January 19, 1976

Letter to Brian Murtagh from Bernard Segal re: Crime Scene Photographs and Fingerprint Photographs

January 19, 1976

Brian M. Murtagh, Esquire
Room 2250
Organized Crime and Racketeering Section
United States Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Re: United Sates of America v. Jeffrey R. MacDonald

Dear Mr. Murtagh:

In our previous stipulation under which we agreed to follow the government's numbering system for the photographs, the United States was to turn over to the defense a copy of every photograph in its possession.

Though we have received a number of crime scene photographs from your office, it is apparent after careful examination that the photographs you have provided are not a complete set. There are a substantial number of additional photographs which we are informed by our experts which would have been taken in a competent investigation of the crime scene. For example, there are few if any photographs showing the details of the crime scene in the north and south bedrooms. Those photographs which you have provided defy measurement because they are distorted or off-angle shots. You are requested to make a formal inquiry of the various investigative agencies which have participated in the numerous investigations of this crime to determine if there are additional photographs which you have not previously provided pursuant to our stipulation.

Additionally, it will also be necessary to make arrangements for the turnover by the government of a complete set of the fingerprint photographs. Since the unidentified fingerprints constitute one of the significant pieces of evidence showing the presence of unidentified persons, we consider these photographs to be Brady material in the clearest sense. We consider the release of this material along with the exact location of each print to be essential to the preparation of the defense of this case. Cataloguing and comparison of these prints will undoubtedly require several weeks. Failure of the government to release this material to which the defense is unquestionably entitled will substantially delay the preparation of a proper defense for Dr. MacDonald.

Thank you for your continuing cooperation.


Bernard L. Segal