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Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald

Most websites, even at the truTV's CrimeLibrary, seem convinced Green Beret physician Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald was indeed telling the truth and that he has been unjustly imprisoned for killing his family (as dramatized in the book and miniseries "Fatal Vision").

But how can they explain that in his account of the murders, a hippie woman in a big floppy hat held a single lit candle and intoned, "Kill the pigs! Acid is groovy!" while the killers went at it? He has never varied from that impossibly unbelievable story.

by Anonymousreply 30809/21/2014

Jeff MacDonald has always had a lot of nutso fans and believers, but I don't believe that "most" websites espouse his innocence.%0D %0D However, many people just do not want to believe that an all-American doctor, Green Beret and daddy would butcher his pregnant wife and 2 small children, and then make up such a stupid story.

by Anonymousreply 104/07/2011

I never believed he was guilty. From what I remember reading from the years so much was written about this tragedy, the wife's father had a lot of influence and hated MacDonald. He was willing to believe the worst about him and never felt he was good enough for his beloved daughter.

by Anonymousreply 204/07/2011

I tend to think he was right about that, R2.

by Anonymousreply 304/07/2011

And yet, r2, you have yet to answer the OP's question.

You're saying you really believe a bunch of hippies crashed into the house and butchered his family while one of them in a floppy hat held a lit candle and said, "Acid is groovy!"?

by Anonymousreply 404/07/2011

Alfred Kassab was the wife's stepfather, not father, and he had no problem with McDonald until McDonald butchered his stepdaugher and stepgrandchildren.

by Anonymousreply 504/07/2011

The father and mother of the wife actually vehemently defended McDonald until the father started looking into the story and reading transcripts and realized how ridiculous McDonald's story was and a million other things that didn't add up about the "perfect" all-American doctor and military guy.

by Anonymousreply 604/07/2011

He did it but he would have gotten away with it if he had a better story. He did the same thing in letting a pro get close to him. I forget the writers name. But it was just like the Skakels and Ramseys. They let a pro near to help prove their innocence and it was always the same thing "uhhhh you did it".

by Anonymousreply 704/07/2011

Kassab did believe MacDonald for a long time. It wasn't until he started investigating the case himself by reading the transcripts of the military proceedings that he began to doubt MacDonald. He also questioned the stories he was telling in his TV appearances like on the Dick Cavett show which I saw and fell for MacDonald's act. I'm not sure which came first though. The forensics in the case is quite compelling against MacDonald.%0D %0D The background of MacDonald was sugarcoated for a long time but when McGinniss started digging into it he found info that painted a different picture. Certainly McGinniss' info was not enough to conclude MacDonald was a killer but coupled with the physical evidence and lack thereof for the presence of intruders it makes the case for me. %0D %0D I do believe it started as an accidental killing or serious injuring, possibly of the oldest daughter. I think the sociopathic behavior that resulted in MacDonald cold bloodedly finishing off his family was triggered to save himself and his career. %0D

by Anonymousreply 804/07/2011

Sorry - meant to include it was Joe McGinniss who wrote Fatal Vision. He at first believed MacDonald innocent which is why MacDonald cooperated with him in writing the book. Once McGinniss got into the evidence and got to know MacDonald personally and through his research he came to believe MacDonald was guilty. %0D %0D MacDonald later sued McGinniss and it was settled. I don't think really had much of a case against McGinniss since he had signed a release allowing McGuinniss to have final say over the book and its conclusions. Typical arrogant sociopath to think he could fool everyone even a very smart journalist.%0D %0D McGinniss was criticized for not telling MacDonald that he believed he was guilty at some point but I felt that was a baseless attack on McGinniss.

by Anonymousreply 904/07/2011

[quote]You're saying you really believe a bunch of hippies crashed into the house and butchered his family while one of them in a floppy hat held a lit candle and said, "Acid is groovy!"?

IIRC, the murders occurred only a few months after the Manson defendants were arrested and details of how the Tate-LoBianca victims were murdered were reported in the news. So Macdonald's story, playing off of public fear of hippies tripping on acid, appeared somewhat plausible at the time to a lot of people.

by Anonymousreply 1004/07/2011

Sorry, not to derail the thread, but I can't wait for McGinnis's book about Sarah Palin and her family. He rented the house right next to the Palins' and started investigating in Wasilla and elsewhere in Alaska.

by Anonymousreply 1104/07/2011

McGinniss admitted he lied about the drugs in fatal vision. That's why McDonald sued and won.

by Anonymousreply 1204/07/2011

Additionally, r10, McDonald had a copy of Esquire in the house that night that had details on the Manson murders.

by Anonymousreply 1304/07/2011

Link R12?

by Anonymousreply 1404/07/2011

MacDonald sued McGinniss in 1984, alleging that McGinniss pretended to believe MacDonald was innocent long after he came to the conclusion that MacDonald was guilty, in order to continue MacDonald's cooperation with him.%0D %0D After a six-week civil trial that resulted in a hung jury, McGinniss's publisher's insurance company chose to settle out of court with MacDonald for an undisclosed amount (reportedly $325,000). Given the victims' rights laws in force, however, the convicted murderer received no actual money.

by Anonymousreply 1604/07/2011

Not to derail the thread, R7, but the pro the Ramseys enlisted has written that he believes that they are innocent. That would be criminal profiler John Douglas, who wrote about the case in The Cases That Haunt Us. Unless you are referring to someone else?

by Anonymousreply 1704/07/2011

Me too r11.

by Anonymousreply 1804/07/2011

The civil trial was about whether McGinniss had deceived MacDonald by allowing him to continue to believe that he was his "friend" after McGinniss came to believe he was indeed guilty.%0D %0D Letters were introduced at trial in which it could be argued McGinniss kept up a facade of friendship in order to keep MacDonald from preventinghim form finishing the book. McGinniss claimed the relationship was professional but in at least one letter he characterized the realtionship as one of friendship. %0D %0D There was nothing about lying about drugs that I recall. It was all about whether McGinniss deceived MacDonald about the nature of their relationship. %0D %0D It was a 6 jury panel and they hung at 5 to 1 for MacDonald. So MacDonald technically didn't win his case since it caused a mistrial. But McGinniss settled for $350,000 which is what I think MacDonald had asked for in the beginning but obviously that didn't cover attorneys fees or expenses which probably ate up the entire settlement.%0D %0D When questioned after the trial all 6 jurors said they nonetheless believed that MacDonald had murdered his family. LOL! It's a good reminder to me that juries are quite capable of separating issues. Though I am sure McGinniss and his "uppity" defense witnesses completely turned the jury off.

by Anonymousreply 1904/07/2011

I still have yet to hear anyone who believes in his innocence explain "Acid is groovy!"

by Anonymousreply 2004/07/2011

I once wrote to Anne Rule, the famous true crime author, and asked about this matter.

I just found it hard to believe that McDonald could commit these murders.

She believes that he did indeed murder his whole family.

by Anonymousreply 2104/07/2011

All four members of the McDonald family had differant blood types. By following the blood trail it was obvious Jeffrey's story was a lie.

by Anonymousreply 2204/07/2011

[quote]Most websites...seem convinced Green Beret physician Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald was indeed telling the truth and that he has been unjustly imprisoned for killing his family....

Well then. He MUST be innocent.

by Anonymousreply 2304/07/2011

I believe he is guilty, but R20, I don't understand why you are so caught up on the "acid is groovy". It was Fayetteville, NC in the 70s, it is not too far fetched to believe that some country girl might say that.%0D %0D There was someone who claimed to be the floppy hatted girl. She testified in a hearing that, IIRC, was to determine if McDonald deserved a retrial. She was determined to be unreliable.

by Anonymousreply 2404/07/2011

Well, it is groovy.

by Anonymousreply 2504/07/2011

R24, I think the story was that she gave a statement to one of Macdonald's investigators but died of an overdose before she could testify at the motion hearing to overturn the verdict. She had been in and out of mental hospitals for several years, so her testimony would have been questionable at best.

by Anonymousreply 2604/07/2011


JMacD is as guilty as the day is long. Lied to his wife about "accompanying a boxing team to Russia." He wanted OUT of that marriage.

He was not tested for speed that night by the hospital/authorities.

by Anonymousreply 2704/07/2011

Alfred Kassab was also very suspicious when MacDonald lied and told him that he and some buddies got "justice" by offing the murderers.

by Anonymousreply 2804/07/2011

Bed-wetting seems to bring out some murderous instincts.

Happened in the Ramsey family, also.

by Anonymousreply 2904/07/2011

[quote]Bed-wetting seems to bring out some murderous instincts. Happened in the Ramsey family, also.

Those wet sheets didn't change themselves every morning.

by Anonymousreply 3004/07/2011

"Acid is groovy" is not something anyone ON acid would ever say, even back in the 60s. %0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 3104/07/2011

A lot of you are overlooking the likelihood that his family was asking for it.

by Anonymousreply 3204/07/2011

Wikipedia link:

by Anonymousreply 3304/07/2011

"Acid is groovy" needs to be a new catchphrase. Anyway, it was the best part of that movie!

by Anonymousreply 3404/07/2011

Thank you, Miss Patsy, for providing the sole reliable laugh to be found on DL these days.

by Anonymousreply 3504/07/2011

"It was Fayetteville, NC in the 70s, it is not too far fetched to believe that some country girl might say that."

During a vicious bloody murder? Why would you say that, holding a lighted candle, while you were watching someone butcher a woman and her children?

by Anonymousreply 3604/07/2011

They always try to blame the husband.

by Anonymousreply 3704/07/2011

If you look at the crime scene photos, which are horrific, and compare them to the minor injuries that MacDonald had, there can be no doubt that he did it.

by Anonymousreply 3804/07/2011

Wasn't there a story about them finding some synthetic long blonde hair that didn't match any of the dolls the girls had? The floppy hat girl had said she wore a wig.

I read the book but only remember the movie with Karl Malden as the father. The things I remember are the coffee table could never land the way it had been left so they thought it indicated staging. And the way the pajamas were pierced with the ice pick could only have happened one way and it did not match MacDonald's story.

by Anonymousreply 3904/08/2011

You guys need to watch more Lifetime movies. People kill their families all the time! An intruder is the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

[quote]Out of 13,636 murders studied in the United States, 30.2% of the victims were murdered by persons known to them (4,119 victims), 13.6% were murdered by family members (1,855 victims), 12.3% were murdered by strangers (1,676 victims)

by Anonymousreply 4004/08/2011

"If you look at the crime scene photos, which are horrific, and compare them to the minor injuries that MacDonald had, there can be no doubt that he did it."%0D %0D In the beginning, before he became the #1 suspect, there was some conjecture that MacDonald might have locked himself in a closet during the slaughter of his family. There didn't seem to be any other way to explain their extreme wounds, vs. the insignificant amount he had.%0D %0D Later, someone said, "If he's telling the truth about this attack, then he's the biggest pussy in the world."

by Anonymousreply 4104/08/2011

Didn't the whole attack take place on an army base? I don't see how a bunch of hippies could've done that. The actor who played Jeffrey McDonald was great. It took years before I could see him as anything else.

by Anonymousreply 4204/08/2011

[quote]Didn't the whole attack take place on an army base? I don't see how a bunch of hippies could've done that.

They had drugs. It was probably very easy for them to get on the base.

by Anonymousreply 4304/08/2011

The full quote was actually "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs."%0D %0D Which makes it even less likely that someone actually said it.

by Anonymousreply 4404/08/2011

One of his girlfriend's after the murders eventually thought he was guilty too. One thing I remember from an interview with her was her saying "He's socially awkward, he would think "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs" is something hippies would say.""

by Anonymousreply 4504/08/2011

He was a hot piece of ass when he was younger. I'll bet he was banging chicks right and left.

Interesting tidbit: he was denied parole in 2005 because he refused to admit guilt or express remorse. He won't be up for parole again until 2020. His sentence runs until 2070, I believe.

by Anonymousreply 4604/08/2011

Crime scene photos. What I love most about his defense it the acid/high hippies. I'm sorry but I have been around a lot high people. All they ever wanted to do was lay around, eat Doritos, and listen to Led Zepplin. Not once have I ever scene someone drop some acid or do a bong hit and want to put an ice pick in my skull.

by Anonymousreply 4704/08/2011

[quote]Didn't the whole attack take place on an army base? I don't see how a bunch of hippies could've done that.

It take place at Fort Bragg, NC.

Ft Bragg is enormous and, in spite of the anti-Vietnam war protests at the time, military bases were not as well guarded as they are today, especially since 9/11. So, it's PLAUSIBLE that a car full of hippies could have driven on post. Likely? No.

by Anonymousreply 4804/08/2011

Car loads of 'hippies' were suspect in the 60's. The general cultural drugs and sex revolution happened in the 70's. In the 60's hippies, vans and long straight hair with floppy hats were considered something for California. I lived near Ft. Bragg growing up and find it hard, er make that impossible, to think no one noticed a white chick in a van with three guys. Was one of the guys black? They may not have been stopped at the gate but they had to ride through the residential section of the base. Why didn't ANYONE notice such a group?

by Anonymousreply 4904/08/2011

Lest we forget that the good Doctor had a very close and best Green Beret buddy who spent way too much time with the good Doctor. The bestest buddy was a single soldier who pretty much idolized the good, handsome, fit, Doctor. Mrs. good Doctor didn't appreciate his always hanging around her husband and her house especially since he never seemed to be interested in any of the women in the area.%0D %0D The good Doctor was very into himself and his looks and his attraction to various people who fell under his spell.%0D %0D The Kassab family was also taken with the good Doctor and backed him 100% before Freddy saw the very witty and urbane Doctor skeeving out Dick Cavett and the viewers of that show. Once Freddy put 1 and 1 together, he knew for certain that MacDonald had, indeed, massacred his little family including the unborn baby.%0D %0D The good Doctor was a very bad man and should have been put to death years and years ago.%0D %0D IMHO.

by Anonymousreply 5004/08/2011

ITA r42, r48 and r50. McDonald got by with it for a longtime, personally I think he wanted the single life, didn't he have to get married and wasn't his wife pregnant at the time of her murder?

by Anonymousreply 5104/08/2011

I don't know why, but R40's reply made me LOL. If people did watch more Lifetime movies they would be more aware of the crazy shiz people do to one another.

by Anonymousreply 5204/08/2011

Gary Cole R42.

I love him, he was also in American Gothic-creepy horror/crime series that lasted one season.

His latest gig was Entourage, playing a friend of Ari's from the old days. I never saw it, but I'm sure he's good.

by Anonymousreply 5304/08/2011

Yes, R51 Colette became pregnant and that's why he had to marry her, though it is very likely that he had other girlfriends throughout his relationship with Collette as well as during their marriage.

But, (and I'm sure someone will be correct me if I am wrong) no one ever believed or concluded that the murders were premeditated. Jeffrey MacDonald may very well be a sociopath, and had little to no regard or love for his wife and children, but it is unlikely that he came home after work that night intent on slaughtering his family.

