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

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

  1. Toth

    Toth Inactive

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    Right from the start things were bad: the crime scene was trampled by curious MPs, the forensic work was abysmal, one of the first responding MPs saw a woman with a floppy hat, later McDonald mentioned a woman with a floppy hat. The Judge clearly did not allow a fair trial. Later police work was absurdly botched too.

    I've always felt that the trio may have been encouraged to select that particular victim. It was not some random crime.
     
  2. jednme

    jednme Guest



    Babcat - You got this information from the civial trial transcript? I recall the trial ending in a hung jury which would conflict with the idea that McGinniss himself ended it before it came to conclusion. I don't recall McGinniss being forced to admint that he did not believe that MacDonald had killed his family, he only agreed that he was not absolutely certain that it happened the way he (McGinniss) theorized it to happen in the book. What part of the transcript does McGinnnis say he did not believe MacD killed his family. Also, if you have the transcript, could you tell me what Cleve Backster testified to? I know he testified that MacD failed the polygraphed but what else?
     
  3. OctSurprise

    OctSurprise Guest

    This question was from Old Broad back in early November.

    MacDonald was no longer in the military when he was tried and convicted of the murders. He was working in Los Angeles and was a civilian. Any DNA testing must be done by MacDonald's attorneys in coordination with the prosecutor's office.

    I've read almost everything there is to read about this case. While I believe he is guilty, he probably should be given another trial.

    The only problem with that is some of the evidence is no longer available. The DNA testing would be definitive, if and when it's done. It's unfortunate that 30+ years have passed and many witnesses are dead.

    Evidence collection wasn't what it is today, even when it's done in a sloppy manner.

    And to the person who commented on Barry Scheck getting OJ off, it didn't happen that way. Barry Scheck was responsible for some of the testing that was done, he only presented his results. I have great respect for his work and the whole Innocence Project. Many people would still be rotting away if his group hadn't stepped in and proved their innocence.
     
  4. atbay

    atbay Former Member

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    This case tests my ability to ascertain the truth listening to a suspect. One thing that should concern all system-watchers, though, is why on earth it has taken six YEARS to still not complete the dna testing! Laci is dna tested in a matter of days. It seems the prosecution is stalling on this issue. Why? The points that always bothered me about this case is the "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs" quote that just never rang true, and the "Jeffrey why are they doing this?" Which doesn't ring true. Nothing else bothers me and I believe he makes a pretty good case in the LKL interview.

    God forbid if anyone breaks into a house and doesn't kill a parent, only the children. We know now that Sam Shephard was innocent. As hard as MacDonald fought MGinnis tellls me he may well be innocent. Shouldn't everyone be concerned that court-ordered dna tests have never been completed?
     
  5. hollyjokers

    hollyjokers New Member

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    This is a great thread. I have read FV & FJ, watched the movie a few times, though it's been quite awhile. I wondered why there hasn't been more discussion of these murders with the similarities between Jeff McDonald & Scott Peterson. I wasn't totally convinced of his guilt after FV, & FJ raised even more questions. I think, as others here do, that at the least, Dr. McDonald deserves a retrial. He may not be innocent, but clearly this case was mishandled.
     
  6. jednme

    jednme Guest

    Hey Atbay - concerning the MacDonald murders one of the parents was killed, a pregnant mother and wife - in MacD's case, of the four family members in the apartment, he was the sole survior - the two girls and their mother were all murdered. Also, if one were to ever find themselves in such a horrible position, one option would be the course that Mr. Smart took and submit to a lie detector test. Of course they are not admitted in a court of law but as an investigative tool they can be very useful. That is, if you aren't hiding anything, submit to a poly. If you are, refuse it. And without question you should not be caught in a lie.

    As to Sam Sheppard, I haven't fully studied the case, but I do believe there is still some reason to suspect that he was responsible for the murder of his wife. After his convinction for the murder of his wife he was granted a new trial because of the media attention surrounding the first trial. The second trial did concluded with a not guilty verdict. For some reason the prosecution did not present the "mistress" during the second trial and from what I understand, they left the jury grasping for a motive. I also understand that his attorney during the second trial was much more agressive than the first one. Despite the not guilty verdict in his favor, Sam Sheppard's son tried to completely clear his father and prove his father factually innocent through a civil trial but that trial did not produce the desired results for the son. So Mr. Sheppard was found not guilty but I am not certain that proves him innocent of the murder. OJ was found not guilty but many still think he did it and with good reason.

