Jeffrey MacDonald /// 464 /// 465

41 comments

  • LAW
    LAW Way out there
    I must concur, my cohorts have always labeled me as a hippie- but born too late in 1984- and I have always and still wear my dad’s camo that he brought home from Vietnam in ‘69.

    I must concur, my cohorts have always labeled me as a hippie- but born too late in 1984- and I have always and still wear my dad’s camo that he brought home from Vietnam in ‘69.

  • Slatts McCracker
    Slatts McCracker Sydney, Aus
    There’s a lot of Charles Erickson about Helena Stoekley. And - I listen to OTR BECAUSE I’m nasty Cheers

    There’s a lot of Charles Erickson about Helena Stoekley.

    And - I listen to OTR BECAUSE I’m nasty

    Cheers

  • Laurie
    Laurie MI
    The Staircase Murders were done by Michael Peterson. Scott Peterson killed his wife and unborn baby. Love listening to you guys...lots of information and some humor thrown in for good measure.😊👍

    The Staircase Murders were done by Michael Peterson. Scott Peterson killed his wife and unborn baby.

    Love listening to you guys...lots of information and some humor thrown in for good measure.😊👍

  • Uncut Jib
    Uncut Jib Unknown Part
    Re: army jackets and "hippies". I went through a hippie phase (read: pot smoking rebelliousness) in junior highschool in the early '80s, and took to wearing an old Army jacket bought at a thrift store. It was a throwback look, compared to the Izod polo shirts and Docksiders that were in fashion at that time. Not a true "hippie" of the late 60s/early 70s era of course...but I think that particular fashion choice was a thing then, and carried forward into the decade(s) that followed.

    Re: army jackets and "hippies".

    I went through a hippie phase (read: pot smoking rebelliousness) in junior highschool in the early '80s, and took to wearing an old Army jacket bought at a thrift store. It was a throwback look, compared to the Izod polo shirts and Docksiders that were in fashion at that time. Not a true "hippie" of the late 60s/early 70s era of course...but I think that particular fashion choice was a thing then, and carried forward into the decade(s) that followed.

  •  Jordan
    Jordan
    The biggest hole in this case from Helena (aka floppy hat lady) is that she "can't remember anything that happened that night," yet she can remember saying the phrases that Jeffrey told the police the female intruder said. Like Nic said, there's only one option. Also Jeffrey's description of the woman is the quintessential "60's/70's flower child" cliché. Not too much creativity required to describe the common dress and overall look of many young (white) women during that time period. Bravo to the in-laws for standing up for their daughter and granddaughters when Jeffrey would not. Great coverage on the case, guys!

    The biggest hole in this case from Helena (aka floppy hat lady) is that she "can't remember anything that happened that night," yet she can remember saying the phrases that Jeffrey told the police the female intruder said. Like Nic said, there's only one option.

    Also Jeffrey's description of the woman is the quintessential "60's/70's flower child" cliché. Not too much creativity required to describe the common dress and overall look of many young (white) women during that time period.

    Bravo to the in-laws for standing up for their daughter and granddaughters when Jeffrey would not.

    Great coverage on the case, guys!

  • Janis
    Janis Michigan
    I don't usually take the time to comment on the episodes you guys do but I am making an exception in this case because I have waited SOOO LONG for you to cover this one! I have been obsessed with this case since I read Joe McGinnis' book. THANK YOU for doing such an excellent job in your research and really just nailing it perfectly. I was a bit nervous at first I wasn't sure what side you were going to come down on but IMO you got it EXACTLY right! It still surprises me that so many people actually believe his story. It's really not that difficult, the physical evidence does not lie but people do and his story just NEVER matched any of the physical evidence. The hair clutched in Colette's hand that turned out to be Jeffery McDonalds just sealed it for me. Also, thank GOD for Freddie Kassab or he would likely have gotten away with it. Very well done guys - cheers!

    I don't usually take the time to comment on the episodes you guys do but I am making an exception in this case because I have waited SOOO LONG for you to cover this one! I have been obsessed with this case since I read Joe McGinnis' book. THANK YOU for doing such an excellent job in your research and really just nailing it perfectly. I was a bit nervous at first I wasn't sure what side you were going to come down on but IMO you got it EXACTLY right! It still surprises me that so many people actually believe his story. It's really not that difficult, the physical evidence does not lie but people do and his story just NEVER matched any of the physical evidence. The hair clutched in Colette's hand that turned out to be Jeffery McDonalds just sealed it for me. Also, thank GOD for Freddie Kassab or he would likely have gotten away with it. Very well done guys - cheers!

  • Bee
    Bee Sydney
    Imagine if all the t&$ spent on this massive kartoffelkopf with his ludicrous imaginings had been directed towards freeing the really wrongfully convicted. What a crazy world that would be. Her poor father initially supporting his SIL, coz he wasn't wise to the false persona of the Cluster B narc. Also, it's such an unimaginable crime. 💙 Love to this fine lady and her adorable girls. 💙

    Imagine if all the t&$ spent on this massive kartoffelkopf with his ludicrous imaginings had been directed towards freeing the really wrongfully convicted. What a crazy world that would be.

    Her poor father initially supporting his SIL, coz he wasn't wise to the false persona of the Cluster B narc. Also, it's such an unimaginable crime. 💙 Love to this fine lady and her adorable girls. 💙

  • Daniel C
    Daniel C Fargo, ND
    Very good analysis, Nic. Recognizing a binary situation can really help clarify things. I was leaning guilty from the outset. What clinched it beyond any doubt was his story about secretly tracking down and killing exactly one of the 3 male hippies. What? What? Guilty as Hell. Like Adnan, this asshole gives himself away with behavior absolutely no innocent man would ever exhibit.

    Very good analysis, Nic. Recognizing a binary situation can really help clarify things.