The prevailing thought is that he came home from work that night exhausted,(he held two jobs, baby-sat the children a couple of nights a week while Collette attended college and was probably accomplishing all this by eating amphetamine tablets like M&Ms, plus money was tight and Collette was pregnant again), found one of his daughters (the youngest?) asleep on his side of the bed, and lifted her up to take her into her own room, only to find that she had peed in the bed. I believe, though I'm not sure, that there was a towel placed over the puddle in the bed, indicating that he still intended to go to bed that night. Collette either woke up or he woke her and they began to argue (Colette was still giving their youngest daughter a bottle and allowing her to sleep in their bed at night, despite Jeffrey's repeated requests that she cease doing both), and somehow they both left the bed and were standing face to face. This is where things get murky. . .

Personally, I believe that the fight escalated until Collette said something that caused Jeffrey to slap her, and that's why she ran into the utility area by the back door and grabbed the stick of wood in order to hit him with it. It is thought by some that the knife wound to Jeffrey's forehead was inflicted by Collette and I agree. I think he was able to wrestle the club away from her and then she ran for the knife, managing to scratch him across the forehead and that's when he began beating her with the club. Just as he was on a back swing, the eldest daughter ran into the room and was accidentally hit with the club and killed almost instantly. Collette was still alive, but the daughter was dead or dying and he thought of leaving (there was a suitcase found pulled out of the bedroom closet and lying on the floor), but decided to concoct a story that his family was murdered by intruders.

The Esquire magazine that contained a story on the Manson murders was found on the floor of the apartment with only Jeffrey's fingerprints on its cover and that's clearly where he got the idea to blame it on murderous hippies.

Oh, and as to the synthetic hair found that did not match any of the daughters' dolls--Collette was known to wear wiglets.

by Anonymousreply 5404/09/2011

That's about right, 54. I never quite imagined Colette that aggressive but you may have something with that. %0D %0D I can't find my copy of Fatal Vision but IIRC they found fibers from the daughter's pajamas in the parents' bedroom by the door - or maybe it was her blood. Anyway I thought that they were able to make a plausible case for placing the oldest daughter in the parents' bedroom that night. %0D %0D I also agree it was a situational murder and that he didn't plan the initial stages. Those could easily have been 2nd degree murder or even manslaughter. But either of them would have ended his career. THAT he couldn't abide. And that is when he did commit the premeditated first degree murder of his youngest daughter.%0D %0D As for access to military bases - I was an Amry brat and it was nothing to get on most bases back then. Some didn't even have gaurd posts at some entrances. It's really only recently that things got tightened up - by recent I mean after 9/11 and a bit before. %0D %0D Anybody used to be able to get into the Pentagon as well - it had a shopping center in the middle. When I had to get my ID card renewed in the early 1970s my mom and I wandered all over and never had to show any ID. Life was so much simpler then.

by Anonymousreply 5504/09/2011

brief clips of MacDonald on the Dick Cavett show:

by Anonymousreply 5604/09/2011

The Eyes for Lies crime blog keeps me interested. I wish she'd write about the MacDonald case.

by Anonymousreply 5704/09/2011

How convenient Jeffery Macdonald's wounds were minor verses the victims that were multiply stabbed. Being a doctor, he knew where to stab himself in which the wound was not fatal I'm sure. It doesn't make sense at all that there was another murderer that did this. When someone murders like this, they make sure everyone is dead at the crime scene no one is spared. The stab wounds on the victims were not one time but multiple times. Jeffery MacDonald would have received the same attack. %0D %0D Someone mentioned on the thread that he might have hid in the closet? That place was small, and the murders would have located him and murdered him viciously as well. Also, the murder was done by an angry person by the multiple stab wounds on the victim%E2%80%99s bodies.%0D %0D I used to like Joe McGinniss. He is a super lunatic and he has lost a lot of credibility from many of his colleagues when he moved next door to the Palins.%0D

by Anonymousreply 5804/09/2011

Out of all the gruesome details that came out about the murders, the one that has truly stuck in my mind is that the littlest girl was most likely laid down across his lap while he stabbed her to death. Can you imagine being held down by your own father while he kills you?%0D %0D Reminds of that woman who drowned her six children in Texas. The last thing they saw was their parent taking their life. Horrible.%0D %0D If you ever get chance to read Fatal Vision, make sure you read the "contract" that Doctor Man wrote with his nubile, young, blonde fiancee. He was a real poet! So romantic!

by Anonymousreply 5904/09/2011

R58 - How do your first two paragraphs connect to the last? And what is your logic for your statements in the third paragraph?. Inquiring minds want to know as well as wanting a link.

by Anonymousreply 6004/09/2011

There's really no question he did it. The blood type thing was a lucky break for the investigators back then. With today's DNA and crime scene techniques, it would be pretty open and shut.

by Anonymousreply 6104/09/2011

The more that any sane person looks at the evidence the more McDonald needs to stop the "I am innocent" defense. He may have killed his wife and older daughter in a rage but he murdered his youngest daughter.

by Anonymousreply 6204/09/2011

Have they done DNA testing on the evidence now that the technology is available?

by Anonymousreply 6304/09/2011

Yes, they have, R63. There are a couple samples from someone unknown, but mostly it's MacDonald's DNA all over.

by Anonymousreply 6404/09/2011

I think the reason MacDonald even gets doubt at all (apart from being an All-American guy) is the fact that, especially for the time, the forensics were so complicated. 48 Hours did a story about the killing a few years ago, and because of the blood evidence, they actually drew out a full-scale recreation of the MacDonald's house on a soundstage floor and used it to explain whose blood was found where.%0D %0D Maybe after 40 years of police procedurals, a jury would have an easier time with it, but I could see a good lawyer making a case for reasonable doubt based on it. I'm surprised he got convicted at all, although he's where he should be.%0D %0D Acid is groovy!

by Anonymousreply 6504/09/2011

I would take his demon seed. Then hate myself for it.

by Anonymousreply 6604/09/2011

"He may have killed his wife and older daughter in a rage but he murdered his youngest daughter."

Yeah!! Wait, what?

by Anonymousreply 6704/09/2011

If this guy was black he would've been fried up a long time. You ever notice white, attractive guys have weird, innocence protesting fangirls?

by Anonymousreply 6804/09/2011

Simply this: if there had been four or five intruders, there would have been evidence of them all over the house in a messy crime scene like that.

There is trace evidence of other people/things that had been tracked in (just as anyone would have from the outside), but nothing like there would have to be if there had been five people in that small Ft. Bragg house--particularly if those five people were drugged out and not skilled criminals. There would have been conclusive evidence, even profiles, of each of them. If they were messed up on drugs, their prints, hair, and fiber would have been everywhere. There'd also have been some signs of forced entry, or at least something around the door they entered that they'd have tracked inside.

There is evidence of MacDonald inside the house. The pajama top is most damning.

by Anonymousreply 6904/09/2011

Army Doctor Gets Another Chance to Clear His Name

By MARTHA WAGGONER Associated Press RALEIGH, N.C. September 15, 2012 (AP)

Jeffrey MacDonald, a clean-cut Green Beret and doctor convicted of killing of his pregnant wife and their two daughters, is getting another chance at trying to prove his innocence — more than four decades after the slayings terrified a nation gripped by his tales of Charles Manson-like hippies doped up on acid slaughtering his family in their own home.

The case now hinges on something that wasn't available when he was first put on trial: DNA evidence. A federal judge will convene a hearing on Monday to consider new DNA evidence and witness testimony that MacDonald and his supporters say will finally clear him of a crime that became the basis of a best-selling novel and a made-for-TV drama.

It's just the latest twist in a case that has been the subject of military and civilian courts, intense legal wrangling and shifting alliances.

"This is Jeff's opportunity to be back in court almost 33 years to the day of his conviction," said Kathryn MacDonald, who married him a decade ago while he's been in prison.

MacDonald, now 68 and not eligible for parole until 2020, has never wavered from his claim that he didn't kill his pregnant wife, Colette, and their two daughters, 5-year-old Kimberley and 2-year-old Kristen. He has maintained that he awoke from a slumber on their sofa in their home on the base of Fort Bragg in the early morning hours of Feb. 17, 1970, as they were being attacked by intruders — three men and a woman.

In an October 2000 letter MacDonald wrote to Kathryn MacDonald, provided by her to The Associated Press, he wrote: "It would be a dishonor to their memory to compromise the truth and 'admit' to something I didn't do — no matter how long it takes."

The gruesome stabbing and beating deaths, coming just three months after the Manson-family slayings in California, the pregnant wife and MacDonald's description of the woman attacker chanting "acid is groovy, kill the pigs" all fed into fears that Manson-type killers were on the loose in North Carolina. The word "pig" was written in blood on a headboard — the same word that was written on the door of Manson victim Sharon Tate's house in Los Angeles.

The Army charged the Ivy League-educated MacDonald with murder, then dropped the charges months later after an Article 32 hearing. By December 1970, MacDonald was not just a free man but also had received an honorable discharge.

But his father-in-law, Alfred Kassab, who initially believed in his innocence, changed his mind and eventually persuaded prosecutors to pursue the case in civilian court. In 1979, MacDonald was charged, convicted and sentenced to life in prison, a sentence he now serves at the federal prison in Cumberland, Md.

by Anonymousreply 7009/15/2012

MacDonald has stood by his innocence claim so strongly that he refused to apply for parole for years, and when he did, he refused to acknowledge any guilt and was rejected. MacDonald and his supporters have continued to pursue legal avenues over the years to try to clear his name.

U.S. District Court James Fox will consider two types of evidence: three hairs that don't match the family's DNA and a statement from Jimmy Britt, a deputy U.S. marshal when the case was tried. Britt, who has since died, gave a statement to defense attorneys in 2005 that he heard prosecutor Jim Blackburn threaten Helena Stoeckley, a troubled local woman whom MacDonald had identified as one of the attackers.

A previous MacDonald attorney has said Stoeckley was prepared to testify she was in the MacDonald home the night of the murders until Blackburn threatened to charge her with the slayings. She later testified she couldn't remember where she was that night.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted MacDonald's request for the hearing. It's expected to last up to two weeks, and Fox will determine whether to order a new trial.

"This is the first time the judge is having to consider all the evidence in the case as a whole," said Chris Mumma, head of the N.C. Center on Actual Innocence, which has a pending request for DNA testing on other items found in the home. "Pieces of evidence were considered in the past. Now the 4th Circuit has told the judge to consider the evidence as a whole, whether admitted at trial or not."

A lab was able to get DNA testing from the roots of hair, so Mumma is optimistic that other evidence can be tested if the judge agreed. The center has asked that 40 items be tested, but hundreds of bloodstains were collected, along with the weapons, the eyeglasses the children wore and pieces of the gloves used to write the word "pig."

In 1979, only blood typing existed, not DNA testing. Jeffrey, Colette and their daughters all had different blood types, so prosecutors could recreate which people were in which rooms together.

But, Mumma asks, what if the blood types belonged to people outside the MacDonald home?

"There's evidence that I think would be worth testing to determine if there's DNA evidence not tied to family members — or that does," she said. "The DNA testing may completely confirm the government's theory."

Fox will consider the statement of Britt, who accused former prosecutor Jim Blackburn of threatening Stoeckley. Blackburn later went into private practice and was found guilty of several ethical violations. He was disbarred and served a prison sentence. Because he's a likely witness, Blackburn can't talk about the case. He does, however, support the trial verdict. "We prosecuted the case to the best of our ability," he said. "We still believe the verdict was correct."

by Anonymousreply 7109/15/2012

Like the Manson murders, the MacDonald killings led to books, most famously "Fatal Vision," which also was the basis of a television miniseries that concluded MacDonald was guilty. Earlier this month, documentary filmmaker Errol Morris' book, "A Wilderness of Error," was published.

There will be some familiar faces at the proceedings. But others who have played central roles in the case will be missing: Stoeckley died in 1983 at age 32 of pneumonia and cirrhosis of the liver; Britt, the U.S. deputy marshal who said the prosecutor threatened Stoeckley, also has since died. Jeffrey MacDonald's father-in-law, Kassab, also has died.

Now Colette MacDonald's brother, Bob Stevenson, will be there to fill his role

"The truth is, there is nothing new out there," said Stevenson, 73, who declined to say where he lives, saying he receives death threats. "There is nothing. Do you know how much DNA is in my home and your home? The mere discovery of DNA has nothing to do with a man's guilt."

Stevenson said he promised Kassab before he died in 1994 that he would continue to pursue MacDonald.

"Until he is dead or I am dead, we will be battling as adversaries," he said, adding later: "I will never lose interest. I will never lose zeal. I will never lose faith."

by Anonymousreply 7209/15/2012

Do you know McDonald has married to a very good looking younger woman?

He will never give up trying to get out nor will he ever admit his guilt.

Everything so far indicates that he did it. The posters above post the most damning evidence and the best reconstructions.

McDonald's biggest mistake was talking to the MPs early on and giving a story that did not fit the evidence. A smarter approach would have been to wait to see what the evidence was and then tell his detailed story.

It should have been - I saw some people, heard some screaming, got knockedout. Don't know what happened next.

Then all evidence could have been better explained - the pajama top - "I had it on, when I woke I didn't. I didn't notice it aftewards, I was in shock from seeing my family dead."

I picked up the coffee table, absentmindedly before I realized what had happened.


by Anonymousreply 7309/15/2012

I have Errol Morris' latest book on hold. He claims MacDonald is innocent.

The pyjama top comes in for scrutiny, and I forget what else.

I think this is another Sam Shepard case. Neither side has it exactly right.

by Anonymousreply 7409/15/2012

The Sam Sheppard case made me want to be a lawyer. MacDonald is nothing like that at all. Are they trying to wear the mantle of Sheppard now? Please.

by Anonymousreply 7509/15/2012

Timeline of Events in the Jeffrey MacDonald Case

RALEIGH, N.C. September 15, 2012 (AP)

— Feb. 17, 1970: Colette, Kimberley, and Kristen MacDonald — the wife and daughters of Capt. Jeffrey MacDonald — are killed in the family apartment on Fort Bragg, N.C.

— May 1, 1970: The Army formally charges MacDonald with killing his family.

— July 5, 1970: The Army opens an Article 32 hearing against MacDonald.

— Oct. 13, 1970: The Army recommends all charges against MacDonald be dropped.

— December 1970: MacDonald receives an honorable discharge.

— Jan. 24, 1975: Jeffrey MacDonald is indicted on three counts of murder in federal court, mainly because of the persistence of Colette's stepfather, Alfred Kassab. He was one of MacDonald's early supporters but later became convinced of MacDonald's guilt.

— Aug. 29, 1979: MacDonald is convicted of the murders of Colette, Kimberley and Kristen and sentenced to life in prison.

— Aug. 22, 1980: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses all charges against MacDonald, who is released.

— March 31, 1982: The U.S. Supreme Court reverses the 4th Circuit decision. MacDonald is rearrested and returned to prison.

— Spring 1984: The book "Fatal Vision" by Joe McGinniss, who had access to MacDonald and his defense team during the trial, is published. McGinniss had thought MacDonald was innocent, then changed his mind. MacDonald eventually sued McGinniss for breach of contract, and the two reached a $325,000 settlement. MacDonald was not allowed to keep most of the money, which went into a trust.

— Nov. 18-19, 1984: The mini-series based on "Fatal Vision" airs on NBC.

— March 27, 1991: MacDonald, now eligible for parole, maintains his innocence and doesn't apply.

