Jeffrey MacDonald

Fayobserver reports:

A federal appeals court has sided with convicted killer Jeffrey MacDonald, ordering a second review of his claims of newly discovered evidence.

MacDonald, a former Army surgeon at Fort Bragg who is serving three life sentences for killing his pregnant wife and their 5-year-old and 2-year-old daughters in 1970, is seeking relief based on evidence that he says exonerates him.

Here’s a link to the Fourth Circuit opinion.

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5 responses to “Jeffrey MacDonald”

  1. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Holy cow!

  2. Dear Sirs/Madames:
    I would very much appreciate the opportunity to clarify omissions and/or errors in the news piece you are linking to (documentation provided if required)….My husband won a landmark (5th) appeal unanimously against greater odds than a more generous high power would allow….and now our government- with it’s case demolished- (since it was built on deceit) is most predictably going to go into “delay” mode to avoid the inevitable, unless people hear the facts and decide to speak out, as I have/am. Please contact me if you should see fit…many thanks in advance- an innocent man is sitting in prison after setting legal precedent with this victory at the second highest court in the country- something is WRONG with this picture and I’m hopeful you will be interested in making the facts known.

    Sincerely,
    Kathryn MacDonald
    (Jeff MacDonald’s wife- Maryland -EST)
    contact@themacdonaldcase.org

  3. Dear Mr. Cave:
    Thank you for the opportunity to correct factual errors (which I have also sent to the Fayetteville Observer) in the event you are interested in reporting further information about my husband’s case – I am hopeful you are interested in dispelling the myths and clarifying the facts….I feel as the the F.O. went back into its archives to report on the current situation and did not update it properly (my opinion)…Thank you again- see my comments in BOLD within below (ANY AND ALL STATEMENTS BY ME CAN BE DOCUMENTED IF YOU REQUIRE):

    Appeals court backs MacDonald on review of new evidence>
    < [+] click to enlargeMacDonaldRelated
    BLOG:From the Courthouse by Drew BrooksBy Drew Brooks
    Staff writer

    A federal appeals court has sided with convicted killer Jeffrey MacDonald, ordering a second review of his claims of newly discovered evidence.

    MacDonald, a former Army surgeon at Fort Bragg who is serving three life sentences for killing his pregnant wife and their 5-year-old and 2-year-old daughters in 1970, is seeking relief based on evidence that he says exonerates him.

    In an opinion filed Tuesday, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an earlier opinion by a U.S. District Court and ordered that court to reconsider the evidence. THE 4th CIRCUIT CALLED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS BASED ON THE "TOTALITY OF THE EVIDENCE" WHICH IS SOMETHING NEVER DONE IN THE CASE OF A FEDERAL PRISONER, NOR ONE SERVING LIFE IN PRISON. NOR WHOSE CASE IS 40 YEARS OLD….TO BE CORRECT, THE F.O. SHOULD HAVE SAID THAT THE DISTRICT COURT'S DECISION WAS VACATED AND THE 4th CIRCUIT ORDERED PROCEEDINGS BASED ON THE NEW EVIDENCE, AND THE EVIDENCE AS A WHOLE"

    MacDonald's lawyers have argued that their client should receive a new trial based on two pieces of evidence that were not available during his 1979 trial. THE (SUCCESSIVE HABEAS PETITION) was WON BY OUR LAWYERS (JOE ZESZOTARSKI, HART MILES OF NC plus BARRY SCHECK and THE INNOCENCE PROJECT(S) et al. BASED ON 6 PIECES OF NEW EVIDENCE: 1) THE SWORN STATEMENT OF US MARSHAL JIMMY BRITT WITINESSING (NOW DISBARRED) PROSECUTOR BLACKBURN THREATENING KEY DEFENSE WITNESS HELENA STOECKLEY INTO CHANGING HER TESTIMONY ON THE STAND (his testimony remains undisputed via any affidavit from the gov't and accepted as true by the District Court and 4th Circuit) 2) THE SWORN STATEMENT OF HELENA STOECKLEY, SR. (the mother of the woman who met Jeff's description of a woman in his home, and who confessed numerous times and was threatened by Blackburn) AVERRING THAT HER DAUGHTER TOLD HER, WHEN SHE WAS DYING THAT SHE LIED ON THE STAND AT JEFF'S TRIAL BECAUSE SHE WAS "AFRAID OF THE PROSECUTOR" )..3-5) AFFIDAVITS FROM 3 MEN WHO DID NOT KNOW EACH OTHER, BUT CONTACTED THE DEFENSE OF THEIR OWN VOLITION WITH UNCANNILY SIMILAR STORIES OF HELENA STOECKLEY'S BOYFRIEND (GREG MITCHELL) ADMITTING THAT HE KILLED JEFF'S FAMILY
    6) DNA EVIDENCE- SPECIFICALLY A HAIR UNDER THE FINGERNAIL OF 2 YEAR OLD KRISTEN MACDONALD WHO WAS FOUND DEAD IN A DEFENSIVE POSE, ROOT INTACT WITH BLOOD ON IT THAT DOES NOT MATCH JEFF OR ANY KNOWN PERSON)- (aside- the gov't- which has held this evidence since 1970 and which took 9 years to be DNA tested- now states that this "particular' exhibit must be contaminated…)

