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1979 JEFFREY MACDONALD CASE TRIAL TRANSCRIPT

July 26: Dr.  William F.  Hancock: autopsies of Kimberley and Kristen

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, we would call Dr. William Hancock.

(Witness excused.)

(Whereupon, DR. WILLIAM FRANKLIN HANCOCK, JR. was called as a witness, duly sworn, and testified as follows:)


D I R E C T  E X A M I N A T I O N  2:42 p.m.

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Please state your name.
A  William Franklin Hancock, Jr.
Q  If you would, sir, speak loudly enough so everyone can hear you.  Dr. Hancock, where do you presently reside?
A  I presently reside in Glendon, North Carolina.
Q  How are you presently employed?
A  Pardon me, sir?
Q  How are you presently employed?
A  I am just presently terminating an association with Chatham Hospital in Siler City.  I have been there approximately five years.  I am scheduled to start as pathologist in Halifax Me-morial Hospital in Roanoke Rapids the first week in August of this year.
Q  What position did you hold in Siler City at the hospital?
A  I was the pathologist and laboratory director.
Q  Where did you receive your undergraduate education, sir?
A  I completed it at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Q  After you completed your training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where did you go to school next?
A  I attended the University of North Carolina Medical School in Chapel Hill.  I received an M.D. degree in 1968.
Q  Where did you receive any training in the field of pathology?
A  My training as a pathologist?
Q  Yes, sir?
A  I went to the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia, and completed the standard training program for general pathologists there.
Q  What certification, if any, did you get, sir?
A  I am certified as an anatomic and clinical pathologist by the American Board of Pathology.
I obtained that in 1973.
Q  Now directing your attention to February, 1970.  Did you have an occasion at that time to be employed at Womack General Hospital?
A  I did.
Q  What did you do there, sir?
A  I was a pathologist at the hospital.
Q  How long had you been working there as a pathologist?
A  As a pathologist--I was there in the latter part of 1969, and began at Womack in the lat-ter part of 1969 and was on a two-year tour of duty with the Army at that time.  So 1970 was about the midpoint, I suppose.
Q  Directing your attention to the 17th of February, 1970, did you have an occasion to con-duct autopsies on the bodies of Kimberley and Kristen MacDonald?
A  I did.
Q  When did those autopsies begin, sir?
A  I'm sorry?
Q  What time did those autopsies begin?
A  They were begun in the morning, approximately 9:30 or so.
Q  When and where did you first see the bodies of Kimberley and Kristen MacDonald?
A  They were in the morgue refrigerator and I observed them approximately 9:00 to 9:30 that morning.  That was the first instance that I saw them.
Q  When you saw them, sir, how were they dressed?
A  How were they--
Q  (Interposing)  How were they dressed?
A  They were not dressed.  They were basically in the morgue refrigerator and I believe covered with a sheet, as is the usual protocol.
Q  Who else besides yourself, sir, were present when the autopsies of Kimberley and Kristen were performed?
A  The other pathologists who were at the hospital at that time?  Dr. Gammel was there and also Colonel Charles Davis, who was Director of the Pathology Department at that time.
There may have been other pathologists, I think, but those were the two main ones to whom I was answerable.  They were in and out.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, at this time, we would offer Dr. Hancock as an expert in the field of pathology.

THE COURT:  Very well.

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, with respect to the autopsy of Kimberley MacDonald, what did you first do in conducting that autopsy, sir?
A  The first portion is an external examination to define and describe any wounds or abnor-malities.  That was the first order of business, and to collect any tissue or items needed at that moment.
Q  Did you collect any items or tissue from her body?
A  I was working with Dr. Gammel at that time.  We collected various things like fingernail scrapings--that was the item that I distinctly remember.  Those were collected separately and turned over to investigators, as I recall.
Q  After you did that, what did you do next, sir?
A  Proceeded to do the standard autopsy examination, which is basically after one has de-scribed the external appearance of the body, one opens the body and examines the internal organs.  That was the next order of business.
Q  With respect to the head area of Kimberley MacDonald, what, if anything, did you observe?
A  What did I observe?
Q  Yes, sir.
A  She had rather extensive injuries to the head area, a fair amount of bruising, the skin was abraded.  That was the external.
Q  Which side of the face are you talking about?
A  I am talking about the right side.  Now some of these things I would want to refer to my protocol and description.  But as I recall, that was the right side, where the most extensive bruising was done.  There was some bruising on the opposite side, but it was more extensive on the right, to my recollection.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, at this time, we would offer Exhibit 399, which is the autopsy report of Kimberley MacDonald.

THE COURT:  Very well.

MR. BLACKBURN:  And move it into evidence and let the witness have it to refresh his recol-lection.

THE COURT:  Very well.

