Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Statement Analysis: Jeffrey MacDonald

Jeffrey Robert MacDonald (born October 12, 1943), is an American convicted in 1979 for the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters in February 1970. At the time of the murders, MacDonald was an Special Forces Green Beret Army officer, medical doctor, and practicing physician. MacDonald maintains that a group of Charles Manson-type hippies committed the crimes and has filed several unsuccessful appeals attempting to overturn his convictions.  He is currently seeking a new trial based on DNA evidence and a claim that someone has changed their testimony.  Can we know if he is guilty?  Yes, we can. 

This is his original statement.  

Is he truthful?  Were his wife and daughters murdered by three intruders?

Statement Analysis gets to the truth.  

Statement Analysis is in bold type.


"Let's see. Monday night my wife went to bed, and I was reading. And I went to bed about, somewhere around 2:00. I really don't know. I was reading on the couch and my little girl Kristy had gone into bed with my wife. And I went in to go to bed, and the bed was wet. She had wet the bed on my side, so I brought her in her own room. "

1.  His statement began with "let's see"; a pause.  We always note when someone might be speaking to themselves, rather than the interviewer or audience. 

2.  "My wife" is an incomplete social introduction.  He gives her the status of "wife" and uses the possessive pronoun, "my" but does not use her name.  This is indicative of something troublesome in the relationship. 

3.  Repetition means sensitivity.  Going to "bed" is sensitive to the subject.  When a sentence begins with "And", it is an indication of connection; in between the connection is missing information. 

4.  Time of going to bed:  "I really don't know" uses "really";  this means he does know what time he went to bed and since it is related to the already sensitive topic of going to bed, this should be considered important. 

5.  "My little girl Kristy" has possessive pronoun and the name.  This indicates that he considers himself close to Kristy. 

6.  The word "with" between people shows distance.  Here we have "wife" again, but still without her name.  This should confirm the incomplete social introduction above. 

7.   Note that "gave her a bottle" drops the pronoun, not identifying who he gave a bottle to.  If his daughter was dead at this point, it would explain why he dropped the pronoun. 

And I don't remember if I changed her or not; gave her a bottle and went out to the couch 'cause my bed was wet."

 "I don't remember" is problematic.  In an open statement (not in response to a direct question) a person should only tell us what they remember, not what they do not remember.  

 We have "bed" as very sensitive; repeated twice, and with a qualifier ("really") about time of going to bed.  Now we have, in an open statement of "what happened" an explanation of "why" someone did something.  This is outside of the question of "what happened?" and is very sensitive (color blue) as he has a need to explain why he did something. 

"And I went to sleep on the couch. And then the next thing I know I heard some screaming, at least my wife, but I thought I heard Kimmie, my oldest daughter, screaming also and I sat up. The kitchen light was on and I saw some people at the foot of the bed.

1.  Temporal Lacunae:  skipping over time.  In an open statement "the next thing I know" is a linguistic indication that the subject is concealing information by jumping over the time period; therefore, the time period that is passed should be considered very important to the investigator. Between going to sleep and hearing screaming is concealed information. 

2.  Soft language:  the perpetrators are killers but he calls them "people" which is gender neutral and it is soft language.  This overly polite language does not fit from someone who just had his family murdered. 

3.  He heard "some" screaming.  

4.  Kimmie:  he introduces her properly with Complete Social Introduction. 

5.  "I sat up" has his body posture entering the statement; an indication that tension is increasing for the subject. 

6. "foot of the bed" does not identify which bed he is referring to.  His bed? Kimmie's bed?  He was on the couch, not on the bed.  This appears to be in contradiction. 

7.  The kitchen light.  "Lights" on in a statement often indicate sexual activity, though this is the kitchen light and not the bedroom light.  Still, it would (and should) cause investigators to learn if a sexual assault had taken place.  

 So, I don't know if I really said anything or I was getting ready to say something. This happened real fast. You know, when you talk about it, it sounds like it took forever, but it didn't take forever."

 "So" is used to explain why but here he does not appear to have something to explain but reports what he does not remember, another indicator of deception.  When "really" is used to qualify, it affirms the action.  

  "You know" is a habit of speech that shows awareness of the interviewer (audience, cop taking statement, etc) and it should be noted when it appears as important.  If it is used frequently, we should take note when it does not appear. 

 Note 2nd person "you" is used when an experience is common.  The murder of a family is not common.  He should tell us what he sensed, not what "you" might sense.  

"It didn't take forever" is strange language for someone who is not involved, but a victim.  When something "takes time" it is from the position of active, not passively watching.  This is something more fitting for the perpetrator (active) than a victim. 

"And so, I sat up and at first I thought I was - I just could see three people and don't know if I - if I heard the girl first, or I think I saw her first. 


1.  Besides using "so" again, he repeats his body posture (sat) which indicates an increase in tension, yet here it is repeated and appears out of chronological order:  he had already sat up in his story.  This 'losing track' is an indiction that his account is not coming from memory. 

2.  "at first I thought" means that he had a second thought which we would ask about. 

3.  Note that he said he saw "three" people.  Again, he uses "people"which is gender neutral.  This suggests concealing of identity.  As stated above, the killers are called "people" which is soft language. 

4.  Note that "three" is the number chosen by him; the number most people will choose, when choosing a number between one and nine, when fabricating.  It should also be noted that if MacDonald did have an altercation with "three people" it could have come into his mind since there were "three people" in the home:  his wife and his two daughters. 

I think two of the men separated sort of at the end of my couch, and I keep - all I saw was some people really."