— 1995: "Fatal Justice: Reinvestigating the MacDonald Murders," written by MacDonald supporters Fred Bost and Jerry Allen Potter, is published.

— Aug. 30, 2002: Jeffrey and Kathryn MacDonald are married.

— May 10, 2005: MacDonald attends his first parole hearing after 14 years of eligibility. He continues to maintain his innocence, and the board turns down his request within a few months.

— December 2005: MacDonald's attorneys file motion in 4th Circuit requesting a hearing on newly discovered evidence.

— Jan. 13, 2006 — 4th Circuit rules that MacDonald can introduce evidence of Jimmy Britt, a retired deputy U.S. marshal who said he heard prosecutor Jim Blackburn threaten a witness, Helena Stoeckley.

— March 10, 2006: DNA testing shows MacDonald's hair was found in Colette's hand. Also, hair from unidentified person is found under fingernail of a daughter.

— Nov. 4, 2008: U.S. District Court Judge James Fox dismisses the appeal filed by MacDonald's attorneys.

— Feb. 19, 2009: MacDonald's attorneys ask 4th Circuit to order a new trial.

— April 19, 2011: 4th Circuit orders Fox to consider new evidence.

— Sept. 2, 2012: "A Wilderness of Error," written by documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, is published.

— Sept. 17, 2012: After several scheduling delays, the hearing on new evidence is on the calendar in U.S. District Court in Wilmington.

by Anonymousreply 7609/16/2012

"Acid is groovy!"

Sounds like he was a speed freak.

by Anonymousreply 7709/16/2012

I read Fatal Vision when I was 16 years old. One thing always pops into my head whenever I hear about this case more than 20 years since reading the book . He said that, even before she had their first child, Colette never had good abs. I remember feeling really sad about that for some reason. That he would dis this poor woman's figure, that he would even think about something like that and think it acceptable to say it, after all that had happened to that same body. I mean, those "bad abs" were fucking destroyed by a pick ax and the unborn child being carried by those "bad abs" was killed. What kind of a fucked up person could so casually discuss the flaws of this woman's figure? I also remember they has sex for the first time in a hammock.

As an aside, I also read a bio of Jackie O when I was 16 and, to this day, anytime I hear about her or see a pic, I remember that she had her pubes shaved into the shape of a heart for their wedding night. And that is ALL I remember about that book. The mind of a 16 year old is strange, indeed.

by Anonymousreply 7809/16/2012

"Stoeckley was prepared to testify she was in the MacDonald home the night of the murders until Blackburn threatened to charge her with the slayings"

I'm confused - wouldn't admitting that she was there implicate her in the killings anyway?

by Anonymousreply 7909/17/2012

Sheesh. The story gets uglier and uglier.

by Anonymousreply 8009/17/2012

[quote]I'm confused - wouldn't admitting that she was there implicate her in the killings anyway?

Yes. Blackburn might have been a slimball but he was right to say she could have been charged as at least accessory.

by Anonymousreply 8109/17/2012

'Fatal Vision' is one of my favorite books and led me to my lifelong fascination with the true crime genre.

I do remember another excerpt where a former girlfriend became convinced that Jeffrey MacDonald could've murdered his whole family. She was on a boat with him and her son when the son angered MacDonald, who proceeded to grab the kid and hang him over the side of the boat by his feet. It was a very fast, suddden anger that came out of nowhere.

Probably much like what happened that night.

He's always struck me as so smarmy and cocky. I was happy to see when it all crashed in on him. Couldn't happen to a nicer douchebag.

He's nearly 70 now, so his life is pretty much over anyway. He's at least *had* a life, unlike the rest of his family.

by Anonymousreply 8209/17/2012

There will always be gullible people who care more for the accused than the victims. All they see is a charming and attractive person proclaiming their innocence and the idiots are very willing to believe them. Really pathetic.

by Anonymousreply 8309/17/2012

Even Errol Morris sees him as not guilty. The whole story seems so manufactured by Macdonald.

by Anonymousreply 8409/17/2012

Green Beret..HELLO! Trained killer. Sounds too much like he followed the Manson case and decided to blame crazed hippies.

by Anonymousreply 8509/17/2012

Was Sam Sheppard guilty?

by Anonymousreply 8609/17/2012

Another interesting aspect to the case is that one of the prosecutors (James Blackburn) went off the rails at some point and was involved in some really sketchy business. The MacDonald defense team tried to use that information to bolster their own case that the guy had also been shady in their case as well.

The guy ended up waiting tables .... and of course, writing a book !!

by Anonymousreply 8709/17/2012

Has Morris done any PR for his book yet and said why he things MacDonald is not guilty?

by Anonymousreply 8809/17/2012

September 17, 2012, 4:15 p.m.

WILMINGTON, N.C. – For 42 years, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald has clung to his story: Four intruders, including a woman in a floppy hat, killed his wife and two young daughters one night in February 1970.

In federal court Monday, MacDonald’s lawyers offered new evidence they say bolsters their client’s story and will prove that he was wrongfully convicted of stabbing and bludgeoning his family to death inside their home at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

MacDonald, now 68, was an Army doctor assigned to U.S. Special Forces when his wife, Colette, and daughters Kimberley, 5, and Kristen, 2, were murdered in a case that became the basis for a bestselling book, "Fatal Vision,’’ and a hit TV miniseries. He is serving three life sentences.

MacDonald has been granted a new hearing based on defense contentions that newly tested DNA points to other suspects, and that sworn statements by a former federal marshal show a prosecutor threatened a crucial witness whose testimony could have exonerated the Army captain. DNA from three hairs found inside the house does not match MacDonald, his wife or his children, the defense says.

Opening testimony focused on the marshal and a heroin addict the defense says was among the intruders. Both are now dead, but their actions from years ago were resurrected in court as the defense sought to persuade a federal judge to overturn MacDonald’s 1979 murder conviction.

Testimony on the DNA evidence is expected later in the hearing, which could last up to two weeks.

MacDonald’s lead lawyer, Gordon Widenhouse, told U.S. District Court Judge James C. Fox that "no reasonable juror’’ who heard the new evidence would find MacDonald guilty.

In opening statements, Widenhouse said deputy U.S. Marshal Jimmy Britt heard the heroin addict, Helena Stoeckley, tell a federal prosecutor in 1979 that she and others were inside MacDonald’s home the night of the murders. But because prosecutor James Blackburn threatened Stoeckley if she testified to that effect, Widenhouse said, Stoeckley testified at MacDonald’s 1979 federal trial that she couldn’t recall anything from that night.

Blackburn, who pleaded guilty in 1993 to embezzlement and obstruction of justice in an unrelated case, is on the witness list for the hearing.

The defense says Stoeckley, who died in 1983, was the woman in a floppy hat MacDonald says chanted "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs’’ while three men killed his family. MacDonald told investigators the men stabbed and beat him unconscious; prosecutors theorized that his wounds were either self-inflicted or a result of a violent struggle with his wife.

Police found the word "pig’’ scrawled in blood on a headboard in MacDonald’s home. The same word was written in blood at the murder scene of the Charles Manson cult killings in California six months earlier. Prosecutors said MacDonald staged the scene after reading an account of the Manson murders in an Esquire magazine article found in his home.

Wade Smith, a MacDonald defense lawyer in 1979, testified Monday that Britt called him in 2005 and told him he was "burdened heavily, morally’’ by something from the MacDonald trial. In sworn statements, Britt said prosecutor Blackburn threatened to charge Stoeckley with murder if she testified that she had been at the murder scene.

Britt also said Stoeckley told him separately that she was there that night, and accurately described a hobby horse in the MacDonald home.

Smith said Britt told him that he waited a quarter-century to tell his story because he did not want to appear disloyal to law enforcement by undermining the prosecution's case.

"He sort of unloaded his soul,’’ Smith testified.

But on cross-examination Monday, Smith conceded that Stoeckley repeatedly told defense lawyers during a long interview session in 1979 that she couldn’t remember anything about the night of the murders.

by Anonymousreply 8909/18/2012

"I can’t help you -- I wasn’t in the home,’’ prosecutor John Bruce quoted Stoeckley as telling Smith and another defense lawyer the day before she testified.

Smith also testified that he told Blackburn that Stoeckley’s interview produced little of real value to the defense, which had hoped that Stoeckley would incriminate herself and others. Smith said Blackburn told him that Stoeckley told prosecutors little of interest when they interviewed her.

The prosecution Monday portrayed Stoeckley as a deeply disturbed drug addict. In her 1979 testimony, Stoeckley admitted shooting up heroin and opium, taking mescaline and smoking marijuana in the hours before the murders. She testified that she shot up heroin or opium six or seven times a day for up to nine years.

Prosecutors quoted statements by Stoeckley’s mother, who described her daughter as "a physical and mental wreck’’ who "is going to talk all kinds of nonsense.’’ The prosecution also introduced evidence that Britt provided contradictory details about when and where he talked to Stoeckley.

But Smith testified that even if Britt was mistaken on some details, he gave consistent accounts of Stoeckley’s interview with the prosecutor. Smith also said a police detective who used Stoeckley as a drug informant called her "the most reliable informant I ever had.’’

The hearing resumes Tuesday morning.

by Anonymousreply 9009/18/2012

Maybe acid IS groovy. And maybe killers wear floppy hats, hold lit candles, and speak like Marcia Brady playing "things murderous hippies would say" on "The $25,000 Pyramid".

by Anonymousreply 9109/18/2012

Supposedly five drug crazed hippies (one of them a female with long blonde hair and a floppy hat, carrying a lit candle and chanting "Acid is groovy! Kill the pigs!") burst into his apartment and rampaged, yet the apartment was oddly undisturbed. Valentines were displayed sitting upright; none of them had been knocked over.

His pregnant wife and two small children were butchered: budgeoned, their bones broken, stabbed with an icepick and a knife dozens of times. Yet he, the big, strong, brave Green Beret, had only minor injuries. A fews scratches, a bump on the head and a very neat, precise incision (like a doctor might make) in his ribs that caused the partial collapse of his lung.

After the horrific murder of his family, MacDonald moved on quickly, lighting out to California to start a new life as a swinging bachelor doctor. His in-laws were aghast at his behavior; he wasn't interested at all in finding out who killed their loved ones.

His performance on the Dick Cavett show was chilling. His father in law suggested he go on the show to publicize the crime and ask for help in finding the killers. All MacDonald did was complain about how badly he'd been treated and crack jokes. At one point he mentioned that on the murder night he had watched some of a "late night talk show." After he said it he smiled, although it came out as more of a slimy leer. The audience laughed uneasily.

It's amazing that Jeffrey MacDonald to this day attracts groupies and supporter. He is obviously, OBVIOUSLY, a sociopath.

by Anonymousreply 9209/18/2012

"There will always be gullible people who care more for the accused than the victims."

But sometimes the accused isn't actually guilty. (I do think he is guilty in this case, though)

by Anonymousreply 9309/18/2012

Yes, r86.

The man he hired did the actual killing, while he slept on the downstairs couch.

Later, Sheppard claimed the man was the murderer because he had access to the house. Which was true, because Sheppard gave it to him.

by Anonymousreply 9409/18/2012

No, R86.

Bullshit, R94. There has never been any evidence whatsoever that Sheppard hired anyone to kill his wife. The lack of physical evidence implicating Sheppard in the murder is overwhelming. There's just nothing there. The evidence of a person - not Sheppard and not Marilyn - in the murder room that night was a fact unaccounted for.

by Anonymousreply 9509/18/2012

The MacDonald defense is grabbing at straws. A "reasonable trier of fact" could easily have discounted Shockley as a witness even if she had testified. Given the impeachment evidence available against her (making her an unbelievable witness), putting her on the stand considering the mountain of physical evidence against MacDonald may have made no difference in the verdict. I don't think the defense is anywhere near the standard needed to overturn the verdict.

It's very hard to overturn a verdict in this type of post-trial challenge. I also seriously doubt that an appellate court would consider it a threat by the government that they advised a witness of her 5th Amendment rights before making potentially incriminating statements. I also can't imagine any attorney she would have had appointed to her by the court to protect her rights ever allowing her to testfy - at least not without s deal or immunity. There's more but dinner is calling.

by Anonymousreply 9609/18/2012

This is so weird, because when I was a little kid, I got in trouble for writing with crayon on the wall. It did look like my childhood writing and it was written in my crayon, but it was totally done by some woman in a floppy hat. She was tripping on something, which is why her handwriting looked like that of a child. My parents didn't believe me, so they tanned my hide... but it was the woman in the floppy hat!!

by Anonymousreply 9709/19/2012

Murder groupies don't have the greatest taste.

Check out the pics of this guy at the link. I guess if you throw him in a uniform (and make him a successful doctor), then it 'improves' his looks, but otherwise he was pretty 'meh'.

And yes, about 2/3 of the way down the page, there is a shirtless shot from 1974.

by Anonymousreply 9809/19/2012

[quote] Green Beret..HELLO! Trained killer

I've known a good number of military medical personnel - doctors, nurses - and to my knowledge they've never received the full military training. Even those who were sent to Vietnam and served just behind the lines in combat hospitals didn't get it. They used to laugh about how they didn't have to do all the grunt training. Also MacDonald was assigned as a medical officer to a Green Beret unit - not sure that means he had any specific Green Beret training.

Not to say that he couldn't have acquired the means and knowledge to kill - plus, another duh! - he was a doctor. He knew how to make it look like he was injured without risking his life. None of his injuries were serious.

He's a natural con man. Charming his way through life. That new wife of his looks like the gullible Tammy Sue type. Let's just hope if he ever gets out she doesn't learn something that could jeopardize his freedom or reputation - she'll be deadmeat.

by Anonymousreply 9909/19/2012

I also ordered the Errol Moris book. He refutes a lot of the information in Fatal Vision and believes that MacDonald is not guilty. He helped make The Thin Blue Line that freed an innocent man from jail.

I grew up in NC and was the same age as his older daughter. It scared me because you never heard about things like that and especially to young children.

by Anonymousreply 10009/19/2012

Jeffrey MacDonald case: Prosecutor denies threatening key witness

By David Zucchino

September 19, 2012, 5:08 p.m. WILMINGTON, N.C. – A disgraced former federal prosecutor testified Wednesday that he never threatened a key witness at the 1979 murder trial of convicted killer Jeffrey MacDonald – a crucial defense allegation in a federal court hearing on new evidencethat MacDonald says could prove he did not kill his wife and two daughters in 1970.

James Blackburn, who led the successful prosecution of MacDonald, denied under oath that he had told a witness he would charge her with murder if she testified that she and others were at MacDonald’s home at Ft. Bragg, N.C., the night of the killings. MacDonald, a former Army doctor, has said intruders committed the murders.

Asked by a federal prosecutor Wednesday whether he threatened Helena Stoeckley, a heroin addict who told numerous people she was at MacDonald’s home the night of the killings, Blackburn replied, "No, I never did that.’’

PHOTOS: The Jeffrey MacDonald case

Blackburn, who pleaded guilty to fraud, embezzlement and other felonies in an unrelated case in 1993, also testified that the deputy U.S. marshal who said that he overheard the threat was not even in the room where Blackburn and other prosecutors were interviewing Stoeckley. He said he had never allowed a marshal to be present during a witness interview.

