ARTICLE 32 HEARING TRANSCRIPTS
July 24, 1970: Warrant Officer 3 Franz Grebner, CID Commanding Officer of Detachment B, 3d Military Police Group
(The hearing reopened at 1303 hours, 24 July 1970.)
COL ROCK: This hearing will come to order. Let the record reflect that those parties who were present at the recess are currently in the hearing room. Is the counsel for the government ready to proceed with the next witness?
CPT SOMERS: He is, your honor.
(Investigator Franz J. Grebner was called as a witness by the government, was sworn, and testified as follows.)
Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q Would you state your full name?
A Franz J. Grebner.
Q Your grade?
Q Your organization?
A Detachment B, 3d Military Police Group, Criminal Investigation.
Q Your station?
A Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Q And your armed forced?
A Military Police Corps.
Q United States Army?
A Pardon me, United States Army.
Q What is your duty position, sir?
A I am the commanding officer of Detachment B.
Q And was that your duty position on the 17th of February 1970?
A It was.
Q Were you in charge of the military side of the investigation of the MacDonald case?
A I was.
Q What was your function in regard to other investigative agencies in this case?
A That of coordination.
Q What investigative agencies were those?
A You mean other than the military?
Q Other than the military.
A They were the FBI, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the State Highway Patrol, the Fayetteville Police Department, Cumberland County Police Department, and eventually many other police departments and state agencies throughout the United States.
Q Now, as coordinator of this effort, do you know, or do you have any idea or estimate of how many people were interviewed by these agencies in the first weeks after this incident?
MR. SEGAL: That's objected to as irrelevant and immaterial, purely hearsay to the extent the investigation would not be apparent from that, therefore its value and significance to the hearing officer would be of a very minimal nature, if any value at all.
CPT SOMERS: Sir, the issue of whether the CID and other investigative agencies investigated this case specifically with regard to whether or not the four supposed assailants of Captain MacDonald could be found, has been put in question on the first day of this hearing by the defense. We are attempting now to give the hearing officer some kind of an idea just exactly what effort was put out to find these individuals, since the investigating officer, in ruling against the government's objection to that, has indicated his interest in this information.
MR. SEGAL: May I just respond to the extent of saying that if my memory serves me correctly, Colonel Rock, the only questions that were raised from the first day of the investigation was what was done in the immediate hours after Captain MacDonald reported the description of the persons, and particularly, and again with specificity, the question of whether road blocks were established to check persons leaving the reservation, the fact that thereafter, once the mechanism was started rolling, the time and the value of the road blocks appeared to be diminished, but many people were investigated or interviewed seems to me does not really lend itself to any question the defense has raised. Secondly, Mr. Grebner has been asked to give a gross figure or the total number of people talked to, and without establishing of how many were talked to for the purpose of identifying the three men and a woman, or what they talked to other collateral, perhaps totally unrelated matters, and for that reason the figure seems to be not of value, not of help, and somewhat misleading to the investigation.
CPT SOMERS: I do think they do show the magnitude of the investigation and the thoroughness thereof.
CPT BEALE: Mr. Grebner, if you -- I hate to impose upon you -- but would you mind stepping outside for just a second? We have a matter we have to resolve.
(The witness departed the hearing room.)
COL ROCK: We will recess for five minutes.
(The hearing recessed at 1312 hours, 24 July 1970.)
(The hearing reopened at 1320 hours, 24 July 1970.)
COL ROCK: The hearing will come to order. Let the record reflect that all parties that were present at the recess are currently in the room, with Mr. Grebner being reseated at the witness table.
MR. SEGAL: Colonel Rock, in view of the informal discussion that we've had with all parties, I withdraw at this time the objection that I made prior to the recess.
COL ROCK: Thank you. Proceed, counselor.
Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q The question was: how many people were interviewed by these investigative agencies in the first weeks after the murders?
A In the Fayetteville-Fort Bragg complex, it would be in excess of 3500 people.
Q Can you tell us what approximately -- what percentage of these people were interviewed specifically with respect to the four alleged assailants of Captain MacDonald and his family?
A In the initial stages the majority of these people would have been interviewed in connection with that.
Q Can you give us some idea how many people were interviewed in the first week by the Criminal Investigation Division?