  "I think" is weaken commitment. 

Two of the men separated" sounds confused.  If two separated from the third, it might be clear but since two of the "men" separated, would that mean they separated from another man?  This would be a fourth man.  

  Reduced commitment:  "I think" is weak.  He appears mixed up about where he saw the "people"; the "girl"; was she at the foot of the bed?  Was she at the couch where he, twice, sat up?  When something is confusingly presented, it may be because the subject cannot keep a steady track of what does not come from experiential memory. 

 "I keep" is both a broken sentence (withheld information; self censoring) and it is in the present tense; an indication that he is making something up, but stopped himself. 

  "Really" qualifies.  He did see some people "really" and adds it for emphasis.  Who was it that he saw?  Was it the "people" who killed?  Or, was it the victims?

"And this guy started walking down between the coffee table and the couch, and he raised something over his head and he just sort of then - sort of all together - I just got a glance of this girl with kind of a light on her face. 

"And this guy started walking..." The word "this" indicates specificity but it also indicates closeness.  The subject used a word that shows nearness to his family's killer.  Why would he be close to his family's killers?

Note that he is now a "guy" instead of a man.  A "guy" is a term that would be more friendly than "man" would be.  

In a murder, we expect hard language. 

Note that he "started" walking; an activity begun, but not completed. 
Note "walking" is casual language.  This is a triple homicide and the language does not fit.  This lends more to the theory that he is the killer, and not deceptively covering for three people he knows. 

The "girl" (and not "woman") does not fit, either.  This leans towards him being the killer and that these three people do not exist. 
"...he just sort of then - sort of all together -" He never tells us what the" guy" did. He stopped himself and had nothing to say.  This is indication that he is not speaking from memory and making this up:  what the "girl", "guy", "people" did is all false and not from experiential memory. 

He again uses the word "this" in talking about his attackers - "this girl." He changed his language because earlier he called her "the girl." Calling her "the girl" is specific because there was only one female offender. There is no context to call her"this girl." "This" indicates closeness:  It appears his use of the word "this" indicates closeness which does not make sense and points to him making up the story about the girl.  It did not come from memory. 

I don't know if it was a flashlight or a candle, but it looked to me like she was holding something. And I just remember that my instinctive thought was that 'She's holding a candle. What the hell is she holding a candle for?' But she said, before I was hit the first time, 'Kill the pigs. Acid's groovy.' Now, that's all, that's all I think I heard before I was hit the first time, and the guy hit me in the head."

Candle or flashlight.  Both produce light. Candles are lit and burn, and go out with wind or movement. 

Wy would someone include, in a statement what he "just remembers"?  Since we can only report what we remember, telling us what one does not remember is a signal of deception.  Next, by calling out, specifically ("just") what is remembered, is only done when someone who is deceptive wants to be believed.  It comes close to an admission of deception.  

"...before I was hit the first time" indicates he was hit a second time.  Note also, "I was hit" is passive, which is used to conceal responsibility.  Responsibility concealed could also be done because he was not hit, or he was hit by his daughter, trying to save her own life. 

The words "that's all" may be an attempt to end the statement, or as a means of stalling to think of what to say.  He has been confusing with indicates of deception.   He cannot even say what he heard said, only what he "thinks"; continuing to move away from any commitment to any of the activities he has attempted to describe. 

"So, I was knocked back on the couch, and then I started struggling to get up, and I could hear it all then - now I could - maybe it's really, you know - I don't know if I was repeating to myself what she just said or if I kept hearing it, but I kept - I heard, you know, 'Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs.' And I started to struggle up and I noticed three men now, and I think the girl was kind of behind them. And the guy on my left was a colored man, and he hit me again but at the same time, you know, waskind of struggling. And these two menI thought, were punching me at the same time."

By using the word "so" he is explaining what happened as opposed to telling us what happened.
"I started struggling to get up" The word "started" tells us that he did not get up and only reported what he started to do, not what he did. 

MacDonald uses phrases such as "I think" "you know" "I don't know" which means he is not very committed to his story. I understand that he claims he was asleep and was suddenly awakened and was still in a daze. He also claims he had been hit on the head so he may have a hard time recalling what happened that night. That does not change the fact that phrases such as these indicate he is not fully committed to his story.

"Acid is groovy.  Kill the pigs"  has no relation to the story.  

"colored man" only now introduces race.  Why wasn't this said from the beginning?  It sounds like an after-thought. 

"...kind of struggling." He was unable to bring himself to say he struggled.  He only "kind of" struggled. 

A fourth person enters his story making it a total of "three" men and the girl. 
 "I thought were punching me." He cannot bring himself to say they punched him; only that he "thought" they were punching him.  Would you know if men were punching you?


"Then I - I remember thinking to myself that - see, I work out with boxing gloves sometimes. I was then - and I kept -'Geeze, that guy throws a hell of a punch,' because he punched me in the chest, and I got this terrific pain in my chest. 

We note the stutter.  Here we have insight into his thinking:  during the life or death struggle with his family's killers, he was thinking about how he works out with boxing gloves and how impressed he was with one of the punches?

This is story telling.  The "emotion" of connecting his work outs with being punched (hitting a bag does not prepare anyone for being hit) is found in the perfect part of the story:  the struggle. 

This is found in deceptive statements and story telling.  For a story, it is perfect.  For a truthful account, it enters statements after the main event. 