    I was leaning guilty from the outset. What clinched it beyond any doubt was his story about secretly tracking down and killing exactly one of the 3 male hippies.

    What? What?

    Guilty as Hell.

    Like Adnan, this asshole gives himself away with behavior absolutely no innocent man would ever exhibit.

  • Robyn
    Robyn It's warmer here
    I think you mashed/mixed up Scott Peterson (The Turtle) with Michael Peterson on Part One of this case when you were discussing the phone call.... I'm sure you remember now 👍🏻 Though they are both equal flaming bags of shit.

    I think you mashed/mixed up Scott Peterson (The Turtle) with Michael Peterson on Part One of this case when you were discussing the phone call.... I'm sure you remember now 👍🏻 Though they are both equal flaming bags of shit.

  • RACHEL
    RACHEL O-H-I-O
    So I also believe he is guilty. But I don't think the contradictory pieces are necessarily contradictory. Maybe he saw floppy hat girl out with her pals when he was leaving the hospital. Maybe since he was such a cheating dirtbag shmuck he propositioned her and gave her his address. Maybe he assumed his wife would be sleeping when she came over and they would spend time in the living room being terrible awful people together while his family slept rooms away. And maybe his wife woke up and that's what started the whole thing. The girl was too strung out on drugs to make heads or tails of it but she was definitely there and witnessed something. I know that's a whole lot of maybe's but I am just trying to illustrate that I don't think that things that seem contradictory on the surface necessarily are. I think connections can exist and just not be obvious, and sometimes the only reason we don't see them is because of personal or confirmation bias. We dismiss them as improbable because we cannot conceive personally doing such a thing, but it doesn't mean another human being wouldn't. Also, this totally reminded me of the Michael Peterson case, and I also believe him to be guilty, and I think their alibis are contrived from the most closely related experience they can draw from in that moment of panic when their amygdala is in charge. For Michael, he drew on knowing his friend died from falling down a staircase. For this dude, it was the article he had read in Esquire. At the end of the day, if a man wants to be a philanderer with a wandering shmekel, just walk away from your family and dont be a murdering tool. Just be a regular tool. People like this make me angry, and literally hardly anything makes me angry :(

    So I also believe he is guilty. But I don't think the contradictory pieces are necessarily contradictory. Maybe he saw floppy hat girl out with her pals when he was leaving the hospital. Maybe since he was such a cheating dirtbag shmuck he propositioned her and gave her his address. Maybe he assumed his wife would be sleeping when she came over and they would spend time in the living room being terrible awful people together while his family slept rooms away. And maybe his wife woke up and that's what started the whole thing. The girl was too strung out on drugs to make heads or tails of it but she was definitely there and witnessed something. I know that's a whole lot of maybe's but I am just trying to illustrate that I don't think that things that seem contradictory on the surface necessarily are. I think connections can exist and just not be obvious, and sometimes the only reason we don't see them is because of personal or confirmation bias. We dismiss them as improbable because we cannot conceive personally doing such a thing, but it doesn't mean another human being wouldn't. Also, this totally reminded me of the Michael Peterson case, and I also believe him to be guilty, and I think their alibis are contrived from the most closely related experience they can draw from in that moment of panic when their amygdala is in charge. For Michael, he drew on knowing his friend died from falling down a staircase. For this dude, it was the article he had read in Esquire. At the end of the day, if a man wants to be a philanderer with a wandering shmekel, just walk away from your family and dont be a murdering tool. Just be a regular tool. People like this make me angry, and literally hardly anything makes me angry frown

  • Cookie
    Cookie Topeka
    I know it seems obvious he murdered them but I have had a feeling, intuition maybe, that he did not kill them. Some SF guys did some crazy crap like method actors, watching faces death, going and doing things that would desensitize themselves, Jason Bourne stuff. The idea was can you live a dual life for the cause. It is possible he wanted to go into a darker place killing then but I still think he didn’t do it yet I have no plausible explanation . I’ll take a listen.

    I know it seems obvious he murdered them but I have had a feeling, intuition maybe, that he did not kill them.

    Some SF guys did some crazy crap like method actors, watching faces death, going and doing things that would desensitize themselves, Jason Bourne stuff. The idea was can you live a dual life for the cause.

    It is possible he wanted to go into a darker place killing then but I still think he didn’t do it yet I have no plausible explanation . I’ll take a listen.

  • Lynette
    Lynette TN
    If you have HULU, there is a docuseries on there about this case called A Wilderness of Error. I love this case, my brother and I discuss it often. I am so glad you covered it this week, I never get tired of this case. I think that he is most likely guilty, but there are a couple of things that I question. Great job guys as always, this is my favorite podcast!!

    If you have HULU, there is a docuseries on there about this case called A Wilderness of Error. I love this case, my brother and I discuss it often. I am so glad you covered it this week, I never get tired of this case. I think that he is most likely guilty, but there are a couple of things that I question. Great job guys as always, this is my favorite podcast!!

  • Cookie
    Cookie Topeka
    After listening The investigation hopefully started on post, these suspects if real could be dependents living on base not ravaging off base hippies His story is just off. The weapons used the altering the record, dramatic crime scene, all points to Dr. MacDonald. Everything points to him as the killer. Interesting case that makes you feel like it’s not him but the evidence makes you think who else but him.

    After listening
    The investigation hopefully started on post, these suspects if real could be dependents living on base not ravaging off base hippies

    His story is just off. The weapons used the altering the record, dramatic crime scene, all points to Dr. MacDonald. Everything points to him as the killer.

    Interesting case that makes you feel like it’s not him but the evidence makes you think who else but him.

  • Cookie
    Cookie Topeka
    Sorry I keep commenting . This is the first cold case I remember looking into; here is a question from my co worker, did the doctor place his daughter in her bed wet or did he change her into dry clothes? But yes I have to think he did it because of his actions afterwards.

