Jeffrey MacDonald Is Guilty

JTF

Since: Jul 08

Burlington, VT

#7920 Mar 28, 2014
Nice article about Blackburn and McGinniss from the Charlotte Observer:

Fatal Vision’ cast narrows

During the trial of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald in Raleigh in the summer of 1979, the jury toured the Fort Bragg apartment where MacDonald’s pregnant wife and two young daughters were killed.
MacDonald, charged with three murders, was there. So was Jim Blackburn of Raleigh, the assistant U.S. attorney who was prosecuting him.
Unexpectedly, Blackburn found himself alone with MacDonald in the bedroom where MacDonald’s wife, Collette, had been bludgeoned and stabbed nine years earlier.“I thought at the time how strange it was that the two of us should be there, right where they died,” Blackburn told The News & Observer’s Ginny Carroll a few years later.
MacDonald was convicted a few weeks later of second-degree murder in the deaths of Collette, 26, and Kimberly, 5, and first-degree murder in the death of Kristen, 2. He is serving three life sentences. MacDonald insisted then, and still does today, that a group of hippies entered the apartment, chanted “acid is groovy, kill the pigs,” injured him and killed his family.
Joe McGinniss, the writer who brought MacDonald’s story to the world with his 1983 best-selling book,“Fatal Vision,” died last week at 71. His death narrows a bit more the living cast of characters from that unforgettable trial.
Helena Stoeckley, the drug-addled “woman in the floppy hat” who gave multiple stories and testified in the trial, has been dead for more than 30 years. Gone also is U.S. District Judge Franklin Dupree. So is Carroll, the fine reporter who covered the trial for The N&O.
Yet the case lives on. Appeals have taken it before the U.S. Supreme Court seven times. A hearing was held in U.S. District Court in Wilmington in 2012 to consider new DNA evidence and statements made since the trial from a former U.S. marshal and Stoeckley’s mother (both also have died). The judge has not ruled on the 2012 testimony.
The trial’s remaining central characters are defense attorney Wade Smith of Raleigh, 76; prosecutor Brian Murtagh, 67; MacDonald, 70; and prosecutor Blackburn, 69.
Blackburn and McGinniss started on different sides. McGinniss was a journalist and established author. He was recruited by MacDonald to tell his story, although their agreement was that McGinniss was free to write as he saw fit. McGinniss was part of MacDonald’s entourage during the trial, living with the group at the Kappa Alpha house at N.C. State University.
Blackburn knew who McGinniss was, but they didn’t speak during the trial.“I was terrified of his existence,” Blackburn told me last week.“I knew he was going to treat us as a bunch of Southern bumpkins.”
But by the end of the trial, which showed that the physical evidence didn’t match MacDonald’s story, McGinniss was convinced that MacDonald had killed his wife and children. McGinniss wrote to Blackburn, and Blackburn decided to talk. He also cleared the way for McGinniss to interview Murtagh and Freddy Kassab, Collette MacDonald’s stepfather.
Some thought McGinniss had double-crossed MacDonald. New Yorker writer Janet Malcolm said McGinniss was an example of the reporter as a “kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”
Blackburn said McGinniss was “personable, a good listener, a good interviewer, absolutely devoted to pursuing a subject to the end.” They became friends, saw each other from time to time. When Blackburn had legal problems – in 1993, he admitted he had stolen $230,000 from his law firm to cover lies he made to clients – McGinniss wrote him supportive letters.
They had breakfast in Wilmington in 2012 before Blackburn was to testify. McGinniss had sent Blackburn an email that said,“You'll do great. The truth is hard to screw up, unlike lies.”
At the hearing, 33 years after the trial, Blackburn and MacDonald were in the same courtroom again. They did not make eye contact.
Popeye

Deer Park, TX

#7921 Mar 28, 2014
Thanks. May he rest in peace.

JTF

Since: Jul 08

Saint Albans, VT

#7922 Apr 9, 2014
I thought the following chain of events would be of interest to those who have more than a cursory understanding of the facts of this case. Since the publication of FATAL VISION, it has always been assumed that a pajama fiber found lodged under Kristen's fingernail was later lost at the Fort Gordon lab. In re-reading some of the legal haggling (e.g., documents from 2001-2005) in regards to DNA testing procedures, I discovered that the pajama fiber was never lost.

