May 7, 2005: Regarding Jeffrey MacDonald's upcoming parole hearing
More than 35 years ago, a horrible crime occurred. Now another chapter is about to be added: a parole hearing. This is something MacDonald said would never happen, but perhaps with time and the urging of his new wife he has decided he wants out. When I broke the news of his wedding, I said back then that the stage was being set for him to apply for parole and, true to form, that is exactly what he has done.
Tuesday, May 10, MacDonald will appear before the parole board, asking them to look at the amount of time he has served, his good prison record, and may well add how he saved a fellow inmate's life. He will not admit any guilt for the crime, and, as he has said for many years, he cannot show remorse for something he didn't do.
For years MacDonald has thrived on publicity, never missing a chance to speak out about all the wrong done to him, never addressing the wrong done to his family. Now he has invoked a provision of the Federal Privacy Act that allows a prisoner to bar most people from a parole hearing. Seems he does not want the public to be able to be at the hearing and actually hear what is said. But he will not be able to hide it. We may not be able to be in the room, but we will still know, and sooner than he would expect.
For years we have heard him on interviews saying, "I am confident I will be vindicated soon based on the new evidence that we've discovered." The question is what new evidence?
It is the same old song sung in just a new tune.
MacDonald was convicted in a court of law by a jury of his peers. They listened to the testimony of both sides, visited the crime scene, and then made their decision based on the evidence presented. Still, according to him, he is innocent; they were wrong in their decision. He cannot complain about incompetent counsels; he has had some of the best. He has had more appeals than anyone I can think of and all were denied. But again MacDonald appears to have contempt for all who have the nerve to speak out about him, as though everybody who has had anything to do with this case has been wrong, and as though nobody except him is telling the truth and nobody knows how to do anything right except him. It must be a terrible burden to be so perfect.
But the evidence was there, and while it cannot show the reason why these murders occurred, it does show what happened. It gets to a point that it is an insult to one's intelligence to hear that he is "factually innocent." The man is a convicted murderer. He should have been convicted of three counts of first degree murder.
Those of us who are driven by this case know how he butchered his own flesh and blood and his pregnant wife. He was not satisfied to just murder them, he mutilated them as well. It was as if rage took over and all the resentment came out that fatal night. We know how he has tried to make this all about him and the wrong done to him. One only needs to look at his website to see how many pictures of his family that he has stated so often that he loved more than anything else in this world are there, and let us not forget that for many years there were none of his family at all. But I am sure, as always, he has a good excuse for that; after all, he contends his personal property was stolen from him.
And now he wants to be paroled to return to live his life with his new wife. To the thousands of us who have followed this case, that right he does not have. His family cannot be paroled and start their lives again, so why should he? I can only hope and pray that the parole board will not see fit to turn this monster loose on society.
According to the criteria for parole, the board looks at three areas:
(1) Has the prisoner obeyed prison rules? Well, my opinion is that he has had little choice unless he wanted to be put in the hole and have no privileges, and that I doubt he could stand. Without his files to study, his magazines/books he receives to read, his many interviews he has in prison, the use of the telephone, writing and receiving letters, he would probably be a raving maniac.
(2) Would a parole depreciate the seriousness of the crime and conviction? This was a heinous crime, the taking of three lives in such a brutal way with no mercy shown, with the evidence indicating that the victims suffered a horrible, brutal death, knowing that the one hurting them was the very one whom they loved and who was supposed to love and protect them. For parole to be granted would be a dishonor to the memory of the victims and go against everything our justice system stands for.
(3) Would the prisoner be a threat to society if paroled? Yes, I believe he would be. If he was able to commit three murders at the same time, then he could do it again. The first time we do anything it is hard, but the second time, it is easier. He has lived in a controlled environment for many years. He snapped once under pressure and could very well do so again if free to do as he pleases.
So on Tuesday, May 10th, his fate will be in the hands of the U. S. parole commissioners who hear him. They will also hear Brian Murtagh from the Department of Justice, who knows this case better than even MacDonald himself. They will also hear from Bob Stevenson, the brother of Colette, who now speaks for the family who were all victims of this horrible crime.
Both men will deliver their messages well and straight to the point. But this will not be a surprise to MacDonald. I have been informed that he has already seen what will be presented; he just does not know how strong it will be hearing these men speak.
To the many of you who contacted me and who have taken the time to write to the parole commission to express your feeling, I thank you. Bob Stevenson thanks you as well. We have worked hard to try to make sure that parole will not be granted. Let us keep our faith strong that justice will continue to be served and that he will not be paroled.
May 10th would have been Colette's 62nd birthday. Colette, Kimberley and Kristen were deprived of the right to live their lives. They were each very special in their own way, each unique creations, each thread of personality tenderly entwined, each temperament deliberately selected. Each one a different kind, very special and very much loved by thousands who never even knew them. May this day stand out forever in the mind of MacDonald as a reminder that they will never be forgotten, and that justice will continue to be served.
And so, in closing, let us all say a prayer in remembrance that this will be a day served in Colette's honor and in honor of her children. I have been asked by Lucia Bartoli to include her remembrances of Colette as well, and to express that it is her hope that MacDonald will not be paroled.
Please check back here on Tuesday, May 10th as an update will be added as to the parole hearing.
Again, the Stevenson family and I thank you for all your help and support.
May 7, 2005