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

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Old 16th January 2021, 04:43 AM   #2241
Henri McPhee
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Segal was right to raise doubts about the prosecution evidence. For one thing there is no absolute certainty that because MacDonald blood type was found somewhere then it must have come from MacDonald. A quarter of the world's population may have the same blood type as MacDonald.

I don't know if it was because Judge Dupree, and perhaps his colleagues, hated Jews but this was a sensible letter from Segal to Dupree which is on the internet:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...tr_dupree.html

"My position as to the physical evidence in this case is that nothing is proven, and nothing is disproven at this time. I do not consider any forensic laboratory to be infallible; this applies to the FBI laboratory, the CID laboratory, the AFTB laboratory and the work done by myself. Competency and technical correctness must be proven. The mere issuance of a written report does not guarantee the correctness of the conclusions contained in it.

I am also disturbed by one other track this matter seems to be taking, i.e., the stressing of the blood stain evidence. Certainly this is an important aspect of the total case. But, I believe there are many other aspects which must be reviewed. Among these are the reconstruction of the penetrations of the pajama top of Jeffrey MacDonald, the nature of the distribution of the wounds to Jeffrey and Colette MacDonald, and trace evidence which might be unexplainable in terms of the milieu of the scene and might indicate other participants. A reading of the CID and FBI laboratory reports suggest to me that this latter factor has been given short shrift by the prosecution's experts. I do not know at this point what such examination would reveal, if anything. But, we will never know until such time as the examinations are conducted.

I strenuously disagree with any claim that the problem is one of logistics. The problem is a much more fundamental one concerning the Defendant's right to have the same sort of examination made of the evidence as did the prosecution.

I conclude by stating that moving the physical evidence for defense examination is not a unique problem by any means. I am not aware of any instance in which the movement of evidence for the purposes of defense examination has either compromised the evidence or its admissibility in Court."

Sincerely,

BERNARD L. SEGAL
Attorney for Jeffrey R. MacDonald

Copy to George M. Anderson, Esquire
United States Attorney

Wade M. Smith, Esquire"

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Old 16th January 2021, 07:41 AM   #2242
JTF
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Errol's Nightmare

Jeffrey MacDonald's pajama top was found on top of Colette MacDonald's chest when CID investigators arrived at 544 Castle Drive on February 17, 1970. The pajama top was placed in a plastic bag by CID investigators William Ivory and Robert Shaw, and later transported to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory at Fort Gordon. The Fort Gordon forensics team began marking and processing the evidence on February 21, 1970. The pajama top contained 48 puncture holes and two cuts with 17 of the puncture holes being found in the back of the garment. This struck CID investigators as extremely odd, for Jeffrey MacDonald did not receive any stab wounds to his back and Womack Hospital medical reports could only verify four puncture-type wounds on MacDonald's body. This led CID investigators to the conclusion that the 48 puncture holes were the result of Jeffrey MacDonald placing his pajama top on Colette's chest, obtaining an ice pick inside the residence, and stabbing Colette with that ice pick through the pajama top.

In 1971, a year after the conclusion of the Article 32 hearings, the FBI was asked to analyze some of the physical evidence found at the crime scene. Paul Stombaugh, chief of the chemistry section of the FBI laboratory, looked at the puncture holes under a microscope. He noticed that all 48 puncture holes were perfectly round with no ragged or torn edges indicating that the pajama top was stationary when punctured. This conclusion was at odds with MacDonald's claim that he used his pajama top as a shield to fend off an ice pick wielding intruder in the living room. Stombaugh and CID investigators were convinced that in MacDonald's scenario, the pajama top would have been in motion as he was blocking the thrusts from the ice pick, yet none of the 48 puncture holes had any torn edges. Three years later, Stombaugh was asked by government lawyers if there was any way to prove that the pajama top was punctured after it was placed on Colette MacDonald's chest.

In 1974, Stombaugh asked physical science technician Shirley Green to assist him in proving or disproving this theory. Stombaugh and Green first looked at the autopsy report of Colette and crime scene photographs of the pajama top on Colette's chest. The autopsy report stated that Colette sustained 21 ice pick wounds to her chest, 16 on the left side of her chest, and five on the right side. The pathologist also indicated that her body was stationary when stabbed with the ice pick. The crime scene photographs demonstrated that the right sleeve of the pajama top was folded inside out and the left panel, which contained no puncture holes, was trailing off alongside Colette's body. The combination of the autopsy report and the crime scene photographs raised the curiosity levels of Stombaugh and Green to new heights. In 1971, Stombaugh analyzed the pajamas worn by Colette and similar to her husband's pajama top, every single puncture hole in her pajamas was perfectly round with no torn edges. He realized that the totality of the puncture hole evidence pointed towards the ice pick penetrating Colette's body, her pajamas, and her husband's pajama top while they were stationary.

Stombaugh then instructed Green to attempt a series of experiments to determine whether or not the puncture hole pattern in Jeffrey MacDonald's pajama top matched the ice pick wound pattern in Colette MacDonald's chest. Shirley Green's attempt to align the 48 puncture holes in the pajama top with the 21 ice pick wounds in Colette's chest was akin to fitting a broken piece of headlight glass found at a hit and run scene back into the light on the suspect's car. Green was subsequently able to find a matching pattern using three different techniques. Green's techniques included a graph paper overlay, a numbering system using push pins, and the insertion of steel rods into the puncture holes in order to duplicate the hole patterns. Several weeks before the 1979 trial, Green was able to replicate the results of her experiments using the same three techniques.

At trial, Brian Murtagh began his direct examination of Shirley Green by asking her about the significance of the steel rods that were inserted into each puncture hole in MacDonald's blue pajama top. Green stated that the rods or probes were used to "demonstrate the alignment of the holes" in the pajama top with the wound pattern on Colette's chest. Green admitted that some of the probes went through several layers of fabric and that a singular probe could encompass a grouping of puncture holes. For example, Green discovered that puncture holes one through 12 could be aligned with five separate probes. Murtagh then asked Green whether she was able to align all 48 puncture holes in MacDonald's pajama top with 21 probes going through any other holes. Green stated that her painstaking analysis, "took over a week just to find one solution, to find this solution."

