TOPIC: Murder Timeline
The following timeline is my interpretation of what the physical evidence demonstrated in this case:
In the early morning hours of February 17, 1970, Colette and Jeffrey MacDonald get into a heated argument in the master bedroom. The verbal confrontation escalates and MacDonald punches Colette in the face. Colette grabs a hairbrush and uses it to strike her husband over the left eye. The area over MacDonald's left eye begins to bruise and swell. Colette then touches her bloody face with her hand, unaware that her husband's anger was about to turn into blind rage. Instinctively, she reaches out and grabs her husband's pajama top by the yoke or front portion of the top and as they grapple, some of the blood from Colette's face spatters on her husband's pajama top.
Colette pulls straight down on the front portion of the pajama top as her husband spins to his right resulting in a 72-inch tear down the left front seam and left sleeve. This tearing action bisects four stains on the pajama top formed in Colette's blood. The stains are located on the left front seam, left shoulder, left sleeve, and left cuff. In the process of pulling down the left front seam of the pajama top, Colette's bloody hand comes in direct contact with the pocket resulting in her blood being found on the face of the pocket in six locations before the pocket was torn from the garment. During this grappling phase, Colette has also managed to use her left hand to rip out a hair from her husband's exposed left arm.
Once the tearing of the top is complete, dozens of fibers from the left front seam and left sleeve fall to the carpet in the master bedroom. The pocket from the pajama top is completely dislodged from the garment and falls on to the upturned portion of a throw rug. The shifting of Colette's and MacDonald's feet during this "death dance" causes eight throw rug fibers and seven pajama fibers to become entangled under the throw rug.
MacDonald hits Colette in the face a second time in order to free himself from her grasp. He grabs a wooden club that was holding up a corner portion of the master bed footboard and thrusts one end of the club into Colette's chest. This thrusting motion formed a large pattern bruise on his wife's chest.
Kimberley entered the master bedroom and her father immediately turned and hit his daughter with the club on the left side of her face. This savage blow resulted in Kimberley's blood being spattered on the master bedroom door frame and she immediately falls to the floor near the entrance to the master bedroom. Blood from Kimberley's broken nose and a gaping wound on her shattered left cheekbone forms a six-inch circle of blood near the entrance to the master bedroom.
Colette obtained the Geneva Forge knife and slashed her husband's abdomen resulting in an upside down "V" laceration. MacDonald retaliated with two brutal blows with the club to Colette's head. One blow struck Colette on the left temple and the other on the right temple. Both blows tore her skin down to the bone and spattered her blood inside the closet, on the carpet near the footboard of the master bed, and on top of the master bed. Colette was knocked unconscious by these two blows and she came to rest on the master bedroom floor between the closet and the footboard.
MacDonald assumes that his wife and daughter are dead or near death. He strips the blue bedsheet and the multi-colored bedspread from the master bed, and 22 fibers from his torn pajama top disperse on to the bottom sheet. He picks up Kimberley in the blue bedsheet and begins to carry her back to her bedroom. The direct contact between MacDonald and Kimberley results in a transfer of Kimberley's blood to MacDonald's pajama top, and to the blue bedsheet. As he transports Kimberley in the bedsheet, her blood drips on to the hallway floor.
MacDonald places Kimberley in her bed and begins to adjust her body in a sleeping position. During this adjustment process, 14 fibers from his torn pajama top fall on top of her bed, a single pajama fiber is moved under her pillow, and a twenty-inch yarn from his pajama top falls on top of that same pillow. MacDonald then obtains the club and strikes Kimberley with two brutal blows on the right side of her face. Cast-off blood from both Colette and Kimberley is sprayed on the wall, and Kimberley's blood is spattered on to the ceiling. He then covers Kimberley's body with her blanket and bedcovers.
MacDonald decides to go into the kitchen area to retrieve the Old Hickory knife. He paces in the kitchen, leaving behind minute traces of blood on top of the kitchen stove, south kitchen wall, northwest corner of the kitchen wall, on top of the stove, and on the refrigerator door handle. He also leaves minute traces of blood on a pair of oven mitts and a pair of dish gloves.
MacDonald walks into Kristen's room and stabs her in the chest as she lay in her bed. Kristen thrusts her hands out to defend herself, resulting in a fiber from her father's pajama top being lodged under her fingernail and several knife cuts on her hands. MacDonald then grabs Kristen by the collar portion of her pajama top and pulls her face down towards the edge of her bed. He stabs her in the back 12 times with such force that two of the stab wounds penetrate her heart. He places his daughter back into a sleeping postion on her bed, two fibers from his torn pajama top fall within her body outline, and he subsequently places the top sheet over a portion of her body.