    The first is testimony from a retired U.S. marshal that said a prosecutor coerced and threatened a witness to make her lie in the original case. That marshal has since died.

    The second is DNA testing ordered in 1997 that MacDonald's lawyers say absolves him because it shows he was not the source of hairs found at the murder scene, including those taken from under the fingernails of one of his daughters. YES -ACCURATE, BUT I ASK YOU TO CONSIDER THE OTHER MATTERS AT HAND- THE 4th CIRCUIT HAS ORDERED THAT THE AFFIDAVIT OF HELENA STOECKLEY'S MOTHER, 3 PEOPLE WHO SWORE HER BOYFRIEND CONFESSED TO KILLING JEFF'S FAMILY, AND THE "TOTALITY OF THE EVIDENCE" SINCE 1970 BE CONSIDERED- THIS HAS NEVER BEEN ORDERED BEFORE IN A FEDERAL MURDER MURDER CASE…

    U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said the opinion would be studied by government lawyers in Raleigh and Washington before his office decides how to proceed.

    "Our office remains committed to defending the unanimous guilty verdict reached by the trial jury after a seven week trial in 1979, which has withstood numerous previous legal challenges by MacDonald," he said. MR. HOLDING DOES NOT ADDRESS THAT THE JURY HAD EXCULPATORY INFORMATION WITHHELD FROM THEM- SO HOW COULD THEY MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION? HOW WOULD THEY HAVE VOTED IF THEY KNEW HELENA STOECKLEY WAS THREATENED BY BLACKBURN, THAT A HAIR UNDER 2 YEAR OLD KRISTEN"S NAIL DID NOT BELONG TO JEFF OR ANY OF THE OTHER NEW AND/OR WITHHELD EVIDENCE THEY KNEW NOTHING ABOUT?)

    MacDonald has always maintained his innocence and has appealed his convictions several times. He has repeatedly said a group of hippies killed his family in their home on Fort Bragg. JEFF NEVER SAID HIPPIES KILLED HIS FAMILY- THAT IS A MEDIA DESCRIPTION- JEFF SIMPLY DESCRIBED TO MILITARY POLICE (UPON RESUSCITATION) WHAT THE ATTACKERS LOOKED LIKE- AND IT TURNED OUT THEY EXISTED, WERE HEAVY DRUG USERS AND HAD NOT ALIBI FOR THEIR WHEREABOUTS…THE GOV'T HAS (UP TO NOW) TRIED TO MAKE MY HUSBAND'S STORY SEEM INCONCEIVABLE, NOT ONLY BY WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE THAT PROVES HIS ACCOUNT, BUT MAKING IT SEEM LIKE HE SAID "DRUG CRAZED HIPPIES"-ALL HE DID WAS DESCRIBE THE ASSAILANTS – AS IT TURNS OUT, THOSE MEETING HIS DESCRIPTION HAD OPEN ACCESS TO THE ARMY POST AT FT BRAGG DURING THE VIETNAM WAR (1970) ….THE WOMAN PRESENT AT THE MURDER SCENE (HELENA STOECKLEY) WAS THE DAUGHTER OF A LT. COL. AT BRAGG AND, IN ADDITION, MANY ARE UNAWARE THAT HER BOYFRIEND, GREG MITCHELL, PLANNED TO COME TO JEFF'S HOUSE TO "TEACH HIM A LESSON" B/C JEFF WAS A DR. WITH A RESPONSIBILITY TO REPORT ENLISTED MEN WHO WERE DRUG USERS (MITCHELL WAS ONE)