A It would be about 1500.
Q And does that same percentage apply there with respect to the subject of the interviews?
A Yes, it would.
Q Do you know, sir, whether road blocks were set out at the entrances to Fort Bragg on the morning of the 17th?
A Yes, they were.
Q How do you know this?
A By the fact that people were being brought to our offices from these road blocks to be processed and talked to.
MR. SEGAL: That's objected to, and move to strike the answer. He does not have any personal knowledge that I can ascertain from that answer.
CPT SOMERS: Now, with respect to the information he's just given, he knows personally that people were sent in from road blocks that were investigated by him and his people. Again, recognizing there is some hearsay nature to what this witness has to say, this hearing is empowered to listen to hearsay evidence, and this evidence can be questioned, if the defense likes, as to its credibility because of that nature; but I think that it is relevant, that the investigating officer has indicated his desire to hear this type of evidence, and that this is far in away the best witness available to give this evidence.
MR. SEGAL: I would suggest that the best witness available to give this evidence would be the officer or other authorized person who made the original order to establish a road block, and that the next best person would be those persons who executed the order, so that we know that the order in fact became a reality, but in this process, when somebody was brought to him he says came out of a road block is totally precludes any determination as when, how, where and under what circumstances such a road block came into existence, if it ever did.
CPT BEALE: Captain Somers, in this particular matter, since this apparently is becoming somewhat an issue, that is whether or not the road blocks were set up, Colonel Rock has indicated that he would like to have the best evidence of the fact of whether or not road blocks were set up, so therefore, if in fact you care to establish this particular matter, you will either bring in the officer who gave the order or you will bring in the people who were at these alleged road blocks who can come in to say, yes, I had a road block set up, so therefore this witness will not be permitted to testify as to reference that there was or was not a road block, but he can testify that certain people came to him, will be fine, so to that extent the objection is sustained.
Q Did you say, Mr. Grebner, that people were sent to your office during that morning?
A Yes, they were brought to the office.
Q And how many people were brought in that way?
MR. SEGAL: I don't understand the question, that way.
CPT BEALE: Rephrase your question.
Q How many people were brought in there, Mr. Grebner?
A On that morning, about 25 to 30.
Q Now do you have any idea, do you know, how many Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were initially assigned to this case?
A It was in excess of 20.
Q And did the Federal Bureau of Investigation at some point reduce the level of its participation in this case below its initial level?
A They did.
MR. SEGAL: That's objected to.
Q And if you know --
CPT BEALE: Wait a minute, he's got an objection. Would you please state your grounds?
MR. SEGAL: That obviously calls for an answer as to what the decision was of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It seems the only person who could appropriately state the reason for the reduction, if there was a reduction, is an appropriate agent in charge of the investigation or someone of higher authority in the FBI.
CPT SOMERS: I think that, again, this witness, in indicating his source of information, will make it very clear the authenticity of his information.
CPT BEALE: Mr. Segal, your objection is overruled. However, this witness will be required to give the source of his knowledge.
Q Why was this, and how did you discover this information?
A I received this information from Mr. Murphy, who is the Special Agent in charge in Charlotte, North Carolina, and he indicated that after an analysis and evaluation of the evidence developed to that date, that it did not appear that there was a group of individuals as described, and that although they were not withdrawing, they were reducing the force at this time.
MR. SEGAL: I move to strike that. It's going beyond the scope of any permissible exception, because that calls for a series of conclusions apparently by Mr. Murphy, which are very much worthy of being examined by this court, if, in fact, he made such a conclusion, which I state now I seriously doubt. Among other things, I would suggest that it be appropriate that before anyone even considers anything more about this, we be told on what date Mr. Murphy made such a statement on, and how much of the information developed here including 46 unidentified fingerprints did Mr. Murphy have when he made such a statement, if he made such a statement, which I again say, I doubt.
CPT SOMERS: May I reply?
CPT BEALE: Yes.
