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Tags "A Wilderness of Error" , "Fatal Vision" , errol morris , Jeffrey MacDonald , Joe MacGinniss , murder cases

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Old 6th November 2013, 05:47 AM   #441
whoanellie
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At the time of the crime and the subsequent investigation the FBI crime lab was a mess. The standard operating procedure was to pull an agent off the street who had no previous scientific training, hand him a white lab coat, and call him forensic scientists. There was enormous pressure to produce results that would lead to the conviction of a given suspect.
It's my understanding that the FBI crime lab played an major role in this case. I am highly suspicious of anything they produced.

In the 1990's under Reno and Freeh, taskforces were formed, reports written, money spent, and scientists hired.
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Old 6th November 2013, 10:18 AM   #442
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
At the time of the crime and the subsequent investigation the FBI crime lab was a mess. The standard operating procedure was to pull an agent off the street who had no previous scientific training, hand him a white lab coat, and call him forensic scientists. There was enormous pressure to produce results that would lead to the conviction of a given suspect.
It's my understanding that the FBI crime lab played an major role in this case. I am highly suspicious of anything they produced.

In the 1990's under Reno and Freeh, taskforces were formed, reports written, money spent, and scientists hired.
Do you have any evidence for this assertion or are we just supposed to take your word for it?
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Old 6th November 2013, 11:19 AM   #443
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FBI Kicked Ass In This Case

Typical red herring argument put forth by those who have no answers for the forensic analysis in this case. The FBI first became involved in the MacDonald case in 1971. Paul Stombaugh was asked by the CID to analyze several evidentiary exhibits. At the time, Stombaugh was the Chief of the FBI's Chemistry Division, he testified as a forensics expert in over 300 cases, he lectured at Quantico, and appeared before the Warren Commission as a hair and fiber expert.

In 1974, Stombaugh looked at additional evidence in this case, he testified at the Grand Jury hearings, and then was the prosecutions lead forensic's expert at the 1979 trial. Many journalists who covered the trial felt that Stombaugh's testimony was the main reason why MacDonald was convicted.

The investigation of the FBI lab(s) took place 18 years after the MacDonald trial and their conclusions had NOTHING to do with the qualifications and/or prior testimony of Paul Stombaugh. At the trial, the Defense didn't provide a rebuttal witness to many of Stombaugh's conclusions and when they did put an expert on the stand, the expert didn't hold up well on cross.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 6th November 2013, 11:40 AM   #444
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That's interesting to hear that the FBI is trying to improve its efficiency. The official FBI website does say that it has some homicide detectives, but I don't know if they have a great reputation, or if they have ever been involved in any brilliant investigations. The FBI has come in for criticism in the past for being an FBI bull in an Arabic china shop. I don't know if it could be that counter-espionage and supporting al-Qaeda, and the detection of crime is a bit too much for the institution. The FBI is a very American institution.

Under cross-examination the Army CID agents testified in the MacDonald case that they were all very inexperienced as murder investigators. It was just the same in the Ramsey case. The detective skills in homicide are specialist squad work where you assume nothing and you don't have tunnel vision and you are good at eliciting information and you don't disregard leads and suspects and you can get witnesses to appear in court. Information is the lifeblood of any police investigation.

In my own area there is a Fraud Squad, but no murder squad, which is probably a reason why there have been so many unsolved murders over the years. Fraud and murder are not something for rookies, or village policemen. At least in something like the Miami Homicide Unit you end up in homicide if you have been carefully chosen.

For some reason the FBI became involved in the MacDonald case from the start. Dr. MacDonald was interviewed by an FBI agent when he was recovering in hospital from his injuries. Hoover of the FBI made a comment at the time that he didn't want to get involved in the MacDonald case. Hoover died soon after and then Stombaugh of the FBI was used to make up forensic evidence against Dr. MacDonald for the Grand Jury, in order to support the Army CID.

Later on Malone of the FBI was used to report that the blonde synthetic hair-like fibers at the crime scene "probably" came from MacDonald dolls and to say that he thought there were pajama-like fibers on the wooden club. Malone has been described by a lawyer in another murder case as a total liar.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 6th November 2013 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 6th November 2013, 01:31 PM   #445
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Guilty Then, Guilty Now

There is a good reason why MacDonald gets his ass kicked at appellate hearings. He simply cannot refute the mass of INCULPATORY evidence collected and analyzed by the CID/FBI. When it mattered most, his experts could not provide a salient rebuttal to the evidence presented by the prosecution at the 1979 trial.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 6th November 2013, 04:44 PM   #446
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Do you have any evidence for this assertion or are we just supposed to take your word for it?
I am happy to provide a little history.
I am a newbie so I can't post links. Start with the FBI lab page on wikipedia.
The Bromwich report from 1997 is available on the Justice Department website. There are also some follow up stories in the Washington Post in 2012.

Last edited by whoanellie; 6th November 2013 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 6th November 2013, 05:03 PM   #447
whoanellie
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post
Typical red herring argument put forth by those who have no answers for the forensic analysis in this case. The FBI first became involved in the MacDonald case in 1971. Paul Stombaugh was asked by the CID to analyze several evidentiary exhibits. At the time, Stombaugh was the Chief of the FBI's Chemistry Division, he testified as a forensics expert in over 300 cases, he lectured at Quantico, and appeared before the Warren Commission as a hair and fiber expert.

