The case of Jeff MacDonald has been infused with controversy since the murders took place, almost 39 years ago. Through it all, Jeff has steadfastly maintained his innocence. Over the many years since trial, thousands of pages of government reports, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, that prove the existence of outside assailants, have been obtained. In fact, not only do these documents show Jeff's claim of outside assailants to be true, they also show how the prosecution deliberately set out to suppress evidence supporting these claims before, during, and after his trial.

The MacDonald case has served as an example of malfeasance in the investigation of the FBI Crime Lab's misconduct, and the case has been featured in numerous congressional hearings and in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and The New Republic. In January, 2006, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals panel of three unanimously agreed that the affidavit of Jimmy Britt, a respected former US Marshal, was sufficient grounds to propel a rare fourth appeal (successive habeas petition) forward for review to the District Court in Raleigh, North Carolina. Jimmy Britt died in October, 2008. In November, 2008, the District Judge denied relief. The defense will appeal to the 4th Circuit.

The MacDonald case is one of the most enduring and haunting legal cases of our time, and a torturous example of injustice and wrongful conviction. It continues to endure and weigh heavily on the public consciousness because the right conclusion has never been has never been issued in a court of law- that Jeff MacDonald is an innocent man and must be released. If guilt was so clear, its hard to imagine that the interest and emotion this case continues to proliferate would still exist nearly 40 years later.

This summary will provide an overview of the case, and cite some of the key pieces of evidence suppressed by the prosecution. Using the government's own documents, the defense demonstrates the ways in which this evidence has heretofore been kept from inclusion in an evidentiary hearing. It also demonstrates how the government has continued to keep the whole of the evidence from a courtroom. Most of all, it illuminates the fact that Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, incarcerated over 27 years at present, is innocent.


The Murder Night, February 17, 1970

On a cold, rainy night on post at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, military policemen responded to a telephone call from Green Beret group surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald. Upon their arrival at the apartment, the military police discovered the brutally murdered bodies of Captain MacDonald's wife, Colette, 26, and their daughters Kimberley, 5, and Kristen, 2.

An MP revived MacDonald via mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  MacDonald said that he had been asleep on the sofa when he awoke to the screams of his wife and oldest daughter.  MacDonald stated that three men, standing over the sofa, attacked him - one black man wearing an army field jacket with E-6 stripes, and two white men. MacDonald said that one man wielded a baseball bat or a club of some kind. One of the men had a bladed weapon.  Behind these men, MacDonald said he had caught a fleeting glimpse of a blonde woman wearing a floppy hat.  She was saying "Acid is groovy.  Kill the pigs."  MacDonald told the MPs that the woman carried a flickering light, like a candle.

The Army Hearing

About six weeks after the murders, having been released from Womack Hospital where he was admitted to the ICU for injuries he sustained including a deeply punctured lung (which was life threatening) multiple stab wounds and a head contusion at the area where he was knocked unconscious with a bat by the assailants, the Army decided to investigate Jeff MacDonald as a suspect in the slayings.

After a six week Army pre-court martial hearing, presiding officer Colonel Warren V. Rock concluded that the charges against Captain MacDonald were "not true". Colonel Rock had learned that cult member Helena Stoeckley, daughter of a retired colonel, had made statements that suggested she had been involved in the murders. He discovered that army investigators had failed to reveal that Stoeckley, a key narcotics informant for the local and army police, had made admissions to them. She had admitted that she had worn a floppy hat, blonde wig and boots on the murder night, that she was on drugs that night, and that she had no alibi for the period during which the murders took place. She later admitted that she burned the hat, wig and boots, fearing they would incriminate her. A woman meeting her description was seen by military police, standing at a street corner on post, as they rushed to the crime scene. Colonel Rock requested that Stoeckley be thoroughly investigated by civilian authorities.

MacDonald's lawyers later obtained information, provided by former army investigators, that other sons and daughters of key military officers on post were involved in drug trafficking. One in particular was known to be "a problem in the case", because she was allegedly associated with the Stoeckley group. These statements offer a reason why the top brass on post might have pursued Jeffrey MacDonald: To avoid suspicion of their own children.

