The Jeffrey MacDonald Information Site is a compendium of information about the Jeffrey MacDonald case. MacDonald was convicted in 1979 of the murders of his pregnant wife and two small daughters. He is serving three life sentences for that brutal crime.


The Murders of Colette, Kimberley and Kristen MacDonald
 

The Jeffrey MacDonald Information Site

ARTICLE 32 HEARING TRANSCRIPTS
July 10, 1970: Donald Kalin, Warrant Officer 3

 

(The hearing reconvened at 0840 hours, 10 July 1070.)

COL ROCK: The hearing will come to order. Let the record reflect that Captain Douthat is not present with the accused, nor is Mr. Segal. I'd like to ask at this time whether the accused is ready to proceed without the presence of Mr. Segal.

CPT MacDONALD: Yes, I am, sir.

COL ROCK: Is Counsel for the government prepared with the next witness?

CPT SOMERS: Yes, sir, the government calls Warrant Officer Kalin.

(CW3 Donald L. Kalin was called as a witness by the government, was sworn and testified as follows.)

Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q Would you state your name, please?
A Donald L. Kalin.
Q Your grade?
A CW3.
Q Your organization?
A 573d Personnel Service Company.
Q Your station?
A Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Q And your armed force?
A U. S. Army.
Q Mr. Kalin, on the 17th of February of this year, what was your residence address?
A 542 Castle Drive.
Q And is 542 Castle Drive adjacent to 544 Castle Drive?
A Yes, sir, it is.
Q Would you describe for me please the relationship between the two apartments?
A The apartments are adjoining each other. Our living room is right next to their living room.
Q How about the front porch?
A The front porch is a common front porch; both front doors are right next to each other.
Q And where are your bedrooms in relationship to the MacDonald apartment?
A Two bedrooms are over my living room and dining room. The other two bedrooms are over Captain MacDonald's living room and dining room area.
Q How long have you lived at that address? Or how long had you lived there in February?
A Since June of 1969.
Q Did you know the MacDonald family?
A Yes, sir, I did.
Q How long had you known them?
A From September of last year.
Q And could you recognize the members of that family?
A Yes, sir.
Q I ask you, if you will, sir -- wait, let me retract that. In the morning of 17 February, were you requested to identify some people in the MacDonald residence?
A Yes, sir, I was.
Q And who requested you to do that?
A CID Investigator, Mr. Ivory.
Q Now, if you will, sir, would you please come up to this easel on which Government Exhibit 1 rests? Look, please, sir, at the Government Exhibit 1 and familiarize yourself with it.

COL ROCK: Please have the witness stand to one side so that counsel and the accused can see.

Q Now, Mr. Kalin, stand over on the left side, if you will, please. Do you recognize what this represents?
A Yes, sir.
Q What does it represent?
A Captain MacDonald's quarters, next to mine.
Q Now, sir, did you in fact go into 544 Castle Drive on the morning of 17 February and identify some people?
A Yes, sir, I did.
Q Would you describe for us, sir, how you did this?
A I went in the front door down the hall. The first room I went into was the bedroom on the left, which is labeled the rear bedroom.
Q How far did you go into that bedroom?
A Approximately four or five feet.
Q I see, and what did you do there?
A From there I went into this bedroom, the front bedroom.
Q If I may, what did you do in the rear bedroom?
A I'm sorry, I identified the youngest daughter, Kris.
Q How much of Kris could you see?
A About the neck up.
Q And did you have any difficulty making this identification?
A No, sir, I didn't.
Q What did you do after you had done that?
A I left this room and went to the front bedroom.
Q And how far did you go into the front bedroom?
A About the same distance, four to five feet.
Q And what did you do there?
A I identified the oldest daughter, Kimberly.
Q How much of Kimberly could you see?
A About the same, from the neck up.
Q Did you have any difficulty with this identification?
A No, sir, I didn't.
Q What did you do then?
A Then I went down to the master bedroom and I identified Mrs. MacDonald.
Q And did you have any difficulty with that identification?
A No, sir, I didn't.
Q Would you return to your seat?

(Witness did as requested.)

Q Mr. Kalin, do you know approximately what time you went to bed the evening of the 16th of February?
A Between ten and ten-thirty of that evening.
Q And of the four bedrooms described, which one is yours?
A Our bedroom is above my living room.
Q I see. Were you awakened by any unusual disturbances during that night?
A No, sir, not until early in the morning.
Q And what happened early in the morning to awaken you?
A I heard a lot of loud banging. I thought it was at my front door.
Q And do you know who was making that banging?
A When I got to the front door I saw MP's there.
Q The MP's were making it?
A Yes, sir.
Q Prior to the time that the MP's awakened you, you hadn't been awakened by anything else?
A No, sir, I hadn't.

CPT SOMERS: Your witness.

MR. EISMAN: Would your honor indulge me just a second? I have a notary public in the back to sign some papers.

COL ROCK: We'll take a five minute recess.

(The hearing recessed at 0848 hours, 10 July 1970.)

(The hearing reopened at 0854 hours, 10 July 1970.)

