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 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.

ARTICLE 32 HEARING TRANSCRIPTS
August 12, 1970: John Chester

 

(The hearing reconvened at 1029 hours, 12 August 1970.)

COL ROCK: This hearing will come to order. Let the record reflect that both parties -- all parties who were present at the recess are again in the hearing room. Proceed, counselor.

MR. SEGAL: Mr. John Chester, please.

(Mr. John Wayne Chester was called as a witness for the defense, was sworn and testified as follows.)

Questions by MR. SEGAL:
Q Mr. Chester, would you state your full name and address for the record, please?
A John Wayne Chester, Box 767, Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Q In February of 1970, where did you live?
A 306 Castle Drive, Fort Bragg.
Q And were you a member of the armed forces of the United States at that time?
A Yes, I was.
Q What was your rank and your organization at that time?
A I was a Captain assigned to G-3 section of the XVIII Airborne Corps.
Q Did you have a neighbor by the name of Mrs. Jan Snyder?
A Yes.
Q Where did Mrs. Snyder live?
A Directly next door to me.
Q And that address is?
A 308 Castle Drive.
Q Did you have occasion to learn on or about 17 February, of the killings that took place at the home of Captain Jeffrey MacDonald?
A Yes, I did.
Q Where did you learn that?
A Tuesday morning as I was going to work.
Q From whom did you learn it?
A A refuse collector.
Q And did you have occasion to return to your home that afternoon at any time?
A That morning, yes. At lunch.
Q And who was home or who did you have occasion to talk to when you got home?
A My wife, I think, was already there or was coming home and I arrived and met her and Mrs. Snyder was talking to my wife.
Q Did you have occasion to hear what Mrs. Snyder had to say at the time? At lunch or at any time?
A Yes.
Q What subject was she speaking about?
A About Captain MacDonald's family -- and --
Q Did she make any indication that she had seen anything that appeared to her to have some possible connection with that episode?
A Yes, she did.
Q Would you tell the investigating officer what Mrs. Snyder said in your presence?
A She said that there was a disturbance in her house, her children were yelling and she had occasion to be up at 3 or 3:30 in the morning and heard a commotion outside, in front of the house, and went to look out the window and saw some people. She was kind of vague -- a woman and some of men get into an automobile and the automobile drove away.
Q Do you recall any of the details of that -- did she indicate whether she had seen anything about the appearance of clothing, physical characteristics of any of the people that she saw in front of her house?
A She said that the woman had long hair. She didn't say what color it was, she merely said it was long and she wasn't specific as to the men.
Q Were you there for the entire conversation on the subject of what Mrs. Snyder had to say?
A No.
Q Did you have occasion to repeat to anyone else what Mrs. Snyder had said to you?
A Yes.
Q To whom did you repeat that information?
A Yes, an FBI agent who came to the house about ten days or two weeks after that.
Q Did you ever have occasion to give that information to any CID investigator or PMI?
A Yes, I did.
Q Do you know who you gave it to?
A I don't know the individual's name. I can describe him. I don't know his name. It was 3 weeks after the incident occurred.
Q In other words, do I understand that about ten days or two weeks after the incident occurred, you spoke to the FBI agents?
A Right.
Q And then approximately a week or ten days later --
A That is correct.
Q You spoke to another person whom you believed to be a CID agent or PMI?
A I went to the CID officer at the Provost Marshal's office on Fort Bragg.
Q What were the circumstances of your going to that office?
A They called me up and asked me to come in and give them a statement.
Q At that time, did you speak to the investigator?
A Yes, I did.
Q Did you give him the information about what Mrs. Snyder had been stating to you and to your wife?
A Yes, I did.
Q Did you have occasion to learn whether Mrs. Snyder told any other person the same description of what she said she saw on the morning of February 17th?
A Yes.
Q Do you know who it was that had reported hearing these same statements from Mrs. Snyder?
A No one reported it. I was present when she told other people, the same story she had told my wife and I.
Q And who were the other persons that you recall?
A Several people in the neighborhood. The McGowans, for one, that lived next to them, at 310 Castle Drive, she told them. I was present when that happened. The people that lived on the other side of me, the Roysen's (phonetic) at this time, she told them, and the people that lived down the street from them, whose name I forget. I think it was Richardson.
Q Was what you heard her telling these other people consistent with what she told you and your wife?
A Yes, sir, it was the same or substantially the same.
Q Did you have occasion to be in contact with Mrs. Snyder on Saturday, February 21st?
A Yes, I did.