In 1974, Stombaugh looked at additional evidence in this case, he testified at the Grand Jury hearings, and then was the prosecutions lead forensic's expert at the 1979 trial. Many journalists who covered the trial felt that Stombaugh's testimony was the main reason why MacDonald was convicted.

The investigation of the FBI lab(s) took place 18 years after the MacDonald trial and their conclusions had NOTHING to do with the qualifications and/or prior testimony of Paul Stombaugh. At the trial, the Defense didn't provide a rebuttal witness to many of Stombaugh's conclusions and when they did put an expert on the stand, the expert didn't hold up well on cross.
In case you referring to my earlier post, I have no definite opinion on guilt or innocence of McDonald and was not trying to make an argument (red herring or otherwise) either way. I was simply trying to offer a little history. The fact that the Bromwich report came out 18 years after the MacDonald trial is a red herring. There was a long history of issues with the crime lab.
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Old 6th November 2013, 05:09 PM   #448
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
I am happy to provide a little history.
I am a newbie so I can't post links. Start with the FBI lab page on wikipedia.
The Bromwich report from 1997 is available on the Justice Department website. There is also a story "Justice Dept., FBI to review use of forensic evidence in thousands of cases" from July 10 2012 in the Washington Post.
OK, something seems wrong here. First this:

Quote:
This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)
This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (March 2012)
Then the 'History' section.

Quote:
According to John F. Kelly & Phillip K. Wearne's 1998 book Tainting EvidenceTainting Evidence: Inside the Scandals at the FBI Crime Lab, the FBI Crime Lab had been hurt by a lack of funding and an institutional entropy rooted in Lab employees' belief that they were the best forensic experts in the country, if not the world. Lab employees failed to keep abreast of developments in forensic science. The two authors conclude that the worst problem was that the Lab employees were FBI agents rather than pure forensic scientists, and the investigative paradigm of the detective was an antithetical to the investigative paradigm of the scientist. Lab employees began to work backwards, from a conclusion preordained by the prosecutors they served, and sought to justify that conclusion rather than using more scientific research paradigms.

Whitehurst's whistleblowing and the adverse publicity trials in which FBI Lab employees were revealed as incompetent or disingenuous led to the implementation of reforms under then-FBI chief Louis Freeh.
That's not part of the 'History' section. That's all of it. Seems a pretty weak article.

Being as that may be, 'agents first, forensic scientists second' is still a bit of a far throw from your initial claim of "the standard operating procedure was to pull an agent off the street who had no previous scientific training, hand him a white lab coat, and call him forensic scientists."

Continuing: from this link from the Justice Department

Quote:
This report reflects an exhaustive effort to examine the multitude of allegations and technical issues raised by Agent Whitehurst concerning Laboratory personnel and management. We concluded that most of Whitehurst's claims were unfounded, but that some had merit. Our inquiry primarily concerned three units of the Laboratory -- the Explosives, Chemistry-Toxicology, and Materials Analysis units. Findings of deficiencies in these units should not be extrapolated to other units in the Laboratory, and in the three units that were the focus of our inquiry, and in other parts of the Laboratory, we observed some examples of impressive forensic work. In addition, we identified important issues that apply throughout the Laboratory. In Part Five of this Report, we discuss the allegations directed at specific individuals. Most of the persons named in the allegations are exonerated.
Sounds like the claims had some merit, but were vastly overblown. Paints a very different picture than the Wiki article.
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Old 6th November 2013, 07:15 PM   #449
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Red Herrings

I have the book TAINTING EVIDENCE and it is a complete mess. The chapters on the Oklahoma City Bombing case, the O.J. Simpson case, and the MacDonald case border on black comedy. Back in 1999, I sent two letters to the authors of TAINTING EVIDENCE and pointed out that their research of the MacDonald case consisted of speaking with MacDonald's legal counsel, and MacDonald advocates Fred Bost and Jerry Allen Potter.

In addition, I challenged ALL of their dubious claims regarding the MacDonald case and their response was, well, silence. You can read the DOJ's 1997 investigation several times over and you will not find one word on the MacDonald case. Nothing. Nada. Zip. MacDonald advocates have nothing, so they have to create red herrings (e.g., conflating the DOJ report with the FBI's work on the MacDonald case) in order to avoid the mass of physical evidence that points to MacDonald as being the LONE perp.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 7th November 2013, 09:23 AM   #450
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Malone of the FBI lab came into the MacDonald case for the 1991/2 MacDonald lawyer Harvey Silverglate and Judge Dupree appeal in which the mystery blonde synthetic fibers and black fibers around the mouth of Colette, and on the wooden club had been discovered by the defense by the Freedom of Information act.

Judge Dupree just said it was all too late because of the recent McCleskey law and in his opinion would not have swayed a jury which is nonsense. Murtagh suppressed the information at trial.

