February 9, 1971: Interviews of Robert "Bob" and Vivian "Pep" Stevenson by CID Investigators Peter Kearns, William Ivory, and Colonel Jack Pruett
NOTE: Translation of the document following the scanned pages
Interview of Vivian "Pep" Stevenson by CID Investigators Peter Kearns and William Ivory
Interview of Bob and Pep Stevenson by CID Investigator Peter Kearns and Colonel Jack Pruett
Note: The pages below is a continuation of the interview above just a few hours later. Instead of continuing the page as such, I have listed them as pages 1 thru 16.
Note: Translation of the document as I read it to be
(Spelling, punctuation and grammar preserved)
The following is a transcript of an interview held by CID Agents Peter E. KEARNS, US Army CID Agency and William F. IVORY, 3d. MP Gp (CI) with Mrs. Robert STEVENSON (redacted) on 9 February 1971 at the STEVENSON residence:
Transcript of Mrs. Vivian STEVENSON interview dated 9 February 1971, 1315 hrs.
KEARNS: On Mrs STEVENSON, I have identified myself as Peter KEARNS of the Army CID in Washington, DC, and Mr. IVORY, who is with the CID at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I have pointed out to you the purpose of our interview was to obtain any information you may have that you think may be of aid to us and generally discuss what you know of the family activities of the doctor, Colette and the children. I realize that the incident, of course, brings back very, very tragic and traumatic memories that you probably don't want to refer to but I have to at least ask you certain qualifying questions. Would you permit us to talk to you and interview you without your husband being present?
STEVENSON: So far. (Door closes violently) Wow!
KEARNS: Turn it off. (Ivory turns recorder off)
(IVORY Turns recorder on)
KEARNS: Mrs. Stevenson: I would like to mention that that loud crash was the glass in your front door.
STEVENSON: And we were all sitting here when it occurred.
STEVENSON: Ahh yeah, cover it up right.
KEARNS: However, we will be responsible for replacing it. Also during the interview we are normally required to have a female present when we interview another female. You have indicated that it would be all right to interview you with just Mr. IVORY and I present at this time.
KEARNS: OK. For our information would you just generally state, by the way I' going to talk to your husband, Bob, if he'll let us talk to him this evening when he gets home. And I would like to point out that during our pre-interview discussion you some apprehension about having this on tape. For several reasons that you stated but in any event you also stated but in any event you also indicated that, what if we asked a question that you preferred not to have recorded, you have the right to stop the tape
any time you want. You also have the right as a witness to furnish only that information you want and to stop the interview at any time, so please bear in mind if you prefer to stop the interview just say "that is it", and we will stop and wait until whatever time you want to talk to me. And as you know we are investigating the murders of Colette and the two children. We have not stopped, regardless of what anyone has told you. We have not stopped from the time the time the Article 32 started, which by the way is a grand jury type of legal proceeding as opposed to a trail. The investigation did not stop during the CPT MACDONALD's Article 32 hearing. It did not stop when it was closed, it hasn't stopped.....
STEVENSON: Is that true?
KEARNS: That is absolutely true and it has not stopped one day since then.
STEVENSON: I'm glad.
KEARNS: We are investigating now and we will continue investigating with all the resources we have to find out who is responsible for their deaths. I am no more interested, personally nor a professional criminal investigator, in who did it.
STEVENSON: I don't either.
KEARNS: I just want them identified, I want to get the facts and circumstances to the proper judicial body and let them decide, let our juries decide, but I have the deepest personal commitment now, in addition to professional, in finding out who did it, just for justice's sake, just for Colette's sake and for those kids. You expressed the concern that you were not talked to before.
KEARNS: Mr IVORY has told me that he talked to Mr KASSAB and Mr KASSAB indicated that you had no personal contact with Colette, that this thing was very, very personal because you were a confidant of Colette, perhaps by telephone and letters, etc., and prior to them going to North Carolina and that it would upset you very deeply if, at the time, a year ago, when the murders were so fresh, and by the way they are still fresh in my mind, so that is why we avoided talking to you. At that time there was no particular reason why you shouldn't have been interviewed, except for Mr KASSAB's pointing out this to us. At that time his comments were weighed and honored. He did not say "don't", now don't get me wrong, he didn't say "don't interview her."
STEVENSON: No, I know what Fred said.
KEARNS: He just indicated it wouldn't at that time reveal anything.
STEVENSON: He was very concerned about Bob, because Bob....
KEARNS: But now, in reevaluating everything, everything that was collected as evidence, every statement that was made, we have set out more things
to do, some to the laymen would be ridiculous, well you're not going to find out anything, "why do that, you are just wasting time and money," Well we are not wasting time and money, we will spend time and money, but it won't be wasted... We have got to know more about their activities, I am speaking now of Jeff and Colette, because if an outsider came into this house, we have got to be able to show what the motive was for an outsider, outside of just picking this one single house in a housing area. Somebody must know, if indeed four hippies did it, a little bit more about their connection and it can only come from people that know Colette and Jeff.
KEARNS: I think from what I can learn, is it true that you were more or less a confidant of Colette's?
STEVENSON: Yeah, but not after she got married, so much. We lived together one summer, and I Bob and I lived on Potter Street in the house the kids grew up in, ad Mildred lived in the city, and Colette and Bob and I lived together for a Summer and that Summer, I believe, that she started going back out with Jeff again.
KEARNS: This would have been, when? '63, 64, just before they got married?
STEVENSON: Yeah, this is when they started going together again, because they weren't going together at that time, as matter of fact Colette was dating other people, but she always loved Jeff.
KEARNS: Could you locate this in time though, as to about when?
STEVENSON: My husband could do that but, ah, let me see, it was...
IVORY: What schools were they going to?
STEVENSON: It was after a year of law school, it was, my son was born because Colette took care of Greg all the time, Colette always loved kids.
KEARNS: So this would have been '62, '63?
STEVENSON: Yeah, my son was born in 61 and Greg was small, so it was in '61. In '61 because Greg was a small child.
KEARNS: He was in Princeton then. It would have been his first year in Princeton, maybe?
STEVENSON: Was Colette in college? Colette was going to school.
KEARNS: I am sure he was in Princeton until '64, until he went to Chicago.
STEVENSON: Yeah, but he only went to Princeton for three years.
KEARNS: Three years, right. Well '61, '62, '63, September. Yeah, that is right. It may have been the summer before her freshman year.
STEVENSON: That might be right. Like she was starting Skidmoore in the fall.
KEARNS: Well, in you association with Colette at that time, of course, it was on a daily basis since she was living with you.
KEARNS: And then did she start going back with Jeff?
Stevenson: It was then, it was, I think it was like in '61.
KEARNS: Oh, and from that time.....
STEVENSON: Because, Jeff came over while we were living there, Jeff came over and took Colette out on a date because I remember giving him something to eat in the kitchen. So it was like.....
KEARNS: Did she go with Jeff Exclusively then, until their marriage?
STEVENSON: After she went back with Jeff? Yeah.
KEARNS: There would have been no break in their relationship except for school.
STEVENSON: No, they went together when they were in grade school and then they didn't go together for a while, I guess, it was through high school and then they started back together again, I think they started back together in the eight grade.
KEARNS: Of her former boyfriends and admirers on the male side, did she have any that made periodic contact with her after she and Jeff were going back together?
STEVENSON: Not that I know of because she was very much into Jeff, she was not into anything else, she was, that was just where it was at with her and I know she wouldn't have encouraged anything else because she was just crazy about him. She really loved him because she and I used to sit down, she used to talk about him a lot and ask me if she should start going out with him again. Just kid kind of things and she would talk to me about it and I encouraged her, "yeah, go ahead, start seeing him again," because I knew where she was at. She was crazy about him.
KEARNS: Now, when she went to Skidmoore, how would they date then? Weekends?
STEVENSON: I really have to say I don't know. I don't know much about what went on when she was at Skidmoore. I know they saw each other I guess it was the next summer. That would be '62 and it was right after that they got married, right, they got married in September and so it was that next summer that she and Jeff were together a lot.
KEARNS: How did he take the....
STEVENSON: Dean was crazy about her.
KEARNS: How did he take the break up in their relationship?
STEVENSON: Dean was crazy about her.
KEARNS: How did she tell him about it?
STEVENSON: I don't know.
KEARNS: Did she discuss it with you that "look, I've gotta tell Dean...?
STEVENSON: I don't know. It was probably more subtle than that because she went away to school and I don't think Dean did. It was more of a (word illegible) thing. Colette, I don't think she ever hurt another human beings feelings, she just wasn't into that. I don't think you would go to Dean and lay that on him because she would do it in a more subtle fashion, she was an extraordinarily sensitive person and very much into, you know, because after her father died and that gave both of them a very hard time and they both became very super-sensitive people, that's why Fred ask you not to talk to Bob because, this thing with their father, forget it, that was the end of the world. This fourteen year old kid has this happen and then to have this thing happen to his sister, which is as bizarre as the first thing, it turned him upside down. I am sure this is why he is having a lot of trouble with his job and what not. Now, it is just, you know, he wants this to settle down. I think everybody in the family is waiting for somebody to be apprehended and got something settled about it.
KEARNS: Do you think it would really upset him if we talked to him?
STEVENSON: Bob, no, he is a very up front, strong person. He might feel better having spoken to you than not, because this sort of thing is of concern to him, "well, how come they haven't talked to us?" You know, so, you know, fino.
KEARNS: In their relationship, at this time, I am speaking of Colette and Jeff, did CHAPLAIN, was he someone that you could type as the heart broken suitor, that wore his heart on his lapel after the break? I mean you have indicated that he really was involved with her and like her very much, perhaps even loved her? I don't know.
STEVENSON: I don't know either. Yeah, I could say that that might have happened only was because Dean was the kind of kid that, he wasn't, he wasn't all that intelligent as far as I was concerned, in terms, he just operated on gut emotion, that type of thing. He didn't say, you know, he was just the kind of kid, you know, I did not have any high regard for him as a human being. I didn't dislike him or anything, but he just was not a very deep person as far as I was concerned. He was not that heavy emotionally as far as I was concerned, so I didn't relate to him. I did not relate to Dean.
KEARNS: Well, did he seek you out after the break?
KEARNS: To have you intercede or anything?
STEVENSON: No, because you see, Colette moved and then we moved to Rigo Park. Everybody just moved off the island and (word illegible) sold the house, so it was like the only person who was left on the island now was Helen, Aunt Helen. I really don't know.
KEARNS: Was you relationship with Colette from '61, she lived with you how long?
STEVENSON: That was just that Summer.
KEARNS: Just that Summer?
STEVENSON: Yes, cause Bob and I didn't have a place to live and Aunt Mildred let us have the house.
KEARNS: Did she correspond with you when she went to Skidmoore? How did she keep in touch in touch with you?
KEARNS: I presume you went to her wedding?
KEARNS: So from the period when they got back together until they were married, what was your contact with Colette?
STEVENSON: It was not that much, because Colette and her mother and her aunts were all very close and I was not very close to any of them in terms of what they were doing, so Colette always confided in Helen and Mildred. Really those are the people she confided in, she was very close to her mother, Mildred would know anything that might have happened, because I remember I wanted Mildred to, because I never had a close relationship with my mother and Mildred was into her daughter. So I did not have much contact even in terms of the wedding.
