Fatal Justice: Reinvestigating the MacDonald Murders

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1997 - Law - 479 pages
7 Reviews
"Things do not lie, " charged the prosecution in the "Fatal Vision" case, and on the basis of forensic evidence Jeffrey MacDonald was sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal murders of his wife and two young daughters. Ensuring that the MacDonald murders would remain one of the most famous and disturbing criminal cases of our time, Fatal Vision, the bestselling book by Joe McGinnis and the toprated miniseries based upon it, etched a vivid portrait of a husband and father in the grip of a murderous, irrational rage and seemed to leave no doubt that the forensic evidence pointed unequivocally to Jeffrey MacDonald's guilt. This painstakingly documented book, largely based on the government's own lab notes and other case documents secured through the Freedom of Information Act, presents a very different picture, a harrowing account of justice gone wrong. Re-creating the night of the murders in unprecedented detail, Jerry Allen Potter and Fred Bost go on to reexamine every piece of the puzzle of this extraordinary case to show how the prosecution held to its belief in MacDonald's guilt in the face of evidence that might have freed him; the steps the prosecution took to keep this evidence from the defense and the jury; how the prosecution discounted the confession of another suspect in the case and prevented the jury from learning about it; how the government's own laboratory tests contradicted the prosecutor's claims about key forensic evidence; how Joe McGinnis wove the theory, in Fatal Vision, that Jeffrey MacDonald killed his family in a psychotic rage triggered by taking diet pills and how McGinnis later admitted, in a sworn deposition, "I'm not convinced that it actually happened"; that the evidence found at the crime scene does not point at Jeffrey MacDonald but in fact supports his contention that a Manson-like group of intruders committed the murders and why MacDonald's appeals have failed and what keeps him from winning the evidentiary hearing that cou
  

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Review: Fatal Justice: Reinvestigating the MacDonald Murders

User Review  - Lewis Weinstein - Goodreads

This book describes in heart-wrenching detail the evidence of innocence that was covered up by the prosecutors in one of the great travesties of justice in our history. I believe MacDonald was ... Read full review

Review: Fatal Justice: Reinvestigating the MacDonald Murders

User Review  - Rhoda D'Ettore - Goodreads

This case took place a few years before I was born, and I have been fascinated with it ever since. I never thought the man was guilty, and as an adult, I fail to see how he could have been convicted ... Read full review

Contents

PART ONE The Army Investigation 1 The Murders on Castle Drive
13
The Crime Scene
37
The Woman in the Floppy Hat
62
The Army Hearing
87
PART TWO The Trial 5 Reversals
115
The Evidence at Trial
134
Helena Stoeckley at Trial
171
The Psychiatric Issue at Trial
194
PART THREE Reverberations
244
PostTrial Admissions and Confessions
245
A Prosecutorial Attitude
272
A Fatal Vision
316
PART FOUR The Great Writ
357
Epilogue to the Paperback Edition
393
Notes
415
Acknowledgments
463

The Verdict
219

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About the author (1997)

Jerry Allen Potter was a novelist. He lived in Pacific Grove, California, until his death in 2004.

Fred Bost is a retired magazine and newspaper writer who lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

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