Early on during the day of Feb 17, 1970, the household of Army Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald was assaulted, leading to the deaths of the Dr's expectant wife and two girls from a number of thrust imposed injuries. The Dr. himself was wounded from what he laid claimed to represent four suspects, but he lived on with mainly small wounds. Uncertainty was directly formed about the Dr's account, founded with the tangible evidence on-site that indicated that he represented the killer. Nonetheless, the Army dismissed the case due to the inadequate quality of the investigatory processes. Numerous years afterwards nonetheless, MacDonald was brought back to trial in a civil court. Significant manifest was rendered by a forensic scientist who attested that the Dr's pyjama top, which he said to have utilised to fend off the killers, featured forty-eight unsubdivided, neat holes. Moreover, the scientist noticed that if the top was folded-up, the forty-eight holes could with ease have been produced by twenty-one stabs -- the precise amount of times that MacDonald's wife had been jabbed. The holes even corresponded with the shape of her injuries, proposing that the pyjama top had been laid on her prior to the piercing and not applied in self-defence by the Dr. This particular crime scene remake was critical to MacDonald's sentencing in 1979.
In that respect, there has constituted a good deal of hypothesis concerning the extent of Jeff MacDonald's injuries, granted that he outlived the assaults, but his household did not. At trial, the authorities argued that Colette (his wife) had induced all of the injuries, with the exception of the one to his lung, which they stated was self-inflicted.
The authorities postulated that an operating surgeon would acknowledge how to wound himself "safely", and the serious state of MacDonald's caved in lung was belittled at trial. Five of the six doctors conferred at the Army Hearing [Article 32] attested that MacDonald could not have anticipated the effect of what they termed a very severe jab injury to the chest, which foundered the lung by forty percent. Altogether in agreement that the liver if damaged could have caused death and that even a doctor wouldn't have been capable to forecast the consequence of such an injury, should he impose it on himself.
MacDonald said to detectives that on the evening of Feb 16, he had dozed off on the lounge room sofa. He stated that he was sleeping on the sofa as his youngest girl had been in bed with Collette and had wet his side of the bed. He afterwards awoke from the sounds of Colette and Kimberley's yells. As he got up from the lounge sofa to go to their assistance, he was assaulted by three male trespassers. A fourth intruder, depicted as a caucasian female with long blond hair and donning a white floppy, partly covering up her face, was standing nearby with a lighted candle and chanted "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs." The three men assailed him with a club and ice pick. During the scramble, MacDonald laid claim that his pyjama top was pulled over his head and he then utilised it to ward off stabs from the ice pick. Finally, MacDonald declared that he was overpowered by his aggressors and was bumped unconscious in the lounge at the end of the hall extending to the bedrooms. [Investigators' interview with J.MacDonald]
The army's Criminal Investigation Division (C.I.D.) did not conceive MacDonald's interpretation of outcomes. While they examined the tangible evidence, it did not appear to sustain the account assured by MacDonald. The lounge, where MacDonald had purportedly struggled for his liveliness versus three equipped attackers, demonstrated minuscule sign of a scuffle aside from a tumbled over coffee table and overturned flower plant.[Army C.I.D. report] Fibres from MacDonald's lacerated pyjama top were not recovered in the lounge, where he laid claim that it was mangled. Alternatively, fibres from the pyjama top were discovered below the torso of Colette and in Kimberley's and Kristen's bedrooms. A fibre was detected beneath Kristen's fingernail. [C.I.D Record 3 to 16] The murder arms were retrieved outdoors near the rear doorway. They constituted a kitchen knife, an ice pick, and some timber wood; all three were ascertained to have derived from MacDonald's home. The points of operative gloves were discovered below the bed head where "pig" was scripted in blood; they were indistinguishable in constitution to a provision MacDonald maintained in the kitchen.
DNA examination results issued by the Armed Forces DNA recognition lab during MacDonald's appeal in 2006, demonstrated that the suspected assailants' DNA did not correspond to any of the screened exhibits. A limb hair detected on the left palm of Colette MacDonald equalised the DNA profile of Jeffrey MacDonald. MacDonald's DNA profile likewise equated with the body hairs discovered on the bedcover of the master bed and on the top sheet of his daughter's bed. A set of hairs, one from the bed sheet, one discovered in Colette's body outline in the domain of her legs, and one ascertained below the fingernail of the one of the girls, didn't correspond to the DNA profile of any MacDonald family member or acknowledged suspect. [Government DNA results]
The unmatched DNA evidence which does not link the defendant, his family, the suspects and anyone visiting the house prior to or after the murders to the crime scene has been argued by MacDonald as proof of intruders. His supporters have made claims that the prosecutors have suppressed evidence. Although all the claims regarding suppressed evidence were rejected by the courts, as it was claimed by such that all of the evidence was available to the defence. It is also argued that even if the items were not available, it would remain to have not proved his innocence; thus not changing the verdict. [1998 Court of Appeals decision regarding withheld evidence claims]
-March 15, 2006: Government's response to Philip Cormier affidavit no. 2 re: DNA results
-October 13, 1970: Article 32 Investigating Officer Warren V. Rock's Report
- Transcription of Interview of Cpt. Jeffrey R. MacDonald April 6, 1970 at CID office Fort Braff, N.C.
- Army CID report of investigative activity on the morning of February 17, 1970
- U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision re: saran fibers; decided September 8, 1998