Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald

Helena Stoeckley

At the Article 32 hearing, Segal questioned the CID's William Ivory about his cursory investigation of the woman, who reportedly had dressed in black and hung funeral wreaths outside her apartment on the day of the victims' funerals.

Segal:  Did you make notes of your interview with Miss Stoeckley?

Ivory:  No, I did not.

Segal: Is there any reason why you didn't make notes?

Ivory: No particular reason.

Segal:  Isn't it standard operating procedure when you are conducting an interview that's related to an inquiry into a triple homicide to make notes of interviews?

Ivory did not answer the question.  As he grilled Ivory, it became clear that an effective investigation of Stoeckley and her drug addicted friends had not been done.  The Army, in its misguided determination to blame MacDonald had ignored every other suspect.

Segal: Has anybody checked the electric bill, gas bill and telephone bill for the particular apartment in which this lady lived?

Ivory:  Of my own personal knowledge, I do not know.

Segal:  Mr. Ivory, you really can't say [as Ivory had testified earlier] to us that Miss Stoeckley was being frank, open, and candid.  She was following her rules, which are not to tell outsiders who her friends and associates are.

Ivory:  She said to me she only knew them by their first names.

Segal:  Of course the telephone company, gas company, and electric company and landlords don't generally function on the basis of just first names, do they?

Ivory:  That's correct.

Segal: That avenue of investigation might produce last names, might it not?

Ivory:  That's correct.

Segal:  Is it fair to say that on the basis of what has been done up to now it could not be considered that the investigation of Miss Stoeckley's whereabouts on February 17 is complete?

Ivory:  It is not complete.

Of course, Ivory had months to complete an investigation and had not even tried.   By the time of his testimony, the whereabouts of Helena Stoeckley were unknown.  

Furthermore, it was revealed that MP Kenneth Mica, who had first seen the woman in the floppy hat near the MacDonald apartment and had unsuccessfully urged Lieutenant Paulk to have her picked up, had been ordered not to mention the incident during the hearing.

Segal, MacDonald, and Freddy Kassab were absolutely dumbfounded at the magnitude of the Army's incompetence on the investigation.  Because the Army had chosen to keep the hearings closed, Kassab and Segal felt compelled to keep the press informed about each example of Army blundering.  The result was that the many of the Army CID staff and Fort Bragg personnel and officers felt angry and defensive about the negative publicity.   They took out their anger on MacDonald and further entrenched themselves in their belief that he was guilty, even as the rest of the world was being convinced of his innocence.

 

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