Article 32 Hearing
Volume 17

September 11, 1970

Captain Jeffrey MacDonald

COL ROCK:  At this time the investigating officer would like to recall to the stand Captain MacDonald, the accused.

(Captain MacDonald sat in the witness chair and was reminded of his prior oath.)

COL ROCK:  I would like for the legal counselor to advise you of your rights.

CPT BEALE:  Well, again, Captain MacDonald, as you know, Colonel Rock wants to ask you some questions. As previously advised, you are suspected of the offense of homicide or murder of three -- three charges of murder against you. I want you to understand that you do not have to make any statement whatsoever and that if you do desire to make a statement, any statement that you may make could be used in evidence against you in a trial by court-martial. Naturally you have Mr. Segal, your attorney here, also Captain Douthat, your appointed military counsel. Do you desire any other counsel here at this time?

ACCUSED:  No, sir.

CPT BEALE:  Do you understand that you do not have to make a statement?

ACCUSED:  Yes, sir.

CPT BEALE:  And do you further understand that if you do make a statement, that such could be used in a trial against you?

ACCUSED:  Yes, sir.

CPT BEALE:  Now, as you know, you have made a previous statement to this hearing, and it was oral and was under oath, and at that time you were informed of your rights, and assuming that procedure that I advised you of your rights under was effective, I do not think that you now have to make a statement just because you've already made one before. Do you understand that?

ACCUSED:  Yes, sir.

CPT BEALE:  Do you desire to make a statement?

ACCUSED:  If I'm asked any questions, yes.

CPT BEALE:  All right, fine.

COL ROCK:  The purposes of my questioning, gentlemen, will be limited to one specific area.

Questions by COL ROCK:
Q  Captain MacDonald, you have heard testimony relative to surgeon's rubber gloves and you have also testified concerning this particular subject, and I wish to limit myself specifically to one area of that inquiry, and specifically with reference to statements that you have made to determine if I am clear in my mind as to your recollection of the events of 16th and 17th. I hand you herewith page M-83 of the accused's testimony, and it will begin roughly with the middle of the page, and I am specifically interested in this statement here, so take your time to read that please.
A  Yes, sir.

(The referenced transcript was handed to counsel for the government.)

COL ROCK:  Do you have that, Mr. Segal?

MR. SEGAL:  Yes, sir, I do.

COL ROCK:  Captain MacDonald, would you please read from the middle of the page any statement regarding washing dishes and any points relative to gloves?

WITNESS:  Yes, sir.

"Q Did you wear gloves when you were washing dishes?
"A  I think I did.
"Q  What kind?
"A  I don't remember. She had several kinds around. It was at least two pairs on the kitchen sink. There was a heavy yellow kitchen type of a glove and some of the surgeon's gloves that I had brought her home.
"Q  How many surgeon gloves had you brought her home? Do you know?
"A  I don't remember. I had a box, the initial box they came in.
"Q  Where did you keep them?
"A  Either under the kitchen sink or in the hallway. The main closet in the hallway."

COL ROCK:  Fine, thank you. Now I address your attention specifically, Captain MacDonald, to the number of pairs and types of gloves on the kitchen sink. Your statement, again, is to the question, "Did you wear gloves when you washed the dishes? I think I did. What kind? I don't remember. She had several kinds around." Now the key -- "It was at least two pairs on the kitchen sink. There was a heavy yellow type of glove and some of the surgeon's gloves that I had brought her home." Is that your clearest recollection of the gloves that were on the kitchen sink?

WITNESS:  Yes, sir. There were, when I did the kitchen, there were two pairs of gloves, a yellow pair of kitchen gloves and a pair of surgeon's gloves.

COL ROCK:  And a pair of surgeon's gloves. Do you know what happened to that pair of surgeon's gloves that were on the kitchen sink?

WITNESS:  No, sir.

COL ROCK:  Did you have any occasion to wear them that evening?

WITNESS:  Unless I wore them when I was doing the dishes, no.

COL ROCK:  I have no further questions. Does either counsel?

Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q  What kind of gloves are they? The throw-away kind or the permanent kind?
A  It depends on the hospital usually. A lot of the throw away gloves are re-used in some hospitals. I think these are throw-aways.
Q  Are the throw-away type powered or lined inside with something?
A  Some of them have powder, depending on the manufacturer. Some have a packet of powder. Some don't have anything. I don't know what these had.
Q  Presuming that they were used multiple times, how difficult were they to take on and off without powder?
A  Well, if your hand fit in them -- if your hand was smaller than the glove, it wasn't too bad, you know, it would squeak when you pull them on, but you could get them on and off.

CPT SOMERS:  No further questions.

COL ROCK:  Mr. Segal?

Questions by MR. SEGAL:
Q  Were there other of these surgeons gloves in other parts of the house?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  Where else were they kept, Captain MacDonald?
A  My wife used them for multiple purposes, and there was at least another pair on the dryer in the utility room where she normally kept a pair to do the laundry with. She also used them for painting. And I have been told that there was another pair in the utility shed, separate from the house.
Q  In the shed? You are not talking about the utility room?
A  No.
Q  And the washer and dryer you referred to were located in what room?
A  Well, the washer is in the kitchen. The dryer is in the utility room, and that's where the laundry, you know, equipment was kept, dirty laundry.
Q  In the utility room which joined the master bedroom?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  Do you know whether there were any of those gloves in that utility room on the particular night of February 17th?
A  Yes, sir, she usually kept a pair on top of the dryer in that room.
Q  Now what about this utility unit that's not -- that's not the utility room that you referred to? You mean the outside storage shed?
A  The outside storage shed.
Q  And you said there were gloves kept there?
A  Well, I wasn't aware of it, but the CID told me that they found a pair of surgeon's gloves in that storage shed. I just wasn't aware of that.
Q  You had never observed that pair there before?
A  No, not specifically.

MR. SEGAL:  I have nothing further.

Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q  Now you say that there were usually gloves on the dryer that your wife kept them there. Is that correct?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  Now on the evening of the 16th and 17th, were there gloves on the dryer?
A  Well, I didn't specifically look at the dryer and check if there were gloves there before I went to bed. They usually were there, and that's my recollection. I didn't specifically remember seeing them there that evening.
Q  You are saying they are usually there, but you don't know whether they were there or not that night?
A  That's correct.
Q  What did your wife use rubber gloves with the dryer for as opposed perhaps to the washer?
A  No, I just explained that. She kept her laundry materials in the utility room. She kept dirty laundry there usually in big boxes, so then when she went into get clothes, or soap she would pick them up from the top of the dryer.

CPT SOMERS:  No further questions.

MR. SEGAL:  Nothing further.

COL ROCK:  Captain MacDonald, you are advised that you will discuss your testimony with no person other than either counsel. You are excused.

(Captain MacDonald resumed his seat at counsel table.)

COL ROCK:  Gentlemen, this concludes the evidence which the investigating officer desires to present before this hearing. This hearing will be closed for a thirty-minute period for counsel to prepare to present their final arguments. It will be done in sequence by counsel for the government, counsel for the accused, and if the government so desires, rebuttal by the government. The hearing is recessed.

(The hearing recessed at 1020 hours 11 September 1970.)