CPT SOMERS: I object to this. I know the direction that this is going in. I think there is no showing of relevance whatever to this case and I object to the whole line of questioning.

MR. SEGAL: Sir, I --

CPT BEALE: Mr. Chester, if you would just step outside back there in that back room again while we discuss this legal matter, then we'll be right back with you.

(Mr. Chester withdrew from the hearing room.)

MR. SEGAL: There are two significance to be given to the statements given by Mrs. Snyder. First, whether or not she saw what she said she saw. The second significance, to which the question we are now placing before Mr. Chester is addressed, is whether or not she even saw what she thought she saw. She did, in fact, repeat it to other people and we believe we can show through his testimony that someone else apparently took it seriously enough to be involved in an episode on Saturday morning which involved pointing a high-powered rifle with a sniper scope at her home, in which she reacted and called then Captain Chester for assistance and to make him aware of this episode, that it happened. So therefore, even if in fact, her story was not true, her repeating it widely, apparently, at least to a number of people, caused some incident to happen a few days thereafter, which seems to be related to a person -- to give it great credence or some credence to what she said. It's offered for that purpose and it seems to me, under those circumstances, it is clearly germane to the fact that there were persons other than Captain MacDonald who were responsible for the killings.

CPT SOMERS: I don't think that defense, in any part of its explanation, has shown any causal relationship between this incident on Saturday and anything that Mrs. Snyder said. Furthermore, I think it's also an attempt to bolster the credence, number one, of a witness who has not testified and number two, of a witness whose credibility was not attacked.

MR. SEGAL: There's no question of bolstering credibility. Did an action take place which could be reasonably inferred as connected to the statements that this person made to her neighbors? It seems to me that only after you hear it, sir, can you evaluate the weight to be given it. There's always the question of assigning weight to a given piece of evidence, but the fact is I think we're entitled to have it in the record so that it may be reflected upon and given its appropriate weight. We again request that this is going to tie together with further evidence. This is an ongoing chain of events, involving the actions of a number of persons which are consistently -- the explanation which has been given from the very first by Captain MacDonald as to what happened in his home, which the government has elected to disbelieve and we intend to show that there are substantial reasons to believe Captain MacDonald.

COL ROCK: Did Captain Chester allegedly see the sniper?

MR. SEGAL: Yes, sir. I think we'll also identify Captain Chester as having some special competence in regard to weapons and the ability to specifically indicate that there was rifle and there was a sniper scope. He has some qualifications in that regard. He went into his -- and as a matter of fact, got a weapon of his own, and then he'll describe this incident which was reported to the military police authorities.

CPT SOMERS: Even if it can be shown by the defense, which I doubt, can be shown that there was rifle, it is not connected with Mrs. Snyder. We know nothing, under the current state of facts, about Mrs. Snyder's personal life or if anybody else might have had occasion to point a rifle at her. I suggest again that this evidence is in no way shown to be causally connected with the incidents on the 16th and 17th or with the story that Mrs. Snyder had been telling or had allegedly been telling.

