Grand Jury

August 27, 1974

Testimony of William Boulware

I, Mary M. Ritchie, being a Notary Public In and for the State Of North Carolina, was appointed to take the testimony of the following witness, Sgt. William A. Boulware, before the Grand Jury, Raleigh, North Carolina, commencing at 10:30 a.m. on August 27, 1974.  All Grand Jurors present.


Sgt. William A. Boulware, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Q  Will you state your your full name, please, and spell your last name?
A  William A. Boulware.  Last name is spelled Boulware, B-o-u-l-w-a-r-e.
Q  Where do you live?
A  3244 Barksdale, Fayetteville, N.C.
Q  Is that on base or off base?
A  That's off post.
Q  And where are you employed?
A  Presently in the United States Army.  My unit assigned there is the 118th MP Company.
Q  Now what position did you hold as of February 16 - February 17, 1970?
A  I was a main post desk sergeant at Fort Bragg for Fort Bragg and 18th Airborne Corps.
Q  Would you briefly tell us what your duties were?
A  My duties are to -- any report or any type of offense, crime or anybody stopped for any type of violation that are brought in to me and I take care of the paper work and the disposition of the individual.
Q  When you say you take care of the paper, does that include making out reports?
A  All reports that are initially investigated by the military policemen or patrolmen that's on duty are -- they are turned over to me to be proofread, to see if all necessary information is there to warrant an investigation or see if the person is justifiably charged.
Q  All right.  Were you on duty on the morning of February 17, 1970?
A  Yes, I was.
Q  And where were you sitting or where were you stationed at that time?
A  That morning I was stationed at Bragg -- I was a desk sergeant.  I was sitting behind the desk which is something similar to this.
Q  Was that the MP headquarters?
A  In the Provost Marshal's office on Fort Bragg.
Q  Was there anyone else in the premises at that time?
A  In the immediate area on my extreme left was a desk clerk and to my extreme -- my rear was a radio operator.  Also in the building at different sections were -- the duty officer was in there.
Q  What was his name?
A  His name was Lt.  Paulk.  
Q  Will you spell that, please?
A  P-a-u-l-k.
Q  Now as a result of an incident that occurred that morning, did you prepare a report?
A  As any incident that occur, I prepare a report -- a military police report which is a 1932.
Q  Well, I have a copy of a military police report dated 17 February 1970 and -- including information here set forth on the front page, it refers to a Janie C.  Landon, civilian, as the complainant and it says the complaint is murder and -- gives an address 544 Castle Drive, C.C.F.B.N.C.  I see your name on it. It says, "Received by William Boulware," and I ask you if you can identify this as a report that you made, sir?
A  Right.  That's the original 1932 that was typed up.

MR. WOERHEIDE:  I'm going to ask our reporter to mark that as Boulware Exhibit No.  1 of this date.

(Boulware - Exhibit #1 - Marked for Identification)

