Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald

Investigative Incompetence

Freddy Kassab, Colette MacDonald's devoted stepfather, was outraged and began a publicity campaign of his own.  "My wife and I have a right to show the whole country that the charges against Captain MacDonald are false."  Columnist Jack Anderson took up the cause and wrote an article condemning the Army for closing the hearing to the public and press.

The Army hearing remained closed as shocking evidence of Army investigative incompetence continued to be presented: 

  • An ambulance driver had moved things around in the crime scene things which had given CID investigator William Ivory the basis of his theory that MacDonald had staged the alleged attack by intruders. 
  • This same ambulance driver stole MacDonald's wallet right from under the noses of the CID agents and MPs. 
  • An Army doctor who was attending to Colette turned her over and disrupted the fiber evidence in the crime scene. 
  • Fingerprints and hair samples had not been taken from the victims to compare with other prints and hair samples at the scene.  The hair sample of Dr. MacDonald that was taken from his clothing was actually that of the pony he had bought for his daughters.  Fingerprints had been wiped clean off the telephone, Kristen's baby bottle and other items, after MacDonald was taken to the hospital. 
  • VIP tours were being conducted through the crime scene while agents were collecting evidence. 

The catalog of Army mistakes seemed endless.

Helena Stoeckley, 1970
Helena Stoeckley, 1970

By sheer luck, Bernie Segal was given a tip that led to the identification of the young woman in the floppy hat.  Her name was Helena Stoeckley, the daughter of a retired Army officer.  Deeply into both the drug culture and the practice of witchcraft, she was also an informant for the local police. 

 

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