December 17, 1988: Memorandum from Jeffrey MacDonald to the defense team re: (1) James Frier stipulation at trial, (2) Murtagh's deception regarding black wool, and (3) Exculpatory evidence suppressed by prosecutors with attachment
Translation of document following scanned pages
NOTE: Translation of the above three page document as I read it to be
Spelling, punctuation and grammar preserved
TO: DEFENSE TEAM
FROM: JEFFREY MACDONALD, M.D.
DATE: DECEMBER 17, 1988
SUBJECT: 1. JAMES FRIER STIPULATION AT TRIAL
2. MURTAUGH'S [sic] DECEPTION REGARDING BLACK WOOL
3. EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE SUPPRESSED BY PROSECUTION
We just received pages 4,610 - 4,760 from Friday, August 10, 1979, during the trial. Shirley Green had finished her testimony (following Paul Stombaugh) on Friday. Murtaugh [sic] then requested that he be allowed to read stipulations into record that he had discussed with Bernie Segal.
The Key pages are 4,619 - 4,613. The majority of pages 4, 614 -4,760 is a reading of Esquire magazine excerpts.
Key points to remember while reading line 4-17 on page 4,612 are:
01. CID handwritten notes of 1970 show that Exhibit 307 (at trial) was CID Exhibit E-205 (debris from club). CID findings: two "purple cotton fibers matching pajama top" and "blue, green and yellow nylon fibers from rug".
02. Paul Stombaugh in 1974 said that E-205 contains "two purple cotton fibers like those in pajama top". FBI number is Q89.
03. James Frier's 1979 handwritten notes withheld from the defense show that CID E-205 is Q-89 and the finding are:
"Two black woolen fibers--source unknown"
"One green woolen fiber--source unknown"
two green, three blue and one gold fiber, all rayon, from rug"
"numerous white cotton fibers"
04. The 1979 FBI typed report of Frier's findings, dictated by Morris Clark and not Frier, does not mention the crucial black wool findings.
05. Frier is listed as a government witness in the 1979 spring and summer witness lists and was in Raleigh, North Carolina, on standby to testify. He never testified.
06. In June 1979, the FBI was doing fiber studies on sweaters from 544 Castle Drive, apparently trying to match the mystery fibers.
07. Back in March, 1979, Murtaugh [sic] personally picked up the original and carbon copies of the fiber report disguising Frier's real findings.
08. At trial, Dillard Browning from the CID testified two fibers on the club were matched to the pajama top (i.e. that E-205/Q89 had two purple cotton fibers in it matching my pajama top). He also stated there were only two fibers in the exhibit!
09. At trial, Stombaugh, as the FBI "fiber expert", testified he found two purple sewing threads in Q89 (i.e. debris from club). Importantly he said he looked at them on slides, which Frier's report refutes.
10. The crucial deception: See page 4,612. Murtaugh, [sic] the only person besides Frier who knew of the black wool, lies to the court and Bernie Segal. We stipulate that we agree Frier would testify to the other fibers, i.e. the rayon fibers matching the throw rug. No mention is made of Frier's crucial finding of two black wool fibers! Since we stipulate, Frier does not go on the stand; we can't cross-examine him, and we can't discover the crucial notes. Murtaugh [sic] has, as a safety valve, made the FBI typed report, but no mention is made of Frier's crucial finding in it (in addition, we do not believe the defense received the typed report anyway).
Thus, through clever slight-of-hand, Murtaugh [sic] has intentionally and knowingly suppressed the single most crucial piece of exculpatory material in the case other then the (also hidden) loss of skin from Colette's hand on which the blood type of Greg Mitchell was found!
The black wool fibers put assailants at the scene because the black wool on the club (and in Colette's mouth and on her pajama top) is not from a source in the house.
11. Then almost unbelievably, the government asks me on cross-examination (page 6791, Friday, August 24, 1979) to explain "two purple sewing threads identical to those from the pajama top". My answer: "I cannot".
But, the fibers were known by Murtaugh [sic] to be black wool from outside the house.
12. The final blow is in the closing argument. On August 28, 1979, Brian Murtaugh [sic] tells the jury that the government took two purple cotton sewing threads from the club. Then, Blackburn takes over and states they would throw out the whole shooting match except for two things: the pajama top and the club because two purple threads on the club matched the pajama top and I can't explain it.
And so, the crux of the government case is a knowing lie. The fibers on the club not only weren't blue cotton or purple cotton (they were black wool), but they also were from outside the house. And, when I couldn't answer the government's query based on a lie, I was convicted. The government had subverted discovery for so long we could never do our own testing, and Murtaugh [sic] ingeniously had us stipulate to the one witness most dangerous to the government cover-up and lie, James Frier. If he testified, his cross examination and notes would have provided the defense with knowledge of the real, exculpatory facts, and, would have implicated Frier, Clark and Murtaugh [sic] in the obstruction of justice (and probably Murtaugh [sic] perjury).
Attachment 1: Excerpt from trial transcript August 10, 1979
Attachment 2: Excerpt from Jeffrey MacDonald's August 24, 1979 trial testimony
Attachment 3: Excerpts from documents sent December 19, 1988 from Ted Gunderson to Oliver Revell,
Executive Assistant Director, Investigations, FBI