And so, I was struggling and I got hit on the shoulder or the side of the head again, and so I turned and I, and I grabbed this guy's whatever it was

1.  His sentences being with "And" indicate missing information. 
2.  So" shows "why", making it highly sensitive
3.  "I got hit" is passive language
4.  "either/or" allows for wiggle room
5.  "so I turned" tells us why 
6.  "this guy" again shows closeness while he should have distance
7.  "whatever it was" appears to have run out of imagination

I thought it was a baseball bat at the time

Why would he tell us what he thought it was "at the time"?  Why not just tell us what it is?  This is another indication that he is not speaking from memory:  not speaking from experiential memory, nor speaking from a pre-rehearsed story.  

He is making it up as he goes along which is why he has so many missing details. 

And I had - I was holding it. 

Broken sentence = self censoring.  He was holding it, the kitchen light was on, but he only "thought" it was a baseball bat "at that time" but not now. 

I was kind of working up it to hold onto it.

Even in a small detail he cannot bring himself to say a straight sentence.  He only "kind of" does something, or something "really" happened. 

 Meanwhile, both of these guys were kind of hitting me, and all this time I was hearing screams.

"Meanwhile" is story telling language; not the language of murder.  It is also another use of skipping time.  He can only "kind of" be hit.  "These" (close") "guys" not men or other strong language, were only "kind of" hitting him. 
"All this time" is also story telling language, he was hearing screams. 

 That's what I can't figure out, so, let's see, I was holding - so, I was the - and all I got a glimpse was, was some stripes.

Some of his use of "so" appears to be delay or stall tactics.  It is story telling language. 

 I told you I think they were E6 stripes. There was one bottom rocker and it was an army jacket, and that was a colored man, and the two men, other men, were white. And I didn'really notice too much about them."

Deception Indicated. 

"I told you" is self referencing what he had said previously. 
"I think" reduces commitment:  he is unable to even keep track of a self reference regarding the killers of his family. 
Note that articles, like pronouns, don't lie:  "...and that was a colored man" with the article, "a" even though he had already introduced him.  This is another indication that the three people are imaginary.  The guys only "kinda" hit him.  He is deceptive.  You are either hit, or you are not, by killers.  "Kinda" hit by the same attackers who killed his family is not congruent.   

The phrase "..so, let's see..." indicates the same as a question in an open statement:  the subject is speaking to himself.  He appears to be struggling to come up with a story.  This suggests that he did not prepare a statement. 

                            This leads me to ask:  Was he originally planning to turn himself in?

"And so I kind of struggled, and I was kind of off balance 'cause I was still half way on the couch and half off, and I was holding onto this.

He continues to back away from committing to anything specific.  


 And I kept getting this pain, either in, you know, like sort of in my stomach, and he kept hitting me in the chest. And so, I let go of the club, 

The phrase "you know", showing acute awareness of the interviewer, (or audience).
Note again, with an abundance of sensitivity indicators, another "blue" of explaining why he did something instead of reporting what he did do. 

and I was grappling with him and I was holding his hand in my hand. 

"grappling" is the language of story telling. 

And I saw, you know, a blade. I didn't know what it was. I just saw something that looked like a blade at the time."

Note "you know" again. The "blade" only looked like a "blade" "at the time" but what does it look like now?  Candle?  Flashlight?

"And so, then I concentrated on him. We were kind of struggling in the hallway right there at the end of the couch, and then really the next distinctive thing,

Note again the need to explain, with "so". This is highly sensitive. 
Note next that he uses the word "we" in describing himself with the one he struggled with.  The word "we" has more to do with unity, cooperation and is not appropriate in connecting the killer to himself.  This is very alarming. 

"We" is considered the most important pronoun in a statement.  In fact, not only do we circle pronouns (and circle where pronouns are missing) but we count them, and take special note how often the word "we" enters a statement, and where it enters. 

In this statement about his family being murdered, he used the word "we" in correlation to one of the alleged assailants.  There is no unity between him and the killer of his family.  It shows a partnership.  

Pronouns are never wrong:  they are too instinctive and are perfectly used by humans, millions of times since childhood.  They are never wrong.   He should have said, "I struggled with him" using the word "with" to separate himself from the killer.  He did not.  This strongly suggests one of two possibilities, with either being deceptive:

1.  He knows the killer.  
2.  He, himself, is the killer.  The analyst should be on alert for these two possibilities, even reviewing the entire statement with one presupposition and then the other. 

"kind of" reduces commitment to struggling:  this is consistent in the statement:  there has been no commitment to struggling. 

 I thought that, I thought that I noticed that - I saw the top of some boots. 

Jeffrey MacDonald was a poor liar.  "I thought" is repeated, but then the language changes:

1.  I thought
2.  I thought
3.  I noticed

There is no apparent justification for the change in language.  

What he "noticed" is now changed to "saw"

But it is in the additional words, needless words added to make a story sound real, that actually shows deception.  He did not see the man's boots, or the "guy's boots"; he saw the top of "some" boots only.  Deception indicated


And I thought that I saw knees as I was falling. But it wasn't what was in the papers that I saw white boots. I never saw white muddy boots. I saw - saw some knees on the top of the boots, and I told, I think, the investigators, 

He painfully twists over his story, unable to keep track of what he said before. 
Truthful people tell what they remember, and do not need to keep track or use self reference such as "what I said before."  
He "thought" which continues to reduce commitment.  

He runs from committing himself to seeing or hearing anything. 

