A new trial is on the horizon for Dr. Jeffrey McDonald. I never believed for a moment that the physician, Army Green Beret, husband and father, Jeffrey McDonald killed his wife and two daughters back in 1970. Dr. McDonald did everything right in his life to achieve his wonderful success as an Army surgeon. Murder just does not fit into that picture.
The suggestion that Dr. McDonald strayed from his marriage as all too many young men do, caused him to murder his 26 year-old wife and daughters, ages six and two is beyond weak.
There never was a motive presented that made sense. The case was re-opened years later after Army investigators suspended it for lack of evidence or a tangible suspect. The catalyst for re-opening the case was McDonald's now deceased father-in-law. He went from supporting McDonald to condemning him to every politician, reporter or bureaucrat that he could get to listen.
There is now word of new DNA evidence that gives doubt of McDonald's guilt. You'd never guess from the slanted story ABC put on today's wires. That article talks about a hair from McDonald found in Colette MacDonald's hand. My God! McDonald lived there and his hair would be found everywhere! That's totally meaningless. What's not meaningless is the testing of another hair, under the fingernail of Jeffrey MacDonald's youngest daughter, showed that it came from an unidentified person, someone who did not live in the household.
The resources of the Army to investigate that case in 1970 were primitive at best. When the FBI came along whatever evidence they did have was made unreliable by the Army CID. This became a whodunit where a jury got to guess their way to a conviction.
Prosecutors have ridiculed the idea that Macdonald is innocent. Prosecutors also know that the destruction of a young, handsome rising star physician's life by injustice would cause a civil jury to give McDonald a tremendous cash payout. This in light of brand new allegations made by a deputy U.S. Marshall of witness tampering by a prosecutor during McDonald's trial.
I wish the best for McDonald who has grown old in prison and watched his skills as a physician flushed down the toilet. His life is even more tragic than that of Dr. Sam Shepard who was wrongfully convicted a little more than a decade earlier. McDonald has suffered even more than Shepard.
There is reasonable doubt and that must be the standard to acquit this man
Here is an information web page put out by the McDonald defense. You can argue that it’s self-serving but what choice does he have but to get the information out to the public?
McDonald's arrogance not his guilt did him in.
McDonnald's case is a really a dark corner of law enforcement history. What a bunch of goofy court rulings.
O.J. had a better lawyer. I bet McDonald beats it second time around.
Who can replace the lost decades of McDonald's life?
McDonald is 62 years old now. In the real world he'd have planed for a nice retirement getting fat paychecks from various boards.
This is a hearbreak. Your calling the jury verdict a guess is the only way to describe it.
One of my ex-partners was a M-P at Fort Bragg but I am not sure of the time frame. We worked together about twenty years ago in Chicago. He told me his take on that case was that no band of roving hippies could get past all the outer security and through the neighborhood full of military families.
My thought is a question. Could this be a case of a psychotic episode, induced by some of the anti-malarial drugs used by the military?
There have been other cases of returning servicemen who have unexplainably killed family members. McDonald was a Special Forces Medic, likely he was given some of those drugs.
It's my understanding that Bragg at the time was an 'open' base - no gate security or anything like that, and anybody could drive on/through/around the place. (This didn't give free reign to go _anywhere_ on the base, but access on and off was unrestricted.)
Drugs: pretty much the "Fatal Vision" theory, except McDonald was alledgedly self-medicating amphetamines and had a psychotic episode.
The McDonald case began in a different time and place that current generations don’t know about. Yes most military bases did not have any sort of security problems and let most civilians come and go freely. Remember soldiers could invite people to visit or perform services for them on these reservations.
In 1970, amphetamine were not yet discovered as a substance for abuse. Amphetamines were widely and legally used for weight control and as an aid to stay awake. Virtually every medical student, intern or resident in the country used these drugs to stay awake while they studied and did their grueling 24 hours hospital shifts.
It should be noted that there were virtually no reports of any physicians having psychotic episodes from these amphetamines.
A short time later the heroin, cocaine and LSD users became amphetamine abusers too. Laws were changed to better control those drugs.
It would be wrong and unfair fair to paint McDonald as a drug abuser in any sense connected to this case…
That would be why I used the term "alledgedly". However, to address your final point about fairness, I don't think legality or acceptability at a certain point in time are an excuse or justification. If he was abusing speed, he was abusing it. It doesn't matter how many thousands of interns were doing it at the time.
(Please note that I'm in the "jury is still out" camp re: McDonald. "Fatal Vision" had me convinced, but I've seen enough questions raised that I at least think a fresh trial is in order.)
Using amphetamines to stay awake was never called abuse in 1970!
That was a vaild treatment at the time. Most long haul truck drivers lawfully used them for the same reason.
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