MR. SEGAL: It seems to me that statement is clearly contrary to the government's theory, since the government apparently said they couldn't find anyone that they could understand had a motive against Captain MacDonald to kill his wife and children and injure him. They chose to charge him on just that inference. Now, sir, the same thing applies here. I don't say that it's proof positive; nobody except the persons involved can say that, but it is a reasonable inference that may be drawn after you hear it, weigh the credibility of the witness's ability and testimony, after it's been received, and then put it in proper perspective.
It seems to me that the whole Saturday episode raises a very serious problem as to whether or not there is not substantial corroboration that could be believed and accepted, in regard to one portion of Captain MacDonald's situation, to be taken together with the testimony of other witnesses who have not been heard and who will be heard on the same theory.

CPT BEALE: Reference to your objection, Captain Somers, this witness will be permitted to testify as to what happened on 21 February. You may recall the witness.

(Mr. Chester was recalled and testified further as follows.)

COL ROCK: Mr. Chester, I remind you again that you're still under oath.

Questions by MR. SEGAL:
Q Prior to the interim, Mr. Chester, I asked you whether something unusual happened on the morning of February 21st of 1970.
A That was early in the morning?
Q Saturday morning.
A Yes.
Q Would you tell the investigating officer what happened and the circumstances that you saw or heard or observed that morning?
A I slept in that morning. About quarter to eight, eight o'clock, Mrs. Snyder beat on the wall that divided our apartments, so I got out of bed and went to the wall. I asked her what was wrong and --

COL ROCK: So you went where?

A The wall she was beating on that divided our apartment and asked her what was wrong and she said there was somebody out front with a gun.
Q Excuse me. What did you do at that time?
A I went to the front bedroom and looked out. There was a car out there. There were two individuals in it. One of them, one driving, had a rifle pointed in the direction of the -- our house.
Q You say "our house." How close --
A This is a 6-apartment complex.
Q Did you, in fact, observe the weapon?
A Yes, I did.
Q Would you describe to the investigating officer what you saw?
A I saw a weapon with a telescope sight.
Q Do you have any particular competence in the area of weapons?
A I like to think so, yes.
Q What is that, sir? What is the basis of your --
A I'm a professional shooter, now that I'm out of the service.
Q What, if anything, did you do when you saw the weapon with the scope that you described?
A I went into the back bedroom of my house to get a shotgun.
Q Then what did you do?
A I went to the front window and at that time --
Q Was the vehicle still there?
A It was in the act of leaving. It was maybe a hundred yards from the house, moving away from the house.
Q Was this vehicle parked when your attention was drawn to it by Mrs. Snyder's call?
A Not in the parking spaces. It was pulled up to the curb and the engine was stopped. It was pulled close to the curb and the engine was running.
Q Did you -- could you estimate how far the side of the vehicle that was next to the curb was away from the curb?
A Two feet, three feet.
Q Was the person holding the weapon the driver or the passenger?
A He was the driver.
Q Was the driver's side closest toward the house where you lived and Mrs. Snyder lived adjoining you?
A Yes. The car was headed up the street.
Q Could you indicate anything you observed about the elevation of the barrel?
A It was higher than perpendicular. It was aimed directly toward the second story area.
Q Did you have occasion to report this incident to any authority?
A Yes. As I went to get a shotgun, I told my wife to call the MP's. She never got around to it and by this time the car had left and Mrs. Snyder came over to my house and from my house we called the MP's and made a formal report of it.
Q Were you ever subsequently interviewed by CID agents or PMI's, in regard to this episode on Saturday morning?
A No, I wasn't.
Q Who did you talk to in regard to making a report of this episode?
A The desk sergeant, I believe. We called the central number for the military police.
Q Were you, yourself, home on the evening hours of February 16th and the morning hours of February 17th, 1970?
A Yes, I was.
Q Were you home the entire evening and the entire morning until you went to work?
A Yes.
Q What time did you leave home to go to work that morning?
A About 8 o'clock.
Q Did you hear anything that you would characterize as out of the ordinary at that particular time?
A No, I didn't.
Q Where were you in the house between the hours of 2 am and 4 am on the morning of the 17th?
A I was in the back bedroom, upstairs.
Q What back bedroom is that? Is that the bedroom that faces Castle Drive?
A No, it faces the opposite, away from Castle Drive. It's where the storage area is attached in back.
Q There would be a hallway and front bedroom between your bedroom and Castle Drive?
A Correct.
Q Was the window in which -- the bedroom in which you were in, open or closed?
A They were closed.

