Jeffrey MacDonald - The Evidence
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For 3 years, the defense team persistently complained the government held them off, preventing them from conducting their own independent investigation of the evidence. Just days before the trial, the defense was finally allowed to see the evidence but did not allow time to run their own independent studies. The judge should have ordered the prosecution to give allow the defense ample time and access to all the evidence.

Human skin found under Colette’s fingernail on left hand was lost. The loss was not reported.

The Weapons

The heavy, splintery stick, used as a club, belonged to the MacDonald household, without a doubt. But there are questions as to if it was kept indoors or outside. Colette used it in the backyard when she painted Kimberly’s bed.

The club, knife and ice pick, initially found in the yard, were handled so poorly by CID investigators, the investigators actually returned the weapons to the yard, for photographs during a staged, second "official finding" according to overwhelming evidence.

Under oath, Military Policemen testified the weapons were first discovered and reported at 5:00 am. However, the weapons were not photographed, at that time, as they should have been. A medic’s statement suggests the weapons evidence was carelessly handled. The Fort Bragg CID leader gave confirming testimony that he was shown the weapons at 5 am. Yet, under oath, the 2 lead detectives swore the weapons were found shortly before 7 am, at first light. Records prove that neither the Medic nor the Military Policemen, who testified they saw the weapons at 5:00 am, were at the murder scene when lead investigators insist the weapons were found. How is this possible?

Another mystery is the knife MacDonald pulled out of his wife’s chest and threw on the floor in the bedroom. No finger prints were found on the knife. MacDonald’s print’s should have been on the knife.

Three witnesses saw the bloody knife next to the dresser.

CID Chief Grebner and MP’s Mica and Trevere documented they saw blood on the knife blade and handle. Trevere told the Grand Jury there was blood on the knife.

Yet CID lab techs reported only a minuscule trace of blood on the blade and none on the handle. Clearly, someone had to wipe the knife clean, but why?

MacDonald had already been taken to the hospital, yet almost all of the blood disappeared.

Even more mysterious, this same knife, was later proven not to be one of the weapons used!

Despite extensive efforts, neither knife found was traced to the MacDonald house.

The CID thought they had a witness, a baby sitter who had seen the bent, dull Geneva Forge Knife in the MacDonald apartment, but she was misunderstood. Her mother accused the CID of trying to manipulate her.

At the Army Article 32 hearing, when the baby sitter testified, the prosecution didn't question her about the weapons. Later when the CID interviewed her again she denied ever seeing either knives, the club or ice pick in the MacDonald house.

At the Grand Jury investigation she testified that she had not seen the Geneva Forge knife, but the Old Hickory knife. On the stand however, she surprised the prosecutor when she refused to confirm seeing the knife. Later that day, she took the stand to claim she did now remember using an ice pick in the MacDonald home.

Five years later she again told the same story to the trial jury.

Bloody Foot Print

At 4:50 am, when an investigator arrived, reported he saw a footprint still drying. It takes very little time for a thin layer of blood to dry on a hardwood floor.

It is unrealistic to believe the foot print was wet after 90 minutes, as the government claimed. A bloody footprint on the hardwood floor was lost as it was collected to take to the lab.

They claim the footprint fell apart when they sawed the wood out of the floor. Government documents described, a wet, A type blood found on the floor in the master bedroom on and near the throw rug.

Shortly before MacDonald was taken from that room, he was seen standing on his feet in that bloody area. Three witnesses told how he struggled off the gurney in the hallway, attempting to enter his children’s rooms. To get off the gurney in its low position, 8" from the floor, MacDonald would have had to put his lower body into one of the doorways leading off the 3' wide hallway, such as the door where the bloody footprint was found just 10" inside the room.

Imbedded within the bloody foot print was a fiber matching a throw rug in the master bedroom where MacDonald stood earlier. Also if one’s foot is wet, there would be more than just one foot print. Stepping once will not completely remove it. So the evidence suggests that MacDonald made the footprint when he struggled off the gurney, not before.

Hair Evidence

A brown hair found in Colette’s left hand did belong to MacDonald or anyone else in the home.

A month after the murders, CID Agents secretly removed hairs from one of MacDonald’s sweaters and labeled the samples as the "known hair of MacDonald." They were disappointed when the lab identified it as horse hair. Due to this error, the government untruthfully reported they were to small to test, according to CID lab notes note R-11, CID exhibit E-5.

The government added a new evidence claim

Long after the murders, at the 1974 grand jury investigation, an FBI Lab Technician introduced new evidence he claimed was delivered to him, that year, in a vial, marked as "part of the debris evidence collected by the CID from the bloody bedspread at the crime scene, on the bedroom floor." He then introduced a bloody hair matching Colette’s, allegedly found entwined with a long sewing thread, said to be from MacDonald’s pajama top. (The original lab note seems to suggest that the entangled items had already been mounted on a slide. A general note written later however indicates otherwise.)

This was viewed as damning evidence that Supports the government’s claim that Jeffrey and Colette had a vicious fight.