CPT SOMERS: If counsel wishes to dispute the information of this witness, I suggest that he is not the best witness to do so. He can impeach this witness in any of the normal ways he sees fit. This witness has come in here under oath and stated that he was told by the man in charge of the FBI investigation division --
CPT BEALE: Just a second, okay, fine. We understand now. When this witness was permitted to testify on this particular subject, in our informal discussion that we've just had, we agreed that we were going to not apply the hearsay rules to certain facts and figures. Any conclusions that some other person like Mr. Murphy might have made and the reasons why he, himself, took a particular action, if you care to establish that, you may bring Mr. Murphy in, so that portion of his testimony as to why Mr. Murphy did whatever he did will be, in fact, stricken from the record completely. So therefore, your answer to the question of was the FBI force reduced, and your answer was, yes, I believe. Is that correct?
WITNESS: That is correct.
CPT BEALE: Fine, your answer will cease at that point.
Q Would you tell us, please, sir, what you know personally about the wallet inside the house at 544 Castle Drive and its disposition?
A On that morning when I arrived there, there was a man's wallet lying on the desk on the closest edge to the front door. Subsequently I was told by the military policeman who was in the living room --
MR. SEGAL: That is objected to.
CPT SOMERS: He's just describing a sequence of events. This is not hearsay; this is something that he heard.
MR. SEGAL: The experienced investigator knows he can testify to what he did as a result of hearing something. It is not appropriate to testify about a witness who must be readily available to this investigation. He might have been here already.
CPT BEALE: Your objection is sustained, Mr. Segal.
Q When did you first discover that this wallet was missing, if you did?
A Sometime after I had originally seen it.
Q What was done as a result of this?
A At this time I instructed that all persons that were present be searched to determine, or to establish that they had not taken it. This was done. We did not find the wallet. It was later that day found along the road adjacent to the hospital.
Q What hospital is that?
A Womack Army Hospital.
Q Was any medical personnel present in the house about the time this wallet was discovered missing?
A For a short period of time, two of the ambulance drivers stepped in off the porch in order to get out of the rain, and they were shortly thereafter instructed that if they were getting wet standing outside, to go and sit in their ambulances.
Q What was done with the wallet?
A The wallet, after it was recovered, was returned to Captain MacDonald via Captain Williams with an explanation of what occurred.
Q Did you assign some investigators to investigate the incident with the wallet?
A No, sir, I didn't. My entire investigative strength was committed to this investigation.
Q How were these medical personnel dressed?
A They were dressed with white jackets on and one of them was wearing a -- appeared to be a pair of blue jean trousers.
CPT SOMERS: Your witness.
Questions by MR. SEGAL:
Q What is the name of the medic who was wearing the white jacket and blue jean trousers?
A I do not know, sir.
Q What effort was made to locate that person?
Q Was that medic on the premises of the MacDonald house when you arrived?
A He was outdoors, I believe, because the ambulances were there.
Q Let me ask you, sir, did you see the medic with the white jacket and dungarees when you arrived on the premises?
A Oh, no, sir, only at the time that I noticed that they were standing inside the front door, and they were instructed to go and sit in the ambulances.
Q Well, how long after you arrived at the premises did you observe these men standing inside the living room?
A Perhaps a half hour, sir.
Q After you arrived? Well, let's establish when did you arrive?
A I arrived somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:45 to 4:50.
Q Between 0445 and 0450. Is that right?
Q And when you arrived, whom did you observe outside the MacDonald house?
A Primarily military policemen.
Q And how many military policemen did you see on the outside when you arrived?
A I came in the front door directly, and I believe that I recall seeing two at the -- on the sidewalk, just at the edge of the front yard.
Q You mean at the time you arrived --
A This is outdoors.
Q At the time you arrived outdoors on the MacDonald front lawn area, the only people you observed whatsoever were two military policemen?
A No, there were also criminal investigators searching the outside of the house.
Q Well, can you give us a figure of the total number of individuals you saw outside the MacDonald house when you, yourself, arrived?
A No, sir, I didn't count them.
Q Would you give us your best estimate to the number of military official persons, be it in uniform or investigators in plain clothes that you saw when you first arrived?
A That I saw in the front yard in front of the house, approximately five to the best of my recollection.
Q When you went in the house you entered through the front door?
A That's correct.
Q And in the living room how many people did you see?
A Four as I recall.
Q Who were those persons?
A The military policeman, Major Parson who is Deputy Provost Marshal, and two criminal investigators, and that's all that I recall.
Q Five persons were inside?