Green then described how she was able to replicate this pattern using a completely different technique. Green began by folding MacDonald's pajama top in the manner in which it was found on Colette's chest. Green pointed to several crime scene photographs which depicted the "inside of the pajama top facing upward, the right collar area over to the right, to the victim's left, right shoulder seam over to the right." Green then placed a piece of graph paper over a box, she put the folded pajama top down on the box, and inserted 21 push pins through the pajama top. Green discovered that the puncture hole pattern in the graph paper and the box matched the puncture wound pattern in Colette's chest.

https://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 16th January 2021, 08:51 AM   #2243
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post
J The combination of the autopsy report and the crime scene photographs raised the curiosity levels of Stombaugh and Green to new heights. In 1971, Stombaugh analyzed the pajamas worn by Colette and similar to her husband's pajama top, every single puncture hole in her pajamas was perfectly round with no torn edges. He realized that the totality of the puncture hole evidence pointed towards the ice pick penetrating Colette's body, her pajamas, and her husband's pajama top while they were stationary.

https://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
In a way I agree that there is a bit of a mystery about why the holes were round. My own theory is that Helena Stoeckley stabbed MacDonald when he was stationary on the ground unconscious. Thornton surmised at the trial that theoretically the holes could be round after MacDonald was fending off an ice pick attack, which may or may not be true. It's strained logic and doesn't work in practice to insist that MacDonald caused the holes in the pajama top.

Segal explained this at the trial but it was beyond the comprehension of a North Carolina jury:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...ial_green.html

Q "Given the fact that when Mrs. Colette MacDonald died that she was wearing a pink pajama top, would you not agree that good scientific practice would require that any experiment attempted to recreate something about how she might have received her injuries would require that the experiment also have the pink pajama top in place?

MR. MURTAGH: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

MR. SEGAL: I have no further questions of this witness."

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Old 17th January 2021, 02:02 AM   #2244
Henri McPhee
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Gunderson explained why the pajama folding experiment was false evidence. Even Judge Dupree quoted Thornton as saying it was scientifically silly. Judge Dupree became quite vexed when Murtagh suggested the pajama top could be folded several ways to prove the point. It's just that Dupree said he accepted it could be folded the one way because he was biased:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...f_summary.html

40." The "pivotal" piece of evidence, according to the prosecution, in the entire case is the pajama top of Dr. MacDonald. Brian Murtagh, a prosecution lawyer, asked Paul Stombaugh of the FBI laboratory, in 1974 to see if he could "match up 48 holes in the pajama top from ice pick thrusts with the 21 ice pick wounds in Colette's chest." The government theory, as bizarre as it sounds, is that for some reason Dr. MacDonald put his pajama top on Colette and stabbed her through the garment.

Not surprisingly, two weeks later, Stombaugh said, yes, he could match up 48 holes in the pajama top with 21 holes in Colette's chest. This became the infamous "pajama top experiment" that was so convincing to the jury.

The pajama experiment is a fraud. There are approximately 12 reasons why the pajama top experiment is false information, but perhaps the clearest is the government's own evidence. Stombaugh had determined with a microscope the "directionality," i.e., the exit and entrance, of 13 of the holes in the pajama top (by fibers broken one way). However, in order to comply with layer Murtagh's request for "evidence," he had to ignore this proven directionality fact, he reversed six of the 13 directions in order to "match up" the 48 in pajama top holes with 21 wounds on Colette.

There are additional important reasons why the pajama top experiment is fraudulent, including Stombaugh ignoring Colette's pink pajama top; other wounds on Colette; and the massive discrepancy between the depth of wounds necessary in Stombaugh's experiment as opposed to the depth of wounds as determined by autopsy. Yet the pajama top experiment was seen by the jury and believed, and was admitted by Judge Dupree despite overwhelming evidence it was totally false. In essence, a man today sits in federal prison convicted by knowingly false and misleading "evidence" manufactured in response to a lawyer's plea for "new evidence."

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Old 17th January 2021, 11:34 AM   #2245
Henri McPhee
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There is an interesting review of the Christina Masewicz book Scales of Justice. She seems to think MacDonald is guilty because of emotion and the autopsy photos.

There is reasonable doubt about any physical evidence and he should be set free. Personally I also think Wade Smith was too chummy with 'smart' Judge Dupree according to Christina, and Blackburn and Judge Fox which could have been unfair on MacDonald. People are now saying on British TV that Americans believe lies which could be an explanation:

https://www.amazon.ae/Scales-Justice.../dp/1418471232

Cat
1.0 out of 5 stars I suffered thru the first 20 pages or so
December 5, 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
"This is probably one of the worst “true” crime books I’ve ever tried to read. It’s poorly constructed, the conclusions are flawed and the author makes no attempt to provide a balanced view of the case. In short, the writing is just simply bad. I have no idea whether Jeffrey McDonald killed his family or not, but this book clearly isn’t going to provide any enlightenment. If the author attempts another book, I strongly suggest she hire an editor."

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 17th January 2021 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 17th January 2021, 08:03 PM   #2246
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You Can Run, But You Can't Hide

Shortly after Judge Dupree denied MacDonald (e.g., 1984-1985 evidentiary hearings) a new trial, his advocates (e.g., Fred Bost, Jerry Allen Potter, Ted Gunderson, Harvey Silverglate, and Errol Morris) put forth various conspiracy narratives involving the CID, FBI, and DOJ. This cognitive process is known as the Bellwether Fallacy, a common pattern of argumentation in conspiracy theories.

Most conspiracy theories are, to a large extent, theories of history. That is, history tells us that something happened, but a conspiracy theory says that some other (typically poorly defined) events unfolded instead to give us that evidence. Specifically, that something else happened instead and the evidence we have in hand is either selectively considered or has been manufactured by nefarious forces in order to keep us in the dark, lead us astray, and prevent us from determining what "really" happened. As such there are always inconsistencies and anomalies in the data. Historical events never leave antiseptic data sets that point inexorably toward a single conclusion to the exclusion of all contemplated or speculated alternatives.

Hence historical lines of reasoning talk about preponderances of evidence. And so when we dispute a conspiracy theory, we point back to the preponderance -- the totality of available evidence that en masse suggests a particular cause. The essence of the Bellwether Fallacy is that one bit of evidence is made inappropriately to represent the entire question -- to become a bellwether, in essence, for a larger evidentiary picture. If the bellwether proposition can be refuted or upheld, then allegedly so goes the whole question, and the rest of the evidence is just expected to sort itself out somehow to match that direction.

A prime example of how MacDonald advocates become partners in this fallacy lay in Helena Stoeckley being the main ingredient in this cognitive stew. MacDonald advocates have relied on the statements made by Stoeckley in order to justify the position that unsourced trace evidence equals hippie home invaders. To MacDonald advocates, it doesn't really matter that unsourced synthetic fibers, hairs, dark woolen fibers, and candle wax were never linked to Stoeckley in any tangible sense.

It matters not to these same advocates that Stoeckley recanted several of her confessions and that she testified under oath that she has no memory of her whereabouts on 2/17/70. It carries no weight with MacDonald advocates that none of her confessions match up with one another and there seems to be a collective shrug when it is pointed out that there isn't any evidence of her presence at the crime scene.