Q  All right.  Will you give us your best recollection, sir, and you are at liberty to refer to a copy of the report that you have in front of you or any other documents.  I have a transcript of testimony given by you at the Article 32 hearing.  You want to refer to that or is it fresh in your mind enough at this time so that you can tell us about it?
A  I can tell you all that I remember.
Q  All right. Tell us what you recall.  What happened that morning in your preparing this report and what followed through on it?
A  Approximately zero-three-forty-two hours on 17 February 1970, I received a call on the emergency line from Miss Landon.  She identified herself as being a chief operator for Fayetteville.  At this time she explained to me what she had heard and that -- and that a call had been placed through her, saying that there was a stabbing at 544 Castle Drive.
Q  Is that 544?
A  544 Castle Drive.  And at this time she said it was an on-post address.  Therefore, she said she called the on-post operator which connected to the MP station where I picked up the phone.  And after she explained to me, all I had to do was reach back and touch my radio operator.  I told him to send a patrol over to that address and I continued talking to her and she -- when the phone came on the phone --
Q  Was this a male voice now?
A  It seemed to be a male voice.  It appeared to be.  The voice in a very faint manner just said, "Stabbing, 544 Castle Drive, stabbing, help," reported it about twice.  There was a break.  It sounded like a phone fell from something.  It sounded like it was banging against the wall or the floor.  Moments later I picked up the phone and repeated -- he picked up the phone and repeated the same thing over.  All during this time I tried to ask him what's happening, who's there, anybody there with you?  Why the stabbing or who is stabbed?  Regardless of what I asked him, the only answer that I received was "554 Castle Drive, stabbing."
Q  544?
A  544 Castle Drive, stabbing, and the only time -- that's all -- the only thing he ever said to me this time.  I patrol was en route over there.  When the patrol got there, it came back over the radio saying the door was locked and they couldn't get in.  Did I want them to break it down?  I told them to check the rear.  By this time they came back on the phone.  "Get an ambulance over here -- couple of bodies in here."  So I got -- this time my clerk sitting on my left and I told him to get the duty officer.  I hit the phone and got -- called the Womack for an ambulance.  Then I continued to talk to the men to find out who, how many was there.  And by the time he got everything squared away when the duty officer -- first of all the duty officer was contacted before I even knew it was a stabbing or anything, because at first I thought it was a domestic disturbance, because this frequently occurs on Fort Bragg.  A domestic disturbance is defined as a family problem between husband and wife and I figured that the two of them probably had been fighting, etc., and one of them was hurt.  By then the officers' quarters was then the reason for contacting the duty officer.  Once it got back that there was a stabbing, then the duty, then the duty officer went next door and called me.  Also, one of the patrols that was on the scene -- he came back on the radio and said there was a couple of bodies in there, get an ambulance over here fast.  Then I talked to the duty officer and the duty officer said words to this effect -- that there were a couple of "goners" in there and he thought the old man was still alive.
Q  A couple of goners -- that means a couple of dead bodies?
A  A couple of dead bodies.  And referring to the old, meaning the husband was still alive.
Q  Now, did Lt.  Paulk, the duty officer, take off immediately to go to the scene?
A  Once he was informed by the desk clerk, he asked me what was going on.  I told him I didn't know exactly.  I just had an unusual call from the operator and it said it sounded like a man on the phone -- might be in trouble.  I said it's in the officers' quarters and you usually investigate those.  So he left immediately after I gave him that little information.
Q  Now, after the MPs arrived at the scene, did they furnish you with additional information?  Did they give you a description of any persons who might be sought or anything of that sort?
A  The initial patrol didn't -- the duty officer was there.  The duty officer, along with one of the patrolmen, informed us -- well it came over the radio that there was, let's see -- I think the first time it came over it said there were two black Negroes, one male Caucasian, one female with a floppy hat, white boots and long blonde hair -- that they were the individuals that had done it.  And it came out in the air -- the radio operator just briefed the other patrol which was the bucknell frequency on Bragg.  We got a two-way set, with sedans.  They use the Bragg frequency, and with bucknell, it's bucknell frequency which is jeep patrols.  That's how all the patrols were notified.
Q  All right, now, the first description that you were given was -- two black males, one Caucasian male, and one female Caucasian.  Now, was that description thereafter modified or changed in any respect?