A Colonel's Daughter:  Helena Stoeckley

At age 17, she was a key drug informant for local and army police.  This fact was admitted by the lead army investigator, William Ivory, during the 1970 Article 32 hearing.   She fit the descriptions given by Captain MacDonald and by MP Kenneth Mica, who said he saw a woman in a floppy hat while enroute to the murder scene at 3:55 a.m.  Mica says he was ordered that morning not to talk about what he saw.  On that same morning, the top law enforcement officer on post failed to tell FBI agents that the MP had seen a woman matching MacDonald's description, three blocks away, only moments after the crimes.  

In 1971, Helena Stoeckley failed a polygraph administered by the CID (Army's Criminal Investigative Division), in which she denied being at the crime scene.  Years after trial, she confessed, before television cameras, to being with the assailants at the murder scene.

Greg Mitchell

A heroin addict and soldier, Mitchell was Helena Stoeckley's boyfriend. Before his death, Mitchell confessed to the crimes to numerous people including a pastor and his boss. In recent years, several friends who knew him well have come forward and signed sworn statements as to Mitchell's confessions to them. Mitchell stated on numerous occasions that he and his group had gone to the MacDonald home to assault the family, because he believed MacDonald would not help him obtain methadone - a substance used to aid drug addicts. Mitchell said the group was strung out on drugs, things "got bad" and they left after the phone rang unexpectedly (and was apparently answered by Helena Stoeckley, by her own admission).


Suppressed Physical Evidence Indicating That Someone Else, Not Dr. MacDonald, Murdered His Family

Although the Army's hearing officer cleared MacDonald, he was later brought to trial in the civilian courts.  During that trial, prosecutor Brian Murtagh assured the jurors that nothing was found at the murder scene to support MacDonald's story of intruders.  When the defense attorneys asked to see the withheld laboratory notes, so that they could determine for themselves if any corroborating evidence existed, the prosecutor untruthfully insisted that the documents held nothing that supported MacDonald's claims.  Upon this promise, the judge then refused to force Murtagh to turn over the documents.

As shown below, those documents, later released through the Freedom of Information Act, contradict the prosecutor's statements.  They demonstrate that the Army deliberately suppressed a  great deal of evidence that indicated the presence of  intruders in the house. 

Suppressed Evidence on the Body of Colette MacDonald

  Human skin under Colette's fingernail, left hand, was lost. The loss wasn't reported, even though it appears clear that MacDonald's injuries (at least 15 stab wounds and 3 head contusions) did not include fingernail scratches.  (Autopsy and CID reports; interview with Dr.Severt Jacobson.)                                                           
A brown hair in Colette's left hand was found not to be MacDonald's or any of the victims', but was reported untruthfully by the government as being too small to test. (CID Lab Note R-11;CID Exhibit E-5) (Recently, DNA tests showed this hair to match Jeff MacDonald. The government hid the hair from the defense when it could not be sourced to MacDonald microscopically- but now, years later, after DNA tests are completed, represents the same evidence as inculpatory.)
Unmatched black wool fibers were found on Colette's mouth and shoulder and the murder club..  These were not reported.  The government tried to source the black wool to garments in the MacDonald home but could not. At trial, the presence of black wool fibers on the murder club was kept from the jury. These fibers were also important because Stoeckley was known to have affected a wardrobe of black clothing.(CID Lab Note, March 6, 1970; FBI Lab Notes)
A 2 inch long pubic hair between Colette's legs, not belonging to Jeff MacDonald or any known source, was identified via DNA tests.
A blue acrylic fiber found in Colette's right hand could not be sourced to the fabrics and clothing in the MacDonald home.  Another blue acrylic fiber was found where Jeffrey MacDonald said he lay unconscious. (CID Lab Note on E-32, debris from the hallway; Lab Note by Paul Stombaugh of the FBI on Q94; letter by Brian Murtagh, 1978, to the FBI Lab on E-4, debris from Colette MacDonald's right hand.)

Suppressed Evidence on the Bodies of Kimberley and Kristen

A brown hair, with root intact, was found under Kimberley's bloody fingernail.  This hair was found not be Jeffrey MacDonald's.  It remains a foreign hair in the hand of a murder victim, and was unreported. (CID Lab Note R-11) The DNA lab could not get a full typing from this hair.
A bloody hair, root intact, under the nail of 2 year old Kristen was not presented at trial and only disclosed via DNA testing- it remains unsourced. (CID Lab Note R-11)