Malone of the FBI was used to say the blonde synthetic fibers probably came from MacDonald dolls which had been destroyed years ago and that the black fibers with no known source on the wooden club which had been used to convict Dr. MacDonald were pajama-like fibers. There is some background information about all this in an internet Wiki website:

"That would be would be Michael Malone. [3] He had a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology, after teaching high school for 2 years he joined the FBI as a special agent in 1970. After 4 years as a criminal investigator, he was assigned to the crime lab. [4]

He worked in the lab for 25 years as a hair and fiber analyst. He testified in 5000 criminal trials. He was extremely popular with prosecutors, and was famous for being able to come up with evidence when there were no eyewitnesses, no confessions, and no motives to send people to prison or death row. The more he seemed to do this, the more prosecutors’ seeked him out for their cases. He worked in many high-profile cases. [5]

Tobin actually told Whitehurst that he saw Malone manipulate evidence in a high profile case. His accusations referenced the Hastings case, which was a federal judge who was convicted of taking a bribe.[6] He also testified against Charles Fain, who was sentenced to death row for murder and rape of a nine- year -old girl, he had served 18 years on death row before the Department of Justice acknowledged the mistakes Malone made, and that real evidence showed it his innocence.[7] Donald Gates was another innocent man found guilty on Malone’s testimony for rape and murder, but he had to do 28 years before they let him out.[8]

When Whitehurst blew the whistle, he got suspended from work, and the FBI immediately came down on him for “bashing” the FBI crime lab. Malone himself claims he never did anything wrong, he admits that sometimes he testified as a laymen, not an expert, but claims that was always known. He admits that he “misspoke” on several occasions, but denies doing it on purpose. He says he never favored prosecutors.[9]


Department of Justice Report[edit]Incited by Whitehurst's numerous allegations, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) carried out an investigation into the practices and alleged misconduct of the FBI Laboratory culminating in a special report released April 1997. This investigation looked into possible FBI misconduct in the investigation of the following high profile cases:

Mail Bomb murder of judge Robert Vance and others (VANPAC Case)
1993 World Trade Center bombing
1993 Kuwait assassination attempt on President Bush
1989 Avianca Airlines flight 203 bombing
The O.J. Simpson Case
1995 Oklahoma City Bombing
In each case Frederic Whitehurst provided allegations against the FBI Lab both in their analysis of the evidence and statements made during the subsequent trials. After investigation into these allegations, the DOJ agreed with some dismissed others, and provided their suggestions into the future course of the FBI Laboratory[10]."

I read somewhere a year or two ago that Malone's cases were being re-examined. I don't know the result of all that

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Old 7th November 2013, 11:53 AM   #451
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Conspiracy Nonsense

HENRI: Your decade long conspiracy rant is tiresome and devoid of critical thought. There were no "mystery" fibers in this case, the Defense uncovered nothing of value, and the appellate courts have concluded that MacDonald received a fair trial. Please dispense with the ramblings and corroborate your dubious claims with documented fact.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 7th November 2013, 01:05 PM   #452
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If Malone came into the case in the 90's he was too damn late to affect anything.

None of this changes the fact that Jeffy's story doesn't fit with anything.
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Old 7th November 2013, 02:16 PM   #453
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The Test Of Time

KB: Exactly. Malone was one of the examiners mentioned in the DOJ report, but his work on the MacDonald case was not mentioned in that report. The only REAL affect that Malone had on this case was putting forth conclusions that assisted the 4th Circuit Court in denying MacDonald relief.

With the exception of a single hair comparison, Malone's work has stood the test of time, and MacDonald's attempts to discredit his work have failed. The "mystery" fibers mentioned by Henri, were simply household debris that Malone surmised came from dolls owned by the MacDonald children and dark woolen clothing/caps worn by the MacDonald family.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 10th November 2013, 12:37 PM   #454
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by davefoc View Post
These are the kinds of confrontations between MacDonald and the alleged intruders that seem likely to me:
1. The intruders and MacDonald engage in a desperate violent fight crashing into furniture and walls, resulting in upturned and broken furniture with the items that had been on the furniture strewn about the room. There might have been items used as make shift clubs or defense against knife attacks.

If a knife was used by the attackers one would expect to see slashing type wounds and stabbing wounds with widened holes created as MacDonald moved about. If the attackers were experienced knife fighters at least some of the knife wounds would have probably suggested that the attacker held the knife with the blade up. If the attackers gained the upper hand in such a fight and had attempted to incapacitate MacDonald one would have expected lethal or near lethal wounds when they cut or choked MacDonald in a way that they would have been sure he couldn't recover and attack them.

2. The attackers gain the upper hand immediately by grabbing and holding him. An attack on a single individual, even a green beret trained soldier, by multiple strong individuals might have subdued MacDonald before MacDonald could put up much of a defense. If this happened there might have been injuries to MacDonald where he was grabbed and held. And after MacDonald was subdued once again one would have expected lethal or near lethal wounds as they cut or choke MacDonald in a way that would guarantee he couldn't recover and attack them.

3. The attackers gain the upper hand immediately by knocking MacDonald out with a club or other method. Once again one would have expected lethal or near lethal wounds as they cut or choke MacDonald in a way that would guarantee he couldn't recover and attack them.
MacDonald didn't have wounds consistent with any of these kinds of confrontations. From my perspective, this kind of argument falls short of definitive proof that MacDonald was guilty, but it is evidence that strongly suggests that he is. You [Henri McPhee] seem to disagree. Could you describe a confrontation between MacDonald and the intruders where the expected or plausible outcome is that he sustains the kind of wounds that he had?
That's perfectly fair and sensible comment. The reason there were 48 ice pick holes in his pajama top is a mystery. Dr MacDonald doesn't understand himself, but that doesn't mean it's a sign of guilt. Stombaugh of the FBI tried to explain it at the Grand Jury and 1979 MacDonald trial by what Dr. Thornton for the defense described as a contrived and impossible pajama folding experiment. It wasn't scientifically correct.