A  When the duty officer -- I think is the one who changed it -- he came up with the final one black, two Caucasians, one female.
Q  Now were you given any physical descriptions of the persons referred to apart from the fact that initially it was two blacks, one white male and one white female and later it was to one black male, two white males and one white female. Were you given any more physical description of any of them?
A  Not physical description.  The only other information as to any description at all was that the black male was wearing an Army field jacket with an NCO's insignia on it anywhere from an E-6 to an E-8.
Q  How about the female?
A  She was just wearing a floppy hat, white boots and she had long blonde hair, white knee-boots.
Q  Now, with that information having been turned over to you, did you convey that to any of the patrols?
A  It was turned over to all post patrols.
Q  Were they instructed to do anything?
A  The patrols were instructed to stop any suspicious people they found in that area, fill out F.I.R. cards which are field interrogation cards and bring them to the station.
Q  Now thereafter, were various and sundry people brought into the station?
A  A few people were brought into the station, approximately three or four, I don't remember right off.
Q  And when these people were brought into the station, did you observe what was done with respect to them, did you talk to them or did you observe someone else talking to them?
A  I talked to few of them and I believe somebody in the rear office talked to the rest of them.  The F.I.R. cards were filled out on them.  It stated as to their purpose for being in that area at that time of the morning.  Some of them were cooks coming from the Angio Acres, going through Corregidor Courts to get to the building area where they worked.
Q  Were any of the people brought in considered to be possible suspects in any sense and were detained or held for further investigation?
A  Not to my knowledge because they were all released that morning and sent on to work.  We had name and unit.  We knew where we could get in contact with them if we needed to.
Q  I'm referring to your report and I see an entry here at approximately 0358 hours certain things were done.  Now, can you explain that to us?
A  You're talking about referring to notifying --
Q  I'm looking about the second page, six lines down, on the right hand side of the page it says that approximately 0358 hours, now will you explain what happened at 0358 hours?  It's page two of your report.
A  At that time, that's when the patrol supervisor 3 0 was dispatched to that area to take charge of all patrols and filling out field interrogation -- Any time that any patrol had stopped anybody, they contact the patrol supervisor in which the patrol supervisor would take the individual and the F.I.R. card and bring it back to me.  The patrol supervisor was more or less a cab for them, a transportation.  That way we wouldn't take the patrols that were immediately on the scene out of the area.
Q  Well, does this intend to indicate that by 0358 hours, that two minutes to four, people had already, that is the MP patrols, had already responded to the messages that you sent out and had arrived at 544 Castle Drive.  Then you were already alerting other patrols to pick up any suspicious characters?
A  Right.
Q  Now I see an entry here at 0425 hours, this date.  Can you tell us about that?
A  At this time the Provost Marshal, which was Colonel Kriwanek, at that time he instructed me to notify all the civilian authorities around in that area as to what had occurred and what to be looking forward to -- what to be looking for.
Q  In other words people answering the description of these persons --
A   -- individuals --  
Q  Were you in touch with the ambulances that transported Jeffrey MacDonald to the hospital? 
A  Did I have contact?
Q  Yes, radio contact or any other contact with them?
A  I don't remember right off, but a few of the ambulance do monitor our frequency.  I can't say specifically the ambulance that MacDonald was in --
Q  If they can monitor your frequency, can they talk to you on that same frequency?
A  Right.
Q  Are you able to in any way fix the time when Jeffrey MacDonald was removed from the house and taken to Womack Hospital?
A  I can't say anything about any time.  All my connections with was telephonic or either over the radio.
Q  Now you mentioned that when people were picked up that morning and brought in, you talked to some of them but there was a man in the back room that talked to some of them.  Can you tell us who that was?  Was it a CID agent?
A  It was either a CID agent or MP agent, which is Military Police Investigation.
Q  Does the name Orr mean anything to you?
A  Orr?
Q  Yes.
A  He's a CID agent.
Q  Is he the individual you are referring to?
A  I can't say specifically.  I wasn't in the back with them, I was on the desk.
Q  Well, can you give us an approximate time when the MPs arrived at 544 Castle Drive after you received the initial call at 3"42 a.m.  on the morning of February 17?
A  Roughly more or less, five or ten minutes, around that.
Q  So it could be five minutes but not more than ten minutes and it might be, to be precise, something like six to eight minutes?
A  Right.