Additional Suppressed Evidence

Blonde, synthetic wig hairs, 22 inches in length, were found in a clear-handled hair brush on a table near the living room where MacDonald said he saw the blonde female and near the phone, which Helena Stoeckley said she answered. These wig hairs would have been critical to MacDonald's defense.  Army investigator William Ivory knew Helena Stoeckley wore a blonde wig, which matched the descriptions given by MacDonald and MP Kenneth Mica, but didn't reveal the presence of these long blonde wig hairs at the crime scene. (CID Lab Notes April 20 and May 7, 1971, items E-323 and Q75)

A bloody, adult palm print was found on the footboard of the master bed on the morning of the murders, near Colette MacDonald's body. The print did not match palm prints of either Jeffrey or Colette MacDonald, nor could it be matched to palm prints from persons known to have been at the crime scene that morning.  Despite extensive efforts by the FBI, the source of this bloody palm print remains unidentified.  (CID Lab Reports, CID Lab Notes, a prosecution memo, and FBI Report on Palm Print 3X30)


1970:  Article 32 Hearing Colonel Rock, presiding over the hearing, stated in his final report:  First, the accusations against MacDonald "are not true" and there "is no evidence" to support any suspicions.  Second, he recommended that the appropriate civil authorities investigate Helena Stoeckley and her group.  

1971-72:  CID begins a reinvestigation of the case.  This occurred after MacDonald was honorably discharged from the Army, even though the CID is legally prevented from investigating civilians. 

1974-75: Federal Grand Jury is convened.  Victor Worheide is aided by former CID - now Department of Justice - prosecutor Brian Murtagh.  The prosecution shaped the data now known to be false.  Further, they met with witnesses, and the discussions held with these witnesses resulted in altered testimony at the Grand Jury.

1979-Trial - The judge severely restricts forensic testing by the defense.  Judge Franklin T. DuPree, Jr. also refused to allow admission into the record of the Rock Report (Article 32). The jury was not allowed to hear Helena Stoeckley's admissions of guilt to seven persons, including law enforcement officers.

The most important fact of this case is the following:

The government tried the case under the theory that MacDonald could not prove the presence of outside assailants inside the home at 544 Castle Drive. To begin with, the prosecution put MacDonald in the position of proving his own innocence, through their line of questioning ("If the jury should find .....then how do you explain that?")  They then set up an elaborate, hypothetical scenario and presented a seemingly logical explanation for the hairs and fibers they claimed were found therein.  All existing evidence of intruders, i.e. wig hair, black wool fibers, candle wax, bloody handprint, human blood, skin, hair, and fingerprints not matching anyone in the MacDonald family or crime scene investigators, was suppressed, altered, misrepresented, lost or destroyed.  MacDonald had no evidence at the time of trial to substantiate his memory of the crime, and, therefore, was not believed.

1979 (August) -1980-Jeffrey MacDonald Serves Time in Prison  

1981- MacDonald Wins Appeal.  After being incarcerated for over one year, Dr. MacDonald was released after an appeals court stated  that he was denied a speedy trial.

1982 (March 31) - The speedy trial reversal was overturned, on grounds it didn't apply, since MacDonald was not indicted until 1975.  He was returned to prison, where he remains currently, serving a concurrent, triple life sentence.

1982-First Appeal Defense claims of trial error were denied.  It was stated that  the court was able to disallow Helena Stoeckley's confessions because no forensic corroboration was found linking her to the crimes.

1983-85 - First Habeas Corpus Appeal.  Judge Dupree's former son-in-law, James Proctor, was the first prosecutor appointed to the case, following MacDonald's discharge from the Army.  Despite this fact, the judge did not recuse himself, claiming he and his son-in-law never discussed the case.  In his rejection of the appeal, the judge declared that there was no evidence tying an outside group to the scene inside the house.  The defense's presentation, based on new evidence acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), was unilaterally rejected.

1985-1990 - Total Reinvestigation of the Case.  New FOIA requests filed by defense lawyers.

1990-The defense files a second Habeas Corpus Appeal, alleging suppression of evidence proving the presence of Helena Stoeckley and co-assailants inside 544 Castle Drive (the main evidence being 22" and 24" long saran fibers from Stoeckley's wig, black wool found on the murder weapon (the club) and the mouth and shoulder of Colette.)

NOTE:  The saran was found, cataloged and analyzed in 1970, but left off the formal reports.  The black wool was carefully expunged from all typed lab reports to the defense.  Both items were the topic of undisclosed FBI forensic investigations in the winter/spring of 1979.  This fact was only discovered by the defense via FOIA releases in the late 1980's.  Even worse, the jury heard  that blue cotton threads from the pajama top were found on the murder weapon, when these "threads" were actually black wool.

