Jeffrey MacDonald His Injuries and Wounds
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Over the years there have been conflicting descriptions as of Jeffrey MacDonald's wounds. Statements like "barely hurt" or "only scratches with a few cuts and bruises" were used to describe his condition.

Medical and court records substantiate MacDonald was knocked unconscious. MacDonald was taken to Womack Army Hospital. His injuries outlined below were documented by the doctors there who examined him; Dr. Severt Jacobson, Dr. Merrill Bronstein and Dr.Gemma.

Wounds to MacDonald’s head included discolored, swollen, scraped blunt trauma to the left forehead at the hair line. A smaller bruise on the right forehead. On the left posterior portion of his head, covered by his hair, was a contusion.

There was a large bruise on the left shoulder and left upper arm. A complete, through and through knife wound, that entered one place and exited another, was found on the left bicep muscle along with several puncture wounds. There were cuts on the left hand and fingers, in the web of the index finger and thumb.

4 – 5 puncture wounds were found above the heart area, on the left chest . The right chest wound was 3/4" wide, going into the anterior chest, between the ribs, at the 7th intercostal space that collapsed his lung. A 3" long, jagged laceration down the rectus muscle, in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen intersected another knife laceration, extending outward and down. These 2 different knife wounds formed an inversed "V" with the outer side of the laceration slightly shorter than the inside.

There were several punch marks across the center of the abdomen. Merrill Bronstein, MD, described the abdominal laceration as "gaping" --exposing the fascia of the muscle. The doctor stated this wound should have been sutured, but they were more concerned with the serious chest wound, bubbling blood froth with ever quick breath, indicating a collapsed lung, so the abdominal wound was taped closed.

MacDonald’s injuries did not include any fingernail scratch marks according to CID reports and an interview with Dr. Severt Jacobson.

At the Article 32 hearing, in 1970, every doctor who had examined MacDonald was asked if it were possible for him to stab himself, causing the lung to collapse. All of the physicians agreed it was considered too dangerous. Dr Gemma explained the liver changes position with each inhalation and exhalation. If the knife was angled downward slightly, it might need only to go in 2 – 3 inches to damage the liver.

James Blackburn, one prosecutor, told the jurors at the 1979 trial that MacDonald only had a bump on the head, a cut on the left arm, a paper cut on his finger, several abrasions on his chest and an incision on his chest. He also stated that MacDonald sustained no defense type wounds on his body, arms or hands consistent with an ice pick. That was not true.

At the1979 trial the same doctors who testified this couldn't be self-inflicted wounds changed their opinion. They testified it was possible to control the depth of self inflicted wounds. On cross examination, Dr. Jacobson made it clear he was not suggesting that MacDonald had wounded himself. He reconfirmed earlier testimony that if MacDonald were to inflict a wound upon himself, he would have chosen a different location, because vital structures in this area that would make it extremely risky.

In a 1989 interview, Dr. Jacobson was asked why the change in the doctors minds. He responded that during the grand jury hearing, the prosecutor’s information convinced him that he was testifying about a man who had murdered his family. The prosecutor showed him evidence -- proof -- MacDonald had done it. Despite this admission, the CID still claims, to this day, all his injuries were self inflicted.

What about Colette and the children -- Did their autopsies give any clue to the identity of the killer?

Copyright Christina Masewicz 2002

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