MR. WOERHEIDE:  Do the Grand Jurors have any questions of Sergeant Boulware?

JUROR:  I have one.  I just wondered, how many times did you say that you were on the phone when the man was on the phone?  Did you say you heard him and then two or three minutes later you heard him again?  Did you say that?

A  The first time I heard him, he said, "stabbing, 544 Castle Drive."  I asked him a couple more questions.  He said, "stabbing" again, "help."  Phone -- I think I spoke to him twice.  The phone was temporarily out of use for a minute, for a little while, not -- maybe long enough to drop it and pick it up and talk some more, however long that is momentarily.  Then the last time I talked to him, he talked weaker and it was fainter and it was just a musky voice, as if it was fading out and I said -- I was on the phone with him, actually twice.

JUROR:  In case some other regular operator would call the base, are you the one that would answer the phone in case of emergency or do they get you to the phone through another operator or what?

A  It depends where the call is coming from -- like if it's on Ft Bragg and the call is coming from Ft.  Bragg, it would go straight from the person to me; but it's off-post, which would be a civilian line, it would -- they would have to contact the MPs.

JUROR:  You said the woman identified herself as Mrs.  Landon, is that right?

A  Right.

JUROR:  She identified herself, in other words, and told you what happened?

A  Right.

JUROR:  You didn't -- in other words, when you answered the phone, she, I think, stated that she waited for you -- the man to say something to you.  He didn't say anything, so she tried --

A   -- explained it to me.

JUROR:  But that would have been the other operator first, wouldn't it?

A  The civilian operator contacted the Fort Bragg operator; the Fort Bragg operator connected the civilian operator to me, therefore, I was talking directly from my phone to the civilian operator.

JUROR:  Right.

A  We had bypassed the Fort Bragg operator.

JUROR:  I understand that.  But I was thinking about Mrs.  Blackman, then Golden, was the one that had switched first and had talked with someone.  She connected, she said to the MPs first.

MR. WOERHEIDE:  She got the MPs and then, as I recall Mrs.  Terry got on and sort of took over.  She's the chief operator and she would be the one that would do the talking.  She was sort of in charge and she took over.

Q  (Mr. Woerheide):  Sergeant Boulware, you say you talked to them and you heard like the phone had dropped and then had been picked up.  That would be just a matter of a couple sections.  You talked to him a little more and his voice was faint and it sort of got mushy and faded out.  Now, you say somewhere between five and ten minutes later the MPs were in his house.
A  Right.
Q  Were you listening on the phone for that period of time, somewhere between five and ten --
A  I was listening on the phone.
Q   Did you hear any noise in the house, any background noises, any banging or thumping or music or any sounds that you might hear on an open telephone line?
A  I didn't hear anything.

MR. WOERHEIDE:  Any more questions from the Grand Jurors?

JUROR:  I'd like for him to give another description of the female.  What color boots she was wearing.

A  In the end report I believe it came out that she was wearing white boots, a floppy hat with long blonde hair.  The boots, I think it was reported, had mud on them.

Q  (Mr. Woerheide):  This was reported back to you?
A  It was reported to me.
Q  From the MPs on the scene?
A  Right.
Q  Who had been talking to Captain MacDonald after they entered the house.  Is that correct?
A  Right and from, I believe, the duty officer or his driver, once he had gotten to the hospital and called in.  All this was information, descriptions compiled by -- I received from individuals on the scene and from the duty officer and the MPs that went to the hospital with him.

JUROR:  How many people did you have on duty that night, do you recall?  How many do you usually have?

A  I can't say how many we usually have, but we had, that night, about eight or nine, maybe ten, if you count all patrols, including duty officers, CID, MPI, regular post patrols -- regular post patrols, I think about eight or nine, counting the duty officer, maybe ten.

Q  (Mr. Woerheide):  Regular post patrols, you mean those with jeeps that are circulating around the base or post?

A  Regular post patrols have a specific area to patrol.  All they do is they are out there to make periodical checks, stop violators or whatever, that's a regular patrol, security checks, etc.  The other patrols are specific patrols, such as the five-one is accident.

JUROR:  Do you know where the location of the first MPs was at on-post when they got the call to go to this address?