The judge denied this appeal based on the following:

1.    That saran was not used in wigs for humans, and could not be produced as a "tow" fiber, which would be essential to wig making. This was the false testimony of FBI hair/fibers expert Michael Malone, later reported by Laurie Cohen in the Wall Street Journal (Click here to go to this article.)

2.    That the black wool information seemed to be cumulative to the 1979 and 1983-85 appeals of exculpatory evidence, and therefore was not valid.  It is important to note that Judge Dupree found that, based on restrictions that can be enforced under "due diligence", the defense could not call the presented proof "new".   Thus,  he saddled the defense with the onus of not having discovered this evidence, which was  hidden in government files, earlier.  Essentially, the court told Dr. MacDonald that his proof and evidence were "too late".  In 1992, the appeals court upheld Dupree's ruling.

1997- 98 - Motions to re-open the case were filed based on evidence that Michael Malone perjured himself with his saran testimony in 1990.  Evidence was presented that proved, among other things, that saran was used in human wigs made at the time of the murders.  The defense also requested the use of new advances in DNA testing to help prove the existence of outside intruders.  Though Judge James Fox (who replaced the late Judge Dupree) denied all defense motions, the right to DNA test the evidence was eventually granted by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in October, 1997.

1998 - January 2006 - Despite being granted the right to DNA biologic material, six years of delays are caused by government objections, lab personnel changes, and issues regarding how to achieve accurate results from degraded and limited exhibits.  In addition, the laboratory conducting the MacDonald DNA tests has been heavily involved in the 9/11 and Iraqi War identifications.

December 2005 - Motion to Vacate Based on Newly Discovered Evidence is filed with the Fourth Circuit court of appeals, based on the sworn statement of former federal marshal Jimmy Britt, who witnessed the prosecutor threatening the key witness in the case. The motion makes out a case of factual innocence based on the evidence as a whole and the request for a hearing in front of the District Court is granted in January 2006.

March 2006- DNA tests are completed and sent to the District Court Judge for evaluation.

April 2007- The defense files an affidavit by Helena Stoeckley's mother, in which she states that her daughter told her she was involved in the murders, and corroborates several of the recollections of Jimmy Britt.

November 2008 - The District Court issues a ruling denying the Motion to Vacate. Defense lawyers plan to appeal.

February 19, 2009 - The defense files an informal brief, (by a deadline extended by the Fourth Circuit) presenting justification for the district court's November 4, 2008 opinion to be found in error/overturned.

April 2, 2009 - The Innocence Project, headed by Barry Scheck, in conjunction with the Innocence Projects of  North Carolina and New England, file an Amicus (friend of the court) brief on Jeff's behalf.  The government objects (April 7) but the Fourth Circuit allows leave to file (April 9).


"At what point in time must exculpatory materials be disclosed to the defense in a criminal proceeding?"   -Brian Murtagh, MacDonald Prosecutor

In 1975, immediately following Jeff MacDonald's indictment by a grand jury, attorney Bernard Segal set about trying to gain all the information he could about the Justice Department's "evidence" against the man who had been exonerated and honorably discharged by another branch of our government, the U.S. Army.

After many requests to lab-test the evidence, followed by many refusals, Segal received a letter from Dr. Thornton warning him that the prosecution's stalling tactics suggested that the government was hiding something.

Segal sent Thornton's letter to Judge Dupree in his next request.  "Then, at the last minute," Segal said, "Murtagh finally agreed to allow lab testing, but then Dupree immediately proceeded to hamstring us with prohibitions which in the end, made it impossible, only days before the trial, to lab-test anything, except a few swatches of material, which were too old to test successfully for blood type anyway.  And they knew it.  They still weren't giving us the hand-written lab notes."

Segal continued, "Then, only a few days before the trial, Murtagh finally let us see the evidence.  They stacked it up in a holding cell, not a laboratory, and said 'Okay, now come see the evidence, but, hey, remember guys, you can look at it, but you can't test anything.'  After fighting for four years, Dr. Thornton actually was only allowed a tour through the cell to look at stuff in stacks upon stacks of boxes.  There wasn't even any way to catalog it."