Q You said --
A In addition, and standing just outside in front of the Kalin door, in that vicinity, there were members of the Kalin family too.
Q I am asking now about inside the MacDonald house -- you said there was a military policeman inside?
A A military policeman, Major Parson and the criminal investigators.
Q Who was the military policeman that was inside?
A I believe his name is Hagney.
Q Now how much later after you arrived at 0445 or 0450 did you notice the wallet was not there?
A I would estimate it would be somewhere between thirty and forty minutes, to the best of my recollection.
Q Were you out of the living room for a portion of that time?
A Yes, I was.
Q Do you know how many persons, other than the four you found there originally, had occasion to come in and leave the living room while you were out of it?
A No, I don't, but I do know that military policemen did come to the doorway and receive instructions from Major Parson.
Q When you say came to the door; you are not indicating they came into the house, are you?
A They stepped, opened the screen and stepped up into the doorway.
Q Did you ascertain how many persons came actually into the living room while you were away from it, and before you discovered the wallet was missing?
A From the last time that I saw the wallet there and when I learned that it was missing, it was the one military policeman that came to the door and the two ambulance drivers that were standing at the desk where the wallet was.
Q And how did you get that information?
A Because I had -- when I reentered the living room the wallet was still on the desk.
Q Were either of these two ambulance drivers permitted to go in the area of the couch in the MacDonald living room or the coffee table in the MacDonald living room?
A Not until they eventually removed the bodies of the two children.
Q So that if you were to be told that a witness to the military police observed a person in a fatigue jacket and dungarees enter the living room, go past the coffee table, touched a plastic pot and sit on the sofa, that does not sound to you as one of the military medical personnel that you, yourself observed?
A It is no one that I observed, no, sir.
Q Now at what time was Captain MacDonald's wallet later located?
A To the best of my recollection it would be about 1330 hours, as I recall, shortly after lunch.
Q And who is the person that found the wallet?
A I do not recall the name of the person.
Q Is there a record of the name of the person?
Q Will you be good enough to obtain that name for us and advise us before this proceeding has ended, as to who it was who found the wallet?
CPT SOMERS: I object, this defense counsel cannot give this witness directions of any nature.
MR. SEGAL: I was only asking. I would not presume to tell Mr. Grebner or anyone else what they have to do
CPT BEALE: Mr. Segal, your request to have this particular name is denied.
Q Did you yourself, personally receive the wallet?
A At which time, sir?
Q Shortly after 1330 hours.
A Yes, it was brought to me.
Q By some of the military police people?
A It was turned into one of those who were in the duty investigator's office, and they then brought it into my office, where I retained it until I -- I retained it in my possession, until I turned it over to Captain Williams to give to Captain MacDonald.
Q Did you examine the wallet?
A Only to the extent that I opened it up to see if there was any money in it.
Q Was there any money?
A There was no money.
Q Now in regard to the investigation made by the CID to locate the four persons described by Captain MacDonald, is it fair to say that the primary responsibility for that investigation was that of CID Agent Connolly and CID Agent Carter?
A Carter is not a CID man. Connolly is. But it was not solely their responsibility.
Q Mr. Carter is a detective for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office?
A That is correct.
Q Now did CID Agent Connolly have the primary responsibility for checking out persons in regard to information about the four suspects described by Captain MacDonald?
A This, coupled with other duties.
Q I know, sir, but I want to know who had the primary responsibility for making the 1500 interviews that you say the CID performed?
A All my investigators. I was the coordinator and the director.
Q Mr. Grebner, are you are aware that Mr. Connolly has given a signed sworn statement in which he said that he interviewed between 500 and 600 people in connection with this particular subject matter?
A That is correct.
Q He did. And in view of the fact that you said 1500 people were interviewed, would that not make him the person who conducted the primary investigation of individuals for further information about the four people described by Captain MacDonald?
A No, sir, it would not.
CPT SOMERS: I object. He's answered that question.
MR. SEGAL: Well, who did have the responsibility --
COL ROCK: Just a minute.
CPT BEALE: Your objection is overruled, Captain Somers. Answer the question if you can, Mr. Grebner.
