Jeffrey MacDonald Fatal Vision
In the early morning hours of February 17, 1970, military police arrived at the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, residence of Green Beret physician, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald. Colette MacDonald, pregnant with her third child, is found in the master bedroom. Her body has been violently punctured 21 times by an ice pick. She has been repeatedly clubbed, to the point that both her arms are broken, her torso, lacerated and gutted from 16 stab wounds inflicted by a large butcher knife.
Five-year-old Kimberley is found in her bedroom, still in bed. She is nearly decapitated, having been ruthlessly clubbed in the head, then stabbed in the neck with the same butcher knife at least eight times. Two-year-old Kristen is found in her own bed. Her small body has been stabbed with the butcher knife 33 times, in additional to being punctured 15 times by an ice pick.
In May of 1970, the Army formally charged MacDonald with the murder of his family. In October 1970, after one of the lengthiest hearings in U.S. Army history, the Army recommended that charges be dismissed. In 1975, a civilian grand jury indicted MacDonald for the murders.
The trial played out in downtown Raleigh during the summer of 1979, bringing with it daily national news coverage.
What was planned as a prominent role in MacDonald’s defense, is the testimony of Helena Stoeckley, who had previously confessed to being in the MacDonald home the night of the murders. However Stoeckley, with a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, testified that she had no involvement in the murders, and MacDonald’s defense collapsed.
Jeffrey MacDonald, Princeton graduate, medical doctor, Green Beret officer, father and husband, was convicted of the murders in 1979 and sentenced to life in prison. He has always maintained that he did not kill his wife Colette or their children.