NC - MacDonald family murders at Fort Bragg, 1970 - Jeffrey MacDonald innocent?

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by hockeymom, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. JulieR

    JulieR New Member

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    I agree to hear Macdonald's account of events that night, it sounds crazy that anyone else was involved. Just after reading one interview my feeling was lock him up!!! However if the stuff in this summary is true the case should be looked at. Don't get me wrong, Macdonald is a jerk and by all accounts a womanizer, cheat and liar but if evidence was lost, misplaced and not all shown to the jury in his favor I don't find that fair either. Put it all out there and let the jury decide. JMO, I am still reading.

    http://www.thejeffreymacdonaldcase.com/html/gunderson_summary.html
     
  2. NancyA

    NancyA New Member

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    That's my feeling so far, I'm not prepared to dub the guy 'innocent' solely on the basis of what I'm reading - I am allowing for author bias and there's a lot of stuff niggling me - but having googled a few articles about the case I am VERY concerned about the complete botching of the crime scene and the possible tainting and suppression of evidence. To me it doesn't matter, even if it means a guilty man walks, if due process was not followed then he deserves a retrial at the very least.
     
  3. ERRN1313

    ERRN1313 Active Member

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    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/09/17/Did-Joe-McGinniss-Condemn-an-Innocent-Man

    Interesting read.

    Morris, an Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker whose past work was instrumental in freeing a man falsely convicted of murder, takes apart the key elements of the MacDonald case bit by bit. As the New York Times reviewer put it, “[Morris] 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.” But how did we not hear about this sooner? The incompetent and corrupt manner in which this case was handled is outrageous. The errors are glaring. In order to comfortably be assured that MacDonald got a fair trial and is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” we have to forget a number of significant facts.

    Forget the fact that a racist good old boy judge was openly contemptuous and hostile to MacDonald’s Jewish lead defense attorney and his opinion seeped into his decisions. Forget the fact that the prosecution withheld evidence and lab reports (and, according to new evidence, actually threatened the key defense witness to make her change her testimony). Forget the fact that the crime scene itself was badly mishandled – with evidence moved, destroyed, contaminated, and even stolen. Forget the fact that MacDonald had no motive for the crime, and that the in-laws who testified against his character had previously testified under oath praising his character. And most of all, forget the fact that MacDonald gave the police who arrived at the crime scene detailed descriptions of four suspects, and the police had spotted a woman who fit his description wandering around his neighborhood at 3 a.m. while they were on their way to the crime scene. Forget the fact that this same suspect also coincidentally confessed to multiple people that she and three men who fit MacDonald’s descriptions were involved in the murder of his family. Forget the fact that she was spotted that night with these three men by multiple witnesses – including by a witness who saw blood on her boots. Forget the fact that one of the men also confessed to the murders. Forget the fact that they even confessed to having a clear motive for wanting to commit the crime specifically against MacDonald and his family.
     
  4. hollyjokers

    hollyjokers New Member

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    I read Fatal Justice when it came out as well. About midway through, I realized it was propaganda put out by MacDonald & his team.

    As far as HS, she was a very damaged person. When people began hounding her, feeding her details of the case, she started to believe she was there. She never could describe the layout of the apartment & I believe DNA tested recently did not match her or her boyfriend. Also, the cop who signed an affidavit that he witnessed HS being threatened or coerced has been impeached.


    The case has been reviewed & dissected multiple times, and JM still sits in jail where he belongs.
     
  5. hollyjokers

    hollyjokers New Member

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    "Forget the fact that he lied about which child wet the bed...."
     
  6. Madeleine74

    Madeleine74 Of course it's my opinion, who else's would it be?

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    The problem is when people only use their "feelings" to determine guilt or innocence and refuse to look at the facts in the case. They see an interview with MacDonald and he looks like a nice guy to them so that means he must be innocent. Or they read a couple articles and make a determination from that. Snap judgements in one direction or the other, which is very common.

    You have to look at the evidence. There is no way to get past the pajama top evidence (which was certainly not withheld from anyone), there is no way to avoid the blood evidence, of which there is a multitude, and it simply does not match what MacDonald said happened.

    Watching one interview with Helena Stoeckly is a fraction of the number of interviews she gave and she changes her story a bunch of times.

    How realistic is it that 4 drugged out people entered the MacDonald apartment, carrying no weapons, and they somehow found an ice pick, a knife, and a board that matches a slat from underneath one daughter's bed to then attack a family including 2 little girls? Yet no one woke up when they entered and started looking for weapons, not even MacDonald, who said he was asleep on the couch in the living room, which is right near the kitchen and any entrance into the apartment, and he only awoke upon being "attacked/stabbed" while on the couch. JM's blood isn't on the couch...his blood is found in the bathroom at the sink.