Note what he "thought" he saw is than rebutted by the word "but" they were not "white boots", as reported. 
The white boots are changed to white muddy boots. 
He saw "some" knees on the top part of the boots.  Absence of sensory description.  Were they "white" knees or "colored knees"?  As it turns out, neither white nor "colored" in his language:  

I thought they were brown as a matter of fact

As a matter of fact is an expression used for emphasis.  With all his lack of commitment, he finally finds something he wants to commit to yet he still sounds deceptive. He still begins with "I thought" even though "matter of fact" was added. 

And the next thing I remember though, was lying on the hallway, at the end of the hallway floor, and I was freezing cold and it was very quiet. And my teeth were chattering, and I went down and - to the bedroom."

Note the skipping over of time:  "And the next thing I remember" means he has skipped over time and withheld information.   Note the inclusion of his thoughts/emotions with teeth chattering.  This is sensory language of himself, not of the attack. He was "laying" "on" and not "in" the hallway.  This sounds awkward. He went "down and to the bedroom" is to be noted.  Going to the bedroom is "down"
it is also "I went down "and" _____ to the bedroom" as if he was going to say something else. 
Is he still in a life or death struggle at this point?  With "thinking" he was being hit?

Next we have the "cluster of blues" of deception.  One use of "so" is sensitive when it is used to explain why, but two or three are called a "cluster" and is where deception is to be found.  Here, he has four "blues" in one segment, pointing us to where we can find our deception:  

"And I had this - I was dizzy, you know. I wasn't really, real alert, and I - my wife was lying on the, the floor next to the bed. And there were - there was a knife in her upper chest. So, I then took that out and I tried to give here artificial respiration but the air was coming out of her chest.
 So, I went and checked the kids, and - just a minute - and they were - had a lot of - there was a lot of blood around. So, I went back into the bedroom and I - this time I was finding it real hard to breathe, and I was dizzy. So, I picked up the phone and I told the asshole operator that it was, my name was Captain MacDonald and I was at 544 Castle Drive and I needed the M.P.'s and a doctor and an ambulance. And she said, 'Is this on or off post?' Something like that. And I started yelling at her. I said, finally I told her it was on post, and she said, 'Well, you'll have to call the M.P.'s.'"

1.  Four uses of the word "so" in the mode of having to explain why he did things points to the most sensitive part of his statement and the location of the most significant deception of the statement. 

2.  He wasn't "really, real alert" tells us how sharply alert he was.  
3.  "My wife" continues with the incomplete social introduction.  She has been mentioned repeatedly without her name indicating that she may have been his primary target in the murders as their relationship is bad. 
4.  "There was a knife" is passive language, not saying who put it there.  
5.  "Tried" in analysis past tense indicates attempt and fail.  Listen carefully to what he says and do not interpret his words.  Interpretation is exactly what deceptive people expect you to do:

"I tried to give here artificial respiration."

I don't know if the word "here" was used, or if it is a typo and he said, "her" but either way, the focus is upon "give" when viewed for "tried."

He did not say that he gave her artificial respiration and it did not work.  This would be an interpretation of his words. 

"Tried" in the past tense means failed.  He tells us that he failed to try to give her artificial respiration.  He did not say that he failed to respirate her. 

He did not do CPR on her, is what he said.  He saw the air coming out of her chest. 

Note that he then says that he was the one having trouble breathing by saying "real" hard.  How would his breathing compare to his wife's?

"Asshole operator" is interesting. 

Only now does he show anger.  He does not show anger towards the three intruders, nor even anger at himself for failing to save his family, in spite of his advanced training.  Instead, he saves his anger for an operator. 

He called the operator an "asshole" but the killers, "people."

Next, note what he asks for:

1.  The Military Police (MPs)
2.  A doctor (he was having trouble breathing)
3.   An Ambulance  

The order in which he made the requests shows priority.  

Why would the MP's be a priority?  Was he planning on confessing and turning himself in, at that time?  He isn't now, as seen in the deception in the statement. 

The doctor and ambulance come after the MPs.  Is this because he knew his family was dead?

Note that when he describes yelling at the operator he "told" her; which is strong, authoritative language.  This indicates honesty in his story and the language is consistent.  He can't "remember" anything he said to the killers in a life or death struggle, but remembers the operator. 

"So, I dropped the phone and I went back and I checked my wife again, and now I was, I don't know. I assume I was hoping I hadn't seen what I had seen or I'd - or I was starting to think more like a doctor.

He continues with his use of "so" in story telling mode, and calls her "my wife" again.  
He focuses upon himself:  "I was..." and attempts to portray his thoughts as a doctor. He does not know.  A truthful person can say they do not know in response to a question, but here, he is speaking openly and should only tell us what he does know. 

 So, I went back and I checked for pulses.You know, carotid pulses and stuff. And I - there was no pulse on my wife, and I was - I felt I was getting sick to my stomach and I was short of breath, and I was dizzy and my teeth were chattering 'cause I was cold. And so I didn't know if I was going - I assume I was going into shock because I was cold. That's one of the symptoms of shock; you start getting shaking chills.So, I got down on all fours and, I was breathing for a while. 

Please note that there are 3 "blues" (highest level of sensitivity) in this small portion.

Similar observations as above.  Note that there was no pulse "on" his wife.  
Note the inclusion of emotions ("felt") at the logical part of the story indicates deception.  It takes time for humans to process emotions.  In truthful accounts, the emotions come after the event, not during.  When emotions are including in the dramatic part of the story, it is indicative of story telling (see Tiffany Hartley for several examples of deceptive inclusion of emotions in the "perfect" part of the story). 