MR. SEGAL: Cross-examine.

Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q When Mrs. Snyder was telling the story, how did she describe these people?
A She really didn't describe them. She said she saw some people, one of which was a woman, get into a car, she heard them running and then she heard them get into a car. She didn't really describe them. The only one she described was the girl. She said she had long hair.
Q She heard them running. Did she see them running?
A I couldn't say if she said that or not.
Q Did she indicate from what direction they were running?
A She said down the street.
Q Which means what to you?
A Down the street, downhill.
Q Is that on a hill?
A Yes, it is.
Q In what direction is the top of the hill?
A East.
Q Was that toward the higher or lower numbers on Castle Drive?
A The hill runs uphill toward the higher numbers.
Q Did she indicate how many of these people were there?
A She said four people.
Q Did she describe the automobile?
A No, she didn't.
Q Did you say that she said this automobile was running?
A No. She never mentioned the fact of whether or not it was running.
Q She said it parked where?
A In the parking area, right on Castle Drive, across the street from our house, supposedly, according to her.
Q And this was what time of the night?
A She said about 3:30.
Q You mean 0330?
A AM, right.
Q Now, as I understand it, you subsequently talked to the FBI or to some FBI agents about this story that Mrs. Snyder told. Is that correct?
A That is correct.
Q Two people?
A Two, right.
Q The initial information with regard to this information was given to the FBI by your wife and against your will?
A Yes, it was.
Q Why was it that this was against your will?
A It --

MR. SEGAL: That's objected to.

CPT SOMERS: I think it relates to his credibility.

MR. SEGAL: His credibility? I don't know of any relevance at all to Mr. Chester's credibility.

CPT BEALE: Well, your objection is overruled, Mr. Segal.

Q Why was it against your will?
A It was my opinion that any facts drawn as a result of this investigation should be gotten without any help from anybody else. Without any help from people who might give hearsay evidence. Just like me, because all I could tell was what I heard somebody else say.
Q Why were you unwilling to do that?

MR. SEGAL: That's objected to. He's already answered the question.

CPT SOMERS: I don't think he has. I think he said he was unwilling.

CPT BEALE: He has answered the question, Captain Somers.

