Final Vision (2017) Movie Script

Emergency services.
I need an ambulance.
544 Castle drive.
Is that on or off coast?
544 Castle drive.
I'm going around back.
Yes, sir.
Get Womack asap!
We need an ambulance.
Yes, sir!
Mobile unit to Womack hospital.
He's still alive! Get that
ambulance here on the double!
Yes, sir!
Let's go!
Oh, my god.
What's in here?
Don't touch anything.
Where are you guys?
Um, hey, do you mind taking him?
Come here.
Here you go.
Go to mama.
Did you hear back
from Leslie yet?
No, not yet.
It's okay, just do your work.
Try calling Leslie again.
Call the service.
When you want to take
a break, come find us.
Okay, great, thank you.
Okay. Okay.
Bye, daddy!
Come on, little munchkin.
Let's go play.
Umm, hi, yeah.
This is Joe McGinniss.
Can I have my messages, please?
Bruce Howard's office
called to say
they are passing on the article,
but they want to hear
whatever you have next.
Umm, anything else?
Mr. Rayburn's
office called at Knopf.
Still no information about
a tour for the Alaska book,
but they will let you know
when there is some.
Anything else?
Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald called.
He's a big fan of
"selling of the president,"
and He'd like to talk to you
about covering his trial
in north Carolina.
Do you want the number?
Yeah, I'll take the number.
And give me the number
for "the examiner" archives.
I want to read more
about MacDonald
before I meet him.
Good to see you.
- Joe?
- Yeah.
Jeff MacDonald.
I appreciate you reaching out.
I don't know very much
about your case.
I can hum a few bars,
but I haven't done
any serious research on it.
Okay, so what do you know?
There was a tragedy.
You lost your wife and kids.
The army accuses you
of the crime,
then they change their minds.
They clear you.
You get an honorable discharge.
And now, somehow
after nine years,
you're being dragged
back to north Carolina
to stand trial in three weeks.
Yeah, that's about right.
So, after nine years,
why is this coming back around?
It was all over.
But I spoke to the press.
I wanted people to see
who I was,
hear me talk about
what happened,
how the army dragged me
through a trial
after what happened
to Colette and my kids.
I spoke out against
the army on TV.
And for me,
as an ex-green beret.
Then the army came around
for a second whack at me.
Freddy Kassab,
my father-in-law...
He testified on your behalf
originally, right?
That's a good memory
for just humming a few bars.
So He started to tell anyone
who would listen to him
that I was guilty,
that I did it.
And here we are.
I need someone to help me
tell my story.
I want you to write the book.
I mean, I'm a journalist.
I don't do "as told to" books.
I want real reporting.
I want you to tear
everything up so that none
of these questions
ever gets asked again.
That's why I called you.
I want the truth.
So, you want me to cover
the trial in north Carolina?
Yes, cover everything,
not just the trial.
But be with me, see what
it's like on the inside.
See what I'm going through
for as long as it takes.
I got a lot of irons
on the fire right now, I...
Joe, look, I moved
down to California
because I needed to get away.
I know how I come off.
I drive a nice car.
I date a pretty girl.
A fancy car just gets you
around, man,
and the ocean's just a view.
None of that can fill the hole
of losing your family.
None of that.
Leslie, there's no question
there's something very weird
going on about this case.
It takes the government
four years to get an indictment.
And then it takes them
another five years
to actually bring him to trial
in north Carolina
in a few weeks.
So from where I'm sitting,
this feels like
a nine-year-long
kafka-type ordeal for this guy.
Nine years?
What about the right
to a speedy trial?
Jeffrey MacDonald's defense team
took that
all the way
to the supreme court and lost.
What about double jeopardy? You
can't try him twice, can you?
And that's the second issue that
made it to the supreme court.
But they refused to review it
because He was never
actually tried by the army.
How about Jeffrey MacDonald?
How does He strike you?
I mean, you almost want
to hate the guy at first
because He looks more
like a movie star
than most movie stars do,
but then you realize
at some point that He's haunted.
I mean, you can see it
in his eyes.