FOIA records reveal that sometime during the period before trial, Murtagh had one of his law clerks, Jeffrey S. Puretz, research certain questions concerning a prosecutor's "discovery" obligations.  One question Murtagh posed read this way:  "At what point in time must exculpatory materials be disclosed to the defense in a criminal proceeding?"  Puretz indicated that the prosecution could avoid penalty in cases where evidence is expected to be challenged as exculpatory, and as having been withheld, if the prosecution proves the defense had "opportunity" to examine the evidence.  The defense then loses its right to charge the prosecution with suppressing evidence.  The course of later events indicates that Murtagh "successfully" hid exculpatory evidence, proving Dr. MacDonald's actual innocence, by following the suggestions of his law clerk.

Murtagh's continual attempts to hide or manipulate the truth are well documented:

Murtagh failed to report, or turn over to the defense, any record of Helena Stoeckley confessing to him in a secret pre-trial meeting.  In a bench conference during the ninth day of trial, Murtagh told Judge Dupree that he himself had once interviewed Stoeckley, and that she had tried to confess to him.

Grand Jury witnesses changed their testimony after meeting with Murtagh. 1974 Grand Jury hearing witness Pamela Kalin, MacDonald neighbor and sometime baby-sitter, denied any positive recognition of the ice pick or knives used in the murders as belonging to the MacDonalds, and was excused.  Brian Murtagh met with her, and when the Grand Jury reconvened, she was recalled, and suddenly remembered the ice pick.

Murtagh limited the scope of expert witnesses' testimony to suppress exculpatory lab findings. Janice Glisson, the CID lab technician who examined both the blonde synthetic hair found in a hair brush (noting it was wig hair), as well as a brown human hair found in Colette's hand (which she compared to hair taken from Dr. MacDonald and noted that it did not match) was brought to the stand, qualified by Murtagh as an expert in blood analysis,and questioned only about blood.  By limiting her testimony to blood analysis, Murtagh prevented cross examination by Segal that might have exposed her work with the hair and fiber evidence.

Murtagh overstated expert witness Paul Stombaugh's credentials.  "I know he has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry, I believe from the University of North Carolina," Murtagh stated at a bench conference.  Stombaugh actually had one year of Chemistry at Furman University, and received a minimal grade.  This was only one of several false statements made by Murtagh about witnesses and their expertise.

Murtagh failed to share requested copies of lab notes.  He requested two copies of each lab note in the CID's files, stating "One copy will be for eventual release to defense counsel." Despite this written promise, at no time did he give any of these notes to the defense either before, during, or after trial.  In fact, when asked for them repeatedly and officially, he refused to turn them over, and was protected by Dupree's failure to rule that he share them with the defense.  (Dupree took Murtagh's word that none of the notes requested contained Brady material {information of value to the defense}, or in any way were misrepresented by the typed summaries given to the defense.  Of course, the defense now knows that the official typed laboratory reports omitted all but a few key items of evidence supporting MacDonald's claims.)

Other Examples of Misconduct

Perjury by FBI Agent James M. Reed

In early 1984, lead defense counsel Brian O'Neill asked Dr. Ronald Wright,  Broward County, Florida, Medical Examiner, to study the government investigators' recently released crime scene reports and autopsy photos.  Dr. Wright reported in an affidavit that "...the blow which fractured Colette MacDonald's skull was struck with a club that was swung in a left-handed swing, by a person facing Mrs. MacDonald at the time she was standing.  As the blow was very forceful, I have concluded that it is consistent with someone who was left-handed."  Jeffrey MacDonald is right-handed. O'Neill included Dr. Wright's affidavit in his 1984 appeal papers.

During oral arguments, O'Neill learned that FBI agent James M. Reed had visited Dr. Wright, and that agent Reed had written an affidavit saying that Dr. Wright had "retracted" his statement.  This dealt a devastating blow to O'Neill's efforts.

Five years later, O'Neill learned that Dr.Wright had never retracted his findings as the government claimed.  In a declaration signed 10/24/89, Wright emphatically stated, "At no time, and to no one, including Special Agent of the FBI, James M. Reed, have I ever recanted my declaration of February 15, 1984."

Federal Posse Comitatus Act

In the fall of 1970, the CID began to pursue MacDonald after his discharge from the Army, despite the statutes of the Posse Comitatus Act, which make it illegal for military authorities to investigate a civilian.