The pajama fiber was collected at autopsy, placed in a vial, and sent to Dillard Browning for microscopic comparisons. Browning washed the fiber, mounted it on a slide, and subsequently matched it to MacDonald's pajama top. In FATAL VISION, Joe McGinniss stated that the vial containing the pajama fiber was lost shortly after Browning made his comparisons.

In 1990, Browning stated that he left the fiber on the slide and never returned it to the vial, so that part of McGinniss' claim was true. The fiber, however, was not lost as it remained on the slide and later became a part of the discussions regarding which exhibits were suitable for DNA testing.

In 2004, the Armed Forces Institute Of Pathology sent a letter to Brian Murtagh, and part of that letter addressed the potential DNA testing of this pajama fiber. The AFIP stated that, "This fiber mounted on a slide with a hair may pose several issues. To my knowledge, AFDIL has never made any attempt to remove the coverslip from a slide containing a fiber. While the chemicals added to a slide are meant to dissolve the adhesive used to bind the slide and coverslip, we have no experience as to the type of detrimental effects these strong solvents could pose on a 30 year old fiber. The solvents could very well dissolve the fiber in addition to the adhesive."

The defense could have requested that the AFIP risk the alteration or destruction of the fiber in the hope that DNA could be extracted from the "red adhering material." The 2006 DNA test results demonstrated that the defense did not put in that request. All of the DNA exhibits were hair exemplars, so the inculpatory fiber remains on a slide in its original coverslip.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
Sam Aritan1

San Jose, CA

#7923 Apr 10, 2014
Hmmmm. Thanks for that info, jtf.
crofton md

Washington, DC

#7924 Apr 16, 2014
JTF: I noticed some rather nasty posts between posters on the yuku board and unfortunately was unable to reply on that thread, so here goes. I think it is a complete shame when people become so caught up in who posted what first and who has the most time, money or interest in the case. My personal opinion is that you all are a wealth of information and are to be commended on your knowledge of this case. All the baloney about who posted what and who may have copied is so silly. The crap about Christina posted this first and so and so copied it and therefore, Christina doesn't want to post all she has is ludicrous! I thought the idea was to discuss and educate. I guess instead it has turned into who knows the most players and who has the most stuff. Silly, very immature behavior, in my opinion. That being said, I wanted to personally thank you for all your hard work and all your posts on different forums. I find your responses to questions/remarks from other posters to be informative and fact-based. With few exceptions (Henri, Rebel, etc) you don't make it sound as if you are insulting people when you respond. Some of the fire brigade respond, especially on subjects for which there is no way to be positive in a response (like whether Kristen was or was not alive when Colette eas beaten in her room), act as if their opinion is fact and as if anyone who disagrees is an idiot. I appreciate that you don't tend to do that. Thank you for your continued dedication to the true victims.

JTF

Since: Jul 08

Saint Albans, VT

#7925 Apr 16, 2014
CROFTON: I appreciate your kind words. I've left that board for good and I'm at peace with my decision to challenge a one-sided view of a complex relationship. I knew that many on that board would circle the wagons and distort the truth in order to paint me in a negative light.

IMO, the focus should be on making sure that EVERYTHING is available for public view. There are no excuses for sitting on case data and the reality is that "website lifting" is commonplace.

For example, I did a 15 minute Google search on MacDonald case photographs, and found 5 websites that had lifted photographs from the Jeffrey MacDonald Case website. None of these websites had any affiliation with the person I was defending.

This individual has had things lifted from her website, yet she has accepted this as being part of the deal. I, on the other hand, felt the need to speak up.

Enough about this nonsense, we all await the decision by Judge Fox, and I'm confident that he will deny inmate a new trial. Inmate has the burden of proof and he has not come close to meeting that burden.

I've researched this case for 29 years, challenged MacDonald advocates (Harvey Silverglate, Errol Morris, Fred Bost, Laurie Cohen, and Kathryn MacDonald) via e-mails/phone calls, produced thousands of posts on multiple discussion boards, and created a website dedicated to the facts of this case.

