18th Airborne Commander,
Lieutenant General John Tolson, wanted the crime to be resolved.
The CID had focused solely on MacDonald from the start. If MacDonald
was acquitted, that would mean that there were 4 or more murders
running around Fort Bragg loose and that is not what they wanted.
An astute political observer, Colonel Francis B. Cane, Commanding
Officer in the 6th Special Forces Airborne Group, was certain
the CID would persist in a vendetta against MacDonald to prevent
embarrassment. So they went after MacDonald.
July 6, 1970, an Article
32 Hearing (the Army's version of a Grand Jury Investigation)
began. It lasted 3 months, at that time, being the longest one
Captain Jim Williams
had been at the crime scene early that terrible morning. He testified
on behalf of MacDonald.
Williams pointed out
that Fort Bragg military doctors, especially MacDonald, were known
MacDonald and another
doctor were harassed and pushed around in the clinic by soldiers
wanting drugs, the MP’s were called and the soldiers were
arrested just several days before the murders.
This coincides with
the reports filed by Fort Bragg doctors at the Drug Rehabilitation
Center and Outpatient Drug Clinic stating they were threatened
and pushed around by soldiers in the drug program if they would
not prescribe drugs.
MacDonald was instrumental
in getting several soldiers kicked out of the service for using
drugs and refusal to follow the Drug Rehabilitation Policy.
MP, Kenneth Mica, had
seen the female matching the description of the female assailant
when responding to the crime. He was told not to report this by
At the Article 32 hearing,
Mica testified, but did not mention seeing the female and the
CID also did not share this information with the defense.
Mica was put on the
witness stand to testify about finding the bodies in the house
and helping the injured MacDonald, but he was ordered not to volunteer
any information about the mystery woman he had seen when responding
to the call.
It continued to bother
Mica -- knowing something that could save an innocent man from
going to jail on a murder charge. Mica's stated that his conscience
"I just could
not play games with something like this."
Mica first approached
MacDonald’s mother with this information. She asked him to
speak with Bernard Segal, MacDonald’s attorney. Segal was
able to put him back on the stand before the hearing was closed.
Mica disobeyed his superiors by telling Colonel Rock what he had
seen, but did what he felt to be the right thing.
in-laws, Mildred and Freddie Kassab, stood by MacDonald throughout
the Article 32 Hearing, believing in his innocence, they were
among his strongest Support ers. MacDonald even loaned Kassab
his copy of the Article 32 Hearing transcripts and later signed
a release so Kassab could get his own copy.
At the conclusion,
Colonel Warren Rock, presiding at the hearing, ruled the charges
against MacDonald were not true, that all charges should be dismissed
and recommended that the Army turn the case over to the civilian
authorities to investigate Helena Stoeckley and her group.
After charges against
him were dismissed, MacDonald received an honorable discharge
and he returned to New York to try to start his life over and
then out to CA to practice medicine with an old Army buddy.
Years later, Helena
Stoeckley would tell Ted Gunderson, the former head of the Los
Angeles FBI Office, then investigating the case, that her group
went that night to teach the arrogant Captain MacDonald a lesson.
But it didn't end there
the Government continued to fight until they won:
The Grand Jury Indictment
against MacDonald became known as one of the most bizarre inquisitions
ever to mock our constitutional due process standards.
The question is did
he get a fair trial?
Judge Dupree, also
known as the "Hanging Judge", should never have been
allowed to hear the MacDonald case, the case that he had specifically
asked to preside over.
Dupree's son in law
was the first prosecutor of this case, clearly, a conflict of
interest. When questioned about this, he said his daughter had
divorced his prior son in law and they had never discussed the
case. This is hard to believe.
Dupree was not known
to show much respect for anyone.
During jury selection,
there were several potential Black jurors dismissed as not being
suitable, as Judge Dupree dismissed them he said, "now you
can go home and help your daddy pick tobacco."
Judge Dupree seemed
to show openly show contempt for the defense while displaying
great respect in the court room for the prosecutors, according
to the court transcripts.
Judge Dupree coached
the prosecutors in how to phrase their questions, over and over
again, throughout the trial. Once he instructed James Blackburn
to phrase a question in the form of "if the jury should find."
He was attentive to
the prosecution, but would close his eyes and lean back in his
chair to give the appearance of being asleep during the defense's
James Blackburn explained
this was because the judge was disgusted with the defense for
asking the same questions over and over again. According to the
court transcripts, this is not true.
During the trial, 24
consecutive defense motions for admission or recovery were denied.
While the government received positive decisions on 7 out of 8
of their motions. The judge disallowed 7 critical witnesses from
the defense. It is clear that the judge was not neutral in the
Judge Dupree remained
the remained the judge in charge until his death. He denied each
and every appeal filed in this case.
One example: When evidence
the defense knew nothing about, because it was hidden by prosecutors
for years surfaced through the Freedom Of Information Act, Dupree
denied it, claiming the statute of limitations had run out. He
refused to acknowledge that this was new evidence to the defense,
not known about or available to them, until it was discovered
due to the passing of the FOIA. How can the statute of limitations
keep this information from being known or refuse to hear it? The
only possible answer is it would hurt the government and prove
that they were in the wrong.
Volumes could be written
about the evidence the government suppressed but they did not
truthfully prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. MacDonald
was convicted by a jury that did not hear all the facts of the
case. They were forced to make a decision based on what they were
allowed to hear.
So today a man sits
in prison and is labeled as a murder of the worse kind. Was justice
served in this case?
As Ted Gunderson has
said for years, it is corruption, a government cover up and a
MacDonald has been
in prison for 22 years now and he still maintains his innocence.
Though he became eligible
for parole in 1991, he didn't ask for it. To get parole, he must
is admitting guilt, it's an apology and a request for mercy.
Mercy is not what MacDonald
wants, he wants justice, he will continue his fight to prove he
is not guilty.
from Article 32 hearing transcripts
Court transcripts from 1979 trial
The Torturing of an American hero, I accuse
The Ted Gunderson report
Multiple new paper article from Fayetteville
Playboy magazine articles
60 minutes interview with MacDonald
Multiple documentaries of the MacDonald case
The MacDonald case reports