My own theory is that Helena Stoeckley or Cathy Perry could have been fooling about with an ice pick when Dr. MacDonald was unconscious on the ground. They were nutso on drugs.

A perfectly sensible expalanation was provided once by the now deceased MacDonald case author Fred Bost. Don't tell JTF or he will have a fit:

"CLAIM 9--STABBING THRU THE PAJAMA TOP

The government claims that Jeffrey MacDonald forgot he had placed his pajama top on his wife's body and that he later proceeded to stab through it with an ice pick. They say because the pajama top was not perfectly flat on the body, but was in folds, the 48 circular holes in the fabric could be matched to the 21 ice pick wounds in Colette's chest. Officials contended that if a true fight occurrred the garment holes would have to be torn and jagged. For the holes to end up "round," officials say, the pajama top would have to be on an unresisting body. It is impossible for scientists to duplicate the fight described by MacDonald, so the government contention remains unproven.

The government's argument can be stolen by the defense. According to MacDonald, he was unconscious for awhile in the hallway. No tears in fabric would result if he were attacked at that time with an ice pick. An unknown number of thrusts through the pajama top twisted around his wrists could have produced 48 holes. Since the ice pick wounds in both Colette and Kristen were for the most part superficial, most of the thrusts into MacDonald's pajama top might have been specifically aimed at the garment and equally hesitant. If so, they would not have penetrated fully through the twisted cloth. Other thrusts might have been up to the hilt, penetrating flesh. MacDonald's wounds were never probed for depth. Wounds that did result, because they weren't resisted, could have ended up close together as a result of repetitious thrusts into the unresisting body--something like the four curiously close wounds he suffered on his chest (SHORT#37).

Such a thought is merely conjecture, but so is the "physical proof" claimed by the government. Two FBI laboratory technicians folded and manipulated MacDonald's pajama top so that its 48 ice pick holes lined up with the 21 ice pick wounds in Colette's chest. This was done with the pajama top configured roughly in the position in which it was photographed on her body. That is the extent of the proof."
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Old 10th November 2013, 12:53 PM   #455
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The point about all this is that Dr. MacDonald was asked to explain the holes in his pajama top when he had no idea how they got there himself, because he was unconscious at the time. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

The prosecution came up with their own hypothetical scenario which swayed the jury against Dr. MacDonald. All the defense could do was to try to discredit the scientific correctness and logic of the Stombaugh theory, but the jury believed Stombaugh because he worked in the FBI crime lab, and they never make things up do they?

This is what the jury were told at the end of the MacDonald trial in 1979:

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q Dr. MacDonald, let me show you Government Exhibit 608(a), purporting to be the blue pajama top. Suppose that the jury should find from the evidence that one, there are approximately 17 puncture holes in the back of that pajama top, and secondly, that you had no injuries, puncture or otherwise, in your back.
Do you have any explanation for that?
A Well, I know why I don't have any puncture wounds in my back. I was being stabbed from the front.
Q With respect to my question, sir, do you have any explanation for how those holes got in the back of that pajama top?
A Just that it had to have been when it was around my wrists and hands and fending off blows.
Q Would your answer be the same with respect to the number of holes--over 30 more in this right general area of the pajama top?
A That is correct.
(Pause.)
Q Dr. MacDonald, suppose the jury should find from the evidence that Colette MacDonald was beaten and stabbed a multiple number of times, that Kristen was stabbed a number of times, and that Kimberly was stabbed and beaten a number of times.
And suppose, sir, that the jury further finds that the injuries that you sustained were not consistent in degree of seriousness that they sustained, and that you are quite obviously still alive. Do you have any explanation for that?

MR. SEGAL: Your Honor, that is OBJECTED to as argumentative. That is not a question at all.

THE COURT: I will SUSTAIN the objection to that question.

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q Dr. MacDonald, should the jury find from the evidence that what has come in the Courtroom to become known as the FBI reconstruction of the blue pajama top, suppose the jury with respect to that, should find from the evidence that the 48 puncture holes in your blue pajama top correspond or match up with the 21 puncture holes in Colette's chest: do you have any explanation for that?
A No.
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Old 10th November 2013, 03:46 PM   #456
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Helena Stockley was simply not there. Not a scrap of evidence that she was there to play with ice picks on bodies, stoned or not.

MacDonald's silly story still has no legs. It would be hilarious were it not for the fact that MacDonald actually murdered his wife and kids.

And its not a very good idea to testify at your own trial. The teary tales you tell the jury will be purged from their minds once the prosecution cross examines you over the massive inconsistencies in your story.
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Old 10th November 2013, 05:23 PM   #457
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Pajama Top Theory

HENRI: I'm well aware of Fred Bost's claims. I communicated with Bost via phone calls and letters in the late 90's. The irony of your little dig is that you had never heard of Fred Bost until the early 2000's. In terms of the Pajama Top Theory...

