August 16, 2004: E-mail from Bill Ivory (CID) re: MacDonald crime scene
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I sent Bill Ivory an e-mail and asked him some questions so that I could post his answers. I asked him to tell us what he remembers from the April 6, 1970 interview and to describe as he remembers the children's bodies. I also asked about the suitcase in the master bedroom and his opinion of Ron Harrison.
Bill was the investigator on the initial investigation and he saw the crime scene first hand on that fateful morning. He also worked the reinvestigation with Kearns and Pruett. After Colonel Pruett and Kearns were called in to do the reinvestigation and checked the complaints that the investigators had not done their jobs correctly, they found mistakes but none to the magnitude that had destroyed the evidence that was found. It was then that Ivory came aboard as one of the investigators in the reinvestigation.
Below is Bill's reply to me in his own words just as I received it.
08/16/2004 1:34:03 AM Central Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet
I'll start answering as objectively as I can, I may have to break off and tend to business, but if I do I'll come back and finish later.
1. The interview of 6 April wasn't planned for that day. We were awaiting some crime lab results on evidence they were working on before we sat Jeff down for a session with us. However he came into the CID office and wanted to find out when the house would be released and he could get to his furniture, etc. While he was there it was decided that we would do the interview at that time. It started with Joe Grebner reading him his rights. I remember his reaction to that. He said "that's ominous." He was very cool all thru the interview, to the point of being arrogant, and kept to most of his story from 17 Feb. He showed no emotion whatsoever until one time when Kristen was brought into the questioning. When we hit him with some very pointed questions concerning his involvement he got very defensive instead of wanting to help us resolve some issues. The interview was tape recorded and then transcribed. He later made an issue about not knowing that it was being taped, but the machine was right by his elbow and he saw Joe Grebner turn it on. He also said that we had a light turned in his eyes as an interrogation tactic. The only light that was on Joe's desk was an old desk light with a green shade that wasn't even turned on. At the end of his interview, we knew for sure he was our guy. He was asked if he would take a polygraph exam, and he said he would think about it. He did think about it all the way back to the BOQ when he called and said no. For a guy who had just supposedly lost his family, he behaved like a real uncooperative jerk.
In the movie Fatal Vision the guy who played Jeff (Cole?) had him down pat. It was almost as if he had studied him.
2. What stands out the most was the positioning of the bodies of the two girls. They were made to look like they never woke up during the attack. Kimmie was all tucked in with her blanket and sheets tucked under her, and she was laying on her left side. Of course when the body was moved we saw that she had been struck on the opposite side of her face (left side) with some instrument. Also when we pulled the covers down from her body we found some of the dark blue fibers from Jeff's pajama top under them.
With Kristen, she was positioned as if she was sleeping, with a baby bottle next to her mouth. With stab wounds to her back and front we know that could not be true. With the large amount of blood from Colette that was found on the bed sheet on top of Kristen, it shows that she had laid across the bed where Kristen was found and bled a lot. We found where Kristen had been held down towards the foot of the bed and stabbed, bleeding on the floor, and then placed back in her position where she was found. The bloody bare footprint that was on the floor leading out of Kristen's bedroom tells its own story. There was no impression of any kind in any of the bloodstains on the floor which would explain his feet being covered in the blood. He only could have gotten it by stepping on the sheet which was brought in from the master bedroom, or by stepping on Colette's body when it was in the room. The evidence clearly shows that he beat her again while by Kristen's bed with the "club" The stab wounds that were inflicted on Kristen were done in a very cool and deliberate manner. They were all straight in stabs, no cutting or tearing of the skin like you would expect if a group of drug crazed hippies had done it (see the Tate/Labianca murders). And the ice pick wounds were inflicted with a very soft touch with the skin being just broken and no deep penetrating wounds. One thing that happened at the crime scene that morning was the arrival of the doctor from Womack hospital to pronounce the bodies as dead. He started with the children and as he walked in to their rooms he was obviously disturbed by what he saw. He was told not to move the bodies unless it was absolutely necessary. He started with Kristen and began to move the body. I was watching him very closely and asked him why he was moving her. He said he was trying to find out what killed them. I told him that at that point I didn't care what had killed them I just wanted to know that they were dead. The autopsy would tell us how. He said OK and was very careful from then on. When he testified he said that he had moved all of the bodies. I guess he felt that he should have and testified that way. In my testimony I straightened that out. It's a good thing we had already taken photos of the bodies, so we could show he didn't move them.
3. The suitcase which was found in the bedroom was not prepared for an escape from the house. I can't remember what the contents were.
4. You are right when you say that Ron Harrison was a strange guy. I have heard others also say that he may have been gay, but I didn't have that much close contact with him during the initial phase of the investigation since I was busy at the scene. So I couldn't form an opinion, but as I've stated others have been given that same impression.