TOPIC: Miscellaneous Evidence
BathmatColette MacDonald's abdomen was covered by a Hilton Hotel bathmat. The bathmat bore bloody streaks in Colette and Kimberley MacDonald's blood.
Paul Stombaugh compared the shapes of the Old Hickory knife and the ice pick to the bloody impressions on the bathmat, and concluded that the two weapons were set down and subsequently wiped on the bathmat. The opposite side of the bathmat bore bloody smudges which, according to Stombaugh, resembled handprints. In Stombaugh's opinion, however, the potential handprints were not as clearly defined as the bloody handprints found on the blue bedsheet.
MacDonald admitted during the April 6, 1970 interview with CID investigators that he may have placed the bathmat on Colette's abdomen in order to treat her for shock. MacDonald provided a similar explanation for why he placed his blue pajama top across Colette's chest.
BathrobeA white terry-cloth bathrobe was found hanging on the door leading to the master bedroom. There were traces of blood found on the outside of the robe that were so minute that they could not be typed, and blades of grass were adhering to the bottom of the garment. Fibers from MacDonald's pajama top were also found on the inside of the robe.
CID investigators felt that MacDonald may have put the robe on prior to going outside and placing the weapons in the backyard. Franz Grebner, William Ivory, and Robert Shaw surmised that while squatting to place the weapons on the wet ground, blades of grass stuck to the bottom of the robe.
During the April 6, 1970 interview with these same three CID investigators, MacDonald was asked whether he wore that robe at any time on February 16, 1970. He denied wearing the robe on February 16th. It is quite feasible that MacDonald went to the back door and underhandly tossed the Old Hickory knife and ice pick. Considering that the distance from the back door to the large bush is only 20 feet, it is possible that MacDonald was able to toss the weapons and have them land near each other under the bush.
SuitcaseA suitcase was located near the right hand corner of the footboard of the master bed. The unusual aspect of this suitcase was the fact that spatter in Colette's blood type was found around and under the suitcase, but no blood spatter was found on the suitcase.
This blood analysis indicated that the suitcase had been moved from an unknown location and set down near the footboard. The analysis also lent credence to the assumption that the suitcase had been placed in that area of the master bedroom after all the blood had been shed at the crime scene.
William Ivory inspected the suitcase and found that it was empty. Ivory and Robert Shaw noted that one of Colette's dresser drawers was opened slightly. Speculation followed that MacDonald may have emptied the contents of the suitcase into Colette's dresser. In 1983, Paul Stombaugh expressed to Joe McGinniss the possibility that MacDonald had thoughts of fleeing the crime scene, but ultimately changed his mind.
Stoeckley's WhereaboutsA friend of Helena's, Margaret Mauney, said she loaned Helena her 1968 Chevrolet Corvair on the evening of February 16, 1970. According to one of Helena's roommates, Diane Cazares, Helena drove her and fellow roommate Kathy Smith to the Village Shoppe in Fayetteville around 8 or 9 p.m. on the same evening. After dropping off both Cazares and Smith, Helena then went to visit her parents. This was verified with her parents and they remembered Helena coming home and complaining that she did not want to be at Diane's apartment because she was painting her bathroom. Helena left her parent's residence around 10 or 10:30 p.m.
Diane Cazares remembers Helena returning to the Village Shoppe with Greg Mitchell shortly after 11 p.m. Due to her excessive drug use that evening, Stoeckley has no memory of her activities from the time she left the Village Shoppe until she returned to her residence at 4:30 a.m. Don Harris was with Diane Cazares at her apartment while she was painting the bathroom until around 5 a.m. Kathy Smith told CID investigators that she was at Bruce Fowler's trailer until late in the morning of February 17, 1970. In latter confessions, Stoeckley claimed that Bruce Fowler drove her acquaintances to the crime scene in his 1967 Blue Mustang.
Amphetamine PsychosisJoe McGinniss attempted to formulate a theory as to what precipitated Jeffrey MacDonald's murderous rampage on February 17, 1970. After reading MacDonald's private notes, McGinniss felt that MacDonald could have killed his family as a result of an amphetamine psychosis. MacDonald mentioned in his notes that he was taking Eskatrol for weight loss and McGinniss thought that may have been the missing piece to the puzzle. The following is an exchange between Jeffrey MacDonald and Bernie Segal at the Article 32 hearing:
Segal: Have you ever used any other hallucinogenic drug?Clifford Somers never questioned MacDonald on this issue, thus missing the opportunity to get MacDonald on record regarding the amount of amphetamines he was using, and whether or not he was using them around the time of the murders.
MacDonald: No, sir. Well, now let me be perfectly honest. You know what medical people consider and what the people who, general lay people, consider to be drug abuse, are really different. I have taken diet pills, for instance, amphetamines, and amphetamines are considered they are not with LSD in that hallucinogenic category, but they can they can in certain situations cause hallucinations.
Segal: Is it correct that diet pills are actually classified as dangerous drugs or legend drugs in various jurisdictions?
Segal: Again, I am addressing myself to a hallucinogenic such as LSD.
MacDonald: No, I have not taken that.
Segal: Any drug which you understand to be commonly viewed by law enforcement authorities as a hallucinogenic drug as abuse and has no really standard medical purpose.
MacDonald: No, sir, I've never taken such a drug.