KEARNS: Well, tell us about Colette, Mrs STEVENSON, particularly if you will break it up this way: Her interests and her activities, how you first met her, her interests and activities prior to her marriage and those after her marriage until her tragic death, of course, Could you break it up that way? A general description.
STEVENSON: Yeah, when I met Colette, she was, I was fourteen and Colette was four years younger than me, right? No, Colette was three years younger than me and four years younger than Bob, so she was about eleven years old. She was a kid and so was I. And she was very social, she was well liked, she had good friends in pajama parties and that kind of thing. She was a very social being, mostly with girls, a lot of girlfriends kind of thing, and Colette was always into babies, she was always into getting married and having babies and I don't think that her interests really went much further then that. Like the thing of going to Skidmoore and what not, her mother wanted her to go to Skidmoore and the money was there and what not but Colette would have been very happy
to just get married and have babies. And that was I remember, that when we lived with her she was crazy about Greg and she would take care of Greg and she loved Greg and she just always into babies and always into being marriage and she was never a competitor In terms of feminine (word illegible) and what not. She just wanted to be with her man and that is, from everything I know of her that was great that was great with her kids, she was really good to the kids. like she was studying a child psychology course down there, I studied child psych courses and I can't tell you how long and what not. We were both, like Colette and I did not have that much contact with in terms of letters and what not, but we had bonds because we were very much alike. I was only into children and I loved her brother since I was fourteen and she and I just had the same parallel interests in terms of that. Colette wanted a big family, she wanted lots of babies. She had a very tough time having them and that cut it back. She was very good with me when I had my sections, she felt we had a close relationship. It was just kind of a support kind of a thing because we operated on the same level. That was most of our relationship really.
KEARNS: Did she have any, prior to her going to North Carolina, did she confide in you any personal problems, things that were bothering her, that nothing that she couldn't handle, but things that she wanted....
STEVENSON: She wasn't like that, she wouldn't do that, she never would do that. Colette was the kind of person that would always make everything seem very right because she would never impose a problem or unhappiness that would reflect on Jeff or that would reflect on their marriage and she would do everything to make sure that everybody saw that they had a very good relationship. So that is the way she operated, she didn't confide in terms of things like that. I don't even know if she did with her mother because she was always very protective of Jeff and their private relationship and what not.
KEARNS: Is this true of her after she got to North Carolina?
STEVENSON: I had no contact with her. I saw her, last time, well, that was before she moved to Carolina, I don't think I saw Colette after she move to Carolina. I never saw her house. The last real contact I had with her was before they moved when Jeff got this thing saying he had to go into the service the day he graduated from Med School and I was on the phone with her a few days because she was very upset.
KEARNS: What made her upset?
STEVENSON: That Jeff was going to have to go to Vietnam, that he was going to have to go away and that he did not have time to do anything that a guy out of doctor school except go into the service.
KEARNS: Where did Jeff intern?
KEARNS: Did you have contact with them then?
STEVENSON: She came to my house at Christmas time while he was interning at Columbia, he was working. I had the family to my house at Christmas and then I saw her once or twice at Mildred's. We would go out there with the kids. I did not even see Jeff, because Jeff was always working and then Colette would go and be with her parents and what not, in order not to be alone because he worked there so many hours all the time.
KEARNS: Then Jeff went into the service and I guess he first went to Texas then?
STEVENSON: Yeah, right.
KEARNS: What did Colette do during this period, did you see her then?
STEVENSON: That is when I talked to her on the phone a lot. But now, because you know, she was upset and she did not know what she was going to do, whether she was going to move out f the house in New Jersey and go out and live with Mildred or take an apartment or maybe she would live in a little house next to the MACDONALD's and everything was all up in the air and she did not know what was going to happen and then Jeff called from Texas and said he had enlisted in the Green Berets so he did not have to go to Vietnam and they left together and move to Fort Bragg.
KEARNS: How did she take this move?
STEVENSON: Well, I don't think she was too thrilled about the Green Berets. She was not into anything like, I was not, myself and she knew she could talk to me about it, because I an anti-any kind of violence and was and that not, and she now that and that she discussed with me because she knew that is where I was and she felt that way also. She was very antiwar, the Green Berets and the connotation and what not.
KEARNS: Did you learn of his training then, his Military training now after he got down there, and in to do with the green Berets?
STEVENSON: Did I know what he did?
KEARNS: Did you know he was a paratrooper, that he jumped out of planes and things like that?
STEVENSON: He did?
KEARNS: He didn't discuss it with her? Well, I was just interested because usually it is a pretty big thing in military life. And if, ....
STEVENSON: Well, she said she had it good. She said she had it good, she had a nice house house, Mildred was fixing it up for her and everybody had a bedroom and she was going to make another baby and the sun shined a lot, and the kids had a pony and it was the nicest thing that they had done together; and it was the first break in terms of normalcy, God bless her. That was what she told me. Because I knew in New Jersey, she was not in a great place and then Chicago, and Chicago to begin with is the windy city and this kind of thing. So this was her like her first time....that she
came across with.
IVORY: First chance to settle down?
STEVENSON: Yeah, that she came across with.
KEARNS: We'll wait for you.
STEVENSON: Ohhhh....My foot went to sleep!
(Mrs STEVENSON answers the phone and tells KEARNS her husband wants to speak with him)
KEARNS: Yes, This is Peter KEARNS from the Army CID in Washington. We stopped by to interview your wife and discuss certain aspects of our interview with your wife.. She said you were out and you were going to be home and we explained that we would like to talk to you also but we could wait until you got home and then come back. (Mr STEVENSON: asks what (word illegible) reason is for the interview.) Yes sir. Well, I am here as an investigator and my only reason for here is as a criminal investigator to obtain help and assistance, information, observations, suggestions. This is the whole purpose and my job is to find out who is responsible. I am not here regardless of any activities I have read in the newspaper, I was in Korea when this took place and I have only been working on it since November and I might say almost every single day. So that's why my, I am here to get your help, pure and simple. Yes sir. what we are doing now? We told your wife that we would wait until you arrived or at one point in the interview if she preferred, just stop and wait until you arrived; that she had this prerogative. Alright. OK. We will do that. OK. You're welcome, sir. Yes sir. Just a minute. (KEARNS to Mrs STEVENSON) He prefers we wait. He wants to talk to you. (Mrs STEVENSON returns to phone to talk to husband.)
STEVENSON: He said yeah. If it is not bothering me, anything that is going down, that isn't bothering me, to, ah, to....
KEARNS: To continue?
KEARNS: Would you like to do that?
STEVENSON: Nothing is happening, it's OK, he'll be home at seven.
KEARNS: But he did indicate to you to just go ahead if it was alright with you? Is that what he said?
KEARNS: Because I want to respect, you know, your wishes and his.
He is the man of course, with our Lib movement we may not be wearing the pants very much longer. But we will respect his wishes. He did indicate that as long as you felt comfortable, I imagine to go ahead and talk. (Mrs STEVENSON nodded her head affirmatively) OK, fine. Well, it will save me a lot of time, probably, and your time. As I recall before the phone call, I did not mention the broken window by the way....
STEVENSON: I didn't either.
KEARNS: But well get that thing done.
KEARNS: So how did Colette like Chicago, outside the money problems all the young interns have?
STEVENSON: Well, .......
KEARNS: Did she have any particular problems that she discussed with you?
STEVENSON: No. I had very little contact with her when she was in Chicago, as I said her contact was mostly with her mother and I had very little contact with her mother.
KEARNS: Prior to last February what was you contact during the year in North Carolina? Did you talk to her on the phone, send Birthday cards, or Christmas Cards or letters?
STEVENSON: I got a Christmas Card from her. Mildred went down there Christmas and Mildred stopped in and saw us on the way back, so I did not see them. I got a card from her, and she was very happy and she was making a baby and it was just a very up kind of a card and that was all. I really didn't have much contact with her.
KEARNS: What was her general frame of mind as best you know until the tragedy?
STEVENSON: Up. She was happy and they wanted to have a farm and that pony was the first thing toward that farm. She was excited that Jeff surprised everybody with a pony and it apparently surprised Colette too and that was the first piece of their farm. Mildred said that when she came back that she was very happy and that she was so pleased with her daughter and how Colette was cooking and, you know, cleaning house and that she seemed very happy.
KEARNS: Did she have any particular friends that you know of in North Carolina? Did she ever mention any...
STEVENSON: No. I don't know.
KEARNS: Ever mention any prior classmates that were down that she saw or talked to?
KEARNS: No family members residing down there?
STEVENSON: No, cause her family is very small. I don't know how Jeff's is, but her family is very small.
KEARNS: Besides you, Mrs STEVENSON, and of course, her mother and Mrs. MACDONALD, was there any other female, now I am speaking of in particular, close friend or periodic that was confident, either...
STEVENSON: The girl in, out in Patchoque....Brown, Bonnie Brown was, ah I think was probably was closer like that than anybody else. Bonnie Brown was a close confidant and what not. They were kids, and Bonnie gave her a shower, that I went to, that was for a baby. I think that was a baby shower.
KEARNS: Did Bonnie visit her in North Carolina?
STEVENSON: I don't know.
KEARNS: Did you yourself, have contact with Bonnie?
STEVENSON: Uh-hh-uh-uh, Bonnie and I had nothing in common, unless she happened to be around or at the shower that Bonnie gave Colette and then Colette was at Bonnie's wedding, you know, Bonnie, I think was, what I know of her, in terms of her having a family.
KEARNS: What about enemies?
STEVENSON: I don't think she had any. I can't see that that thing, you know, PIG written on the wall, I couldn't see that that would be done to Colette, because she didn't make enemies, she was not that kind of a person. She was just smiling and happy and up and if something bothered her she kept it to herself. That is the kind of person she is, she was always Bob is too that way, both of the kids are very much alike, after their father died they just started keeping things like that inside and then Bob, very closed mouth and Colette was like that too and I knew, and so I knew another thing. I knew where Colette was at, the two of them together are very much alike in terms of where they are at emotionally, and they have always been people to hide the bad things and show a good head and a smile and this kind of thing and Bob was like that also.
KEARNS: I would presume that with a person like this they still need an escape valve and they need a confidant and they have to discuss problems. Obviously, if she was close to her mother she discussed them with her. I know if I was close to one of my parents I would, but usually I was closer to one of my sisters or my brother.
STEVENSON: Yeah. But Colette and Bob while being close did not have a kind of relationship where they talked back and forth because they both found it very difficult to express their emotions. Both of them, and they loved each other and Colette was crazy about Bob and Bob was crazy about Colette. But verbally they would, like it they sat down and discussed, I remember one time they sat down and discussed, you know, their father's death and they both got very upset and there was too much emotion and it was too much of a hassle to remember all the
bad times and they would stop it. Shut it down and drink coffee and that is the was they did it. It was Mildred, my mother-in-law, is that way, and my mother-in-law was that way with Stevey and she is that way with Colette. She doesn't talk to anybody, she doesn't see anybody, doesn't talk to anybody about it and this the way the whole family is, emotionally. They stay very much to themselves.