(Government Exhibit No. 399 was marked for identification and received in evidence.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, you may have said it and I overlooked it, but with respect to the right por-tion of the head of Kimberley MacDonald, what did you observe?
A  The area had multiple bruises and some bleeding inside the tissues, and one could feel bro-ken bones underneath the skin in this area.  This involved the right side of the head basically over the ear and in front and behind the ear.  There were multiple bruises covering the cheekbone, the ear, and one could feel broken bones underneath the scalp and skin in that area.
Q  What did you observe with respect to the front of the face?
A  The front of the face?
Q  Yes, sir.
A  The nose, as I recall, appeared to be fractured but was not measurably dislocated.  There was a break in the skin on the opposite side, which I have noted on the left side of the face, and a little, small portion of the bone was protruding through that area.  This was the oppo-site side from the major bruising.
Q  What, sir, did you observe with respect to the neck area of Kimberley MacDonald?
A  She had multiple incised wounds in the neck, which predominantly, I think, were on the right side--right side of the neck, in the anterior frontal portion.  There were approximately eight to ten of these incisional wounds which, without referring specifically to the protocol, were approximately--maybe I should refer to it as to how large they were.  These wounds were approximately three-quarters of an inch, I would suppose, in width.  There were eight to ten of these, which had penetrated the skin, and there was a lot--some bleeding around that area.  They were all grouped closely together.
Q  Dr. Hancock, based on your training and experience as a pathologist, do you have an opin-ion satisfactory to yourself as to what type of instrument could have caused the injuries to the neck of Kimberley MacDonald?
A  A sharp pointed instrument similar to a knife.
Q  Dr. Hancock, let me show you Exhibit Number 313 for the Government, and ask you, sir, to take a look at it.

(Witness complies.)

Q  Dr. Gammel, do you have--Dr. Hancock, I'm sorry.  These names run together.  Dr. Han-cock, do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself as to whether or not that knife could have inflicted the wounds on the neck of Kimberley MacDonald?
A  It could have.
Q  Dr. Hancock, do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself as to approximately how many wounds Kimberley MacDonald had to her head area--how many?
A  To the head area?
Q  Yes, sir.
A  At least two.
Q  Do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself as to what could have caused those injuries to the head area?
A  It would be my opinion that the--a blunt object struck the head on the right side.
Q  Dr. Hancock, let me hand you Government Exhibit 306, sir, and ask you to take a look at it.

(Witness complies.)

Q  Dr. Hancock, in your opinion--or do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself as to whether or not that exhibit could have inflicted the head injuries to the body or head of Kimberley MacDonald?
A  It could have.
Q  After you observed the head injuries and the neck injuries to the body of Kimberley Mac-Donald, what did you do next with respect to her autopsy?
A  I proceeded to do the internal examination, where the body was open and the body cavi-ties and internal organs were examined.
Q  Did you have an occasion to examine the head area of Kimberley MacDonald?
A  Yes, including the head area.  The head, basically, is opened and the brain and the con-tents thereof were examined.
Q  What did that examination reveal to you?
A  It confirmed the fracture that I had felt beneath the skin and showed additional fractures that included fractures over what is generally referred to as the base of the skull.  The base of the skull had ramifying fractures within it; and when such happens to the bones in the base of the skull, the brain next to it becomes bruised.  That was basically the finding there
--a confirmation of the multiple fractures of the skull and some associated bruising of the brain.
Q  Dr. Hancock, do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself as to the cause of death of Kimberley MacDonald?
A  I think there could be two factors, the most prominent one being the brain injury, which could have resulted in immediate, or shortly thereafter, death, that being the most severe injury.  The wounds to the neck did cause some bleeding and did transect the windpipe, and may have contributed, or certainly have assisted in causing the death.
Q  Dr. Hancock, do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself as to whether or not Kimberley MacDonald could have been alive when she received the wounds to her neck?
A  It would be my opinion, based on the extensive bleeding and bruising that occurred with the head wounds, that these occurred first, and there would be some possibility that even though the brain might have been severely jarred, and she would have been perhaps uncon-scious, the heart could have still been beating; and depending on how one defines life, that would be basically the question at that point in time.  The wounds to the neck did show less bleeding than the wounds to the head but did show some bleeding--a suggestion that the heart was perhaps still beating some at the time the wounds to the neck were sustained.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, if I may have just one moment.

(Pause.)

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, at this time, I would mark for identification Government Exhibit 420 which is a certificate of death of Kimberley MacDonald.

(Government Exhibit No. 420 was marked for identification and received in evidence.)

MR. BLACKBURN:  Three photographs, Government Exhibit 811, 812, 809.  I would move into evidence Goverment Exhibit 420, the certificate of death.

THE COURT:  All right.

(Government Exhibit Nos. 811, 812, and 809 were marked for identification.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, let me hand you, sir, these three photographs and ask whether or not you can generally identify what they are.
A  Yes.
Q  Generally speaking, sir, what are they?
A  These represent photographs taken at and during the time the autopsy was performed on Kimberley MacDonald.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, I would move these photographs into evidence.

THE COURT:  Very well.