The only thing that matters to MacDonald advocates is that Stoeckley's CLAIMS make her involvement and the involvement of others in these horrific crimes a foregone conclusion. Stoeckley and her acquaintances have to be the perps because Stoeckley said so. They add that there is evidence of her presence at the crime scene, but the CID/FBI/DOJ have conspired to manipulate, distort, and suppress that evidence. All of the other more logical explanations for the household debris found at 544 Castle Drive are dismissed.

Those prosaic explanations have to be false because there is simply no getting around the fact that Stoeckley claims she was at the crime scene and that she named the "real" perps in this case. MacDonald advocates are so fixated on the unshakable notion that Stoeckley is a credible witness that they do not feel responsible for answering in detail the explanations favoring another explanation. Errol Morris ignored most of the physical evidence that led to MacDonald's conviction, so his bellwether was a two-fold process.

In essence, Morris created twin straw men. One is the credibility of Stoeckley's confessions and the other is the Pajama Top Theory. Morris believed that he had to cut down the government's "single most convincing" bit of proof, in order to propose that the other points would fall more easily or in a similar fashion. He was wrong. The 2012 evidentiary hearing demonstrated that the government's case remains rock solid and that regurgitating previously debunked claims does not provide the defense with the tools to meet their client's "daunting burden."

In 2018, the 4th Circuit ruled on whether Judge Fox erred in finding that MacDonald did not establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable factfinder would have found him guilty of the offense. By a vote of 3-0, the 4th Circuit concluded that,

"Our comprehensive review of the trial and postconviction evidence convinces us that MacDonald has not met the rigorous requirements of 2255(h)(1). As we cautioned in our 2011 decision, 2255(h)(1) was "designed to ensure that [it] could be satisfied only in the rare and extraordinary case." See MacDonald, 641 F.3d at 614-15 (internal quotation marks omitted). Though we have given MacDonald the opportunity to do so, he has not demonstrated that his is one of the rare and extraordinary cases justifying pursuit of a claim premised on newly discovered evidence by way of a successive 2255 motion. Simply put, we cannot say that the new evidence underlying MacDonald's Britt and DNA claims, considered with all the other evidence, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable factfinder would have found him guilty of the murders of his wife and daughters."

The United States Supreme Court refused to hear MacDonald's appeal of the 4th Circuit's 12/21/18 decision, and they denied MacDonald's petition for Habeas Relief on 10/7/19.

https://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 18th January 2021, 02:12 AM   #2247
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post
In essence, Morris created twin straw men. One is the credibility of Stoeckley's confessions and the other is the Pajama Top Theory. Morris believed that he had to cut down the government's "single most convincing" bit of proof, in order to propose that the other points would fall more easily or in a similar fashion. He was wrong. The 2012 evidentiary hearing demonstrated that the government's case remains rock solid and that regurgitating previously debunked claims does not provide the defense with the tools to meet their client's "daunting burden."


https://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
The problem, as far as I can judge, is that it' s almost impossible to appeal in America.

I admire Christina for the work and effort she has put into MacDonald case court transcriptions and other case records often using her own money to obtain the information. It's not every court case which has such a comprehensive background on the internet. The trouble is MacDonald was convicted on false evidence. For instance Christina says on the internet that everybody agrees Kim was murdered in the master bedroom. Everybody was not there at the time and a wise man would say that everybody can't be sure about that.

MacDonald should have won his appeals including the speedy trial appeal and the 1985 Judge Dupree appeal. These North Carolina judges who seem to be the wrong type of man to be judges seem to think that if any exculpatory evidence is discovered after the trial then no juror or 'reasonable factfinder' would think that makes MacDonald innocent. It's ludicrous. It was 'Blackburn' embezzlement physical evidence which amounts to fabricated pajama fibers on the wooden club murder weapon and the pajama pocket which fell off proving nothing in my opinion.

All these judges in their little minds can think about is Britt and DNA which they have done their best to obstruct being investigated anyway.

There is a bit about this sort of thing in that English Justice book published by an anonymous police court solicitor in 1932:

"Let the reader who doubts that the Third Degree occasionally takes place in England ask himself whether he would let any scruples stand in the way of getting evidence to prevent a man who had, for instance, criminally assaulted a child getting away scot free. Of course he wouldn't, neither would I. But the difficulty lies in the question whether the man did assault the child. It is fatally easy to convince oneself of the truth of one's own theory."

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Old 18th January 2021, 07:17 AM   #2248
JTF
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The problem, as far as I can judge, is that it' s almost impossible to appeal in America.

I admire Christina for the work and effort she has put into MacDonald case court transcriptions and other case records often using her own money to obtain the information. It's not every court case which has such a comprehensive background on the internet. The trouble is MacDonald was convicted on false evidence. For instance Christina says on the internet that everybody agrees Kim was murdered in the master bedroom. Everybody was not there at the time and a wise man would say that everybody can't be sure about that.

MacDonald should have won his appeals including the speedy trial appeal and the 1985 Judge Dupree appeal. These North Carolina judges who seem to be the wrong type of man to be judges seem to think that if any exculpatory evidence is discovered after the trial then no juror or 'reasonable factfinder' would think that makes MacDonald innocent. It's ludicrous. It was 'Blackburn' embezzlement physical evidence which amounts to fabricated pajama fibers on the wooden club murder weapon and the pajama pocket which fell off proving nothing in my opinion.

All these judges in their little minds can think about is Britt and DNA which they have done their best to obstruct being investigated anyway.

There is a bit about this sort of thing in that English Justice book published by an anonymous police court solicitor in 1932:

"Let the reader who doubts that the Third Degree occasionally takes place in England ask himself whether he would let any scruples stand in the way of getting evidence to prevent a man who had, for instance, criminally assaulted a child getting away scot free. Of course he wouldn't, neither would I. But the difficulty lies in the question whether the man did assault the child. It is fatally easy to convince oneself of the truth of one's own theory."
It wasn't impossible for inmate to appeal his case. He received more chances at a new trial than any convicted murderer in history. The issue wasn't inmate getting his appeal heard, it was whether inmate could come up with the goods to meet his "daunting burden." Inmate had 8 opportunities to present evidence that directly and/or definitively linked a real life hippie home invader to 544 Castle Drive. Despite his claim that anywhere from 4 to 6 intruders were inside his tiny domicile, not a single hair, fiber, fingerprint, or bloody footprint from a known intruder suspect were found at the crime scene. Fiber evidence, blood spatter, direct bleeding stains, and bloody fabric impressions on the blue bedsheet proved that Colette was transported from Kristen's room to the master bedroom, yet despite this carnage, not a single piece of this evidentiary tapestry was sourced to a known intruder suspect. Inmate had more than enough chances to prove that his hippie home invader story was not a fantasy narrative, but he failed to the tune of 0 appellate victories and 8 appellate losses. In the real world, that translates into inmate spending the rest of his miserable life in prison.

https://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Last edited by JTF; 18th January 2021 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 18th January 2021, 09:07 AM   #2249
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post
. Fiber evidence, blood spatter, direct bleeding stains, and bloody fabric impressions on the blue bedsheet proved that Colette was transported from Kristen's room to the master bedroom, yet despite this carnage, not a single piece of this evidentiary tapestry was sourced to a known intruder suspect. Inmate had more than enough chances to prove that his hippie home invader story was not a fantasy narrative, but he failed to the tune of 0 appellate victories and 8 appellate losses. In the real world, that translates into inmate spending the rest of his miserable life in prison.

https://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
The fiber evidence, and even the blood evidence was hotly disputed at the trial and even after the trial. Stombaugh and Shirley Green of the FBI were never qualified to testify about fabric impressions anyway. Glisson of the army CID lab and Frier of the FBI were qualified but they must have been told to keep their mouths shut which naturally infuriated MacDonald.