    Sorry I keep commenting . This is the first cold case I remember looking into; here is a question from my co worker, did the doctor place his daughter in her bed wet or did he change her into dry clothes?

    But yes I have to think he did it because of his actions afterwards.

  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth Uruguay
    Nick and Captain, hi and, as always, thank you for your work: tireless, entertaining, thought-provoking. What a case this is. I was really puzzled when it came to everything surrounding that woman who admitted to being at the crime scene. How was that not further investigated ? They should have found the guys she claimed were with her and more. That said, I understand there was a lot of incriminating evidence against the Dr. One thing caught my attention in regards to the position the children where found after he claimed to have administered PCR: not so much that they were sideways but that they were on their beds, if I understood correctly . I imagine the guidelines weren’t too different then and now, I’m not sure, but definitely these days you are supposed to administer PCR on a flat, HARD surface as, otherwise, it sort of absorbs the pressure you apply and it kinda defeats the purpose. I would have thought they’d been moved onto the floor to administer it.... Keep up the great work!

    Nick and Captain, hi and, as always, thank you for your work: tireless, entertaining, thought-provoking.
    What a case this is. I was really puzzled when it came to everything surrounding that woman who admitted to being at the crime scene. How was that not further investigated ? They should have found the guys she claimed were with her and more.
    That said, I understand there was a lot of incriminating evidence against the Dr.
    One thing caught my attention in regards to the position the children where found after he claimed to have administered PCR: not so much that they were sideways but that they were on their beds, if I understood correctly . I imagine the guidelines weren’t too different then and now, I’m not sure, but definitely these days you are supposed to administer PCR on a flat, HARD surface as, otherwise, it sort of absorbs the pressure you apply and it kinda defeats the purpose. I would have thought they’d been moved onto the floor to administer it....
    Keep up the great work!

  • Jeff
    Jeff GA
    So the Captain completely lost perspective. The number of Barbie dolls those girls had would be significantly less in 1970. Trying to explain the synthetic hair away with Barbies and My Lil Ponys is forcing a square peg in a round hole. The hair def did not come from a my lil pony since they did not exist in 1970.

    So the Captain completely lost perspective. The number of Barbie dolls those girls had would be significantly less in 1970. Trying to explain the synthetic hair away with Barbies and My Lil Ponys is forcing a square peg in a round hole. The hair def did not come from a my lil pony since they did not exist in 1970.

  • James
    James Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Liked the Clutch lyrics at the beginning of the show Captain! : )

    Liked the Clutch lyrics at the beginning of the show Captain! : )

  • Stoeckley's Ghost
    Stoeckley's Ghost Parts Unknown
    I've never understood how people can get so sidetracked because of Helena "Red Herring" Stoeckley. If you actually listen to what happened from the MP who was one of the first people to talk to MacDonald you realize how "the girl in the floppy hat" came to be part of this story. The MP provided those details for MacDonald. "It was hippies" (or acid heads or however he described them in whichever version of his story we're going with) MacDonald tells the MP, a couple dudes and a girl. Well, the MP had just seen a girl in a floppy hat with white boots out in the rain before arriving on the scene. So, with these details on his mind, he asks MacDonald if the girl had white boots and a floppy hat. Of course MacDonald says yes and jumps on this, just as he jumps on every other opportunity to try to make himself sound innocent. Boom. There you have it. Zero mystery there. Then, enter Prince Beasley. This is one of those CAREER MAKING cases and Prince Beasley, youse is a Career POS (said in captain voice). Helena Stoeckley is Beasley's go-to informant. As in, rather than do actual police work (such a drag, Prince, we get it) the way Beasley worked was to track down Helena, feed her info, and then use her regurgitated story to put people away. He even brags about how she'd do pretty much anything he says. She's an at risk, vulnerable, drug addled girl with a poor grasp on reality that he regularly exploits to further his own career. Makes total sense that if there are "hippies" and a girl involved in this crime that he would make a bee-line for her and get in on the action. Prince is all ready to be the hero that cracked the case. The info fed to Stoeckley came right from Beasley. Based on friends of Stoeckley's and people who saw her when she came home, he'd already found her and had a "talk" with her before things were in the paper. It's important to remember that no version of the stories she's told, untold, and retold over the years even matched the version(s) MacDonald claims happened and the rest of the time she says she wasn't there or doesn't remember. Stoeckley and her drug addicted hippy friends must have had some really amazing LSD. It magically elevated them into criminal masterminds who knew that good ol' Jeff had an issue of a magazine in his house all about the Manson murders complete with blood smears inside of it, almost like someone who was wearing bloody gloves was referencing the Manson article in there when staging the scene. Or, I guess the hippies that were also Manson Copycats did that, too, right? Suuuurrreeee. Glad that while they were high on LSD and filled with rage against The Man and an urge to kill that they didn't bother to bring any weapons with them. And picked a military base as the place they'd most likely be able to get away with this (open or closed, it's still a military base, Nic, love ya, buddy!!). Okay... so weaponless, murderous hippies are lucky and smart just long enough to sneak in, grab weapons from around the house, carefully wound MacDonald in what one might call a "surgical" fashion (missing any vital areas and in complete opposition to the overkill our victims received), then take all their rage against The Man out on... a pregnant woman and her daughters?? And then they're with it enough to wear a glove when smearing blood onto the headboard, then sneak off into the darkness (covered in blood and leaving no forensics again) or anyone seeing any of them (the MP who saw the girl in the floppy hat said it wasn't Stoeckley he saw), with the only evidence left behind pointing to MacDonald? *applause* Damn, that's good acid! Or, is it more likely that a surgeon who was regularly cheating on his pregnant wife, wanted a different life for himself, lies like it's his job, and is taking a ton of speed at the time (!!!!) lost control during an argument, reached down beside the bed and grabbed the loose beam, attacked his wife in a fit of blind rage, then accidentally hit his daughter when she came in to see WTF was happening to mommy and had to "finish" the job? Gee, we sure have a lot of forensics showing where everyone in the family was and where they went thanks to everyone having a different blood type. Including MacDonald leaving blood at the bathroom sink when he wounds himself, leaving blood behind when retrieving the surgical glove, trails of blood as the daughter is carried back to her room and Collette goes into said room trying to protect her daughter, etc. etc. ETC no one wants a recap of the mountains of evidence against MacDonald. Like... I dunno. Him swearing the killer's hair is clutched in his wife's hand and DNA testing shows it's his hair? C'mon! TL;DR: It's extremely difficult to explain away everything that points to MacDonald and no effort at all to clarify and eliminate Stoeckley from having any involvement aside from being dragged into this by Prince Beasley. And yet some people are so in love with the "mystery" they bend over backwards and throw logic out the window trying to find ways to excuse Jeffrey MacDonald. I'm looking at you, Errol.