Blackburn’s testimony came on the opening day of the government’s case in a hearing to consider two new claims by MacDonald: One, that Blackburn threatened and intimidated a key witness. Two, that three hairs that underwent DNA analysis in 2006 do not belong to MacDonald or his family and could instead be from intruders.

MacDonald, now 68, is serving three life terms for killing his wife, Colette, and daughters Kimberley, 5, and Kristen, 2. The killings became the basis for a bestselling book, "Fatal Vision,’’ and a hit TV miniseries.

Former deputy marshal Jimmy Britt gave sworn statements in 2005 that Stoeckley confessed to him as he drove her from South Carolina to MacDonald’s trial in Raleigh, N.C., in 1979. But prosecutors presented law enforcement documents Wednesday showing that other marshals, not Britt, actually drove Stoeckley that day.

The defense says that Stoeckley, who died in 1983, was the woman in a floppy hat who MacDonald claims was at his home the night of the killings. MacDonald told investigators the woman held a candle and chanted "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs’’ as other intruders knocked him unconscious and stabbed and bludgeoned his family.

Two of Britt’s former supervisors in the U.S. marshal’s office in Raleigh testified Wednesday that Britt, who has since died, was a fabulist and a troublesome employee who could not be trusted.

"He was rather large in ego and rather small when it came to veracity,’’ said William Berryhill, the chief U.S. marshal in Raleigh in 1979.

Eddie Sigmon, the chief deputy marshal at the time, described Britt as "an attention-seeker’’ who submitted a phony overtime claim and got into a fistfight with another marshal over a woman working in the office.

Also Wednesday, a former FBI agent who drove Stoeckley on a different occasion in 1979 testified that she told him she had no memory of the night of the killings because she was "knocked out’’ by mescaline, heroin and other drugs.

The former agent, Frank J. Mills Jr., said Stoeckley told him that she lied to police and military investigators when she said she might have been at MacDonald’s house.

"A lie would be more believable than the truth, which was simply that she was so high on drugs she couldn’t remember anything,’’ Mills said, paraphrasing Stoeckley.

On cross-examination, Mills conceded to defense lawyer Gordon Widenhouse that Stoeckley did not "categorically state that she was not involved in the murders.’’ Mills also said Stoeckley described "a recurring dream’’ in which she was in MacDonald’s home, holding a candle and chanting "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs.’’


by Anonymousreply 10109/19/2012

Two of Britt’s former supervisors in the U.S. marshal’s office in Raleigh testified Wednesday that Britt, who has since died, was a fabulist and a troublesome employee who could not be trusted.

"He was rather large in ego and rather small when it came to veracity,’’ said William Berryhill, the chief U.S. marshal in Raleigh in 1979.

Eddie Sigmon, the chief deputy marshal at the time, described Britt as "an attention-seeker’’ who submitted a phony overtime claim and got into a fistfight with another marshal over a woman working in the office.

Also Wednesday, a former FBI agent who drove Stoeckley on a different occasion in 1979 testified that she told him she had no memory of the night of the killings because she was "knocked out’’ by mescaline, heroin and other drugs.

The former agent, Frank J. Mills Jr., said Stoeckley told him that she lied to police and military investigators when she said she might have been at MacDonald’s house.

"A lie would be more believable than the truth, which was simply that she was so high on drugs she couldn’t remember anything,’’ Mills said, paraphrasing Stoeckley.

On cross-examination, Mills conceded to defense lawyer Gordon Widenhouse that Stoeckley did not "categorically state that she was not involved in the murders.’’ Mills also said Stoeckley described "a recurring dream’’ in which she was in MacDonald’s home, holding a candle and chanting "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs.’’

Stoeckley told reporters and others over the years that she saw her boyfriend, who has since died, and another man kill MacDonald’s wife and daughters. But on the stand at MacDonald’s 1979 trial, she denied being at the murder scene and said she was so high on drugs that she had no memory of that night.

Blackburn said Stoeckley told him and other prosecutors the day before her testimony that she had never been to MacDonald’s home.

Widenhouse, the defense lawyer, did not directly challenge Blackburn on his denial of Britt’s allegations. Instead, Widenhouse focused on the details of Blackburn’s fraud and embezzlement, in which he lied to clients, forged judge’s signatures and stole $234,000 from his law firm. Blackburn served three months in prison.

"I basically shot my legal career in the head,’’ Blackburn said.

But while he deceived and defrauded his clients and law firm, Blackburn said, he would never lie on the witness stand. He said he had learned from his mistakes and is now a motivational speaker who gives seminars to lawyers.

Blackburn got the loudest laughs in three days of hearings when he told of taking a job as a restaurant host. One day, he said, he asked a customer when her baby was due. Informed that the woman was not pregnant, Blackburn told her, "No more hush puppies for you.’’

He was demoted to waiter.

by Anonymousreply 10209/19/2012

No it wasn't r95.

There would be no physical evidence because he didn't commit the actual murder and was a resident in the house.

For some odd reason, the night of the murder he decided to sleep on the couch, instead of in their bed.

The circumstantial case against him hiring the guy is there. The DNA tests on him were inconclusive, not exculpatory.

I have a link on my other computer re: a recent article that claims there was a jailhouse confession by him that he was hired by Sheppard and given the ring (and something else, I think) as payment. I'll see if I can dig it up when I get home.

by Anonymousreply 10309/19/2012

I read the book, and I found it interesting that the Esquire article on the Manson murders, the "hippie" family was featured in it. The initial struggle sounded ridiculous and the coffee table had been merely "tipped" over, not tossed around. He has a classic sociopathic narcissistic psychopathic killer. The stress of his residency along with a wife and kids he didn't love was too much for him and one night his kid wet the bed and he snapped. He was a speed freak because of his hours. He totally did it, he knows he did it, and may he rot in hell.

by Anonymousreply 10409/19/2012

He killed Nicole and Ron, and OJ murdered MacDonald's family.

by Anonymousreply 10509/19/2012

r2, don't be daft. MacD. was a DOCTOR and a GREEN BERET from PRINCETON. His father-in-law NEVER thought Jeffrey "wasn't good enough for his...daughter."

Until the evidence PILED UP.

by Anonymousreply 10609/19/2012

If you haven't read Fatal Vision and you're passing judgement on this case, then you don't know what you're talking about. It was clear before Joe McGinniss even accepted the assignment that this guy was a heavy suspect. He tried to get Wambaugh for the book but changed his mind when Wambaugh (who was more honest than McGinniss) told him if he thought he was guilty, he'd write the book that way. McGinness did that too but didn't warn Jeff.

by Anonymousreply 10709/19/2012

r104, the problem with that is the OJ Effect.

He has to be proven guilty in a court of law, according to the rules of evidence.

Also, just because someone is a psychopath doesn't make them a murderer.

I'm not saying that makes him innocent, but a lot of people look at this case emotionally, especially because of the children.

I have Morris' book on hold at the library. As good as he is, I don't fully trust him. The editing in Fog of War drove me crazy.

by Anonymousreply 10809/19/2012

I wonder if there's a closet in Jeffrey's cell.

by Anonymousreply 10909/19/2012

Re; Dr. Shepard. Guilty. DNA, as Capt. Jeffrey MacD. is about to discover, cannot be Carbon-dated. That is, so someone was in the Shepard bedroom? SO WHAT? Maybe the good doctor invited the newly-alleged killer in as a frame-up.

Shepard did it. OJ did it. Patsy did it. Robert Blake did it.

And Jeff did it.

Besides the blood evidence, the prosecution arguments, and common sense, there is, a la Poirot, the psychology.

MacDonald, in post-murder interviews, complained about how HE was being regarded and treated. That his little girls were viciously murdered by, supposedly, a MURDEROUS ROVING GANG STILL OUT THERE SOMEWHERE, never loomed large with him.

And WHILE these murderers still roved, according to his story, Jeff hunted one down AND KILLED HIM! That lie would be hilarious but for the fact it was Jeff's sub-conscious revealing that yes, Jeffrey MacDonald WAS capable of murder.

Well, when the grieving man wasn't spending time on his boat with his dame du jour.

by Anonymousreply 11009/19/2012

I agree with R110 except that I don't think Shepard did it.

by Anonymousreply 11109/19/2012

And yes, I do also think Jeff was fighting his true nature.

by Anonymousreply 11209/19/2012

As time went on, his "wounds" became deeper and more dangerous in his story about that night. A doctor and some nurses who tended to him that night were aghast at how the injuries became life-threatening in Jeff's eyes. They remembered very minor scratches and that tiny incision that partially collapsed his lung as anything but serious. Dr Jeff knew just where and how deep to cut himself.

He had a brother who was a hot mess too. That poor Mother didn't know where to turn for help.

by Anonymousreply 11309/19/2012

Jeff MacDonald is guilty, guilty, guilty!

That is all.

by Anonymousreply 11409/19/2012

How can anyone believe his bullshit lies?

He makes Casey Anthony and OJ look like paragons of honesty.

by Anonymousreply 11509/19/2012

R103, you're just blowing smoke. There has never been any credible evidence that Sheppard was involved. There hasn't even been any circumstantial evidence. I hope you're not talking about Eberling because he can't be believed about anything. When you have a famous case especially this famous there will always be people crawling out of the woodwork to make claims.

Sheppard was naturally present in his own home the night of the murder. He did not fall asleep on the living room daybed that one time only. He often slept there when he came home late from the hospital. That night the Sheppards had guests over and Sam had fallen asleep after the guests left that night - in fact the guests testified at trial he was asleep before they left. There is nothing odd about a man neatly folding his jacket. What does that have to do with murdering your wife?

The large blood stain on the closet door next to Marilyn's bed was a contact wound (i.e., wound to door) and most likely came from the killer's own wound after Marilyn bit him and he fell againt the closet door or used it to steady himself. Marilyn's broken teeth were consistent with having bitten someone. Sam had no wounds on him. The contact wound was neither Sam's nor Marilyn's blood type. The DNA tests were inconclusive due to the condition of the DNA.

There were blood splatters all over the room including the ceiling - the only parts spared from blood splatters was the area where the killer stood. Naturally that meant the killer should have been covered in blood.

There is so much about the case it is hard to go into it all. I have been reading about this case since I was 11 years old. The State of Ohio will never in a million years admit it was wrong. They have thrown and will throw every piece of garbage at Sheppard they can think up to cast doubt on his innocence. They destroyed his life which he was never able to regain even after his acquittal. He died in his 40s.

Perhaps all that should matter is that Sheppard was eventually acquitted. I understand his son's passion for having his father declared "innocent" but such declarations are usually pipe dreams in the criminal justice system. The standard of proof is very high and they are very rare and not likely to occur in such famous cases where the state, the prosecution, the police, the judiciary, and the press have already been raked over the coals for their abuses in the case.

by Anonymousreply 11609/20/2012

R110, Patsy killed Jon Benet Ramsey? Why? Because of her husband's "interest" in her daughter?

by Anonymousreply 11709/20/2012

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Did the lead prosecutor in the federal murder trial of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald 33 years ago intimidate a key defense witness whose testimony might have led to MacDonald’s acquittal instead of conviction?

Lawyers for MacDonald, who is serving three life sentences for killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters in 1970, have made that argument at a new hearing in the 42-year-old case. They say prosecutor James Blackburn threatened Helena Stoeckley, a heroin addict who claimed she was among four intruders at MacDonald’s house at Ft. Bragg, N.C., the night of the killings.

But for the last two days, federal prosecutors have slowly chipped away at that claim. They continued the attack Thursday as a former assistant U.S. attorney testified that a deputy U.S. marshal who said he heard Blackburn’s threat was not even in the room when Blackburn interviewed Stoeckley.

The claim by the former marshal, the late Jimmy Britt, is a central element in the new evidence brought by MacDonald. The defense also cites DNA on three hairs from the crime scene that does not match MacDonald or any member of his family, suggesting evidence of intruders.

MacDonald, 68, has steadfastly maintained that four intruders – including a woman in a floppy hat who chanted, "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs" – stabbed him, knocked him unconscious and killed his family. The defense says Stoeckley, who died in 1983, is that woman.

The case became the basis of the best-selling book "Fatal Vision" and a hit TV mini-series.

On Thursday, former Assistant U.S. Atty. Jack B. Crawley said Britt was not in the room where Blackburn purportedly told Stoeckley he would prosecute her for murder if she testified that she was at the crime scene. Stoeckley had told numerous people that she was present when her boyfriend and another man stabbed and bludgeoned MacDonald’s family.

But in her interview with Blackburn, witnessed by Crawley, Stoeckley denied ever being at the MacDonald house, Crawley testified. When shown crime scene photos, Stoeckley said she did not recognize the murder scene, Crawley said.

On Wednesday, Blackburn testified that he never threatened Stoeckley and also said Britt was not present at the interview.

Britt also claimed that Stoeckley confessed to him as he drove her from South Carolina to the MacDonald trial in August 1979. Prosecutors introduced law enforcement documents and other testimony Wednesday showing that two other marshals drove Stoeckley that day.

Stoeckley testified at the 1979 trial that she was not at the murder scene and was so high on mescaline and heroin that she had no memory of that night. MacDonald’s lawyers say she wanted to testify that she was at the MacDonald home, but feared retaliation from the prosecution.

Also Thursday, the Army investigator who examined the crime scene the night of the killings in February 1970 gave a detailed account of how he collected blood, fibers and other evidence. Gruesome photos of the bloodied bodies of MacDonald’s wife, Colette, and daughters, Kimberley, 5, and Kristen, 2, were displayed in the courtroom.

Also shown was a photograph of the word "pig" written in blood on the headboard in the master bedroom, where Colette’s body was found. Prosecutors at the 1979 trial theorized that MacDonald wrote the word while staging the crime scene to make it appear that drug-crazed hippies had committed the killings. They also theorized that MacDonald's injuries, which included a collapsed lung, were self-inflicted.

Among the evidence found in the home was an Esquire magazine with an article about the Charles Manson cult murders in California six months earlier. The word "pig" was also scrawled in blood at the Manson murder scene.

The hearing resumes Friday.

by Anonymousreply 11909/20/2012

[quote]Patsy killed Jon Benet Ramsey? Why? Because of her husband's "interest" in her daughter?

I always thought that was plausible. I pictured Patsy getting up in the middle of the night, noticing John's not there, she grabs a golf club, walks past her daughter's room and sees John in there with her. She goes to swing the golf club at him, he shifts at the last second, and she kills her daughter with a blow to the head.

JonBenet Ramsay was found with a heart or star in the palm of her hand. That's almost always an indicator that Mom did it.

by Anonymousreply 12009/20/2012

Link to anyone other than Casey Anthony that says a heart or a star indicates Mom.

by Anonymousreply 12109/20/2012

That's right. Casey Anthony did it too.

by Anonymousreply 12209/20/2012

r103, JMacD "slept"* on the couch that night because his daughter had wet his side of the marital bed, a place he studiously avoided until very late.

*He didn't sleep at all. He murdered his family; wrote in blood on the headboard; overturned a vase or something; tossed the knives outside; poked his abdomen; concocted the "intruders" story; and made his phony call for help.

by Anonymousreply 12309/20/2012

r117, I subscribe to the theory propounded in "A Mother Gone Bad" ( a play on the name of Patsy's real-life softball team, "Mothers Gone Bad").

