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

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Old 13th December 2012, 09:25 AM   #41
Babbylonian
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Here's another tangent: MacDonald's guilt or innocence aside, what do people think of "statement analysis"?

Is it the same thing as "content analysis"?

What do people think of the "statement analysis" here?

(I read something somewhere about this, and this is what I eventually found on Google. If there is a better, more worthy example of such analysis, let's look at that instead.)

I'm a little skeptical of this kind of close reading, but maybe it has more validity than I know. How, where is it used?

http://www.statementanalysis.com/macdonald/

excerpt:
The example you provide looks pretty wooish to me in the absence of an extensive sampling of his normal conversational style. I say "I really don't know" all the time because, well, I really don't know.

It gets worse to my eyes pretty quickly:
Quote:
In an open statement, the subject should only report what he remembers. When a person states that he does not remember something, he is telling us that he remembers that he does not remember! This is a strong indication the subject is withholding information.
Maybe, or the subject knows that the reader would expect him to remember something so he's honestly reporting that he doesn't.
Quote:
Three is a liar's number. When deceptive people have to come up with a number they will often use the number three. It is not an absolute but an indication of deception.
Blech, blech, awful, blech.

I'm skipping the rest to get back to work but, whatever the truth of the case (I saw the movie when I was a kid but that's the extent of my knowledge), this particular methodology - or at least how it's applied/written here - reeks of BS to me.
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Old 13th December 2012, 09:36 AM   #42
Charlie Wilkes
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
What do people think of the "statement analysis" here?
I'd say it is on a par with "reverse speech" in terms of forensic value.

http://www.reversespeech.com/home.htm
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Old 14th December 2012, 10:13 AM   #43
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Speaking of gross injustice....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...e0d_story.html
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Old 14th December 2012, 04:02 PM   #44
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Holy Confabulations, Batman

Originally Posted by Twiggett View Post
...The only thing I find unfathomable in this case is how anyone can look at the facts and conclude that this man is innocent.
Well, it might become fathomable if you had a better grasp on the facts. For instance, you assert Macdonald was stabbed just once. That's incorrect. For all I know this is not your only misconception. Or perhaps it is.

Macdonald's most rapid detractors claim this is an open and shut case without any room whatsoever for doubt about his guilt. His most smitten supporters profess equal certainty about his innocence. Personally I don't agree with either of those positions.


Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Good post. I recall that as soon as I heard about the ridiculous writing on the wall about acid-is-groovy, I knew what happened...
It was a ridiculous post. Further, either you are suffering from a false memory, or your original certainty was based on misinformation.

If you heard "acid is groovy" was written inside the house, that's wrong. It's what Macdonald claims the alleged intruders SAID. While indeed the word "pig", written in blood, was found in the bedroom.
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Old 14th December 2012, 05:37 PM   #45
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Open And Shut

Those who place emphasis on supposition, half-truths, innuendo, and fantasy give credence to the notion that MacDonald is a tortured innocent. Those who stick to documented fact have a very different take on this case.

1) It took a jury less than 7 hours to convict MacDonald on three counts of murder.

2) At trial, the prosecution presented over 1,100 evidentiary items and that was only about 60 percent of their case file.

3) All of the sourced evidence points to MacDonald's guilt. This includes DNA, blood, fibers, hairs, bloody footprints, fabric damage, bloody fabric and non-fabric impressions.

4) Colette, Kimmie, and Kristen MacDonald were all overkilled whereas MacDonald suffered one severe wound. That wound was a neat, clean stab wound to the right side of his chest and it was only one centimeter in length. To CID and FBI investigators, this indicated that it was self-inflicted. The rest of his wounds were superficial and required no sutures.

5) There is not a shred of evidence linking a known intruder suspect to the crime scene. No DNA, hair, fibers, and fingerprints from a mythical hippie home invader were found at 544 Castle Drive.

Jeffrey MacDonald is not only guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, he is guilty beyond ALL doubt. In the past 30 years, his ever-dwindling band of advocates has put forth multiple unsubstantiated claims which cannot hold up to the slightest scrutiny. I spoke to MacDonald's latest mouthpiece (e.g., Errol Morris) on the phone in 2011, and he played the con game to the hilt.

When I told him that I assumed he was writing a book proclaiming MacDonald's innocence, he immediately denied that assumption and stated his book would focus on the reasons why this case continues to fascinate the general public. Well, he clearly lied to me and his book turned out to be a complete mess.

As Gene Weingarten points out in his article in the WP, Morris' literary defense brief is manipulative and appeals to those who know little about this case. Morris flat-out ignores a majority of the Government's massive case against MacDonald and relies on the disjointed ramblings of an attention-seeking drug addict.

The only worthwhile book about this case is Fatal Vision. IMO, it is one of the top 5 true crime books ever written. Joe McGinniss wove a compelling narrative about a psychopath who almost got away with murder. Despite 9 years of freedom after he committed these horrific crimes, justice did take hold in the Summer of 1979. MacDonald has spent 31 of the past 33 years in prison. MacDonald is a serial liar, a coward, and a psychopath.
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Old 14th December 2012, 09:25 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post

5) There is not a shred of evidence linking a known intruder suspect to the crime scene. No DNA, hair, fibers, and fingerprints from a mythical hippie home invader were found at 544 Castle Drive.
This is what seals it for me. A group of hippies (chanting stock phrases from Hollywood central casting - no obscure crap like Manson's "Helter Skelter") manage to leave zero evidence whatsoever on the crime scene. I doubt they would take such care as to bring glove to write in blood on the mirror. It just does not add up one bit.