Q Now this incident on the 21st, what kind of automobile were these people in?
A It was a late model car with a hard roof. It was not station wagon; it was a sedan, light in color. I didn't stop to see what make it was or what year it was. I'm not really an expert on the make and model of cars. I really couldn't say.
Q Now you've described this rifle as high-powered. What was its caliber?
A I have no idea.
Q Why do you describe it as high-powered?
A It was bigger than a .22, so that makes it a high-powered.
Q How could you tell it was bigger than a 22?
A The thickness of the barrel, the weight of the stock, the fact that it had a telescopic sight with light-ocular lens on it.
Q Is it possible to have a thick barrel and still have a small caliber weapon?
A On a target rifle, yes. This was not a target rifle.
Q And how do you know that?
A Small scope -- it wasn't fitted with the accouterments of a target rifle.
Q I see. Isn't it possible to have a rifle specially built or the stock of the rifle specially built?
A Anything is possible, but this was a standard rifle.
Q All right. What make was it, what model?
A I have no idea.
Q Then you -- how do you know it was a standard rifle?
A It had a small swivel forearm like a model 70 Winchester would have, for instance. It wasn't a sniper rifle, nor was it a custom made rifle, because the bluing on it was the standard job that didn't shine in the sunlight. It was a newly-finished rifle.
Q How long did you look at that rifle?
A Five seconds.
Q Did you see the driver of that car?
A I could see part of the driver of the car.
Q Describe what you saw.
A A man with hair about your length, perhaps. He appeared to be looking through the scope sight of the rifle. I couldn't -- wouldn't swear to the fact that he was looking through it. It appeared he was looking through it. I couldn't see the passenger of the car. I could only see him from the waist down.
Q Well, now to pin this hair down, for the record. How do you describe my hair? Short, long?
A Short.
Q Did you see the driver do anything?
A No, I didn't. He made no movement while I was looking.
Q And there was another man in the car, you say?
A There was another individual in the car. I couldn't see if it was a man or woman.
Q How much of this individual could you see?
A From the waist down, approximately here down.
Q What kind of clothing was this individual wearing from the waist down?
A Pants, slacks.
Q Now if you saw this man's hair, did you see any part of his face?
A Like I say, he appeared to be aiming the rifle. The majority of his face was masked by the scope sight of the rifle, and by the weapon itself.
Q Was he looking through the scope of the rifle?
A He appeared to be, yes.
Q How long did it take you, again, to get back to the room, to the window, once you left it to go for the shotgun?
A Perhaps ten seconds.
Q And what did you see with reference to that automobile when you got back?
A The rear end of it, moving up Castle Drive toward North Dougherty.
Q In what direction was that car facing, east?
A It was facing up Castle Drive, yes.
Q Now, if you're looking up that street toward Castle Drive and you're in front of your house, or where you were living then, which side of the street was this apartment complex of yours on?
A Looking at North Dougherty, it was towards North Dougherty. It was on the left side of the street, our house was. The same side as Captain MacDonald's, because the numbers were even.
Q Do you have the perpendicular, parallel parking spaces in front of the apartment complex?
A No, not in front.
Q I mean perpendicular to the street?
A No, ours faces the apartments, directly across the street; the odd numbered apartments had the perpendicular parking slots.
Q Now as I understand it, you were called to the Provost Marshal's office and talked to them at one time about this? And did you tell them about the statements of Mrs. Snyder?
A No, I didn't.
Q And did you tell them about this -- I gather this would have been after the incident with the man in the automobile?
A That's correct.
Q Did you tell the CID about that incident?
A No, I didn't.
Q Were those people outside your building, at the time you saw -- I mean people other than in the automobile -- outside the building when you saw people, the men I the automobile with the rifle?
A Yes, there were.
Q How many?
A Well, directly across the street from our apartments, there was a -- the other apartments kind of went away from it a little and they made a little courtyard. There were always several children out there playing, children from the area always played ball and whatnot out there. There were several children out there. There was probably an adult or two. I wasn't immediately aware of -- I was aware of people. I didn't take a head count.
Q What kind of a person was Mrs. Snyder, as far as you know?
A Female person, that's all I know about her.
Q Was she a talkative person?
A Yes.
Q As I understand it, your apartment was next door to the Snyder's?
A That's correct.
Q Did the Snyders have any fights that you ever heard?

MR. SEGAL: That's objected to. What has a fight between Captain Snyder and Mrs. Snyder got to do with this case?

CPT SOMERS: Well, the witness has indicated that he knows only Mrs. Snyder was a female person. I'm trying to discover if he knew anything else about her, about her personality, because it's relevant as to what she's apparently been saying.

MR. SEGAL: There may relevant questions, but whether she ever had an argument with her husband; it escapes me how it is addressed to the issue.

CPT SOMERS: I think perhaps we will discover she did and I think it's also relevant to whether she may or may not be divorced and whether we can find her.

MR. SEGAL: I still think that can be done outside the hearing officer's presence and get in -- in one of the interims and I'm sure Mr. Chester will gladly give me all the information and this will be developed without going into it again.

CPT BEALE: The objection is sustained.

Continued questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q Did you have occasion, Mr. Chester, in the last 3 or 4 weeks, to speak with Captain Thompson, my cocounsel?
A Yes, I believe I did.
Q At the time you spoke to Captain Thompson, what was the subject of that interview?

