Jeffrey R. MacDonald

Jeffrey R. MacDonald

Military Physician + Convicted of Murder

Jeffrey Robert MacDonald, 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 a U.S. 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.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Jeffrey R. MacDonald.

  • S helter skelter mini
    9 True Crime Books That Will Absolutely Disturb You
    Huffington Post - Nov 25, 2013
  • Chaplains In Great Demand In Aftermath Of Boston Marathon Bombing
    Huffington Post - Apr 19, 2013
  • The Fort Bragg Murders: Is Jeffrey Mac Donald Innocent?
    Guardian (UK) - Apr 13, 2013
  • Alcoholics Anonymous Wrestles With Its Spiritual Roots
    Huffington Post - Mar 21, 2013


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Jeffrey R. MacDonald.


1943 Birth Born in 1943.


1963 - 1964 2 More Events
1969 26 Years Old 1 More Event
He joined the Army on July 1, 1969 and the entire family moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he held the rank of Captain.
At 3:42am on February 17, 1970, dispatchers at Fort Bragg received an emergency phone call from MacDonald, who reported a "stabbing." … Read More
1972 29 Years Old He filed the citizen's complaint in early 1972, but it was held in limbo because the three murders happened while he was serving in the U.S. Army, and since he was no longer with the Army, the citizen's complaint was declared moot. … Read More


1974 31 Years Old On April 30, 1974, after much persistence in pursuing the prosecution of MacDonald, Freddie and Mildred Kassab, aided by Peter Kearns, and the Kassabs' attorney Richard C. Cahn of Huntington, New York, presented a citizen's criminal complaint against MacDonald to U.S. Chief District Court Judge Algernon Butler, requesting the convening of a grand jury to indict him for the murders. … Read More
A grand jury in North Carolina indicted MacDonald on January 24, 1975, and within the hour he was arrested in California.
1978 35 Years Old On October 22, 1978, the Fourth Circuit rejected MacDonald's double jeopardy arguments and, on March 19, 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review that decision. … Read More
1979 36 Years Old 1 More Event
In June 1979, MacDonald invited author Joe McGinniss to write a book about the case. McGinniss was given full access to him and the defense during the trial. He expected that the book would be about his innocence in the murders of his family. However, McGinniss' book, Fatal Vision, first published in the spring of 1983, portrayed him as "a narcissistic sociopath" who was indeed guilty of killing his family. … Read More
1980 37 Years Old 1 More Event
On July 29, 1980, a panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed MacDonald's conviction in a 2–1 split on the grounds that the nine-year delay in bringing him to trial violated his Sixth Amendment rights to a speedy trial.
1982 39 Years Old 1 More Event
On March 31, 1982, they ruled 6–3 that MacDonald's rights to a speedy trial had not been violated. … Read More


1985 42 Years Old Lawyers for MacDonald appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld Dupree's ruling on December 17, 1985 and refused to reopen the case. … Read More
1990 47 Years Old The Journalist and the Murderer, written by Janet Malcolm and published in 1990, is about the relationship between journalists and their subjects and explores the relationship between McGinniss and MacDonald as the subject of Malcolm's thesis that "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible." … Read More
On March 27, 1991, MacDonald became eligible for parole, but he did not apply, continuing to vehemently maintain his innocence.
1992 49 Years Old On June 2, 1992, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a new trial for MacDonald. … Read More


1994 51 Years Old MacDonald's former in-laws, Colette's mother, Mildred, and stepfather, Freddie Kassab, who brought his case to the Justice Department, both died in 1994; she on January 19 and he on October 24. … Read More


2005 62 Years Old At the urging of MacDonald's second wife, Kathryn MacDonald (née Kurichh, married in 2002), and his attorneys, he applied for a parole hearing, which was held on May 10, 2005. … Read More
2006 63 Years Old 1 More Event
MacDonald was granted leave to file his fourth appeal on January 12, 2006. … Read More
2008 65 Years Old In November 2008, Judge Fox denied MacDonald's motion regarding the statement of Britt. … Read More
2011 68 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2011, the Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's decision, remanding MacDonald's claims back to the District Court with instructions for consideration. … Read More
2012 69 Years Old In September 2012, the District Court conducted an evidentiary hearing, including MacDonald's claims of new DNA "evidence," on remand from the Fourth Circuit's April 2011 ruling.
On July 24, 2014, the District Court rejected his claims in their entirety and re-affirmed MacDonald's conviction on all counts.
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.