I seem to recall some fuss a few years about a wig hair that was found at the crime scene, the defense made a big thing about that since the aforementioned druggie was fond of wearing wigs. IIRC it turned out to be a doll's hair.

But a group of people, none of them exactly in the 'professional killer' category manages to break in, kill three and wound a third and doesn't so much as leave a stray hair, cut, fingerprint.....nothing.
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Old 14th December 2012, 09:51 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
.....But a group of people, none of them exactly in the 'professional killer' category manages to break in, kill three and wound a third and doesn't so much as leave a stray hair, cut, fingerprint.....nothing.
It's also worth noting, as the Post writer did, that all of the murder weapons -- a knife, an ice pick and a piece of lumber -- belonged to the MacDonalds. The doctor's story is that a gang of crazed psychokillers invaded the home of a Green Beret officer intending to massacre him and his family without bringing any weapons. Pretty hard to swallow.

Last edited by Bob001; 14th December 2012 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 15th December 2012, 10:23 AM   #48
Ampulla of Vater
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post
Those who place emphasis on supposition, half-truths, innuendo, and fantasy give credence to the notion that MacDonald is a tortured innocent. Those who stick to documented fact have a very different take on this case.

1) It took a jury less than 7 hours to convict MacDonald on three counts of murder.

2) At trial, the prosecution presented over 1,100 evidentiary items and that was only about 60 percent of their case file.

3) All of the sourced evidence points to MacDonald's guilt. This includes DNA, blood, fibers, hairs, bloody footprints, fabric damage, bloody fabric and non-fabric impressions.

4) Colette, Kimmie, and Kristen MacDonald were all overkilled whereas MacDonald suffered one severe wound. That wound was a neat, clean stab wound to the right side of his chest and it was only one centimeter in length. To CID and FBI investigators, this indicated that it was self-inflicted. The rest of his wounds were superficial and required no sutures.

5) There is not a shred of evidence linking a known intruder suspect to the crime scene. No DNA, hair, fibers, and fingerprints from a mythical hippie home invader were found at 544 Castle Drive.

Jeffrey MacDonald is not only guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, he is guilty beyond ALL doubt. In the past 30 years, his ever-dwindling band of advocates has put forth multiple unsubstantiated claims which cannot hold up to the slightest scrutiny. I spoke to MacDonald's latest mouthpiece (e.g., Errol Morris) on the phone in 2011, and he played the con game to the hilt.

When I told him that I assumed he was writing a book proclaiming MacDonald's innocence, he immediately denied that assumption and stated his book would focus on the reasons why this case continues to fascinate the general public. Well, he clearly lied to me and his book turned out to be a complete mess.

As Gene Weingarten points out in his article in the WP, Morris' literary defense brief is manipulative and appeals to those who know little about this case. Morris flat-out ignores a majority of the Government's massive case against MacDonald and relies on the disjointed ramblings of an attention-seeking drug addict.

The only worthwhile book about this case is Fatal Vision. IMO, it is one of the top 5 true crime books ever written. Joe McGinniss wove a compelling narrative about a psychopath who almost got away with murder. Despite 9 years of freedom after he committed these horrific crimes, justice did take hold in the Summer of 1979. MacDonald has spent 31 of the past 33 years in prison. MacDonald is a serial liar, a coward, and a psychopath.
What DNA?
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Old 15th December 2012, 06:59 PM   #49
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I watched some of the InSession (formerly Court TV) coverage of the recent MacDonald hearing, then re-watched a Bill Kurtis documentary on the case.

One small detail struck me. MacDonald consistently describes the female as chanting "Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs." Having studied poetry writing, the phrases stuck me as odd things to chant. So I tried it, alternating the phrases was very awkward - they don't flow into each other & have entirely different, clashing rhythms. Of the two, "acid is groovy" is slightly, but not very, melodious.

Ampulla of Vater asks, "What DNA"? My understanding is the DNA is from under one of the victim's fingernails & doesn't match anyone in the family. I got this from the InSession blog:


http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/17/justic...iref=allsearch

There was also a piece of dark-colored fiber the defense made much of, saying it didn't match any of the clothing in the apartment. But later, it turned out to be consistent with the fibers in an army dress uniform jacket.

Last edited by Trish Randall; 15th December 2012 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 15th December 2012, 07:10 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post


Debora Green killed two of her three children when she burned down her own house. She also poisoned her husband and almost killed him. She had no obvious motive, but she had a lot of problems. I can speculate that she might have seen the fire as a way of arming herself with an excuse for why her life was such a mess, and the same might go for Routier.
I'd word it that Debora Green succeeded in killing 2 of her 3 children - but one managed to escape the fire by jumping from the house.
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Old 15th December 2012, 07:17 PM   #51
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Inculpatory DNA

"What DNA?"

AMPULLA: In 2006, the AFIP's DNA test results produced five inculpatory evidentiary exhibits.

