Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald

MacDonald's Story

Later on that day of the murder, after Jeffrey MacDonald's wounds and collapsed lung had been treated and he had been given mild sedatives, agents of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the FBI questioned MacDonald.   He told them that he and Colette had a nightcap of orange liqueur before Colette went to bed, leaving him alone to watch late night television.  When he heard Kristen crying, he fixed her a bottle, checked to see that the children's windows weren't open too wide and went back to watching the television.  Later, he found Kristen had crawled onto his side of the bed.  When he went to move her back into her room, he noticed that she had wet the bed on his side.  After pulling aside the covers so the bed would dry, he went to sleep on the living room couch.

When the FBI agent asked MacDonald about his family, he wept profusely.  After he was able to compose himself, he said he was awakened by Colette's scream and was immediately attacked by a black man with a baseball bat and two white men while he was still on the sofa.  His pajama top had been pulled over his head, trapping his arms and hands in its sleeves.  He used the pajama top between his arms to shield himself from the men's fists and a sharp object.  He remembered a blond woman standing by watching, holding what seemed to be a candle, saying "kill the pigs" and "acid is groovy."  The men continued to hit him on the head and he lost consciousness. When he came to, he tried to revive his wife with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with no success.  Then he found his children and tried to help them.   Failing, he called for an ambulance.

The Army CID at Fort Bragg had sent out a young, inexperienced investigator named William Ivory.  Ivory decided after looking at the crime scene that MacDonald had invented the entire story about the attack by drug-crazed hippies.  He also persuaded the people in his chain of command that MacDonald was the culprit.  Thereafter, the CID focused all of its efforts on trying to prove MacDonald guilty.  Even when major pieces of evidence indicated that there were other people involved in the attack, the Army investigators ignored the evidence and focused exclusively on MacDonald.


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