http://www.iowacourts.state.ia.us will show you all records of anyone in Iowa, however, showing the charges costs a monthly fee. Luckily, if you access the website from inside the actual courthouse, you can uncover ALL info.
After skimming over records of myself, I emailed the Cedar Falls Police Department in an attempt to schedule a ride along. Shortly thereafter, Anelia advised us to go to Iowacoldcases.org and find a case that had a geological connection with each of us.
Knowing this, I filtered my searches to Dubuque only, and found a homicide that I remember hearing about when it occurred. I chose the homicide of Marlon Barber, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed on October 20, 2012. The official news report mentions how this took place on the 2000 block of Jackson St, which interests me because I know exactly where this is at.
The page also mentions how there was a “R.I.P. Marlon Barber” Facebook page that popped up immediately after his death. The really interests me because I remember receiving invites to this group back in 2012. I was very active on Facebook at this time, so I also recall seeing several posts about this homicide, such as, “R.I.P Marlon” , “Rest up”, etc. Ultimately, this discovery really took me back to middle school.
Next, we watched the first episode of the documentary called “The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey. Before watching it, I found out the brother of the victim filed a $750m lawsuit against CBS for defamation. That is a huge amount of money, so I immediately achieved maximum interest.
The father’s name is John Ramsey and the mother’s name is Patsy Ramsey.
The intro truly grasped my attention. It started happy, showing a cliche family-christmasy clip from 1996. Then, it immediately turned to the heart-shattering 9-1-1 call.
- James Kolar
- Dr. Henry Lee
- Dr. Werner Spitz
Next, it shows viewers the “war room”, which is the main investigative room. This is where all the paper, evidence, and whiteboards are located, as well as where hours upon hours of critical analyzation of evidence takes place.
It’s interesting, but it definitely has a “movie-like” feel to the Documentary. This is because of the re-enactments of scenarios. This documentary has my attention, however, I am skeptical and not sure how serious I am taking all of the evidence and speculation that is mentioned. I know that the main goal is revenue, so speculation and suspense is added to increase viewership, which ultimately increases revenue.
For example, they attempt to “enhance” the 9-1-1 call, which they mention is something that has “never been done before” because of technology. They then play the call, and speculate on certain voices that were missed. Including one that says “we’re not speaking to you” from John, “what did you do” from Patsy, and “help me Jesus” from John. This obviously grabs viewer’s attention, however, in my opinion, it’s simple background noise that they were able to manipulate into much more.
They then contacted the 9-1-1 operator, played the tape to her, and then let her voice her opinion. She said “something wasn’t right” with the phone call, and that it seemed “rehearsed”. She also said she thought she heard other voices during the call, which ironically supported the “enhanced” version. Crazy how that worked right? This is definitely a “trap” episode, which means producers are basically speculating a lot of information, which leaves viewers with the feeling of “what’s next” or “and then what”, which is exactly what is needed in order for a viewer to go from episode 1 to episode 2. Again, don’t get me wrong, this documentary is very interesting and cinematically stimulating, but I’m not buying most of it.
After this, they review the ransom note. This is a very intense segment as they find out out that 76% of the ransom note matches another Hollywood ransom note. They also mention how the word “business” was misspelled as “bussiness”. They then speculate that this was on purpose in an attempt to make it appear that the composer of the ransom note, or killer, was someone not native to America or someone that doesn’t speak very good English. My reaction? I know many people who were born-and-raised in the United States of America in which spelling is not their best trait, so I don’t buy it being a non-english person. This supports the producers theory, but ultimately that scene was used as filler-time in an attempt to grasp the viewers even more.