    I've never understood how people can get so sidetracked because of Helena "Red Herring" Stoeckley. If you actually listen to what happened from the MP who was one of the first people to talk to MacDonald you realize how "the girl in the floppy hat" came to be part of this story. The MP provided those details for MacDonald. "It was hippies" (or acid heads or however he described them in whichever version of his story we're going with) MacDonald tells the MP, a couple dudes and a girl. Well, the MP had just seen a girl in a floppy hat with white boots out in the rain before arriving on the scene. So, with these details on his mind, he asks MacDonald if the girl had white boots and a floppy hat. Of course MacDonald says yes and jumps on this, just as he jumps on every other opportunity to try to make himself sound innocent. Boom. There you have it. Zero mystery there.

    Then, enter Prince Beasley. This is one of those CAREER MAKING cases and Prince Beasley, youse is a Career POS (said in captain voice). Helena Stoeckley is Beasley's go-to informant. As in, rather than do actual police work (such a drag, Prince, we get it) the way Beasley worked was to track down Helena, feed her info, and then use her regurgitated story to put people away. He even brags about how she'd do pretty much anything he says. She's an at risk, vulnerable, drug addled girl with a poor grasp on reality that he regularly exploits to further his own career. Makes total sense that if there are "hippies" and a girl involved in this crime that he would make a bee-line for her and get in on the action. Prince is all ready to be the hero that cracked the case. The info fed to Stoeckley came right from Beasley. Based on friends of Stoeckley's and people who saw her when she came home, he'd already found her and had a "talk" with her before things were in the paper. It's important to remember that no version of the stories she's told, untold, and retold over the years even matched the version(s) MacDonald claims happened and the rest of the time she says she wasn't there or doesn't remember.

    Stoeckley and her drug addicted hippy friends must have had some really amazing LSD. It magically elevated them into criminal masterminds who knew that good ol' Jeff had an issue of a magazine in his house all about the Manson murders complete with blood smears inside of it, almost like someone who was wearing bloody gloves was referencing the Manson article in there when staging the scene. Or, I guess the hippies that were also Manson Copycats did that, too, right? Suuuurrreeee. Glad that while they were high on LSD and filled with rage against The Man and an urge to kill that they didn't bother to bring any weapons with them. And picked a military base as the place they'd most likely be able to get away with this (open or closed, it's still a military base, Nic, love ya, buddy!!). Okay... so weaponless, murderous hippies are lucky and smart just long enough to sneak in, grab weapons from around the house, carefully wound MacDonald in what one might call a "surgical" fashion (missing any vital areas and in complete opposition to the overkill our victims received), then take all their rage against The Man out on... a pregnant woman and her daughters?? And then they're with it enough to wear a glove when smearing blood onto the headboard, then sneak off into the darkness (covered in blood and leaving no forensics again) or anyone seeing any of them (the MP who saw the girl in the floppy hat said it wasn't Stoeckley he saw), with the only evidence left behind pointing to MacDonald? *applause* Damn, that's good acid!

    Or, is it more likely that a surgeon who was regularly cheating on his pregnant wife, wanted a different life for himself, lies like it's his job, and is taking a ton of speed at the time (!!!!) lost control during an argument, reached down beside the bed and grabbed the loose beam, attacked his wife in a fit of blind rage, then accidentally hit his daughter when she came in to see WTF was happening to mommy and had to "finish" the job? Gee, we sure have a lot of forensics showing where everyone in the family was and where they went thanks to everyone having a different blood type. Including MacDonald leaving blood at the bathroom sink when he wounds himself, leaving blood behind when retrieving the surgical glove, trails of blood as the daughter is carried back to her room and Collette goes into said room trying to protect her daughter, etc. etc. ETC no one wants a recap of the mountains of evidence against MacDonald. Like... I dunno. Him swearing the killer's hair is clutched in his wife's hand and DNA testing shows it's his hair? C'mon!

    TL;DR: It's extremely difficult to explain away everything that points to MacDonald and no effort at all to clarify and eliminate Stoeckley from having any involvement aside from being dragged into this by Prince Beasley. And yet some people are so in love with the "mystery" they bend over backwards and throw logic out the window trying to find ways to excuse Jeffrey MacDonald. I'm looking at you, Errol.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Burlington NC
    Oh wow...I’ve followed this case for decades (I live in NC) and you guys just changed my mind!!!! I always felt bad for him...but he is just a LYING PIECE OF SHITE!!!!

    Oh wow...I’ve followed this case for decades (I live in NC) and you guys just changed my mind!!!! I always felt bad for him...but he is just a LYING PIECE OF SHITE!!!!