Blood in the Dining RoomColette and Kimberly MacDonald's blood was found on the dining room floor in front of the entrance to the kitchen. These blood stains were probably deposited after Jeffrey MacDonald transported Kimberly back into her room. The following is an exchange between Franz Grebner and Jeffrey MacDonald during the April 6, 1970 interview:
Grebner: And as we enter the bedroom, we have Kimberly's blood on the rug mat. To the right of the door, we have a sheet and coverlet for the bed; and on the sheet is Colette's blood and Kimberly's. And on the bedspread it's Colette's blood, large quantities both the hairs of Kimberly. Now hippies don't they let bodies fall where they may.The following is an exchange which occurred later in the interview between Robert Shaw and Jeffrey MacDonald.
MacDonald: Right. I agree with you.
Shaw: You've got what? A five-room house there?The following is a portion of Captain Clifford Somer's closing argument at the Article 32 hearing:
Shaw: And at least three of them were set-ups, just flat set-ups staging
MacDonald: Which three are those?
Shaw: Living room, north bedroom, south bedroom. The front bedroom and the back bedroom. Kristy's bedroom.
MacDonald: Kristy? The baby?
Shaw: The north bedroom.
MacDonald: What did I stage in there? Just for my own interest.
Shaw: Let me tell you something. I don't want to step out of line here; and if I am, I'm sorry. I don't know that you did that, Captain MacDonald. I don't know it at all. But my experience tells me, too, that what you say isn't right. What you say, Captain MacDonald, is not right. Why it isn't, I don't know. I don't know what you know.
MacDonald: You mean because it is an unusual, bizarre crime?
Shaw: No, no, the crime isn't bizarre. It happens everyday, every day.
He reaches, he takes the bedclothes off the bed, picks up his daughter and carries her to her bedroom and places her in her bed carefully tucking the covers under, and remember, sir, that the way Kimberly was lying in that bed she could not have been injured as she was, because she was lying on one of those bruises, and even if she had been in bed lying face up, it would be almost impossible to inflict the bruises that she had. I submit to you, sir, that she was not in bed when she was struck. And he takes those bedclothes and he wanders into the living room and he just drops them, and he drops them at the entrance to the kitchen, and we have smears of A and AB blood in that location. Where did the A blood come from? Spattered perhaps from his wife's beating.The following is an exchange between Victor Woerheide and William Ivory at the Grand Jury hearing:
Woerheide: Tell us what you can tell us about this blood that was found in this location in the center near the telephone or on the floor in this area.
Ivory: Yes, it is on the floor. Actually in the dining room, but perhaps a foot away from the doorway to the kitchen. And it is one of a series perhaps two or maybe three streaks of blood, or smudges of blood, where something bloody has slid across the floor or moved across in a squeegee type of motion.
Juror: You mean like a hand, or a foot, or an object?
Ivory: Well, something a bloody foot, no we don't have any contours of a foot or anything. Perhaps a bloody sheet or something like that may have been dragged across the floor at that point. But it is a smear rather than a drop or spatter of blood.
Coffee TableThe CID hired research analyst, Martin Lonky, for a crime scene analysis of the living room area at 544 Castle Drive. The following are excerpts from CID Reinvestigation Report 1973 Mar01-Aug27 P123:
Curtains in the living room: This is more of a subjective point, but one that is probably worth considering. Note the left-hand portion of the curtains in the earlier photographs. The window curtains consist of a sheer inner liner and two side panels. The liner on the left-hand side is on top of its end panel, indicating that someone probably looked out the window for one reason or another. It is the type of situation that most wives correct when they see it and since the photographs of the rest of residence indicate neatness and order, it might be inferred that the looking out of the window was done that night. Again, it is subjective, but the Captain's glasses are located at that curtain panel as well.
Lack of evidence from the photos of any large-scale scuffle: This point may be of more significance than the fact that the table is not completely overturned. The "end table" near the couch indicates no evidence of a scuffle near it. The lamp, which would be prone to toppling if it was shaken, is upright, as are the candles. The picture over the couch is perfectly square on the wall, in a proper position. It is hard to fathom a great deal of fighting having gone on in the area.
The Phone CallThe CID Reinvestigation revealed the following:
Mrs. Joan T. Kane, wife of the former commanding officer of Jeffrey MacDonald, executed a written statement wherein she discussed certain details of a telephone call she received at her residence on February 17, 1970. Mrs. Kane states that the call was between 3:20 and 3:30 in the morning. She said the caller was a male, but she could not identify his voice or recall the conversation due to her sleepy state.The significance of this call lay in the fact that Mrs. Kane's phone number was written in pencil on the murder club and that CID investigators were convinced that MacDonald had a sexual relationship with the wife of another of his commanding officers. This led to speculation that MacDonald may have had a sexual relationship with Mrs. Kane.
Mrs. Kane stated that she only met Jeffrey MacDonald on one or two occasions and, in her opinion, his lawyers used legal trickery and deception in defending him.
At the Grand Jury hearings, Victor Woerheide confronted MacDonald with the fact that the Kane's phone number was written on the club in pencil. He then asked MacDonald whether he called the Kane residence on the morning of February 17th. MacDonald denied contacting Mrs. Kane, nor was he aware that the Kane's phone number was written on the club. CID investigators did not believe that this was simply some sort of bizarre coincidence, but they did not have enough corroborative data to prove that the male caller was Jeffrey MacDonald.