KEARNS: Do you know anybody that, you have indicated that you know of no enemies that Colette may have had?
STEVENSON: No. I wouldn't. No.
KEARNS: How about Jeff, how about Doctor MACDONALD?
STEVENSON: You see, I really wouldn't know because I did not no any of their friends or anything of that nature.
KEARNS: How about other members of his family, did they have enemies?
STEVENSON: I don't know. We did not have much contact with the MACDONALD's at all.
KEARNS: Do you know the other members of his family? Do you....
STEVENSON: I know Jay, I know Mrs MACDONALD and I know Mac before he died, and July, cause Colette was happy to, the house was always full of people, the MACDONALD's house, there doors were always open, and there was always six people coming in the front door and four people going out the back door, all the time and Colette was very excited about this, being with a family and lots of people because they did not have that and so she was very excited about it and she spent a lot of time over there at the MACDONALD's. We went over there, you, a few times, they would have, into parties and holidays were a big thing in that house and what not, and she liked to be there.
KEARNS: How would they handle, from your experiences or any personal knowledge, that you have, how would they handle a personal family problem, together, would they attack it together?
STEVENSON: Colette and Jeff?
KEARNS: All the MACDONALD's, Colette included.
STEVENSON: All the MACDONALD's. Yeah, yeah.
KEARNS: They would talk it out, where you have indicated Colette and your husband would handle it their own way and not discuss it....
STEVENSON: The MACDONALD family was interested in around the table kind of things and it was open, the discussions, yes. Which is another thing she liked about it. It was different to her and Mrs MACDONALD, Mr MACDONALD was a big rapper, oh, I loved him. He would sit around and bull shit, you know, and she liked this and she liked him. Mac was a nice kind of a guy and it was just a lot of things to her and that she loved him and she liked him.
KEARNS: Can you recall in any connection that you had with Jeff and Colette, anything when they had gone out together, say, for a pizza and beer, to a party, or a wedding, had they had any altercation with anybody else at all, any type of argument or fight, where you learned that "gee, went to their wedding and some guy tried to put the make on me and Jeff got angry", or some guy got drunk and knocked over a table, anything like this?
STEVENSON: No, because Jeff was everybody's friend and Colette was always smiling and they were no the kind of people that run into altercation and whatnot. I would be more likely to have an altercation than Colette would, because I don't put on a happy face as much an I open my big mouth and the truth comes out, you know, and I never, I am very different than Bob and Colette, I have a big mouth and that is what keeps me going, I just get everything up and out. You know, I was an enigma to them because they couldn't believe how, and a lot of times I would shut both of them down because I was very afronting and very talky about things like that and if they got upset about something they would just, would not talk about it and that is just the way they ended things. Even at their wedding, and everything, Jeff was the kind of guy that had people around him and lots of buddies and so on and so on and Colette accepted that and she was that way too, but I don't know that she had a confidential relationship with people. Maybe she did, maybe she just couldn't talk to me, maybe I, maybe she talked to other people more...
KEARNS: Did she write you?
STEVENSON: Yeah, a couple of times but her letters were about the good things and you know, always about the good things you know, things for a farm, that is all you ever heard from her. That's the truth. You never heard, it didn't make any difference, that is what she would relate to people, always that things were good.
IVORY: Did she ever mention being hassled by an outside source?
STEVENSON: No. No, none.
KEARNS: What was her attitude, that you can recall, towards those people that are generally described as hippies, by that, I don't mean the regular mode of dress by our younger adults, I am not talking about long hair, I am talking about acid heads and......
STEVENSON: Jeff was very uptight about hippies from what I could see. Down there he said he was treating people on drugs and what not, but Jeff was very straight, he didn't drink, he didn't smoke, Colette smoked, he stopped Colette smoking. Colette was never a drinker and neither of them would consider drugs and I am sure they didn't weren't into drug kind of people. I mean she always felt that she always found me as a hippy because of my dress, Colette dressed very straight. Colette always wore little shirts buttoned up to the top button done up and a straight skirt, she would wear stockings, which which I don't, you know, do that so she always though that I was very flamboyant in terms of the way I dressed and to me she was very straight and stable. She you know, the (word illegible) me like, but it didn't
effect her relationship, she didn't think that I was crazy, she didn't think that I was grubby or things like that
KEARNS: That is what I was going to say, that it was possible then that they could have acquaintance....
STEVENSON: Yea, well, she didn't think that I was grubby because I looked this way. She didn't have that kind of prejudices, because I would have seen it, in her relationship with me. It didn't come across at all. Not even with my mother in law now, you know, who is very anti-hippie and what not, you know, when I went out there the other day, you know, I had on this dress and my usual no underwear and what not, you know, and they accepted that because they know that I am not, I just am not out to prove anything and what not, and they have accepted that, you know, so that that prejudices didn't exitst. But...
KEARNS: Well, .....
STEVENSON: I am pretty sure there was prejudice in terms of hippies in general.
KEARNS: Did they have any particular friends in North Carolina that you know of?
STEVENSON: I don't know.
KEARNS: Any house guests? Did she ever write and say, "Well, I have some friends that you would like," considering that she put you at the other not the other end of the spectrum, but at least a little bit out of her area of connection?
STEVENSON: No, because you see, she knew that emotionally she and I were very much the same, just expressed ourselves differently, with me, just like me being a talker, I express myself in the way I dress, COLETTE didn't express herself as easily. So in a lot of areas like that, you know, she would say, "yeah, but I wouldn't look good in that", "What do you mean, you wouldn't look good in that, put it on," "Well its not my thing, " but that was the extent of it.
KEARNS: Did she visit him when he was in TEXAS, that you know of?
STEVENSON: Not that I know of.
KEARNS: While he was down there at school?
STEVENSON: No, I don't remember.
KEARNS: She went to PUERTO RICO with though, didn't she, didn't they get a chance to go to PUERTO RICO?
STEVENSON: They did go away. I think they were going to NASSAU or something. I remember COLETTE, yes, I saw COLETTE before they went. They said they were going on a vacation, yes.
KEARNS: Was she excited about this?
STEVENSON: Oh sure, sure. But she didn't discuss it with us that much, because BOB and I never had a vacation.
STEVENSON: So she never made a big thing. I asked her about going on the vacation and what not, but she never talked about it that much because BOB has never had a vacation and BOB is always breaking his ass and he never got to go off anyplace. So she wouldn't want to get BOB uptight by saying, "I have something you don't." So again it was just kept down.
KEARNS: Did she discuss it with you when she came back?
STEVENSON: No, I don't think I saw her when she came back.
KEARNS: Did he ever have, in your knowledge, a problem while at PRINCETON or NORTHWESTERN or COLUMBIA, wherein he had to be a witness in a police proceeding against someone to set forth detals in maybe a motor-vehicle accident that He was involved in?
STEVENSON: No. Not that I know of.
KEARNS: Something that could be totally innocuous perhaps?
STEVENSON: No. No. I don't know.
STEVENSON: I don't know!
KEARNS: No legal...
STEVENSON: I don't know, it might have happened, but I don't know.
KEARNS: No legal, no litigations in civil courts or anything like this that you are aware of. "He gotta go testify because our landlord," or such and such, any thing?
STEVENSON: No, they had their clothes stolen once.
Kearns: Waht kind of car did they have BILL?
STEVENSON: I think they had a CHEVY.
IVORY: A white CHEVY.
STEVENSON: That was the one down there, they had another one, I though, did they have a station wagon?
KEARNS: At that time I don't know what they had.
STEVENSON: I don't either, I don't even know. I know they had a tiny car whin they got married. I know married, you know, they were not? old cars. I don't know. I know they had a lot of their clothes cleaned out. They had their car stolen, not their car stolen, they had their clothes cleaned out.
IVORY: You say the car was, and their clothes were..
STEVENSON: Right, right, yeah. They had all their clothes in the car. I think they were coming back from chicago to visit mildred or something, coming back for the HOLIDAYS. They had their HOLIDAY clothes, they had a lot of good things with them, that's what happened and their car was cleaned out.
KEARNS: How much of a loss was it? do you recall?
STEVENSON: It was considerable, I thought, because a lot of it was MILDRED's and out of the store MILDRED had, COLETTE had nice clothes and MILDRED gave her everything in terms, of you now, a leather coat, here and there and there, so I would assume, cause COLETTE had a lot of clothes. She always had a lot of clothes.
KEARNS: From your recollection, this was when he had finished NORTHWESTERN, not just the christmas trip home, it was when he had finished and was coming back to his residency?
STEVENSON: No. I though they were just, coming for vacation.
KEARNS: Winter or summer?
STEVENSON: Winter time and it was just, you know, it happened between here and there, and it was, I don't think it was an incident, that, you know, it happened in front of their apartment or anything. I don't remember the detals about it. but it wasn't anything, that they saw as HO, HO, HO, somebody you know wiped them out. It was just one of those things.
KEARNS: Lets go back to the hippies again and it appeared from what you said that there was an abence of contact with true hippies.
STEVENSON: Yeah, yes, I would say.
KEARNS: Or even young adults that would dress as we think of hippies.
STEVENSON: Yes, yes, because you surround.
KEARNS: Outside of his professional contact with them.
STEVENSON: Yeah, because you surround people, you surround yourself with people, that are most like you and they weren't like that at all! They were just very straight very clean cut, and could go any place at any time and nobody would ever, ever give them a sideward glance in any fashion. No way.
KEARNS: How did they personally handle arguments.
STEVENSON: I don't know. I don't know. I couldn't think that there would be that many of them. For one reason, because of the way COLETTE was, I mean you don't argue with BOB, just forget it, I'm not going to talk about it, that's all, and that's the way COLETTE was and I don't imagine COLETTE and JEFF really argued because, I never argued with COLETTE, you know, she just, I don't want to discuss it, it's a hassle.
KEARNS: Did you ever see her angry?
STEVENSON: Yeah, sure I have, but she wasn't, she would be hurt more, she was easily hurt, she would be hurt rather than angry.
STEVENSON: Somebody said something to her, to cut her, as opposed to coming back in a slandering fashion or something, you know, she would feel hurt and she would withdraw and be cheerful and back out, of the thing but she was never a pot thrower or anything.
KEARNS: Right! From talking to relatives and friends, I get the picture that, similar to what you have described, but COLETTE was a healthy young woman, vigorous too, although she was, you know a you know closed type and everything.
KEARNS: How would she react to a physical attack, do you think? a slap in the face?
STEVENSON: I think that a physical attack would probably, how can I say, I should think that it would probably be traumatic for her. Like MILDRED said there were
scissors near her bed in the bedroom and a sewing basket. She had a sewing basket because MILDRED was, you know, there was a pair of shears in the bedroom, she never went for them, you know, I think she would become very hassled and very frightened and up tight, because their father, their father died a horrible death, this was a great bit of violence.
KEARNS: How did he die?
STEVENSON: He committed suicide.
KEARNS: Yes, but I mean specifically?
STEVENSON: He hung himself, and BOB found him, I don't know if COLETTE saw him or not, I know BOB did and this was great violence and so violence, I mean, that's like her being. She was very anti-violence. In my house, you know, I was brought up with a certain amount of violence, not violence in terms of you know like loud voices and this kind of getting things out of the way and it shut me down, I can't stand violence, terrible and I think the same thing happened to COLETTE and BOB. This thing with their father was violent. I met them a month after it happened. I think COLETTE would be uptight about physical violence.