It is a common forensic requirement for photographs to be taken of the hair and thread before separating them, but the FBI Lab Technician did not do this. He washed away the alleged blood on the hair to make a microscopic examination. So the only "proof" that a bloody hair was entwined with a fiber is solely based on the word of the FBI Lab Technician.

There is something drastically wrong with this claim. In previous years, numerous examinations of the debris from the bedspread were recorded by the Army CID. These lab notes revealed a bloody hair was among the debris found, but the hair matched Kimberly’s hair, not Colette’s. The FBI found only one hair matching Colette in the debris from the bedspread. As documented, the CID had already found, examined and cataloged that hair. In a deposition prior to the Army hearing in 1970, the CID Technician who controlled this evidence explained how he washed hairs taken from the bedspread in preparation for microscopic analysis. So the question is, how did entwinement develop? If the bloody hair was Colette’s, why was it identified as Kimberly’s? If the hair was washed by the CID, how did it remain bloody for the FBI?

A Bloody Adult Palm Print

A bloody adult palm print found on the foot board of Jeffrey and Colettes bed on the morning of the murders. The print did not match Jeffrey, Colette, Kimberly or Kristen. It also did not match any of the people known to be at the murder site that morning. Despite extensive efforts by the FBI, the source of this bloody palm print continues to remain unidentified according to CID lab reports, CID lab notes, prosecution memo, FBI report on palm print.

The Pajama Top

According to the government theory, MacDonald forgot he put his pajama top over his wife and proceeded to stab her with the ice pick. They say the pajama top was in folds was not flat on the body. The 48 circular holes in the fabric could be matched to the 21 ice pick wounds, but there were in fibers where out fibers should have been and out fibers where in fibers should have been.

No examination was made to determine how much Colette’s pajama top shifted with the ice pick thrusts into her chest, there had to be some shifting of her pajama top because there were 3 holes in the back, yet she had no ice pick wounds to her back. This would also bring about some shifting of MacDonald’s pajama top. No attention was paid to the relative sizes of the thrusts holes to MacDonald’s pajama top by the Lab Technician. One of the FBI Technicians testified that some of the holes in the blue pajama top were maximum width for the ice pick representing thrust up to the hilt.

Colette’s autopsy report showed no such up to the hilt wounds were inflicted. 1 -1/2" was the deepest ice pick wound listed on Colette, in the autopsy report. The ice pick blade was measured by the government as .120" wide. According to government’s measurements, the ice pick blade would have penetrated an additional 1 -1/2" to cause a maximum width hole as found in the pajama fabric.

Another oversight was the lack of attention paid to the direction of bent fibers in the garment holes. CID conducted a study of directionality in 1971 and drew certain conclusions concerning 11 holes. An independent study a short time later by the FBI resulted in the same conclusion. The FBI stabbing through the pajama top experiment ignored these findings.

An example: The experiment concluded holes numbered 20, 21, and 22 in that sequence, one above the other, represented a single thrust through folded material into Colette’s chest. However, both the CID and FBI directionality studies concluded that hole 20 penetrated the pajama top from the inside to the outside, while holes 21 and 22 penetrated from the outside to the inside. It is impossible to fold a cloth so a single thrust through 3 holes can duplicate these directions.

Who Removed the Pajama Top?

This concept becomes irrelevant if the eye witness accounts of the 3 Military Police, first on the scene, are true. When independently interviewed, early on, they each said the blue pajama top was not on Colette’s body when they arrived. One MP stated he was sure he knelt on the pajama top while giving Jeffrey mouth to mouth resuscitation.

The 3 MP’s recalled that one of Colette’s breasts was visible. This gives credence to MacDonald’s version of why he laid his pajama top on her chest. Yet, the question remains, who removed it? Why do the government’s photographs show the pajama top covering both breasts?

A bath mat was photographed on Colette’s lower body. The government contends MacDonald used the bath mat to wipe the murder weapons before he threw them out the back door, under bushes. Then he placed the bath mat on Colette’s body to disguise the stains, they claim. The bath mat had been clean, initially it was thought to have been among freshly laundered items on the chair.

Military Policemen deny that the bath mat was on the body when they arrived. One MP stated part of Colette’s abdomen was exposed and that the bath mat did not appear on the body until 15 minutes after his arrival. This corresponds with another eye witness who first saw the bath mat at her feet. Even though the wiping marks of the weapons on the bath mat do not point to any specific individual, prosecutors insisted MacDonald placed the bath mat on his wife’s body.

A crime scene photograph shows this bath mat at her feet, the edges slightly turned up, as if her feet had pushed it when MacDonald slid her down from the chair to perform CPR. Yet in the evidence, two different CID photographs show the same bath mats on different areas of the body. So where was the bath mat? If it were at her feet, how did it get on her body in the photographs? Obviously someone moved it. MacDonald had already been taken to the hospital. The only people who should have been there were investigators.

Much has been made of the blood evidence found at the crime scene. According to the government, they were able to reconstruct what happened due to the fact that each member of the MacDonald family had a different blood type. While this is true, it does not take into account that any person committing this crime could have carried blood from one victim to another and throughout the apartment.

Now the logical question would be -- How seriously was MacDonald really injured?

Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006

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