Government Exhibit Nos. 811, 812, and 809 were received in evidence.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, during the autopsy of Kimberley MacDonald, do you know whether or not her blood was ever typed, sir?
A  Yes; it was typed.
Q  Under whose direction was this generally done?
A  It was typed under the director of the laboratory at that time, under his official certifica-tion--Lieutenant Colonel Charles Davis who was the chief pathologist at that point in time.
The blood itself was typed by the chief technologist in the blood bank at Womack Army Hos-pital.
Q  Is that blood typing included in the autopsy report, sir?
A  Yes; it is.
Q  What is it?
A  It is AB-positive.
Q  Dr. Hancock, do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself as to the direction or angle that whatever instrument caused those blows was coming from?
A  To the head?
Q  Yes, sir.
A  They occurred at approximately a horizontal position to the side of the head--a horizontal position referable to the floor.  There was some angulation in it but basically it was a blow that came on at a horizontal angle to the side of the head.
Q  Do you have an opinion as to whether or not she was standing up when she received those injuries?
A  She could have been.
Q  Dr. Hancock, do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself as to the similar angle or direction with respect to the wounds to her neck?
A  If the body were in the flat position or the prone position, these wounds seem to have oc-curred at a right angle or, as one would say, perpendicular to the flat body.
Q  With respect, Dr. Hancock, to the autopsy of Kristen MacDonald, what did you do first, sir, with respect to that autopsy?
A  Similar to Kimberley, the first order was to examine the body externally and to observe any abnormalities and so record those and collect evidence which was basically done in the same fashion as has been described for Kimberley.
Q  What did you observe, sir, with respect to the front side of Kristen MacDonald?
A  Which area?
Q  The chest area.
A  The chest area.  She had multiple incisional stab wounds to the chest area.  As the major abnormality, there were some small circular wounds that were also present.  There were multiple portions of these.  I could perhaps more accurately describe from the protocol.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, at this time, I would mark for identification Government Exhibit Number 400, the autopsy report of Kristen MacDonald, and move it into evidence, and let the witness have it.

(Goverment Exhibit No. 400 was marked for identification and received in evidence.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, again, sir, with reference to the chest area of Kristen MacDonald, how many, sir, of what you would call these stab wounds did you observe on her body during the autop-sy?
A  From the external examination there were four stab wounds that were clustered around the center of the chest.  Then there was a fifth stab wound which is in the neck area.
These were described basically as gaping incised wounds.  The other lesions that I described
--the significant ones--were small, maybe less than a quarter of an inch circular kind of bruises that--a few of these occurred under the nipples, and then there was sort of an ill-defined pattern extending along, I think, the right side of the chest in sort of an "s-shaped" pattern.  There were approximately ten of these circular small wounds, a few of which ap-peared to penetrate through the skin.  The others seemed to cause superficial skin penetra-tion with some bruising around them.  The major wounds were the central gaping incised wounds.
Q  With respect to the hands of Kristen MacDonald, what, if anything, did you observe there, sir?
A  There was multiple minor lacerations--cuts basically--on both hands if I recall from reading my protocol and, in addition, there was a more significant wound.  I think it was on the right hand--the right hand on either the ring or middle finger.  There was a fairly large--it looked like an incised or cut wound--approximately an inch and a half or so on the side of the finger.
But the hand also had some minor cuts on it in other places which basically did not cause any
bleeding, but the large wound that I described was down basically to the bone.
Q  Do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself, as to the type or classification of the wound that was on her finger?
A  I would say as a general reference these could be defined as defensive wounds or these could be wounds incurred in the process of other type of wounds happening.  As a general statement, I would say that.
Q  With respect to the back and shoulder area of Kristen MacDonald, what did you observe there, sir, during the autopsy?
A  On the back and in the approximate mid-back area, she had similar incised, slightly gaping wounds.  There were ten of these grouped in the center of the back, and there were two others which were slightly off, I believe, it was the left side, but there were ten in the ap-proximate central area of the back.  Then there were two incised wounds which were sort of over one of the shoulder blades.  A total of 12 of these incised wounds were on the back.
There was some minor other wounds.  I cannot say definitely that these occurred with the incised wounds.  It might just have been some scratches or something from a mosquito bite around in the area, but the significant wounds were these ten plus two gaping deep incised penetrating wounds.
Q  Were there any stabbing wounds in the back area that you observed?
A  In the back area?
Q  Yes, sir.
A  Yes; these ten plus two were basically stabbing incised wounds.
Q  After you observed these wounds of Kristen MacDonald, what did you do next?
A  Again, the standard procedure--the body cavities were opened, the internal organs exa-mined, and any injuries noted in the diseased state.  That would be basically.
Q  What injuries, if any, did you observe?
A  These corresponded basically to what was observed externally.  The one stab wound to the neck showed internally some cutting across the thyroid gland and part of the wind pipe.
The stabbing wounds to the chest on the front portion penetrated the associated tissues and entered the heart on its right side in two instances.  The stab wounds received from the back of her body also penetrated the chest wall and entered the left side of the heart in two instances.  These penetrated the wall of the heart front and back.
Q  Dr. Hancock, do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself as to the cause of death of Kristen MacDonald?
A  I would consider it to be loss of blood from the heart as the heart would normally pump.
There was considerable blood that had collected around and in the body cavities associated with the heart.  The heart may have lost its electrical beating capabilities due to these in-cised wounds, but it also--there was also a considerable amount of blood loss there which could have accounted for it.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, at this time, I would mark for identification Government Exhibit 419, which is the Certificate of Death of Kristen MacDonald and move it into evidence.

THE COURT:  Very well.

(Government Exhibit 419 was marked for identification and received in evidence.)

MR. BLACKBURN:  Also, I would mark for identification at this time some photographs--Gov-ernment Exhibit Number 773, 774, 775, 776, 777, 778, 779, and 780.

(Government Exhibits Numbers 773, 774, 775, 776, 777, 778, 779, and 780 were marked for identification.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, I wish you would look at those exhibits marked for identification and tell us whether or not you can generally identify them, sir?

(Witness examines exhibits.)

A  Yes.  These represent photographs of various segments of the autopsy on Kristen Mac-Donald.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, I would move these into evidence.