KEARNS: She would not strike back at her attackers?
STEVENSON: I don't know, I don't know.
KEARNS: You have never seen her in a situation like this then?
STEVENSON: UH-HUH. I don't know, somebody like that might be so GOD-DAMNED scare that they might come back violent as all hell. Now me, if something like that happened, I have said to BOB, I don't know if I could possibly defend myself. I would so frightened but since this thing has happened I, think I would probably be pretty mean. Yeah, I can't who knows how you are going to react?
KEARNS: Yes, I realize it is a supposition. I was trying to see if there was an incident where she, even when she was, back when she was in school, where you saw her in an argument or a fight to see how she would react.
STEVENSON: Nobody ever, there were no fights at her, no arguments in her house, She was never struck, she was not disciplined by freddy, she was not disciplined by MILDRED, you know, she didn't have anything of that nature in her life. Everybody was very protective of her. COLETTE was a very protected child. That's, you know, like, her relationship with her mother was, you know, a real mother and daughter kind of thing, because MILDRED was very protective of Colette and they shieled her from all kinds of things like that.
KEARNS: Did they ever visit the village, JEFF and COLETTE?
STEVENSON: We all, you know, would go in.
KEARNS: By visit the village, I don't mean an apartment, I mean, you know go down to the clubs.
STEVENSON: Well, we went with them, with JEFF and COLETTE down there.
KEARNS: Did they know any village people that we classify as,
STEVENSON: No, because we would go down there with them and she got a ring from a place that, we took her to a guy that made a ring, apparently it is a ring that was missing, that JEFF had made for her down there, and JEFF and BOB and I bought that painting over the piano in the village, you know, it's just a screwy thing, we emptied out COLETTE's piggy bank and BOB and COLETTE got very excited about it and we went down there and bought it with pennies, but we had no friend kind of relationship, you know, it was just nobody that we knew except this, you know, BOB and I knew the jeweler, BERNIE, who doesn't you know, moved out a hundred years ago, but other than that, we didn't know anybody down there and I don't know that.
KEARNS: Is that one of the rings that doctor MACDONALD is indicating is missing?
STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah.
KEARNS: What type of a ring is that?
STEVENSON: It was hand made, it had a little, what did he call it now? It looked like a star sapphire, but it was pink, like a pink stone, a pink thing and it was shaped, so it was an unusual ring like, and it came down in a "V" and had the stone here and BERNIE made it up for her. BERNIE had made a ring for BOB down there.
KEARNS: What kind of metal was it, do you know, white gold, gold?
STEVENSON: It is probably gold, UH?
KEARNS: Was it white.
STEVENSON: No, yellow gold.
KEARNS: Yellow gold. Was the "V" descriptive in a heart shape, could it also be heart shaped? BOB would probably know more about it, HUH?
STEVENSON: Well, we were both there and picked the whole thing out and everything. It's different because the stone was offset. I didn't come around in a ring and have a stone here, the stone was down here some place and AH.
KEARNS: Did you say your husband has one like it?
STEVENSON: No, no, BOB had a ring made up at the same place that COLETTE had the ring made up. and it was lie the only person that BOB and COLETTE, or I, knew in the VILLAGE, he was a young kid.
KEARNS: This, was BERNIE, BERNIE, what is his last name?
STEVENSON: I don't know. He moved to CONNECTICUT. He moved before MILDRED moved out of the village.
KEARNS: Where was the shop located, in the village? Do you know the address, or what was next door to it, or in the general area of it?
STEVENSON: NO, NO.
KEARNS: Was he in business with anyone else?
STEVENSON: No, and moved to CONNECTICUT to be in business by himself again.
KEARNS: BERNIE's little ring shop?
STEVENSON: BERNIE's little ring shop??
KEARNS: What was the name of it, do you know?
STEVENSON: I don't think it had a name. BOB could probably tell you what street it was on and what not.
KEARNS: How were his prices, high?
STEVENSON: No, we wouldn't have been there.
KEARNS: What did he charge for BOB's ring?
STEVENSON: I don't remember. I have no idea, I have no idea.
KEARNS: 150, 200 dollars?
STEVENSON: No, not 150, not expensive.
KEARNS: Did you know him well, is that why you got the cut price on the rings?
STEVENSON: No, it was one of those places that we stopped in and he was a likeable kind of guy and talked easily and you know, like that, nothing.
KEARNS: It wasn't extravagant? It was something they could handle, 50, 75, dollars.
STEVENSON: OH no. Sure. BERNIE had you know, hand made stuff that made it different and it was still something the two of them could afford and nobody had any money. So it was probably, you know, 50 dollar type of rings I am sure.
KEARNS: Did he make it the way JEFF and COLETTE wanted it or did BERNIE suggest something or did they talk about ti and then he made it up. He made it up maybe we can find a drawing some place, do you know.
STEVENSON: Well, you still want that ring there are two rings that are missing?
KEARNS: That's what he said.
STEVENSON: Well, I can show you what the other ring looks like.
KEARNS: Could you?
KEARNS: Yeah, very interested, yeah. If we have got intruders and they took the rings.
STEVENSON: Sure I have this ring.
KEARNS: Is that the one you saw?
KEARNS: Well she said exactly. Is the one you saw exactly or something.
IVORY: I don't remember. It was, if it's not it is real close.
STEVENSON: Where did you see that ring?
KEARNS: Well in the inventory, there was a ring similar to this, but, of course, she had a lot of jewelry, a lot of costume jewelry and...
STEVENSON: COLETTE wasn't into jewelry.
KEARNS: I know.
STEVENSON: So, like COLETTE had that ring and the ring that BERNIE made for her, which still wasn't an expensive ring, that ring which is still not an expensive ring, her wedding band and COLETTE wasn't into jewelry.
KEARNS: How do you know that this is identical...
STEVENSON: Because HELEN took it from me to have it made up for COLETTE, THAT WAS BOB's grandmother's ring and BOB's grandmother was crazy about me and when she died HELEN gave that to BOB AND BOB gave it to me for VALENTINE's DAY. Then HELEN thought that maybe, COLETTE would be uptight because I got granny's ring, so she took the ring back from me and took it to the jewelry store where it was left for the amount of time that they needed to take to copy it and I got the ring back and COLETTE GOT HERS AND COLETTE's ring was more diamond looking, more shiny, more of a diamond, heart type looking thing, where that is, you see more of the gold. COETTE's was shinier.
KEARNS: That would cause the difference in..
STEVENSON: Yes, yes. COLETTE's ring had a shinier, more of a diamond heart type look than that does, because that is old, but they made it up just like it.
KEARNS: Was hers set in diamonds and gold?
IVORY: Do you know what the carat weight might have been?
STEVENSON: No, possibly the same as that. HELEN could tell you because HELEN had it made up from other jewelry, an earring or something, I don't know.
IVORY: Who is HELEN? Is that MRS MACDONALD?
STEVENSON: No. Helen is BOB's Aunt, MILDRED's sister.
KEARNS: What is her last name?
KEARNS: MADISON. Where does she live?
STEVENSON: Where does he live? Oh, if you don't know where she lives, I am sure it is because they don't want you to know where she lives.
IVORY: We just never explored it.
KEARNS: Well, we'll find her.
STEVENSON: Well, ah, you know, it's that, you know. HELEN's not hard to find, HELEN. THIS thing hit HELEN at least as bad as it hit MILDRED.
KEARNS: Well, MRS STEVENSON, here is our point. It happened a year ago.
STEVENSON: Ask FREDDY where she lives!
KEARNS: Yeah, yeah, you know, what I am getting at is that she can be found, right? I mean, she isn't out of the country, she.
STEVENSON: No, no, no, no, don't be silly. It's just that HELEN, I don't think that you would talk to HELEN about this five years from now. I really don't.
KEARNS: OH, I see, What you are getting at.
STEVENSON: I don't think that HELEN is any, is that much less hysterical now, than that day.
KEARNS: OH, I see.
STEVENSON: HELEN is just wiped out by it and that is why I am sure that they are keeping HELEN to herself. HELEN's whole life is the kids. She adored the children she didn't have have any children and she was crazy about COLETTE and BOB. And HELEN also was very good to me and she you know and she gave me this ring. I loved their grandmother.
KEARNS: Would it be possible for you to draw a picture of the other ring, the one that BERNIE made?
STEVENSON: OH, I am trying to remember it now.
KEARNS: PROBABLY BOB, your husband would know, huh, a little better?
STEVENSON: Maybe the two of us could get together but it just, it seems to me that it, like, it came down into a "V" and the stone was at the end of the "V" I know COLETTE wore this ring a lot though because, you know, I remember, I saw her, she had it on, you know, I wore mine as a pinky ring and she was thinking of getting hers made into a pinky ring and you know, she liked it a lot.
KEARNS: These are the two rings that are missing, when he got his full inventory back. It would have been the diamond shaped one and which is actually, most probably from your knowledge of it, a gold.
KEARNS: A yellow gold replica of the one you have with.
STEVENSON: Yep, with small stones.
KEARNS: With small stones.
STEVENSON: Like this, you know.
KEARNS: And shinier.
STEVENSON: Nothing expensive. Un-huh, but COLETTE's ran more into, where my mine, when you look at the ring you can see that it's a gold design with stones set in it, COLETTE's just looked more like a shiny heart, you could se the diamonds more or something. I don't think that the diamonds were bigger. I don't think they were, it was just newer.
KEARNS: UH-HUH. Did she wear the other ring frequently?
STEVENSON: I don't know. I know she always used to. But then I don't know that. But it, that was a hip kind of a ring in terms of somebody going to swipe that ring. I could see somebody, who goes into that apartment, a girl who was going to take some jewelry. I could see a girl taking that ring. It was a hip kind of ring. It was, like you see a lot of them now, but COLETTE had it, you know, back then, it was unusual, that was all. It wasn't expensive, that is something that somebody would see.
KEARNS: I was wondering, of course, you have never been interviewed before, regarding this and I was just wondering, when you first heard that the ARMY had planned to hold a hearing and read JEFF charges that he was suspected of the murders of his wife and children, what was your reaction? Had you prior to that given any thought to the possibility that an altercation took place which led to the deaths by JEFF?
