Circa August 1998

Jeffrey MacDonald's letter to Vanity Fair magazine, re: Robert Sam Anson's article, "The Devil and Jeffrey MacDonald"

Related Files

Fatal Revision

Wow!  Robert Sam Anson, with his hatchet job ["The Devil and Jeffrey MacDonald," July], has now joined Joe McGinniss, Janet Cooke, and Stephen Glass in the pantheon of writers who fake their research and then write false articles for money.  Amazingly, in a case that is unusually well-documented in court documents, Freedom of Information Act releases, and sworn witness statements, Anson was peculiarly unable to utilize those resources for facts.  Instead, he was quick to seize, and even enlarge upon, tired old myths about my case, almost all of which have originated from prosecution sources or Joe McGinniss's pen, and which have been disproved time and again.  (While Anson was writing his pathetic litany of falsehoods and innuendo, the Vanity Fair fact checkers were seriously inquiring about the make of the car in a photograph).

Anson had a chance to do a real investigative piece.  Too bad for the truth that he chose that pathetic low road, the gossip highway, the pat-the-nice-government-prosecuter-on-the-back-and-collect-the-check style of hack writing.  Shame on him.

Oh, and, Mr. Anson, one more thing: when you fake research, perhaps you should learn what your role model, Joe McGinniss (or was it Clifford Irving?), already learned - you need to get at least something correct, or everyone will know.  My eyes are hazel - not your mythical "ice blue".  Or perhaps you knew, but liked blue better for your fanciful version of the facts.

Jeffrey R. MacDonald, M.D.

Sheridan, Oregon