THE COURT:  Very well.

(Government Exhibits Numbers 773, 774, 775, 776, 777, 778, 779, and 780 were received in evidence.)

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, if I could have just one moment.

(Pause.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, with respect to the blunt injuries of Kimberley MacDonald, I believe you testi-fied that they damaged the brain; is that correct?
A  That is correct.
Q  What injuries did the brain receive if you know, sir, as a result of the blunt injuries?
A  As I recall, it was basically a bruising of the brain.  The brain, being very soft, and as these bones are fractured and when a head is hit like that, the brain tends to slide and move over these rough edges and it causes some minor cuts and some bruising to the brain itself.
Q  Dr. Hancock, do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself with respect to Kimberley MacDonald as to whether or not she would have been able to walk after she first received the blows to the head?
A  It would be very unlikely in my opinion--very unlikely; although, there are situations where you can never say "never," but I would not expect it to be the situation.
Q  Do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself as to whether or not Kimberley Mac-Donald could have talked after she received the blows to the head?
A  I would answer basically the same way as I responded to the previous question.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, just one moment.

(Counsel confer.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself as to the angle or direction from which the wounds to Kristen MacDonald came?
A  The younger child?  If we assume she was in the flat or prone position, these would have entered perpendicular to that position.
Q  With respect to the autopsy of Kristen MacDonald, do you know whether or not any blood typing of Kristen MacDonald was, in fact, ever done?
A  Yes, it was done.
Q  Was that done pursuant to the autopsy of Kristen MacDonald?
A  It was, sir.
Q  Do you know what that blood typing is, sir?
A  Yes, it was O-negative and further tested to make sure it was negative, it was called an O-negative, Du negative.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, at this time, I would ask this witness to come down to the screen with the pointer and show a selected number of photographs.

THE COURT:  All right.

BY MR. BLACKBURN:  
Q  For the record, this first slide represents the Government Exhibit 811.  Dr. Hancock, would you point out the significant aspects of this slide, sir?
A  This is Kimberley MacDonald.  It shows basically the two major wounds that she received.
This represents washing of the skin and removing of the blood that was there.  What you see underneath is--this is the cheek bone with this bruising and these areas of bruising and the ear with considerable bruising in that area.  The second group of wounds is in this side of the neck area and these are basically the incised stab wounds in this area--eight to ten in that area.
Q  This next exhibit represents Government Exhibit 812.  What, sir, does this photograph represent?
A  This represents the standard procedure at autopsy where one arrives at a position to examine the brain.  In order to do that, one has to cut the scalp and get it out of the way, so what has been done is the scalp has been cut.  This sort of rounded, folded area and this area here represents the inside of the scalp and the hair on the backside.  You see some of the hair in this position and you are looking--if the body were projected that way, you are looking right directly on top of the skull.  The ear would be down in this position and this would be the right side.  This area right here is a thin membrane that covers the bone.  This is actually the skull itself, and this represents one of the major fractures that was sustained to the skull--this fracture extending approximately the full length of the skull.
Q  This next photograph represents Government Exhibit 773.  What, sir, does this photograph represent?
A  This represents the body of Kristen MacDonald and shows her basically as I originally viewed her, without any blood being washed.  This shows the bleeding,that the blood sort of drained around different portions.  In a washed state, one could see it better, but this re-presents the grouping of the stabbing incisional wounds.  There is also one in the neck area.
Q  This next slide represents Government Exhibit 774.  What, sir, does this slide represent?
A  This, again, is Kristen MacDonald.  This is her back area and shows the incised stab wounds that occurred there, and bleeding--some of the bleeding--that came from that.  In this area are approximately the ten incised stab wounds and the two additional ones over to the side.
Q  This next slide represents Government Exhibit 775.  What, sir, does this slide represent?
A  This is a photograph after the blood has been washed so that one could see the wounds more exactly.  Again, you can see the incised stab wounds, which are at a slight angle here.
But over the chest area, there is the one in the neck with some minor bruising on the neck and around in this area.  The smaller circular wounds that are described, one can see at this point approximately ten of these; they proceed in roughly an "s-shaped" fashion.
Q  This next slide represents Government Exhibit 777.  What, sir, does this slide represent?
A  That is again, Kristen MacDonald, on the back side after the blood had been washed off and one sees the group.  This is the area I am calling that has approximately ten incised stab wounds and then the two over here.
Q  This next slide represents Government Exhibit 778.  What, sir, does this slide or photo-graph represent?
A  This is Kristen MacDonald's hand, showing some minor areas on the hand, and maybe, per-haps, some small bruising there.  It shows basically this large incised lesion on the ring finger that extends for approximately about an inch and a half.  It extends down to the bone.  This is the major hand wound.
Q  This next slide represents Government Exhibit 779.  What, sir, does this slide represent?
A  This is inside the chest cavity of Kristen MacDonald.  What you are seeing right here is where we have cut through the rib cage, at this point, and exposed the frontal portion of the chest cavity, and observe directly the heart.  These instruments are just placed in to show you where the incised stab wounds were as they penetrated the chest wall.  They also en-tered into the heart, in this slide in two instances.  The opposite side of the heart also had two incised areas in it.
Q  This final slide is Goverment Exhibit 780.  What, sir, does this slide or photograph repre-sent?
A  This is basically--the heart and lungs have been pulled up out of the way and you are looking down into an area where the lungs and heart normally lay.  This represents the rib area, and this cavity here.  It is showing two incised areas.  These represent two of the stab wounds that came through the chest wall, through the area between the ribs and through these areas that the heart--which it entered into.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your may resume your seat.  Your Honor, just one moment.