That yes, there was that unhealthy "interest." But added to that, Patsy was conscious every second of the cancer---a "foreign faction"---growing within her, waiting to kill her if she didn't follow (doctors') instructions to the letter. But with faith, she could be "SBTC" ("Saved By The Cross"), if not by John's "$118,000" Christmas bonus/ransom.

So she saw herself, as she wrote in an earlier Christmas letter, as an old ship being replaced by a spiffier newer boat John purchased. It doesn't always take a weatherman to know.....

Keeping busy kept all those fears at bay, and Patsy was super-busy that Christmas Eve, with decorating, partying, and packing for a trip the next a.m. to the Ramsay lake-house.

And then Jon Benet tried her mother's patience one time too many by soiling her bed (which might also have included, according to the book, smearing feces, a sign of possible abuse), and Patsy flipped out,smashing Jon Benet's head with an object heavy enough to inflict a mortal wound.

What to do? The child was not going to survive with her brain matter showing. Why "ruin their lives" over it now? And so the evil plot, which included the infliction of post-mortem sexual abuse, garrotting, "ransom letter" composing (complete with rough draft!),and the placing of the body in the basement.

Only police incompetence prevented this case from going to trial and resulting in a "guilty" verdict.

by Anonymousreply 12409/20/2012

My partner at the time and I each read Fatal Vision and I recall him being certain MacDonald did it due to one particular point.

I may not recollect the details correctly anymore but vaguely it had to do with MacDonald calling someone - the police? - after the murders, yet the phone had no fingerprints and had been obviously wiped down. Even if "the real killers" wiped the phone, MacDonald's fingerprints should have been on the phone, there was no reason for it to be wiped clean AFTER his call to the police (or whomever) unless he was the killer.

by Anonymousreply 12509/21/2012

r125, the "killers" were so hell-bent on "revenge for a bad drug deal" or some such that they BROUGHT NO WEAPONS to the house! Instead, they used what they found!

All-righty, then.

MacD. and his Groupies can present tons of "other" DNA (why this is even getting heard is beyond baffling to me); but he can never erase the path of his own bloody footprints, the tell-tale rips and folds in the material he covered the bodies with, and, MOST DAMNINGLY, the story told by the locations and patterns of the drops and smears of the FOUR DIFFERENT blood types of the MacDonald family.

E.g., Jeffrey's tale cannot account for his older daughter's blood on his pajama top---he said he was not wearing it when he checked her room---unless he was the one who killed her.

IOW: Follow the blood.

by Anonymousreply 12609/21/2012

[quote]I've known a good number of military medical personnel - doctors, nurses - and to my knowledge they've never received the full military training.

Depends on their background.

I have an uncle and a cousin who are/were surgeons in the Navy, and both of them graduated from the Naval Academy.

by Anonymousreply 12709/21/2012

"I also ordered the Errol Moris book. He refutes a lot of the information in Fatal Vision and believes that MacDonald is not guilty. He helped make The Thin Blue Line that freed an innocent man from jail."

Errol Moris is full of shit. The evidence, the EVIDENCE, shows that MacDonald was the killer. I think Moris is just another prison groupie who fell under the spell of a manipulative sociopathic killer.

by Anonymousreply 12809/21/2012

Wow Jeffrey MacDonald smashed the older daughter's head..the crime scene pics are horrific.

by Anonymousreply 12909/21/2012

Sarah Palin is a supporter.

by Anonymousreply 13009/21/2012

[quote]JonBenet Ramsay was found with a heart or star in the palm of her hand. That's almost always an indicator that Mom did it.

What on earth does that mean, R120? Does Satan inscribe a heart or star on the palms of children who are murdered by their mothers?

by Anonymousreply 13109/21/2012

yes, R131, and he inscribes a baseball glove if the father did it.

by Anonymousreply 13209/21/2012

[quote]What on earth does that mean, [R120]? Does Satan inscribe a heart or star on the palms of children who are murdered by their mothers?

I followed the JonBenet case and I recall in one the police interview there was some confusion as to how the red ink heart got there, and then she changed her testimony after talking to her lawyer. I think the heart then led to some speculation by "experts" that the killer would be a close family member, perhaps the mother.

by Anonymousreply 13309/21/2012

Of course that's not what you said. You said "That's almost always an indicator..."


by Anonymousreply 13409/21/2012

[quote]I think the heart then led to some speculation by "experts" that the killer would be a close family member, perhaps the mother.

This is truly the stupidest thing I've heard today. Do those so-called "experts" believe a parent who has murdered her child is going to have the presence of mind to go find a red pen to draw a heart on the child's palm? I can't even fathom such a thing it's so ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 13509/22/2012

As long as we're doing a little bit of "Kitschy Symbols And Killer Moms" I nominate Diane Downs.

She planned to murder all three of her kids but succeeded with only one. The two who survived were adopted by the DA who prosecuted her.

Shortly before she drove her kids out to a deserted road and shot them, she ordered a large unicorn figurine thing, inscribed with a message of undying love for her children.

Not heart or star inked on the hand but still a kitschy symbol.

Farrah played Diane in the tv movie.

by Anonymousreply 13609/22/2012

Regarding JonBenet - the latest thinking is that it was an accidental death with a cover up.

There's almost no chance that the father was molesting JonBenet. He was the CEO of his company and was constantly traveling. Moreover, Patsy was almost always with JonBenet. It was not him.

Patsy did have a fetish of wiping JonBenet herself because she tended to have accidents a lot. This could explain why the some see abrasions in her vaginal area.

The son Burke is something of a suspect. He had already attacked JonBenet once before, out of jealousy.

But, the concensus is that either Patsy or Burke killed JonBenet with a flashlight and then the scene was staged to cover that up.

by Anonymousreply 13709/22/2012

Maybe because I hate it when gullible people sit around like sponges and soak up whatever trash they hear, R138. Please learn to think for yourself.

by Anonymousreply 13909/22/2012

You're a moron, R140, and a pompous ass to boot. You made no points to refute.

by Anonymousreply 14109/22/2012

The farrah Fawcett movie was such a letdown r136. She resorted back to her bimbo style of acting and didn't even try to play crazy.

by Anonymousreply 14309/22/2012

It's not R141's fault, R142. You ARE a moron.

by Anonymousreply 14509/22/2012

Wow, r144. I wish that clip was on Youtube! I did not know Ann Rule and Diane Downs had ever actually met.

At the end of the Farrah Fawcett movie on TV they showed police footage of Diane re-enacting what had happened. It was the day after the shooting and Diane was flirting with the cops and smiling/laughing.

by Anonymousreply 14609/22/2012

In the TV movie version of "Fatal Vision," they dramatize the murder scenario as MacDonald descrobed it (fairly astefully, with no blood). the actress who plays the supposed woman in the white floppy hat holding the candle is absolutely hilarious--she really camps up her great repeated line: "Acid is GROOOOOOOOOVY!!! KILL the PIGS!!!"

by Anonymousreply 14709/22/2012

[quote] Patsy did have a fetish of wiping JonBenet herself because she tended to have accidents a lot

Only a non-parent, non-babysitter, non-anything-to-do-with-children would not understand the things you have to do sometimes until children learn how to wipe themselves properly. It is not a fetish.

by Anonymousreply 15009/22/2012

[quote]Only a non-parent, non-babysitter, non-anything-to-do-with-children would not understand the things you have to do sometimes until children learn how to wipe themselves properly. It is not a fetish.

JonBenet had blood stains on her panties. She was abused the night she died.

by Anonymousreply 15109/22/2012

She was raped by Patsy's paintbrush handle. They wanted to make it look like a kidnapping/pedophile murder or something.

They weren't thinking clearly.

In Patsy's infamous 911 call, John is heard tell Burke something along the lines of "go back to your room, you have done enough today."

Very, very weird.

(And, like the MacDonald case, JonBenet was killed with things the killer found inside the home.)

by Anonymousreply 15209/22/2012

Jeffrey MacDonald and Diane Downs would make a cute couple ....

by Anonymousreply 15309/22/2012

I'm not convinced that Dr. MacDonald killed his family. When people think about the case, the first thing that comes to mind is Fatal Vision. People allow their a book/film to shape their opinion. There have been documentaries debunking some of the "facts" presented in the book.

by Anonymousreply 15409/22/2012

That sounds like it was the brother, R152.

by Anonymousreply 15509/22/2012

Did anyone see Morris on the Colbert Report? It was very strange. Colbert didn't really let him say anything about the book and the editing of the interview was really bad,a very abrupt cut. I wondered if he said something Colbert didn't like or something.

by Anonymousreply 15609/22/2012

R154, many people thought MacDonald was guilty long before the book was released

All the evidence points to him

by Anonymousreply 15709/22/2012

"There's almost no chance that the father was molesting JonBenet. He was the CEO of his company and was constantly traveling"

Yeah, Jerry Sandusky worked long hours as a coach and the founder of a charity and traveled a lot, too. But he still found time to molest kids.

by Anonymousreply 15809/22/2012

Hell, Sandusky took the kids with him!

by Anonymousreply 15909/22/2012

Link to the "documentaries" that "debunk" Fatal Vision and have you even read the thing?

by Anonymousreply 16009/22/2012

It's really not hard to feel MacDonald is guilty .... he says there were five strangers in his house with four family members ... and except for the damage to his wife and daughters, very little was 'out of place' ....and the 'overkill' on his family compared to his minor injuries is questionable, as is most of his behavior after the deaths.

Just because you say it, doesn't make it so ....

His story doesn't work with the facts.

by Anonymousreply 16109/22/2012

Back around that time there was a Cheerios commercial that went "Feelin' groovy, just had my Cheerios, "

by Anonymousreply 16209/22/2012

r162, at this point it's not about guilt, it's about reasonable doubt.

by Anonymousreply 16309/22/2012

Well, since he's already been convicted beyond a reasonabe doubt the standard on appeal compels a pretty high standard to get a reversal unless there was a constitutional error.

The burden is now on MacDonald.

by Anonymousreply 16409/23/2012

r164 perhaps you've noticed that MacDonald has had that trial already? Convicted felons don't get to keep having trials just because they won't admit to guilt.

by Anonymousreply 16609/23/2012

"MacDonald’s lawyers say she wanted to testify that she was at the MacDonald home, but feared retaliation from the prosecution"

Again I must ask - if she was at the house, why would arresting her be considered a "threat" or "retaliation"???

by Anonymousreply 16709/23/2012

I used to to think MacDonald was innocent. Then I read the account detailing the blood and fiber trail. He is most definitely guilty and that is based on the evidence alone. Add his behavior into it, his own wounds and little facts, such as the phone being wiped clean after he made the 911 call, and you have a man guilty of murder.

The only thing in question is why it happened. One theory is that it escalated from him beating his wife to killing their kid when she walked into her parents' bedroom. Then he had to kill everyone to cover his tracks.

If that theory is right, that his wife ran to get a knife after the argument started, it sounds like she may have had real reason to fear for her life. Maybe he was telling her he was going to kill her, finally. The fact that it took only one blow to knock his daughter's brains out means he probably hit her intentionally and with great force. A backward swing, in which he is loading up to hit his wife but accidentally hits the kid behind him, just doesn't make sense. So at some point during or before the argument, he decided to kill them.

What an evil monster. The whole time, that poor woman was thinking of her babies. Even when she lying on her bedroom floor half dead, she had enough left in her to go to her daughter's room and try to protect her or something. It's so sad.

by Anonymousreply 16809/23/2012

r166 - you are correct. I was misremembered it.

Less damning ...

by Anonymousreply 16909/23/2012

r169 - I hear you. I've always wondered about the backward swing - but there was a splash of blood on the ceiling, which is why many thought this. That could have happened another way.

I feel that he was just out of control at that moment and frenzy spent itself killing Collette and Kimmy. Then he calmed down and killed that youngest girl.

What a monster.

by Anonymousreply 17009/23/2012

"MacDonald’s lawyers say"..... Bwahahaha!

Yeah, and today's newspapers are full of "Sandusky's lawyers say...."


by Anonymousreply 17109/23/2012

Thanks to this thread I ordered a copy of Fatal Vision from amazon. Should get it this week.

by Anonymousreply 17209/23/2012

The theory in "Fatal Vision" is that before the murders MacDonald had been taking a very dangerous form of speed called Estrakol in order to lose weight (one of its possible side effects was psychosis; I don't think this drug is used anymore). He'd been under immense pressure for most of his life: married young, two children, medical school, the army. His wife had taken a psychology course the night of the murders; it was surmised that maybe she had tried to talk to him about certain behaviors of his that her psych classes given her more insight of. Enraged that she would dare to try play psychologist with him, he attacked her. The oldest daughter heard the commotion and in his rage he killed her too. Seeing the carnage he realized he was in a spot, so he cooked up the killer hippies breaking in to make it seem they were the murderers. His two year old daughter was in her crib, still alive. So he went into her room, laid her across his lap and stabbed her to death (she had defense wound cuts on her little fingers).

And that is one theory of what happened. It's very plausible. Jeffrey MacDonald became enraged when anybody dared criticize him, and if his wife had actually called him out on his frequently callous behavior that certainly would have set him off.

"Fatal Vision" reveals MacDonald to be a pathological liar. One person who knew him said "he'll say anything to anybody." How anybody can be stupid enough to believe this creep? I guess no many how heinous a crime and how much evidence is produced there are always idiots who think the one convicted of it is "innocent."

by Anonymousreply 17309/23/2012

Read the book. Then weigh in. Otherwise you don't know what you're talking about.

by Anonymousreply 17409/23/2012

r175, unless this fan-boy author has actual new evidence---not "unknown DNA"; not the alleged statements of a DEAD woman---that contradicts or otherwise refutes to an exculpatory degree that described in "Fatal Vision," why should anyone pay atention to his book?

And he cannot possibly have such evidence. The most he can have is an argument. Sorry; the trial is over.

by Anonymousreply 17509/23/2012

Okay, R176, I'm talking about Fatal Vision.

by Anonymousreply 17609/23/2012

Read the psychiatrist's report in FATAL VISION ,re Jeff's narcissistic personality, and you'll believe he did it. He'd been taking Black Beauties (Eskatrol) 2-3 daily x2-3 wks & the fight w/Collette re the peed bed set him off on a psychotic rage. His only wound was a self inflicted pneumothorax. He lied on Cavett when he said he suffered 23 wounds.

by Anonymousreply 17709/23/2012

They also speculate the Macdonald hated women due to latent homosexuality

by Anonymousreply 17809/24/2012

I can't see post R161, I get "undefined"

I feel like i'm doing 9th grade algebra

by Anonymousreply 17909/24/2012

You get undefined when you bump a thread with only a space for a message.

by Anonymousreply 18009/24/2012

Gary Cole played him on TV. Both Dr. Jeff and Gary are hot. Loved it when Gary and William Peterson went at it in Kiss the Sky.

by Anonymousreply 18109/24/2012

r167 I wasn't referring to an actual trial; I meant trying the case again in public.

If Morris' book garners enough publicity, it could help his chances for appeal. This is why they are going the prosecution/experts incompetence route.

by Anonymousreply 18209/25/2012

I see what you meant, R183. But any incompetence of the prosecution will get MacDonald nothing. Misconduct by the prosecution could get him something - not sure what. The problem is there was a mountain of evidence on this case. MaDonald also had very good defense attorneys.

