Affidavits, Declarations and Statements
July 9, 1984
United States District Court
Eastern District of North Carolina
Affidavit #2 of Brendan Battle (FBI) re: Greg Mitchell, Bryant Lane and Norma Lane
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, plaintiff||:|
|VS.||:||CASE No. 75-26-CR-3|
|JEFFREY R. MACDONALD, defendant||:|
1. I am a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (hereafter FBI) assigned to the Charlotte Field Office, and on May 25, 1984, Noah Bryant Lane, known as Bryant Lane, was interviewed at his home, 3317 Dexter Drive, telephone (704) 527-4852. Lane is employed at Motive Battery, 5014-F South Boulevard, telephone (704)527-9782. Lane was advised that the purpose of the interview was concerning his relationship with Greg Mitchell and any information he may have concerning statements made to him by Mitchell concerning Mitchell's possible involvement in criminal activity while stationed at Fort Bragg, N. C., in particular his knowledge of or involvement in the murder of the family of Captain Jeffery MacDonald. Lane advised that he first met Greg Mitchell when Mitchell came to work at Toledo Scale Company in Charlotte, N. C., in approximately 1972. Lane worked with Mitchell and helped to train him in his job. He got to know him well at work, and also on a social basis. Mitchell was married to his wife, Pat, at the time that Lane met him and the Lanes and the Mitchells socialized frequently. Mitchell left Toledo Scales after working there for somewhere between two to four years. Mitchell left over a disagreement with his former boss, Bob Connelly. The Lanes continued to see the Mitchells on a social basis after Mitchell left work at Toledo Scales. They would see each other one or two times a week.
2. Mr. Lane advised that Greg Mitchell was a heavy drinker but that he almost always drank beer. He very seldom drank hard liquor. Mitchell was not on drugs to Lane's knowledge although he was in the Army and that he had been treated for this addiction. Mitchell did use marijuana occasionally and Lane and Mitchell smoked marijuana together on occasion. Mitchell did not have any mental problems to Lane's knowledge.
3. Mitchell told Lane about some of his experiences while he was in the Army in Vietnam. Mitchell stated that he was a Medic and also that he worked in Communications while in Vietnam. Mitchell stated that he had killed Vietcong, but Lane does not recall whether or not Mitchell stated that he killed women or children while in Vietnam. Mitchell did get emotional on occasion when he talked about Vietnam and he was usually drinking heavily at the time that he became emotional. About six months before Mitchell died, he was told by a doctor that he had to quit drinking or that he would kill himself. Mitchell stated to Lane that he would not be able to stop drinking beer. Mr. Lane did not visit Mitchell while he was in the hospital in Virginia and last saw him several weeks before he died. Mr. Lane stated that several years ago during the time when Mitchell was helping him work on a boat which Lane had bought, Mitchell appeared to be depressed. Lane does specifically recall asking Mitchell why he was depressed and that it was so terrible that he could not talk about it and that he could not tell his wife about it. At one time, Mitchell told Lane that there was a certain "bitch" and that if she ran her mouth it would mess things up. Lane stated that these are not Mitchell's exact words and he does not recall whether or not this statement was made at the same time that he stated that he had done something so terrible that he could not talk about it. Lane stated that the reason that he was more specific in the affidavit that he gave to a Private Investigator Shadlock (phonetic) is that the investigator was interviewing him and his, wife together, and his wife gave the specific information which Lane assumed was correct. He stated that although he could not remember the exact dates and sequence that the information he is giving is correct. He stated that he would take a polygraph examination concerning any information he was giving.
5. Mr. Lane advised that Mitchell made one other statement to him concerning the fact that he had done something terrible. This was about two or three weeks before Mitchell died. Lane was drinking one night at the Hule Bar in Charlotte and Mitchell was there. Mitchell told Lane that he had to talk with him. Mitchell called Lane the next day and said that he could not talk on the telephone because the "cheap sons-of-bitches have my phone tapped", or words to that effect. Mitchell came to Lane's house but Lane does not think that it was the same day. He thinks that it was the next day. When Mitchell arrived, he was "white as a ghost". Mitchell stated that he might have to leave the country because something happened in the service, and if the authorities found out about it that he would definitely have to leave. Mitchell did not say what this was, but stated that it was too horrible to talk about and at that time he had tears in his eyes. Lane thought that Mitchell must have been talking about something that happened in Vietnam. Mitchell borrowed $100 from Lane and when he left, Mr. Lane recalls telling his wife that he thought Mitchell wanted to tell him something.
6. Mitchell had been talked to by the FBI several weeks earlier and he appeared different after being contacted by the FBI. Mitchell did not appear to be depressed during much of the time between 1972 and 1982. He was lively and laughed a lot and seemed to have a good time. Every once in a while when he drank a lot, he appeared to become somewhat depressed. This was even more noticeable after Mitchell had been contacted by the FBI.
7. Lane recalls that Mitchell was told to stop drinking by his doctor or he would kill himself and that this warning came before Mitchell was interviewed by the FBI.
8. Mitchell never brought up any conversation about Captain MacDonald or the killing of MacDonald's family. On one occasion, a year or two before Mitchell died, Lane's wife stated that she did not think that MacDonald killed his family and Mitchell agreed. This is the only conversation that Lane can recall having with Mitchell concerning MacDonald.
9. Lane has not read the book "Fatal Vision" and has no direct information that Mitchell was responsible for killing MacDonald's family. He has made the assumption that Mitchell was responsible for the killings because of the statements that he made to Lane and his wife.
Further your affiant sayeth not.
BRENDAN J. BATTLE
Special Agent, FBI
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 9th day of July, 1984
(Illegible) Smith, Jr.
My Commission Expires 4/11/88