(Pause.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, with respect to the incisional wounds on Kristen MacDonald, do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself, as to the type of instrument that could have caused those wounds?
A  Yes.
Q  What is that opinion, sir?
A  It would be again, perhaps, a single-edged sharp pointed knife-like instrument.
Q  Do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself, as to what could have caused any of the puncture wounds on Kristen MacDonald?
A  Any fairly firm object, presumably metal in nature, that would have had a point on it, at some point.
Q  Dr. Hancock, let me hand you Government Exhibit 313 and 312, and ask you, sir, to take a look at both of them.

(Witness complies.)

Q  Dr. Hancock, do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself, as to whether or not the ice pick could have caused the puncture wounds in the body of Kristen MacDonald?
A  It could have.
Q  Do you have an opinion, satisfactory to yourself, as to whether the knife could have caused the incisional wounds in the body of Kristen MacDonald?
A  It could have.
Q  Dr. Hancock, let me ask you a hypothetical question.  Assume, sir, that Kristen MacDonald had lived, and also assume, sir, that as you have stated, she received puncture wounds that could have been made with an ice pick.  Do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself as to whether or not those puncture wounds would have left any scar tissue?

MR. SMITH:  OBJECTION.

THE COURT:  OVERRULED.

THE WITNESS:  Two of them would have left minor scars and perhaps a scar from the others would have been rather transient as one gets older and the skin stretches and grows.
These scars may have been rather ill-defined, but I think within a frame of time after that, there would have been relative scarring.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, at this time, I would mark for identification Government Exhibits 970 and 971.  What they are, sir, Government Exhibit 970 are two photographs of Kristen MacDonald already in evidence and photographs of the weapons that have already been placed into evidence--the ice pick, two knives, and a wooden club.  With respect to Govern-ment Exhibit 971, they are two photographs of Kimberley MacDonald already in evidence and also four photographs--two photographs--one of an ice pick and one of a wooden club, sir.

(Government Exhibits 970 and 971 were marked for identification.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Dr. Hancock, with respect to Governnent Exhibit 970, sir, would you take this blue marker, sir, and if you need your protocol to refer to, I wish that you would fill in the blank, sir, with respect to the number of wounds, punctures, and cuts as closely as you can on Kristen Mac-Donald?
A  These two blanks?  Do you want front and back in the same?
Q  Yes, sir, just the total as close as you can approximate.
A  Your wounds refer to--
Q  (Interposing)  Why don't you write on there whatever it is that you are referring to.  Use your own terminology.
A  These are understood to be approximate?
Q  Yes, sir.

(Witness complies.)

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, at this time, we would move Government Exhibit 970 into evi-dence.

(Government Exhibit 970 was received in evidence.)

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  Now, sir, I wish you would do the same thing with respect to Government Exhibit 971.
Here is the protocol for Kimberley MacDonald.

(Witness complies.)

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, at this time, I would move that exhibit into evidence.

(Government Exhibit 971 was received in evidence.)

THE COURT:  Very well.

BY MR. BLACKBURN:
Q  For the record, sir, so that it will reflect, would you read into the record what you have written down with respect to Kimberley MacDonald--just read it for the record, sir?
A  These represent approximations, but they are relatively accurate.  There are some minor changes.  One cannot absolutely put down in a short space, but this represents the two major blunt wounds to the head.  Under "fractures," I am identifying multiple fractures to the skull area.  You cannot really identify single ones because this was a ramifying fracture and there were multiple fractures to that area.  The one laceration I am referring to is to the face where the bone protruded through and apparently cut the skin--with the bone cutting the skin.  There are no significant puncture wounds that I recall, and the eight to ten cuts are the incised stab wounds in the neck area.  
Q  Would you also do the same thing with respect to the exhibit of Kristen MacDonald?
A  Again, these represent, in my opinion, reasonable approximations.  The 17 wounds are referring to the incised stab wounds and represent the ones on the front and the back.  The puncture wounds represent primarily the small circular wounds in the front part of the chest, and the cuts represent--the five cuts represent the cuts on the hands with actually one of these five being the major cut.
Q  Dr. Hancock, with respect to both Kimberley and Kristen MacDonald, do you have an opin-ion, sir, as to the time of death of either one?
A  I would not be able to state it any more specifically than I am sure the records show--last time seen alive until observed dead.  It would certainly fit that time frame, and I would not be able to pinpoint it any more precisely than that which was in the range of--I observed them at 9:30.  I presume they had died within the previous 12 hours.

MR. BLACKBURN:  Your Honor, that would conclude our Direct Examination.  The defense can cross-examine.

MR. SMITH:  Thank you, Your Honor.


C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N  3:41 p.m.