 In December, 1973, the Assistant Attorney General, Henry Peterson, wrote to the CID stating that his office would not prosecute MacDonald, due to the exculpatory nature of some of the evidence, but invited the CID to continue its (illegal) investigations, and to feel free to inform him of any relevant information.

Pre-trial, Dupree wrote to the prosecution: "Let me know immediately when Segal responds to your letter (of May 11), and I will be prepared to rule on his motion."

Earlier, Dupree advised Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Stroud about what he "should do" to proceed towards the MacDonald trial.

The defense was not notified of these communications between the judge and prosecution during trial.  They were discovered  post-trial through FOIA releases.


KENNETH MICA:    First Military Police Officer at the crime scene, reported seeing a woman matching Helena Stoeckley's description standing in the rain on a corner a few blocks from the house at 5:30 A.M. He was told not to mention this sighting to the defense.

PRINCE BEASLEY:    Fayetteville Police Detective who identified Helena Stoeckley in February, 1970, as fitting the description of one of the intruders.  Stoeckley alluded to her involvement in the murders within days of the homicide.

WILLIAM IVORY:   Lead CID investigator at the crime scene, arriving after some 22 unidentified people had wandered through the crime scene.  At that time, household items, appliances, and  the bodies of Colette, Kimberley and Kristen had been moved. Phones and other items in the apartment had been wiped clean before fingerprints could be taken.  Ivory withheld knowledge of Helena Stoeckley and her friends, all of whom were known drug abusers.

COLONEL WARREN V. ROCK:    Presiding officer at the Article 32 hearing in 1970.  He ruled that the charges against MacDonald were "not true", and recommended that civilian authorities investigate Helena Stoeckley as to her possible role in the murders.

JUDGE FRANKLIN DUPREE:    Specifically asked to preside over the MacDonald case, and was the father-in-law of one of the original prosecutors, James Proctor.  He handled the case from its inception until the 1990 appeals were denied.  He ruled against MacDonald at trial on all 28 evidentiary motions made by the defense.

JUDGE JAMES C. FOX:    United States District Court Judge who has overseen proceeding in the MacDonald case since Judge Dupree's death.

JAMES REYNOLDS:    Current Chief of the Department of Justice Violent Crimes Division (Brian Murtagh's superior).

MICHAEL BROMWICH:    Former Department of Justice Inspector General.  He concluded in 1997, as Inspector General,  that, in his investigation of the FBI lab scandal, FBI expert Michael Malone had "mistestified" in the Alcee Hastings case.  He was not informed by his staff, directed to inform him of any cases in which Malone had testified, that the MacDonald case was one of them.  He learned this after his investigation concluded, through Laurie Cohen's front page story in The Wall Street Journal.

HENRY PETERSON: Assistant Attorney General in 1974, he stated that the Department of Justice would not indict MacDonald "due to the exculpatory nature of some of the evidence".  He invited the CID to continue their (illegal) investigation of MacDonald. 

PAUL STOMBAUGH:    Former head of the FBI lab's chemistry section, he  testified at trial as an expert in fabric impressions.  The defense questioned his credentials, but the judge allowed him as an expert, despite lack of documentation to support his claims.  He provided incomplete testimony as to his own findings at trial.  Upon retirement, he confiscated  MacDonald case lab notes and crime scene photographs.

JANICE GLISSON:    Army CID hair and fibers examiner, she identified blonde synthetic wig hairs, as well as hairs not sourced to anyone known to be in the MacDonald household.  She wrote in her notes: "This is not going to be reported by me". Her hair and fiber examinations were never reported to the defense; she testified at trial only as a serologist (blood expert).

MICHAEL MALONE:    FBI agent, formerly working in the Hair and Fiber unit at the FBI Lab, who was excoriated in Michael Bromwich's 1997 OIG Report for having falsified testimony in the Alcee Hastings case.  He was also exposed by the Wall Street Journal, in an investigative article, for presenting tainted testimony in a series of other cases.  His conclusions in the MacDonald case were attacked by witnesses, experts and the defense as being false science. In the fall of 2003, a judge in a separate case overturned a conviction and freed a man whose imprisonment was based on false testimony by Michael Malone.

BRIAN MURTAGH:   Assistant U.S. Attorney who initially worked for the CID. He left the CID to specifically focus on the MacDonald case.  Responsible for suppressing most of the handwritten lab documents.  He personally wrote a letter to the FBI, asking them not to release FOIA documents to the defense.

