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
 

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1979 JEFFREY MACDONALD CASE TRIAL TRANSCRIPT
August 21, 1979: James Gaddis, Nashville Tennessee
Police Officer (recalled)

 

(Whereupon, JAMES THEODORE GADDIS was recalled as a witness, and having been previously sworn, was examined and testified further as follows:)


D I R E C T E X A M I N A T I O N 10:41 a.m.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Mr. Gaddis, would you state your full name, please, and your residence?
A James Theodore Gaddis; residence -- Nashville, Tennessee.
Q And what is your occupation, Mr. Gaddis?
A I am a police officer in Nashville.
Q Are you employed by the city and county in Nashville?
A Yes, sir.
Q And how long have you been a Nashville policeman?
A Almost 14 years, sir.
Q And what is your current assignment, Officer Gaddis?
A I'm in the Patrol Division on routine patrol work.
Q And were you in the Patrol Division also in 1970 and '71?
A No, sir; I was on special assignment in the Attack Squad.
Q And just very briefly, what was that as far as your work in '70 and '71?
A We were involved on special patrol -- I with 15 other officers -- hunting for an assault -- a person who was pulling off assaults in an area around Portland Avenue who was assaulting women, and we were just patrolling the area in unmarked patrol cars.
Q And what was the Portland Avenue area like? What kind of a neighborhood was that?
A It was an area where there was a lot of hippie people living there. It was a high drug area -- quite a few drug dealers in the area. There was a lot of promiscuous things going on in that area.
Q Now, did you have occasion at any time in 1970 or early '71 to meet a woman whose name you learned to be Helena Stoeckley?
A Yes, sir; I did.
Q Would you tell us when and under what circumstances you first encountered Ms. Stoeckley?
A Our first encounter was -- we were patrolling routine in the area. We were in unmarked cars and plain clothes and we heard a call over our radio that some officers were in foot pursuit. We went to the scene where the foot pursuit had taken place and what it was -- Ms. Stoeckley, whom I didn't know was Ms. Stoeckley at that time, and another gentlemen had been walking down the street when a patrol car pulled up to stop them, and the boy jumped and ran. He spooked the police very easily. He was holding drugs at the time. That's why he ran, and we met her at this time. She called us off to the side and said she'd like to tell us some of what's going on in the area.
Q Do you recall about what month and what year that was when you first contacted her?
A I can tell you exactly, sir.
Q Do you have a report you want to refer to?
A Yes, sir; this is a report -- a statement which I wrote the Army CID, April the 29th of '71.
Q All right, would it refresh your recollection to look at that report right now?
A Yes, sir; our first incident happened February 25 at 4:00 a.m. in the morning 1971.
Q Now, did you have occasion to come to know or have any contact with Ms. Stoeckley after that first incident you just described?
A Yes, sir; I did.
Q Would you please describe for us the nature of your contact with her and what, if any, work you did with her?
A During the time from the 25th of February on through sometime in April, we developed an informant relationship. The second night I ever met her, she showed us the houses of five drug dealers. The next night, with search warrants, we busted two of the places and we made a sizable amount of drug busts -- a sizable drug bust at the residences where she had showed us where they were living and quite a few arrests. From time to time she would come to me and state that someone in the area had moved in, and she had heard about them and she would find out what information she could about the people because she had heard that they were of a criminal nature. We did make several criminal arrests -- felony arrests -- during this time.
Q What kind of drugs were there found in that first set of arrests that Helena Stoeckley had directed you to?
A There was some heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and a few unidentifiable pills.
Q How could you describe for us whether she was a reliable or unreliable informant in drug matters?
A Well, I have had several informants, and she is, by far, the best informant I have ever had.
Q And how do you decide that informants are good informants -- the basis, I guess, or the criteria you use?
A The basis would be how smooth she is with the people she works with, the information she comes across with, the reliability or percentage of good busts we make with her. I say the percentage of busts we made with her were about 90 to 95 percent correct.
Q That means that 95 percent of the time you actually found drugs at the place that she indicated to you?
A Yes, sir.
Q How long did you continue to work with Ms. Stoeckley in that relationship as using her and working with her as an informant?
A We used her for approximately four months, sir. Then she left Nashville and went to Florida for drug rehab.
Q Now, at some time did you learn that she had previously lived in the Fayetteville, North Carolina, area?
A Yes, sir; I did.
Q And when did you learn that, Officer Gaddis?
A Well, it was -- I don't know the exact date when I learned that she lived in Fayetteville, but she came up to me one night and asked me if I could find out, through contacting the Fayetteville police, if she was still wanted in connection --