Getting a reversal on all 3 counts of murder will take something of constitutional import - not just the experts weren't good enough. And to be truthful, most appellate courts don't give a shit about books and publicity. Morris was able to get Randall Adams free because he uncovered the truth in that case which had never been investigated properly or fairly. Plus Adams had been screwed every which way in his case. I have yet to hear how MacDonald has been screwed or that his case wasn't investigated to death (no pun intended).

MacDonald is a sociopath and he will never admit what he did. Never.

by Anonymousreply 18309/25/2012

Prosecutorial misconduct can give the appellate court reason to dismiss charges, reverse the conviction, or reduce the sentence.

A typical remedy is to send the case back for retrial. That won't help MacDonald because the evidence is still available, the availability of witnesses isn't an issue.

In Fatal Vision, MacDonald was asked what his greatest regret was, and he said it was not finishing his degree from Princeton. Quite a statement from someone who, according to him, tried to defend his family and failed.

He is exactly where he belongs.

by Anonymousreply 18409/25/2012

There was no "prosecutorial misconduct." Anyone think JMacD hasn't tried that one already?

There is no new evidence, let alone exculpatory evidence. There is nothing to appeal.

What is happening is Jeffrey's horror at finally realizing that he will never leave prison alive.

by Anonymousreply 18509/25/2012

Yes and you're an even bigger idiot for generalizing, r187.

by Anonymousreply 18709/25/2012

"You don't see many men falling in love with Death Row prisoners or lifers"

That's because almost all Death Row prisoners and lifers are male. Duh.

You might want to look up which gender commits 90% of the murders in this country.

by Anonymousreply 18909/25/2012

"Read the psychiatrist's report in FATAL VISION ,re Jeff's narcissistic personality, and you'll believe he did it"

Psychiatrists are often wrong, though. And being a narcissist doesn't necessarily make you a murderer. [But I think he did it]

by Anonymousreply 19009/25/2012

Instead of arguing generalities, just read the book and you'll KNOW he did it.

by Anonymousreply 19109/25/2012

MacDonald was the O.J. of his time. An attractive psychopath.

by Anonymousreply 19209/25/2012

There is a good post about Errol Morris's book and about the case itself on True Crime Diary. Like the author of the post, I'm also a fan of Morris, but I agree this is an instance of his contrarian point of view getting in the way of his common sense.

As the post evenhandedly states, there are well-known pieces of evidence that both MacDonald defenders and accusers use to support to support their arguments (the word of Helena Stoeckley vs. the ridiculousness of the "acid is groovy" story). Yet, neither the word of now-deceased, former drug addict nor a seemingly far fetched story about dirty hippies are enough to disprove or prove guilt.

Instead, the author points two other pieces of evidence as to why it is likely that MacDonald murdered his family. First, the fact that pieces of the clothing MacDonald was wearing that night were found under the bodies and inside the wounds of his wife and children. Second, the fact that he lied to his wife's stepfather, Fred Kassab, about supposedly tracking down and murdering the "real killers".

As another poster mentioned, Fred Kassab was one of his supporters until MacDonald spun this tale of vengeance. Kassab who had been understandably consumed with finding out who had murdered his daughter and grandchildren could not understand why, if MacDonald was indeed innocent, he would construct a story designed thwart the investigation.

I believe there are thousands of innocent men and women incarcerated in this country. I also believe Jeffrey MacDonald is not one of them. I think Morris, in an effort to provocatively highlight prosecutorial misconduct, witness tampering, evidence suppression and other forms of shoddy or illegal investigative tactis, chose the wrong case for which to do so.

There are many cases that involve these issues and the accused is actually innocent rather than a sociopath who butchered his family.

by Anonymousreply 19309/26/2012

Anyone interested in this - you HAVE to read fatal vision. It is incredibly rich on detail - a must read. You can download it to your PC on

by Anonymousreply 19409/26/2012

He did it.

How can the supposed acidheads in the middle of a trip slaughter three people and not leave hairs behind and other DNA? The only DNA is single blond hair was from the woman wearing a wig with a candle? So were the actual killers bald? There would've been hairs left from the actual killers. How could you kill in such a frenzy and NOT leave any hairs behind? How did the woman on an acid trip keep the candle from going out in the midst of the killing frenzy?

by Anonymousreply 19509/26/2012

Good post, R194. Thanks for the link. I share your admiration for Morris. I thought The Thin Blue Line should have won an Oscar for Best Picture - not just best documentary either.

Unfortunately I believe Morris has decided to examine an already famous case - and I say this sadly - in order to ensure a viewing audience for his work and maybe get funding. There are so many cases worthy of his time and attention but they aren't as likely to attract a wide audience. Shame.

by Anonymousreply 19609/26/2012

Then after you read Fatal Vision you MUST read The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm.

by Anonymousreply 19709/26/2012

R194 nailed it.

by Anonymousreply 19809/26/2012

Another vote that r194 nailed it.

I'd like Morris to take all the evidence and make his case that McDonald's version of what happened is more accurate than what was shown to the jury that convicted him.

by Anonymousreply 19909/26/2012

At this point, I don't think MacDonald's main objective is clearing his name, but rather his own stimulation and entertainment. He's an intelligent man and knows his chances are infinitesimally small. His activities are limited. I'm sure his reading material is restricted and his access to the internet is probably limited, if he has any. He's along for the ride.

by Anonymousreply 20009/26/2012

It's been ages since I read 'Fatal Vision', but wasn't there evidence that skin found under Colleen's nails was possibly Jeffrey's ??

I don't think DNA was so advanced to say DEFINITELY .... but the sample didn't rule him out either.

by Anonymousreply 20109/27/2012


That skin was lost, and the MacDonald enthusiasts have had a field day with it every since. The rest of the evidence is overwhelming.

Errol Morris deserves a medal for exonerating Randall Adams. The film "The Thin Blue Line," should be mandatory viewing for anyone who works in criminal defense, especially judges, D.A.s and cops. Also for all those who don't know what Texas justice is like.

Morris is off-base on the MacDonald case, however.

by Anonymousreply 20209/27/2012

I'm amazed there are still people who believe in this man's innocence. I'm not talking about the lawyers who are paid to.

Every interview I have seen with this guy he goes on and on about how if you look at the evidence you can see what an "obvious fraud" it all is, but he has never ONCE said what exactly or even remotely is fraudulent Neither have his fucking lawyers and they have had over 30 years to come up with something.

The only thing I hear over and over is Helena Stokely. Their whole fucking case hinges on whether one mentally ill women, who had a history of lying for attention, was actually telling the truth when she said she was there.

Now they are trying to put it all on a single thread of hair from a wig. Against MOUNTAINS of evidence that points to McDonald. Unbelievable.

by Anonymousreply 20309/27/2012

Sarah Palin is lending her name to support Jeffrey McDonald's innocence.

by Anonymousreply 20409/27/2012


That's because Joe McGinnis wrote a book about her that she didn't like. An enemy of my enemy is my friend.

by Anonymousreply 20509/27/2012

Is she really or is R205 joking?

by Anonymousreply 20609/27/2012

read link R207

by Anonymousreply 20709/27/2012


Not joking. Here's the review.

Warning -- the website is Big Journalism.

by Anonymousreply 20809/27/2012

Thanks R208 & R209. Aghast. I'll read it at lunchtime.

Didn't Ayn Rand lend her support to a child killer in the 1930s? I recall reading something about her either having a correspondence with him or writing about her admiration for him in her journals. The crime was pretty horrific. Small girl was kidnapped for ransom. Her father, a well-known businessman, came up with all of the money and met with kidnapper. Apparently, he'd already killed and dismembered (?) the child and told the father she was waiting in the car or something similarly horrible.

Great minds think alike indeed.

by Anonymousreply 20909/27/2012

Ayn Rand voiced support for Edward Hickman - a man who abducted, murdered and dismembered a 12 year old girl in 1927. She considered Hickman to be a Nietzschean Superman and planned to base a protagonist on him in novel she never finished.

by Anonymousreply 21009/28/2012

R210, I have some vague recollection of reading about that. Was that in San Francisco or its outskirts?

by Anonymousreply 21109/28/2012

Correction to my post at R211 - the killer's name was William Edward Hickman

by Anonymousreply 21209/28/2012

Thanks, R211.

by Anonymousreply 21309/28/2012

[quote] Sarah Palin is lending her name to support Jeffrey McDonald's innocence.

One narcissist with sociopathic tendencies supports another.

by Anonymousreply 21409/28/2012

How would someone completely stoned out of her mind remember details of a murder and a crime scene like Helena Stokely? Could it be possible Jeffery MacDonald payed Stokely and others with drugs to commit the murders? Also, what happen to the suppose "other murderers" that took part that night? This is just a theory, but I wonder if Jeffery McDonald's wife found out that he was a closet homo and having gay affairs, and she might have threaten him that she was going to drop a bomb on his secret? Could this be a possibility why this lunatic went into a rage in addition being a sociopath? His career and reputation was everything.

by Anonymousreply 21509/28/2012

Obviously, she is trying to attack McGinnis because he moved next door and wrote a book about her.

Leopold and Loeb also killed a child due to the influence of Nietzsche.

by Anonymousreply 21609/28/2012

r216, do what has been suggested: Read "Fatal Vision."

1. No, MacDonald didn't pay anyone to commit the murders; HE committed the murders.

2. He claims to have tracked one down and killed him. Rubbish.

3. Colleen was studying psychology, and might have begun a conversation that enraged Jeffrey. We'll never know.

by Anonymousreply 21709/28/2012

R218, I read Fatal Vision when I was a kid because I was just fascinated with the case. You mean Collete not Colleen? right?

by Anonymousreply 21809/28/2012

Yes, Colette ... Sorry R219

by Anonymousreply 21909/28/2012

Yes, Collette. Sorry here, too, r219.

Brain-freeze, though I've read the freakin' book ten times.

by Anonymousreply 22009/29/2012

OMG R216. When you have a book with a blueprint to EXACTLY what happened that follows what the police say happens to a tee, you don't have to speculate. As to fucking Jeff Mc being a mo, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Everything he did was with women, smuggled them in while the trial was going on, cheated on Colette with them, etc.

Mcginniss was IN HIS ENTOURAGE. He had complete access to the defense's side. McDonald hired him and took him into his circle. He was so sure he could pull the wool over anyone's eyes and that Mcginniss would write just what he wanted, he didn't hide his predilections. And it was women, women, women. Read the book.

by Anonymousreply 22109/29/2012

^ Yeah, he definitely liked the ladies. He may have repressed some bi tendencies but he was not gay.

by Anonymousreply 22209/30/2012

Unsolved Mysteries segment on MacDonald Pt 1

by Anonymousreply 22309/30/2012

part 2

by Anonymousreply 22409/30/2012

part 3

by Anonymousreply 22509/30/2012


by Anonymousreply 22609/30/2012

Not surprised that people have not mentioned my post at r198. People love fantasy, and want to think they know it all. The Journalist and the Murderer is one of the best books ever written on any subject, but people love fantasy. The book sheds a great big light on Jeff and Joe's relationship and how Joe came up with Fatal Vision. For all the limited thinkers, it does not focus on whether Jeff is guilty or not(it's not her concern), but focuses on what journalists do to get their stories and how the public believes the shit 1000%, like God wrote it himself.

Yes, I think Jeff is guilty, but not because of what I read in a novel, because of this site and this woman's hard, diligent work.

by Anonymousreply 22709/30/2012

Having said all of that, I do recommend reading [italic]Fatal Vision[/italic] first, then getting [italic] The Journalist and the Murderer.[/italic]

by Anonymousreply 22809/30/2012

R198/R228 --- Since the book isn't called 'The Journalist and the Alleged Murderer' or 'The Journalist and the Innocent Man' ... I think that whether that author thinks Jeff is guilty or not is a given .....

by Anonymousreply 22909/30/2012

Watching the Unsolved Mystery episode immediately reminded me of one of the first main questions raised ...... If Jeffrey MacDonald awoke to hearing Colette and Kristen screaming ........but all three men and the woman were in the the living room attacking him .........why were Colette and Kristen still screaming ???

by Anonymousreply 23009/30/2012

r230, I am not exactly sure of the point you are trying to make. MacDonald is convicted so he is guilty whether he is innocent or not. The opposite is true of O.J. MacDonald is a convicted murderer and that is how the jury saw him, even though 11 of them voted for the murderer over the journalist.

by Anonymousreply 23109/30/2012

Gee, r231, maybe because MacDonald was LYING about INTRUDERS and about his being asleep?! And because he didn't think his lies through carefully enough??

OF COURSE he heard his wife and children screaming---he was KILLING them!

by Anonymousreply 23209/30/2012

R233 .... I was repeating a question that others (LIKE ME) raised ....... I agree with you. Unless there were EVEN MORE 'hippies/druggies' in the house killing the rest of the family while MacDonald was being attacked himself. It does not make any sense. Plus, he was supposedly attacked in the living room, where they found absolutely none of his blood.

by Anonymousreply 23309/30/2012

This thread is so fascinating.

What makes MacDonald's claims so ridiculous is that he wants people to think that the Army was out to get him or something. I mean...wouldn't the Army want to side with one of their own instead of a group of drug crazed hippies? If there was any real evidence that a bunch of druggies committed this crime, why would they have gone after him instead?

by Anonymousreply 23409/30/2012

Yeah, his lies didn't have legs. Over time and under scrutiny, they fall apart.

by Anonymousreply 23509/30/2012

Is anyone else reading that new book A Wilderness of Error?

by Anonymousreply 23610/01/2012

Sorry R237, I'm so convinced MacDonald IS guilty, I can't be bothered with that one.

by Anonymousreply 23710/01/2012

The MacDonald case continues to be rehashed in books and blogs. Mr. MacDonald is still in prison, more than 40 years later. He still proclaims his innocence. He’s still filing appeals.

Enter Mr. Morris. “A Wilderness of Error” upends nearly everything you think you know about these killings and their aftermath. Watching Mr. Morris wade into this thicket of material is like watching an aggrieved parent walk into a teenager’s fetid, clothes- and Doritos-strewed bedroom and neatly sort and disinfect until the place shines.

He will leave you 85 percent certain that Mr. MacDonald is innocent. He will leave you 100 percent certain he did not get a fair trial. Along the way he bops the poor Mr. McGinniss on the head several more times, the way a fisherman puts a flopping brook trout out of its misery before excising its innards.

by Anonymousreply 23810/01/2012

The trial was fair.

The author and the NYT are credulous fools.

by Anonymousreply 23910/01/2012

"He will leave you 85 percent certain that Mr. MacDonald is innocent"

I seriously, seriously doubt that. Morris comes across as a smitten groupie. And I don't give a fuck what the NY Times says anymore. It's a biased newspaper, biased in favor of eliminating the death penalty and biased in favor of convicted criminals who proclaim their "innocence."

by Anonymousreply 24010/01/2012

The article doesn't really say all that much of substance. If it accurately relays the substance of the Morris book well there you are.

It doesn't always matter if there were "grievous evidence-collection errors." What matters is the kind of errors and their effect on the evidence, i.e., if the collection method altered the evidence or omitted relevant evidence, etc. I don't think anyone has suggested that mistakes were not made but I have yet to learn of mistakes that were important enough to matter in the end. Or mistakes that overrode the inculpatory evidence that showed he was guilty.