His wife and children
were slaughtered.
I mean, what father could
do that to his own kids?
So, what's the angle?
My angle?
What's your angle?
I'm not sure about my angle yet,
but there might be
something to the army,
and now the feds
persecuting him.
It's been a long time, and
they're still going after him.
No, I'm good.
Having access to Jeffrey
and this trial
could mean
another book as big as
"selling the president."
It could be, right?
He wants me on every defense
meeting, every gameplan session.
He wants me to live with him,
for god sakes.
Are you just hopping
into bed with this guy?
No, I'm gonna go down there,
and I'm gonna listen
to his story
with my b.S.
Meter set on high.
All right, even though
I'm a journalist,
I have some integrity.
Come on!
We both want another
"selling of the president,"
but I would be lying if I
told you this smells like that.
What else do I have, Leslie?
Dr. Harper,
you are needed in the E.R.
What do we got?
Stab wound, ulner artery.
How long ago?
About half hour.
All right, let's take a look.
Old faithful there, huh?
Clamp, please, and let's
get a large pole I.V. Started.
Thank you.
Nurse, oxygen.
You okay?
You tell me.
Oh, yeah, we got you covered.
There we go.
All right, let's get
him out of here.
Dr. Silverman, line three.
Dr. Silverman, line three.
What are you doing here?
H-how did you find me?
I just came here to tell you
I'll do it.
I'm gonna come
to north Carolina.
That's fantastic.
Listen, I'm gonna need
two things.
I want full access
and full freedom
to write according
to my own judgment.
I'm going to ask you
some tough questions,
and you might not
like me very much.
Dr. MacDonald?
We can... we can go over
all the details
and travel, all that, tomorrow.
Hey, they're throwing me
a send-off party.
You have to promise me to come.
All right.
I like you already, Joe.
But you could have just called.
Dr. Benson...
Dr. Benson...
I had no idea.
Yeah, everyone.
It means the world
that you're here.
One more, please.
May I have
everyone's attention, please?
Jeff, it goes without saying
how much we all believe in you,
but to show you just
how much we love you,
we got you a little something.
Well, you shouldn't have.
All right, this...
Oh, my goodness.
Thank you.
And thank you all for coming.
Wow, it means the world to me.
I'm sure I'll be back here
in a couple of weeks,
but until then, drink
everything we got here.
Yeah, yeah,
come here, come here.
Oh, sweet boy.
I'm sorry.
Daddy's gotta go do
some work, okay?
I'll see you soon.
I'll see you soon.
Bye, sweetie.
I just... I wish they were
more appropriate to your standards.
I think it's...
- Joe!
- Hey.
Joe, I'm so excited you're here.
Look at...
This is great, hey.
You just caught us
at cocktail hour.
You cleaned up.
Yeah, it's... well, we got a big
couple weeks coming up, huh?
Come on, come meet everybody.
Joe, this is my mom.
This is Perry.
Oh, Mr. McGinniss.
Nice to meet you.
And this is...
This is Bernie Segal,
our fearless leader.
Bernie has been my guy
since the beginning.
Is that right?
Uhh, Bernie, nice to meet you.
I've heard about your work
with the war protestors.
Good to have you with us.
You can help us with
the public face of all this.
We sure hope so.
And Joe, this is Wade Smith,
attorney at law.
Very nice to meet you.
Thank Wade's college
connections for landing us here
at this frat house.
Guilty as charged.
It's not ideal,
but it's a lot more
private than a hotel would be.
Wade, I told you
He was gonna be here.
Yes, you did.
Let me guess.
Scotch and soda?
What soda?
That's what I like to hear.
You know, it's funny being back
on a college campus.
Colette and I got married
when I was in Princeton.
When was the first time
you met Colette?
That's crazy,
but I was 12 years old.
12, if you can believe it.
It took a few more years
to fall in love.
Sha la la la la la
Are you nervous?
Well, maybe.
Hello, hello.
Merry Christmas.
Look at you.
Mrs. Kassab, how are you?
Merry Christmas to you.
Where's your coat?
We didn't think it was
gonna be so cold.
