I remember watching the show as well and I am re-reading this book. This book is so well written, you won't want to put it down! Jeffrey MacDonald, the handsome, Princeton-educated physician convicted of savagely slaying his young pregnant wife and two small children, murders he vehemently denies committing. On 17th February 1970, MacDonald claims that a group of hippies, two white men, a black man and a blonde woman with a floppy hat, broke into his house, assaulted him, and then murdered his wife and two little girls. It lays everything out there clearly for the reader. Joe McGinniss is was an American journalist, non-fiction writer and novelist.
It seems that McGinniss includes anything anyone ever said about anything related to this case a I had to stop reading this halfway through, which is still an achievement since it is a 600 page behemoth of crap. I deeply wish it had been. Not convinced however were MacDonald's many supports including as I recall members of the Long Beach, California police department, many of MacDonald's co-workers, and a number of women who found the doctor very attractive. Still, for readers willing to wade through the repetitious transcript detail on physical evidence and the air-headed MacDonald memoirs, there is a slow, strong fascination to McGinniss' impassive assemblage: the growing impression of MacDonald's lack of genuine emotions except anger at the investigators ; conflicts in testimony that highlight MacDonald's lies about his infidelities, his marriage ; accumulating hints of mental disturbance--from family comments as well as the often-unimpressive psychiatric testimony; bits of seemingly irrelevant information that later take on importance e. I read this book with an open mind about the case, unsure if I believed MacDonald had killed his wife and two young daughters. McGinniss, who I think writes a fairly balanced recounting, ultimately confesses that he is convinced of MacDonald's guilt, however, I think his personal bias is admirably subdued throughout most of the book. Gregory McDonald, who is now imprisoned for killing his wife and children.
If you like true crime, this is practically a classic. So I was very familiar with this story going into this book, as I believe it was mentioned on an episode of My Favorite Murder, and already had my own opinion before I read this book. Why read it twice, you may ask. So much of the narrative regarding Jeffrey MacDonald and his murdered family rang bells. It lays everything out there clearly for the reader. This is not an enjoyable read. On 17th February 1970, MacDonald claims that a group of hippies, two white men, a black man and a blonde woman with a floppy hat, broke into his house, assaulted him, and then murdered his wife and two little girls.
Final Vision This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. He was found not guilty in an army hearing but after an extensive civilian investigation he was found guilty. The eventual actual trial occurred before I can remember. In addition to watching some old interviews and re-watching the mini-series, I have also purchased and plan to read A Wilderness of Error written by Errol Morris, in which he contends that MacDonald is innocent along with his case, as well as Final Vision a short update written by McGinnis. McGinniss posits that MacDonald was hopped up on speed and in a dexy-fueled rage killed his family.
MacDonald was at an adult-ed class in child psychology the evening before the killings ; and, perhaps most crucially, an implicit sense of McGinniss' own shifting back-and-forth about MacDonald's guilt. This book is a constant tug-o-war: Is he guilty? Joe McGinniss obviously knew his material and his subject extremely well. Main article: In the early morning hours of February 17, 1970, at their home on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Captain Jeffrey MacDonald, M. This is not an enjoyable read. In the Jon Benet case there is the sense of an attempt to cover up some violence inflicted on a member of the family because somebody probably the mother lost her temper, while in the Scott Peterson case there is the phenomenon of the sociopathic personality to explain an otherwise unthinkable crime.
MacDonald was a free citizen again, cleared off all the serious blemishes? I tried to read The Executioner's Song, but couldn't get through more than 100 pages or something. McGinniss is masterful as he takes the reader face-to-face with a very agreeable suspect, delves into fascinating psychologies behind the possible motives, pursues incredible twists of fate and a trial that left this reader, for one, grappling with the final judgement. My breaking point was when McGinniss begins over-analyzing the class notes Colette MacDonald took in her Child Psych class the night of her murder, as if her study notes were some kind of diary. In fact, this book started my passion for the literature and I read it later a second time, much more slowly. I found it amazing that the author set out to write this book alongside MacDonald to proclaim his innocence and tell his story.
So incredibly well-written through most of its vast length, and McGinniss drew me in. It's a tremendously scary ride, but well worth it. Jeffrey MacDonald, Colette's husband and father of the murdered children. Why read it twice, you may ask. So much of the narrative regarding Jeffrey MacDonald and his murdered family rang bells.
Someday there may be another trial. I find it especially compelling that McGinniss went into the book thinking Jeff wasn't guilty, but was then convinced of it, as I am too. A Must Read for any true crime lover or any reader who wants to see how a conviction based on circumstantial evidence told the whole story of how these murders took place. The bifacial strategy of the fox named McGinniss stood fully exposed later. It's nice that it's erotica, but even nicer when the person behind the word processor really knows how to create believable characters and situations, and then gets them off—explosively.