MR. BLACKBURN: (Interposing) OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q All right, the result of -- without telling us what she said, the result of whatever conversation you had with her at that time -- did you take any action as a result of that conversation? Did you make any inquiries?

MR. BLACKBURN: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED. Members of the jury, the evidence now apparently sought to be elicited by counsel is evidence which this Court has heard in your absence. The Court has ruled that the evidence is not admissible. I am instructing you at this time that you should not draw any inference whatever from the fact that the question itself has been asked. I will instruct counsel not to repeat such questions. I also inform you that it is the duty of counsel for either side, when it is perceived that objectionable testimony is sought to be introduced or elicited from a witness, to register an objection and that you are not under any circumstances to draw any inference adverse to counsel making such an objection, whether it be the Government or the Defendant or anyone. Proceed.

MR. SEGAL: If Your Honor pleases, in regard to the last question I asked was: what this officer did. I did not ask him to repeat any statements --

MR. ANDERSON: (Interposing) OBJECTION.

MR. SEGAL: -- made by the person. I ask to be permitted to ask what action he took. I don't understand that to be beyond the scope of the Government's objection.

THE COURT: Ask your question.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q After you talked to Ms. Stoeckley, did you make any inquiries or take any action yourself at that time?

MR. ANDERSON: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Did you have occasion to talk with Ms. Stoeckley about Fayetteville, North Carolina, on any other time than the one you just talked to us -- mentioned to us now?

MR. BLACKBURN: OBJECTION.

MR. ANDERSON: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Can you describe for us the emotional state -- that is, what you observed about her emotional state when you talked to Ms. Stoeckley about her contacts and relationship with Fayetteville, North Carolina?

MR. BLACKBURN: OBJECTION.

MR. ANDERSON: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

MR. SEGAL: What was wrong with that, Your Honor?

THE COURT: I SUSTAINED the objection.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Did you ever ask Ms. Stoeckley to give you a set of fingerprints and some hair samples?
A Yes, sir; I did.

MR. BLACKBURN: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: Well, he's already answered that. I'll let it stand.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Was your answer that you did get it?
A Yes, sir.

THE COURT: I will instruct the witness, however, not to answer the question if there is an objection until I have ruled. Proceed.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Did you, in fact, ever obtain from her a set of fingerprints and hair samples?
A Yes, sir.

MR. BLACKBURN: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Did you ever, together with an agent -- Agent Brisentine -- from the CID interview Ms. Stoeckley in regard to events in Fayetteville, North Carolina?

MR. ANDERSON: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Did you have occasion to speak with Ms. Stoeckley on or about April the 23rd and 24th of 1971?

MR. BLACKBURN: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

BY MR. SEGAL:
Q Following -- when was the last time you spoke with Ms. Stoeckley in any formal capacity -- in any official capacity?
A The last of April in '71.
Q Following that conversation with her, what, if any, action did you take?

MR. BLACKBURN: OBJECTION.

THE COURT: SUSTAINED.

MR. SEGAL: In view of Your Honor's ruling, I have nothing further of this witness at this time. He may be cross-examined.

THE COURT: Call your next witness.

MR. BLACKBURN: We have no questions.

THE COURT: Call your next witness.

MR. SEGAL: Officer Gaddis, thank you very much.

THE WITNESS: Thank you.

(Witness excused.)

 

 

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1987: MacDonald v. McGinniss  -  Mildred Kassab sues MacDonald  -  Court Records

 Parole Hearing  -  Kassab's Work  -  Bob Stevenson Answers Your Questions
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