JAMES PROCTOR:    Assistant U.S. Attorney, son-in-law of Judge Dupree.  Lobbied the Department of Justice to indict MacDonald, even though the FBI and DOJ cited lack of evidence, and that the evidence they had was exculpatory (helpful to the defense.)

VICTOR WORHEIDE:    Grand Jury Prosecutor in 1974-75.  Died pre-trial.

JAMES BLACKBURN:    Assistant U.S. Attorney and Murtagh's co-prosecutor at trial.  He became a U.S. Attorney after winning MacDonald's conviction. He was later disbarred and convicted of fraud (manufacturing evidence), forging judges' signatures, and theft, while in private practice. He served three months of a seven year sentence in federal prison.

JIMMY B. BRITT:   Former United States Marshal, assigned to escort Helena Stoeckley to the trial in 1979. In 2005, Mr. Britt came forward and provided a sworn affidavit stating that he witnessed Helena Stoeckley telling former prosecutor James Blackburn in his office that she was present during the murders, and then heard Blackburn threaten her with prosecution for first degree murder if she admitted her involvement to the jury. Later, on the stand, Stoeckley denied any recollection of being in the MacDonald apartment. Mr. Britt died after a long illness in late October of 2008.

JAY STROUD:    Grand Jury Prosecutor, later accused of coercing testimony with offers of gifts and jobs, and manipulating witnesses in the Wilmington 10 case. He left the federal prosecutor's office due to allegations of being involved in illegal activities.

HART MILES: :    A sole practitioner of criminal law in Raleigh, NC, Hart joined the defense in 2005 and is currently co-counsel.

JOE ZESZOTARKSI:    A seasoned federal appellate attorney in Raleigh, NC, Joe joined Hart Miles as co-counsel in 2008 to assist in the preparation of the defense's appeal to the 4th Circuit.

TIM JUNKIN:    Former Lead Counsel for Jeff MacDonald, Tim Junkin is a former public defender, and highly regarded criminal defense attorney and author. He and his law partner, JOHN MOFFETT, took on the case in the fall of 2004. Mr. Junkin retired from his law practice in 2008 to form a non-profit organization with the goal of restoring the health of the Choptank River on the Eastern Shore of his native Maryland.

WADE SMITH:   One of the most prominent defense attorneys in North Carolina, Wade Smith was co-counsel at Jeff MacDonald's trial in 1979, and remained as an appeals attorney on the case throughout the years that followed until 2005.

ANDREW GOOD:    Attorney for the defense, worked pro bono as partner in the firm of Good&Cormier. Prominent civil libertarian and active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

PHILIP CORMIER:    Partner in the firm of Good&Cormier.  Mr. Cormier had also worked pro bono on the case since 1989.  He has worked directly with the lab and prosecution towards a resolution of the case via the pending DNA tests.

HARVEY SILVERGLATE:   Former lead counsel for Jeff MacDonald (1990's), now of counsel to Good&Cormier. Harvey Silverglate is a noted civil libertarian and writer, focusing on free speech issues. He is the author of "The Shadow University".

BARRY SCHECK:    DNA expert and attorney who, with Peter Neufeld, originated The Innocence Project, which has freed over 100 people, most from Death Row, after proving them wrongly convicted and factually innocent, through DNA testing.  Mr. Scheck consults on all DNA issues in the MacDonald case, on a pro bono basis.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ:    Co-counsel in 1990 and 1992 appeals, and noted criminal defense and constitutional appeals attorney, advisor to defense team.

BERNARD SEGAL:    Former lead counsel and trial lawyer (1970-1982).  He made most of the initial requests for FBI and CID lab notes to Murtagh and Judge Dupree.

BRIAN O'NEILL:    Lead counsel in 1983-84 appeals, former chief of special prosecutors in Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's office.  

TONY BISCEGLIE:  Defense FOIA attorney who has worked since the 1980's to uncover the suppressed documents in government files.

FRED BOST:    Former Sergeant Major, Green Beret and decorated Vietnam war veteran, investigator and co-author of Fatal Justice, a book documenting the MacDonald case.  With Jerry Potter, he spent over 10 years obtaining FOIA documents never disclosed to the defense.  He has also uncovered several important case witnesses in his field work.

JERRY POTTER:    Co-authored Fatal Justice after 10 years of research, and helped uncover several previously unknown  witnesses and leads in the case. Regrettably, Jerry passed away in June of 2004.