  • Oregon Buckeye
    Oregon Buckeye Eugene
    Hey guys-- Good couple of shows. I agree that MacDonald is guilty as sin and there's not a doubt in my mind. He's a monster. He was taking weight-loss amphetamines at the time of the crime and not sleeping, pretty much almost a meth-fueled murder. You didn't touch on some of the more glaring pieces of evidence against him-- holes in his pajama shirt matching up perfectly with the ice pick and the holes in the wife's body, as he stabbed her through it. Also, the pocket of his pajama shirt was torn off and found underneath her AND her blood was on his pajama shirt where the pocket was missing (in other words, the pocket was torn off in the fight and then she bled on him.) My guess is that MacDonald and Colette got in an argument that turned physical-- either about the daughter wetting the bed or his infidelity; he hit or shoved her and she struck him with the hairbrush or something; he flew into a rage and beat her with the board, accidentally striking one of the girls as she came to see what the commotion was. After that, he needed to make sure everybody was dead and then invent some bullshit story based on something he read about in a magazine (and discussed with a friend.) It was cut and dried until junkie nutjob Helena Stoeckley got involved. On a side-note, I'm not sure if you're familiar with Errol Morris's book, Wilderness of Error, about this case. He goes after Joel McGinniss who did write the definitive true crime book about MacDonald and was involved with the defense (as you mentioned.) Morris is/was someone whose work I've enjoyed and appreciated in the past-- his documentaries The Thin Blue Line, Vernon Florida, and Tabloid were terrific-- but this book seems sketchy and thin on facts, very biased or mercenary as if he was casting around for an idea he could sell. It really makes me question some of the veracity of his earlier work. One of his complaints seems to be that McGinnis was very prejudiced against MacDonald and poisoned the public against him with his book (Fatal Vision). How was McGinnis supposed to act towards a man who he'd become convinced had murdered his pregnant wife and young children by beating them with a board? There is no true, objective way to see MacDonald as anything other than guilty of a heinous crime. ps. The captain is exactly right in his hypothesis that the artificial blonde hair was from a child's doll.

    Hey guys-- Good couple of shows. I agree that MacDonald is guilty as sin and there's not a doubt in my mind. He's a monster. He was taking weight-loss amphetamines at the time of the crime and not sleeping, pretty much almost a meth-fueled murder. You didn't touch on some of the more glaring pieces of evidence against him-- holes in his pajama shirt matching up perfectly with the ice pick and the holes in the wife's body, as he stabbed her through it. Also, the pocket of his pajama shirt was torn off and found underneath her AND her blood was on his pajama shirt where the pocket was missing (in other words, the pocket was torn off in the fight and then she bled on him.) My guess is that MacDonald and Colette got in an argument that turned physical-- either about the daughter wetting the bed or his infidelity; he hit or shoved her and she struck him with the hairbrush or something; he flew into a rage and beat her with the board, accidentally striking one of the girls as she came to see what the commotion was. After that, he needed to make sure everybody was dead and then invent some bullshit story based on something he read about in a magazine (and discussed with a friend.) It was cut and dried until junkie nutjob Helena Stoeckley got involved.

    On a side-note, I'm not sure if you're familiar with Errol Morris's book, Wilderness of Error, about this case. He goes after Joel McGinniss who did write the definitive true crime book about MacDonald and was involved with the defense (as you mentioned.) Morris is/was someone whose work I've enjoyed and appreciated in the past-- his documentaries The Thin Blue Line, Vernon Florida, and Tabloid were terrific-- but this book seems sketchy and thin on facts, very biased or mercenary as if he was casting around for an idea he could sell. It really makes me question some of the veracity of his earlier work. One of his complaints seems to be that McGinnis was very prejudiced against MacDonald and poisoned the public against him with his book (Fatal Vision). How was McGinnis supposed to act towards a man who he'd become convinced had murdered his pregnant wife and young children by beating them with a board?

    There is no true, objective way to see MacDonald as anything other than guilty of a heinous crime.

    ps. The captain is exactly right in his hypothesis that the artificial blonde hair was from a child's doll.

  • Natalie
    Natalie Oakland, CA
    The Staircase case is Michael Peterson... Scott Peterson killed Lacy :) between these two and Drew Peterson we can all probably agree no woman should marry a man named Peterson.

    The Staircase case is Michael Peterson... Scott Peterson killed Lacy smile between these two and Drew Peterson we can all probably agree no woman should marry a man named Peterson.

  • Been
    Been There
    Keep up the good work guys! Cap’n- Splinter was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ SENSEI, not father 😉

    Keep up the good work guys!
    Cap’n- Splinter was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ SENSEI, not father 😉

  • Brendan
    Brendan Florida
    This episode is so borjng.

    This episode is so borjng.

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    @ All, I was not saying no to the hippy idea because of the army shirt/jacket as that was and is a classic in that area. We didn’t go into it too much because it’s not really a make or break issue but I meant more of the physical description of the 3 males. Mostly clean cut. Not a lot of long hair, facial hair, tie dyed shirts, or earrings. Also I loved Errol Morris’ The thin blue line. Longtime listeners will know it’s one of my favorite true crime documentaries. I think it may be one of the best ever done. TCG fans should put this on their must watch list - it is brilliant. Errol has spent years reviewing this case and while he is much smarter than I, he remains undecided in this case. I was a little shocked but I fully respect someone who does not force themselves to pick a side or come to a conclusion. It truly is a sign of great intelligence. The problem with this case is that there is a lot of shit that just does not matter at all and confuses most. You have to break this one down to the very skeleton of the whole thing. It’s Jeff’s story, it’s the weapons and it’s the blood - the man is guilty as hell and he’s an f—-ing rat of the lowest kind. Cheers Nic