My journey has provided me with a finely-tuned gut instinct and my instinct tells me that Judge Fox's decision will come in the next few months.I believe that anyone who cares about the victims in this case should stay the course and not be distracted by hollow chatter.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
crofton md

Alexandria, VA

#7926 Apr 17, 2014
JTF: First of all, you're welcome. Secondly, I am saddened by your decision to stop posting on the yuku discussion board, although I understand it completely. I can appreciate that not all posters on any discussion board are going to always get along, but there is absolutely no excuse ever for personal attacks.

I first became interested in the case when I read Fatal Vision when it was first released. I was appalled that anyone could do that to another human being, let alone a husband and father. After reading Fatal Justice, I had wondered if Joe M had gotten it wrong. Some of their points made sense to me. To be fair, I believe partly because I honestly didn't want to believe that MacDonald could have done it. When I think of poor pregnant Colette fighting to the death and seeing all she must've seen, I want to cry. I found this discussion board and expressed my doubts and you answered my questions with documented fact. You actually lead me to the two definitive websites on the case. I cannot thank you enough. I am quite sure I am NOT the only person who feels this way.

Let's face it, this IS a case that emotions are going to occasionally run wild and folks are going to have strong feelings. When I expressed that I had waivered in my belief in MacDonald's guilt, you were there to guide me back to reality without making me feel like a total idiot. I do appreciate it.

I hope you will reconsider your decision, but I understand if it is final. The yuku board has lost a major asset.

Since: Oct 08

Washington, DC

#7927 Apr 17, 2014
crofton - I agree and have told JTF I do not promise to not ask him to come back to theh yuku board at a later date. in the meantime, I am hoping JTF is good at prognostication and that we will see an announcement of Judge Fox's decision sometime this month! I am waiting anxiously to read it!

JTF

Since: Jul 08

Burlington, VT

#7928 Apr 17, 2014
Shortly after the 9/23/13 government sur-reply was posted, I predicted that Judge Fox would come to a decision in April of this year. C'mon, Judge Fox, throw me a bone here. LOL. I still feel that Judge Fox will make a decision by June at the latest.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
Popeye

Deer Park, TX

#7929 Apr 17, 2014
I wish Joe McGinnis would've been around for Judge Fox 's long awaited decision. And you're right Crofton. JTF is the man. I'm glad for his steadfast vigil.

JTF

Since: Jul 08

Burlington, VT

#7930 Apr 18, 2014
Some of my favorite excerpts from Daniel Kornstein's closing arguments at the 1987 MacDonald VS McGinniss civil trial.

In 1974, he's in front of the grand jury, they ask him, "Did you ever have a polygraph examination in April 1970?" Remember he'd had two, John Reid and Cleve Backster. And his answer was no. That's what he told the grand jury. He lied to the grand jury.

Then here in the courtroom he says, "Well, the Baxter one I thought was incomplete and the John Reid one I just forgot about that." Now how many polygraphs has he had in his life that he could forget about a polygraph when asked by the grand jury? You can't believe that. He was trying to sell the grand jury the Brooklyn Bridge.

He says Wambaugh offered him $200,000 or $300,000. Wambaugh says that's crazy, that never happened, pure fantasy. Who do you think's lying? Then the promise to Joe that he would cooperate and give him access to everybody. Doesn't give him access to Baxter. You know why.

Every time he said on the stand, "I don't recall--remember how many times that happened? I asked him things that were in transcripts, sworn testimony, simple questions. Every time it got a little bit too close to the bone, every time it got a little bit too uncomfortable, he retreated into the phrase, "I don't recall, I don't recall." Do you believe that?

How evasive does a person have to be on the stand? How many countless lies does he have to tell before he loses credibility? We could talk for hours about the deception within his marriage. We know what that was about.

Out of a 700-page book, look at how much went unchallenged. The central theme of the book that was not challenged was the murder and his guilt in it. And look at the kinds of challenges he made. Remember, it's his burden of proof to prove that they were false.

And you have to separate fact from opinion, remembering also that once a subject is shown to be a liar, every expert testified that you don't have an obligation to confront him with the contrary version because it's your right as a writer to make your own conclusions.

We have MacDonald's attitude towards amphetamines. He says on the tape, "I could understand taking some amphetamines, after all, they weren't so bad, just to stay up and party a little bit." He talks about having taken them previously. And denial is one of the characteristics of a drug abuser.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

JTF

Since: Jul 08

South Burlington, VT

#7931 Apr 19, 2014
The following was Kornstein on Cross at the 1987 MacDonald VS McGinniss civil trial. MacDonald has no shame.