TED GUNDERSON:    Former private investigator for the defense, former Special Agent in charge of the Los Angeles FBI office.  He obtained a confession from Helena Stoeckley, and is known also for his work in covering satanic cults. 

RAY SHEA:   Originated the tax-exempt foundation to assist in defense funding of DNA experts, and has worked since 1979 on a variety of defense issues.

EDWARD BLAKE:   Noted forensic expert assisting defense in DNA and related investigations.  World-renowned scientist involved in crime scene investigations of many prominent cases.

DR. TERRY MELTON:    DNA expert who owns and operates one of the few world-wide labs which can test mitochondrial DNA.

DR. RONALD WRIGHT:    Broward County, Florida, Medical Examiner who determined that blows inflicted on the victims were wielded by a left-handed assailant.  Greg Mitchell, Helena Stoeckley's boyfriend was left-handed.

HELENA STOECKLEY:    Matched Dr. MacDonald's description, had no alibi for the time of the murders, and admitted to burning her floppy hat, boots and clothing because they might incriminate her.  In the years before her death, she confessed at least three times in written and videotaped form.  She had intimate knowledge of the crime scene, and when she failed to get immunity, she disavowed any knowledge of her actions during the hours in question.  At trial, the Judge deemed her testimony "unreliable" because she was a known drug abuser. She claimed to have participated in a satanic cult, and threatened to "blow the lid off Fort Bragg".  She died within days of a visit from the FBI,  in 1983. In 2008, Helena's mother provided a sworn affidavit to the defense stating that her daughter had confessed to her that she was indeed involved in the MacDonald murders.

GREG MITCHELL:   Also confessed numerous times to friends and family.  Left-handed and brown-haired, he died in 1982.  His girlfriend, Helena Stoeckley, claimed Mitchell was responsible for the assault on Colette. In the years ensuing since 2000, three witnesses came forward individually to divulge their sworn statements regarding Mitchell's admissions to having committed the murders.

CATHY PERRY WILLIAMS:    Known friend of Stoeckley, she confessed to taking part in the murders, but gave a slightly different version of events to investigators.  She began medical treatment for a psychotic condition shortly after the murders.


Jeffrey MacDonald passed two polygraph tests, one of them administered by one of the top professionals in this field, Dr. David Raskin.  The results were then presented "blindly" (name of person being tested not given) to two other experts, who corroborated Dr. Raskin's findings of "no deception". Helena Stoeckley's polygraph indicated that she was deceptive when she denied involvement in the murders.  She later took a polygraph, confessing her presence during the murders, which indicated "no deception".

Two independent coroners have gone on the record stating that some of the injuries on the victims are consistent with a left-handed attacker.  Dr. MacDonald is right-handed.  Greg Mitchell, who confessed to the crimes to numerous friends and clergy, was left-handed.

The government possessed skin found underneath Colette MacDonald's fingernail, and then "lost" this crucial evidence.  

More than 20  people wandered through the crime scene on the morning following the murders, including an unidentified man in jeans and a t-shirt, who was allowed to sit on the sofa.

One witness reported seeing three people in sheets near the MacDonald building around midnight on the night of the murders.  Two other witnesses, independent of each other, heard a group of people going toward the building around 2 A.M., and retreating in the other direction some time later.

William Ivory, a man in his early 20's and lead investigator for the CID, had never investigated a murder prior to the MacDonald case.  At trial, he testified that his work was as a narcotics officer.

Three of the prosecutors in the MacDonald case were subsequently disgraced and/or disbarred for misconduct and such crimes as forging signatures, embezzling and changing court documents.

Helena Stoeckley identified and described items within the MacDonald home in great detail, including a jewelry box found in the master bedroom, and a broken rocking horse in one of the children's rooms.

An unidentified fingerprint from an adult, either the small finger of a man, or from a woman, was found on an empty glass that contained residual of chocolate milk.  The CID attempted to identify the print against comparisons of family members, friends, and investigators known to have been in the apartment, but failed.  Later, the print was among those compared by the FBI to collected prints from 125 various people.  The print remains unidentified.

A man named Jimmy Friar stated that he was connected to the "wrong" Dr. MacDonald (there were two on post) during the timeframe of the murders, and told authorities the phone was answered by a woman who laughed when he asked to speak to Dr. MacDonald.  He then he heard a man's voice say "Hang up the goddamn phone!"  Later, Helena Stoeckley gave a similar account of answering the  phone call made by Friar.