A Most of Connolly's interviews in connection with this were in the company of John Carter and were off post, and I said in that area there were 3500 in total, Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, and Cumberland County generally. In addition to Mr. Connolly, there were FBI agents; there were Provost Marshal investigators, criminal investigators --
Q Excuse me just a moment. I think I have not made clear to you what I am asking. I understood your direct testimony was that the CID caused 1500 people to be interviewed by its personnel. Did I understand that correctly?
A I said on Fort Bragg, that was the answer.
Q In other words, you are telling us that in addition to 1500 interviews on Fort Bragg, the interviews were conducted by CID personnel on Fort Bragg and here in Fayetteville area?
Q And that was what Mr. Connolly was doing?
A He was one of those that was doing that.
Q Who were the CID agents on 17th, 18th and 20th of February who conducted these 1500 interviews on Fort Bragg?
A By name?
Q Yes, sir.
A Connolly would have conducted some, Mr. Hodges, Hawkins, Avilla.
Q What was that last name?
A Avilla, Reeves, Spesert, Cooper and Provost Marshal investigators which I could not say definitely which were the ones.
Q Did each of these investigators submit a written report on every person they interviewed?
A There would be a record that a person had been interviewed in most instances. If there was negative information there perhaps would not be a record.
Q How did you come to conclude that there were 1500 interviews by the CID personnel on Fort Bragg?
A I was asked for an approximation.
Q Yes, sir, what was the basis of your approximation?
A By the number of people that were doing the interviewing and the number of interviews that they did.
Q How do you know the number of interviews they did?
A I can only accept what they reported to me.
Q Well, did you write down what each of these agents reported to you as the total number of persons they interviewed each day?
A Did I write that down?
Q Yes, sir.
A No, sir.
Q Well, where did you get the figure of 1500, other than -- are you saying to your recollection of what they told you on February 17th, 18th, and 19th?
A From my recollection and also from the written records that we do have.
Q Well, will you tell us, please, what the written records reflect in terms of total number of people, that is, can you give us the figure which is validated by written records of interviews?
A During that period, a thousand.
Q Are you telling us that there are a thousand interviews --
A Twelve hundred, somewhere in that area.
Q There was a thousand names that you had and noted in your files of persons who were interviewed?
A Yes, sir.
Q Those interviews were made in three days?
A On those three days.
Q And how many hours a day were your investigators working those days?
A Sixteen and eighteen hours, therein.
Q Have you figured out the amount of time that was devoted to each interview on the basis of the number of hours they were working?
A I would have no way of knowing that.
Q Do you have any idea of how long or how short the interviews were?
CPT SOMERS: I object. He's answered that question.
CPT BEALE: Your objection is overruled, Captain Somers.
A It would vary with each interview. Some would last a matter of several minutes. Some would last perhaps hours.
Q Can you tell me how many interviews that your agents conducted lasted one hour or more?
A In those days?
Q Yes, sir.
A Those three days -- perhaps five or six.
Q Isn't it a matter of fact, Mr. Grebner, some of those interviews took place because people called the CID and the military police to volunteer information in connection with the MacDonald episode?
A That's correct.
Q Can you give the court an approximate number of the persons who called to volunteer information in this regard?
A I couldn't give you an honest estimation to that.
Q Well, can you give us an approximation of the number of calls by persons volunteering information in what they thought was related to the MacDonald case?
A Two or three, probably.
Q And did many of these persons volunteer information purporting to descriptions of three men and one female?
A This is correct.
Q Mr. Grebner, when you arrived on the scene at 0445, did you then become in charge of the MacDonald investigation?
A Yes, I did, as far as the military.
Q Yes, sir, and were apprised very shortly after you arrived of what Captain MacDonald had said in regard to the assailants being three men and a woman?
A Yes, I was.
Q Did you cause or issue an order directing road blocks to be set up on the highways leading off the Fort Bragg reservation?
A No, sir, road blocks are military police functions.
Q Did you suggest to the military police or the Provost Marshal Office to set up such road blocks?
A I understood at that time and was told by Major Parsons that road blocks were in effect.
Q You were told by Major Parsons that, sir?
Q Did you have any other information in that regard other than what Major Parsons told you?
A I don't understand your question, sir.
Q All right, when did you -- you say you learned from Major Parsons that the military police set up road blocks. When was this?
A Shortly after I arrived at the house.
Q And did you learn where the road blocks were supposed to be set up?