1) A bloody head hair matching the DNA profile of Kimberley MacDonald was found in bundled bedding located in the master bedroom.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: Jeffrey MacDonald denies having his pajama top on when "finding" Kimberley dead in her bed. MacDonald also denies touching the bedding that contained Kimberley's bloody head hair. Kimberely's blood was found on her father's torn pajama top and the bedding was used to transport Colette MacDonald from Kristen's room to the master bedroom.

2) A bloody head hair matching the DNA profile of Colette MacDonald was found twisted with a bloody blue pajama fiber.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: The source of the bloody fiber was Jeffrey MacDonald's torn pajama top. The twisting of the hair and fiber demonstrates direct contact between Colette and Jeffrey MacDonald.

3) A body hair matching the DNA profile of Jeffrey MacDonald was found on top of Kristen's bed.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: Jeffrey MacDonald denies getting on Kristen's bed when he "found" her.

4) A body hair matching the DNA profile of Jeffrey MacDonald was found in the bundled bedding located in the master bedroom.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: Jeffrey MacDonald denies touching the bundled bedding on 2/17/70.

5) A bloody limb hair found clutched in Colette's left hand matched the DNA profile of Jeffrey MacDonald.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: A splinter from the club was also found in Colette's left hand indicating that the source of the limb hair was the wielder of the club.
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Old 15th December 2012, 07:36 PM   #52
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Forensic Red Herrings

"Ampulla of Vater asks, "What DNA"? My understanding is the DNA is from under one of the victim's fingernails & doesn't match anyone in the family. I got this from the InSession blog"

TRISH: There were three unsourced DNA exhibits in this case.

1) An unsourced body hair was found on top of Kristen's bed.

2) An unsourced pubic hair was found under Colette's body.

3) An unsourced 5mm hair fragment was ALLEGEDLY found under Kristen's fingernail.

COMMENTARY: Where to begin?

- Colette allowed neighbors to use her washer and dryer

- Colette was not sexually assaulted

- The unsourced pubic hair was resting on a shag carpet that the MacDonald's brought with them from a prior residence

- No hairs were found under Kristen's fingernail at autopsy

- CID Chemist Dillard Browning analyzed Kristen's fingernail scrapings shortly after her autospy and he found no hairs in these scrapings

- The only piece of trace evidence found in these scrapings was a bloody pajama fiber that was later sourced to Jeffrey MacDonald's torn pajama top

- The LONE source document that mentions a hair fragment behind found under Kristen's fingernail was written 6 months after the murders.

- The chain of custody of Kristen's fingernail scrapings indicates that the inclusion of the hair fragment was the result of lab contamination

- All three unsourced hairs had club roots which indicated that they were naturally shed

- All three hairs had different DNA sequences

- None of the hairs matched the DNA profile of a known intruder suspect

Last edited by JTF; 15th December 2012 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 15th December 2012, 09:24 PM   #53
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JTF, it sounds like you have the facts of the MacDonald case nailed. What is your connection, if you don't mind my asking?
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Old 16th December 2012, 08:19 AM   #54
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I've been reading _Fatal Vision_ for a few nights now, and I'm just past the point where Bernie Segal challenges some of the evidence in the first Army (?) trial.

Now, I still think M. did it, but I'm trying to decide if there's reasonable doubt.

My questions goes to anyone, but especially JTF.

We hear that dozens of people tramped through the crime scene, and that they used the phone and the toilets. We hear that the ambulance driver righted a fallen potted plant, and that he or someone else also stole MacDonald's wallet.

Now, at this point, the most compelling solid evidence (to me, not an expert on this case) is the blood evidence, because each member of M.'s family had a different type of blood, so it's easier to tell them apart.

M.'s initial statements don't seem to match what the blood evidence shows.

> Is there any way that all those people walking through there could affect that blood evidence?

> We hear that (?) five CID agents spent several days going through the place, collecting evidence, very soon after the crime. We also hear that no traces of any intruders were found. How could they tell the difference between traces of intruders and all the traces of the personnel who walked through there?

> Morris makes much of the long blonde wig-like fiber found at the scene. But was it too long to be from a doll?

> Do any of these kind of issues amount to reasonable doubt?

> What are the strongest things that the defense had (or has, potentially)?

> Segal tried to create, imo, a sort of false dichotomy in which only someone who was psychotic or verifiably crazy could commit such a crime. I think that such a distinction -- between a complete psychopath -- (or someone who was psychotic) -- and the rest of us -- isn't really necessary. MacDonald need only be young, callous, desensitized to gore, stressed to the breaking point temporarily, and in love with his own image. He doesn't have to be an inhuman monster, but rather, just a real bastard, if you will. This wouldn't be important except that much has been said about this. He had a tough father, a rather domineering mother, and a need to maintain a very high-achieving image of himself: He couldn't be seen to fail at anything. Does trying to understand his motivation -- as McGinniss does -- help determine if he did it? Or is this line of thinking all just rationalization after the fact?
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Old 16th December 2012, 12:35 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post
"What DNA?"

AMPULLA: In 2006, the AFIP's DNA test results produced five inculpatory evidentiary exhibits.

