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Posted by: Quoth the Raven "Nevermo" ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 09:09AM

I follow this case, which is the most litigated federal murder in history. MacDonald killed his pregnant wife and two young daughters at Fort Bragg in 1970. He has a appeal in April.

MacDonald claimed that hippies came into his house and brutally killed his family but left him alive with minor wounds. This was just after the Manson murders so he was using the story of evil hippies. The physical evidence in the apartment did not match his story, which is what convicted him, although he was not brought to trial for 9 years. He was in the army when he killed his family and he had an article 32 hearing, which is hearing to determine if there will be a court martial. Due to errors made by the army investigators, the case was dropped.

Freddy Kasab, Colette MacDonald's stepfather at first supported Mac but when he read the transcripts of the artice 32 hearing he realized that he was lying and that he killed his family.

If you are interested there is a board at

A researcher put together a data base of all the evidence, that includes pictures, notes, experpts from the trial and hearing, and interviews.

(The second bar, case documentation, has all the crime scene photos. Many of the photos also appear under specific items).

This is site with a summary of facts

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 09:14AM

Thanks for this. I read Fatal Vision a couple of times and now live in the Fort Bragg area. I'll have to check out these links!

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Posted by: Tupperwhere ( )
Date: April 04, 2014 03:19PM

Fatal Vision! My mom read that back in the 80's and became obsessed with that case. She let me read it too even though I was young. It was a bonding moment. My daughter is now also obsessed with reading up on serial killers and murder stories

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Posted by: Quoth the Raven "Nevermo" ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 09:29AM

This is the only true crime that I follow. It has fascinated me since I first read Fatal Vision in 1985.

MacDonald is the ultimate narcissist. He will never admit that he is guilty, his personality will not allow him to be anything other than the good guy and a victim. He got remarried to woman in Maryland and until his wife came onto the scene, his web site didn’t even mention his dead family. It was all about him, the sad victim of a government conspiracy.

After years of having lawyers work pro bono for him, he had run out of them and is crying poor. He had a public defender but she removed herself because of irresolvable differences. He has an attorney through the Innocence Project for DNA testing but he currently has no one for his appeal that was set for April 30.

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Posted by: kestrafinn (not logged in) ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 09:55AM

We studied this case for one of my psychology classes in college. Very, very interesting - and this guy is as disturbing as they come.

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Posted by: Quoth the Raven "Nevermo" ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 09:59AM

kestrafinn (not logged in) Wrote:
> We studied this case for one of my psychology
> classes in college. Very, very interesting - and
> this guy is as disturbing as they come.

Was the focus on narcissists?

His supporters are crazy and think he is god's gift to man and that a corrupt government framed him.

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Posted by: kestrafinn (not logged in) ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 10:25AM

It's been nearly 20 years since I took the course, so I don't recall the specifics of what we discussed in regards to the case, but I recall discussing it. It was part of a course on expert witnesses, heavily slanted by the professor against the practice. We also discussed the daycare sex scandal cases of the 1980s in that class.

Happy, cheery coursework, it was not. But the cases were fascinating.

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Posted by: off the beaten path ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 11:43PM

This case always interesed me because his story was so lame and the evidence was so strong that he was the killer. I am surprised he is still alive. I am sure his current appeal will fail.

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Posted by: carrietchr1 ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 11:52PM

I too have been fascinated with this story. I read Fatal Vision several times many years ago.

I always thought it was interesting that the author started out writing about his innocence, but came to the conclusion that he was guilty as she researched it. The suitcase not covered in blood was always the clincher for me. He was going to run, but decided to stay and make-up this crazy story.

THANKS for the links...I'll have to watch for the story in April.


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Posted by: Quoth the Raven "Nevermo" ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 12:57AM

The suitcase may also have been one packed by Colette to travel to her parents house. One of her drawers had clothes pushed in the drawer in a haphazard manner. She had called her mother a few days before on the weekend and wanted to come for a visit. MacDonald may have unpacked the suitcase so that there was nothing that could point to a marriage that was not happy.

No one will ever know for sure because MacDonald will never tell the truth about what happened that night.

The DNA testing is just stupid. They want to test everything in hopes of finding some DNA that does not belong to the family. If his lawyer thinks there is anyone else's DNA there then she is pretty stupid. They have tried to make out that an unsourced hair found in the fingernail scrapings of the daughter means that it was an unknown person who killed her. No one bagged their hands and the girls had blankets pulled up and around them so hair could have got on them from that. One of the threads of Mac's pj top was balled up in a clot on blood on the youngest daughter's hands. And a hair from Colette was twined with a pj fiber on the bed sheet that was used to transport Colette. Mac claimed he immediately took off the pj top and put it on his wife to keep her warm, so all those fibers are places that they should not be.

No piece of hair will change that MacDonald said that his pJ top was ripped in the living room but the fabric dropped many fibers, many long ones, in the master bedroom and the girls' rooms. No threads were found in the living room where he fought off his imaginary attackers.

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Posted by: Cristina ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 01:21AM

Not in the religious sense. But he sacrificed his girls in order to stage a crime scene to detract from the fact he murdered his wife in a rage. Murdering the little girls was premeditated to save his own ass. It couldn't be more obvious, he was a surgeon and made sure he stabbed himself in the right spot where he would survive and slashed the children in a way they would not survive. I'll never understand his supporters.

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Posted by: foundoubt ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 01:33AM

I didn't follow this one too closely, but I followed the Mormon Ted Bundy and his trial. Right up until he got aced, then I sort of lost interest.