Bost ignores the FACT that FBI lab technician Shirley Green was able to replicate the stab wound/puncture hole pattern using not one, not two, but three different techniques. They included the use of push pins, steel rods, and graph paper placed over a box. Green worked for over a week on this theory and she was able to find only one pattern.

Green completed her analysis in 1974, and just prior to the 1979 trial, she attempted to duplicate the pattern using the same three techniques. Green was able to successfully duplicate the pattern using the same three techniques.

Defense expert James Osterburg was presented with the Pajama Top Theory by MacDonald defense attorney Bernie Segal. Osterburg's reaction was immediate and quite telling. Osterburg stated, "Holy Christmas, this is convincing stuff." Osterburg added, "This is like a fingerprint." Nuff said.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 11th November 2013, 09:01 AM   #458
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As far as I can judge, Osterburg was a crime scene technician and fingerprint expert, and later teacher with the New York police. His testimony at the !979 trial was not at all flattering about the fingerprint collection at the crime scene by the Army CID. Any opinion he might have had about the pajama folding theory of Stombaugh was no more conclusive than that of Dr. Thornton for the defense, who described the whole thing as conceptually unsound.

This is part of what Osterburg said at the MacDonald trial:

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Based upon your experience, knowledge, information and training, what is the possible likely effect on an investigation when these basic principles of crime scene protection are not followed by the investigators involved?
A The opportunity presented by examining a crime scene are lost--or may be lost.
Q In regard to the questions I asked you before about the proper procedures for fingerprinting or processing a crime scene for fingerprinting--what is the potential effect on the criminal investigation of the failure to fully process for latent fingerprints a crime scene?
A Again, the opportunity for connecting the crime scene and the criminal together through fingerprints is lost.

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Old 11th November 2013, 12:56 PM   #459
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He Sees Nothing, He Hears Nothing

HENRI: For the past 10 years, you've studiously avoided the evidence that led to MacDonald's conviction and in 2013, that evidence remains strong. The SOURCED evidence in this case is the main reason why MacDonald has spent 32 of the past 34 years in prison. He is going nowhere. Deal with it.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 4th January 2014, 12:34 PM   #460
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I have just noticed the you tube video of Judge Jeanine's segment on America's news headquarters 9/22/12 with regard to the MacDonald case. It proves to me that the MacDonald case needs an extremely competent judge who is just and competent and experienced at weighing evidence, and not some sparrow brained woman judge blabbering on about the witnesses being dead, and the supposed blood trail somehow proving guilt like Judge Jeanine seems to think. It's trial by television and not profound enough.

There are still witnesses who are still alive, like Mazerolle and Bruce Fowler and others. If there had not been poor and bad police work those witnesses would have been asked questions and 'information received' by now, and relentlessly pursued, instead of just being fixated on the innocent Dr. MacDonald.

I don't know if it's a case of rural states like North Carolina who don't like big city lawyers. I suppose judges just support banks and protect their own interests like the rest of the business elite. In the UK government spending is being withdrawn on legal aid lawyers with innocent prisoners now being provided with unsuitable lawyers, unlike rich people in fraud cases. I still think the MacDonald case is a a gross miscarriage of justice and American judges need to pull their socks up. I don't like to say it was corrupt bias but it was corrupt bias.
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Old 4th January 2014, 05:33 PM   #461
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Or just maybe he is guilty as sin.
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Old 4th January 2014, 05:34 PM   #462
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Not a huge amount of maybe that I can see.

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Old 4th January 2014, 06:54 PM   #463
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"sparrow brained woman judge"???

Excuse you.
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Old 4th January 2014, 10:48 PM   #464
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The End Game

HENRI: The Youtube segment demonstrates that MacDonald's legal shell game is evident to those who only have a cursory knowledge of this case. The commentator is quite correct in assessing the standard of proof put forth at the 2012 evidentiary hearing.

The burden is on MacDonald to prove his "actual innocence." This burden is "extraordinarily high" and MacDonald's legal team didn't come close to meeting that burden at the hearing. Instead of producing concrete data of hippie home invaders, the defense used 2nd and 3rd hand hearsay testimony to defuse the mass of SOURCED evidence that led to MacDonald's conviction.

At trial, the prosecution presented over 1,100 evidentiary items and that was only about 60 percent of their case file. This evidence included hairs, fibers, blood spatter, bloody fabric and non-fabric impressions, bloody footprints, and fabric damage evidence.

In 2006, DNA test results further linked MacDonald to these horrific murders. The main piece of inculpatory DNA evidence was a broken, bloody limb hair found clutched in Colette MacDonald's left hand. This hair matched the DNA profile of Jeffrey MacDonald.

In addition, there was no sourced evidence linking any intruder suspect to the crime scene. No fingerprints, no hairs, no fibers, nothing, nada, zip. Based on what occurred at the evidentiary hearing, I would be shocked if Judge Fox granted MacDonald a new trial.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 5th January 2014, 02:00 AM   #465
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Was there enough blood lying around that the alleged non MacDonald attackers would need to have stepped in if they really committed this crime?

Lack of possible foot and shoe prints that could be tied to somebody besides MacDonald seems like such strong evidence of his guilt that I'm wondering why it was ever considered that there wasn't enough evidence to convict him. I must be missing something here.
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Old 5th January 2014, 03:58 AM   #466
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Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
"sparrow brained woman judge"???