STEVENSON: No, no. I don't, I don't want to get into anything like that, you know, it's just you know, FREDDY and MILDRED, the way we found out about ti was just ridiculous. FREDDY called us up at seven o'clock in the morning and said that they are going down to FORT BRAGG and they won't tell us why, but something has happened. So, you know, I figure, well, they, you know, if COLETTE, they didn't say that JEFF had called or who had called, so I think, you, know, if COLETTE, the called up and said something happened and so and so and so, she would definitely call her parents and you know, maybe something was wrong with the baby or something, and FREDDY and MILDRED would go down there immediately and then BOB's cousin called us up and said he had heard this freaky thing on the radio, could it possibly be, because, you know, the name macthed and BOB said immediately, "yes, yes, that is what happened". No, I didn't believe it and I got, I turned on the radio and you know, no way how could that have happened and then MILDRED and FREDDY called us up and, you know, said,
you know, right. And they immediately, right from the outset were very much you know, never down on JEFF for a second, not for one stroke, and this is the whole attitude of the family and then when FREDDY called us up and said that JEFF had been charged, I found out from FREDDY, you know, and FREDDY was very upset and beside himself, you know and schocked and because they never doubted JEFF for a minute, ever, And BOB stayed away from it, he just backed away from it. He, he, was trying to make a living in terms of looking for a job and what not and you know, this whole hassle came down. and then these guys asked him to go into a company and start a new company, which is what he did, when we came back. It was like in march, I guess. But BOB just withdrew from it, he didn't want to know the details, he wants to know nothing about the report, nobody has told him about the report, I haven't told BOB. He does not know a lot of the things about the deaths and he does not want to know and he knows I know and that's OK. He said I was stupid to let his mother tell me because that is just the way it is. If we are going to stay together as a family, somethings are just to tough to handle so we have just, and I have never, ever been into gossiping, what happened now and what not, so I have never called for reports and whenever I heard, I didn't see MILDRED AT ALL because MILDRED couldn't handle seeing my daughter and MILDRED has only seen my daughter twice and it was THANKSGIVING and the other day when I was out there. So, you know, the contact was just cut off and our calls and what not would be back and forth through FREDDY.
KEARNS: Well, usually MRS STEVENSON, when a tragic incident like this happens it receives so much national publicity, it is just that, international publicity. I was out of the country when this took place and knew...
STEVENSON: It didn't have any at all.
Kearns: Oh yes it did.
STEVENSON: It came and it went. Now I never had a newspaper it the house because my kids were, it was like, it was so short lived. I mean when you consider the publicity about the, you know, the TATE thing and everything, but to me i acquaint the two, with the exception of the fact that somebody bothered to butcher two children, I forget about it, to me that's worse. I think that, but I was I think that like when they said JEFF was exonerated, that everybody just said that the case was solved, really, I think that everybody feels this way,
KEARNS: Well, you.
STEVENSON: I have, the very few people that I know, know about it, but the few that did, when JEFF was exonerated you know, called up and said, oh, I am glad it is over? No, to me this is a farce.
KEARNS: Well, I will be quite frank with you, the reason, since we've come here is that we know what a traumatic experience it is to discuss it and we don't want to bother the family, regardless of what we read in the papers, we are not interested in the newspapers.
STEVENSON: WEll what in the world is in the newspapers, I haven't seen anything in the newspaper.
KEARNS: So, but it comes to a point where you have to come back and we have to explain
and those of you that are so close can be angered over certain things that you read or see or may even know and throw us out. But we have to take that as CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS.
STEVENSON: Well I, welll.
KEARNS: I want someone brought to justice. Now it may well be that one of our fine juries, even if we get the correct person before the fine-jury may
just release him anyway. But you and I just want somebody for Colette and those two kids. I just want somebody...
STEVENSON: Yeah? Well, maybe getting Jeff and doing this thing with Jeff is the reason the other people got away, Huh? Hum? Maybe this whole thing, if he hadn't been closed down there these people have been apprehended.
KEARNS: Well, many people have been apprehended..
STEVENSON: I mean, maybe this is, that this shut the whole, if nobody, if this had not been done with Jeff then it would still be an open thing and everybody would still be as concerned. Nobody is concerned that maybe these people are running around. Me, I'm concerned!
KEARNS: Well, that ie why we are here. We want to impress upon you that not one day from the time it happened a year ago, it has not stopped. We get letters from all over and we check out the letters, regardless of how ridiculous it is. We check them out. If as investigators, we got a little old lady in Idaho saying she was two hippies on the street, we may do not it tomorrow, but we are going to have to check these things out.
STEVENSON: Yeah, but how could you bust Jeff without any information? How could you bust Jeff with no information? At least why didn't you wait to gather information. I mean, it is like you did it, it was blown and like, like, you know, that is what Mildred's and Freddy's concern is. That you know, interest is away from it now, like, these people will never be apprehended.
STEVENSON: As far as I am concerned, I think a trial, I think if these people were apprehended tomorrow, and a whole big thing started up, like this thing, I think It would be a circus. I thing it would be, I think we would be better off...
KEARNS: You are probably absolutely correct...
STEVENSON: I'm not anxious to do anything...
KEARNS: Correct, but your observations are quite true as far as I am concerned. I agree with you, but we are not stopping. The interest has not lessened. Perhaps the newspaper interest has, perhaps, let's face it, the people who sell newspapers are interested in selling newspapers.....
KEARNS: ..for one reason or another, most of tit is to pay their debts.
KEARNS: Because newspapers, especially in their area, go under. And we could care less, we'll do the job, we'll do the job, and we are not going to
stop. That's why we are here now. We are not going to stop, No! Period! It's not professional pride. It's just a simple matter of justice. So we (word illegible) coming back.
STEVENSON: Why isn't the FBI investigating, why isn't the FBI investigating?
KEARNS: All of this has been...
STEVENSON: The CID and the CIA clash or something. Why isn't it their interest also?
KEARNS: It is their interest also. (KEARNS took Mrs STEVENSON's reference to CIA to mean FBI)
STEVENSON: I mean with these people running around...
KEARNS: It is their interest also. If we find out they're civilian's they will be arrested by Federal authorities.
STEVENSON: How can the lawyer say the Army is handling it?
KEARNS: I don't know what he said to Mr. KASSAB.
STEVENSON: It's ridiculous.
KEARNS: But I just want to impress the one point, there is interest. Please me, that there is extreme interest with the Criminal Investigators that were standing on the scene, there is extreme interest, and lack of sleep, and concern, and going over paper work and paper work an paper work...
STEVENSON: I though they said that there was an unidentified person in the house?
KEARNS: No have checked everything. We are satisfied to this point, we are satisfied to this point on what we have done. We are dissatisfied on certain things that we are working now, like in everything there has got to be an answer. We'll find it, we'll find it and we won't stop and we will do it in a professional manner and that Is why, as I am starting to explain, that's why we held off coming to you, since, as I said, I have been involved since November or early December, first week of December, why we didn't come down when I knew you weren't interviewed. Well, we've just got to get a little bit more and try to stay away from the family until we absolutely want to go to them, so, I didn't call Mr KASSAB for permission, to tell him that I was going to come and interview you and I'm not going to, no matter who I interview. I'm not going to ask permission carpet from the person that I talk to, and let them raise up their own mind whether they want to talk to us, be it family members, members of the Military or the Hippy community. No, we'll work and we are working day and night, criminal investigators all over, on this. Every lead we'll work, so regardless of what you....
STEVENSON: No, I......
KEARNS: Someday we'll show you the numbers, the documents, the dates and the man hours, and we're not concerned about it. That is our job, that's that they're paying us for. I mean, I have bosses just like everyone else, and they want the answers, so, it's difficult. But I know as a professional investigator....
STEVENSON: It's been going on a long time, how, wouldn't the people be apprehended a lot quicker than this? Or does it just seem this way?
KEARNS: Well.... Oh, it's a lot different, yeah.
(Mrs STEVENSON answers phone call from her husband)
STEVENSON: Hello? Yeah. Yeah. Um-uhu. OK Sure. Yeah. But the kids, you know. That's the only reason that I ....What do we do with the kids? I don't want the kids around. Yeah. Right.
KEARNS: I could rent a motel room we could go to.
STEVENSON: Yeah. Allright. Yeah. I don't have anybody to take care of the kids though... (phone conversation)
KEARNS: I'll pay for the baby sitter.
STEVENSON: You'll pay for the baby sitter?
KEARNS: Yeah, that's right.
STEVENSON: OH. Alright. OH. Bob wants you to wait and talk later on when he gets home.
KEARNS: OK. Fine, fine, sure.
STEVENSON: (returns to phone) OK, that you know what the CID did bob? They broke down the front door! Yeah. The front door blew open and busted the glass. Do I have to take the whole door down to fix the glass?
KEARNS: No, just the....
STEVENSON: Just that thing....
KEARNS: I'll take care of that.
STEVENSON: (phone conversation) They're going to go ahead and fix the glass for me. Yeah, right, yeah, um-um, alright, OH, Bye by.
STEVENSON: My husband is apprehensive about my head.
KEARNS: Yeah, OH, since that is his second request, and on the first request he said it was alright.....
STEVENSON: Yeah, that's I got extraordinarily uptight about htic, I really do. I, it's very difficult....
KEARNS: Well let's terminate now.. When do you suggest that we come back?
STEVENSON: Well, Bob always gets back at seven. I pick him up on the seven o'clock train.
KEARNS: OK. Well we could rent a motel room where we could hold the interview.
STEVENSON: Yeah. It's just, I, that's the only reason that...I couldn't tell the kids what happened.
KEARNS: No, No, definitely not, no, and there's no reason to. Why don't we, I have your phone number. No, no I don't, you've got a new phone number now, huh? Why don't we do this? Since, what did your husband say about getting a baby sitter for the kids, would that be alright?
STEVENSON: I could ask the girl down the street. I've never had baby sitter.
KEARNS: Well, would it be a treat for your children to have a baby sitter. like mine they'll drive them crazy.
STEVENSON: It's funny I don't let my babies out of my sight. There's a girl down the street though, I could, there is a hot sheets motel right around the corner from here, just to get a room, people go in at eleven and get out at twelve, like the place is crazy.
KEARNS: OK, tell you what, we'll do. We'll rent a room, did you mention this to Bob, that we could get a room? Was there any objection to that?
STEVENSON: No I was just thinking, if there was a motel, you see, I just have no family or anything...
KEARNS: Well, this is so personal, I don't think there would be a another place, unless you know someone's house that they said, "well we're not going to be home. Go ahead and talk in there."
STEVENSON: Well, maybe I could....
KEARNS: But, I don't to put you to any trouble, it's our responsibility to set up an interview in an appropriate place. Just as long as you feel that would appropriate for you and it wouldn't bother you to much.
STEVENSON: No, the only thing that bothers me is my kids. I could go around the corner and ask Liz if Dawn could come over. I could tell her about t because she knows. I'll see if, this afternoon, I'll seen if I can get somebody to come over.
KEARNS: Now don't worry about the baby sitter. We'll give you the money for the baby sitter, regardless of what she charges.
STEVENSON: Oh, I cannot pay for a baby sitter...
KEARNS: Yeah, don't worry about that, we'll do that, we'll do that. Also we'll do then is we'll take half the door and get it fixed.
IVORY: We can go down and get a hardware man...
KEARNS: Oh, sure. No, you know, it just screw out.
STEVENSON: Yea, that right because I put the screen in.
KEARNS: (to IVORY) Don't you do any work around the house?
STEVENSON: (to IVORY) Yea, right, right, what's the matter with you?
KEARNS: You know how I know? I went home just before christmas for three days and my wife had done this, so I worked on this because she had done it. May I have your number then Mrs. STEVENSON?
STEVENSON: Yes, ah (redacted)
KEARNS: Alright, what we'll do is take that and keep it until such time as we come back. Now we can offer to pick you up and you can drive over there with us or I'll call you and you can let you know where we are and you can meet us there.