BY MR. SMITH:
Q  Dr. Hancock, the testimony that you have given today is no different than the testimony that you have given on previous occasions; is that correct--basically the same?
A  Basically, yes.
Q  I am sure, of course, there are minor changes, but no significant changes in your testimo-ny today?
A  Not to my knowledge, unless some more specific questions have been asked.
Q  When you performed the autopsies on the occasion in question, were you using any speci-fic system that you can tell us about?  That is, were you using a specific military-type sys-tem or any system that was used always at Womack or any system that is used primarily in North Carolina or anything like that?
A  There is basically a general system that allows for some professional modification and one does that.  My training was at the Medical College of Virginia, and we had a specific manner in which we approached an autopsy.  There are some minor variations on how one writes it up and exactly how it is finally entered into the record, but I did have a specific approach to the autopsy.
Q  Had you known at the time you were performing these autopsies that every word you spoke and every word you wrote would be examined in such minute detail, you might have made some changes in your approach; would that be a fair statement?
A  I don't really think so.  There is a possibility.
Q  Let me amplify that if I may.  You did not have an opportunity--you were not given an op-portunity to go to the home in which this occurred and see the bodies in their positions when they were discovered; is that correct?
A  That is correct.
Q  And a good pathologist would want to do that if he could; wouldn't he?

MR. BLACKBURN:  OBJECTION, Your Honor.

THE WITNESS:  In some instances, he may.

BY MR. SMITH:
Q  Have you ever examined the Autopsy Manual for the Department of the Army?
A  I don't recall.  We went through specific training down in Fort Sam Houston in Texas and multiple things were shown.  We did have specific training manuals referrable to laboratory procedures in the Amy.  We also were authorized to use other people's manuals, too, so I may have.  I can't say one way or the other.

THE COURT:  All right, we will take our afternoon recess now.  We will come back today at 4:00 o'clock.  Remember, don't talk about the case.  Take a recess until 4:00, please.

(The proceeding was recessed at 3:45 p.m., to reconvene at 4:00 p.m., this same day.)


F U R T H E R  P R 0 C E E D I N G S  (4:00 p.m):

(The following proceedings were held in the presence of the jury and alternates.)

(Whereupon, DR. WILLIAM F. HANCOCK, the witness on the stand at the time of recess, re-sumed the stand and testified further as follows:)


C R O S S  E X A M I N A T I O N  (resumed)

BY MR. SMITH:
Q  Dr. Hancock, I believe I had asked you some questions relating to the kind of things that you would like to have done as a pathologist if you could go back and re-do them.  Let me begin at that point and ask you this: if you could go back and re-do this autopsy, and if you could have an opportunity to do so, wouldn't you like to go to the house and see the bodies in the positions they were in when they were discovered?
A  I couldn't give a yes or no to that.  It depends on the purpose of my investigation.  If I were trying to define why this person died, I can do that under different circumstances.  If I had been part of the investigative team seeking evidence in a more broad fashion, one could say yes to that; but it would be a variable answer depending on what your directives are and what needed to be done.
Q  What was your purpose then as you performed the autopsy?
A  Basically to define the situation as it was presented to me in establishing what I saw in terms of wounds inflicted, and how these may have related to death.
Q  You were primarily interested, then, in cause of death?
A  There is an argument about cause and manner of death, but I presume that is what I was interested in, was the cause of death.
Q  What is a forensic pathologist?
A  He has a sub-specialist, I guess is the best way to define it, in pathology; and it is an emerging sub-specialty that is developed perhaps more in the European countries--in Eng-land--than it is this country.  That is just my opinion.  The States are now beginning to ac-quire forensic pathologists, such as North Carolina, who now has one.  These people--these pathologists primarily spend their time in autopsy case such as this.
Q  A forensic pathologist would have been a useful individual, then, in this case?
A  Well, there was one peripherally at this--in this case.  I don't recall his name, but he was stationed in Washington, D.C., and was a colonel, I think, in the Army at that time; and he was the one to whom we sent these autopsies.
Q  But he did not come down and participate in the autopsies?
A  Not in the autopsy itself.  We went up there and showed him our findings, and he reviewed our written protocol.
Q  A forensic pathologist is someone who also, in addition to examining into cause of death, examines into who did it or the circumstances of the death, is that correct?
A  That is my understanding, that he would be more involved.  I don't know if that's, you know, defined by statute or training.  This is more of a scientific venture.  But as a general statement a forensic pathologist is the person who handles these cases.  Generally he is found in a situation where you have a large number of people and enough of these cases are present so that someone has to dedicate his specific energies to these cases.
Q  Well, at any rate, a forensic pathologist was not called in, in this situation, is that correct, as far as you know?
A  Well, only in the sense that I stated that these protocols were sent to him; and there is a letter, I think, attached to our autopsy protocol stating that he had reviewed them, and like I say we went to Washington for three days and presented our evidence to him, and he ques-tioned us basically.
Q  Well, he looked at the papers that you prepared, looked at your report, looked at photo-graphs?
A  He looked at what I had, which was basically autopsy protocol.  Anything else--and the pictures--but anything else, I don't know.
Q  But no forensic pathologist actually went to the house on Castle Drive and took a look at the bodies in the positions they were found in?
A  Not to my knowledge.
Q  When you saw the bodies, then, for the first time, there was no clothing on the bodies at all, is that correct?
A  That is correct.
Q  There were no wrappings on hands or feet?
A  That is correct.
Q  Now, as a pathologist wouldn't you have preferred that some type of covering be placed over the hands and feet to preserve them from coming into contact with other surfaces?
A  If one were investigating the circumstances of the manner of death, which, as a general pathologist, is not in my territory.
Q  Well, then, the truth of the matter, Dr. Hancock, is that you just weren't thinking about the manner of death when you performed the autopsy, were you?