COL ROCK: The hearing will come to order. Let the record reflect that all parties that were in attendance prior to the recess are currently in the hearing room. Will counsel for the accused please proceed.

MR. EISMAN: Thank you, sir.

Questions by MR. EISMAN:
Q Mr. Kalin, you testified that you first met the MacDonalds in, I believe you said September of 1969. Is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q And what was the occasion, the first occasion upon which you met Captain MacDonald's family?
A The first occasion I met Captain MacDonald was -- he borrowed my lawn mower to cut his grass.
Q And the period of time between that occasion and the morning of February 17th, 1970, did you have occasion to see Captain MacDonald and his family in the course of their living next door to you?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you have occasion to go into the house of Captain MacDonald at any time?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you see Captain MacDonald there and his wife and children?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you see Captain MacDonald on other occasions other than living next door to him or coming in socially?
A On about four occasions I was over next door, yes, sir.
Q In the course of your knowledge of the MacDonald family, did you ever see Captain MacDonald and Mrs. MacDonald have a violent argument?
A No, sir.
Q Did you ever see Captain MacDonald become enraged or in anyway attempt to harm his children?
A No, sir.
Q Did you ever have occasion to see Captain MacDonald do something which you considered to be improper as a father or husband?

CPT SOMERS: I object to that. We have no idea what he might consider to be improper. It calls for a conclusion.

CPT BEALE: Rephrase your question, counsel.

Q What would you say Captain MacDonald's relations were with his wife and children?
A Just great.

COL ROCK: I'm sorry.

A Just great, sir.
Q Did you ever see the MacDonalds have any wild parties? Or become unruly or disorderly?
A No, sir.
Q Did you ever see Captain MacDonald or Mrs. MacDonald strike their two children?
A I did not.
Q Was there anything around the winter of 1969, any incident which particularly sticks in your mind with regard to Captain MacDonald and his relations with his wife and children which you particularly recall at this time which might shed some light on the relationship he had with his wife and children?
A No, sir.
Q Do you recall anything around Christmas time of 1969 with regard to Captain MacDonald and his children which he had occasion to discuss with you? Or that Mrs. MacDonald had discussed with you?
A Regarding a special event around Christmas?
A Oh, yes, sir.
Q What was that?
A The horse.
Q When you say the horse, what are you referring to?
A Captain MacDonald told me he had a surprise for the children around Christmas time. He had bought a, I believe it was a Shetland pony.
Q And what was his attitude towards that, at that time?
A He was very excited about it, because it was a surprise for the kids at Christmas.
Q And did he discuss the matter with you about how he felt this would affect the children and his wife?
A Well, he thought they would all enjoy it.
Q Did you subsequently learn whether or not that was the case?
A No, sir, I didn't.
Q Did you have occasion again to discuss the matter with the MacDonalds?
A No, sir.
Q Did you see Captain MacDonald play with his children as a good father would when he was home?
A I did, yes, sir.
Q Now on the night in question, or the morning in question, would you say that you were sleeping -- how would you say you were sleeping in reference to soundly, lightly, or if you can recall?
A Well, I sleep very soundly, fairly soundly, yes.
Q Now while you didn't hear anything after this incident occurred isn't it a fact that in discussion with both your wife and daughter that they told you in these discussions that they had heard unusual things on that night?

CPT SOMERS: I object to that.

CPT BEALE: What are your grounds?

MR. EISMAN: I'm not asking for the truth or falsity of the statement or what they said. It is just that counsel for the government has opened up a field to indicate to the investigating officer that there were no unusual noises, and I would not want the impression created in his mind that because Warrant Officer Kalin was sleeping soundly that night, that other members of the family might have heard.

CPT BEALE: I think it would be proper for this witness to respond to this question with a yes or no answer, then if you'd care to bring out the substance of those statements in the best evidence that would be the wife and children. So the objection is sustained to that extent.

Q I believe the question was, and all you can answer is yes or no, did you have an occasion after February 17th, after the morning of February 17th to discuss the events of that night, and isn't it a fact that both your wife and daughter told you they heard noises coming from the MacDonald house?

CPT SOMERS: I'll object to that. He has supplied the answer which he was told he may not give.

CPT BEALE: That's sustained. You may ask this witness whether or not he had an occasion to discuss with his wife and/or children, discuss the fact whether or not they did hear anything, period. Now the substance of what they said you will have to bring them in if you care to establish that later.

MR. EISMAN: Yes, sir.

Q All right, did you have occasion to discuss the matter with your family?
A Yes.
Q Did you ever see any unusual people visiting the MacDonalds socially?
A No, sir.
Q When I say unusual, I mean people who might be described as hippies.
A No, sir.
Q What were the type of people you saw visiting?
A The people I saw were just average people.
Q Were people both in uniform and out of uniform?
A Yes, sir.
Q Mr. Kalin, how old are you?
A I am forty-one, sir.
Q Was your relationship with the MacDonald family one of -- that of -- would you characterize your relationship with the MacDonalds as one of good neighbors rather than close friends?
A Good neighbors.
Q And would you say the reason that you probably were not close personal friends probably was the fact that Captain MacDonald and his wife were much younger and had other friends and you had your own circle of friends at the time?
A Yes.
Q Therefore, the testimony you are giving today -- or is the testimony you are giving today in any way clouded with any ties of close personal friends with either Captain MacDonald or his family?
A No, sir.

