Episode 66

The MacDonald Murders

September 7, 2020   Tags: , ,
Apple Podcasts
Paul and Billy look into the 1970 murders of Colette MacDonald and her two young daughters in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Colette's husband--a surgeon and former Green Beret--Jeffrey MacDonald was eventually convicted of the murders but has always maintained his innocence. With the help of filmmaker and podcaster Marc Smerling from The Jinx and Morally Indefensible, the guys look into a case riddled with confessions and betrayal.  

The Murders:
Jeffrey MacDonald and his wife moved to Fort Bragg in July 1969. The two were high school sweethearts who had married in 1963 after learning Colette was pregnant with their first child. By the time they moved to North Carolina, they had two young daughters--five-year-old Kimberly and two-year-old Kristen. 

February 16th, 1970, the family had a normal evening. Jeffrey and Colette had watched some TV after the girls went to bed. Then Colette went to bed. Jeffrey stayed up watching a late night talk show and fell asleep on the couch. 

At 3:42 AM on February 17th, the normal evening had devolved into something sinister. The military police were called to what they thought was a domestic disturbance at 544 Castle Drive. During the call, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald had described the incident as a stabbing. It was cold and pouring rain. The home was occupied by the young Army surgeon and former Green Beret and his growing family--his wife Colette was over four months pregnant with their first son.

Colette’s body, with an injured Jeffrey, was on the floor in the master bedroom Her injuries were extensive. Her body was lying face up on the bedroom floor. There was blood all around her. She’d been stabbed and beaten. 21 stab wounds with an ice pick and multiple times with a knife. She’d been hit with a club crushing her arms and skull.

Five-year-old Kimberly was discovered in her bed, beaten and stabbed. The right side of her face was caved in from being clubbed. She was stabbed seven to eight times mainly in the neck. 

Two-year-old Kristen was stabbed over 30 times with a knife and ice pick. Most of the wounds in her chest and back. Her injuries left her bed soaked with blood.

Then there were Jeffrey’s injuries. He had one stab wound on his left chest that partially collapsed his lung. But aside from that he had small abrasions on his face and neck and a mild concussion.
The Aftermath:

Eventually Jeffrey MacDonald went to trial for the murders of his family. But it wasn't until nine years later. Shortly before the trial he'd ask author Joe McGinniss to tell his story. The two became fast friends and Jeffrey thought the book would clear his name.

However, after his guilty conviction and his sentence of three consecutive life sentences, Joe wasn't sure he could clear his name. After sitting in the courtroom and seeing the evidence, McGinniss agreed with the jury that Jeffrey MacDonald had killed his wife and two daughters.

When the book was published, MacDonald sued McGinniss and won a settlement of over $300,000. 

Jeffrey MacDonald is currently in a federal prison continuing to serve his sentence. He is supposed to have a parole hearing sometime this year. He maintains his innocence.

This one is a little different. Obviously, if you know anything about the murders of Colette, Kimberly and Kristen MacDonald, please contact us. Jeffrey MacDonald is sitting in a federal prison currently still serving life sentences for a crime he still maintains he didn’t commit. But we also want to hear your theories on the case this week.  


1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police. 
2. Do not post side by side photos.
3. Do not contact any family members. 
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.