MR. BLACKBURN:  OBJECTION.

THE COURT:  OVERRULED.

THE WITNESS:  Do I answer?

THE COURT:  Yes.

THE WITNESS:  The Criminal Investigative Division was in the autopsy suite, and like I say we were taking fingernail scrapings, they were there taking fingerprints and this sort of thing; and in divisions of lines of duty that was their--the thing that they had to do.  My job was to basically do the autopsies; and so as far as I was concerned at that time, that procedure was being handled by the CID and the Army.  It was not a part of my duty.

BY MR. SMITH:
Q  Did you get a full history of the circumstances surrounding the death of these people from the CID before you started your autopsy?
A  It would have been verbal, but there were a fair number of people there.  I guess we were informed as to what the situation was.
Q  Were you requested by anyone to take or to assist in the taking of fingerprints or foot-prints from the bodies?
A  I don't recall.  It seems to me that there were some done, but I don't recall personally as-sisting.
Q  Do you recall whether any hair samples were taken from the bodies of the deceased peo-ple?
A  Not to my knowledge.
Q  Were fingernail scrapings taken?
A  I participated directly in that and scraped those.  As my autopsy protocol stated, I gave those to the Criminal Investigative Division agents that were there at that time.
Q  You were unable to determine a more precise time of death because the bodies had been refrigerated, is that correct?
A  That issue has been debated considerably; and back when this occurred, I actually wrote over to Ireland to a forensic pathologist who had basically investigated this in a scientific manner.  I received his article and statement on it at that time, and it was my opinion that one cannot use this to precisely state a time of death, that there are considerable variables that one has to deal with.  The scientific approach to it is not at all fully completed.  It is something that is used, I think, quite often, and the public generally tends to think that one can pinpoint a time of death by taking body temperatures, but this is highly variable on a lot of factors.
Q  I believe you learned from the gentleman in Ireland that the ideal way would be to plot a curve?
A  Well, in--as part of the scientific investigation, one should have multiple temperatures.
Q  And so you would want to take the temperature of a body and then wait a while, and then take it again, and wait a while and take it again; and with the curve you might be able to es-tablish a more precise time of death.  Would that be correct?
A  It would be my professional opinion that one might be more likely to establish the rate of cooling, but it would have only peripheral relevance to the time of death; because one, then, would have to consider, did this person have a temperature of 104 from a viral fever at that point in time, which would change the situation.  What was the temperature in the house, were the windows open, what was the temperature outside--these things would have affect-ed the body temperature in ways that one could not control.
Q  You examined, I believe, and you did examine in these bodies, rigor, to determine or to help you to determine the time of death, did you not?
A  The rigor?
Q  Yes, sir.
A  Yes.
Q  Would you explain to us what that means, please?
A  Rigor is basically whether the body is very limber or very stiff, and the degrees of this stiffness or limberness; and it basically has to do with the biochemical changes in a body after death.  If the body is limber then it becomes stiffer, and then becomes limber again.
It is a qualitative estimation that one uses.
Q  Using any of the techniques that are available in your art, are you able to give a more precise time of death than, say, from some time after midnight until 9:00 o'clock the next morning?
A  I couldn't really do it professionally.  I think, you know, one could speculate on these mat-ters scientifically, but I--as far as the legality of it, I would be hesitant to do so.
Q  Yes, sir.  Dr. Hancock, the human body, as I understand it, contains seams which split open when penetrated by an object such as a knife.  What are those called?  Do you know what they are called?
A  What part of the body would you be referring to?
Q  The skin?  For example, if you cut the skin along the seam, it would not gape open as much as it would if you cut across the grain of the seam; would that be correct?
A  That is a general statement that is used in plastic surgery.  One makes incision lines along  these lines of cleavage, or basically whatever your plastic surgeon refers to those as.
Q  When you cut across the seam, does the wound gape open more?
A  One would expect it to do so; it would depend on whether or not the skin was under ten-sion from--say if the arm were pulling it, or if it was just a flat part in the back.  There are other factors that could relate to it.
Q  When the wound gapes open, it is more difficult for you to tell the size of the instrument that caused the wound, isn't it?
A  That would have to be qualified a little more, I think.  Within what framework?
Q  For example, on the bodies you examined in this case, I take it that some of the wounds were across the seam and gaped open; would that be correct?
A  They were at multiple angles.  You know, as the picture shows, some were at crossways--a lot of different angles in this body.
Q  In examining those wounds, did you have an opportunity to look at any instruments or any weapons and measure those weapons and instruments and then to examine those measure-ments as against the wounds on the bodies?
A  At the time of the autopsy?
Q  Yes, sir.
A  No.
Q  When did you first have an opportunity to look at any instruments?
A  At some point in time when we were taken to Washington, D. C. to present the findings, we saw instruments.  I don't recall exactly what I saw.
Q  You have examined the instruments--that is, photographs of instruments--in court today, didn't you?  You did examine the instruments today?
A  I have seen evidence that has been available.  I presume they were the same.
Q  How many different types of instruments were used by any assailant or assailants in this case in your opinion, Dr. Hancock?
A  Well, again, this would be an approximation.  This would occur for both individuals, but generally stating, there was a blunt object, there was a sharp instrument such as a knife, and there was a pointed instrument--those three instruments.
Q  At least three?
A  At least three.  There is a possibility that the round circular defects could have been made by the point of the instrument that incised deeply, but I would prefer to think it was a sepa-rate item.
Q  You are unable to say, Dr. Hancock, that it was, in fact, these particular instruments that caused the wounds, aren't you?  You cannot say that?
A  I cannot say that these are the specific instruments.
Q  You cannot say how many different instruments were used in this case, can you--that is, by any assailant or assailants?
A  Except in the sense that I've just stated three different types.  There could have been multiple instruments of each of these types.
Q  And it would be pure conjecture on your part to say whether the individuals were prone or standing up at the time they were attacked by any assailant or wounded by any of these in-struments; wouldn't that be correct?  It might be and it might not be?
A  Either/or.
Q  Yes, sir.  It would be pure speculation on your part to say how many people did it, wouldn't it?
A  I would not even speculate.
Q  Well, it would just be absurd to try, wouldn't it?
A  Yes, I have no idea how many.