Excuse you.
Exactly.
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Old 5th January 2014, 07:01 AM   #467
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Guilty Beyond ALL Doubt

Blood, fiber, hair, and bloody fabric/non-fabric impression evidence demonstrated that Colette AND Kimberley MacDonald were wrapped in a bedsheet, and carried back to their respective bedrooms. Three bloody footprints were found exiting Kristen MacDonald's room and one of the bloody prints matched the left foot exemplar of Jeffrey MacDonald.

MacDonald did not claim that the mythical home invaders were barefoot, no bloody shoeprints were found at the crime scene, and he denied wearing his torn pajama top when he "found" his family slaughtered in their bedrooms. The bedsheet used to carry Colette and Kimberley contained bloody cuff impressions from the pajama sleeves of BOTH Colette and Jeffrey MacDonald.

MacDonald also denied ever coming in contact with Kimberley or touching the bedsheet containing the bloody fabric/non-fabric impressions. Kimberley's blood, however, was found on his torn pajama top and Colette's blood was found on his pajama top in 10 locations BEFORE it was torn.

The evidence of MacDonald's guilt is overwhelmming and resulted in the jury convicting him in less than 7 hours. MacDonald has been able to get back in Court due to a rotating band of lawyers who have been able to wrap "old" evidentiary arguments into new legal packages.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 5th January 2014, 07:07 AM   #468
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Davefoc, if you've got more than a passing interest in this case, you might want to pick up 'Fatal Vision' (which you can follow with 'A Wilderness of Error' for a - kind of - view from the other side). I read a lot of true crime and I thought Fatal Vision (McGinniss) was quite well done. I certainly didn't have much doubt when I was done about MacDonald's guilt, although I did go on to read Morris' book to try and get a balanced view. There's also a third book, 'Final Vision', and although it wraps up a few stray ends, it's not really necessary to read that one as well.
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Old 5th January 2014, 08:04 AM   #469
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Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
There's also a third book, 'Final Vision', and although it wraps up a few stray ends, it's not really necessary to read that one as well.
True, but it is valuable in clarifying MacDonald's oft claimed "victory" over McGinniss, especially since it spells out that MacDonald did not refute, or even challenge, the conclusions of Fatal Vision when he had the opportunity.
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Old 5th January 2014, 08:19 AM   #470
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Judge Jeanine just assumed it was a domestic violence case. You assume nothing in a murder investigation. It was brutal murders by Mazerolle and his other accomplices some of whom are now dead after saying on TV that they were going to blow the lid off of Fort Bragg.

I agree with the female judge that there should be more to an appeal than a complicated discussion about hairs by the trickster lawyer Murtagh of Lockerbie fame. In order to focus on priorities it would be more important for judges to find out exactly what happened and why.

I can't quite see why Colette's brother Bob Stevenson agrees with the quite ludicrously unsatisfactory Army CID theory that his sister Colette murdered the little girls or that there was a rage over bedwetting by Kim, instead of the other little girl, which Dr. MacDonald always insisted happened. Dr. MacDonald never denied any footprints could have been his. The footprints prove nothing and there are doubts anyway that they are his footprints. Why not just believe what Dr. MacDonald said happened did happen?

All that rubbish which JTF keeps mentioning about bodies supposedly being carried in a sheet was presented to the court by Stombaugh of the FBI who was never qualified to testify in court about fabric impressions anyway under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Stombaugh was a former insurance salesman and not a blood man with an expert opinion.

The Army CID must learn to develop suspects and not to jump to conclusions. They are not homicide detectives.

In the UK with these cuts to government spending in the future the guilty will be acquitted and the innocent convicted. It's becoming more like America every day. The Forensic Science Service in Birmingham, UK, which had a great reputation has been closed down by this government.
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Old 5th January 2014, 08:24 AM   #471
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This is a weird thread. A number of people have come into it, had a look at the evidence, and I don't think a single one has ended up with any serious doubt that MacDonald was as guilty as hell.

I've met cases where obviously innocent people have been convicted. I've met cases where people with no credible evidence against them have been convicted. I've met cases where people were convicted on evidence that really wasn't convincing. I've come across people declaring that although they believe the accused actually did it, the conviction shouldn't have been brought because the evidence wasn't beyond reasonable doubt. We can have interesting discussions about all of these.

Here we have someone who was obviously guilty as hell, and there's one poster - count him, just one - breathlessly asserting the complete and total innocence of his hero "Dr. MacDonald". I'm not quite sure why anyone is bothering with this.

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Old 5th January 2014, 08:39 AM   #472
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee
I can't quite see why Colette's brother Bob Stevenson agrees with the quite ludicrously unsatisfactory Army CID theory that his sister Colette murdered the little girls...
That's a complete fabrication. Bob Stevenson has never claimed to agree with that theory. You just make this crap up as you go along, Henri.

Quote:
Why not just believe what Dr. MacDonald said happened did happen?
Why? Just because your hero-a man who slaughtered a pregnant woman and two little girls-said it doesn't make it true.