It's freezing.
And this is...
This is the two of you.
Mm-hmm, saying goodbye.
And this one is you, as well.
Yes, that's me right out
of officer's school,
and the one above is after
a few months in Europe.
So, how's Princeton?
Hard work.
Heck of a nice campus,
just beautiful.
Dinner is served.
Oh, my, my, my.
Look at that Turkey.
It's heavy.
Freddy was actually
Colette's stepfather,
but Colette absolutely
adored Freddy.
She never called him
anything but dad,
and when she decided
that she loved me,
and I was part of the family,
Freddy absolutely
welcomed me in.
About you
sha la la la la
They say they say you never,
never, never, never been true
Oh, thank you.
Is that a curtsy?
Doesn't matter
what they say I know
I'm gonna love you
any old way what can I do
When it's true
don't want nobody,
Nobody 'cause baby,
it's you
Baby, it's you
Baby, it's you
What is it about her?
She was the nicest
person I ever met.
All right, I have
a surprise for you?
What are you doing?
Come on.
Keep your eyes closed.
Don't peek.
Okay, you stay right here.
Keep your eyes closed.
What did you do?
Okay, open 'em.
Oh, my god.
What do you think
of that beauty?
This must have cost a fortune.
Jeff, you can't keep
doing things like this.
I love watching you get excited.
Can I play it?
Of course.
This is all yours, babe.
We were a good team.
You know, we knew how to
take care of the girls
and give each other
the space we needed, too.
How'd you do that,
have your own space?
Colette, she never
finished college,
and she started getting
interested in psychology,
child development classes.
So she did that a couple
of nights a week,
and I'd take care of the girls.
All right.
For you.
For you.
Thank you, daddy.
Okay. Bye, girls.
I love you.
Bye, sweetie.
Have fun.
Yeah, I love you.
But it's too late
Too late to cry
all right,
who's gonna want
another hot dog?
What'd you do for space?
I got into boxing.
Okay, Joe Frazier.
I was the doctor
for the base boxing team.
I caught the bug and started
training with them.
They were getting
ready for this...
This big competition in Russia.
It was a big trip.
I'd be gone for about a month.
Colette was gonna let you
go to Russia for a month.
She was all for it.
Really my biggest concern
was making weight for the match.
I didn't want to look
like a joker
in front of the younger guys.
I remember that afternoon.
I came home from work,
and it was a 24-hour shift
in an off-base E.R.
I was firing on all cylinders.
- Hello.
- Daddy!
I felt like a superhero,
you know?
And it happened
later that night.
Some superhero.
Mr. McGinniss?
Umm, when Jeffrey packed up
the house at fort Bragg,
I held onto some
of the family things.
It's some old home movies.
Anything I can take
a look at helps.
I know you're busy,
but please watch these
so that you can really see my
granddaughters and our family.
They were beautiful.
That was a day
I'll never forget.
So sorry.
I can...
I can watch this later.
No, no, it's okay.
Umm, where did you get these?
Your mother.
Please, go ahead.
I want to see them.
You sure?
So that's Kristen?
Yeah, I remember the first time
we brought her home.
All Kimberly wanted to do
was hold her.
She really just wanted
to pinch her.
She was so jealous.
And that day, wow.
That was a great day.
Colette and I took the girls
to visit their pony.
I think that was the first time
Kristen was ever on a horse.
How long was this
before the night they died?
It'd be a month before they
died, maybe not even.
How many kids do you have, Joe?
Me, I have four.
I have a little boy
named Matthew with my wife
and three from
a previous marriage.
How often do you
get to see them?
Not as much as I'd like.
I met Nancy while I was
still married, so...
I try, but...
Trust me.
Spend as much time
with them as you can.
Umm, you want to tell me
what happened that night?
The night they died?
One of the girls had wet
my side of the bed.
It was late.
Thought it'd be easier
to sleep in the living room
than change the sheets.
Dad, why are they
doing this to me?
This is groovy.
Kill the pigs.
Acid rain.
Oh, god.
No, no.
Come on.
Come on.
Oh, god.
