July 24, 1988: Letter from Jeffrey MacDonald to the Defense
re: "Important of Fibers and Blood" with attachments
NOTE from Christina Masewicz: Translation of July 24, 1988: Memorandum from Jeffrey MacDonald to the defense team re: "Importance of Fibers and Blood" with attachments as I read it to be.
(Spelling, punctuation and grammar preserved)
TO: DEFENSE TEAM
FROM: JEFFREY R. MACDONALD, M.D.
DATE: JULY 24, 1988
SUBJECT: IMPORTANCE OF FIBERS AND BLOOD
Hopefully, you've received and reviewed the three memos regarding blood (July 20, 1988), fibers (July 21, 1988, and Ted Gunderson's interview of Tom Kelleher (July 23, 1988).
It seems to me we're getting closer to solving the blood question, i.e. finding someone who will admit that the FBI buried the information that their blood tests contradicted the CID blood tests. I say we're "closer" because now we know for sure blood was typed on exhibits early in the 1970's, and also during trial on Murtaugh's [sic] request. (And strangely only results were reported on four of the seven "unknowns" and the FBI possibly withheld even these results from the defense.
But, as regards fibers, I am now personally sure we've discovered evidence that the prosecutors had in their possession evidence directly contradicting their fiber "evidence". That is, the CID and prosecution claim cotton threads and fibers from the blue pajama top were on the club outside the house, and in Colette's mouth. The FBI lab, however, says the dark fibers on the club and in Colette's mouth are black wool, and are not matched to anything in the house.
Apparently, Brian Murtaugh [sic] was aware of this information pretrial, yet Blackburn's closing argument leads to a focus on the two "purple cotton threads" on the club "from the pajama top" outside the house.
Now, I have reviewed Dillard Browning's testimony regarding fibers. In the 1974 Grand Jury, in reply to a direct question from a Grand Juror about any other fibers. Browning states the fibers on the club were two purple cotton threads and several from the rayon throw rug in the bedroom. At trial, in response to direct questions by Bernie Segal, he states the fibers on the exhibit consisted of only two purple cotton threads. Bernie even asked him if he counted the fibers. Browning never mentions black wool, which was clearly known by the FBI and Murtaugh [sic] by then.
Reviews of testimony reveals that the corroboration for Browning's testimony is via Paul Stombaugh, of the FBI lab. He testified the two fibers on the club were similar to and could have originated from the pajama top.
Yet, crucially, the 1979 FBI handwritten reports proves they reviewed the vials and slides from Stombaugh, and concluded the fibers were black wool. These 1979 lab notes were clearly generated by Brian Murtaugh's [sic] request in 1979.
It is important you understand we have now compared the 1970 original CID handwritten notes with the 1979 FBI handwritten notes, and each exhibit in question matches up on the number of dark fibers. That is, the CID sees one or two dark fibers and calls these purple or blue. The FBI, however, contradicts that and calls them black wool, but each time it is the same number of fibers.
What seems to have happened then, is Brian Murtaugh [sic] put Dillard Browning on the stand for the CID and Paul Stombaugh on the stand for the FBI and represented a united front. But, he kept from the defense, court, and jury the 1979 FBI results totally contradicting the earlier reports.
If you read Browning's testimony carefully, I suspect you'll agree he was an exceptionally unquestioning type of lab person, i.e. when he found fibers he had no "known" for, he ignored them as having "no use". Stombaugh, by 1974, was the author of of the pajama top scenario and had a vested interest in scanning dark fibers and "matching" them to the pajama top. The FBI examiner in 1979, however, was new to the case and had no vested interest; that technician probably did a legitimate exam to identify the fibers and simply didn't call any dark fibers as " blue or purple cotton from the pajama top".
Thus, we have discovered there was a mis-identification of fibers from the club and in Colette's mouth, as well as on her pajama top. Whether the original mis-identification was intentional or not, we may never know. But, the suppression of the 1979 FBI report certainly cannot be an accident. We were barraging the trial court and prosecution with discovery requests and had requested any and all CID and FBI lab reports on all topics, specifically including fibers. There simply cannot be any excuse for the intentional by Murtaugh [sic] of the reports, generated by his requests to the FBI lab and documented in their notes.
In retrospect, as I review Bernie Segal's pretrial and trial extensive discovery and F.O.I.A. requests, it is now clear why Brian Murtaugh [sic] was fighting those requests with a religious passion.
The black fibers point directly to outside assailants, and the government accused me by asking me to "explain facts" like the threads. But, they knowingly withheld the answers to those questions. Surely, there must be a remedy for me at this time. I need you to seriously think about how we can best utilize this information to overturn this false conviction.
Attachment: October 24, 1974: Excerpts of grand jury testimony of Dillard Browning.
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August 6, 1979: Excerpts from 1979 trial testimony of Dillard Browning
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page 3877 thru 3881 consecutively
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August 8, 1979: Excerpts from 1979 trial testimony of Paul Stombaugh
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