    Sam Sheppard was not set free because of undisputable evidence of his innocence, i.e. DNA, and no one else has ever been charged with Mrs Sheppard's murder.

    I find quite a few similarities in these two murders, the Sheppard murder and the MacDonald murders. To name a few both men were doctors, both were asleep on the couch when the intruders entered and not in bed with their spouses. Both claimed still unidentified intruders were responsible for the murders. Both men were unfaithful to their spouses during the times of the murder. Both claimed to have fought the intruders but were knocked unconscious. Both men were injured during the struggle but survived - both heard their wives calling out.

    I am not going so far as to say that I feel certain that Sam Sheppard killed his wife but I don't know that he was innocent either. Evidence still remains that points to him and not an intruder.
     
  7. atbay

    atbay Former Member

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    "That is, if you aren't hiding anything, submit to a poly. If you are, refuse it. And without question you should not be caught in a lie."

    Glad you have absolute faith in polygraphs. I hope you never wind up in jail accused of something you didn't do, and submit to a poly only to have the results labeled "inconclusive". Might dampen your enthusiasm for this limited use investigative tool. I know it did mine in that very circumstance.

    MacDonalds wounds were almost fatal. The DNA tests were ordered by a court over six years ago. Doesn't he deserve the results by now? You know, a few years back, in the State of CA., the average sentence served for murder one was 7 1/2 years! That's a little light, but Dr. MacDonald has been in prison over 20 years, and awaiting test results for over six years seems to me to be cruel and unusual punishment.

    Have you read FV/FJ? You make no mention of it if you did. Also, are you aware the window washer in the Shephard case died in prison for another murder? I was sleeping on the couch Xmas night while my SO was alseep in the BR. Glad nobody broke in by your standards of suspicion. Maybe all the couples that are both slaughtered while they sleep, as they are many, are punctuated by couples spending the night apart which presents a tougher target for the intruder.
     
  8. smellsarat

    smellsarat Former Member

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    My recollection is that MacD's injuries were NOT life-threatening...Not that that seals the deal as Chuck Stuart in Boston nearly did himself in trying to look like a victim...
     
  9. jednme

    jednme Guest

    Hey Atbay - I don't have "absolute faith" in polygraphs but the polygraph test Mr. Smart submitted to and passed certainly helped move that investigation along early on when Elizabeth was kidnapped from her home. It can be useful as an investigative tool. MacD took and failed a poly early on in 1970 - He denies this but I guess I don't really blame him. Why would he want everyone to know he failed a polygraph? I am not in favor of polygraphs being used in a court of law because I don't have "absolute faith" in them but certainly they can be and are sometimes useful in ruling out suspects. I do not think them infallible however. You have apparently had some experience with a polygraph, I however have never taken one.

    I would strongly disagree that MacD's wounds were near fatal. He was suffering for a 20% partial collapse of a lung when he arrived at the hospital. Other than that, he had no wounds that penetrated any other organ or even required stitching. His vitals were stable.

    Yes, I do know that the window washer died in jail for a different murder. He also corresponded with Mr. Sheppards son many times regarding the Sheppard murder. The window washer may have been guilty of the other murders but that does not prove him responsible for the murder of Mrs. Sheppard. There is no evidence that the window washer killed Mrs. Sheppard.

    And to clear up something else I posted, I never meant to imply that sleeping on the couch makes you guilty of murder. I think I have a little more sense than that. What I was commenting on was the similarities of both cases. Of course I don't think that sleeping on the couch makes you guilty of anything except sleeping on the couch. I too have been guilty of falling asleep on the couch watching television.

    Yes, I have read both FV and FJ several times over and I have been to MacDs website and read everything there including the short study by Bost and all the posted FOIA documents. I have read all the appeals I can find on the net, the 1985 appeal and the 1990 appeal, I have searched archives in the LA Times and Fayetteville Observer. I have requested the Art32 and Grand Jury transcripts.
     
  10. Kaly

    Kaly Inactive

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    This is newsworthy again, because, according to MacDonald's site, he is awaiting DNA results "any day."