MR. EISMAN: I have no further questions, sir.

CPT SOMERS: At this time, your honor, I would like to request a five minute recess. Among other things, I have got to arrange to bring my next witness who is a doctor and whom I have to bring from duty. I would like to recess for that purpose and consider whether I wish to redirect.

COL ROCK: Do you have any further questions of this witness?

CPT SOMERS: Well, I may and I may not, sir, but I thought perhaps if we could just break now, and I arrange for this witness, and then I could conduct what redirect we have. We would interfere --

COL ROCK: Well, the point is you have a law assistant there. Can't he arrange for your next witness?

CPT SOMERS: He could, except for the fact that he is not familiar with the area that I have got to dispatch a car to get this witness.

COL ROCK: I would much prefer to proceed with this witness and then take the five minute recess.

CPT SOMERS: That's fine, sir, if you prefer that.

COL ROCK: All right go ahead.

Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q Mr. Kalin, did you testify that you were in the MacDonald house socially about four times?
A Four or five times, yes, sir.
Q Do you know what form of address Captain MacDonald used for his wife? Did he call her Colette or Honey or Dear or just what did he --
A Either Honey or Colette.
Q Did you ever have occasion to see Captain MacDonald discipline his children?
A No, sir, I didn't.
Q Did you ever have occasion to see Mrs. MacDonald discipline her children in any matter?
A Yelled out the door a few times.
Q How would you characterize the discipline of the family? Would you characterize it as permissive or strict or how would you characterize it?
A From what I saw I would say in-between strict and permissive.
Q And why would you say that? You seem to be describing something that's permissive, so tell us what it is?

MR. EISMAN: I'm going to object to that characterization.

CPT BEALE: Sustained.

Q Would you tell us why you characterize it as being in-between permissive and strict?
A Well, on occasion I did see the kids would be playing outside, and playing dolls or school or house; sometimes they'd be in and out many times within a few minutes, and she'd say stop running in and out, and other times it didn't seem to bother her.
Q How did the children respond; did they respond well?
A Yes, sir.
Q Can you tell us what was the apparent relationship between Mrs. MacDonald and the children? I'm sure that -- well, as between very, very, very close as some families are, or less close? Can you give us some kind of characterization?
A I'd say pretty close, sir.
Q Now how about between the children and the doctor, Captain MacDonald?
A About the same.

CPT SOMERS: I have no further questions.

MR. EISMAN: I have no further questions. Thank you very much.

COL ROCK: I have several questions.
You stated, I believe, that you had been in the MacDonald house socially four or five times. Is that correct?

WITNESS: Yes, sir.

COL ROCK: By that term do you mean at perhaps cocktail parties or dinner or under what conditions was it?

WITNESS: No, sir, just come over and we come and we'll have a couple of drinks, little gab session.

COL ROCK: Just very informal?

WITNESS: Yes, sir.

COL ROCK: And did you have occasion to invite the MacDonalds to your home on the same general situation?

WITNESS: Once, sir.

COL ROCK: Approximately how long an interval of time occurred from the knocking sound that you heard on the door until the time the military police requested that you come in and identify the victims?

WITNESS: I'd say about forty-five minutes, sir.

COL ROCK: Approximately forty-five minutes. Was Captain MacDonald present in the house at the time you identified the victims?

WITNESS: No, sir.

COL ROCK: Do you recall whether when you went to bed that night lights, exterior lights were on in the front of the house or in the rear of the house, either or both?

WITNESS: Well, I always check my lights, sir. I'm sure the front porch light was on. I'm not sure about the back lights.

COL ROCK: Those are all the questions I have. Does either counsel have any additional questions?

MR. EISMAN: No, sir.

CPT SOMERS: None by the government, sir.

COL ROCK: Mr. Kalin, you are advised that you will discuss your testimony with no person other than either counsel. Do you understand this?

WITNESS: Yes, sir.

COL ROCK: Now it is my understanding that Mr. Kalin has a permanent change of station orders?

CPT SOMERS: That is correct, sir, and because of his permanent change of station orders it is our present intention to call his daughter as a witness somewhat out of turn and permit him to depart when he is scheduled to depart.

COL ROCK: Now the reason I am asking this question is because I am assuming, and I want to be certain that both counsel realize that they are departing the area and hopefully he will not have to be recalled.

MR. EISMAN: I see no reason why Mr. Kalin would have to be recalled.

COL ROCK: You are excused, Mr. Kalin.

(Witness saluted the IO and departed the hearing room.)

COL ROCK: Does counsel now wish a five minute recess?

CPT SOMERS: Sir, it is probably going to take me more than that, fifteen minutes. I've got to dispatch a sedan and bring the witness back.

COL ROCK: Fine, we'll take a recess for fifteen minutes.

(The hearing recessed at 0912 hours, 10 July 1970.)

 

 

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