TOPIC: Consciousness of Guilt

Consciousness of guilt refers to when a person who is accused of a crime does something which an innocent person would not do.  Such evidence may include actions the defendant took to "cover up" his alleged crime.  In my opinion, this case is strewn with examples of MacDonald's consciousness of guilt.

The torn pajama top was the key to several examples of MacDonald's consciousness of guilt.  Despite his claims that he was not wearing his torn, bloody pajama top when he discovered his wife and two daughters dead in their bedrooms, the physical evidence clearly demonstrates that a person wearing his pajama top left the following forensic clues.

Fibers from the pajama top

  • Fibers sourced to that garment were found under Colette's body.
  • Fibers sourced to that garment were found under Kimberley's bedcovers.
  • Fibers sourced to that garment were found on top of and under Kimberley's pillow.
  • Fibers sourced to that garment were found under Kristen's bedcovers.
  • A fiber sourced to that garment was found under Kristen's fingernail.

Bloody cuff impressions from the pajama top

  • Two bloody fabric impression sourced to the right pajama cuff were found on the bedsheet used to transport Colette back to the master bedroom.
  • A bloody fabric impression sourced to the left pajama cuff was found on the bedsheet used to transport Colette back to the master bedroom.

Colette's blood found on the pajama top

  • Six Type A smearing stains were found on the face of the pajama top pocket indicating Colette bled on the pocket before it was torn from the garment.
  • Four Type A blood stains were located on the left shoulder, left front seam, left sleeve, and left cuff of the garment.
  • The four Type A blood stains were bisected or torn through indicating that Colette bled on the garment in these locations before the garment was torn.

Bloody bedding

MacDonald denies ever touching the blue bedsheet and multi-colored bedspread found rumpled together in the master bedroom.
  • Three bloody fabric impressions found on the bedsheet were sourced to the cuffs from MacDonald's pajamas.
  • Several fibers sourced to MacDonald's pajama top were found on the bedsheet.
  • The bedspread contained a bloody head hair sourced to Colette entwined with a bloody pajama fiber sourced to MacDonald's pajama top.

Blood on eye glasses

MacDonald claims he was not wearing his glasses when he found Kristen dead in her bed.
  • A speck of Kristen's blood was found on one of the lenses.

Urine stain on the master bed

MacDonald claims that Kristen wet his side of the master bed, but blood analysis of that stain proved that Kimberley wet the bed.

There were also several instances where non-forensic data demonstrated MacDonald's consciousness of guilt.

Phone call to Freddy Kassab

In 1971, MacDonald called Freddy Kassab and claimed that he had found one of the male hippie home invaders and had killed him.  Kassab tape-recorded this cryptic phone call and MacDonald subsequently elaborated on this alleged murder in a follow-up phone call.  In this follow-up call, MacDonald claimed that several Green Beret buddies assisted him in locating and killing this home invader.  Three years later, MacDonald admitted to the Grand Jury that he fabricated this story in order to appease Kassab. MacDonald felt that Freddy's quest for justice was "unhealthy" and that Kassab had become "an alcoholic fanatic."

Beginning in the late 80's, MacDonald softened his tone when asked by interviewers why he lied to Kassab about killing one of the home invaders. MacDonald claimed that the lie was in order to provide Freddy with "closure" and to help the Kassabs "achieve some semblance of a life."  MacDonald also claimed that the initial phone call was an impulsive act, but family friend Bob Stern told author Joe McGinniss that MacDonald told him the same story 3 months prior to MacDonald's call to Kassab.

Polygraph results

MacDonald claims that he never completed a polygraph exam administered by Cleve Backster in the Spring of 1970.  Backster, however, refutes this claim and states that MacDonald flunked the exam.

Brother's roommates

MacDonald visited his brother at his Fire Island residence in the summer of 1969, but denies ever meeting his four roommates.  The roommates matched MacDonald's descriptions of the hippie home invaders and he was seen speaking to four people matching the descriptions at a local bar.