    He has been in federal prison since 1982, after an appeal he won was overturned. MacDonald, who was 26 when his family died, is now 67. JEFF HAS BEEN IMPRISONED SINCE 1979- in 1980 HIS CONVICTION WAS OVERTURNED BY THE 4th CIRCUIT AND HE RETURNED TO HIS JOB, WHICH HAD BEEN HELD OPEN FOR HIM FOR A YEAR, AND PRACTICED EMERGENCY MEDICINE FOR 18 MONTHS BEFORE THE USSC REVERSED THE 4th CIRCUIT DECISION.

    The MacDonald case was the basis for a best-selling book and television miniseries, "Fatal Vision." WHY DOESN"T ANYONE EVER MENTION THAT JEFF PREVAILED IN A LANDMARK CIVIL SUIT- ACCUSING MCGUINNESS OF FRAUD B/C HE FAILED TO "TELL THE TRUTH" – THE JURY WAS 11 to 1 IN JEFF"S FAVOR AND J MCG's INSURANCE CO. AGREED TO SETTLE (FOR $350K in, I BELIEVE…1984?) RATHER THAN HAVE A RE-TRIAL…

    No opinion expressed
    In granting the additional review in U.S. District Court, the appeals court said it did so "without expressing any view on the proper ultimate disposition of either claim." THIS IS MISLEADING IN THAT THE 4th CIRCUIT's (unanimous) DECISION WAS, BY BARRY SCHECK'S ACCOUNT, A LANDMARK DECISION- STATING THAT THEY EXPRESSED NO OPINION IS NOT ACCURATE- THEIR VACATING THE PRIOR JUDGE'S RULING EXPRESSED THEIR OPINION- THE LANGUAGE QUOTED IS PERFUNCTORY FOR A CIRCUIT COURT.

    The appeal had been before the court since 2008, when the U.S. District Court dismissed MacDonald's case after determining it did not have the jurisdiction to consider the DNA evidence. IS ANYONE AWARE THAT THE 4th CIRCUIT ORDERED THE DISTRICT COURT (in 1997) TO OVERSEE AND MAKE CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE DNA TESTING? THAT THE TESTS TOOK OVER 9 YEARS? AND THAT THE JUDGE (MENTIONED IN THE 4th CIRCUT"S RECENT DECISION) DID NOTHING FOR ALMOST 3 YEARS, DESPITE KNOWING KEY DEFENSE WITNESSES ( US MARSHALL BRITT and HELENA STOECKLEY'S MOTHER) WERE DYING AND DID NOTHING UNTIL 9 DAYS AFTER MARSHAL BRITT'S DEATH? HOW COULD JUDGE FOX THINK HE DID NOT HAVE JURISDICTION RE: THE DNA TESTS WHEN THE HIGHER COURT GAVE HIM THE TASK?

    In their opposition to MacDonald's appeal, lawyers for the U.S. government argued that the evidence listed by MacDonald actually reinforces his conviction. (WHAT EVIDENCE ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? SOMEONE NEEDS TO ELABORATE)

    In a court filing from July 2010, lawyers said the testimony from the former marshal was unreliable and that the DNA evidence had no value. (MARSHAL BRITT's TESTIMONY REMAINS UNIMPEACHED- THE GOV'T HAS NEVER OFFERED ANY AFFIDAVIT CONTRADICTING HIS ACCOUNT- THEY ARE NOW SAYING THE DNA RESULTS THAT ARE FAVORABLE TO JEFF ARE "CONTAMINATED" WHICH ACTUALLY CALLS ALL OF THEIR (CIRCUMSTANTIAL/PHYSICAL) EVIDENCE INTO QUESTION. THE DNA HAS NO VALUE BECAUSE IT BUTTRESSSES JEFF'S ACCOUNT OF EVENTS.

    Government lawyers said the hairs were found with numerous threads from MacDonald's pajama top and his own hair and on a bedspread contaminated with dog hair. THAT IS JUST TOTALLY UNTRUE- I AM HAPPY TO ELABORATE AND/OR PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION IF YOU WOULD LIKE IT- THIS IS JUST ANOTHER ATTEMPT BY THE PROSECUTOR (The only one left standing, whose career/reputation/ability to avoid prosecution himself is on the line) TO OBSCURE THE FACTS.

