June 14, 1971: Statement of Captain Ronald H. Harrison
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Note: Translation of the document as I read it to be
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I, Ronald Howard Harrison, WANT TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT UNDER OATH
I first met Doctor, then Captain Jeffrey MacDONALD at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in September or early October 1969. We were both in the same outfit the 3rd Special Forces Group and we met after work at a social gathering of some of the officers assigned to the Group. During our first conversation MacDONALD asked me over to his on post quarters that same evening since a group of his friends were going to get together there, I accepted his invitation and through this and subsequent meetings we became friends. At that time I was a bachelor and had little to do during my off duty hours so at least 2 to 3 times per week I would visit the MacDONALDS at their home. I met his wife Colette and children Kimberly and Kristen. In discussing their over all home life I would like to advise that in my opinion it was very happy home situation. I know of no marital difficulties they had and have no information regarding extra-marital affairs on the part of Doctor MacDONALD or Colette MacDONALD. I never knew them to have an argument or fight in any manner.
During my association with them I never heard of anyone that would want to kill any member of their family and I have no idea who did kill Colette and the girls. Not even that but I know of no one who had any ill will at all regarding the family.
MacDonald never told me of any extra-marital affairs he had nor did Colette.
I have viewed photographs of the piece of wood, knives and the ice pick which have been identified as the murder weapons and I cannot identify any of these items as coming from the MacDONALD residence. The only discussion I recall concerning an ice pick took place I believe on Thanksgiving 1969 at the MacDONALD house. We wanted to break up some ice and Jeff and I and perhaps others were looking for implements to do it with. I believe the ice we had was a package of ice cubes that had frozen solid. There were some of the guests looking in the kitchen for an ice pick and Jeff went outside and I opened my pocket knife and started to use that and then some one produced a screw driver that was used. Jeff returned from outside without the ice pick. This is the only time I recall any interest in an ice pick at their house.
I first heard of the murders while driving from my BOQ to work on the morning of the murders, this was from a radio broadcast. At first I just thought it was terrible thing to happen right there at Fort Bragg, then the next thing I thought about was when I got to work at the morning information somebody said that it was an officer from our group that was involved. They thought that it was right out there near Jeff and I thought I'd check to see they were all right. I went to the 6th Group Dispensary and asked the Sergeant and, Sergeant Violetti if I could use the telephone and then I tried to call the MacDONALD's house. And then I either called
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When I first called the MACDONALD house I couldn't get through. I don't know why, whether the line was busy or something else happened but anyway I couldn't get through. While I was making the call somebody asked me who I was calling and I said Doctor MacDONALD and whoever I was talking to said he was in the hospital and then told me it was his family that had been murdered. I then left and went to the hospital where I was met Colonel Kane, our group commander. He told me that MacDONALD had stated he wanted to see me and I went to MacDONALD's room somewhere in an intensive care ward. I walked to his bed and on my way in I passed Mr. Connolley from CID who was just leaving the room. In the room when I arrived at about 0745-0830, Mrs. MacDONALD, Jeff's mother was there. I had a conversation with MacDONALD which is as follows, to the best of my memory: I asked him how he was doing and he said OK. At the time he was under heavy sedation and the conversation was in bits and pieces. What I remember the most is that he gripped my arm with his hand very, very strongly and said, "Ronnie I couldn't get to her". I recall that he had a guilty feeling that he had not been able to rescue his wife and children from whoever it was that perpetrated the crime. And he said, "They clubbed me" and then he said he was clubbed and that the reason that he couldn't get to Colette in time was that he had been clubbed like this. Then he said something about Kim and Kristy and then he broke down and cried. I sat and he still had my arm. He talked at random and it wasn't too coherent a conversation. He said there was a white female with blond hair, white boots and a floppy hat. And that there were four altogether; that the girl had a candle and as he tried to get up off the couch he was hit and punched. He called them hippies, at that time he used the word hippies. One of them was a Negro and one of them was wearing a field jacket and two were white males and that was all that was said then. I can't recall anything else specifically except that he felt that he failed because he couldn't get to her.
Q: Did you observe any wounds on Captain MacDONALD and how was he dressed?
A: Right. At the time I noticed that he had bruises in the front of his head, his forehead and also lumps on the back of his head. I also noticed numerous pin point wounds on his chest, arms and abdomen. He also had a wound that was a puncture wound that looked like it could have been made by paring knife in a stabbing motion. I believe this was on the left lower abdomen. He also had a tube sticking out of his right chest area, a drainage tube.
Q: Were any other head wounds or the other wounds you've described bleeding?
A: Not the wounds that I've described. The blood had pretty well dried by that time.
Q: What bruises did he have on his hands, ears, neck or eyes?
A: As I recall there were one or two wounds in his neck, pin points of blood that may have been pick marks. I can't remember anything specific about wounds to his eyes, ears or hands, nothing specific.
Q: Did he make any request of you while you were at the hospital?
A: Yes. Jeff asked me to contact a daring special forces character that I had known some years previous and at the time his motive was revenge. He wanted him to come to Fort Bragg for the purpose of revenge on the people that killed his family. And the other thing that I remember was the horn rimmed glasses. He said "Would you get me my horn rimmed glasses?", and I can't remember where the glasses were kept but he did tell me their location at the time.