Yawn.
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Old 5th January 2014, 11:12 AM   #473
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Originally Posted by desertgal View Post
True, but it is valuable in clarifying MacDonald's oft claimed "victory" over McGinniss, especially since it spells out that MacDonald did not refute, or even challenge, the conclusions of Fatal Vision when he had the opportunity.
Yes. I agree. I actually thought 'Final Vision' was quite worthwhile, just not necessary to proving the case.
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Old 6th January 2014, 07:02 PM   #474
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Appellate Insanity

The weirdest thing about this case is not this thread, but the way in which our appellate system gives murderers multiple opportunities at freedom. Jeffrey MacDonald has received 8 chances at a new trial which makes this the most litigated murder case in history.

The fact that there is a mountain of evidence linking him to this horrific crime means little to a legal system which is broken at every level. In this case, the main culprit is the 4th Circuit Court who granted MacDonald his latest shot at freedom in 2011.

The Court basically ignored the fact that the Government has debunked all of the dubious claims leveled by the Defense from 1984-2009. They decided that it didn't matter that the Government had pitched a shutout in prior evidentiary hearings.

They decided to throw MacDonald a bone by ruling that MacDonald's last shot at freedom should include the "evidence as a whole." In essence, it didn't matter that most of what was presented by the Defense at the 2012 evidentiary hearing had been shot down at prior evidentiary hearings.

The Court's ruling gave the Defense the ability to lump all of their past claims into a messy legal ball filled with hearsay testimony. The good news is that the "evidence as a whole" included all of the evidence that the Government did not present at trial and/or since MacDonald returned to prison in 1982.

At the 2012 hearing, the Government was able to combine the evidence presented at the 1979 trial with the 2006 DNA test results that further linked MacDonald to these murders. Judge Fox's ruling will probably come down in the next few months.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 6th January 2014, 07:07 PM   #475
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Judge Jeanine just assumed it was a domestic violence case. You assume nothing in a murder investigation. It was brutal murders by Mazerolle and his other accomplices some of whom are now dead after saying on TV that they were going to blow the lid off of Fort Bragg.

I agree with the female judge that there should be more to an appeal than a complicated discussion about hairs by the trickster lawyer Murtagh of Lockerbie fame. In order to focus on priorities it would be more important for judges to find out exactly what happened and why.

I can't quite see why Colette's brother Bob Stevenson agrees with the quite ludicrously unsatisfactory Army CID theory that his sister Colette murdered the little girls or that there was a rage over bedwetting by Kim, instead of the other little girl, which Dr. MacDonald always insisted happened. Dr. MacDonald never denied any footprints could have been his. The footprints prove nothing and there are doubts anyway that they are his footprints. Why not just believe what Dr. MacDonald said happened did happen?

All that rubbish which JTF keeps mentioning about bodies supposedly being carried in a sheet was presented to the court by Stombaugh of the FBI who was never qualified to testify in court about fabric impressions anyway under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Stombaugh was a former insurance salesman and not a blood man with an expert opinion.

The Army CID must learn to develop suspects and not to jump to conclusions. They are not homicide detectives.

In the UK with these cuts to government spending in the future the guilty will be acquitted and the innocent convicted. It's becoming more like America every day. The Forensic Science Service in Birmingham, UK, which had a great reputation has been closed down by this government.
In all the years I've been following this case, I have never, never, ever seen this ridiculous claim put forth against Robert Stevenson. Do you have a link to this preposterous claim?
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Old 7th January 2014, 08:28 AM   #476
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For years Bob Stevenson has supported the quite ludicrously unsatisfactory Army CID theories with regard to the MacDonald case, starting with his sister supposedly having murdered the two little girls. He has even supported Kassab and Joe McGinniss. He appeared on radio at the time of the Parole Hearing in about 2005 to say he thought like Kassab that there was child molestation by Dr. MacDonald when there was never a particle of evidence, medical or otherwise, to back that up. It was pure speculation and libel by Stevenson who has said publicly that he knows nothing about the forensics of the MacDonald case, a bit like Judge Fox.

The con man McGinniss amphetamine psychosis theory was proved to be wrong in a court case in California in 1987.

I still think the public should have a right to criticize and to reform our institutions, even though the public no longer seems to have a right to protest, or any right to privacy, or confidential information. It's a legal Woolworths except for the corrupt banks who are showered with bailouts and bonuses paid for by money printing and by the unemployed, who only get workfare as help and advice from academic economists and the media. The MacDonald case was a miscarriage of justice.

It is obvious that the MacDonald case was an unsafe verdict and that there was poor police work involved. I'm not the only person who thinks that either. It can't possibly have been right judgement.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 7th January 2014 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 7th January 2014, 12:48 PM   #477
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Reality

The attacks leveled by the MacDonald camp on Freddy Kassab, Bob Stevenson, the CID, the FBI, and the DOJ are nothing new. Most, if not all, of the attacks are unfounded and based on a religious devotion to Jeffrey MacDonald. Similar to what was presented by the Defense at the 2012 evidentiary hearing, MacDonald advocates rely on half-truths, innuendo, and hype in an attempt to paint MacDonald as some sort of tortured innocent.

Much to the chagrin of MacDonald's lawyers and his advocates, the physical evidence in this case remains strong and will not go away. No matter how much he fumes about getting railroaded by the CID and FBI, MacDonald cannot dispute the FACT that his wife's blood was on his pajama top in 10 locations before it was torn.