I believe they did a good job of scouring the crime scene for evidence of the presence of others and there just isn't evidence of it. If there is no evidence that others were present - except an incredible and changing story from an unbelievable witness that others were present what does it matter if her interviews are left out of a 60 Minutes show? How is that "burying crucial evdince"? For evidence to be admitted it has to pass a threshold of relevance and reliability. So rather than "crucial" it may not even have been admissible.

Morris's allegation that the trial was was "demonstrably rigged for the prosecution" - well, what does that even mean. I'm a defense attorney and I understand that it is the govt that puts together the case against my defendant and I have to defend against it. Of course they are putting on evidence that makes my client look guilty. Maybe he means they cheated or withheld evidence but this issue has been explored for decades and it doesn't seem that they did. And I would be more than happy to conclude they did if it were shown they did.

And Morris' "suggestions" that McGinness "might have" altered his manuscript to make MacDonald look guilty or because his guilt made a better story is just baseless speculation which in itself is an injustice against McGinness. It is also a rewriting of cultural history. Maybe nowadays that would be a better story but not back then. "Jailed innocent person" was not a common story then - even though that was a reality. The more interesting and sellable story was in finding MacDonald innocent and fighting against an outrageous injustice.

As for McGinness I personally never believed that he committed some terrible journalistic sin. A few years ago I read the caselaw and articles on it and I know that I disagreed with the jurors who sided with MacDonald and even disagreed with the judge's comments. I just can't remember all the detials now. I do understand why McGinness' publisher finally settled rather than go through a retrial.

McGinness didn't enter into his work on MacDonald believing he was guilty and intending to deceive him. He chose to keep it to himself when he slowly came to the conclusion he was guilty. I'm not sure what else you do when you are in the middle of an investigation. In my opinion McGinness was engaged in investigative reporting and I don't know why he had to report his own changing feelings to the object of his reporting. McGinness was a reporter and for MacDonald or his defense team to even think he was their shill no matter what he learned was stupidity and arrogance of an order that boggles the mind.

In the end, as someone upthread already noted, this is about MacDonald's overwhelming arrogance and ego and that he has little else to do with his life. It keeps him in the news and gets him some nookie. He will never never never admit he did it.

by Anonymousreply 24110/01/2012

"And I don't give a fuck what the NY Times says anymore. It's a biased newspaper, biased in favor of eliminating the death penalty"

Most thinking people are against the death penalty. I'm not sure what that has to do with Jeffrey MacDonald - you can be against the death penalty and believe MacDonald is guilty as sin (as I do).

by Anonymousreply 24210/01/2012

Btw, that Unsolved Mysteries segment is interesting. There is a part where MacDonald pretends to get all choked up talking about his family's murder but it's not convincing at all and there are no tears coming out of his eyes.

by Anonymousreply 24310/01/2012

I'm re-reading the book 'Flame-out' that I mention upthread. Jim Blackburn mentions that when they visited the murder site shortly before the trial that much of the furniture and belongings had been either sold or taken by MacDonald.

Left behind ?? The very last Valentine's Day cards that his two murdered daughters had made for him. Cold.

by Anonymousreply 24410/01/2012

"Most thinking people are against the death penalty-I'm not sure what that has to do with Jeffrey MacDonald"

Not really. Most people against the death penalty are by and large self-righteous, rigid, gullible and hysterial. The supporters of Jeffrey MacDonald have those characteristics. As for the NY Times...well, it tends to be very sympathetic to criminals. I've noticed that it almost always gives favorable reviews to memoirs by criminals, even killers, and books that claim to exonerate convicted Jeffrey MacDonald.

by Anonymousreply 24510/02/2012

"Left behind ?? The very last Valentine's Day cards that his two murdered daughters had made for him. Cold."

That reminds me of these passages from "Fatal Vision:

Two weeks later he sent my his children's baby albums. Ever since, I have had them on my desk, within arm's reach: two white, satin-covered volumes, one called "All About Me" and the other titled "Babyhood Years."

The are Kimberly's and Kristen's baby books, filled with Colette's writing about them and also containing locks of their hair. In addition, glued to one page of Kimberly's book is the last of her baby teeth to fall out. The date was November 13, 1969. She was living at 544 Castle Drive (the apartment where she was murdered).

MacDonald sent me the albums, unrequested, along with hundreds of pieces of fan mail he had accumulated over the years. I'm not sure why. I am also not sure what I should do with them. Maybe I will put them in a safe place for a while.

Under federal law, even having been sentenced to three consecutive life terms in prison, Jefrey MacDonald could become eligible for parole on April 5, 1991. He will be, then, forty-seven years old. The books are his. I don't imagine he would have much use for them in prison, but should he get out, he might like to have them back, as souvenirs.

by Anonymousreply 24610/02/2012

"Not really. Most people against the death penalty are by and large self-righteous, rigid, gullible and hysterial"

Ha ha ha ha! Nice one, redneck. Go to a tea party rally and ask how many of them support the death penalty. Probably 99%. You are probably a racist redneck who donates money to Michele Bachmann.

by Anonymousreply 24710/02/2012

I read Wilderness. I wasn't remotely convinced he is innocent. maybe there is some shred of indication that the trial could have been a little more favorable to defense in giving them time to examine evidence, but it wasnt "unfair.".

Errol Morris keeps harping on how there is no indication in his personality that he was capable of such a crime. But it happens! John list. That entwhistle guy.

This guy: 8:15PM EST October 3. 2012 - WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — A man who fatally stabbed, slashed and hit his wife, mother-in-law and two young children at their home in Massachusetts after an argument over a bounced check has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Thomas Mortimer IV pleaded guilty in Woburn Superior Court to first-degree murder by deliberate meditation and extreme atrocity and cruelty in the deaths of his mother-in-law, Ellen Stone; his wife, Laura Stone Mortimer; and their two children, 2-year-old Charlotte and 4-year-old Thomas Mortimer V, nicknamed Finn.

Court documents indicate that the 4-year-old witnessed the brutal killings of his mother, grandmother and sister before he died between June 14 and June 15, 2010.

"I did these horrible things," Thomas Mortimer wrote in one of two confessions that prosecutors found in the house. "What I have done is extremely selfish and cowardly."

In the note, Mortimer said he flew into a rage after he and his wife argued over a bounced check he sent to the Internal Revenue Service.

by Anonymousreply 24810/04/2012

If you google "man kills his wife and children" there are tons of stories like this. I don't understand why everyone thinks Jeff is somehow special and "couldn't have done it."

Sometimes I wonder if he didn't snap but rather planned it. All the different weapons - club, two knifes, ice pick. But maybe he grabbed more weapons after the fact. And collette did fight /attack him - it's not like he waited till she was asleep.

by Anonymousreply 24910/04/2012

"Most thinking people are against the death penalty. I'm not sure what that has to do with Jeffrey MacDonald - you can be against the death penalty and believe MacDonald is guilty as sin (as I do)."

LOL even in liberal california and New York has the DP. In fact, being in faVOR of the DP is the most common bipartisan issue as is strong on immigration!!

by Anonymousreply 25010/04/2012

r250, I wondered that too, but experts believe he killed all 3 of them before midnight and did not call the MPS( MILITARY police) until after3, which means he had a few hours to come up with a plausible story

by Anonymousreply 25110/04/2012

There's also the fact that married women are at greater risk during pregnancy.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found "a pregnant or recently pregnant woman is more likely to be a victim of homicide than to die of any other cause."

by Anonymousreply 25210/04/2012

Here's video of Errol morris on CBS news talking about his book.

How can he think JM is innocent? It is absurd

by Anonymousreply 25310/04/2012

People think that executing a person who has rightly or wrongly been found guilty is somehow going to end the suffering brought about by the homicide.

I worked with victim families who found it had the opposite effect. They lived for the day of the execution and then discover it did nothing to ameliorate their pain.

The oddest thing is the victim families who want someone to be punished, even if it is the wrong person. They will often fight tooth and nail to prevent the release of a death row inmate who has been found to be innocent.

The death penalty is not an area where cool heads prevail or where logic and reason play much of a part. It's about revenge, pure and simple. We think revenge will make us feel better.

by Anonymousreply 25410/04/2012

What convinced me is the fact that JM never reacted to Helena Stoekley's presence or testimony at his trial, even though he purportedly believes she MURDERED HIS FAMILY. Fatal Vision discusses this.

by Anonymousreply 25510/04/2012

Oops hit post too early - don't you think if the woman who destroyed the people you loved the most in the world was testifying at your trial, and lying about it, you'd have SOME kind of reaction to her? Scream at her to tell you who the other killers were? Beg her?

Instead he was indifferent so as not to "spook" her. The whole defense team coddled her, knowing damn well she was a nut job who had nothing to do with it, but just might save their client. They put.her up at the Hilton, fed her, babysat her, etc. they knew she was the golden ticket. But they never treated her like a murderer of their client's family.

by Anonymousreply 25610/04/2012

Rita Braver is extremely thin.

by Anonymousreply 25710/04/2012

MacDonald was a very good-looking man. Just as with a beautiful woman's being accused of a crime, Americans are reluctant to suspect, let alone convict, a handsome man.

by Anonymousreply 25810/06/2012

"Ha ha ha ha! Nice one, redneck. Go to a tea party rally and ask how many of them support the death penalty. Probably 99%. You are probably a racist redneck who donates money to Michele Bachmann."

You think all people in favor of the death penalty are "racist" and "redneck?" You are one incredibly stupid asshole.

I can think of one person in favor of the death penalty who is not "redneck" or "racist": William Petit, Jr. You're pretty ignorant; you've probably never heard of him. He was a doctor in Connecticut with a wife and two daughters; two goons broke into their house, split his head open and left him to die in a burning house. He managed to escape. His wife was raped and strangled; his 11 year old daughter was sodomized and died of smoke inhalation. His 17 year old made it to the stairs before collapsing and dying of smoke inhalation. His house burned down, with the bodies of his family in it. HE'S in favor of the death penalty. I wonder why?

No doubt you think the killers should be shown mercy and compassion and have their sentences reduced to life without parole so they can live a nice, long life in prison being cared for by the government. FUCK you, douchebag.

by Anonymousreply 25910/06/2012

It's not just Americans, R259. It's part of the human condition to give attractive people the benefit of the doubt.

by Anonymousreply 26010/06/2012

r260, you are addressing an insane person.

by Anonymousreply 26110/06/2012

He drove taxis on fire island in 70s

by Anonymousreply 26410/07/2012

His psych report said he was closeted

by Anonymousreply 26510/07/2012

This was military base housing. He is guilty. Time passes, people die and the bleeding hearts come out, poor thing? He killed his wife, 2 daughters and his unborn child, by all rights he should have had the death penalty and be gone by now.

Let time pass, some nuts will be saying Scott Peterson is not guilty, didn't get a fair trial.

by Anonymousreply 26610/07/2012

Most people in prison probably should be there, other than the ridiculously high number of people we incarcerate for minor drug offenses.

Not supporting the death penalty is not the same thing as imagining that guilty people are innocent or that they did not receive a fair trial. It's just being against the death penalty.

by Anonymousreply 26710/07/2012

Does anyone know how to get in touch with Errol Morris about writing another book on an unfair trial and wrongly convicted murderer? Excuse me, wrongly convicted accused murderer?

by Anonymousreply 26810/07/2012

[quote]How can he think JM is innocent? It is absurd

Apparently Errol Morris has followed the case for many years-- Morris used to be a private detective-- plus he is friends with one of MacDonald's former attorneys. That may have influenced his views.

For whatever it's worth, a friend of mine who is an experienced and well-regarded forensic psychologist also believes that MacDonald did not commit the murders. I have argued the case back and forth with him for years now, and my friend remains convinced that MacDonald is innocent. I tell him that I simply can't get past the ludicrousness of 'acid is groovy'.

One thing I did find interesting in Morris's new book is an ominous Manson-family-esque precursor to the MacDonald murders in which a person or persons unknown broke into another house at Ft. Bragg. No one was killed but furniture and personal property belonging to the residents were rearranged, and someone wrote cryptic messages in lipstick on a mirror. This is uncomfortably reminiscent of the 'creepy crawling' excursions Manson's followers engaged in. What relation if any it has to the truth of what happened in the MacDonald case I don't really know.

by Anonymousreply 26910/07/2012

Court Cases That Last Longer Than Some Lives By JOE McGINNISS Published: October 6, REPRINTS

OVER the course of two days last month, I testified in federal court in Wilmington, N.C., at an evidentiary hearing called to consider claims by the convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald, who for the eighth time has appealed for a new trial. Enlarge This Image

the New York Times

Kathryn MacDonald, via Associated Press Jeffrey MacDonald in 2007. It’s the never-ending case. I was called as a witness because I wrote a book, “Fatal Vision,” published in 1983, about Mr. MacDonald and the murders, in which I concluded that the jury verdict of guilty was correct. The start of the hearing coincided with publication of a new book, “A Wilderness of Error,” by the documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (who is also a contributing columnist to The New York Times’s opinion section), which argues that Mr. MacDonald’s conviction for the murder of his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the family apartment at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1970, was a miscarriage of justice.

by Anonymousreply 27010/07/2012

His wife and children were stabbed a minimum of 91 times and the lucky doc how many? Why overkill on his wife and children and not him? Wasn't the doctor using drugs?

by Anonymousreply 27110/07/2012

People need to understand how it feels to know someone is guilty and then several decades later have someone write a book and state that the creep is innocent.

Think Sandusky who still says he's not guilty. He'll keep saying it. Say in 30 years somebody declares he's always thought he was innocent and will prove it and get him out of jail. That's kind of how this feels.

by Anonymousreply 27210/09/2012

I think this is the very last appeal that MacDonald can do, so if he loses this one, he just needs to shut up, sit and jail and rot until he dies.

by Anonymousreply 27310/09/2012

It's as someone already said, if he isn't guilty he's the biggest pussy in the whole world. Looking at those photos of the murder victims who were slaughtered and Jeffrey with his teeny tiny wounds is really shocking.

Warning: Crime scene photos at link.

by Anonymousreply 27410/09/2012

R274, it could also suggest that if JM did not commit the murders, then whoever killed MacDonald's wife and children was interrupted somehow. It is also possible that if JM was not the killer that whoever did kill his family left him alive deliberately, perhaps to take the blame for the murders.

I am in the midst of reading Errol Morris's book. It's full of information about the case that I haven't heard before. Morris writes that a man named Jimmy Friar submitted an affidavit in 1979 to the FBI that he had placed a phone call to Jeffrey MacDonald's house the night of the killings. (Friar was actually connected to JM's number in error as there were two doctors with the last name MacDonald stationed at Ft. Bragg, and apparently he had wanted the other Doctor MacDonald.) Friar stated in his affidavit that a female answered the phone. He asked to speak with Dr. MacDonald; the woman began laughing hysterically. Friar asked again to speak to Dr. MacDonald, and the woman just kept laughing. The caller then heard another voice: "Hang up the goddamn phone." That was the end of the call.

by Anonymousreply 27510/11/2012

SEE ?? This is why 2 year old threads get bumped sometimes.