Personally, I think that if you don't believe Greg Mitchell and Helena Stoeckley were suspicious characters then you must be nuts, or ignorant, or have an astonishing lack of vision.

There used to be a sensible internet poster on the MacDonald case called Omega Man who no longer seems to be around. I used to agree with everything he said about the MacDonald case:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...249368&page=39

"There used to be a pro-MacDonald poster years ago called Omega Man on the old A&E MacDonald forum, where all the postings seem now to have been deleted. Omega Man posted: " The Anti-Mac faction has fallen prey to the prosecution's 35 year old game of creating a theory out of thin air and making the evidence in the case fit the theory, like making a round peg fit a square hole. Or if you will, like the pajama top theory advanced at trial by Stombaugh - a theory that has from the very beginning been rendered as scrap."

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 18th January 2021 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 18th January 2021, 09:38 AM   #2250
Henri McPhee
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The Justice Department, if not Murtagh, now publicly admit that there is reasonable doubt about the hair evidence in the MacDonald case which was supposed to have 'proved' his guilt. It's much the same with the fiber evidence in the case. It's a bit like the Rothchilds once said years ago that they get away with it because the public are totally ignorant of things like the principles of international finance. It's too difficult for them, like electronic eavesdropping:

"Thus, last year, the Department advised MacDonald’s counsel that:

https://for-sci-law.blogspot.com/201...ald-after.html

We have determined that the microscopic hair comparison analysis testimony or laboratory report presented in this case included statements that exceeded the limits of science and were, therefore invalid: (1) the examiner stated or implied that the evidentiary hair could be associated with a specific individual to the exclusion of all others—this type of testimony exceeded the limits of science;

(2) the examiner assigned to the positive association a statistical weight or probability or provided a likelihood that the questioned hair originated from a particular source, or an opinion as to the likelihood or rareness of the positive association that could lead the jury to believe that valid statistical weight can be assigned to a microscopic hair association—this type of testimony exceeded the limits of science. (A copy of the documents upon which our determination is based is enclosed.)

We take no position regarding the materiality of the error in this case.
According to the court, the FBI and the Innocence Project (IP) identified three errors based in the lab reports or trial testimony. None of them prompted the court to change an earlier order denying him post-conviction relief."

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 18th January 2021 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 18th January 2021, 11:30 AM   #2251
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The fiber evidence, and even the blood evidence was hotly disputed at the trial and even after the trial.
I would certainly hope so. That's the defense counsel's job, after all.

Quote:
Stombaugh and Shirley Green of the FBI were never qualified to testify about fabric impressions anyway.
Is that what the court found? That they weren't qualified? Did any of the subsequent appeals rule that they were unqualified? Or is that just yours and the defense counsel's opinion?

Quote:
Glisson of the army CID lab and Frier of the FBI were qualified but they must have been told to keep their mouths shut which naturally infuriated MacDonald.
How do you know that they "must have been told to keep their mouths shut"? What is your basis for suggesting this?

Quote:
Personally, I think that if you don't believe Greg Mitchell and Helena Stoeckley were suspicious characters then you must be nuts, or ignorant, or have an astonishing lack of vision.
I agree, which is why I wonder you would believe that Helena Stoeckley was a viable suspect based solely on her own uncorroborated confession. Or do you have other evidence that implicates her?

Most "suspicious characters" don't commit mass murder. But do you know one thing that almost all "suspicious characters do? They lie.

So if Helena Stoeckley is such a "suspicious character", why would you take her confession at face value?
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Old 18th January 2021, 02:36 PM   #2252
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Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The fiber evidence, and even the blood evidence was hotly disputed at the trial and even after the trial.
I would certainly hope so. That's the defense counsel's job, after all.
Well actually the fiber and blood evidence was not "hotly" disputed at trial although aspects were disputed. In fact very little was countered by the Defence apparently because they really could not dispute it and because they thought the jury would just be confused by it. Since then all attempts to counter this evidence have failed; usually spectacularly. In fact the only physical evidence to be challenged, very seriously, is the hole's in the Pajama top and that too fails. Basically MacDonald's defenders dismiss the vast majority of the physical evidence has essentially meaningless; just like Morris did in his book Wilderness of Errors.

Quote:
Quote:
Stombaugh and Shirley Green of the FBI were never qualified to testify about fabric impressions anyway.
Is that what the court found? That they weren't qualified? Did any of the subsequent appeals rule that they were unqualified? Or is that just yours and the defense counsel's opinion?
The original Court found them to be qualified and so did the various Appeal Courts. So yes that is just Henri and various Defence Council's opinion.

Quote:
Quote:
Glisson of the army CID lab and Frier of the FBI were qualified but they must have been told to keep their mouths shut which naturally infuriated MacDonald.
How do you know that they "must have been told to keep their mouths shut"? What is your basis for suggesting this?
Henri believes in a vast conspiracy to frame MacDonald for which he has provided no evidence for. It is purely poisoning the well crap.

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Personally, I think that if you don't believe Greg Mitchell and Helena Stoeckley were suspicious characters then you must be nuts, or ignorant, or have an astonishing lack of vision.
I agree, which is why I wonder you would believe that Helena Stoeckley was a viable suspect based solely on her own uncorroborated confession. Or do you have other evidence that implicates her?

Most "suspicious characters" don't commit mass murder. But do you know one thing that almost all "suspicious characters do? They lie.

So if Helena Stoeckley is such a "suspicious character", why would you take her confession at face value?
Stoeckley's confession is utterly worthless. Not only is there no physical evidence at the murder site that she was ever there, or anyone else she named, but over the years she said she was never there, or that she was too drugged out to remember what happened that night at all. Stoeckley, confessed, retracted over and over again over the years. She was a serious junkie and alcoholic dying eventually of cirrhosis of the liver and other drug related cases. She was prone to fantasy and delusional.

