Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald

New Chapter — Hope of a New Trial

Also in March, 2006, another significant turn of events occurred in the MacDonald case when Donald Buffkin of Alabama filed an affidavit in which he claimed that on several occasions between 1980 and 1982 he drank at a bar with a man who claimed to have been involved in the MacDonald family murders, Laura Arenschield reported. Buffkin identified the man as Gregory Mitchell, who Helena Stoeckley earlier implicated as one of the main perpetrators of the heinous crime.  He further claimed that Mitchell last told him about the murders two weeks prior to his death from kidney disease, Bill Kirby reported.

Two other men, Everett Morse and Bryant Lane, also came forward recently with evidence that supports Buffkin's account. The men both claimed in affidavits that Mitchell confessed to them on separate occasions that he committed the murders, according to court documents (The United States v. Jeffrey R. MacDonald, 2005). Finally, a law clerk who has taken an interest in the case and supports MacDonald's innocence has claimed that she spoke with a 7-Eleven convenience store cashier near the MacDonald home who claimed that she saw a group of hippies come into the store on the morning of the murders, although she didn't report it for fear of her life, Kirby wrote.

Almost three and a half decades after the murders, witnesses continue to come forward with evidence supporting the theory that a group of hippies were responsible for the MacDonald murders. MacDonald's defense team hopes that the new evidence will result in a trial that will eventually vindicate their client. They wait for the courts response to their appeals. In the meantime, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald remains in prison, believing that it is only a matter of time before he will get a chance to taste freedom and live out the remainder of his days with his new wife Kathryn MacDonald. 

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