    His story reminds me of the story told by Darlie Routier, who sits on death row in TX. Strange how all these killers enter homes without any weapons of their own, go hunting for a murder weapon inside the victim's home, leave no fingerprints or DNA, don't steal anything, and then overkill sleeping children and manage to not kill the primary adult who was right there.
     
  7. hollyjokers

    hollyjokers New Member

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    It's just a travesty that men who tell enormous lies (have to be in Russiia during birth of 3rd child), wind up with dead wives & kids, and THEN have to put up with corrupt police, DA's, judges....damn shame.
     
  8. ERRN1313

    ERRN1313 Active Member

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    If it was just propaganda, how was it backed up with information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act listed at the back of the book. :


    Relying on documents released under the Freedom of Information Act -- more


    than 10,000 pages of investigative reports, witness statements, affidavits, handwritten lab notes, transcripts, official letters and other documents, Potter and Bost deftly chart a snowballing chain of events leading to a virtual legal whiteout by the time of MacDonald's 1979 trial.


    In all, Bost and Potter describe in detail 21 items of physical evidence never presented in MacDonald's defense that clearly point to the presence of others. Among them: a bloody syringe and an unidentified piece of skin under Colette's fingernail that was extensively tested and subsequently disappeared when it did not match MacDonald's

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/books/article...NNOCENT-Despite-his-3042069.php#ixzz26pyqpFc5
     
  9. waltzingmatilda

    waltzingmatilda Verified Insider-Roy Moore

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    This hearing is being heard near where I live. If the judge grants a re-trial, I will try to go watch a few days and report back to y'all, lol!

    I haven't followed this case closely as I was a kid when it happened. But remember my mom thought he was guilty.

    Here's the latest from yesterday....

    http://www.wwaytv3.com/2012/09/17/macdonald-returns-to-court-fatal-vision-case

    Wade Smith, a defense attorney for MacDonald during the 1979 trial, testified Monday. Smith told the court that in January 2005 federal marshal Jimmy Britt told him he heard Helena Stoeckley say she was threatened by the prosecutor.

    “He heard prosecutors threaten Helena Stoeckley,” says Errol Morris, author of ‘A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald.'"This is the crucial defense witness in 1979 threaten by the prosecution.”

    Smith says Britt, who died in 2008, told him Stoeckley, a police informant and witness in the case, was in the house the night of the murders. And that the prosecutor told Stoeckley she'd be charged with murder if she repeated that story in court.

    The hearing will continue Tuesday morning. It could last a few weeks and the judge will ultimately have to decide if it is worth re-examining the case.


    wm
     
  10. ERRN1313

    ERRN1313 Active Member

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  11. Boodles

    Boodles Well-Known Member

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    Just listening to the snippets on the news and online articles, it sure seems there is a lot of HERESAY in this hearing. I mean, Britt's wife said he said that Helena said....and Stoeckley's brother said his mother said that Helena said.

    Where was all this back then when these people would have testified in first person (before they died)?

    I'm not a lawyer, but aren't these very belated and multiple-people-removed statements inadmissible? I am curious about whatever DNA arguments the defense may present, but so far these other statements don't seem reliable to me. This seems like grasping for straws. And further torturing the victims' family and loved ones.
     
  12. oceanblueeyes

    oceanblueeyes Well-Known Member

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    I have always believed McDonald was guilty.

    But I have a question.

    Beth just said on IS that the state lost the skin found underneath Colette's fingernails. So they cant test the DNA now. DNA testing was not available when he was convicted.

    My question:

    Did JM have fingernail scratches on him at the time of the murders?
     
  13. oceanblueeyes

    oceanblueeyes Well-Known Member

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    They must be admissable or the Judge would not allow them to testify. I guess he does think they are credible witnesses.

    It seems a lot like DPs case and the witnesses are able to testify to hearsay statements since the other people are no longer living.

    I do believe what the witnesses are saying is true and was told to them but Im not sure this will get him a new trial.

    IMO
     
  14. oceanblueeyes

    oceanblueeyes Well-Known Member

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    IS also mentioned something about one of the attorneys got disbarred.

    I missed who it was.

    Which attorney and what were they disbarred for?

    thanks to anyone who will answer.

    IMO
     
  15. hollyjokers

    hollyjokers New Member

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    It was the lead prosecutor, Blackburn, years after he left the DA's office & in private practice. Disbarred & served time in prison.

    I think it was in some of Bob Stevenson's (Colette's brother) remarks that another officer has already impeached Britt's affidavit. Britt was not present at the time he says Blackburn made the threats to HS. MacDonald camp also putting out conspiracy theories about HS's death from pneumonia & liver disease. Oooooh.