A No, I didn't inquire.
Q Were you told?
A No, I was not.
Q From the time you arrived, Mr. Grebner, on the scene of the MacDonald house, and thereafter, did anyone else of the CID have a responsibility for giving investigation assignments to other CID investigators?
A Yes, Mr. Shaw, who I placed in charge of the crime scene, would have directed any efforts in connection with the crime scene protection and security.
Q That would be to retain the services of the crime laboratory at Fort Gordon?
A He did not do that personally. That was done from my office.
Q Who was the man actually assigned on a day-to-day basis of the investigation of the MacDonald case under your overall supervision?
A At the crime scene, Mr. Shaw.
Q Were there any other specific assignments given out by any of the CID investigators, specific individual assignments?
Q But you remained in charge thereafter of the overall investigation?
A That is correct.
Q And thereafter did all reports made by the various investigators and the agents that you coordinated come to you for your attention?
A Not directly to me. They came first to another investigator who was maintaining a log and file.
Q Who was that?
A That was Mr. Ellis.
Q Did you have occasion to review the reports that were coming in from the investigators and military police and the other agencies you coordinated?
A I did.
Q That was part of your function, as a matter of fact, being the overall chief of this investigation, was to review all reports and investigations developed on a day-to-day basis?
A This is correct.
Q And to your knowledge, based upon your supervision of this case and your review of the records, has anyone made a statement that Captain MacDonald and Mrs. MacDonald had a violent argument on the evening of February 16th or early morning of the 17th, 1970?
A Not that I recall.
Q Has anybody made a statement to your knowledge that Captain MacDonald and Mrs. MacDonald were in a habit of violent domestic arguments?
A Not that I recall.
Q Is it a matter of fact that the sum and substance of all the people you interviewed, in regard to that last question I put to you, that you have no information and no investigation report which shows that the MacDonalds had a habit of having violent domestic arguments, that you included in your answer consideration of the fact that your agents interviewed people as far away as Ohio and New York, who could give you no information that there was this kind of relationship between Captain and Mrs. MacDonald?
A That's correct.
Q Did your agents also have occasion to interview people in Chicago where Captain MacDonald went to school and was married and living with Mrs. MacDonald as to the domestic relationship of he and his wife?
A We did.
Q And that none of those persons gave any information to indicate that they were in the habit of having violent arguments?
CPT SOMERS: I object. It is true that this hearing can go into hearsay and we've gone into a bit of it, it can get too remote and I submit that at this point we have gotten too remote in the sense of hearsay, and I object to this questioning, and any further questions in this line.
CPT BEALE: The objection is sustained.
Q Based upon the various investigation reports that you received and you own interviews with the CID investigators, did you receive any information whatsoever to substantiate a claim that Captain MacDonald and Mr. MacDonald ever assaulted each other physically?
CPT SOMERS: I object. There's no basis for that question, and furthermore it goes back to the remoteness of the information that he's asking for.
MR. SEGAL: The basis for the question is the fact that Captain MacDonald is charged with having done these crimes, and the propensity to commit violence upon one another is a fact that would have to be considered, and what I suggest, which there is no difficulty in receiving answers, no harm to the government since, one, the government already knows the information that we're talking about, so therefore the government is not surprised and not prejudiced. So it seems to me such information is highly relevant to determining whether or not the defendant in this case, in fact, did inflict these injuries on his wife and his two children.
CPT SOMERS: If the defense wishes to submit character evidence it is free to do so; however, I submit again the evidence he's trying to ascertain now is from a source too remote to be considered and I object.
CPT BEALE: Captain Somers, your objection is going to be overruled because if, in fact, this witness has knowledge of these particular facts you state is too remote for this particular hearing, then I would suggest to you then that his testimony concerning what the agents went out and did and found with suspect accordingly and after their interview, they didn't find any, then I suggest to you that that also is too remote.
CPT SOMERS: If I may, the information which Mr. Grebner has given here and which he's been permitted to give on direct examination has concerned administrative details such as the numbers of investigations and the extent of an investigation, which hasn't concerned conclusions as to the investigation, or the substance of any given interview.
CPT BEALE: Well, your objection, at least right now, is overruled and this witness will be instructed to answer this particular line of questioning as long as it's within reason. We don't want to go too far.