1) A bloody head hair matching the DNA profile of Kimberley MacDonald was found in bundled bedding located in the master bedroom.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: Jeffrey MacDonald denies having his pajama top on when "finding" Kimberley dead in her bed. MacDonald also denies touching the bedding that contained Kimberley's bloody head hair. Kimberely's blood was found on her father's torn pajama top and the bedding was used to transport Colette MacDonald from Kristen's room to the master bedroom.

2) A bloody head hair matching the DNA profile of Colette MacDonald was found twisted with a bloody blue pajama fiber.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: The source of the bloody fiber was Jeffrey MacDonald's torn pajama top. The twisting of the hair and fiber demonstrates direct contact between Colette and Jeffrey MacDonald.

3) A body hair matching the DNA profile of Jeffrey MacDonald was found on top of Kristen's bed.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: Jeffrey MacDonald denies getting on Kristen's bed when he "found" her.

4) A body hair matching the DNA profile of Jeffrey MacDonald was found in the bundled bedding located in the master bedroom.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: Jeffrey MacDonald denies touching the bundled bedding on 2/17/70.

5) A bloody limb hair found clutched in Colette's left hand matched the DNA profile of Jeffrey MacDonald.

INCULPATORY ASPECTS: A splinter from the club was also found in Colette's left hand indicating that the source of the limb hair was the wielder of the club.
Well where the heck have I been? I had no idea DNA tests were ever performed. I believe I am up to speed now though. No DNA matched either Stoeckley or Mitchell, which is who the defense has tried to pin the crime on.

Also interesting is I am in the middle of one of John Douglas' books. In looking at the MacDonald case from the stance of a profiler, clearly it was a rage killing. These types of murders are done by someone close to the victim, not strangers. Collette had been stabbed 37 times and clubbed to death. No stranger did this.
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Old 16th December 2012, 01:54 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Ampulla of Vater View Post
Well where the heck have I been? I had no idea DNA tests were ever performed. I believe I am up to speed now though. No DNA matched either Stoeckley or Mitchell, which is who the defense has tried to pin the crime on.

Also interesting is I am in the middle of one of John Douglas' books. In looking at the MacDonald case from the stance of a profiler, clearly it was a rage killing. These types of murders are done by someone close to the victim, not strangers. Collette had been stabbed 37 times and clubbed to death. No stranger did this.
Does Douglas say that such killings are always or usually committed by someone close to the victim? I don't think that's true. Take a look at this case:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/8020498.stm

What is generally true, I think, is that this type of overkill is an indication of mental instability.
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Old 16th December 2012, 02:08 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
Does Douglas say that such killings are always or usually committed by someone close to the victim? I don't think that's true. Take a look at this case:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/8020498.stm

What is generally true, I think, is that this type of overkill is an indication of mental instability.
I was thinking of the last Florida sorority killings of Ted Bundy, but a better example would be the murders of the Shankill Butchers, perhaps. That seemed to be politically motivated with sadism at the core of it.
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Old 16th December 2012, 04:15 PM   #58
Ampulla of Vater
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
Does Douglas say that such killings are always or usually committed by someone close to the victim? I don't think that's true. Take a look at this case:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/8020498.stm

What is generally true, I think, is that this type of overkill is an indication of mental instability.
Well, for sure he never states something is "always" a certain way, just usually.

I will have to look back through and see exactly how he phrased the part about overkill. My notes have the following:

Types of Homicides:
  • Murder during commission of felony (as in during a burglary)
  • Contract killing
  • Sexual homicide
  • Group-cause homicide (cult and extremist murders, hostage situations, group excitement/spontaneous excitement of the moment
  • Personal-cause homicide (acts ensuing from interpersonal aggression

A subcategory of personal-cause homicide is Domestic Homicide which is either:
  • Spontaneous
  • Staged

In personally-directed attacks one expects to see more obliterating wounds to the face.

Quote:
"In Sustained-aggression situations, [the injuries are] much more than necessary to cause nearly instant death and it is most common in domestic homicides. It shows deep-seated and often long-standing anger by the offender against the victim and is an attempt to depersonalize the victim. Facial battery indicates an attempt to strip the victim of actual identity and familiar power."
What he states about psychosis and mental instability is in a Disorganized Homicide (as opposed to an Organized Homicide) instability is usually the case of the perpetrator when the "crime is disorganized (as in a frenzy attack) mixed with careful, ritualistic elements indicating a need to control or master small components of the crime scene."
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Old 17th December 2012, 12:40 PM   #59
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Website

"JTF, it sounds like you have the facts of the MacDonald case nailed. What is your connection, if you don't mind my asking?"

CHARLIE: I've researched this case for 27 years and created a MacDonald case website in 2007. I can't provide a link to my website until I've posted 15 or more times. If you want to check out my website, simply Google Justthefacts MacDonald Case.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:06 PM   #60
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Fact Vs Hype

"We hear that dozens of people tramped through the crime scene, and that they used the phone and the toilets. We hear that the ambulance driver righted a fallen potted plant, and that he or someone else also stole MacDonald's wallet."

CALEB: The dozens of people comment is typical MacDonald camp hype. Lead CID investigator William Ivory testified that the largest number of individuals inside 544 Castle Drive at one time was seven. In terms of the mistakes made at the crime scene, it's important to point out that none of those mistakes occurred in the three bedrooms. It was in those rooms that most of the evidence that led to MacDonald's conviction was collected.

