First, I don’t know the truth. But it’s possible no one alive save one knows the truth.
In a rare interview, co-counsel Wade Smith reflects on the murder case that’s long captured America’s imagination
Jeffrey MacDonald, convicted killer of ‘Fatal Vision’ fame, wishes peace for Joe McGinniss
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Again, I don’t know if Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald killed his family or not. There is no question that he has been convicted of the crime and lost his appeals. It must be very frustrating for him to have spend half his life in prison while many other people have gained fame and fortune arguing back and forth, pro and con over his lost life and liberty. The recent stories I’ve read, very sympathetic to the defense, make the disturbing suggestion that Dr. MacDonald’s ill-luck with the appeals are directly due to the “Circle the Wagons” effect of Federal Prosecutors and Federal Judges working to defend the original verdict. As though the defendant being found guilty at this point would be some sort of indictment of the Federal Justice System. And they may be right.
I don’t know if Dr. MacDonald is innocent or guilty. I tend to be influenced by his life history, the normalcy of his life, the complete lack of any indications of any violent incidences and no dialogue that he lacked in love and affection for his family. On the other hand I don’t understand psychotics, or serial killers. If that’s what he is. (Wasn’t he tested for abnormal psychological behavior at the time of the crime, and passed?) If he is a psychotic, then he was one for a period of hours and then reverted to normalcy. Is that possible? Is there any record of anyone managing that transformation at any time, in any country?
As in many famous cases from that period, after reading the stories the impression I come away with is, “Would not have been convicted today”. And I have no reasonable doubt about that.