Then I had realized I had talked to the operator and nothing had really happened with her. But in any case, when I came back to check my wife, I then went to check the kids. And a couple of times I had to - thinking that I was going into shock and not being able to breathe. Now I, you know, when I look back, of course, it's merely a symptom, that shortness of breath. It isn't - you weren't really that bad, but that's what happens when you get pneumothorax. You, you think you can't breathe. And I had to get down on my hands and knees and breathe for a while, and then I went in and checked the kids and checked their pulses and stuff."

Incomplete sentences mean that the subject stopped himself from finishing his sentence.  This indicates missing information. 

We also notice that the subject diverts attention from the account to teach medicine.  This is an attempt to persuade. 

"And, I don't know if it was the first time I checked them or the second time. I checked them, to tell you the truth, but I had all, you know, blood on my hands and I had little cuts in here and in here (pointing to his mid-section), and my head hurt. So, when I reached up to feel my head, you know, my hand was bloody. And so I, I think, it was the second circuit it, by that time, I was, I was thinking better, I thought."

"...to tell you the truth..." This is another phrase that indicates untruthfulness.  This is done by deceptive people when they want to affirm the truth, knowing there is a need to make an emphatic statement.  He uses this phrase to call our attention to checking on the children. 

His use of "so" is not always to explain why, but appears to be a sensitive pause.  This is common in children's lies.  

And I went into that - I went into the bathroom right there and I looked in a mirror and didn't - nothing looked wrong. I mean there wasn't even a cut or anything. So, I - then I went out in the hall. 

He has reminded us that he is a doctor by his lecture on going into shock.  Here, he then tells us that he checked himself, as a doctor, and didn't find anything wrong.  This is important for the time frame:

1.  He checked himself when he entered the bathroom and saw that there was nothing that looked wrong, even giving the detail with "I mean" saying he did not see a cut "or anything", meaning something beyond a cut.  

2.  "So" is again used, telling us why he went into the hall. 

Please note that when he entered the bathroom, he did not have any injuries that could be seen by looking in a mirror...as a doctor. 

I couldn't breathe, so I was on my hands and knees in the hall, and I - and it kept hitting me that really nothing had been solved when I called the operator. And so I went in and - this was in the - you know, in the middle of the hallway there. And I went the other way. I went into the kitchen, picked up that phone and the operator was on the line. My other phone had never been hung up."

It is fascinating that he says, in a sensitive part of his statement (see "blues") that "it kept hitting me" enters his language. 

He went into the bathroom and saw nothing wrong. 
He is now in the hallway and "it kept hitting him" enters his language. 

He was seen with injuries in which prosecutors claimed were self-inflicted.  It would appear from his statement that he gave them to himself shortly after he first entered the bathroom.  This is why it is fascinating that he used the wording "it was hitting me", even though it was in reference to thinking. 

If I am correct that in viewing his figure of speech about "hitting me" as self inflicting injury, it would indicate that he may have had a change of heart about turning himself in,  since she had told him that he would have to call the MPs himself.  This may have triggered the feeling of self preservation. 

And she was still on the line, and she said, 'Is this captain MacDonald?' I said, 'Yes it is.' And she said, 'Just a minute.' And there was some dial tones and stuff and then the sergeant came on. And he said, 'can I help you?' So, I told him that I needed a doctor and an ambulance and that some people had been stabbed, and that I thought I was going to die

There are several critical points here:

1.  He uses "so" again
2.  He wants a doctor and an ambulance, but not the MPs.  
3.  **He calls his family members, the victims of a horrific crime, "some people"
4.  He thought he was going to die.  Was suicide part of the equation?

It is that he called the three killers "people" and that he then calls his family "some people" which is surprising and unexpected language.  

The killers and the family get the same impersonal language and his only anger is towards the operator. 

And he said, 'They'll be right there.' So, I left the phone and remember going back to look again. And the next thing I knew an M.P. was giving me mouth-to-mouth respiration next to - next to my wife. Now, I remember I saw - I don't know if it was the first time or second trip into the bedroom to see my wife - but I saw that the back door was open, but that's immaterial I guess. That's it."

The sensitivity of "so" continues in his statement. 
"The next thing I knew" skips time and conceals information. 
Note "my wife" still has no name.
"Now" he "remembers" yet even qualifies the number of trips to the bedroom, about the back door.  This leaves him open to any challenges.  He can always say, "but I said I couldn't remember if it was the first time or second time"; protecting him from questioning.  He did not speak from experiential memory, which is why he cannot commit to anything without a qualifier.   

"I thought I was going to die." The first time MacDonald was on the phone with the operator he did not mention this. Why does he now feel he is going to die? Perhaps because the stab wounds inflicted by the intruders were now taking there toll. Or, it may be that after looking in the mirror and seeing no cuts, he then stabbed himself. When he started to "think" like a doctor, was this included because at this point, he no longer wanted the MPs and no longer wanted to die, or give himself in?  Was he then awakened to wanting to get away with what he had done?

"That's it" is used when the subject wants to stop the flow of information.  He only "guesses" that the open door would be immaterial, as if added as an after thought, perhaps forgetting that the three "intruders" would need a way of getting in.  

Analysis conclusion:

Jeffrey MacDonald is deceptive about what happened to his wife and daughters.  He either killed them himself, or he knew, and was complicit with the three intruders.  His language, however, indicates that the three intruders were not those he knew, and attempted to conceal their identities, but that he was specifically deceptive about them.  He did not want to give descriptions of them, as he showed reluctance, but when he did, his language was deceptive.  He was not concealing their identities:  they had no identities. 