    @ All,
    I was not saying no to the hippy idea because of the army shirt/jacket as that was and is a classic in that area. We didn’t go into it too much because it’s not really a make or break issue but I meant more of the physical description of the 3 males. Mostly clean cut. Not a lot of long hair, facial hair, tie dyed shirts, or earrings.
    Also I loved Errol Morris’ The thin blue line. Longtime listeners will know it’s one of my favorite true crime documentaries. I think it may be one of the best ever done. TCG fans should put this on their must watch list - it is brilliant. Errol has spent years reviewing this case and while he is much smarter than I, he remains undecided in this case. I was a little shocked but I fully respect someone who does not force themselves to pick a side or come to a conclusion. It truly is a sign of great intelligence. The problem with this case is that there is a lot of shit that just does not matter at all and confuses most. You have to break this one down to the very skeleton of the whole thing. It’s Jeff’s story, it’s the weapons and it’s the blood - the man is guilty as hell and he’s an f—-ing rat of the lowest kind.
    Cheers Nic

  • Lady Gray
    Lady Gray New England
    Let me start be giving my opinion - I believe Jeff to be guilty AF. I am really curious to this one thing I didn't hear mentioned which I would think could make or break the whole is he or isn't he guilty - What about his WOUND/INJURIES? He was stabbed and this stab wound punctured his lung...Ok. Was it ever looked into (I'm sure it was) further. Was it possible Jeff could have stabbed himself? Was it impossible for the stabbing to be inflicted by himself due to the angle or location, etc.

    Let me start be giving my opinion - I believe Jeff to be guilty AF.
    I am really curious to this one thing I didn't hear mentioned which I would think could make or break the whole is he or isn't he guilty - What about his WOUND/INJURIES?
    He was stabbed and this stab wound punctured his lung...Ok. Was it ever looked into (I'm sure it was) further. Was it possible Jeff could have stabbed himself? Was it impossible for the stabbing to be inflicted by himself due to the angle or location, etc.

  • Nancy
    Nancy Michigan
    I’m not sure I’ll listen to TCG anymore. They got several things wrong about the MacDonald case—“PIG” was written in Colette’s blood on the headboard (not the wall), and he wasn’t stabbed in the chest—he had a (self-inflicted) small, sharp incision in the chest that partially collapsed his lung, along with abrasions to his face and neck and a mild concussion. Also, I listened to their podcasts about the Jon Benet Ramsey case, and it seemed as if they were pushing the intruder theory. If you want a balanced story, at least explore the possibility that a family member may have been involved in her death, and his acts may have been covered up by one or more other family members.

    I’m not sure I’ll listen to TCG anymore. They got several things wrong about the MacDonald case—“PIG” was written in Colette’s blood on the headboard (not the wall), and he wasn’t stabbed in the chest—he had a (self-inflicted) small, sharp incision in the chest that partially collapsed his lung, along with abrasions to his face and neck and a mild concussion.

    Also, I listened to their podcasts about the Jon Benet Ramsey case, and it seemed as if they were pushing the intruder theory. If you want a balanced story, at least explore the possibility that a family member may have been involved in her death, and his acts may have been covered up by one or more other family members.

  • TL
    TL NC
    Thanks for covering this case: I read the book when I was in HS in 1989. (Yes, we did have the world's coolest librarian.) A little thing that stands out to me is that, given he did not do chest compressions on his wife, a doctor would not have removed the knife from her chest. An impaled object is doing an important job: when you take it away, you leave a hole that immediately lets in air or starts gushing blood. You pack it and leave it until you're in a situation where you can repair the damage you're about to uncover. I know he was in a tough situation (though not really 'cuz he totally did it) but that's trauma 101 and he's a GB and cool under pressure. But otherwise, "How did your fingerprints end up on the knife, Dr. Macdonald?"

    Thanks for covering this case: I read the book when I was in HS in 1989. (Yes, we did have the world's coolest librarian.) A little thing that stands out to me is that, given he did not do chest compressions on his wife, a doctor would not have removed the knife from her chest. An impaled object is doing an important job: when you take it away, you leave a hole that immediately lets in air or starts gushing blood. You pack it and leave it until you're in a situation where you can repair the damage you're about to uncover. I know he was in a tough situation (though not really 'cuz he totally did it) but that's trauma 101 and he's a GB and cool under pressure. But otherwise, "How did your fingerprints end up on the knife, Dr. Macdonald?"

  • Colleen
    Colleen WI
    I haven't read all of the other comments, but $$$ talks! I did they check to see if he gave Helen money and/or drugs in exchange for her story? She may have "confessed" to being there but do we know that she wasn't bribed to talk? I think he's guilty.

    I haven't read all of the other comments, but $$$ talks! I did they check to see if he gave Helen money and/or drugs in exchange for her story? She may have "confessed" to being there but do we know that she wasn't bribed to talk?

    I think he's guilty.

  • Jason
    Jason Austin
    Thanks for doing this one and a somewhat military case. I have not listened to all of your episodes, but military justice, or the UCMJ, is interesting. The Hennis case is interesting because he was tried in civilian and military court. Article 32s are a little different now compared to the 1970s. There are a lot of interesting military murders, especially within the past 10 years regarding combat "murders". Although, information and court transcripts released to the public may be limited.

    Thanks for doing this one and a somewhat military case. I have not listened to all of your episodes, but military justice, or the UCMJ, is interesting. The Hennis case is interesting because he was tried in civilian and military court. Article 32s are a little different now compared to the 1970s. There are a lot of interesting military murders, especially within the past 10 years regarding combat "murders". Although, information and court transcripts released to the public may be limited.

  • Tom
    Tom Philadelphia
    The Captain with one of his best one liners of all time in my humble opinion... "You ever seen a Liam Neeson movie where he killed one of the kidnappers, and said 'Well I know there's another three out there, but movie's over folks get your popcorn and get the fuck out of the theater.'" Macdonald is guilty.