    I don't think any photographs were taken of JM's wounds but according to Fatal Vision, EMTs treating JM noted puncture wounds evenly spaced on his chest & surmised they looked like fingernail marks.
     
  16. Boodles

    Boodles Well-Known Member

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  17. hollyjokers

    hollyjokers New Member

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    http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com/html/and_more.html

    Judge Fox stated that if Jimmy Britt truly heard the words he ascribed to Blackburn; it still does not prove a threat by Blackburn. At the time of the interviews, Helena was without counsel and Blackburn would have been obligated to inform Helena what would happen if she testified to being present at the crime scene. The defense cannot prove that Helena would have testified differently without Blackburn’s alleged comments. Judge Fox is saying “for the sake of argument {arguendo}, let us assume Blackburn did say he would indict Helena if she testified that she and friends were present at 544 Castle”. This statement would still not be enough to exculpate MacDonald. Without being able to determine the exact context the statements are useless.

    The government filed a Motion for Publication with Modifications, the order discussed herein. There was no legal precedence cited for this motion. The government filed this motion requesting that certain “facts” be edited into the order as Judge Fox issued it. The modifications requested included:

    (1) The fact (with substantial documentation) that Helena Stoeckley was not held in Greenville Co. jail prior to being brought to Raleigh for the trial. Helena was held in the Pickens Co. jail.
    (2) The fact that (with considerable documented evidence) Jimmy Britt was not the DUSM that picked Helena up in South Carolina and he was not involved in the transport of Helena to Raleigh, NC.
    (3) The fact (again with proof) that DUSM Vernoy Kennedy and a female guard signed for and picked up Helena at the Pickens Co. jail the day before her meeting with the defense and then prosecutors in Raleigh.
    (4) The fact (more evidence) that DUSM Kennedy met up with DUSM Dennis Meehan and Janice Meehan in the Charlotte NC area and exchanged custody of Helena. The Meehans then transported Helena to the Wake Co. jail in Raleigh NC.

    The government hinted that it has additional evidence in its possession that further proves the lies and misrepresentations contained in Jimmy Britt’s affidavit and thus the motions related to his allegations. Jimmy Britt lied. Helena was not in his presence during the drive from S. Carolina to N. Carolina and therefore, it is impossible for her to have made the alleged confessions as contained in his affidavit. By the same token, Britt’s claims of having heard Helena tell Blackburn the same confession the next day during their meeting is a lie. Since Helena was not in his presence the previous day she could not have confessed to Britt, period.

    Despite the defense assertions in the Motion for Certificate of Appealability (COA) on these denials, it is not an adjudicated fact that Britt was truthful in his affidavit. In fact, the truth or falsity of Britt’s comments are irrelevant to the rationale Judge Fox used in coming to his decisions. The Motion for COAs is denied. The motion to publish with modifications is denied except for the correction of non-substantive clerical errors in the order.
     
  18. JulieR

    JulieR New Member

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    I agree, it reminds me of the Julie Rae Harper case when she was put away for killing her son, and in the end it was Tommy Lynn Sells who did it. Now no one believed someone just broke in to kill a child, police till this day still say she got away with murder. However they never looked anywhere else.

    Macdonald would be better to keep his mouth shut, because hearing him talk it just sounds so unbelieveable but suppressing evidence and a tainted crime scene makes you have to wonder what if...........just what if?

    I also think even if there was a smoking gun proving he didn't do it........people would not believe him ( I am not saying I believe him either), but People still think JRH killed her son.
     
  19. Boodles

    Boodles Well-Known Member

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    Great post, thanks. Just curious, what do you think was Britt's motivation? Do you think it was a conscious lie or that he was "confused" with his memories?
     
  20. oceanblueeyes

    oceanblueeyes Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for answering Holly.

    The one thing that does bother me though is they seem to have lost probably the most important piece of forensic evidence and that was the skin found underneath Colette's fingernails.

    That would seal JMs fate one way or the other.

    And it does bother me when any Prosecutor threatens a witness just because they dont like what they have to say.

    I dont know if Hilda told the truth but I do know drug addicts are capable of telling the absolute truth. It happened in the Mel Ignato murder trial and because the jury nor the public believed his drug addicted girlfriend he got away with murder. She told the entire truth..even telling the jury that he made her tape the entire murder. Years later a carpet layer laying carpet in the home found the tape in an airconditioning duct.

    I just cant find a reason why Britt would lie about something like this.

    I do believe he is most likely guilty even though he has never waivered and maintained his innocence for over 40 years.

    But if there is evidence in the case that can be tested I do believe it should.

    Of course it will be up to this Judge to decide if all this evidence warrants a new trial.

    ETA: Is he appearing before Judge Fox again?

    IMO
     

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