Further her version of events that happened when she confessed to being there massively contradicted MacDonald's version of events. Among other things Stoeckley claimed at times that she had an affair with MacDonald. Stoeckley for example also claimed that she and a group of people went there for drugs and were talking to MacDonald, who let them in, for a bit and when he refused to give them drugs things got violent. The contradictions with MacDonald's story are massive.

And that is just the beginning with the problems with the Stoeckley conferssion. (Others include implicating someone who was almost certainly never there - Allan Mazotte etc.) Without supporting evidence Stoeckley's confession is utter garbage.

Last edited by Pacal; 18th January 2021 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 18th January 2021, 04:31 PM   #2253
Reformed Offlian
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
She was a serious junkie and alcoholic dying eventually of cirrhosis of the liver and other drug related cases.
I guess acid wasn't so groovy, after all.
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Old 18th January 2021, 10:28 PM   #2254
JTF
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Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian View Post
I guess acid wasn't so groovy, after all.
Prior to the 1984-1985 evidentiary hearings, the government filed a 91-page report which included the following synopsis of the main red herring in this case.

"What distinguishes Stoeckley's confession from the others is not only the factual details of the crime which she managed to weave into her narrative (not unlike the malingerer who learns the symptoms of obscure diseases), but also her complex motivations. These motivations include grandiose delusions of her medical and scholastic ability, a propensity for histrionics, a vicarious interest in police matters, and a bizarre conception of herself as a benevolent witch."

The government also responded to a post-trial claim leveled by the MacDonald defense team that Stoeckley's 1979 trial testimony was greatly effected by the "passage of time." The following is an excerpt from the government's brief:

"Further, that if her lack of memory was due to the passage of time, it is just as likely that Stoeckley's memory lapsed during the four and half years appellant's various interlocutory appeals were pending. In any event the record is clear that appellant's didn't want Stoeckley as a live witness, what he wanted was her unavailable under rule 804 FRE. When the Government foiled this ploy by making her physically available, appellant sought the subterfuge of impeaching her by the use of her hearsay statements. However, it is clear from the record that the passage of time had nothing to do with the exclusion of Stoeckley's statements, but rather, they were excluded because the trial judge found them inherently untrustworthy and excluded them pursuant to 804 (b) (3) FR."

The defense made no mention of how Stoeckley's multiple medical difficulties may have altered her mental state. In the nine-year period leading up to her trial testimony, Stoeckley was diagnosed with hepatitis, she had a stroke, and she was diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder.

In terms of her presence at the crime scene, there is not a shred of physical evidence linking Helena Stoeckley to the murders. In 1971, head hair and fingerprint exemplars were obtained from Stoeckley, and no match was found at the crime scene. In 2006, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology released their DNA test results on 29 hair exhibits found at the crime scene. None of the exhibits matched the DNA profile of Helena Stoeckley. The 30 year old Stoeckley died in 1983 of pneumonia, brought on by cirrhosis of the liver.

https://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
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Old 19th January 2021, 01:55 AM   #2255
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian View Post
So if Helena Stoeckley is such a "suspicious character", why would you take her confession at face value?
This sort of question was mentioned in that English Justice book published in 1932 by an anonymous police court solicitor:

"The commonest mistake by those inexperienced in weighing evidence is to reject the whole of a story because the witness who told it has made mistakes, or even lied as to part."
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Old 19th January 2021, 02:10 AM   #2256
Henri McPhee
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[quote=Reformed Offlian;13365421]
How do you know that they "must have been told to keep their mouths shut"? What is your basis for suggesting this?

/QUOTE]

It's like Glisson was in disagreement with Stombaugh about blood supposedly being on the pajama top before it was torn. Frier mentioned the black wool fibers on the wooden murder weapon but not to the judge and jury. It was the 'pajama like' fibers on the murder weapon which wrongly convicted MacDonald.

MacDonald explains the situation at this website:

http://www.thejeffreymacdonaldcase.c...r-defense.html

04." The 1979 FBI typed report of Frier's findings, dictated by Morris Clark and not Frier, does not mention the crucial black wool findings.

05. Frier is listed as a government witness in the 1979 spring and summer witness lists and was in Raleigh, North Carolina, on standby to testify. He never testified.

page 2

06. In June 1979, the FBI was doing fiber studies on sweaters from 544 Castle Drive, apparently trying to match the mystery fibers.

07. Back in March, 1979, Murtaugh [sic] personally picked up the original and carbon copies of the fiber report disguising Frier's real findings.

08. At trial, Dillard Browning from the CID testified two fibers on the club were matched to the pajama top (i.e. that E-205/Q89 had two purple cotton fibers in it matching my pajama top). He also stated there were only two fibers in the exhibit!

09. At trial, Stombaugh, as the FBI "fiber expert", testified he found two purple sewing threads in Q89 (i.e. debris from club). Importantly he said he looked at them on slides, which Frier's report refutes.

10. The crucial deception: See page 4,612. Murtaugh, [sic] the only person besides Frier who knew of the black wool, lies to the court and Bernie Segal. We stipulate that we agree Frier would testify to the other fibers, i.e. the rayon fibers matching the throw rug. No mention is made of Frier's crucial finding of two black wool fibers! Since we stipulate, Frier does not go on the stand; we can't cross-examine him, and we can't discover the crucial notes. Murtaugh [sic] has, as a safety valve, made the FBI typed report, but no mention is made of Frier's crucial finding in it (in addition, we do not believe the defense received the typed report anyway).

Thus, through clever slight-of-hand, Murtaugh [sic] has intentionally and knowingly suppressed the single most crucial piece of exculpatory material in the case other then the (also hidden) loss of skin from Colette's hand on which the blood type of Greg Mitchell was found!

The black wool fibers put assailants at the scene because the black wool on the club (and in Colette's mouth and on her pajama top) is not from a source in the house.

11. Then almost unbelievably, the government asks me on cross-examination (page 6791, Friday, August 24, 1979) to explain "two purple sewing threads identical to those from the pajama top". My answer: "I cannot".

But, the fibers were known by Murtaugh [sic] to be black wool from outside the house.

page 3

12. The final blow is in the closing argument. On August 28, 1979, Brian Murtaugh [sic] tells the jury that the government took two purple cotton sewing threads from the club. Then, Blackburn takes over and states they would throw out the whole shooting match except for two things: the pajama top and the club because two purple threads on the club matched the pajama top and I can't explain it.

And so, the crux of the government case is a knowing lie. The fibers on the club not only weren't blue cotton or purple cotton (they were black wool), but they also were from outside the house. And, when I couldn't answer the government's query based on a lie, I was convicted. The government had subverted discovery for so long we could never do our own testing, and Murtaugh [sic] ingeniously had us stipulate to the one witness most dangerous to the government cover-up and lie, James Frier. If he testified, his cross examination and notes would have provided the defense with knowledge of the real, exculpatory facts, and, would have implicated Frier, Clark and Murtaugh [sic] in the obstruction of justice (and probably Murtaugh [sic] perjury)."