"Now, at this point, the most compelling solid evidence (to me, not an expert on this case) is the blood evidence, because each member of M.'s family had a different type of blood, so it's easier to tell them apart."

CALEB: That was extremely important data, but the pajama fiber evidence was just as compelling. MacDonald claims his pajama top was torn in the living room where he fought with three armed intruders, yet not one fiber from that garment was found in the living room. Eighty-One pajama fibers were found in the master bedroom, nineteen fibers were found in Kimmie's room with fourteen of those fibers found under her bedcovers, and three fibers were found in Kristen's room with one of those fibers found embedded under her fingernail.

"We hear that (?) five CID agents spent several days going through the place, collecting evidence, very soon after the crime."

CALEB: CID crime scene investigators from the Fort Gordon lab spent four days inside 544 Castle Drive.

"We also hear that no traces of any intruders were found. How could they tell the difference between traces of intruders and all the traces of the personnel who walked through there?"

CALEB: No traces of a KNOWN intruder suspect were found at the crime scene.

"Morris makes much of the long blonde wig-like fiber found at the scene. But was it too long to be from a doll?"

CALEB: That is one of the many CLAIMS leveled by Morris in his mess of a book. Morris' book is heavy on speculation and short on documented fact. There were two long saran fibers found in Colette's hairbrush, but...

- The FBI matched one of those two fibers to doll hair from their exemplar collection.

- Neither fiber matched a wig used for human wear in the FBI's exemplar collection.

- The only fiber matching a wig used for human wear was a fiber found in that same hairbrush that matched a fall owned by Colette.

"Do any of these kind of issues amount to reasonable doubt?"

CALEB: Not even close.

"What are the strongest things that the defense had (or has, potentially)?

CALEB: The three unsourced hairs found at the crime scene, but...

- Colette allowed neighbors to use her washer and dryer

- Colette was not sexually assaulted

- The unsourced pubic hair was resting on a shag carpet that the MacDonald's brought with them from a prior residence

- No hairs were found under Kristen's fingernail at autopsy

- CID Chemist Dillard Browning analyzed Kristen's fingernail scrapings shortly after her autospy and he found no hairs in these scrapings

- The only piece of trace evidence found in these scrapings was a bloody pajama fiber that was later sourced to Jeffrey MacDonald's torn pajama top

- The LONE source document that mentions a hair fragment behind found under Kristen's fingernail was written 6 months after the murders.

- The chain of custody of Kristen's fingernail scrapings indicates that the inclusion of the hair fragment was the result of lab contamination

- All three unsourced hairs had club roots which indicated that they were naturally shed

- All three hairs had different DNA sequences

- None of the hairs were bloody

- None of the hairs matched the DNA profile of a known intruder suspect
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:16 PM   #61
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Intruder Fairy Tale

"Well where the heck have I been? I had no idea DNA tests were ever performed. I believe I am up to speed now though. No DNA matched either Stoeckley or Mitchell, which is who the defense has tried to pin the crime on."

AMPULLA: Exactly. None of the DNA exhibits matched the profile or signature of Stoeckley or Mitchell. In addition, the Defense did not request that DNA exemplars from the remaining five members of the Stoeckley group be tested by the AFIP. What does that tell ya?

"In looking at the MacDonald case from the stance of a profiler, clearly it was a rage killing. These types of murders are done by someone close to the victim, not strangers. Collette had been stabbed 37 times and clubbed to death. No stranger did this."

AMPULLA: Absolutely. This was a classic domestic rage killing. This is how absurd MacDonald's mythical scenario is...

A minimum of 6 hippie home invaders come unnarmed to the MacDonald residence, MacDonald is the target of this home invasion, the home invaders obtain weapons from an unfamiliar residence, they slaughter a pregnant woman and two small children, yet inflict ONE severe wound to a Green Beret officer with boxing training? Anyone who relies on critical thinking skills laughs at this fairy tale scenario.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:23 PM   #62
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Exactly. Oh, and just for good measure, the defense investigator who got Helena Stoeckley to "confess" was.....Ted Gunderson. Yes, THAT Ted Gunderson, lolol.

In a world where Ryan Ferguson can be denied a retrial, if MacDonald gets one I really will spit.
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Old 17th December 2012, 01:28 PM   #63
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Thank you for good answers!

The emotional high-point in _Fatal Vision_, for me, is when Kassab starts going over the transcript, day and night. He's obsessed. He's got only one purpose -- to find out what happened. He finds dozens of discrepancies between MacDonald's story and the facts. Later, he and the CID investigators go to the house, still sealed, and they spend several days testing out these discrepancies. It couldn't have happened the way MacDonald says it did.

I have to say, I admire Kassab. Without him, MacDonald would have walked away.

btw, You can use the "multiquote" button when you want to respond to someone's post, but afaic, cutting and pasting as you did was clear enough.
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Old 17th December 2012, 04:21 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post
A minimum of 6 hippie home invaders come unnarmed to the MacDonald residence...
I thought MacDonald's claim included three hippie home invaders-two men and a woman? Or was that just how many he "saw" when he was "being attacked" in the living room?
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Old 17th December 2012, 05:41 PM   #65
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I wish I believed in a Hell for people like MacDonald.
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Old 17th December 2012, 06:59 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post
"JTF, it sounds like you have the facts of the MacDonald case nailed. What is your connection, if you don't mind my asking?"