A  I can't say where they were at, but I could tell you where they should have been -- where they were supposed to be.  In fact, three -- like each area has a -- each patrol has a particular area to patrol.  It's in -- like the patrol that was called should have been in the Corregidor Court area.  That's where it was supposed to have been, patrolling that area.  I did ask where he was; I just told him where to go.

Q  (Mr. Woerheide):  Do you recall the name Mica?
A  Right.
Q  Was he on that patrol?
A  Mica was a traffic patrol.  Traffic covers the whole post.
Q  Do you recall the name Tevere?
A  Tevere, I think he's traffic man, too.
Q  Do you recall any other names?
A  I think Williams.
Q  Williams?  How about Morris?
A  Not right off hand.
Q  How big a patrol area is the Corregidor Courts area?  Do you have any idea?
A  I can tell you from street to street, but as to say what -- a quarter of a mile, if that's how you want it.
Q  Normally it would be just a matter of minutes before a patrol arrived at the same address you had given them?
A  From one end of Corregidor to the other end of Corregidor Courts, at that time of morning, any patrol could go completely through it in less than ten minutes.
Q  So they got there in a reasonably expeditious manner according to the time you notified them and the time they reported back to you that they were there and the front door was locked?
A  Right.

Q  (Mr. Stroud):  Was there a patrol assigned just to the Corregidor Court area?
A  Right.  The post is broken down into sections.
Q  Right.
A  This is where you get your number of patrols from.
Q  Okay, now, Corregidor Courts is a housing or residential area?
A  Right.  Officers quarters.
Q  How large an area would you say it was, if you've got any idea?  As far as square blocks, say?
A  I'm not good on measurements, but less than a half a mile.
Q  Now this patrol was just in that particular area would not go into any other areas, is that right?
A  Right, unless they were dispatched.
Q  Unless they were sent?
A  Right.
Q  And this was an all-night patrol type thing?
A  It was just working its shift.  The midnight shift was for eight hours.
Q  Had you received any calls of any kind indicating any unusual movement or stranger persons in that area that night?
A  Negative.
Q  Now this patrol would have been -- are they constantly on the move?
A  Right.  It's a roving patrol.  Like we also -- we have what you call security checks.  Like -- say you're going on vacation, you call into the desk and tell them, I'm leaving my quarters at such and such a time; I'd like for you to make periodical checks on it.  You'd be questioned if you're going to leave your car there, if you're going to have any bicycles there, if you're going to leave any lights on, any windows open, anything like that.  Okay, the report would be made out.  It would be given to the patrol supervisor.  The patrol supervisor would inform his patrol in that area to make periodical checks on those quarters.  So the patrol not only would be roving around, it would be stopping at different places, walking around buildings.

Q  (Mr. Woerheide): If the patrol had seen any suspicious characters moving around that night --
A  They would have stopped and called me.
Q  They would have stopped and interrogated them and notified you, accordingly.
A  Right.  They would have stopped them and filled out -- any time you stop a person -- well Bragg has a thing, what they call undue harassment.  So to cover yourself, what you do, you will fill out a F.I.R. card, in case the person calls in later and says an MP got fresh with me.  Well, see, I'd have the time, the date, the individual he talked to and I'd have it all right there.  He'd put down what he said or what transpired, the attitude of the individual.
Q  On that night, from midnight on up to 3:42 a.m., when you got the call, there was no indication of suspicious characters in the area of Corregidor Courts?
A  Negative.  No one that was suspicious any where.  It was a slow night.

MR. WOERHEIDE:  May the witness be excused?

JUROR:  You only talked to one operator and that was chief operator and that was chief operator, Mrs.  Landon.  Is that right?

A  As I remember I could have talked to another one, but she was basically the one I talked to.  I didn't talk that much to her.  Another operator, maybe the Bragg operator came in and said I've got a call on the emergency line from Fayetteville and then she connected us.  Possibly, that's what she said to me, I don't recall right offhand.

FOREMAN:  Okay, thank you very much, sir.

(Sergeant Boulware was dismissed)