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Old 19th January 2021, 02:37 AM   #2257
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
Well actually the fiber and blood evidence was not "hotly" disputed at trial although aspects were disputed. In fact very little was countered by the Defence apparently because they really could not dispute it and because they thought the jury would just be confused by it. Since then all attempts to counter this evidence have failed; usually spectacularly. In fact the only physical evidence to be challenged, very seriously, is the hole's in the Pajama top and that too fails. Basically MacDonald's defenders dismiss the vast majority of the physical evidence has essentially meaningless; just like Morris did in his book Wilderness of Errors.
I have always thought that it was a pity MacDonald's lawyer Eisman was not at the trial. He seemed to have been replaced by Wade Smith apparently because Wade Smith came from North Carolina. Eisman understood the forensics and the blood evidence in the case and the fibers and hairs and explained it at the Article 32 in 1970. Eisman got the AFIP lab to report that there was nothing in the forensics that indicated MacDonald did it.

I have always thought that horror of horrors there was blood at the crime scene as shown by the autopsy photos but that blood doesn't really prove MacDonald did it. Murtagh and Dupree cunningly arranged for Eisman's cross-examinations to not be allowed to be presented to the jury on the spurious grounds that it was ten years old! Eisman was shot dead in about 1992 at about the time of the 1992 Judge Dupree appeal.

Segal was probably mistaken in his defense strategy by trying to accuse the blood man Chamberlain of the Army CID lab of making mistakes which may not have gone down well with the jury. Segal just ignored the pajama pocket. Murtagh cunningly mentioned the pajama pocket in his closing argument. After all any juror could not possibly believe that the Army CID lab or FBI could make a mistake!
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Old 19th January 2021, 02:59 AM   #2258
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian View Post

Is that what the court found? That they weren't qualified? Did any of the subsequent appeals rule that they were unqualified? Or is that just yours and the defense counsel's opinion?
I think Segal's cross examination of Stombaugh about his qualifications with regard to fabric impressions was some of Segal's better work at the trial.

The point is that Stombaugh's fabric impression evidence is accepted as gospel by people like JTF. Judge Dupree had no right to say that Stombaugh was an expert in that field under the Federal Rules of Evidence. That's a mistrial. You can only give your opinion in a murder case if you are a real expert. Dupree did say that he was never asked for Shirley Green's qualifications but that is no excuse for the jury thinking that she was an FBI expert:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...stombaugh.html

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Can you recall how many cases, if any, that you were found qualified as an expert by a court somewhere on the matter of fabric impressions as distinguished from fabric damage?
A No, sir; I was qualified as an expert in many courts and in many cases throughout this country in that field.
Q What I asked was can you tell us how many cases were you qualified as an expert in fabric impressions?
A Here again, sir, you are asking for a number which I cannot give you. I don't keep records like that.
Q All right, could you tell me, please, the name of one case and what court that was that you were qualified, as an expert in fabric impressions?
A Sir, I couldn't even tell you the cases that I have just testified in Greenville recently. It's just something you don't remember. I don't.
Q I'm sorry. Go ahead.
A I'm finished.
Q Would I be correct in saying that you are unable to name any specific case or any specific court in which you were found to be a qualified expert in fabric impressions?
A That is correct, sir. I would have to go back to Washington, D.C., and go through all kinds of records just to try to find the cases I testified in.
Q On fabric impression. I am only asking you about one subject now.
A I know.
Q Well, how about -- you say you have been in Greenville since 1976, up to now. How many cases have you testified in Greenville as an expert on fabric impressions?
A I can't recall having one down there, sir. Most of these cases are in hairs and fibers.

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Old 19th January 2021, 04:27 PM   #2259
JTF
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You're Late To The Party, Pal

HENRI: News flash... ALL of your regurgitated evidentiary claims have been addressed at evidentiary hearings in 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2007, and 2012. None of those evidentiary claims came close to meeting inmate's "daunting burden." These failures have led to inmate awaiting his 40th year in prison in the spring of this year.

https://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Last edited by JTF; 19th January 2021 at 04:29 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 02:25 AM   #2260
Henri McPhee
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It was a miscarriage of justice and Helena Stoeckley and Greg Mitchell and their pals were almost certainly involved in the MacDonald murders.

There has been bias in the English courts in the past. There used to be landowners acting as magistrates who could give some very rough justice to any poachers they came across in the courts.

There is a bit about this sort of thing in that English Justice book published in 1932 by an anonymous solicitor:

"A man who is convicted, even though guilty, merely on suspicion without having the case against him proved, will cherish resentment even more bitterly than an innocent man. Those who hear the trial, and do not know him to be guilty, will be satisfied that there has been a miscarriage of justice and will lose the confidence in our courts which is essential to security. Worst of all the admission of irregularities into the trial of a guilty man will infallibly lead to similar things taking place when innocent men come before the Court."
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Old Yesterday, 02:34 AM   #2261
Henri McPhee
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I can't quite see how Stombaugh could have been qualified as an expert, or Shirley Green. I'm not qualified to testify in court about music or theoretical physics. Segal had a bit to say about this at the trial and I agree with him:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...stombaugh.html

B E N C H C O N F E R E N C E

MR. SEGAL: Your Honor, we are getting to the point now where the motion that we have made, the memoranda that we have submitted are appropriate. This man is now testifying an to a hypothetical fact for which there is no basis in the record.
Now, every case that I know of, every rule of law that I know says that, you know, when an expert gives an opinion, if it is not based on facts in this case, there is no standing for it. Now, he said, "assume he was this way and assume he was that way" -- well, assuming I could fly around the room, so what. What has that got to do with this case?
There must be a factual foundation for his testimony, Your Honor. I don't understand how we can have him stand here --

THE COURT: The reason I let it stand is because I thought his answer was favorable to you.

MR. SEGAL: Your Honor, I --

MR. BLACKBURN: There is already testimony in evidence that the Defendant was wearing a blue pajama top that night. There is evidence that he said it was ripped or torn in the living room. This witness has said -- this was in 1971, this examination. The reconstruction did not take place until four years later in 1974. We are not anywhere close to reconstruction --

THE COURT: Well, you just asked him how -- If he had an opinion as to how -- he says, well, it could have been either way.

MR. BLACKBURN: He said it could have been one or two ways.

THE COURT: I don't see how it hurts you at all.

MR. SEGAL: He makes the assumptions -- where did the assumptions come from?

MR. BLACKBURN: Where the pajama top was on.

THE COURT: I know; I hear what you say about assumptions, but how does it hurt you? That is what I don't see.