CHARLIE: I've researched this case for 27 years and created a MacDonald case website in 2007. I can't provide a link to my website until I've posted 15 or more times. If you want to check out my website, simply Google Justthefacts MacDonald Case.
Great site. Thanks.

MacDonald is as evil as evil can be.
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Old 17th December 2012, 09:21 PM   #67
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Number Of Mythical Home Invaders

"I thought MacDonald's claim included three hippie home invaders-two men and a woman? Or was that just how many he "saw" when he was "being attacked" in the living room?"

DESERTGAL: MacDonald claims that he awoke on the living room couch to Colette screaming, "Jeff, Jeff, why are they doing this to me?" One would assume that, at minimum, "they" encompassed two people. If you add MacDonald claiming he was attacked by three armed males and that he saw a female near the dining room, that would make a minimum of 6 home invaders. Ten people in a cramped residence fighting for their lives at three in the morning would have awoken every resident on Castle Drive.

People who lived above the MacDonald's only heard a thump and Jeffrey MacDonad either laughing or crying. In addition, MacDonald told a CID agent that he was attacked by two black males and one white male, but he subsequently told several other individuals that it was two white males and one black male who attacked him in the living room. Even psychopaths can't keep their stories straight.
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Old 18th December 2012, 04:22 AM   #68
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It's a minor issue, but I like to ponder the definition of psychopath.

I'd say MacDonald is a narcissist who snapped and then decided to lie about it for the rest of his life. Whether -- as some of the early psychiatrists said -- this is denial or a hysterical style, or whether he's really a classic Cleckley-Hare psychopath would come down to what?

What distinguishes these two categories -- narcissist vs. psychopath/sociopath?

If he hadn't had three jobs and a 24 hour shift and a nasty spat with his wife, would things have turned out differently?

The more I think about it, the more confusing it gets.

He's glib, charming, has a false front, no remorse. On the other hand, he seems to have been a competent surgeon who people liked.

Which only means that some psychopaths, I suppose, can function ok if they find their niche.

What would Hare say?

Again, morally, how you classify him changes nothing. Or?
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Old 18th December 2012, 12:44 PM   #69
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Sociopath Or Psychopath

CALEB: The two terms that are most frequently used to describe MacDonald are sociopath or psychopath. IMO, MacDonald presented the characteristics of a psychopath during the 4/6/70 CID interview, his appearance on the Dick Cavett show, and during his testimony at the 1974-1975 Grand Jury hearings. Former NY City homicide detective and true crime author Joseph Wambaugh felt that MacDonald was a psychopath. After meeting with MacDonald to discuss Wambaugh writing a book about his upcoming trial, Wambaugh could not recall ever meeting someone who could present the horrific murders of loved ones in such a glib fashion.

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Old 19th December 2012, 06:22 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by JTF View Post
CALEB: The two terms that are most frequently used to describe MacDonald are sociopath or psychopath. IMO, MacDonald presented the characteristics of a psychopath during the 4/6/70 CID interview, his appearance on the Dick Cavett show, and during his testimony at the 1974-1975 Grand Jury hearings. Former NY City homicide detective and true crime author Joseph Wambaugh felt that MacDonald was a psychopath. After meeting with MacDonald to discuss Wambaugh writing a book about his upcoming trial, Wambaugh could not recall ever meeting someone who could present the horrific murders of loved ones in such a glib fashion.
Yes. MacDonald acted differently than someone who's momentarily dazzled by the spotlight. He really seemed like he was enjoying himself.

But the main thing is the physical evidence.

I have _A Wilderness of Error_ out from the library again. I'm going to be looking for a few things:

1) Does Morris challenge the most solid evidence?

2) Does Morris challenge the factual accuracy of the main points in _Fatal Vision_ (as opposed to irrelevant issues such as whether McGinnis was opportunistic)

3) Does Morris contend that MacDonald was honest in general (as opposed to being a liar, a liar even when he didn't have to be)

4) Does Morris deal with the testimony of the doctors who examined MacDonald at the time? (and the testimony of others) -- who said that MacDonald's injuries were light -- not at all what MacDonald claimed.

There are loose ends and discrepancies, as there always are. But our focus should remain on the big picture. The big picture is the blood evidence, other physical evidence, and MacDonald's honesty or lack of it.

I suspect that Morris will make mountains out of molehills.

We can throw out a lot of the conflicting psychiatric testimony, all of Gunderson, and all of Stoekley. (Unless, of course, there's something solid.)