(Mr. Segal requested that the reporter read back the last question and she complied.)
Q Was there any indication from your records that Captain MacDonald himself ever administered corporal punishment to his children; in other words, beat them, other than a playful slap or anything like that?
Q Did your interviews reveal that Captain MacDonald was a kind, gentle, loving father to his children?
CPT SOMERS: I object to that on the same basis.
MR. SEGAL: It goes to the specific question of whether this man is capable of having mutilated his children, or whether he has shown by prior conduct that he exhibited propensity for violence, and that would give reason to believe that is consistent with other behavior.
CPT BEALE: The objection is overruled. Answer the question, Mr. Grebner.
Q Did your interviews indicate whether or not Colette MacDonald ever became violent with either her husband or children?
Q Did your interviews indicate that Captain MacDonald was anything other than a normal, healthy, medically and physically, person?
CPT BEALE: Just a second, Mr. Grebner. Mr. Segal, how much further along these lines?
MR. SEGAL: I have just two questions, sir, and that will complete, I think, all of our examination.
CPT SOMERS: I object to this one. It requires that he decide whether the evidence shows that he would be healthy which is a conclusion, shows him to be normal, which certainly is a conclusion, and I think we've gotten ourselves extended out here on hearsay on top of hearsay and asking for conclusions. I think this witness now cannot answer that question and should not be permitted to do so.
MR. SEGAL: What we are asking of this witness, sir, is whether any person of hundreds of thousands interviewed ever indicated that Captain MacDonald showed signs of mental aberration, mental illness, or any condition that might be significant factors in this determination.
I will rephrase the question if that's more appropriate.
COL ROCK: Please do so.
Q Mr. Grebner, did any of the persons interviewed by the various investigators in this case give any statement to indicate that Captain MacDonald showed signs of mental illness or mental aberration of any sort?
Q Did any person interviewed by the various investigation state that Captain MacDonald had taken either dangerous drugs or addicting drugs?
CPT BEALE: Mr. Segal, that's your two questions.
MR. SEGAL: I think that's the end of my examination. Thank you, Mr. Grebner.
CPT BEALE: Redirect?
Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q Mr. Grebner, did anyone in any of these interviews that have been related have an occasion to state that Captain MacDonald was capable of committing these crimes?
A Yes, sir.
Q He did, very good. Who was that?
A His sister, Mrs. Alvey.
CPT BEALE: Mrs. Who?
WITNESS: Mrs. Alvey.
Q How do you spell that?
Q Now with respect to these phone calls that we've spoken about dealing with the group composed of three males and one female, what did your investigation do?
MR. SEGAL: I object. I know of no phone calls that were referred to whatsoever.
CPT SOMERS: The defense asked questions about whether or not many of the phone calls that they received concerning information about these people --
MR. SEGAL: I thought he was referring to interviews of persons --
CPT BEALE: All right, go ahead.
Q Upon this, what did your agents do?
A Upon receiving this information, investigators were sent out to check out each and every report and find the members of that group to establish whether they did fit the description and to establish their whereabouts and their activities during the period in question.
Q Was this done with each of the phone calls with information that was given to you?
A Everyone we have received from that day until this.
Q Do you have any idea how many different groups were checked on in this way?
A In this area, groups, I --
Q Groups or individuals.
A Well, there were many individuals checked in addition to just reported individuals, who reportedly hung around together. I'd say 150 to 200 different individuals and groups were checked.
Q What did the investigation disclose with respect to the location of the individuals who were checked?
MR. SEGAL: That would be objected to.
Q On the night of the 16th-17th.
MR. SEGAL: That would be objected to unless those reports of investigation were made available.
CPT SOMERS: I think the defense is in a very difficult position here, having elicited much of this information itself.
CPT BEALE: The objection is overruled.
A We were able to establish that these individuals were not on Fort Bragg on the night and morning in question.
CPT SOMERS: No further questions.
CPT BEALE: Re-cross?
MR. SEGAL: Yes.
Questions by MR. SEGAL:
Q Mr. Grebner, did you establish that some of the these people were not on Fort Bragg by either showing them in person or showing their pictures to Captain MacDonald for the purpose of having them identified, him identify them?