MR. SEGAL: My feeling is, Your Honor, that having read this witness' testimony, his assumptions lead him nowhere but into deep water, and I don't intend to join him in that deep water.

THE COURT: Yes, you will; if he ever gets in there, I guarantee you will hold his head under for three days.

MR. SEGAL: That's possible, Your Honor. Maybe we would be better off without his assumptions, Judge.

MR. BLACKBURN: He has been qualified as an expert.

THE COURT: Proceed with your questioning.

(Bench conference terminated.)

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Old Yesterday, 07:19 AM   #2262
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I think Segal's cross examination of Stombaugh about his qualifications with regard to fabric impressions was some of Segal's better work at the trial.

The point is that Stombaugh's fabric impression evidence is accepted as gospel by people like JTF. Judge Dupree had no right to say that Stombaugh was an expert in that field under the Federal Rules of Evidence. That's a mistrial. You can only give your opinion in a murder case if you are a real expert. Dupree did say that he was never asked for Shirley Green's qualifications but that is no excuse for the jury thinking that she was an FBI expert:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...stombaugh.html

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Can you recall how many cases, if any, that you were found qualified as an expert by a court somewhere on the matter of fabric impressions as distinguished from fabric damage?
A No, sir; I was qualified as an expert in many courts and in many cases throughout this country in that field.
Q What I asked was can you tell us how many cases were you qualified as an expert in fabric impressions?
A Here again, sir, you are asking for a number which I cannot give you. I don't keep records like that.
Q All right, could you tell me, please, the name of one case and what court that was that you were qualified, as an expert in fabric impressions?
A Sir, I couldn't even tell you the cases that I have just testified in Greenville recently. It's just something you don't remember. I don't.
Q I'm sorry. Go ahead.
A I'm finished.
Q Would I be correct in saying that you are unable to name any specific case or any specific court in which you were found to be a qualified expert in fabric impressions?
A That is correct, sir. I would have to go back to Washington, D.C., and go through all kinds of records just to try to find the cases I testified in.
Q On fabric impression. I am only asking you about one subject now.
A I know.
Q Well, how about -- you say you have been in Greenville since 1976, up to now. How many cases have you testified in Greenville as an expert on fabric impressions?
A I can't recall having one down there, sir. Most of these cases are in hairs and fibers.
If that was Segal's best work than it's no wonder McDonald got convicted. The only thing I see established here is that Segal doesn't keep a diary of his court appearances handy. So what?
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Old Yesterday, 07:25 AM   #2263
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
This sort of question was mentioned in that English Justice book published in 1932 by an anonymous police court solicitor:

"The commonest mistake by those inexperienced in weighing evidence is to reject the whole of a story because the witness who told it has made mistakes, or even lied as to part."
The argument is not: "She lied about something, therefore she lied about everything."

It is not a mistake to reject the uncorroborated statement of a witness who lacks credibility that doesn't match the other evidence. Nothing else in the evidence supported Stoeckley's confession, so it was down entirely to her personal credibility, of which she had none.

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Old Yesterday, 09:23 AM   #2264
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian View Post
The argument is not: "She lied about something, therefore she lied about everything."

It is not a mistake to reject the uncorroborated statement of a witness who lacks credibility that doesn't match the other evidence. Nothing else in the evidence supported Stoeckley's confession, so it was down entirely to her personal credibility, of which she had none.
You don't seem to realize that Helena Stoeckley was an informant. No police spies are capable of telling the truth, probably because it's a dangerous job.. The fact is that Detective Beasley in Fayetteville regarded her as a reliable informant who would give him 'who done it' information, like Mazerolle was involved. Officer Gaddis from Nashville at a trial Bench Conference unheard by the jury said she should be further investigated and indicted over the MacDonald murders. Since then Gaddis has publicly said Helena was as guilty as hell:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...al_gaddis.html

Q " How could you describe for us whether she was a reliable or unreliable informant in drug matters?
A Well, I have had several informants, and she is, by far, the best informant I have ever had.
Q And how do you decide that informants are good informants -- the basis, I guess, or the criteria you use?
A The basis would be how smooth she is with the people she works with, the information she comes across with, the reliability or percentage of good busts we make with her. I say the percentage of busts we made with her were about 90 to 95 percent correct.
Q That means that 95 percent of the time you actually found drugs at the place that she indicated to you?
A Yes, sir.
Q How long did you continue to work with Ms. Stoeckley in that relationship as using her and working with her as an informant?
A We used her for approximately four months, sir. Then she left Nashville and went to Florida for drug rehab.
Q Now, at some time did you learn that she had previously lived in the Fayetteville, North Carolina, area?
A Yes, sir; I did.
Q And when did you learn that, Officer Gaddis?
A Well, it was -- I don't know the exact date when I learned that she lived in Fayetteville, but she came up to me one night and asked me if I could find out, through contacting the Faytteville police, if she was still wanted in connection --

MR. BLACKBURN: (Interposing) OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q All right, the result of -- without telling us what she said, the result of whatever conversation you had with her at that time -- did you take any action as a result of that conversation? Did you make any inquiries?

MR. BLACKBURN: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED. Members of the jury, the evidence now apparently sought to be elicited by counsel is evidence which this Court has heard in your absence. The Court has ruled that the evidence is not admissible. I am instructing you at this time that you should not draw any inference whatever from the fact that the question itself has been asked. I will instruct counsel not to repeat such questions. I also inform you that it is the duty of counsel for either side, when it is perceived that objectionable testimony is sought to be introduced or elicited from a witness, to register an objection and that you are not under any circumstances to draw any inference adverse to counsel making such an objection, whether it be the Government or the Defendant or anyone. Proceed."

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Old Yesterday, 09:57 AM   #2265
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian View Post
If that was Segal's best work than it's no wonder McDonald got convicted. So what?
There was quite an amusing exchange at the Stombaugh cross-examination on August 8 1979 in which Segal remarked that he hoped Shirley Green had better qualifications than Stombaugh:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...stombaugh.html

MR. SEGAL: Your Honor, he has been qualified as some kind of pseudo-expert. I want to find out --

MR. MURTAGH: OBJECTION.

MR. SEGAL: I want to know whether he has any basis for making these statements.

THE COURT: Now, wait a minute. If you have any arguments to make of that type, you make them here at the Bench.

MR. SEGAL: I would make them wherever Your Honor will decide they should be made.

THE COURT: Well, I just said right here at the Bench. If you want to be heard on that, you come up here.
Members of the jury, Counsel has just made a statement to the effect that this witness had qualified as some kind of pseudo-expert. The Court considers that that comment was improper. The Court can understand that Counsel, as I told you before, may in the heat of battle sometimes say things that on further reflection they might themselves not have said. I ask you, however, to disregard that comment. It will be for the jury to determine whether or not this witness is an expert. As the Court has said, the evidence tends to show that he is, and as to what weight, if any, his testimony is to be accorded by the jury."