MR. SEGAL: That's objected to. If he has a statement that was taken from this witness, it should be shown to him that he may examine it and discuss it more intelligently, pursuant to all rules of this case.

CPT SOMERS: No, there's no statement and I can ask him without any interview without showing him a statement, even if there is one, which there is not. I'm attempting now to go to the credibility of the witness. This is a perfectly good procedure.

MR. SEGAL: I don't object to that, sir. I'd say it's been a procedure throughout these hearings, that if a statement is taken from a witness, that the witness be allowed to see it so that he may be questioned about it and I must point out that the government has constantly misunderstood the meaning of the word "statement." That does not mean only the statement taken in the witness's home and used by the CID. It means any document which purports to be the words of the person who is testifying. The fact that he was not asked to swear to it, or even necessarily sign it, does not mean that it does not represent his words.
He should be permitted to see his words and then indicate whether not when questioned he did, in fact, say those things. Whether the statement refreshes his recollection, is consistent with what he says, or is not consistent.

CPT SOMERS: Well, the government is glad to have the explanation of the defense counsel on what he feels is proper procedure in this case. However, I say again, there is no statement in this case. I also say that the procedure set forth was one that was set forth with the government's witnesses and it also related to sworn statements. I don't think that this is in any way related to what we are about to do and I say again there's no written document in my hands on this subject.

CPT BEALE: Objection is overruled, Mr. Segal.

Q What was the subject of that interview?
A I went to see Captain Thompson about 3 or 4 weeks ago, at his office in JAG Headquarters, Corps. The only thing we discussed was the fact that I was awake the night this happened and that the CID had -- I had come back from a three-day pass on Sunday night, rather 3 o'clock Monday morning -- the CID had confused the issue and thought I had come back the night the murders occurred. We discussed that. We discussed the facts of what I saw the night I was awake. I wasn't awake the subsequent night. That was the only thing, to my knowledge, that we discussed.
Q So you were not awake the subsequent night?
A I said I was awake.
Q Do I gather then, that you did talk about the subject with reference to the MacDonald case?
A Yes.
Q And did you at that time volunteer the information, with respect either to Mrs. Snyder or to the incident with the rifle to Captain Thompson?
A No, I did not.
Q Why not?
A As I said before, at that time I didn't see any connection between the affair with the rifle and the MacDonald case at all. As to Mrs. Snyder's verbosity, I thought when we told the FBI that she had made these statements, or my wife told them that these statements had been made, I thought that this would be followed up on. I didn't connect it to them.
Q Did Captain Thompson give you an opportunity to add anything else you might have known about this case?
A Yes, he did.
Q But you did not add that?
A That didn't have anything to do with the case.
Q Mrs. Snyder's testimony doesn't?
A Not what she told me. At least, in my opinion it doesn't. No. Not in the context that he used the word additional information about the case, the facts bearing on Captain MacDonald's innocence or guilt, didn't have anything to do with what Mrs. Snyder said, I didn't feel at the time.

CPT SOMERS: No further questions.

Questions by MR. SEGAL:
Q There's some question you said about the statement that was made by you to the CID, that it was misinterpreted. Could you please clarify what you're referring to in that regard?
A When I was first interviewed by the FBI, I told them that I'd come home from a 3-day pass Sunday night, Monday morning. I think it was misconstrued when I was interviewed by the CID, subsequent to the FBI investigation, they had misconstrued that I had come home Monday night or Tuesday morning.
Q How did you get the impression that the CID had misconstrued or misunderstood when you actually arrived home?
A The agent asked me exactly what day I came home and I told them it was Sunday night late, that is Monday morning, a.m. He said that his information was that I had come home the morning the murder occurred.
Q Did you correct him in that regard?
A Yes, I did.
Q Now, did Captain Thompson ask you whether you had any neighbors or other persons that you had heard who had discussed seeing any people or hearing them, themselves, anything unusual on the morning of the 17th?
A No, he didn't.
Q He did not seek from you any information about what other people might have told you?
A No, he didn't.
Q Now, you might help us in regard to where this automobile was located that you had seen on the morning of Saturday. If you would locate -- I must apologize for this being a very crude diagram. How about having the witness come up her and everybody see around the IO's desk.