Sure, MacDonald had his supporters, and he was capable of being a hard-working doctor and a high-achieving person in other ways. But that doesn't go to issues of guilt or innocence.

from a good review on Amazon of Morris' book, by W. Weaver:

Quote:
In essence, Mr. Morris presents a sterling brief for the defense, but in fact largely ignores the biggest hole in his case - Jeffrey MacDonald himself. The disparity in the injuries between MacDonald and his family, not to mention the implausibility of MacDonald's version of events, is what ultimately condemned him. A pajama top used as a shield to fend off an icepick attack is no more plausible today than it was in 1970. Admittedly, perhaps if Mr. Morris had been on that defense team during the original trial, the outcome might have been different. Because of this, however, if you are looking for a balanced and thoughtful weighing of all the evidence in this case, I would not recommend this book. If you are interested in a picking apart of inconsistencies in the evidence or initial trial, including a thorough trashing of the author Joe McGinniss, and also the MacDonald in-laws, Freddy and Mildred Kassab, then you might enjoy this book.
eta: Oh, and of course, it's easy to find fault with the psychological theories about psychopaths, and to criticize Cleckley. The whole subject of psychopaths is intellectual quicksand. But the fact remains that there are people who are con-artists and killers who don't have any remorse about it. And that such people are capable of fooling others. Because this is quicksand and much nonsense has been written on the subject, we have to concentrate on the physical evidence.
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Old 19th December 2012, 04:28 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
eta: Oh, and of course, it's easy to find fault with the psychological theories about psychopaths, and to criticize Cleckley. The whole subject of psychopaths is intellectual quicksand. But the fact remains that there are people who are con-artists and killers who don't have any remorse about it. And that such people are capable of fooling others. Because this is quicksand and much nonsense has been written on the subject, we have to concentrate on the physical evidence.
I don't know what psychiatric classification suits MacDonald, but as a criminal, he belongs in a group that includes OJ Simpson, Ed Sherman, Richard Crafts, John List, and Michael Peterson. These guys are all high functioning, and they can come across as very honest and reasonable. List killed his whole family, created a new life for himself and remained free for many years.

They can also be persuasive. Michael Peterson is free today, thanks to his supporters. He may be tried and convicted again, and I hope he is, because I think he killed his wife. He has been around one too many fatal staircase accidents for me to believe in his innocence.
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Old 19th December 2012, 05:07 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
I don't know what psychiatric classification suits MacDonald, but as a criminal, he belongs in a group that includes OJ Simpson, Ed Sherman, Richard Crafts, John List, and Michael Peterson. These guys are all high functioning, and they can come across as very honest and reasonable. List killed his whole family, created a new life for himself and remained free for many years.

They can also be persuasive. Michael Peterson is free today, thanks to his supporters. He may be tried and convicted again, and I hope he is, because I think he killed his wife. He has been around one too many fatal staircase accidents for me to believe in his innocence.
That's a list of mostly new names that I'll be curious to Google and check out. Thanks for that.

Finished skimming the Morris book for the second time today. He devotes huge amounts of space to Helen Stoekley and other unlikely angles. He doesn't really have much about MacDonald, or the blood evidence (one brief chapter). His book, imo, is badly proportioned, and he doesn't really have a theory of the case that holds up.

I was thinking about the theory of psychopaths because Morris is skeptical of this theory in his book. Everyone who thinks about the subject has to be skeptical, because there's much that we don't know for sure. But that skepticism doesn't change the fact that such people really exist, and their behavior is only revealed over a period of time. They are often quite capable of charming psychiatrists or anyone else in relatively short meetings. Even Robert Hare says that he was fooled, in his time.
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Old 19th December 2012, 05:55 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
I don't know what psychiatric classification suits MacDonald, but as a criminal, he belongs in a group that includes OJ Simpson, Ed Sherman, Richard Crafts, John List, and Michael Peterson. These guys are all high functioning, and they can come across as very honest and reasonable. List killed his whole family, created a new life for himself and remained free for many years.

They can also be persuasive. Michael Peterson is free today, thanks to his supporters. He may be tried and convicted again, and I hope he is, because I think he killed his wife. He has been around one too many fatal staircase accidents for me to believe in his innocence.
He definitely will be tried again. He is on house-arrest until his new trial. And I also believe he killed Kathleen.

Jeffrey MacDonald and Michael Peterson are both intelligent people. I believe this plays a part in their ability to be convincing. They say Ted Bundy was also intelligent and he certainly was convincing, as evidenced by his ability to lure his victims. I wonder if there have ever been any convincing killers with average or less-than-average intelligence or if there is some kind of relationship between the ability to successfully persuade others and intelligence.
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Old 19th December 2012, 07:52 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Ampulla of Vater View Post
He definitely will be tried again. He is on house-arrest until his new trial. And I also believe he killed Kathleen.

Jeffrey MacDonald and Michael Peterson are both intelligent people. I believe this plays a part in their ability to be convincing. They say Ted Bundy was also intelligent and he certainly was convincing, as evidenced by his ability to lure his victims. I wonder if there have ever been any convincing killers with average or less-than-average intelligence or if there is some kind of relationship between the ability to successfully persuade others and intelligence.
I don't know any. I honestly don't understand why anyone would get behind someone like Michael Peterson, unless he was an old friend. He is a grandiose, self-serving liar who lives beyond his means. Why wouldn't he kill his wife? He's just the type. But his supporters are willing to believe anything except that. They have seriously proposed that Kathleen Peterson fell down the stairs because an owl attacked her, and the owl inflicted the injuries that can't be explained by a fall.