Jeffrey MacDonald murdered his wife and children.  He inflicted injuries on his head and face only after seeing in the mirror that he did not appear like a victim of a brutal and horrific assault.  He used the very same impersonal language of the "killers" as he did his family.  His deception is consistent.  

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

The dog didn't bark. A woman in a floppy hat seen near the corner. The jewelry box had been accessed three weeks earlier. The call to go to Russia with the boxing team the day before. The call to the commanding officer around the time of the murders.

Funny how Gunderson always appears in these psychobabble thrillers. Everyone must be informed of the difference between black witchcraft and white witchcraft.

Perhaps this man had participated in just such an event himself before. This time he had help.

Light the Way said...

A sad and senseless crime.
I recently had the displeasure of reviewing the ME reports on JMac's wife and daughters...the sheer brutality of their murders' is beyond comprehension.
This "man" is EXACTLY where he belongs, and I pray he remains there until the day he dies!

Hobnob said...

He is a murdering liar liar pants on fire.

Rachael said...

Wow. I still have a lot to read, but I had to stop to say this is one of the strangest statements I have read!

I stopped at '"Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs" has no relation to the story.'

His recollection of events has a dreamlike quality to it that really struck me, not just with all the soft language, but for the mental picture he paints. Candle light, bright light on the girls face, the men 'separating', he 'thought' they were punching him, it's so bizarre to read. I know this is not at all statement analysis-y, but I get the feeling that he is creating this entire story from far away from himself. I was starting to wonder if he killed them while on drugs, and then got to the acid part. Is it possible that acid does have relation to the story?

Hm.... now I think it's more likely that I am getting a dreamlike feel because he is not writing any action for himself into his story (yet). I don't think he has moved yet, in his telling of things, or yelled 'who the bleep are you and what do you want!', which is just surreal. He is a bad liar, and as Hobnob so aptly put it, a murdering liar liar pants on fire.

He went to the couch because HIS bed was wet. Not his side of the bed. HIS bed.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that all these made for TV mystery murders always have that hair that cannot be accounted for?

The hair in the hand of the wife belonged to him. Other hairs found in the hands of the children belonged to other people.

Do killers go around leaving hairs in the weirdest of places?

Where was he planning to go for thirty days if there was no boxing tournament in Russia?

Nope. If he didn't do it, it was someone on base. The entire hair situation reeks of it.

Carrying a light that illuminated the woman's face makes me beleive she was there. Who could make that up? Why a candle? Odd.

Also, isn't this the same Ft. where two boys went missing in 1964 and the suspect was an Army CID officer?

Light the Way said...

IDK.
Doesn't the mind altering effect of LSD last for a really long time...like, twelve to eighteen hours?
If the murders were perpetrated during some kind of LSD induced psychosis, I'd think he'd likely be at or near the height of the drug's effect DURING the murders.
That would leave him with a good 6 to 9 hours before the drug's effects would've worn off.
IIRC he reported the murders shortly after they occurred---and NOT in a state of intoxication, or displaying delusional behavior.

Just a hunch, but I think that the "acid" reference was part of the narrative of his story because of the Manson murders that took place shortly before he committed his crimes. The Manson spree of murder and mayhem was reportedly fueled by LSD.

A fitting scapegoat to pick for explaining "why a group of strangers would break into a home and stab to death two toddlers and a PREGNANT WOMAN" in 1970:
I mean WHO would do such a thing??

Well, one of the Manson family's most horrific and infamous crimes was the murder of the wife of an up and coming film director---- She was 8 MONTHS PREGNANT, at the time.

While she lay bleeding to death, she reportedly begged one of the female Manson followers to cut her unborn child from her womb to save it's life...they laughed in her face.
Such was the depravity of the Manson "family".


Maggie said...

I agree with Peter--this guy made the whole thing up. The candle detail could have popped into his head just trying to think of anything that went with the whole hippie/acid culture. This guy's story is such a lie. I can't believe how many times he says "kind of"--people were "kind of" hitting him--he was "kind of" grappling--he even says that he "kind of" has pain in his chest or stomach. Yes, he made the story up off the top of his head. I say there were no intruders. It seems he made rudimentary attempts at supplying details--a candle, a colored man, knees. I agree with the person who says that it has a dream-like quality to the details but I think that is because he was making it up and reaching into his subconscious to supply "details"--that is how writers write or storytellers tell stories pulling details oftentimes out of their own subconscious or mind. I liked how Peter broke it all down and it was interesting where Peter pointed out that that he had verbalized "it kept hitting me" when he was probably inflicting wounds on himself at that same time.

Anonymous said...

He went on TV and criticized the military installation's medical reports, police activity, the whole 9 yards when in 1970 people were already disillusioned by them.

When you look at the evidence, they relied mainly on their psychiatrists do their campaigning and threw investigation by the way side.

They had a 16 year-old druggie that would testify to anything on a drop of the hat who worked as an informant to the local police. They needed someone with whom they could have an intelligent conversation and find out the happenings in and about town and she was the go to person it seems.
None of her evidence was found in the home btw.

He knew the people or had seen them before. In fact, I think he invited the woman into his home.

Maggie said...