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Posted by: Quoth the Raven "Nevermo" ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 01:39AM

foundoubt Wrote:
> I didn't follow this one too closely, but I
> followed the Mormon Ted Bundy and his trial. Right
> up until he got aced, then I sort of lost
> interest.

The last link i listed in my first post has a timeline and has topics that provide a good summary of the case, if you want a quick overview.

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Posted by: Quoth the Raven "Nevermo" ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 01:37AM

He killed his wife and his five year old in a rage. He hit the 5 year old with a 2 inch square club of wood. The hit caused her brain serum to spray out of her ear and it got on the wall of the master bedroom. It cracked her skull and cracked the bones in her face, part of the bone was through the skin. She was brain damaged at that point even though her heart was still pumping. She most likely walked in when he was attacking his wife with the club.

once his wife and older daughter were on the floor, that was when he decided to kill the younger one to get rid of them all. He stabbed her in the chest and she put up her hands in self defense and her fingers were cut by the knife. Then he pulled her face down over the edge of the bed and stabbed her in the back.

He is an animal and his supporters are blind.

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Posted by: Doxi ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 01:14PM

Whomever called him a classic narcissist was right on. He is also a sociopath... other people are only there to be of use to him;they are interchangeable and disposable.

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Posted by: TScarlett ( )
Date: July 14, 2012 04:50PM

I think MacDonald is innocent ! I cannot imagine making up four intruders and three of them confess to the murders. (Helena Stockley, Greg Mitchell and Cathy Perry)

If MacDoanld is indeed guilty, he was very lucky that three people admitted to others that they were involved. I think what convicted MacDonald was his narcissistic personality. It sounds he thought of himself first and put himself ahead of his family. He went on the Dick Cavett Show and focused on being the victim. At times, this was evident to others and he used poor judgement to say he killed one of the intruders. MacDonald may be narrissistic....but it does not mean he is guilty !

In addition to the confesssors....too many others came forward to support their story. Is Ann Cannady, Jimmy Friar, Prince Beasley, Red Hill, Jimmy Brit, Edith Boushy, Bill Posey and Jim Posey all wrong or mistakened ?

Maybe ! But these number of witnesses in addition to the confessors add reasonable doubt !

I do not believe that all physical evidence collected at the crime scene was accurately disclosed. They focused on incriminating evidence but ignored blonde wig hairs, black wool fibers found Collette's mouth and bicep that could not be linked to any other clothing in the house, the word PIG written by a left handed person when MacDoanald was right handed, a burnt match in the middle of the crime scene, MacDonald's blood found at the end of the hallway but not photographed, and candle wax found in critical crime scene areas that could not be linked to any other candle wax in the home.

The jury never heard the confessors, supportors of these confessors or the physical evidence mentioned above that supports MacDonald's account.If MacDonald is indeed guilty....he is the luckiest man alive in prison to have so many facts support his fabricated account.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: July 14, 2012 09:23PM

Agreed. There is new evidence. When I read the book, I was convinced he was guilty. After hearing the other side and Helena Stockley's confession, I am undecided.

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Posted by: badkid ( )
Date: July 15, 2012 03:30PM

There was an article in The New Republic about Mr. MacDonald's probably innocence many years ago. If you are really interested it is probably worth looking up on NEXIS at the library. It really addressed the phony-baloney psychology presented during his trial, as well as the mis-representation of physical evidence.

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Posted by: Kojak ( )
Date: April 04, 2014 12:35PM

Clearly, the Green Beret doctor is innocent. One only needs to scratch the surface and the prosecution's case falls apart. Anyone ever notice that one of the original gung-ho prosecutors is the son-in-law of the judge that is still keeping exculpatory evidence from being heard in court??!!

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Posted by: Twinker ( )
Date: April 04, 2014 03:16PM

Dr. Jeff was the head ER doctor at St. Mary's Medical Center in Long Beach, CA, and the nurses LOVED him. I guess that's typical for narcissists and sociopaths who are natural charmers.

I read a copy of one of the lengthy letters he wrote to wealthy Long Beach businessmen seeking donations for his legal funds.

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Posted by: inmoland ( )
Date: April 04, 2014 04:06PM

Thanks for the links.

I never knew much about this case until someone gave me Fatal Vision last year. The physical evidence is so overwhelming that I don't understand the support he receives. Particularly the fiber evidence and the stab holes in the pajamas top, which he claimed he was wearing, that perfectly align with Collette's wounds. I have read about the so-called confessions,, but they don't seem to be supported by the facts. False confessions are very common in high profile murder cases.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2014 04:07PM by inmoland.

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Posted by: moira ( )
Date: April 05, 2014 01:12AM

I just looked at the crime scene photos (bad dreams tonight) and a drawing of his injuries by the doctor who had treated him. (I'm curious why photos of his wounds were not taken). I also read the book years ago and followed his case for quite a while. That guy is guilty.

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Posted by: AFT ( )
Date: April 05, 2014 05:44AM

Check out Ted Gunderson's info on the case. I knew him back when he was Special Agent in Charge at the Los Angeles Branch of the FBI (got to go to his retirement dinner...THAT was an interesting bunch of people).

Anyway, after retirement from the FBI, he got into PI work and this case is one he worked on. After his investigation, he totally believed in MacDonald's innocence. I'm sure there are You Tube things on his investigations. He died a two years ago this July. They thought it was from Bladder Cancer, but it turns out he was actually beating that. There is new forensic evidence that he may have been poisoned. He had enemies.

But he is an interesting speaker, and believes what he says. Check it out!

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