CPT BEALE: If we may, before we mark this, just ask him whether this even resembles the area.

MR. SEGAL: I have prepared here, on a piece of white lined paper, a rough drawing. Can you orient yourself in any way and indicate whether this perhaps is representational of the area in which your building is located.

WITNESS: Except for one thing. The parking lot or area didn't extend as far down. It ended right about here.

Questions by MR. SEGAL:
Q Mr. Chester, during the interim here, you have prepared for us on a piece of white lined paper, a rough drawing representing the location of Castle Drive and of the residence in which you lived and Mrs. Snyder lived and the McGowan family lived, and the position of certain parking places and this has been marked A-34. Am I stating correctly what you have done here?
A Yes, that is correct.
Q Now if you would, using a red pen, please mark this drawing the location of the automobile in which you said the driver was pointing this high-powered rifle with a scope. Circle it, please.

(Witness complied.)

Q And the dot that you've made for the vehicle is pointed in an easterly direction?
A That's correct.

MR. SEGAL: I have nothing further on this, unless Captain Somers wants to --

CPT SOMERS: I think that's clear.

MR. SEGAL: May we have this marked, sir, as Accused Exhibit 34, a sketch of the area surrounding 306 Castle Drive?

COL ROCK: Proceed.

MR. SEGAL: I have no further redirect. Captain Somers?

CPT SOMERS: Yes, I do. Excuse me just a moment.

Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q Mr. Chester, I understand that you are saying that you did not tell the FBI that you came home on the morning of the 17th?
A That's right. I did not.
Q Mr. Chester, you do not now and did not ever want to be personally involved in this case, did you?

MR. SEGAL: That's objected to, sir.

CPT BEALE: It's sustained. The witness is here, he's present and he's already testified as to that particular matter here. Move to another area.

CPT SOMERS: No further questions.

MR. SEGAL: I have nothing further, sir.

Questions by COL ROCK:
Q Mr. Chester, how would you describe the general atmosphere of the neighborhood in the immediate days after 17 February? Was there apprehension or were people worried? Was there any concern for the safety of homes, or how would you describe it?
A I wouldn't say that. There was an on camp atmosphere, sir, in which there was a certain amount of apprehension, of course, that such a thing had happened close to you, but the neighborhood didn't arm itself. I wouldn't go that far, no. I'd say, yes, a certain amount of tension was present -- of course, I'm only one member of the neighborhood.
Q I realize that. Was this during the hunting season?
A Quail hunting, I think. Yes, sir, I believe it was.
Q Did it occur to you that these could be shooters, people interested in checking rifles out on a Saturday to either go hunting or go shooting?
A No, sir, it didn't occur to me.
Q Do you think that was a possibility, the reason why people might have a weapon in the car?
A I don't think so, sir.
Q How do you carry your weapon in your vehicle?
A Broken down in the case.
Q Could that particular weapon be broken down?
A No, but it could have been cased.
Q Could someone reasonably have been examining the weapon, do you think?
A The reason I didn't think it was a case of examination of the weapon is you seldom pull a car over to the side of the curb and leave your engine running and point a weapon out the window.
Q But you don't know who, or do you know who the occupants were of the vehicle?
A No, I don't.
Q Could one of them have been a neighbor?
A Possibly, yes, sir could have been.

COL ROCK: I have no further questions.

MR. SEGAL: No further questions.

COL ROCK: Mr. Chester, you are requested not to discuss your testimony with any person other than counsel for the government or counsel for the accused. You are permanently excused.

 

 

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