Oh, god, no.
Help me.
Oh, god.
No, no, no, no.
Emergency services.
I need an ambulance.
544 castle drive.
Is that on or off coast?
544 castle drive.
Help. Hurry.
I was probably in shock.
I didn't realize at the time,
but when they examined me
later at the hospital,
one of my lungs
was partially collapsed.
You know, Colette was pregnant.
Ms. MacDonald?
Just... I wanted to thank you
for the home movies.
You were right, they were
a beautiful family.
Did you see the one with Colette
leaving the hospital
with Kristen?
I did, yeah.
That must have been
a special day.
Didn't Jeffrey tell you
what happened?
No, He didn't tell me
what happened.
Jeffrey was at the hospital
with Colette
not long after
she had given birth.
Kristen had been
an emergency c-section.
Jeffrey all of a sudden gets
this serious look on his face.
He just knew
something was wrong.
The way that really good doctors
know these things.
She had bled almost
half of the blood
from her entire body
into her abdomen.
But He caught it in time.
Jeffrey saved her life
that day, no question.
Umm, no, yeah.
He didn't...
He didn't tell me that.
He doesn't like to tell people.
Colette would have died.
Jeffrey saved her life.
Well, thank god He was there.
Sorry to disturb you.
Can I grab the transcripts from
the article 32 hearing, please?
Sure, you bet.
Say, is there a problem
with me, Wade?
Actually, yes, there is.
See, I'm trying to keep my
client out of jail, and you...
See, when Jeff looks at you,
He sees someone
who can save his image.
But when I look at you,
I see someone
who's been dining out
on the same success
for the last ten years.
Someone who's only interested in
Joe McGinniss's next bestseller.
Can't it be both, Wade?
Wade, take it easy.
Joe's on our side.
Right, Joe?
Thank you, Bernie.
Do reporters take sides, Joe?!
Blood splatter right here.
Mark it seven.
Mark that one.
It was a disaster.
The army investigation.
So tell me.
What was your favorite part?
I mean, I don't even know
where to begin.
No control of the crime scene.
Every piece of
the physical evidence
potentially contaminated.
Or how about no one thought
to take hair samples
from the victims
until after the funerals?
They got their hair
exemplars from old clothes,
which turned out to be
totally unreliable.
The hair sample they had
marked as Jeff's...
Turned out to be
the family pony's.
Well, they were both brunettes.
What about the
fingerprint technician
when He developed the film?
Photos that were so blurry,
they couldn't even use them.
It was the Olympics
of incompetence.
And now you know.
Well, that's your move, right?
I mean, the government
has no case.
Oh, no.
We got something to top it all.
Helena Stoeckley,
the girl in the floppy hat.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
We know who she is.
She was a local kid,
17 at the time, an army brat.
Her father was a captain.
She was a hippie.
Heavy into drugs.
And she confessed
to being there.
You're kidding me.
One of the MPs that came
to the house
that night said He saw her.
He told his sergeant
about what He saw.
His sergeant didn't follow up.
Do you know where she is?
No, we're looking for her.
But we have signed affidavits
from six separate individuals
who Helena Stoeckley told
she was at Jeff's house
during the murders.
And that she watched it
all happen.
I filed a motion with the judge.
The jury will hear all of this.
All right, so the prosecution.
Who are these guys?
It's your bet, Joe.
Well, ante up, boys.
This guy is straight
out of Mayberry.
It's his first murder trial.
They brought him in
to take the edge off
of Brian Murtagh who's been
on Jeff since December of '71.
He's Freddy Kassab's muscle,
his attack dog.
Well, if they say Jeff
did it, how and why?
Exactly, how and why
does an Ivy league,
green beret doctor
one night snap
and kill his whole family?
Never been in
any kind of trouble.
He's a pillar in his community.
And one night, He goes
looney tunes and just explodes?
And get this.
They say He got the idea
from a magazine
they found in the house
that had an article
about the Manson family in it,
can you believe it?
And that's what
they're going with?
This is the drum
Brian Murtagh has been
beating for eight years.
He was on a witch hunt.