This guy's story is not from memory. You can see the whole lie starting when he switches perspectives from lying on the couch to suddenly seeing people at the "foot of the bed". Right away that jumped out at me. The only way that that term "at the foot of the bed" would have made sense is if he had seen the "people" from the perspective of lying in a bed from which he then saw the people standing at the foot of. What he does in the story is that he suddenly changes perspective to being in the victim's perspective if that makes sense. The reason he does this is because he is lying but it is interesting how you can see at that point he loses track of his physical location in the story and even loses track of his identity in a way. But, you can see that throughout--it is like he is having an out of body experience where he doesn't really feel punches, only "kind of" feels pain, "kind of" grapples, "kind of" struggles. I don't believe there were intruders. He doesn't supply one solid detail of even the supposed actions of the intruders.

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deejay said...

Is this an imbedded confession- telling himself 'you weren't really that bad' during his doctor ramble?

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lis said...

Is there also missing information between "cause my bed was wet" and "And I went to sleep on the couch"? He takes his daughter to her room (does not say he put her to bed, just to her room) and does not remember if he changed her diaper. This struck me as odd since men do not usually relish changing diapers and would remember if they did it or not. If she had wet his bed, she would have needed a diaper change, but he does not remember if he changed it. He drops the pronoun on 'gave her a bottle'- either he does not remember that, either, or he didn't do it.

He provides almost no detail about the men but brings the girl into his story. Should he have introduced her as "a girl" before he said "the girl." Then she is "this" girl and then "the" girl again.

I am wondering if there was a girl; whether she was there or not, if a particular girl was his motivation to be rid of his family?

"Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs." It sounds like parody scene from "Get Smart".

They all apparently disappeared while he was in between seeing the brown knees and the next thing he remembered...

This sentence gets me: "You know, carotid pulses and stuff." "You know" "carotid pulses" "and stuff".
Is this man really a doctor?

This man is a narcissist. It really comes across when he goes into detail about not being able to breathe, being cold, having to get on his hands and knees, the little cuts he had, etc, but he is impersonal and detached about his wife and kids, never even uses his wife's name. They are just "some people."

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think he is guilty, based on what he says and the way he says it. I personally think he was abusing his daughter or daughters sexually, hence the wet bed. I am thinking he took his daughter to the bedroom and was abusing her (she wets the bed) and his wife walked in and so he had no choice but to kill everyone. I think that with him being a doctor, he knew how to stab himself without it being fatal.

Penny said...

Hi Peter, I am hoping that you will be able to spare the time to have a look at this statement. I don't know if you are familiar with the Shrien Dewani case. He is from the UK and is accused of paying killers to have his wife murdererd during their honeymoon in South Africa. The following is a link to a newspaper article containing his statement. I am not sure how to contact you any other way other than through this comments section.

I have been following your blog for some time and have been learning so much. Many thanks for your dedication to uncovering the truth.
Penny, London.

Penny said...

Oops, here's the link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384708/Shrien-Dewani-I-identify-wifes-killers.html

Florida said...

It just doesn't make sense that the wife and two daughters were killed but he wasn't. Why WOULDN'T he have been killed also, not just somewhat "injured", when he would have been the one left alive to identify the perps? Makes no sense. Nah... not buying it entirely.

Anonymous said...

Peter, who was the one this "original statement" was given too?

I have read a lot about this case and not only was there a woman that claimed she was there, her boyfriend has stated he killed the family.. There also appeared to be a lot of coverup and evidence tampering.. And the woman he says he say that said she was there, was seen by his house right afterward, and was weari g a blonde wig a d the wife had strands from a blonde wig in her hands.

Just seems like there is more to this?



So I am wondering.. Do we know this was his actual statement or fabricated?

Cause another person involved in the investigation stated he gave very clear specific details. So I can't help but wonder.

It seemed like there was a lot of drug use by others in the military and he was against that. That would be a motive.

Anonymous said...

One more thing.. Maybe 3

First, he had a collapsed lung and pass out at one point so it was more that mild

Second, they said there was candle wax on the floor by the couch and it didn't match any of the candle in the house

His wife had skin under he nails... He had no scratches on him

Now days we have so many statements on tv so there's no doubt to the validity of them. But this was a different time and I have to wonder if this was actually his words

Anonymous said...

The hair dna doesn't all match his. The prosecutor was fired for fabricating evidence in other cases. The woman in the floppy hat was threatened with prosecution if she admitted being there. His injuries were life threatening. He's maintained his innocence for 40yrs. The military investigation did not find him to blame. The paramedics saw the woman and reported it.

I do not necessarily believe he is innocent but there is enough to warrant a new trial or release him on probation.

Anonymous said...

Well, yeah if the woman in the floppy hat admits to being thee then she would definitely be prosecuted. I am so tired of people saying this was something wrong the police or prosecutor told her... she'd already know it.

MacDonald did it. He seemed to get whatever he wanted sexually, he was doing drugs from what I've read.

Many sick people exist and they do molest children. I think the only thing that explains his extremely poor lying performance is that he did not plan this. He was molesting his daughter, his wife came home and caught him. (a neighbor heard her say something in the tone of "what the hell do you" )
This is the only way I can see that he could kill them all and have no planned story.
Plus the blood evidence shows it was only one person. His wives blood was everywhere as he tried to kill her and she tried to protect herself and her children.
His blood? In front of sinks.

He didn't try to protect anyone but his wife is all over the place bleeding.

He says the urine in the bed is the 2 year olds but it was found to be the 5 year olds, and the 5 year old had been found to have wet herself.

You know, if on some PLANET this man did not do this and it was hippies ... then he was drugged out of his mind at the time and deserves to talk all the blame anyway. Any man that would let this happen to his family and then call them "some people" has a missing conscience.

I really think he was a sexual pervert who got caught and that set him off. That is the motive.

Anonymous said...

Put him and Sandusky in a cell together, no wait, narcissits love attention so that would be a reward.