STEVENSON: Oh, OK, fine and I'll see if I can get somebody...
KEARNS: Why don't we go out to dinner then, as long as we are going to do that. The four of us could have dinner together.
IVORY: Is there a restaruant around her too.....
KEARNS: That's not on the government, that's on me.
STEVENSON: I don't know, that's.....
KEARNS: Would that be more relaxing for you you think if you, felt for the children, for him to go for a sitter and then you and Bob could have dinner with us.
STEVENSON: Alright. I, I, Bob and I aren't going to be into food that much, to begin with.
KEARNS: Well, even if you just want to.....
STEVENSON: It doesn't matter, there's a lace over there at the motel that you eat at anyway. I have never been there but I am quite sure that
KEARNS: Alright, Why don't you plan on that and unless he prefers not to eat with us you could, you know, well he might say no, I just want to grab a sandwich, I don't to eat
STEVENSON: Yeah, right, so I wouldn't say that because he usually doesn't even get you know to....
KEARNS: Oh, OK.
STEVENSON: Like right now he wanted to come home. He's had two interviews this afternoon, he wants to get out from under this other job before it collapses, so.....
KEARNS: Well, lets not bother you any more.. We'll take care of your window and then I'll give you a call back
Interview of Bob and Pep Stevens by CID Investigator Peter Kearns and Colonel Jack Pruett
COL. JACK PRUETT
CW3 PETER E. KEARNS
MR. & MRS. STEVENSON
KEARNS: Well, Bob, I know you've seen my identification before ...
KEARNS: I don't have to much more really to ask your wife. I want to ask her about the greeting card that was sent to Colette, and about the rings. As you probably know, Doctor MacDONALD has ...(INAUDIBLE) Here's our problem. Somebody stole the ring, maybe intruders, and we want to know to identify ... (INAUDIBLE)
STEVENSON: It had what I would say, a certain abstract design, yet it was not a perfect circle, as you look at it and I, as I recall, when it was worn the shape of the finger may have been somewhat like that. The result was a stone which was in a bezel, would be off set like this and it was an egg shaped ruby. I don't know much about stones but they have a particular name for it. But it was sort of had a little milky cloudiness to it and might have been something like you call a star ruby, some damn thing. I don't know whether it was a manufactured stone or if it was a natural stone, but I believe it was natural and as a matter of fact, this fellow named Bernard Kelly, somewhere in Boston now as I recall, might be found whenever it becomes important I might be able to help track him down, get some more information on him, but the stone I would say was apparently the size of the circle that I have made, in terms that this is its height this way, and I feel that that's roughly the dimensions it was and it had something which was either cloudiness toward the top or it gave the appearance of a star as I recall. It was sort of a unique looking stone. It was like a clear red thing that you see through, that type of substance. The ring was gold. I think that it was not the shape that I showed you here, it sort of winds toward flatness here. In other words in this particular portion rather than being round and and as it went underneath the finger it continued the same abstract "S" shape on the top, on the bottom so it became a thing that looked like almost bent or squashed as it was just sort of a funny design because it was so unique it would be completely impossible to take another ring for it because it was, you know, one of a kind.
STEVENSON: I doubt very much that anyone would find another one like it.
KEARNS: What was it valued? Do you know?
STEVENSON: I would give, we're talking somewhere between 75 or 150 dollars. I just don't recall.
STEVENSON: I don't know. It's just my impression. I just answered that for no reason that I can recall, just that ...
KEARNS: Was it yellow gold?
STEVENSON: Definitely yellow gold. Yes, it was not pinkish, it was yellow.
KEARNS: AS you know in our investigation which is still continuing, we're apprehending various hippies along with the local police, interviewing those that we suspicion being in the area at that time or for one reason or the other they don't have a alibi and this is going on all over the country and in the New York area, and a great deal in the Fort Bragg area, but we're looking for some one, if there were intruders, then we have to have someone that had a reason and motive for going in there. Perhaps premeditation, and if they didn't we've got out and out itinerant band who just selected the house at random and in talking with Pep, I hope she didn't appear upset during the interview ...
STEVENSON: I think if there was upset in her it would be as my upset. My upset comes not from the interview or any of the questions or anything, but its just emotional reinvolvment. Would be at the situation ...
KEARNS Right. Do you feel you can discuss Colette now, or would it be too much?
STEVENSON: Oh it would be uncomfortable but other than that, my object is to try and help you if possible ...
KEARNS: We particularly interested in any information you may have and you can just speak in general until you get to a specific area, of course, but any information you may have regarding Jeff or Colette or may have had some animosity that you know of. Any particular at all ...
STEVENSON: No I don't. I really don't know of anyone and that comes from two reasons: one, my knowledge of their personal affairs is not at all intimate. I had relatively little contact with them after their marriage. The other area would be just from my own observations. The kind of people that Jeff's family was, which I think had a large amount of influence, particularly on their marital relationship, how they behaved, you know, a very gregarious people. The kind of people who would invite a stranger in off the street for Thanksgiving dinner and that kind of thing. They were very accustomed to doing that kind of thing. I think most of the time maybe to the distraction of Colette. Jeff was more of the entertainer and social being than she was. She was more introverted, but I just can't, I have absolutely no idea, nor did I ever, and I though about this because certainly when something like this happens, everybody in their own mind to think of all of the strange combinations that they can think of and I was unable o come up with anything in my mind except the concept of randomness and I don't really believe in the concept of randomness. For something to be truly random where a group of people just spontaneously happened to do this kind of thing, I believe that that
can happen and I believe that they could have happened but I believe a little more firmly that there might, there must have been some kind of a vague, strange connection. Where theres the type of thing where you can walk across the street one day and I have had this happen to me in the city of New York, for some reason you activate something in a particular nut. I had a woman one day on the subway scream at me for twenty minutes yelling, "We know who you are, what you are, and what you did to Kennedy and you are a commie pinko pervert and all this." She was a real nut, sticking her tongue out at me and going like this and I said, "why me". For some reason I created something, I had certainly never seen the person, but in other words that kind of randomness that its random that I happen to run into. I always have a feeling that it was possibly some kind of of connection. That there was something, I just can't accept that things happen just totally by chance. That little chance, you know, how infintesimally small the mathematical probability yes are. I feel that there has to be something more to it.
KEARNS: Yeah. We, of course, we don't have the insight as to what actually took place, but, of course, we can reconstruct. Were generally of the same opinion, from the professional background. Itinerant musicians going in there.
STEVENSON: I feel confident that some day you will find some kind of a link or something. I haven't the vaguest notion why.
KEARNS: Well, it happened before. There have been cases where, like we mentioned today, the tate case, if that girl hadn't spilled the beans to her cellmate.
STEVENSON: I don't believe any kind of a group action, nobody can step outside. Sooner or later everybody talks. Everybody, particularly drug people, I think from what I have heard of drug people, that theres a particular susceptibility that they keep tripping, whatever it is they're doing, to rap with people and I think it is part of the thing that they live for, that they for honesty, say what they believe in. It requires them to do these things, so I think it will come out sooner of later.
KEARNS: Have you talked to Jeff at all?
STEVENSON: No, I have had only one conversation with Jeff since this and that was on the telephone very briefly. I had wanted to speak with him but it was basically impossible to call him there and I had no contact with him. I had no thoughts that I particularly wanted to commit to writing because somehow you commit something to writing and its there and it never changes and it was not a matter of being afraid I would say the wrong thing but not being able to say all the things that I wanted to say. I couldn't find a way to say anything so I said nothing. But I did call him at he base on this one particular day through freddy. I was at his house and call him and he put me on the phone and I just spoke with him very briefly and thathas been my only contact with him.
KEARNS: We talked to him last week in philadelphia. Well, we get basically, BOB, the same thing from everyone that knows him. That they were the all--American couple, honest, straight forward, no problems outside of the normal problems that a young intern would have going through school. Nobody can tell us anything, except for a few isolated instances that he had in his own practice and interning or something where he had ...
STEVENSON: That was one of my original questions. In the course of treating addicts somebody for their own strange paranoic reasons.
KEARNS: Well, on the very first day on the 17 of Feb. last year, the one person that he mentioned as having reported into his commander was apprehended in his billets that morning, so all of these people hetreat that many, he referred a lot. He had a couple of civilians that were checked out by the FBI and the OI's ...
STEVENSON: I would think from my knowledge of both of them, particularly philosophically, I would say that they were both very conservative people and I could not find it withing behavioral paterns for them to have association with some "HIP' kind of people. "HIPPIES" or whatever you want to say. Colete, in terms of being contrasted with me, was always drastically more conservative and in my eyes sometimes to the point that her eyes were not open to enough things. She was very content, well that's the whole thing. She was very content to be a housewife, a mother and many women today, they seem to want just about everything, but she was, from an early age wanted babies and just wanted to strive toward motherhood type of goal. She was the take people in off the street kind of person. I remember her first boyfriend that she had, maybe she was 7, 8, 9 years old. A kid named PETER something or other, who immigrated from South Africa. He was a white from South Africa but I don't know if because of a language difference or various other things, he was very much shunned in school and because he was a shunned child, sort of had I think a mother kind of relationship with the kid and that kind of thing. But it also occurred to me that I thought it would be unlikely to have any contact with people of this variety, any kind of social basis. This wouldn't fit in. Jeff was highly, he disapproved with anythingto do with drugs on any level. This was very absolute. That was a good feeling to have.
PRUETT Did Colette correspond with you at all?
STEVENSON: No, not really. You see, I would have to say basically, as a child growing into young adult, I feeel I was overly introverted. I went through a lot of things and I had a very limited amount of real communication with either my parents, or with my sister and after I was marriage was a little difficult. We were married, I met my wife when I was 15 and she was was 14, and we literally grew together and when you get married and you go steady throughout this thing, you've been together 16 years, It's inevitable to have very significant personaly and value changes to go through and so many things to work out. We were totally involved in working on our own life so it would be limited to a christmas card or maybe an occasional note, but it would be 6 to 8 months apart between each one. So there was very little contact that I can recall. As matter of fact I only recall reading one particular note or letter that Colette wrote, to this house in the last couple of years. There may have been others but I only remember one.
KEARNS: Would she confide in you if she had a personal problem?
STEVENSON: Well, she would definitely not have done this by letter. I don't think, because she would do this in person. The infrequent times we got together after her marriage, we did speak together on a much closer basis than we ever did before when we were kids or young adults. We had been on a different level and we significantly improved our communication and started
to discuss who we were as individuals and things of this sort, but tit was not the kind of thing where she would write about her problems. On the other hand, I don't think that she would write and give a big cover up just to, you know, where you write the letter and everything is fine, wish you were here and that kind of thing. I don't find that either.
KEARNS: That's the problem.
STEVENSON: Right, so little I can give you in regards to contact between us is negligible.
KEARNS: Did you know of any problems that she ...
STEVENSON: No, I really didn't. The financial thing I knew they had a lot of trouble with. I don't really know what their finances were but the family opinion was that there was a pretty desparate condition and that throughout the time they were in Chicago and various places, Colette was babysitting with kids and doing alot of these things to bring in a little income and I think that financially and the hours and this kind of thing was difficult for them to live with, but I would say from what I have observed and heard it seems that they made do. They centered their lives around the thing. Colette had to forgo some of the housework because Jeff was 8 hours on, eight hours off. Whenever they happened to be together, if it was tuesday afternoon from three to 11, they wouldplan something from three to 11, so they managed to live along with the profession which is commendable.