Posts to this thread have nearly quadrupled since it originally died in April 2011. I'm sure the new book and latest appeal helped.

Who is to say Friar is correct on the date (his afidavit was almost 10 years after the murders) and also if his call to *his* Doctor MacDonald was misrouted .... who is to even say it was actually misrouted to the *other* Doctor MacDonald. Maybe it was answered by some random person .......... really, three people are being MURDERED and another one is being 'viciously' attacked by FOUR people .... and one of them is going to run and answer the ringing phone ?? (Does Morris speculate if Helena Stokley put down the burning candle to answer the phone ? Does Friar say she answered the phone "Acid is groovy. Doctor MacDonald's residence, may I help you ??")

by Anonymousreply 27610/11/2012

R276, I would be surprised if Morris answers such questions in his book (although I have not finished reading it) but just before the bit about Friar's alleged telephone call to MacDonald there is an excerpt from an interview in which Helen Stoeckley says that she answered the phone at MacDonald's house that night and laughed at the person asking to speak to Dr. MacDonald before one of her companions told her to hang up the phone. So there's that.

by Anonymousreply 27710/11/2012

Why didn't friar call the cops when it hit papers morning after murder?

by Anonymousreply 27810/11/2012

[quote]Why didn't friar call the cops when it hit papers morning after murder?

Well, he called Joe Paterno and told him. That was protocol.

by Anonymousreply 27910/11/2012

For some reason this case really bothers me. I've read both fatal vision and wilderness and obviously Mac did it.

Wilderness is a well researched book, and well written, but all it uncovers is random breaches of protocol and random zillionth-hand stories. Nothing that makes me think he had an unfair trial.

Helena stoeckly was never treated by Mac and his team as an honest to god suspect. More like what she was: a convenient local schizophrenic with a penchant for referencing "dreams" of being at crime scene who enjoyed the sandwiches, hotel rooms, and attention from defense team. They never pushed to find corroboration of her story because they knew there would be none. They simply tried to get her to make her wacky statements on stand To gin up doubT, twhich she refused to do.

I am glad he's been locked up for 30 years.

by Anonymousreply 28010/11/2012

[quote]Helena stoeckly was never treated by Mac and his team as an honest to god suspect. More like what she was: a convenient local schizophrenic with a penchant for referencing "dreams" of being at crime scene who enjoyed the sandwiches, hotel rooms, and attention from defense team.

To me Stoeckley comes across as a chronic substance abuser rather than a schizophrenic. Although obviously years of drug abuse must have taken a toll on her mental state not to mention her physical well-being; she died relatively young.

According to Morris's book Helena Stoeckley was also a police informant and the daughter of a lieutenant colonel. I suspect that she was cannier than she let on-- not necessarily smart, but I get the impression she knew how to use a flaky hippie chick persona to her own advantage when it served her purposes. She does not appear in this awful case as a sympathetic figure, that's for sure.

by Anonymousreply 28110/11/2012

"if JM did not commit the murders, then whoever killed MacDonald's wife and children was interrupted somehow. It is also possible that if JM was not the killer that whoever did kill his family left him alive deliberately, perhaps to take the blame for the murders."

Are you fucking kidding? Colette and the little girls were stabbed and bludgeoned dozens of times; there was no "interruption." And why did they butcher a pregnant woman and two children and leave MacDonald relatively unscathed? Seems to me they would have tried to take him out first since he posed the most threat to them.

And the theory that whoever killed Colette and the girls left MacDonald alive so he would "take the blame for the murders" is absolutely ludicrous, something out of a bad novel or tv crime show.

MacDonald's supporters keep coming up with these ridiculous imagined scenarios in order to exonerate him. Some of them have even suggested that Helena Stoekely was murdered in order to keep MacDonald in prison (she died of natural causes).

JM's supporters and groupies are nutjobs in thrall to a murderer.

by Anonymousreply 28210/11/2012

R282, I was merely suggesting possible if not probable scenarios-- I don't necessarily believe or endorse any alternative scenarios myself.

Also, I don't know if you were referring to me in particular in your post, but I have to say that I am not a supporter or groupie. I posted earlier in this thread that I have argued for years with a friend who is a forensic psychologist who firmly believes that MacDonald did not commit the murders. (He is far from being a "groupie", however.)

Having said that, I don't think it's fair to dismiss anyone who may have doubts about MacDonald's culpability or people who have reservations about the prosecution's case as "nutjobs in thrall to a murderer". For example, Errol Morris may be misguided or just plain wrong but I don't think he's crazy, nor do I think that he comes across as a particularly ardent fan of MacDonald in his new book. As far as I know Morris's direct contact with MacDonald was in the form conference call held in the presence of some of MacDonald's legal team, so Morris's exposure to whatever alleged socipathic charm Jeffrey MacDonald may still wield would seem to be quite limited.

Morris does seem to hate Joe McGinniss, I will say that much.

by Anonymousreply 28310/12/2012

Sorry for all the typos in my previous post.

by Anonymousreply 28410/12/2012

I have been reading Errol Morris's book A Wilderness of Error, about the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case. I have huge respect for Mr. Morris, a man who not only cares zealously about the plight of the wrongly convicted and falsely accused, but who goes to heroic lengths to rescue them.

On this occasion, though, I believe he is simply wrong.


SIGN UP Philip JenkinstRealClearReligion Jeffrey MacDonaldthippies Jeffrey MacDonald was a Green Beret doctor who in February 1970 reported that drug-crazed hippies had broken into his home at Fort Bragg, killing his wife and two daughters. MacDonald himself was wounded, but survived. He himself came under suspicion, and was convicted of the three murders in 1979. He remains in prison, despite prolonged efforts by friends and supporters who believe him innocent. And now, Errol Morris lends his weighty influence to that cause.

General interest apart, the case fits into my areas of professional interest because of the activism of Ted Gunderson, a former FBI agent who purported to produce dramatic new evidence concerning the case. Unfortunately, Gunderson was an outrageous myth-maker who was behind many of extravagant claims about cult activities and Satanism during the 1980s and 1990s, claims that I and many others spent years debunking. He was in fact the chief godfather of the Satanism/ritual abuse scare that so disfigured American life in those years. Inevitably, Gunderson later became a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

For Gunderson, naturally, the MacDonald murders were part of the national Satanic cult menace, as was confirmed by the confessions of one Helena Stoeckley, who claimed to be one of the homicidal hippie gang at Fort Bragg. Helena, however, was a catastrophically troubled witness, plagued by mental illness and drug issues, who was easily led to say what a handler wanted her to say at any given moment. No rational person believed a delusional word she uttered.

Errol Morris's book makes a gallant effort to prove MacDonald's innocence. He shows, convincingly, that the trial involved many procedural errors, and that evidence really was suppressed. He is also far too smart to accept Helena Stoeckley's pathetic rants and ramblings at face value, and he has no illusions about Gunderson. Nevertheless, he accepts the basic MacDonald story of the incident, and further believes that Helena's confessions did contain germs of truth.

Wilderness of Error may well make a plausible case for a retrial, and that might be a just outcome.

But innocence? Let me explain why I do not for a moment accept MacDonald's story. You can look at so many pieces of evidence, at recent DNA tests, and ample evidence that would have served to convict in a much less notorious case. But here's a massive problem. According to MacDonald, one of the hippies -- possibly Helena herself?? -- had during the murders stood chanting the words "Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs!" The word "pig" was also written in blood on a wall at the crime scene.

Now let's consider this in its context. The Manson murders of the Tate and LaBianca families had occurred in Los Angeles in August 1969, when the killers scrawled various terms in blood, including "pig" and "WAR." These grisly details were sensationally in the news in late 1969 and early 1970, following the arrests of the family's members. Such atrocities were, in other words, making headlines exactly at the time of the Fort Bragg murders, in February 1970. In these very weeks, this is what crazed homicidal hippies were meant to be getting up to.

I ask a question. Apart from the Manson murders themselves, how many parallel incidents ever occurred in real life America in this era, in the sense of groups of homicidal cultish druggies storming the homes of the straight and respectable, and inflicting bloody murder on their "pig" victims? If we exclude the alleged Fort Bragg incident, I am not aware of any, ever, before or since. Yes, such crimes occurred only in those twin centers of the radical counterculture, Los Angeles and ... Fort Bragg.

If you read Wilderness of Error, you may well be carried along with its argument, and by Errol Morris's passion for truth. But every few pages, just stop and repeat the following mantra: "Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs!"

Do you genuinely believe that any hippie in the 1960s or 1970s, any young person, ever uttered those words? Do you not find them far beyond parody -- the sort of thing that a silly scriptwriter who had never been within a hundred miles of Haight-Ashbury might imagine his hippie characters saying, to the scorn of everyone vaguely connected to the underground or the music scene? Groovy?

Aren't these words direct from The Mod Squad? Or to be more specific, think of the late 1960s incarnations of Dragnet -- not, I stress, a favorite with the under-25 crowd in that era. Think of the show's ludicrously improbable juvenile delinquent villains, with their silly long haired wigs. Isn't "acid is groovy" exactly what you might expect to come out of their mouths? Has anyone actually watched the episodes from those shows from the months preceding the Fort Bragg crimes, to see if such fictional tales directly prefigured the details of the murders?

Or alternatively, are these words the sort of thing that might be invented by a strait-laced army officer who had been reading the headlines in early 1970, who was watching a lot of television? By a square among squares, who was intrigued by the notion of "hippie cult atrocities", but who had never met an actual hippie, or indeed encountered a real-life cult? And who thought that these sentiments might provide authenticity for a wholly imaginary local chapter of the Manson family?

"Acid is groovy." Uh-huh.

by Anonymousreply 28510/12/2012

I took a lot of acid I never killed any pigs. In fact a bag of pork rinds freaked me out.

by Anonymousreply 28610/12/2012

What would be the equivalent of a square trying to sound "hip" today to cover a crime? Is telling the cops in 1970 that hippies burst in yelling ACID IS GROOVY the same as telling them in 2012 that a bunch of juggalos burst in yelling OXYCONTINS ARE DA BOMB.

by Anonymousreply 28710/12/2012

As ludicrous as "Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs" is. it's not the most damning part about the whole thing. The physical evidence is what points to Macdonald's guilt, period.

by Anonymousreply 28910/12/2012


He folded the top over Collette to stab her supine body.

by Anonymousreply 29010/12/2012

How can anyone who has seen the crime photos say he is innocent I believe others were involved and he helped I hope he rots in prison. He took the cowards way out instead of being a man and divorcing her.

by Anonymousreply 29103/11/2013

"He took the cowards way out instead of being a man and divorcing her."

No doubt he didn't much care for the responsiblities of being a husband and father so early in his life, and he cheated on Colette every chance he got. But the most plausible scenario was that he became enraged, (it's been well substantiated that MacDonald had a very violent temper and was prone to frightening episodes of anger) killed Colette and his oldest daughter and after that, stabbed his youngest daughter to death in order to create his "killer hippies broke in and killed everyone but me" tale.

by Anonymousreply 29203/11/2013

Yes r292 and wasn't he taking speed also? Some kind of prescription but speed nonetheless. I can't believe some dumb woman even married him again..I wouldn't marry a Menendez either but it's a little more understandable than marrying a fucking creep like McDonald who slaughtered a pregnant woman and two little girls..

by Anonymousreply 29303/11/2013

Why was the "hippie" holding a lit candle? Did she bring it with her or just grab one in the house? If she did bring it, was it lit when they entered the house? Or did she fumble with matches or a lighter while murder and mayhem took place all around her, in a tiny house, while high on acid?

by Anonymousreply 29403/11/2013

"Why was the "hippie" holding a lit candle? Did she bring it with her or just grab one in the house? If she did bring it, was it lit when they entered the house? Or did she fumble with matches or a lighter while murder and mayhem took place all around her, in a tiny house, while high on acid?"

There was no "hippie holding a lit candle." There was no evidence that there was anyone else in the apartment that night except MacDonald and his wife and small daughters.

Yes, he'd been taking speed before the murders and had lost a lot of weight in the weeks preceding.

A psychological evaluation of him lent forth the opinion that he has a deep-seated hatred of women. I can certainly believe that!

by Anonymousreply 29503/12/2013

is the Errol Morris book any good?

by Anonymousreply 29603/12/2013

[R296] I was a little disappointed in it. There is tons of info but he doesn't weave a great narrative to make his case.

I kept waiting for him to put all the pieces together in a final convincing summary but he didn't.

That said I think MacDonald should have been found not guilty because there is a lot of sketchy evidence.

by Anonymousreply 29703/12/2013

r297 So who does Morris think did it? Surely not Stoekely (sp) and company?

by Anonymousreply 29803/12/2013

He thinks Stoeckley very well could have been there. He doesn't really have a singular theory but rather points out all the holes in the prosecution's case.

I was expecting more of a here's who did it and how book.

If you're interested in the case it's worth reading as it's an exhaustive look at the case.

by Anonymousreply 29903/12/2013

Obviously MacDonald did it.

by Anonymousreply 30009/06/2013

Something that stuck in my mind after reading "Fatal Vision" was the testimony of the upstairs neighbors. They lived over the MacDonald family and did not hear anything coming from the apartment below them.

If that place had been crowded with all those people doing all that killing and talking, surely it would have been heard by the girl in her bedroom upstairs. She slept right through all of that mayhem. I think the reason is that Jeffrey knew he had to keep all of the murdering going on as quiet as possible. His victims had no idea that "daddy" was finally off the deep end and they were all going to die that night. They had no reason to think that they had to actually scream bloody murder.

by Anonymousreply 30109/06/2013

R301--I thought it was odd that the upstairs neighbors slept through the murders (and no, I don't believe that there was more than one murderer--MacDonald--in the apartment.)

One thing that MacDonald stated made me believe that he was trying to establish a story that would help him in case the neighbors HAD heard something--that he heard Colette screaming, "Jeff, Jeff, why are they doing this to me?" At the trial, the prosecutor said, "Think of how this sounds like Colette crying, 'Jeff, Jeff, why are YOU doing this to me?" I have no doubt that Colette, in fact, said this, and that MacDonald was trying to cover his ass when he made his alteration.

Asshole. Who would marry this freak? One other thing revealed in "Fatal Vision" is that during his initial hearing, some bimbo from the base hit on him and had sex with him, regularly, in his quarters--this guy suspected of killing his entire family. When authorities asked why she'd had sex with the poor, grieving widower, she said she'd been "frankly attracted" to him and had admired his "great body."

One last thing: why, after he'd left the Army and gone to California, did this man who'd suffered such a devastating loss NEVER attempt to track down the murdering hippies? He lied to his father-in-law that he'd killed one, but he never, never, never did anything about the case except complain about his own treatment.

by Anonymousreply 30209/21/2014

"Asshole. Who would marry this freak?"

Sadly, there are people who actually believe he is not guilty.

by Anonymousreply 30309/21/2014

The woman in the big floppy hat was identified. I saw it on a program. She was a major drug addict. Before she died she admitted that she was there and that her and her friends were all on LSD and that they murdered them. The floppy hat lady is now dead.

by Anonymousreply 30409/21/2014

r304, she was lying.

by Anonymousreply 30509/21/2014


by Anonymousreply 30609/21/2014

This guy is as guilty as O.J.

by Anonymousreply 30709/21/2014
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