KORNSTEIN: Now, there was some testimony on your direct examination about the trip across country with Marion Stern, and Danny Stern, and Nina Stern. Remember that?

MACDONALD: Yes, I do.

KORNSTEIN: Bob Stern was Marion Stern's husband?

MACDONALD: Yes, that's true.

KORNSTEIN: And friends of yourself?

MACDONALD: Yes.

KORNSTEIN: And you had a sexual relationship with Marion Stern?

MACDONALD: I did.

KORNSTEIN: And you also had a sexual relatioship with her daughter Robin? Her 22-year-old daughter?

MACDONALD: Yes, that's true.

KORNSTEIN: Did you feel any sense of deception against your friend Bob Stern?

MACDONALD: Yes, I think I did.

KORNSTEIN: And did you feel any sense of deception against your friend in medical school whose wife you had a relatioship with?

MACDONALD: I'm not sure I thought of it at the time, unfortunately, but in retrospect, yes.

Three months prior to telling Freddy Kassab that he had tracked down and killed one of the hippie home invaders, MacDonald told Bob Stern this exact same fairy tale.

Danny Stern was the unnamed 10-year-old boy in Fatal Vision who processed with Joe McGinniss that MacDonald threatened to crush his head against the dock. McGinniss interviewed Danny when he was attending college and Danny told McGinniss that the rage in MacDonald's eyes was something he would never forget.

In addition to bedding Marion Stern, Robin Stern, and the wife of a friend in medical school, MacDonald had anywhere from 8-15 sexual relationships during his marriage to Colette. One of his conquests took place during the Article 32 hearings and was in earshot of where the Kassabs were housed.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#7932 Apr 20, 2014
Thank you, JTF. That is very interesting. I believe that most if not all of us saw that information last year at:

http://www.thejeffreymacdonaldcase.com/html/c...

A very interesting read.

JTF

Since: Jul 08

Peabody, MA

#7933 Apr 21, 2014
In the interest of full disclosure, the initial discovery that the pajama fiber found under Kristen's fingernail was NOT lost at the Fort Gordon lab was made by Bunny. She brought the relevant documentation to my attention and I dug a little further into this issue. As I stated in my post on this issue, I concluded that the pajama fiber remains on a slide in its original coverslip.

www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

JTF

Since: Jul 08

Peabody, MA

#7934 Apr 22, 2014
Shortly after grilling MacDonald about his history of serial philandering, Kornstein used the cassette tapes provided to McGinniss by MacDonald, to destroy inmate's claim that he and Colette were happily married.

KORNSTEIN: Wasn't the marriage filled with lying and deception from start to finish?

MACDONALD: No, I wouldn't categorize it that way.

KORNSTEIN: Each segment you refer to in the tapes, as the summer of '64 was a low point, medical school, the first year, was a tough hard year. The trip from Patchogue to Chicago was a disaster. The second year was not a good year; it was our worst year. The internship was a horrendous year, a brutal year. And you looked forward to the Army to get away from the pressures, and you spent the first two months partying all night with women in Sam Houston, Fort Sam Houston, and at Fort Benning. Now, doesn't that show you a marriage filled with stress, pressures, and lying, and deception?

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#7935 Apr 24, 2014
JTF wrote:
In the interest of full disclosure, the initial discovery that the pajama fiber found under Kristen's fingernail was NOT lost at the Fort Gordon lab was made by Bunny. She brought the relevant documentation to my attention and I dug a little further into this issue. As I stated in my post on this issue, I concluded that the pajama fiber remains on a slide in its original coverslip.
www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
Thank you again, JTF. I have to admit that I am surprised that Bunny had to bring the documentation to your attention as it has been up on Christina's website since 2011.

Click on this link :

http://www.thejeffreymacdonaldcase.com/html/c...

Scroll down until you see:

Attachment 2: January 14, 2005: Letter from Brian Murtagh to Timothy Junkin confirming agreement on issues necessary to the Completion of ongoing DNA testing

Click on it and I think your conclusion can be found.

I can see how you could overlook it as there is so much documentation on this case.

JTF

Since: Jul 08

Saint Albans, VT

#7936 Apr 25, 2014
OWC: The only surprising thing is that this issue has NEVER been addressed by collectors (e.g., Christina) and/or researchers. This issue is an example of what researchers do. They come across data that sheds new light on assumptions and draw conclusions based on the totality of that data.