    The Captain with one of his best one liners of all time in my humble opinion...

    "You ever seen a Liam Neeson movie where he killed one of the kidnappers, and said 'Well I know there's another three out there, but movie's over folks get your popcorn and get the fuck out of the theater.'"

    Macdonald is guilty.

  • Susan
    Susan Illinois
    Great job guys!! I saw this case on a true crime show a couple years ago and because of the way they portrayed it, I felt he was innocent. Now after listening to you guys and all the other evidence, I’m settled in the, “he’s a piece of crap” side and am annoyed I had thought otherwise. Let him rot in jail. BTW, I thought prisoners only had a certain amount of appeals, or is that with the death sentence? Captain, your reference to Liam Neeson was spot on!!!

    Great job guys!!
    I saw this case on a true crime show a couple years ago and because of the way they portrayed it, I felt he was innocent. Now after listening to you guys and all the other evidence, I’m settled in the, “he’s a piece of crap” side and am annoyed I had thought otherwise. Let him rot in jail. BTW, I thought prisoners only had a certain amount of appeals, or is that with the death sentence?

    Captain, your reference to Liam Neeson was spot on!!!

  • Amy
    Amy KCMO
    What a crazy story and you guys did AWESOME telling it. I loved Nic going thru the evidence!! Both Jeff and Helena are fucking weird. They don't remember some things but then super detailed on others. Helena doesn't even remember if she was at the house or what she was doing that night but then suddenly she remembers being there and what she said. Nah I don't buy it. Also how are they attacking Collette at the same time they're attacking Jeff? Nope. Also I was cracking up at the Captains Liam Neeson rant LOL As always great job guys and cheers!!!

    What a crazy story and you guys did AWESOME telling it. I loved Nic going thru the evidence!! Both Jeff and Helena are fucking weird. They don't remember some things but then super detailed on others. Helena doesn't even remember if she was at the house or what she was doing that night but then suddenly she remembers being there and what she said. Nah I don't buy it. Also how are they attacking Collette at the same time they're attacking Jeff? Nope.

    Also I was cracking up at the Captains Liam Neeson rant LOL

    As always great job guys and cheers!!!

  • Debby Sullivan
    Debby Sullivan
    Excellent job on this case!!! Now that I have my own podcast, I can imagine how difficult it was to research such a monster of a case. Like most people, I think this dude is guilty af. The "hippies" chanting "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs" thing is soo unimaginative and copied right from the Manson murders. The prevailing theory, and the one that makes the most sense to me, is that Jeff and Collette got into a physical altercation and one of the kids walked into the room- so he turned on her, possibly to eliminate her as a witness. Also, Freddy Kassab made a list of about 100 things that he found wrong with Jeff's story from the trial transcript, one being that Jeff never washed a dish in his life (remember he said he did the dishes earlier). Another thing: I was an EMT and I learned that if somebody has something sticking in them, like a knife, to NEVER remove it cause it'll do more harm than good (when you remove the object the wound will bleed more), so there's no way a SURGEON wouldn't know that. Great job again! Slainte 😉

    Excellent job on this case!!! Now that I have my own podcast, I can imagine how difficult it was to research such a monster of a case. Like most people, I think this dude is guilty af. The "hippies" chanting "Acid is groovy, kill the pigs" thing is soo unimaginative and copied right from the Manson murders. The prevailing theory, and the one that makes the most sense to me, is that Jeff and Collette got into a physical altercation and one of the kids walked into the room- so he turned on her, possibly to eliminate her as a witness. Also, Freddy Kassab made a list of about 100 things that he found wrong with Jeff's story from the trial transcript, one being that Jeff never washed a dish in his life (remember he said he did the dishes earlier). Another thing: I was an EMT and I learned that if somebody has something sticking in them, like a knife, to NEVER remove it cause it'll do more harm than good (when you remove the object the wound will bleed more), so there's no way a SURGEON wouldn't know that. Great job again!
    Slainte 😉

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    @ Lady Gray - thanks for the post. He absolutely could have and I do believe that he did in fact stab himself. There was a scalpel in the house. I believe he used this on himself. cheers Nic

    @ Lady Gray - thanks for the post. He absolutely could have and I do believe that he did in fact stab himself. There was a scalpel in the house. I believe he used this on himself.
    cheers Nic

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    @ Nancy - thank you for the post. In response... We did say that PIG was written on the headboard in Colette's blood. Jeff had a "stab wound" to his chest. If he is guilty it's self inflicted if innocent he was stabbed. I say he is guilty so I'll let you put that together. In the Jonbenet case we reviewed several suspects and their probability this included the family. I'm sorry it makes for a good story but Burke did not kill his sister. Cheers Nic

    @ Nancy - thank you for the post. In response...
    We did say that PIG was written on the headboard in Colette's blood. Jeff had a "stab wound" to his chest. If he is guilty it's self inflicted if innocent he was stabbed. I say he is guilty so I'll let you put that together.
    In the Jonbenet case we reviewed several suspects and their probability this included the family. I'm sorry it makes for a good story but Burke did not kill his sister.
    Cheers Nic

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    @ Susan - I believe that is correct. I don't know all of the ins and outs and this likely varies by state. MacDonald has jammed up the courts with appeals, new evidence and challenging everything under the sun that in the end always comes back to point the finger at him. Thanks Nic

    @ Susan - I believe that is correct. I don't know all of the ins and outs and this likely varies by state. MacDonald has jammed up the courts with appeals, new evidence and challenging everything under the sun that in the end always comes back to point the finger at him.
    Thanks Nic

  • Donnie
    Donnie Ky
    It was mentioned that in the house there were 30 unidentified finger prints. We’re these finger prints all by the same people or were there 30 different prints? Also, the children were unfortunately not fingerprinted but wouldn’t They be able to tell the difference between a child’s fingerprint And a adults?

