December 13, 1980: Statement of Janet Ault to Ted Gunderson
(Formerly known as Jan Snyder)
Note: Translation of document following scanned pages
Translation of the above handwritten statement from Jan Ault as I read it to be
"I, Sean Janet Ault, formerly known as Jan Snyder make the following free and voluntary statement to Ted L. Gunderson, a Private Investigator of Los Angeles, California.
"I was born 4/16/46 at Robason County, North Carolina. My family residence is Route #3 Fairmont, North Carolina.
"During the early morning hours of 2/17/70 while asleep in my second-floor bedroom at 308 Castle Drive, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, I was awakened by the sound of running automobile motors and loud talking. The noise came from the street in front of my home. I got out of bed, went to the window and looked out. I believe it was between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. or in that time range. I know the approximate time because my baby had to be fed shortly after this. When I looked out the window, I saw two automobiles parked on the street. One a light-color car possibly cream, was parked to the left of my front door directly in front of my neighbor's home, Mr. John McGowan. McGowan lived at 310 Castle Drive which was in my same building located toward the MacDonald home. This was a two-door car, very plain, small in size with large, round tail lights. I don't know the make of the car. It appeared to be well kept.
"The other vehicle was a two-tone, blue Mustang late model with a vinyl top. It was parked at a 90 degree angle in an alcove which came off the street. This was at a 90 degree to the other car which was parked at the curb of the street. The Mustang was a two-door, hard-top, fast back and the top was lighter in color than the bottom.
"As one stands facing the street the light color car was heading to the right. The blue Mustang was backed into the alcove with the front facing toward the street. The front of the Mustang was directly behind the rear light color car and located at least one car length behind it. [See exhibit attachment of hand written notes for the diagram.]
"There were several street lights in the area of these cars and I could see very well. The people in both cars were talking loudly back and forth between the cars. I did not see anyone out of the automobiles. I don't remember how many people were in each car but both cars had people in them. I don't remember what they were saying. I did hear one voice that was unusual and I think it was a female voice. I also heard male voices. There was something different about the female voice but I don't remember what it was. I didn't see any faces at this time.
"All I did was glance out the window. I did not stand there and watch them. I then returned to my bed. About then, I heard something that was different like maybe an automobile pulling up or turning around or leaving. I then went back to the window and watched the automobiles. I recall that automobile B pulled out of the alcove a few yards and stopped with the motor still running. It looked like it was going to turn left toward the MacDonald home but it stopped half in the street and half in the alcove. Automobile A had turned around (a U-turn) and had half pulled along side automobile B. The occupants of both cars continued to talk back and forth. I saw a military jeep next to both cars A and B. All three vehicles were slowly creeping and the occupants were talking back and forth. [See exhibit attachment of hand written notes for the diagram.]
"The street lights and head lights of car A were shining on the passenger side of car B and I could see the face of the white male sitting in the front seat passenger side of car B. I don't recall any other faces, but I will always remember that face. There was something about his eyes that were different. He had piercing shinny eyes, dark hair and was ugly. He had a mean-looking face. I was approximately 70 to 80 feet from him.
"People were in the military jeep but I don't know how many. I couldn't swear to it but I believe the driver was a black male. When I saw the military jeep, I thought it was the MPs and felt they would handle the situation so I returned to my bed. I didn't get back up and look out the window again and didn't hear anything more after that. I assumed if there was a problem it had been handled by the Military Police. In retrospect, I'm not sure now if the military jeep contained MPs.
"Next, I recall the CID investigator who came to my front door about 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. He asked if I heard or saw anything during the night. I relayed the above story to him including my account concerning the military jeep described above. He asked if I was sure I hadn't seen the military jeep around 6:00 a.m. that day and I said no it was earlier. He said he would return and get more details later but he didn't return. He only stayed maybe five minutes and left. He did make notes. At this point, I was not aware of the MacDonald murders. No one else from the MPs or CID returned to interview me about this.
"That summer on two or three occasions, I ran into a CID agent at Pope Air Force Officer's Club bar. He did not know I was a witness. Each time he told me that Doctor MacDonald was guilty and gave me details of the investigation. I don't remember exactly what he said except that they had an eyewitness who could prove he was guilty. I don't recall his name except he was fat, a mouthy person and repulsive.
"The next time I was contacted was the summer of 1970. I heard on the radio that the defense was trying to locate me and I went to Fort Bragg and talked to an individual in the office of the Commanding Officer who referred me to the CID. CID talked to me and told me not to lie. They told me that Mr. Segal would attempt to confuse me and that I didn't have to admit or say anything if I didn't want to. CID told me to tell the truth but I was scared and afraid to tell the above story. Prior to testifying, I attempted to call Mr. Segal and tell him the above story but he did not return my phone call. I do not recall the name of the person in CID who gave me the above instructions. Today is the first time (other than the morning of 2/17/70 when I talked to CID). I have not relayed the above information to anyone. The reason is because no one ever asked me about it other than during the Article 32. I didn't talk about it then because I was scared.
"On a number of occasions after 2/17/70, I recall seeing the same blue Mustang in the neighborhood on Castle Drive. On one occasion about two or three months after the murders the same person I saw in the passenger side of the blue Mustang the night of 2/17/70 parked across the street in this car. He sat in it with another young white male and they appeared to be looking at a gun. They did not point it at anyone but merely appeared to be looking at it. I called the MPs and by the time they came to the area, the car and the young men were gone. The MPs told me they would check into it but I never heard any more from them.
"I also saw this car and the same young white male driving up and down Castle Drive on several occasions. I was told by someone whose identity I do not recall that this person was a friend of an officer's son who lived in the neighborhood.
"I didn't see any reason to call the CID about this person because the CID never recontacted me about my story that night (2/17/70). I felt if the CID didn't care enough to get more details from me about what I saw that night, then they wouldn't have an interest in this person appearing periodically in the neighborhood.
"The CID has never shown me any photographs of possible suspects in this case. From my conversations with the CID agent at Pope Air Force Base officer's Club, it was obvious they decided at the onset that Dr. MacDonald was guilty and they didn't want to know what I saw the early morning of 2/17/70. It appears they totally discounted my story and weren't interested in what I saw or had to say.
"Ted Gunderson has shown me the artist conceptions which he says were made by Dr. MacDonald. These artist conceptions, according to Ted Gunderson, are of the individuals who Dr. MacDonald says invaded his home early a.m. 2/17/70. The artist conception with #44 at the bottom of the page is identical with the person mentioned above who was on the passenger side of the blue Mustang that night and who I saw in the neighborhood on a number of occasions after the murders. I remember him specifically because of his piercing deep set eyes and the sneer on his face. I could pick him out of a crowd today. I cannot recall seeing any of the other individuals in the pictures shown me.
"I have read the above fourteen page statement and it is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.
"Sean Janet Locklear Ault
"December 13, 1980
"Witness: Ted L. Gunderson 12/13/80
"December 13, 1980
"at Cleveland, Ohio
"John L. Ault 12/13/80