He cannot dispute the FACT that his torn, bloody limb hair was found clutched in his wife's left hand. He cannot dispute the FACT that fibers from his torn pajama top were found under his wife's body, under the bedcovers of his children, under his child's pillow, and under his child's fingernail.

MacDonald advocates live in a fantasy world filled with government conspiracies and evil journalists. The reality is that Jeffrey MacDonald is a murderer, a coward, and a psychopath.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 7th January 2014, 08:16 PM   #478
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Here we have someone who was obviously guilty as hell, and there's one poster - count him, just one - breathlessly asserting the complete and total innocence of his hero "Dr. MacDonald". I'm not quite sure why anyone is bothering with this.

Rolfe.
Every now and then we have a case where there is true injustice and a truly innocent man or woman, or small dog, is in prison. It takes a lot of work and effort to make a case for innocence in those cases.

Trouble is, for every case where there is true innocence, there is a totally guilty person with fans trying to pull the same routine (Mumia, MacDonald). From an outsider's perspective it can often look very much the same unless one digs deep - which is often more time than can be spared.

The worst thing that can happen in these matters is to let the guilty party's fanboys run rampant without anything to counter the argument. It lets the guilty own the conversation. If you need an example of this look at the Mumia case in the 90's. To listen to the media or the early internet one would think that the man was framed. I was one of the few online who would try to counter some of the Free Mumia idiots. For a while it seemed like I was very much alone in these arguments.

So yeah, I think these things do need to be challenged. Even if the claimants arguments are weak.



So if countering that level of mania
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Old 8th January 2014, 04:06 AM   #479
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I can understand some of the ridiculous indignation with regard to the MacDonald case. It does make me cross that a recent report in the UK says that about a half of professional burglars in court last year were not jailed in order to cut costs. I still think there needs to be a rule of law in America, whatever academic economists might say, and that an innocent prisoner should be able to get out of prison, and not just be assumed to be guilty.

Take nothing on looks, take everything on evidence.

This business of blood supposedly being on the pajama top before it was torn, which JTF has just mentioned, is extremely weak evidence. Janice Glisson of the Army CID lab said that there was blood after it was torn and she was a qualified forensic serologist, unlike Stombaugh of the FBI who was a purported expert and hair and fiber man and former insurance salesman. That was against the Federal Rules of Evidence. There must be expert opinions if opinions and speculation are to be allowed in court.

The hair in Colette's left hand is another complex business. That hair was unidentified from the start which is the reason that MacDonald and his lawyers were so interested in it. In about 1996 the Fourth Circuit judges ordered Judge Fox to do some DNA testing in the MacDonald case, which included that hair in the left hand.

There was then an unseemly wrangle about the chain of custody and who was to do the DNA testing because Harvey Silverglate thought that Dr. MacDonald would be cheated and that the DNA testing would not be honest. Then Harvey Silverglate retired. Judge Fox delayed the DNA testing for ten years, supposedly because of 9/11, and in about 2006 Murtagh magically declared that hair was a MacDonald hair, like some kind of dishonest postman using legal trickery. I think it was forensic fraud by the FBI lab.

Murtagh then hoped that would be the end of the MacDonald case. Then there was some kind of court ruling, perhaps by the supreme court, that the 'evidence as whole' should be included in appeals. Judge Fox was then ordered to examine the 'evidence as a whole', by the Fourth Circuit which he has managed to delay for a few more years.

The MacDonald lawyers did manage to win an Evidentiary Hearing for 2012 from the Fourth Circuit, which was excellent legal work by them because of this evidence as a whole business.

This quite ludicrously unsatisfactory Army CID theory that Colette murdered the two little girls and that Colette supposedly hit Dr. MacDonald with a hairbrush needs to be included in the evidence as a whole, and also that Stombaugh should have been withdrawn as a witness at the 1979 trial because he was a purported expert, and not giving an expert opinion.

Mazerolle was mentioned in passing as a suspect at the 1979 MacDonald trial, but the matter was never properly investigated, or questions asked, or information received. American oil interests are not the only thing to be considered.
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Old 8th January 2014, 05:18 AM   #480
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
The worst thing that can happen in these matters is to let the guilty party's fanboys run rampant without anything to counter the argument. It lets the guilty own the conversation. If you need an example of this look at the Mumia case in the 90's. To listen to the media or the early internet one would think that the man was framed. I was one of the few online who would try to counter some of the Free Mumia idiots. For a while it seemed like I was very much alone in these arguments.

So yeah, I think these things do need to be challenged. Even if the claimants arguments are weak.

I guess you're right. I didn't follow the Mumia thing at all. I remember back in early 2000, I had been talking to a doctor friend about a couple of miscarriages of justice I was concerned about. She said, what do you think about Shipman? I said, "can you spell guilty as hell?" She looked slightly surprised and started talking about evidence, and I told her about the altered computer records, and she said OK, guilty as hell. (My God I had no idea what was cooking up in the Netherlands right then, or how it would be affecting my life in 2013-14!)

There wasn't much of a "he was framed" movement about Shipman, not when the full facts came out. But it's interesting that some people seem to think that if you strongly believe one or two cases are miscarriages of justice, you must automatically jump on every high-profile conviction as being wrong.

It's quite distressing how stupid people can be sometimes, especially when they develop tunnel vision and an idee fixe.

Rolfe.
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