In this scenario, author Joe McGinniss claimed that a pajama fiber found under Kristen's fingernail was lost at the Fort Gordon lab. Author Robert Sam Anson repeated that claim and it has been assumed by the media and MacDonald case researchers that this claim is based on fact.

Bunny has been researching this case for over a decade and she recently came across documentation that cast doubt on this claim. She made me aware of Murtagh's letter and I began to dig deeper. I re-read several documents (e.g., AFIP documents, Dillard Browning testimony/affidavits) and concluded that the pajama fiber was not lost.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#7937 Apr 26, 2014
Thank God for the "collectors" (e.g., Christina) for providing the "researchers" with the materials and documents/data in order that they could draw conclusions. If not for her, many of us (including yourself and Bunny) would not be privy to that which helps us form our conclusions.
Bunny

Phoenix, AZ

#7938 Apr 26, 2014
Re: The so-called "lost" fiber from Kristen's fingernail scrapings:

Some months after I discovered that this crucial piece of evidence still existed, I told JTF about my findings, then sent him a link to a 2005 document posted on CrimeArchives.net , where stipulations concerning this fiber were being proposed (see page 9 of http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_macdonald/d... ).

JTF then began some research, and found a line from Stombaugh's 1974 notes which read, "D-237 Fingernails left hand Kristen." Stombaugh was doing fiber analysis, so the fiber obviously still existed in 1974, and was not lost early in 1970 as so many had always believed.

This spurred me to do more digging, whereupon I found this in the July 1, 2013 Gov't Post-Hearing Memorandum ( http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_macdonald/c... ): "It would make no substantive difference whether the cotton pajama fiber in the actual fingernail scrapings from Kristen’s left hand, found by Dillard Browning on March 9, 1970, came from the pajama bottoms or the top." A reference was then made to exhibit DE-215 and its paragraphs 8-11. After more research, I found that DE-215 was the Nov. 20, 2009 affidavit of Dillard Browning, who had examined this fiber in 1970:
http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_macdonald/a...

Paragraphs 8-11 refer to his 1970 analysis, and he concluded by saying, "This fiber was extremely small and required needle tweezers to separate it from the blood. After it was microscopically compared to the material of the pajama top, I did not return the fiber to the pill vial. To the best of my recollection it was consumed in the course of further examinations."

I then sent JTF the links to the Memorandum and to Browning's affidavit, and we agreed that the conclusion was inescapable: It appears that Browning was wrong in his recollections; that the fiber still existed on a slide in 2005, and almost cerainly still exists today.

The revelation that the fiber from Kristen's nail scrapings was never "lost" was there on CrimeArchivs.net for anyone to read. In fact, much of the documentation in this case is available to everyone via many websites, including Pacer ( pacer.gov ), and can also be obtained at other sites such as local and state agencies, various papers in judges' collections, etc. The crime scene photos have also been available for years on many websites around the 'net. But as JTF so rightly pointed out, no "collector" or researcher ever seems to have realized that this crucial fiber still exists, which just goes to show that now matter how many years one spends looking into the facts, there can always be something new to discover.
Bunny

Phoenix, AZ

#7939 Apr 26, 2014
JTF wrote:
OWC: The only surprising thing is that this issue has NEVER been addressed by collectors (e.g., Christina) and/or researchers. This issue is an example of what researchers do. They come across data that sheds new light on assumptions and draw conclusions based on the totality of that data.
JTF: Your research abilities and your insights have always been, and continue to be an inspiration to me and to many others who want to learn about what really happened in this case. IMO, people who often don't seem to know what they're talking about, and people who claim to be researchers but who provide readers with factual errors and misinformation, should not be taking shots at you or anyone else who takes an in-depth and serious approach to this case.

Now that I'm thinking about it, this reminds me of Bost and Potter in a way: Years of "research," even providing readers with so-called "factual" information and footnotes, yet what we really got in the end was, for the most part, a lot of factual error, misrepresentation, and outright lies. And through it all, they and MacDonald and his supporters continued to take shots at anyone who actually took the time to discover the real truth. I guess it's to be expected that there are none so blind as those who will not see, and that goes for the MacDonald camp as well as some posters.

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