A I don't recall showing pictures of that type of individual that he described.
Q Isn't it a matter of fact, Mr. Grebner, that Captain MacDonald was never asked by you or any CID agent to view any of the persons that were subjects of interview as possible suspects in the investigation of this killing?
A That is correct.
Q And he was never shown any photographs of persons outside the immediate Fayetteville area who were being considered as suspects in this killing?
A That's correct.
Q That police in farther places away than the Fayetteville area, all over the southeastern parts of the United States, made reports of groups of individuals who might be considered suspects to your office?
A Yes, that is correct.
Q And did you show pictures of the individuals who were picked up in these places to Captain MacDonald for the purpose of identification?
A No, sir.
Q Do you have a copy, sir, of the statement you say Mrs. Alvey made about Captain MacDonald?
A I have a copy of the investigator's statement concerning her interview.
MR. SEGAL: I would request, sir that a copy of that statement be made available to the defense. I would say that particularly in anticipation of the fact she will be called as a defense witness.
CPT BEALE: Well, the request is denied at this time.
MR. SEGAL: I have nothing further.
CPT SOMERS: No further questions.
COL ROCK: When you were in the house or in the area of the MacDonald house and you saw this individual as a medic with blue jeans and a white jacket, did this strike you in any way as being unusual? Did you think this was a civilian or that a soldier would be dressed in blue jeans and jacket?
WITNESS: Well, that is why I remember, sir. My first thought upon seeing him is, "He's out of uniform." And immediately following this thought was that there were several ambulances out there and I recall that they normally only have two ambulance drivers on duty and they must have had to call some of them out of bed and they had dressed quickly.
COL ROCK: I see. To your knowledge, have you been involved in any other investigation where similar circumstances has occurred; that you have seen a soldier medic in blue jeans?
WITNESS: Not that I recall, sir, offhand.
COL ROCK: Did you have occasion to go outside the house during the time that you were first in the MacDonald home area that is to go around the house in a search?
WITNESS: Yes, sir. I was called outside when the weapons were found in the back of the house and I went around and instructed that the knife and ice pick be covered.
COL ROCK: Was it dark at that time?
WITNESS: Yes, sir, it was dark and raining.
COL ROCK: Did you notice whether there was a light burning in the back of the house, on the exterior of the house?
WITNESS: I believe that the back light was on at that time but I could not say for certain, sir.
COL ROCK: When did you first go into the kitchen area?
WITNESS: I did not enter the kitchen area. I merely walked as far as the doorway of the living room.
COL ROCK: Basically speaking, can you sum up how an agent would determine when interrogating a "hippie" suspect, whether that individual in fact had or could have been in the MacDonald house area? In other words, in reading reports, does the individual establish an alibi of having been somewhere else that evening?
COL ROCK: Or what method is used to --
WITNESS: It would be the establishment of an alibi that they were someplace else at such and such a time, and then that alibi is checked.
COL ROCK: I see. The alibi is then checked. I have no further questions.
MR. SEGAL: I have nothing further, sir.
CPT SOMERS: No further redirect.
COL ROCK: Mr. Grebner, you are advised that you will discuss your testimony with no person other than counsel for the government or counsel for the defense. Do you understand that?
WITNESS: Yes, sir.
COL ROCK: You are excused, subject to recall.
CPT SOMERS: At this time, sir, I wish to have the weapons taken back to the CID evidence locker.
COL ROCK: I have no further use for them at this time. Does counsel for the accused?
MR. SEGAL: Depending upon who is to be called in the balance of the afternoon, sir.
COL ROCK: Who is the next witness?
CPT SOMERS: The next witness, sir, is a Mr. Hawkins.
COL ROCK: Also of the CID?
CPT SOMERS: Yes, sir, he is.
MR. SEGAL: And after Mr. Hawkins?
CPT SOMERS: That's the last witness for the day.
COL ROCK: Well, Mr. Hawkins could return these, could he not?
CPT SOMERS: Well, sir, I'd have to check. I'm not sure the paper work is here.
MR. SEGAL: I don't think Mr. Hawkins will require them.
COL ROCK: All right, these weapons will be removed by Mr. Grebner. We will now take a ten-minute recess.
(The hearing recessed at 1414 hours, 24 July 1970.)