I can't say it's impossible, because I live in a part of the world where owls sometimes attack people, mostly women with pony tails, which they apparently mistake for squirrels. But I don't think they follow people inside a house to attack.

I got a glimpse of this mentality on the Injustice Anywhere forum, where there's a discussion of the Scott Peterson case. His supporters see him as a man of impeccable character, and they are willing to consider any possibility except the obvious.

The ultimate case in this vein has got to be Jack Unterweger, who was imprisoned for a string of rapes and at least one murder. He wrote a book and managed to convince a gaggle of intellectuals and influential people that he had reformed. They petitioned for his release, and as soon as he got out, he started killing women. He even got a job as a consultant for the LAPD, which gave him an opportunity to kill several women in California.

These cases rankle me, because they give innocence projects a bad name, and there are a lot of genuinely innocent people locked up in prison.
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Old 19th December 2012, 08:02 PM   #75
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Ignorance

"Does Morris challenge the most solid evidence?"

CALEB: Nope. He doesn't address a majority of the Government's massive case against MacDonald. This includes fibers from inmate's torn pajama top found under bedcovers, bodies, and his youngest daughter's fingernail. This includes 10 bisected Type A blood stains found on inmate's torn pajama top which indicated that Colette's blood got on inmate's pajama top before it was torn. This includes bloody fabric impressions found on a blue bedsheet used to transport Colette from Kristen's room to the master bedroom. The bloody impressions were of the pajama cuffs from Jeffrey AND Colette MacDonald's pajamas. None of it is mentioned in WOE.

"Does Morris challenge the factual accuracy of the main points in _Fatal Vision_ (as opposed to irrelevant issues such as whether McGinnis was opportunistic)"

CALEB: Nope.

"Does Morris contend that MacDonald was honest in general (as opposed to being a liar, a liar even when he didn't have to be)"

CALEB: Morris' depiction of serial liar Jeffrey MacDonald is complete fantasy.

"Does Morris deal with the testimony of the doctors who examined MacDonald at the time? (and the testimony of others) -- who said that MacDonald's injuries were light -- not at all what MacDonald claimed."

CALEB: Morris ducks and dodges the ominous pieces of testimony by physicians who examined MacDonald at Womack. The fact is that MacDonald's vital signs were normal and he didn't require a single suture to close his superficial wounds.

"I suspect that Morris will make mountains out of molehills."

CALEB: He does more than that. Morris is a journalistic vulture who presented 500 pages of supposition, half-truths, speculation, distortions, and b.s.

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Old 20th December 2012, 01:49 AM   #76
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Quote:
Morris is a journalistic vulture who presented 500 pages of supposition, half-truths, speculation, distortions, and b.s.
Its sad to see Morris described that way, because he did play a significant role in freeing a genuinely innocent man from death row with his documentary "The Thin Blue Line."

I'd prefer to think Morris has just been conned.
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Old 20th December 2012, 04:19 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
Its sad to see Morris described that way, because he did play a significant role in freeing a genuinely innocent man from death row with his documentary "The Thin Blue Line."

I'd prefer to think Morris has just been conned.
I think artists have a set of talents and obsessions. When those talents and obsessions are connected to the right subject or style, they do good work. When they pick the wrong subject, they do bad work.

(Somewhat parallel: Norman Mailer and Jack Henry Abbott.)

Morris has a talent for being persistent and inventive, and an obsession with being contrarian, at least. The only problem here is that he's chosen the wrong subject.

Also, he's skeptical enough to question whether Cleckley was right, but he doesn't take the next step when he should -- the step where he admits that there are people who act like psychopaths, whatever you choose to call them.

What's distasteful is that he should value reality over the exercise of his talents and obsessions, and he doesn't.

That's the way it seems to me after reading _Fatal Vision_ and skimming Morris' book a couple of times.
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Old 20th December 2012, 07:37 PM   #78
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Turning A Blind Eye

"I think artists have a set of talents and obsessions. When those talents and obsessions are connected to the right subject or style, they do good work. When they pick the wrong subject, they do bad work."

CALEB: I agree. IMO, Morris pulled an Oliver Stone (e.g., JFK film) when constructing his mess of a book.

"Morris has a talent for being persistent and inventive, and an obsession with being contrarian, at least. The only problem here is that he's chosen the wrong subject."

CALEB: He certainly did. Morris has been a believer in MacDonald's innocence for the past 22 years, yet rather than delve into the heart of the evidence which led to MacDonald's conviction, this former private eye turned a blind eye to the concrete data in this case.
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Old 21st December 2012, 08:20 AM   #79
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Dr Jeffrey MacDonald's story is plausible and consistent with the evidence. It was a horrendous miscarriage of justice.
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Old 21st December 2012, 09:05 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Dr Jeffrey MacDonald's story is plausible and consistent with the evidence. It was a horrendous miscarriage of justice.
Here's a link to some of MacDonald's claims, with rebuttals.

http://www.themacdonaldcase.com/html/mmt.html

(called MacDonald's Magical Mystery Tour)

Admittedly, it's anti-MacDonald.

Also, there are one or two items that I disagree with.

But on the whole, it's a source for arguing.

Can you take particular items, or any other particular lines of evidence, and talk about them? (I mean, can you elaborate?)
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