    MacDonald's website (put up by his lawyers, I think) got me into reading Fatal Vision all over again, along with Fatal Justice and The Journalist And The Murderer by Janet Malcolm.

    http://www.themacdonaldcase.org/

    I was living about 1/2 block from Jeffrey MacDonald when he was working at St. Mary's in Long Beach, CA. and lived at Huntington Harbour, but I never met him.

    I think there are several scenarios in this case similar to that of Darlie Routier's (yes I still think he is guilty). Think about it:

    1. Both had mild injuries that appeared to be self inflicted.
    2. Both had family members who were the weaker ones that were murdered nearly "right in front of them."
    3. Both fell asleep with kid(s) in front of the TV and awoke to violence.
    4. Both sets of murders happened approximately the same time of night.
    5. Both blamed scruffy-looking intruders with long hair.

    Anything else you can think of? I hope this re-starts a discussion.
     
  11. annie mae

    annie mae Member

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    I have been reading the "Darlie" posts for the past 2 days trying to catch-up on the case. Then I happened to see the McDonald case listed and I just had to see what was being said. I was so into the "M" case back in the day, but time went on and it left my mind. You are "so right" about almost mirror facts in both case's, MDonald and Routier, it is definately something to ponder. I am going to the bookstore today and buy the Fatal Vision, again! haha Blessings and Happy Holidays
     
  12. Kaly

    Kaly Inactive

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    Yes, aren't the similarities interesting? I'm glad you can appreciate them, too.

    Did you look at his website? He recently married such a young, beautiful woman (and he looks like an old con now) that I'm sure she was a groupie. They say she was an "old friend" because they met once, long ago (I think it's just more of his BS) and then she wrote him after reading Fatal Justice.

    I'm reading all 3 books now. Mostly because neither our library, nor the huge Barnes and Noble in my town doesn't carry a book on the Routier case.
     
  13. pantone11

    pantone11 New Member

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    God, do they all have websites? Jeffery MacDonald is the poster child for an entire movement of self obsessed mirror gazers. Justice was denied in this case because he still walks around as if innocent. And yes, doesn't he look like a creepy old con now.
     
  14. Kaly

    Kaly Inactive

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  15. Kaly

    Kaly Inactive

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    Oh yeah they gotta all have websites dedicated to their defense!

    Yes, he does look like a creepy old con now. He was sure a looker when young, though.

    Here's a forum that is actively discussing the case in detail :clap:

    http://p216.ezboard.com/fcrimeandjustice13552frm3
     
  16. annie mae

    annie mae Member

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    Quick note, have an un-expected gift to purchase, so I will have to make this short :) I did briefly look-over the web site of Mr. M and what was so astonishing were the pictures, my oh my. Needless to say he did not age gracefully (how could he),at one time he was quite the looker. And how long did he know his bride? maybe he delivered her! haha Sorry, I just had to say that :) Pray for Peace and Blessings to us All :)
     
  17. Kaly

    Kaly Inactive

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    Haha, yeah, he probably did delivered her. :laugh:

    I found out someone else had my idea of the similarities between Jeffrey MacDonald and Darlie Routier and they thought of tons more:

    http://www.geocities.com/starkman14/darlie_vs_mcdonald.htm

    I haven't been over to Websleuths hardly at all, since I found that other forum which is so active in discussing this case (scroll up).
    Kaly
     
  18. annie mae

    annie mae Member

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    Hey. Again, I am so glad you have opened the door for discussion on the "Doc". I wonder if he really believes that he will be released in the future? I think not. I have always wondered what his motivation was by killing the children? and if he was high on something? How could you kill your children?:furious: If he didn't love or even like his wife, why not just take her out? or better yet, since he was a doctor, he could have given her something to make her heart stop or? You know these people that kill are not very bright and half of them have a title, Doctor, Lawyer, etc. I know that sounded dumb what I said but you all know what I am trying to say. :( Oh! and why should the system let ole Jeffrey out? he is teaching in prison and has become a part of game. I read the "list" on the link you provided, wow that is amazing:eek: Peace & Light, annie mae
     
  19. Kaly

    Kaly Inactive

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  20. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    Its a waste of time unless he's willing to tell them he's guilty and he's sorry.
     

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