] in reverse.
side ou(t) [right af]ter – assumption of ‘out’ in the context, though there is non-articulation of [t] at the end; [s] in RS comes at [f] in FS; [d] in RS comes at [t] in FS.
? [turn off] – we have a mystery word. It sounds like ‘farner’s’, or ‘parner’s’ which is most likely nothing. However, in the context all of the language occurring around it, it should be noted.
door stick [it’s so] turn right – perceptible [d] in reverse occurs between ‘so’ and ‘turn’; assumption of a [k] ending in RS is reasonable.
3. The following section contains 4 to 5 reversals. They appear to use the word ‘fight’, ‘warrior’, and ‘skills’, which seems to indicate a pattern in JM’s reversals.
FS: JM: Um. I’m uh actually camping in Leadore, just outside of Leadore, um, my two year old son, we can’t find him.
Operator: What’s your name?
Operator: Pard .. Jessica who?
Operator: How long has he been missing?
JM: About four(?) …
(a) One should be careful about such short reversals. It increases the chance of coincidence. Context is important when deciding to include them. Fight’ is produced again seconds later behind a different FS word. Therefore, this is particularly worth noting.
RS: Her fight
Her fight [Jessica] – ‘her’ comes at [a] in ‘Jessica’; [f] comes at [ss]; [t] final in the RS comes at [j] in the FS.
(b) RS: Now fight you … (not)
There is a syllable before ‘now’ which I have cut off and not included. Actually, the syllable before and the word ‘now’ together sounds like ‘Danielle’. I am taking the position that ‘Danielle’ is coincidental (and that may also mean ‘now’ should not be included). The fact that ‘fight’ is used twice within seconds behind completely different words in the FS is interesting, however, and worth noting. It may sound like ‘find’, but there is no indication on close listening that it is this word more than the one I documented. However, it may need to be considered. Sometimes the word ‘not’ is heard behind ‘um’, and of course, we should not just accept it as being language. Of course, one can also hear /m/ rather than /n/. However, I have included the potential negative in this and the next reversal which occurred seconds away (it doesn’t occur anywhere else in the call) on the chance it means something. But, we should not assume it does. We must remember that what may appear to be language behind FS can be coincidental.
Now, fight you [we can’t find]
You comes at ‘we’
[c] disappears enough in the FS to allow the perception of an alveolar [t] ending in the RS
now comes off f[ind] in the FS
not – although ‘um’ has an [m], [n] is also perceivable in the RS.
(c) In the following reversal, the initial sound can be like [b]. However, it is possible that the word expressed is ‘warrior’s’ both linguistically and contextually in light of other reversals mentioning fighting and using skills (see next reversal). As mentioned above, the negative may be extraneous to the main reversal section.
Warrior’s camp … (I’m not)
Warrior’s [two year ol]d – [w] occurs at the [l] in the FS; [io] comes at [wo y] in the FS; [s] comes at the [t] in the FS.
camp [my] two – [c] occurs between ‘my’ and the onset of [t] in ‘two’
I’m not [um] – [n] is perceivable just before the onset of [m] in the FS; [I] in ‘I’m’ comes at an extra vowel uttered after ‘um’.
(d) RS: And use my skills
FS: Ac[tually camping]
And use – cam[ping] – [n] from [n] in the FS; [p] becomes a fricative and allows perception of [s] in the RS.
my [cam]ping – [c] disappears enough to allow perception of ‘my’.
skills – ac[tually] camping – [sk] occurs before the onset of [c] in ‘camping’ at [y] in ‘actually’ – [k] is not obvious on close examination; here we need to rely on a wider listening to ascertain that [k] is at least a possibility. Note that articulation is moving towards [c] in ‘camping’, so this may be possible.
In using ‘skills’, we might ask is this just a reference to the fact that they are camping, and so certain skills are required not ordinarily used at home? And, does the possibility of ‘warrior’ also just bring out a feeling within her about camping? Or can we relate it to the context of the other reversals to do with fighting?
4. JM describes the child’s clothes to the operator. It appears that she uses the word ‘knife’ twice in the 6 seconds.
(a) In the first reversal, she appears to say ‘jumper’, and interestingly this subconscious voice uses a British accent, possibly from the West Country. Contextually, jumper can be seen as reasonable, in that she is speaking about clothes. In this reversal, ‘knife’ would be a verb.
RS: Right, knife who made this jump-er
FS: a blue um [pair like pajama pants , and] a camel jacket.
Right [and] [r] is perceivable as the [n] disappears in the FS; sense of [t] ending.
knife [pant]s – a sense of [f] occurs at [p] where the stop has disappears and is aspirated
who made this [pajama] [d th] comes at [j] in the FS; [p] disappears, and the frication at the end gives a sense of [s].
jump-er [pair like] – some frication occurring around [k] in the FS, can some sense of an affricate, although there is also [y] occurring as the vowel moves to [k] in ‘like’; [p] disappears in the FS.
(b) In the next one, [f] is less obvious in ‘knife’, however, it is possible.
RS: Excite – your knife hit
FS: [a camel jacket]
Excite [jacket] – acceptable [t] at [j] in the FS; [ex] comes from [ke] in the FS + a sibilance that occurs before [k] in ‘jacket’.
your – cam[el] – the high front position of the tongue produces [y].
knife hit [a cam]el – [m] can also be heard as [n]; the [c] ha becomes an aspirated frication – an assume is made here that it is meant to be ‘knife’; [t] ending for ‘hit’ acceptable.