Anonymous said...

Also, the strange few little hairs are probably from his affairs (numerous) with other women. And witnesses state he abused his wife, she wanted to leave and go stay with her mother.
This guy is a lying, narcissistic creep with ZERO conscience. He LOVES any attention and adulation he can get, no remorse at all. Probably was told he was perfect and special constantly as a child, surefire way to build a monumental ego. I'm sure he is admired greatly and even considered an old "legend" and beloved mentor in his prison community. Jerry Sandusky would give all his limbs for the same oppurtunities, even one day a month! Narcissists THRIVE on attention, it is POWER to them, like life's blood. Mr. Macdonald might as well have been killing flies, as his language in referencing to "these people" clearly revealed his cold, calloused, and malice-filled heart. Transparent is his anger toward his innocent, helpless victoms immediately after his heinous crimes! Surely he carries that rage to this very day, Satan is still trying to get out of hell. Too bad.
You could interchange his speaking style and storytelling with Sandusky's, uncanny and 9/10 on the creep-o-meter scale.

Anonymous said...

It's all his victom's fault, they made him do it, and ruined his perfect little world, damn them! That truly is his sick twisted mindset.

Anonymous said...

He did it. I know who he really is. Not born Jeffrey MacDonald either.
Not born in the U.S. Born in NAZI Germany. To two of the very worst War Criminals from Auschwitz.
Neo NAZI. With connections. He is not in jail. Is still murdering innocent people.
The reason I know? He made up a new name etc. I met him in Jan.1972. In Lake Ronkonkoma NY. At a club I was 16. He lied to me.Married ME. Used the name of Michael R. F
Shall I continue?

Anonymous said...

Yes true even today. Not change in character. Always the other guy. Or girls' fault. He is a sisssy. Plays victim. Taught by his Mother. Irma Grese of Auschwitz Nazi Concentration Camp.

Peter Hyatt said...

He didn't "murder" them; they were executed due to their own guilt.

He merely carried out the capital punishment.

Hey Jude said...

'So, I went back and I checked for pulses.You know, carotid pulses and stuff. And I - there was no pulse on my wife'. He does not say there was no pulse in one or both of his daughters. From description of their injuries (Wiki) it seems unlikely either could have still been alive, but he does not say there was no pulse in either, or that he knew or thought they were dead.

He says several times he 'checked' the kids, which sounds incongruous in the circumstances. Was he checking if they were alive, or making sure that they were dead? He does not offer if he found a pulse in either, or say he attempted to stem blood flow, or otherwise help them - he merely observes 'there was a lot of blood around' - 'around' makes that seem almost a casual observation. Why does he not say there was no pulse in either child?

Alternatively, or also, is the 'no pulse' on his wife a sensitive negative? Might there have been a pulse at that time?

' I don't know if it was the first time or second trip into the bedroom to see my wife'.

I think 'trip' and 'see' are interesting choices of word. One normally associates going on a 'trip' with pleasure and sight-seeing, rather than a horrific crime scene. He went on two trips 'to see' his wife. Could it indicate that he experienced pleasure on seeing his wife's bludgeoned body?

Alternatively, or also, might it be that he had been 'tripping' on drugs?

I think it likely the murderer would have sustained redness, maybe bruising, and blade injuries to his hands due to the knife slipping during three frenzied and sustained attacks, yet he had no blade injuries to his hands - nothing was commented.

I am wondering, as he introduced boxing gloves (and because it seems unlikely such a thought would have entered his mind while, and if, he was being attacked) if he wore thick gloves, maybe actual boxing gloves, during the murders in order to protect his hands? Doubtful - could one even hold a knife or ice-pick with a boxing glove? I read (Wiki) there were fragments of surgical gloves found near his wife's headboard - if that is correct, and gloves were involved, perhaps other thicker gloves were also worn over or under the stretchy surgical gloves - he might have sliced the fingertips off surgical gloves if they had been put on over other thicker gloves (though I can't think why he would have done that in pre DNA testing days, except maybe in the hope of not staining or spoiling other gloves). Unidentified black wool fibres were found on his wife's mouth - could that have been padding from a sliced boxing glove, or any thick glove? A doctor - he had been a surgeon - would think particularly to protect his hands, and also as he had worked in an emergency room, may have seen such injuries, or would at least be aware that self-injury in the course of a knife attack was possible and quite likely in a sustained attack, and so had protected his hands.

As he had no hand injuries, and as the attacks were sustained, I would not immediately think he was the perpetrator - but his uncommitted statements and lack of anger, with the strangely placed comment about boxing gloves, make me think he killed his family, and he wore thick gloves, if not even boxing gloves, while he did so - or maybe he wrapped his hands or dominant hand like a boxer does to prevent injury and put surgical gloves over that.

---

Also, I have now looked at the crime scene photographs - the one little girl's body had been covered in her security blanket - something a parent would do. The account does not speak to the horror of what was done to his family - he has not even a condemnatory word for the murderer. The attacker went for the head and faces - close up and personal.

His wife was pregnant, even just statistically, it was him.

Hey Jude said...

Also, 'grappling' is a boxing term - he said he was grappling, but if there were no intruders, then with whom? - boxing was on his mind, but there were no equal contestants in the home. Those photos are awful - such violence, yet the home does not look to have been the scene of a fight between four men - why did he think that was going to be believable? His injuries are minimal by comparison to those of his wife and children, pulped and slaughtered in their beds. Does anything in his language indicate why such violence? Was he taking drugs?