KEARNS: There is no one that we've talked to that can identify any particular problem area in the house. Did you know of any of her associates? Did you know of her friends in north Carolina? Do you know who her..
STEVENSON: No I have absolutely no idea. I haven't heard one word about the social contact that they ever had and so I'm totally in the dark about that. I just, I can't, I just don't have any area that I can draw any information, any factual things, I can't even do supposition of opinion, because there's nothing to..
Pruett: How about here, when they came up here? Who did they associate with?
Do you have any knowledge? I know they stayed with the KASSABS..
STEVENSON: Unhuh. Well, when they would come up, they did stop in and visit me when I lived at Riga Park on two or three occasions, all Holiday oriented.
As I recall they primarily stayed with the MacDONALDS. I think that the MacDONALD clan was a very socially active and there was always something happening and if there wasn't something happening, they created it.
The indication was when I was at the MacDONALD household, when Jeff and Colette were there particularly what was usually weekends, people there restricted to friends from High School, maybe friends from College, next door neighbors, people. It was the warmest social environment that I have been in. I to a point of fault couldn't have that much social life and have any kind of personal life, you know, for me that was toomuch one way. This was a very, this seemed like a very gregarious place to grow up so as a result I think they spent time with Jay, his mother, whoever girl friends were. I don't know them. I don't know them. I know very little about his involvement in that area. Dudley, Dudley WARREN was one of
Jeff's quiet close friends from High School. I know that he did definetly associated him when he was around. I guess Judy and her husband. I think, I really, I just don't know, a lot of Jays friends and Jeff's friends, there was a lot of interchanging. He was close with his teachers in school. I don't recall their names right now, but I can recall different teachers that have been in his home at various times.
KEARNS If he has an enemy we haven't found him.
Stevenson: Everyone has enemies. That's the funny part, that everybody's got someone that not...
PRUETT: If someone could identify them, these people, you know..
KEARNS: We've gone through his patients, the drug people that he had contact with and there weren't that many. 15,20, 20 at the most..
STEVENSON: From one standpoint Jeff isn't the kind of guy that Collects enemies because his temperment, I find to be very even. I would think of him as a very greatly controlled person, who doesn't provoke easily. You know, the kind of a person that if he was treating a problematic patient or if he was in a social situation where somebody was really out of line and I have seen this happen, I remember at a party, for example, where there was a guy at the table and he was the kind of guy who grew up as a tough, all the time he would pick up cement blocks and people and threw them around at random and I forget whether it was something to do with my wife I think, and this guy could have picked me up and broken me over his knee and I wouldn't been able to do a thing and he came across the floor at Jeff's house and picked me right up off my feet, over up against the wall and Jeff's responses was one that I though gave me a lot of insight into him. He immediately responded to help me and defend me yet it was with just the right amount of control. His anger was there to show the man thathe had totally misbehaved at his home and was treating one of his guests poorly and yet he didn't over step the bounds. He wouldn't just run up and belt someone in the mouth which I might have felt my own proclivity to have done. I would have wanted to, but I feel that he had a lot of control. Whether it be spontaneous statements or actions, I never felt that this was his nature.
PRUETT: He's extremely cool.
KEARNS: How do you think Colette would react to a physical attack? Have you ever seen her in a situation even in your younger years?
STEVENSON: Well again your asking me for an opinion and this is the area in, where I have an opinion but I can't tell you why I have it, but my feeling is that she would be totally disarmed and incapable of knowing what to do or how to react. She's too passive and this type of total violence would not only scare, but I feel that it would numb her capability to respond and really what I would consider to be a rational kind of thing, but having gone through this I have often considered what would be the nature of my reactions for someone to break into the house. In other words, wanting to know that you have the capability of defending your family. I'm well aware of defense methods and the fact that I don't want to wait and watch somebody go through several moves and psyche me out and decide what to do. If someone came in, I would attack first. A different kind
of thing, I don't think that she would ever have the ability to, certainly attack. I don't, I can't see her attacking a guy, I really can't. That doesn't make any sense because the nature of any animal when threatened is basically to fight for it's life. I somehow feel that she would be disarmed and disoriented. She would not know how to respond. She would have been probably running or evading, unable to comprehend what, where, why, how, what's going on.
KEARNS: How do you think he would react?
STEVENSON: Well, I would have a fair amount of confidence in Jeff's instinctive reactions in a situation of that kind. I would expect him to be definitely manly about it. I would not in any way except any cowardice or second or third thoughts which people go through in terms of saying what should I do and how should I act. I think a lot of people go through a lot of mentally masturbatory kind of excercises which to me are all a sign of weakness or whatever but they are and I would expect that he would be reasonably confident in this area and that he would be capable of defending himself and his family. Again I haven't read much about the case or how it happened, I understand that he was asleep on the couch and I do recall Jeff as being the kind of guy that worked very long and be able to hack it and stay awake, but boy when that son of a bitch went to sleep he was tougher than hell to arouse. I can remember this very clearly, a very tough to wake up. My wife used to kid me about that myself, the house cold burn down and I would still sleep but that changed about me, but I don't know, I heard that he, I did hear that he had been working reasonable long periods of time prior to this and so his, whatever his actions were, I don't really know what they were and I don't really know what his defensive posture was or the degree to which he suceeded or or failed. The clinical viewpoint in terms of what happened on a factual basis, but I always felt that Jeff would acquit favorably in this kind of situation.
KEARNS: Was he very, very close with Jay in the last couple of years?
STEVENSON: I don't see how I could say no to that, only because I thought that Jeff, Jay and Judy as a family were close always and I would not expect that relationship to deteriorate, even if they didn't see each other for year or two years. I would expect their relationship to be very close because this is just the way they were. You know they did everything, whether it was, Jay would go out on a limb, their father was dying and they went out on a limb the three of them to buy him a boat. You know, they were always together and doing these things and I know Jay was very involved with helping them in their moves and what have you. I felt that he had an emotional involvement with them to the degree of being protective of them, feeling, you can't say a feeling of responsibility because they weren't there. He couldn't help them, he had a feeling of frustration, because things happen beyond your control that you're unhappy about. But I feel certain that it had a very significant marked effect on Jay and I feel certain that they had always had a close relationship. I never knew him and his brother to have a fight or disagreement but again my knowledge of their family was pretty limited. I just didn't see them as the kind of people that together, you know they might have had a couple of harsh words but the brother's brawling syndrome. Never, it just wasn't their thing.
KEARNS: Was he close with Colette? Do you think he enjoyed her company?
KEARNS: Was he close with Colette? Do you think that he enjoyed her company?
STEVENSON: I would say, I feel that he felt, characterized as a fatherly kind of feeling. He was helping look out for his little brother and that kind of thing. I would not, if you're asking me somewhat subtlely as to the nature of, do I feel that he had any kind subtle feeling as to my sister ...
KEARNS: No, no. I don't ...
STEVENSON: I'm reaching, I'm trying to reach and spread (INAUDIBLE) in other words, rather than be evasive, the question occured to my mind that maybe you're probing in that direction and I don't really feel that would be the nature of the thing. I feel he had a close involvement with her but I don't think that that was part of it.
KEARNS: No, what I meant was that they got along well and, I mean, he visited and he assisted when they moved from place to place ...
STEVENSON: There was virtually no reason for friction ...
KEARNS: Yeah, that's right.
PRUETT: In other words, Colette had actually become a member of the MacDONALD family?
STEVENSON: She was adopted by them. We didn't have, in the STEVENSON household, a lot of big family gatherings and she always wanted this and had value for it so as a result when she was so totally taken into the MacDONALD family it was a very warm, very good experience for her. It made her very secure and very happy to be within this family group, the way that it worked. And that was the nature of the family from what I understand, that it was kind of like, to a degree it was all for one and one for all, everybody tried to help each other. I feel everybody was concerned with each other.
(MRS. STEVENSON ENTERS:)
MRS. STEVENSON: Freddy, my handbag is on the top of the car.
KEARNS: It your wife. Let me ask you this. If Colette had a problem or if she had a worry and she didn't confide in Jeff, who would she confide in? Do you think, I know some of these questions bore you and are ridiculous but we've got to ask and we've got to cover ...
STEVENSON: Yeah, they're hypothetical in a sense and are almost academic. I think that she would confide in somebody, I don't, she just wasn't that close mouthed that she would sit on things. I don't know about friends. I would think that if she had a close friend she would confide in her, for example, the period when she lived with my wife and I on Potter Street, she and my wife were very close and she did confide in her. We were very involved in her life. She was confused and it was a period of her life that was very difficult and at that time she definitely confided in her and I would think that she would do this with other people if she had a
close enough friend like that. She wouldn't do it, I don't think, by letter in all probability because it like why should we bring up that particular problem for other people to talk about. On the other hand if she was physically there, I think she would communicate it. I think that she might have communicated her problem with Mrs. MACDONALD or Mac had he been alive at this period of time. I don't, I guess it depends on the kind of problem as to whom you take it. If you have a financial problem you might discuss it with this person. If you have another kind of problem you might discuss it with this person but not this one because you want to keep certain facts, we all have things, there are areas in my life that I would not discuss with other people, it's my personal and private life and only my wife and I will discuss it.
PRUETT: True. Normally though, a woman will have a confidant, someone that she will talk to, it develops anywhere. Most of the people that we've talked to ...
MRS. STEVENSON: Oh look, I'm impressed. You came in here with a tape recorder this big the last time. What's that? Oh Freddy wanted that.
PRUETT: We brought a small one so we can stay off of your table this time.
MRS. Stevenson: Oh, OK.
KEARNS: Well, we've explored with everyone in the area of an intruder, you know, what the reasoning was, who could hold any animosity at all toward them, be it patient he saw one time, or someone he was just talking to in a commissary or maybe the Captain bumped into him but they didn't have anyone that we knew of who ...
PRUETT: We haven't found them yet ...
KEARNS: Now, he helped Jay out I understand with his problems. He had a couple of problems in New York, which would have been in November ...
STEVENSON: What problem was that?
KEARNS: Well, Jay was committed to Central Islip ...
STEVENSON: I only know a very little bit about that. I know that there was a problem and that Jeff flew up here and again that's the nature of this family. If it was Jeff, Jay and Judy would have flown down or Mac or somebody that the way they were ....
KEARNS: Jay had no anger with Jeff over any of the activities during this period? Jeff was furnishing aid, assistance, and guidance and everything. Jeff wasn't overly critical where jay would have been, you know ...
MRS. STEVENSON: Yeah, there definitely was.
STEVENSON: I guess since Jay was the older, I think Jay was maybe more physically accomplished than Jeff, so you would have the normal amount of rivalry. From what I recall of Jay, I can't, I think even if Jay were angry with
Jeff, I can't ...... (Second Side) This is the grandmother's ...
KEARNS: The one that Colette, had, Helen MADISON had made ...
MRS. STEVENSON: Did you ever meet Helen?