Q: Did he exhibit signs of grief over the murders?
Q: Was Mrs. MacDONALD in the room the entire time you were there?
A: Most of the time if not all.
Q: Did you get the glasses for him?
A: No sir I didn't. They were retrieved by Captain WILLIAMS, I never got to go into the house.
Q: Did MacDONALD identify his assailants by name or other than the description you've given?
A: No he did not.
Q: Who killed Colette, Kimberly and Kristen MacDONALD?
A: I don't have any idea, I wish I knew.
Q: Are you sure that MacDONALD left the house to look for the ice pick on that occasion you've mentioned and if so how can you be sure?
A: As I recall he went out the back door to look with the barbeque equipment or perhaps with some other cooking utensils that may have been stored in the shed. I didn't see him do anymore than go out the back door and after a suitable length of time when he could have been looking in the shed he returned and by then we had a screw driver we were using. I think it was discussed there in the house, about an ice pick, there were at least three of us looking but as for exactly what was said I couldn't tell you.
Q: What he say when he returned?
A: Again there I can't recall the conversation and we had a screw driver by then and I was chipping at the ice and he said he would do it and then he started to chip away the ice.
Q: Why do you think he left the house specifically to look for an ice pick?
A: I couldn't say unless they had a possible location, there were barbeque forks and (illegible) party implements out there. Perhaps they had thrown a party where they chopped some ice and there was such an implement out there.
Q: Did he or anyone else specifically ask for an ice pick?
A: He said when we were inside the house, because we tried to break the ice or pull it apart and he said "Where's the ice pick?", I remember that was mentioned. And that's when we all split up looking for the ice pick.
Q: Who did he ask for the ice pick?
A: Just in general. I can't recall if Colette answered or not. The ice was on some appliance just to the right as you enter the kitchen. It was crushed ice or cubes that were really frozen solid and I hit it a couple of time with my hand and Jeff said "Where's the ice pick?", he had followed behind me. Colette or Mrs. MacDONALD, Jeff's mother, were looking through the kitchen drawers and I pulled out this Boy Scout type knife and I picked the ice about three or four times and Jeff had left to look outside. Someone then came up with the screw driver and we started using that and Jeff came back into the house.
Q: Where was the ice pick normally kept in the house?
A: I don't know, I never knew that they ever had one except this reference to it that at one time they may have had one.
Q: Will you discuss the incident where a bottle of Cold Duck champagne was consumed or partially consumed in Jeff MacDONALD's hospital room?
A: The day before Jeff's release from the Hospital I was in his room with a number of visitors from out of town including his mother. And I asked Jeff if there was anything that I could do for him and he said "Yes" that he would like a drink of Cold Duck champagne. I said "OK, no problem". I said "well I have to do some other things this afternoon and I'll stop by the liquor store and get some Cold Duck for you.". I went to the liquor store and purchased a bottle of Cold Duck in addition to some other liquor, the other liquor was to be drunk that evening by the MacDONALD family and the KASSAB family and their guests. I took the whole bag of booze and gave it to Mrs. MacDONALD in the waiting room of the hospital. And then I left for some reason and when I came back nobody was in the waiting room they were all in Jeff's room. I went in and they were or had finished the drink of Cold Duck. That's all I remember of the incident and the bottle was just thrown
in the waste basket either empty or partially full. Then as I recall the bottle was later found by somebody and there was a big thing made about it.
Q: Did either Doctor MacDONALD or Colette, at anytime or in any manner express concern for their safety or say that someone was angered with them?
A: Not at anytime.
Q: How did they discipline their children?
A: Verbally from what I saw. I never saw them strike a child with the intent to discipline.
Q: Did either ever indicate to you in any way that they were not satisfied with or were unhappy in their marriage?
A: No in fact, the reverse. Things were indicated to me by their actions that they were happy and Jeff's particular actions at one time-- he was working to get a Shetland pony for Kimberly and Kris. He was very excited about the prospect of getting this pony and he looked hard for one and when he finally found it he spent many evenings building a pen and a little shed for it. And he was very excited, he said "Ron wait until they see this. They will go wild Christmas morning, Kimberly has always wanted a pony" that type of thing. On Christmas morning I was told later by the whole family that he loaded them all in the car and took them down to see the pony. And of course the girls just went wild.
Q: Did you ever see Doctor MacDONALD sawing wood around the house or making any wooden shelves or the pen and shed you mentioned?
A: No sir I never did.
Q: Was Colette involved in any extra-marital activities with you or anyone else?
A: No not with me at all, no sir and not with anyone else that I was aware of and I would have been shocked if she was. She wasn't that kind of person.
Q: Did Colette or Jeff MacDONALD ever express any concern over prowlers in their neighborhood, peeping toms or break ins to their family quarters?
A: No never to me.
Q: Is there anything you want to add or delete from this statement?
A: There's nothing that I'd Like to add except that I don't have any idea who could have done this. The family was an outstanding family and all, I thought very highly of all the members of the family.
Q: While in the MacDONALD residence did you or did you see anyone else using rubber surgical gloves to do dishes or other family chores?
A: No I never did.
Q: Do you have anything else to add or delete from this statement?
A: Not at this time.
END OF STATEMENT