MR. BLACKBURN:  OBJECTION.

BY MR. SMITH:
Q  Dr. Hancock, have you computed the total number of wounds that Kim and Kris sustained on the occasion in question, as evidenced by your examination?  You have written some fig-ures down on the board?
A  As I said, these are approximations and represent, in my opinion, the major wounds.  In rereading my autopsy protocol on both of these children, I described certain bruises about the elbow and some scrapes and things.  It refreshed my memory that at that time, some of these minor injuries could have been sustained during playing.  What I have placed up here represents what I consider significant major pathological wounds.
Q  One last question, Dr. Hancock.  I noticed that you stated that in your opinion, each child was injured with two instruLments, at least two.  Which two instruments or types of instru-ments, in your opinion, were those which injured Kris?
A  I did not get the last phrase?
Q  Kris, the youngest child?
A  Which two instruments?
Q  Yes?
A  Well, again, I don't know which instruments, but there was a sharp instrument, such as a knife that did the incised stab wounds on the front and back.  These puncture-type wounds which were on the front of the chest were, I presume, made from some pointed, perhaps cir-cular--
Q  (Interposing)  There was no blunt trauma then to the body of Kris, was there?
A  There were other injuries.  There were bruises--minor bruises on her jaw--there was some scraping, I believe, on her shoulder, or perhaps it was Kimberley's.  They were what we call "minor abrasions."  These are blunt injuries.  I would have to look back and refer specifically if one could identify these as perhaps occurring during this time or were these blunt abrasions that occurred during the course of child play.  But she did have other wounds on her body.
Q  Would you be able to say to us then that they were blunt?  All we want to know is wheth-er there were or whether there were not blunt injuries, or blunt trauma, on the body of Kris.
In your opinion, was there blunt trauma to the body of Kris?
A  There were abrasions.  In the context of blunt trauma in this setting, it has a different meaning than what I would refer to.
Q  Do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself based on reasonable medical certainty as to whether that blunt trauma sustained by her was inflicted by the Government's Exhibit 206?
A  I would want to examine the protocol more fully.  I don't say that any injury on her body was of such magnitude that it required that instrument, but whether or not some of the minor things happened, I could not say really.  These were minor, blunt injuries to Kristen.
Q  All right.  Directing your attention to your autopsy performed on the oldest child, Kim.
What two instruments, if you recall, have you indicated were used in the assault upon her body?
A  The major wounds were the incised, knife-like wounds and the blunt trauma--the major blunt trauma.
Q  Did you find any wounds on her body which, in your opinion, were caused by a sharp-pointed instrument such as an ice pick?
A  I would have to review my protocol on that.  There are, like I say, some other minor things that I described on her body, but there were no patterns, no groupings.  If there were, it might have been a very minor, isolated situation.
Q  Do you remember it?
A  I could not say, because I would have to look at the protocol.  As I re-read both of these protocols, I tried to describe everything I saw on these children at the time I did it, because I knew this would be necessary.  On any child of this age, you can find minor lesions and I wouldn't want to specify on those unless I could really re-examine it.  But as far as Kimberley
--the older child--goes, any groupings of puncture-type wounds or any major puncture wounds, I would have to say at the moment that I don't recall any.  If there were minor ones, I would have to review that.
Q  Let me see if I understand what you are saying.  Based on your recollection at this point, without looking at your protocol, you do not recall any injuries to the body of Kris which were caused by an instrument such as an ice pick; would that be correct?
A  Kris?
Q  Kim.  I'm sorry.  Excuse me if I said Kris.  Kim.
A  Not any significant lesions as I recall.
Q  Let me see if I am clear on the weapons or instruments which caused the damage to the body of Kris.  At least based on your recollection at this point, you do not recall observing any major blunt traumas to the body of Kris; would that be correct?
A  Yes; that would be correct considering major--not having any significant permanent injury or having anything to do with cause of death.

MR. SMITH:  All right, Your Honor, may I have just a moment?

(Pause.)

MR. SMITH:  No further questions, Your Honor.

THE COURT:  Is that the one last question that you mentioned earlier?

MR. SMITH:  That was it.  It stretched out a bit.  I apologize.

THE COURT:  Very well.  We were just comforted to know that you did not have two or three in front of you.  Any re-direct examination?

MR. BLACKBURN:  No, sir.

THE COURT:  All right.  Thank you, sir.

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