KEARNS: No. We're going to meet her tomorrow.
STEVENSON: Good luck. Good luck.
KEARNS: Is she at the Kassab's?
PEP: Right, yeah. She lives there.
STEVENSON: You'll find my aunts to be, well, my two old maid aunts to be singularly inundate people, with a definite amount of bias...
KEARNS: Well, Yeah. Mr. KASSAB pointed out to me that we would not get the reception that we had from you or even them, or, ...
PEP: You're right.
KEARNS: Or even from Doctor MacDONALD, as they may be a little more vocal. A little more biased. He felt sure they would discuss the matter with us. Is Judy in Schnectady now?
PEP: I have no idea.
STEVENSON: I know that she lives some place like that. She comes home on the weekends.
PEP: I don't know.
KEARNS: Can you recall Mrs. STEVENSON, a card that you sent to Colette?
KEARNS: They, I don't know if any other investigator has shown it to you ...
PEP: I haven't seen it since the day I wrote it. Freddy told me that they had it. I don't know why Colette saved it. I
don't remember what I said. I'm sure ...
KEARNS: If I show it to you, could you identify it?
PEP: It was about Vietnam ...
KEARNS: Perhaps what was behind it ...
PEP: I could tell you the picture on the front. A man and woman coming out of a flower ...KEARNS: It looks like a tree ...
PEP: A man and woman coming out of a flower, right?
KEARNS: The artistic values I have, I thought it was a tree.
PEP: Oh, wait! It has two trees on it ...
KEARNS: I'll pick it up. I hope this door, now look, she came through the door, now if it goes before I do ...
PEP: Make sure it latches ...
PRUETT: Check the wind before you go ...
PEP: Yeah, right.
PRUETT: Well, we've talked to so many people now, and we've still got, as you can well imagine, many, many more. Mr. KEARNS probably told you about that, and we'll continue going around ...
STEVENSON: (INAUDIBLE) a staggering amount of work.
PEP: You know, my father-in-law came back and said, you know, he said (INAUDIBLE)
PRUETT: Did he really? They have been most cooperative and we've been talking to them, they're really candid ...
PEP: Wow! (Kearns shows her the card) I remember, that's the one I sent her. That was the tree of life ...
STEVENSON: This far I would characterize any relationship between Freddy and the Army Investigative body as being an adversary proceeding to this point. I think he doesn't feel that way anymore ...
PRUETT: He's been very helpful and frank with us and likewise, we with him. We both have the same objective. We would like to ...
PEP: Wow! You know an awful lot about me don't you folks? I'll bet you know a lot. They know about the shrink.
KEARNS: I thought that ...
PEP: You have to know. After speaking to me ten minutes, that that's the way I felt, right?
KEARNS: Right. I understand that my only interest in it was the problem area that you were discussing with her.
PEP: Oh, what was the problem area. Oh, alright, "hope your initial shock is
over." That was Vietnam, or was it when he in that Green Beret thing? She wasn't thrilled about either one. Where did I send this to? She was in New Jersey.
KEARNS: I don't know, that's all we found in the desk.
PEP: Cause when I talked to Colette over the phone and what not; she was in New Jersey. This was around, like this time, and about leaving the kid. "If I don't happen to be in touch", ahal I was trying to give her a time to be, it's just ...
KEARNS: Was that when he was going to Texas?
PEP: I've never had a babysitter because I've never had parents or anyone that gave a shit about my kids, because like when I go to do a favor for someone, it's, I'll take care of the kids, so its just, I think the only thing you can really give somebody is freedom, so I was trying to give her the feeling, because she was really uptight and I was just trying to give her the feeling that, without having to pay or ask or come back with a favor ...
KEARNS: Well, that's all we wanted to do was isolate it, make sure it wasn't (INAUDIBLE). We presumed that it was military travel that he was on ...
STEVENSON: I recall this myself, very specifically, reacting with great surprise. I don't remember the exact details but I remember that he went to Texas to train and then like that was bad enough, that was dangerous and then he was going to become a Green Beret. That was a little more dangerous, now he's going to be a medic which meant that maybe he was going in and out with these helicopter crews. The level of danger which I think Jeff was willing to subscribe for his own code, his willingness to fight, be the martyr, part of his masculine fight was the whole thing. On the other hand (INAUDIBLE)
Pruett: Particularly after they had gone through what they did, school and the hard work, he away from home, I can understand why she would be upset.
PEP: Yeah, she was, because you see ...
PRUETT: No home, not really.
PEP: Well, I think it was like, this was before the Green Berets, she didn't like Vietnam because they were planning a baby when he graduated and like that's what dumped her. The baby and all got set back. She really loved Jeff.
KEARNS: Let me show you these photographs to you and Mrs. STEVENSON and see if they look familar to you, any of these people?
STEVENSON: He's a nasty looking character.
KEARNS: Yes, He's called "The Professor" ...
STEVENSON: I don't wonder. This, well, I don't think I know this person, but something about the person looks familiar. I don't see how that could possible be. He probably just looks like somebody that I've seen ...
PEP: Looks like a wino. That a picture of the girls? Are these pictures in detail? Is that a picture of the girl. Good Grief. I don't know any of them.
KEARNS: No. We have many, many pictures of groups of four.
KEARNS: Nowadays, anybody that wears a large hat and dresses in any degree of taste and has hair longer than a thirty year sergeant in the army is automatically classified as hippies.
PRUETT: This just a group of four people. This particular, there are others we've shown Jeff last week. We went through a long book of these taken from all over North Carolina, New York, Florida. Different areas of the country ...
STEVENSON: I really find it hard to understand, I know when you go through something that traumatic, no matter what the circumstances, you expect certain thing to indelibly marked in your mind. On the other hand, I stood on a public spot one time and witnesses a bank robbery. It happened so fast a few minutes later despite the fact that I'd been a limited duty policeman for two years, I couldn't remember what happened. Another time I, someone flew out of the bank and shot off a gun in the street of Times Square, and I couldn't have told you what happened in the heat of the thing. Really, I always wondered how people could make and identification and go into court and say that is the person. The don't, I'm not confident enough ...
KEARNS: Well, then ...
KEARNS: I agree with you.
KEARNS: You stand there and you look at the gun, first of all, I would be able to describe the gun I'm quite sure. I might miss the guy's face, but I would describe that gun he was pointing ...
PRUETT: That's the problem we have constantly with identifications, not only of people but what happened at a crime scene. And we use identi-kits and all the other technical processes to go through this and invariably when we find the guy, they don't match up at all.
STEVENSON: Is that right?
PRUETT: No. We have witnesses describe an incident to us and say he's 6' 6" and all this sort of thing and he turns out to be a little, squat guy about 5' 6", you know, doesn't, didn't even begin to match.
KEARNS: I had a case one time where a female identified her assailants as two male Caucasians and they were two male Negros. She wanted to block this out of her mind. That held us up for a while.
PEP: Looks like a wino. That a picture of the girls? Are these pictures in detail? Is that a picture of the girl. Good Grief. I don't know any of them.
KEARNS: No. We have many, many pictures of groups of four.
PEP: That's all you have to go on? What is in people's mind ...
PEP: And that's all you're going to get. Whatever they have, whatever they haven't covered up. Isn't it?
KEARNS: That's it. That's it.
STEVENSON: Subject to every form of (INAUDIBLE)
KEARNS: But if they talk, generally, if they don't have an axe to grind then they generally tell us the basic truth. But then you're right, they don't tell us everything.
PRUETT: We have never, never usually a week, two weeks, a month, something else will come up ...
KEARNS: I don't know where we can go in the interview, I was about finished with Mrs. STEVENSON because of the two rings. Your husband drew a little drawing of the other ...
PEP: Did you remember?
STEVENSON: Oh, very clearly, very ...
PEP: You did?
STEVENSON: Oh, sure.
PRUETT: Her, take a look.
PEP: I couldn't remember. Did it come to a point?
STEVENSON: No it was roughly an "S" shaped both on the top and on the bottom put together with stone slightly off center as an egg shaped ruby which I think ....
PEP: Ws it a star ruby? Was it uncut?
STEVENSON: Yeah, it was just cut and polished. It was an attractive ring ...
KEARNS: Was it a dark red or was it ...
STEVENSON: It was dark, deep
STEVENSON: Deep opaque kind of a red as opposed to anything that you saw through with a glass-like quality. It was sort of cloudy in color and it had that star-like quality. Pep, remember the price of it roughly? We thought somewhere between 75 or 150 dollars.
PEP: I told them less than that. I don't, your ring, how much was your ring? About thirty, forty, forty-five?
PEP: I thought Colette's was about the same amount as yours, maybe 75.
STEVENSON: Let's say ...
PEP: Seventy-five to one hundred.
STEVENSON: Yeah. I would say that that may be more accurate.
PEP: Because Bernie didn't have (INAUDIBLE)
STEVENSON: And also he was trying to make it (INAUDIBLE)
KEARNS: He's in Boston now?
STEVENSON: He was. Someone did tell, I'm trying to remember this guy ...
PEP: You know who would, might know where he is? Conrad. Conrad would know where he is. Condrad's Jewelry ...
STEVENSON: Conrad's is the place. They will tell you where he is? There's a place called the Conrad shop and it's on McDougal Street in the Village and if you're heading, NYU Law School is right there. I went to school there witch is just down the street from this fellow and he makes jewelry (INAUDIBLE). He' an older hip kind of person, a freak. He's not a long haired hip kind of freak but he and Bernie as craftsmen were good friends and the last time I was in that school, which was about two years ago, we would say, "how is Bernie? Where is he these days?" And he would tell us exactly where he was ...
PRUETT: They probably kept in touch ...
STEVENSON: Around the Boston area and he knew ...
PEP: That he had (INAUDIBLE)
STEVENSON: As a matter of fact he was sending him designs that Bernie executing, remember? He was sending his designs to Bernie. Bernie was manufacturing his jewelry and they ...
STEVENSON: He would be your best bet. He would remember what it was ...
KEARNS: Well, do you know of any enemies that Jay might have had?
STEVENSON: Now there's an area that I would suspect, Jay is the kind of guy who might well have some enemies here and there. Jay is a tough guy. Jay is not the kind of guy you mess with. You don't go up to Jay and give him a hard time. Jay was a rough, tough guy. Right?
STEVENSON: You know, I wouldn't mess with him.
KEARNS: YEAH. This is the picture we got ...
PEP: He would just pop you in the mouth.
STEVENSON: There are some people you walk up to and pop in the mouth and they would be confused with you for a few minutes. Jay wouldn't be confused at all.
PEP: You know, you see, we never knew their friends or anything. We stopped going other there and everything because we just aren't as social as, I just, I don't know, we just don't want people around to play games and all that kind of stuff and so forth, so we just stopped going over there because we weren't interested in whatever it was that they were doing. (INAUDIBLE)
KERNS: The trouble is, I think with your wife's observation, is that the transcript set forth most of the questions, but she has these girl type questions, I would even go under the assumption that any assailant is not helpless within his heart for four or five years to settle his account of 17 February 1970, at Ft Bragg, North Carolina. I think that (INAUDIBLE)
PEP: In other words, (INAUDIBLE)
END OF INTERVIEW