    It was mentioned that in the house there were 30 unidentified finger prints. We’re these finger prints all by the same people or were there 30 different prints?
    Also, the children were unfortunately not fingerprinted but wouldn’t They be able to tell the difference between a child’s fingerprint And a adults?

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    @ Donnie - that's a good thought. They might be able to tell but it would be tricky as often what is found are partials. From my understanding the prints in question went unnoticed until a later date because they were mostly on walls and low on the walls. Down near the floor like what one would find from small children playing and crawling around. Cheers Nic

    @ Donnie - that's a good thought. They might be able to tell but it would be tricky as often what is found are partials. From my understanding the prints in question went unnoticed until a later date because they were mostly on walls and low on the walls. Down near the floor like what one would find from small children playing and crawling around.
    Cheers Nic

  • mG
    mG tX
    Read all of the books on this case, including Wilderness of Error by Errol Morris, which is strongly not-guilty oriented. It seems that most people like Errol Morris touch on small things and speculate or build mountains out of the little things. The accused in this case was highly intelligent and respected, as such he was able to deflect attention from himself. Truth be told, for me, it was always the circumstantial case that convinced me of his guilt. People are not breaking into a house to kill children and leave the adult male alive. Smacks of the Darla Routier case in Dallas, the motive just makes no sense.

    Read all of the books on this case, including Wilderness of Error by Errol Morris, which is strongly not-guilty oriented. It seems that most people like Errol Morris touch on small things and speculate or build mountains out of the little things. The accused in this case was highly intelligent and respected, as such he was able to deflect attention from himself. Truth be told, for me, it was always the circumstantial case that convinced me of his guilt. People are not breaking into a house to kill children and leave the adult male alive. Smacks of the Darla Routier case in Dallas, the motive just makes no sense.

  • Justine
    Justine Cincinnati
    Things I’m questioning: Did he put his daughter back in her bed in wet pjs? If he truly defended the people off, did his training kick in? Maybe he was incapacitated right away while he was sleeping on the couch, then he came to. What events lead to familicide? I know he was a cheater, but going from unfaithful to a family ahnnihilator is a far leap. Are there any “copy cats” of the Manson family? Could someone have targets the MacDonald’s family, because he was unable to save a loved one of the four individuals? Maybe they wanted to make him suffer like they were suffering. With this being base housing, how did these people get on and off base? If the town house or apartment shared walls with other officers families, why didn’t someone hear the Collette screaming and come help or call 911?

    Things I’m questioning:
    Did he put his daughter back in her bed in wet pjs?
    If he truly defended the people off, did his training kick in? Maybe he was incapacitated right away while he was sleeping on the couch, then he came to.
    What events lead to familicide? I know he was a cheater, but going from unfaithful to a family ahnnihilator is a far leap.
    Are there any “copy cats” of the Manson family?
    Could someone have targets the MacDonald’s family, because he was unable to save a loved one of the four individuals? Maybe they wanted to make him suffer like they were suffering.
    With this being base housing, how did these people get on and off base?
    If the town house or apartment shared walls with other officers families, why didn’t someone hear the Collette screaming and come help or call 911?

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    Hi Justine, I'll try to stay in the same order as your questions. I don't know if he changed the daughter's clothing before placing her in her bed. One would assume so but in his detailed account of that night Jeff does not mention this. If attacked his training would "kick in" Again Jeff gave detailed account multiple times and does not include incapacitation before coming to and then fighting the intruders. Many people point to lack of motive as a way to suggest that Jeff is innocent - there is also a lack of motive for someone to break and kill everyone just for fun or because of drugs but it does and has happened. The theory here is that Jeff snapped and killed Collete in a violent fight that lead to him accidentally hitting the daughter in the head with the club during the fight with Collette. After the fight with Collette two persons were dead, then he had to kill his other daughter. Manson - copy cats I'm sure there are but can't think of any this similar to the Manson Family murders - The MacDonald would be the closest but it's just a cover story. This is possible and may provide a real motive for attacking the family - however the woman (Helena) that screws this case up - claims to have been there and that drugs were the motive - she's a liar. The base was open to the public but again the physical evidence does not support the theory that anyone other than the four MacDonald family members were in the house that night. In fact the evidence strongly all points to Jeff MacDonald killing his family. The other family did report hearing Collette at some point that night but could not make out what she was saying. The approx time giving to this does not support Jeff's story. Thanks Nic

    Hi Justine,
    I'll try to stay in the same order as your questions. I don't know if he changed the daughter's clothing before placing her in her bed. One would assume so but in his detailed account of that night Jeff does not mention this.
    If attacked his training would "kick in"
    Again Jeff gave detailed account multiple times and does not include incapacitation before coming to and then fighting the intruders.
    Many people point to lack of motive as a way to suggest that Jeff is innocent - there is also a lack of motive for someone to break and kill everyone just for fun or because of drugs but it does and has happened. The theory here is that Jeff snapped and killed Collete in a violent fight that lead to him accidentally hitting the daughter in the head with the club during the fight with Collette. After the fight with Collette two persons were dead, then he had to kill his other daughter.
    Manson - copy cats I'm sure there are but can't think of any this similar to the Manson Family murders - The MacDonald would be the closest but it's just a cover story.
    This is possible and may provide a real motive for attacking the family - however the woman (Helena) that screws this case up - claims to have been there and that drugs were the motive - she's a liar.
    The base was open to the public but again the physical evidence does not support the theory that anyone other than the four MacDonald family members were in the house that night. In fact the evidence strongly all points to Jeff MacDonald killing his family.
    The other family did report hearing Collette at some point that night but could not make out what she was saying. The approx time giving to this does not support Jeff's story.
    Thanks Nic

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