MacDonald decides to launder the blue bedsheet in the kitchen. As he enters the dining room, he hears Colette stagger into Kristen's room and he drops the bedsheet on to the dining room floor. Colette briefly touches Kristen's body, transferring small traces of Kristen's blood to her hands. MacDonald enters Kristen's room with club in hand. Colette turns to face her husband and he hits her under the chin with the club. The force of the blow lifts Colette off of her feet and propels her over Kristen's inert body. Colette lands in a semi-seated position in the left hand corner of Kristen's bed near the headboard. Colette places her arms in front of her face in an attempt to ward off the overhand blows from the club. Colette's arms are shattered and she receives two more vicious blows to her head. One of the blows fractures her skull. Cast-off blood from Colette is sprayed on the wall, her upper body slumps forward, and she bleeds directly on Kristen's bottom sheet.
He rests the club on Kristen's green bedspread and Kimberley's blood transfers from the club to the bedspread. MacDonald then goes into the living room to read the Esquire magazine article on the Manson murders. He leaves a bloody smudge on the leading edge of the magazine as he begins leafing through the article. MacDonald puts his glasses on to read the article, he transfers a small amount of Kristen's blood to his glasses, and then tosses the glasses under the window after he is through with the article. MacDonald then stacks some magazines and children's games on the living room floor. He places the Esquire magazine under a box containing a child's game, and tips the living room coffee table on its side. The coffee table ends up resting on top of that box.
MacDonald picks up the blue bedsheet from the dining room floor, blood on the bedsheet from Colette and Kimberley leaves smudge marks on the floor, and MacDonald retrieves the multi-colored bedspread from the master bedroom. MacDonald places the multi-colored bedspread on the floor in Kristen's room and goes back to the kitchen to obtain surgeon's gloves and an ice pick. The surgeon's gloves are located under the sink and in the process of bending down to open the sink cabinet, blood from MacDonald's abdominal wound drips on to the kitchen floor. He also leaves a minute trace of blood on the inside of the sink cabinet.
MacDonald lifts Colette's body off of Kristen's bed, blood from Colette's body drips on to the sheet covering Kristen's body at hip level, and he places his wife face down on the multi-colored bedspread. He then places the blue bedsheet over her back, rolls her body slightly, and picks her up in the bedsheet in a cradle position. The bedsheet and bedspread both contain massive direct bleeding stains from Colette. Blood from MacDonald's and Colette's pajama cuffs form bloody fabric impressions on the blue bedsheet. MacDonald also leaves two bloody handprint impressions, a chin impression, and a bare left shoulder impression on the bedsheet.
In addition to the bloody fabric and non-fabric impressions on the blue bedsheet, MacDonald has transferred a bloody head hair from Kimberley and a bloody head hair from Colette to the multi-colored bedspread. Colette's bloody head hair was entwined with a fiber from MacDonald's pajama top, indicating direct contact. A forcibly removed body hair from Colette was also found on the blue bedsheet. In the process of transporting Colette's body, MacDonald steps on a corner portion of the bedspread which contaminates his feet with Colette's blood. He then forms three bloody footprints as he exits Kristen's room with Colette's body.
MacDonald places Colette on the master bedroom floor, and one of the surgeon's gloves that he is wearing begins to come apart. He has unknowingly set his wife's body down on top of 24 pajama fibers. Once he has Colette in a supine position, he sets the bedsheet aside and obtains the club. He raises the club over his head, cast-off blood from the club spatters on the ceiling, and MacDonald strikes Colette with a blow that lands just above her hairline. He sets the bloody club down on the throw rug in the master bedroom, resulting in two pajama seam threads and several rayon fibers from the rug adhering to the club.
MacDonald goes into Kimberley's room with the Old Hickory knife and repeatedly stabs her in the neck. He then takes the ice pick into Kristen's room and inflicts multiple wounds on his daughter's dead body. MacDonald picks up the multi-colored bedspread from Kristen's floor and brings it to the master bedroom. He balls up the bedsheet with the bedspread and a piece of surgeon's glove mixes in with the bedding. MacDonald stabs Colette in the chest and neck with the Old Hickory knife, places his pajama top over Colette's chest, and stabs her 21 times through his pajama top with the ice pick. He bends down to place a Hilton Hotel bathmat over Colette's abdomen, creating a small tear in the crotch of his pajama bottoms, and he wipes the ice pick and Old Hickory knife on the bathmat.
MacDonald walks to the back door with weapons in hand, tosses the club a few feet from the door, and tosses the ice pick and Old Hickory knife under a bush. He goes back into the master bedroom, uses the surgeon's glove on his right hand to write the word PIG on the headboard of the master bed, and a fiber from his pajama bottoms falls to the floor near the headboard. He flushes the remaining portions of the surgeon's gloves down the toilet, places a suitcase near the right hand corner of the master bed footboard, and obtains a disposable scalpel blade from the hallway closet. He leaves traces of his blood on the face of the hallway closet door and proceeds to go into the bathroom.
MacDonald then stabs himself in the right side of his chest with the scalpel blade resulting in his blood dripping on to the front and right side of the bathroom sink. He takes some time to gather himself both mentally and physically before calling for assistance. MacDonald's phone calls were logged at 3:40 a.m. and 3:42 a.m.