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Old Yesterday, 10:17 AM   #2266
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
MR. BLACKBURN: There is already testimony in evidence that the Defendant was wearing a blue pajama top that night. There is evidence that he said it was ripped or torn in the living room. This witness has said -- this was in 1971, this examination. The reconstruction did not take place until four years later in 1974. We are not anywhere close to reconstruction -- ...........


MR. SEGAL: That's possible, Your Honor. Maybe we would be better off without his assumptions, Judge.

MR. BLACKBURN: He has been qualified as an expert.

THE COURT: Proceed with your questioning.

(Bench conference terminated.)
This matter was discussed and cleared up at the Article 32 in 1970 with Eisman questioning CID agent Shaw. Why does Blackburn and Stombaugh have to muddy the waters about it ten years later with the support of biased old Judge Dupree?:

http://www.themacdonaldcase.com/html...pre-art32.html

Q "If it were just wrapped around his arm in the living room, there would be, possibly, a small amount of fibers there, and when he ripped it off completely, breaking the seams, that the profusion of fibers would be found in the bedroom and that would be consistent with his story, would it not?
A No.
Q It wouldn't?
A No, because he states it was ripped in the living room. He started down the hallway and he wound up unconscious on the hall floor. There are no fibers in the living room -- we found none -- let's put it that way, and we searched very diligently for fibers in the living room or the couch and in the kitchen and dining room we found none. We did find one group of fibers, or threads, I am not sure which, at the entrance to the hallway, floor to the living room. We found a great many fibers all over the bedroom floor. I was asked before where most of them were found, but in fact they were found through the traveled area of this bedroom floor.
Q Captain MacDonald never said it got ripped; he said it somehow got entangled over his arm in the living room in the struggle and he staggered into the hallway and became unconscious, is that your recollection also of his story?
A Yes, sir.
Q And then he regained consciousness and went into the bedroom and then took off the top or freed his hands?
A He said to me in the only personal statement I heard him make, that he has no recollection of it going over his head because he has no recollection of the top being pulled over the head, but he did say at one point that the pajama jacket was wrapped somehow around his wrist and that someone was punching him and he was trying to fend off the punches with the top in his hands and when he regained consciousness, he went through these four people and wound up on the floor of the hallway and regained consciousness, he stood up and walked to his wife's body, pulled the pajama jacket off his hand and placed it on her body in an attempt to keep her warm and treat her for shock. So that is what I heard him say.
Q But he never said the jacket was ripped?
A I don't believe he used that term. I would have to read the transcript of his statement again.
Q If fibers were found in the hallway near the living room, isn't it possible this got there from his falling down there and lying there with his hands entwined in the jacket for a period of time -- we don't know how long -- before he got up to go in the bedroom? Couldn't they have gotten there that way?
A If that happened, yes, they could have."

Last edited by Henri McPhee; Yesterday at 10:23 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:59 AM   #2267
Reformed Offlian
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: USA
Posts: 251
Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There was quite an amusing exchange at the Stombaugh cross-examination on August 8 1979 in which Segal remarked that he hoped Shirley Green had better qualifications than Stombaugh:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...stombaugh.html

MR. SEGAL: Your Honor, he has been qualified as some kind of pseudo-expert. I want to find out --

MR. MURTAGH: OBJECTION.

MR. SEGAL: I want to know whether he has any basis for making these statements.

THE COURT: Now, wait a minute. If you have any arguments to make of that type, you make them here at the Bench.

MR. SEGAL: I would make them wherever Your Honor will decide they should be made.

THE COURT: Well, I just said right here at the Bench. If you want to be heard on that, you come up here.
Members of the jury, Counsel has just made a statement to the effect that this witness had qualified as some kind of pseudo-expert. The Court considers that that comment was improper. The Court can understand that Counsel, as I told you before, may in the heat of battle sometimes say things that on further reflection they might themselves not have said. I ask you, however, to disregard that comment. It will be for the jury to determine whether or not this witness is an expert. As the Court has said, the evidence tends to show that he is, and as to what weight, if any, his testimony is to be accorded by the jury."
Are you trying to make the case that Strombaugh wasn't an expert and that Segal's cross examination of him was both effective and appropriate? Because your own quotes seem to suggest the exact opposite.

Last edited by Reformed Offlian; Yesterday at 11:10 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 11:08 AM   #2268
Reformed Offlian
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Posts: 251
Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
You don't seem to realize that Helena Stoeckley was an informant.
I do seem to realize that. I just don't see how it's relevant.

Quote:
No police spies are capable of telling the truth, probably because it's a dangerous job.
Astronaut is a dangerous job, too. Are astronauts capable of telling the truth? You're not one of *those* conspiracy theorists, are you?

At any rate, insisting that Stoeckley isn't capable of telling the truth doesn't help your case. There's no evidence linking her to the case, so the only thing you could hope for would be a confession. And you don't even have that, at least not a usable one.

Quote:
The fact is that Detective Beasley in Fayetteville regarded her as a reliable informant who would give him 'who done it' information, like Mazerolle was involved. Officer Gaddis from Nashville at a trial Bench Conference unheard by the jury said she should be further investigated and indicted over the MacDonald murders. Since then Gaddis has publicly said Helena was as guilty as hell:

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...al_gaddis.html
Again, so what? There's nothing novel or interesting about a police detective "liking" a suspect. Does he have evidence? Or is he just "going with his gut" on this one? And what is his explanation for the evidence implicating McDonald?

Last edited by Reformed Offlian; Yesterday at 11:11 AM.
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Old Today, 01:14 AM   #2269
Henri McPhee
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 3,890
Originally Posted by Reformed Offlian View Post

At any rate, insisting that Stoeckley isn't capable of telling the truth doesn't help your case. There's no evidence linking her to the case, so the only thing you could hope for would be a confession. And you don't even have that, at least not a usable one.
Helena Stoekley confessed to her own lawyer, Leonard. This information came out at the time of the 2012 evidentiary hearing. It's conclusive information for me though the gullible North Carolina judges didn't believe it. Murtagh then accused Leonard of being an alcoholic, if not mentally ill:

http://www.thejeffreymacdonaldcase.c...ff-leonard.pdf

12. " Sometime on Monday afternoon, Ms. Stoeckley asked me what I would do if she actually
had been "there". I recall telling her that I would still help her, but that she had to tell me
the truth. She then told me she had been scared to tell me the truth, but that the truth was
"not as bad as everybody thought". Shortly thereafter she began telling me that she was, in
fact, at the MacDonald residence at the time of the murders. She said she did not actually
hurt anyone, nor did she anticipate that the MacDonalds would be hurt."

Last edited by Henri McPhee; Today at 01:18 AM.
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