    "MacDonald's DNA claim does not call into question any forensic evidence introduced by the government at trial," the government argued. "Moreover, the DNA test results do not in any way impugn the compelling forensic evidence that demonstrated the falsity of MacDonald's version of events on the night of the murders and showed that he was the only possible criminal agent." THAT'S JUST PATENTLY FALSE- THE DNA CLAIM CALLS ALL OF THE GOV'T'S EVIDENCE INTO QUESTION and THE "COMPELLING FORENSIC EVIDENCE" HAS BEEN SHOWN BY THE DEFENSE (THUS THE 4th CIRCUIT SEEKING A REVIEW OF ALL OF THE EVIDENCE) TO BE FLAWED/JUNK SCIENCE/TOTALLY DISMISSED VIA MODERN TECHNIQUES/RESULTS MANIPULATED BY THE PROSECUTION).

    THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE THE DETAILS AND THE TRUTH.
    SINCERELY,
    KATHRYN MACDONALD

    Staff writer Drew Brooks can be reached at brooksd@fayobserver.com or 486-3567.

  4. Philip Callahan says:

    Kathryn is simply spouting her own unique brand of MacDonald camp propaganda. I hate to break it to her, but…

    1) The government’s case is built on the physical evidence collected at the crime scene. All of the SOURCED evidence points to Jeffrey MacDonald as the perp in this case. This includes blood, fiber, hair, footprint, fabric damage, bloody fabric impression, and DNA evidence.

    2) Multiple appellate decisions have CLEARLY stated that the government was not deceitful in their presentation of this case. This includes decisions made by the “second highest court in the country.” Kathryn is hoping that the authors of this news piece will not take the time to look at the decisions made by the 4th Circuit Court in 1992 and 1998.

    3) The case was remanded due to a legal technicality, but in Kathryn’s fantasy world, the decision demolishes the government case.

    4) This most recent appeal is hardly a “Landmark” case. In essence, the 4th Circuit said that the District Court should have used a different precedence in order to determine what evidence was reviewed/reviewable. That does not in any shape, manner or form declare the position of the District Court on the MERITS in error – it just says the Court must make a decision on the sections of the appeal which were denied on legal technicality and must therefore review the evidence and make its determination on the merits.

    5) Last time I checked, the government was ready to proceed at the scheduled hearing and THE DEFENSE is the side that filed for a delay due to attorney issues. The defense has a history of delaying proceedings in this case and then blaming the government for the time lag. The distortions and falsehoods presented by Kathryn in the past decade are legendary.

    http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

  5. Byn63 says:

    It is obvious to anyone who has spent time researching the FACTS of this case that a FACT CHECKER has not been used on KM’s submission. In a major example of the type of misrepresentational, cut and paste delivery of the MacDonald team is her comments in regards to the lawsuit between MacDonald and Joe McGuiness.

    Yes, it is true the Joe McGuinees wrote Fatal Vision. (one of the best ever true crime books written to date). Yes, it is true that JoeM initially thought it possible that Mac was innocent. Yes, it is true that JoeM lived with the defense during the trial.

    It is ALSO TRUE that the contract between JoeM and Mac DID NOT require JoeM to write a book stating Mac’s innocence. The contract clearly allowed JoeM to write the book with the FACTS as he learned them. Another FACT is the contract specifically disallowed Mac suing JoeM so in essence once he filed suit Mac was in breach of contract.

    Yes, there was a trial but Mac DID NOT WIN the case. The FACT is that due to jury instructions, each count of the suit had to be decided prior to moving forward to the next issue. The FACT is that the jury was “hung” on the first issue and therefore could not proceed.

    AFTER the hung jury the insurance company for the Publishers of Fatal Vision decided to settle out of court rather than go to the expense of a retrial. The settlement DID NOT accept blame. The settlement was basically to make Mac go away, period. The funny thing is that Mac got considerably less money than he would have had he let the contract stand. Mildred and Freddy Kassab received a large portion of the FV settlement, then another large percentage went to pay Mac’s lawyers.

    This is just one of many “points of discussion” that KM continually puts forth. If you know the FACTS you see right through her diatribe.

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