Murtagh's a son of a bitch.
He's a viper.
The man is a menace.
I'm all-in.
I fold.
I'm out.
I fold.
Mr. Murtagh.
We meet again.
And again.
Until we get it right.
Dr. MacDonald.
How do you like being back
in north Carolina?
Come on, Jeff.
He seems confident.
The government will show
that in the early morning
of February 17, 1970,
Jeffrey MacDonald,
for reasons we might
never understand,
did in fact, attack, bludgeon,
and stab his wife
and his two daughters to death.
And then staged his home
to look as though
it was the work of intruders.
Cooking up a story
about murderous hippies
to try to throw suspicion
off himself.
Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury,
at the heart of our case
is the proposition
that people can twist the truth,
but that things do not lie.
And we will prove that there is
no other explanation
for how those vibrant
little girls
and their mother could have died
except at the hands
of their own father.
The government has a bad case.
Because they don't have
a good villain.
What they do have is
a loving father and husband,
not to mention a doctor
and a green beret.
This is a story of a man's life
that was tragically altered
when four drugged-out hippies
broke into his home,
murdered his wife,
his two lovely little girls,
and left him for dead.
Now, the prosecution can offer
no motive for these murders
because Jeffrey MacDonald had no
motive for killing his family.
Sergeant mica, remind me again
when you were relieved of duty
and turned the crime scene over.
At 0700 hours,
my superior officer arrived
at the crime scene
and took over.
To the best of your knowledge,
did you carry out
standard protocol
for processing a crime scene?
To the best of
my knowledge, sir, yes.
Thank you, sergeant.
No further questions.
So, sergeant, you were in charge
of the investigation that night,
is that correct?
Yes, sir.
And tell me, how many
crime scenes
of this magnitude
have you processed?
Of this magnitude, none, sir.
Can you tell me, sergeant,
how many military policemen
were in that house
the night you were there?
Maybe a dozen.
And did you attempt to compile a
list of names of who was there?
No, sir.
So, you have no idea
who actually came
and went that night.
Not exactly.
And when did you discover that
one of your men had stolen
Dr. MacDonald's
wallet from a desk
in the active crime scene?
That I learned later.
And after hearing
Dr. MacDonald's description
of the four assailants,
did you order road blocks
at the exits of the post?
No, sir.
Even after one of your men
said He saw a woman
matching the description
of the female suspect,
a woman with long, blonde hair
and a floppy hat in the area?
The court is recessed
until 9:00 A.M. tomorrow.
We had a good day.
You think the jury was with me?
Yeah, I do.
That's good to hear, Joe,
because I trust you.
Thank you.
Thank you for being here
to tell the story.
Of course.
I'm here for you.
Good morning, gentlemen.
I'm not going to allow the
psychological evaluations in.
Any of them.
But your honor?
The evaluations
are critical to our case.
They speak to our
client's state of mind.
They show that Jeffrey MacDonald
was not capable of such a crime.
Mr. Segal,
your evaluation says one thing,
prosecution says another.
I'm not going allow this to turn
into a shrink versus shrink.
That's my decision.
Now, in regard to
the defense's motion
to enter witness
affidavits into evidence
the confession statements
of one Helena Stoeckley,
I'm denying that motion also
because it's based on hearsay.
With respect, your honor,
we have six separate witnesses
who corroborate
that Helena Stoeckley
confessed to being present
at the MacDonald home
during the murders.
Keeping this from the jury...
I made my ruling.
If Ms. Stoeckley
herself wishes to testify,
then she is free to do so.
I think the jury
will be on my side.
What do you girls think?
You sure?
Yes, of course.
I like your paper.
All right.
My name is Paul Stombaugh,
and I am the director
of the police service bureau,
and I run
the crime laboratory there.
Prior to this,
I was a field agent in the FBI,
and I worked in
the microscopic analysis unit.
Thank you.
And did you have occasion
to study the blood evidence
collected from 544 castle drive?
Yes, sir, I did.
Tell us what you learned about
the blood types of the family?
Well, each member
of the MacDonald family...
Dr. MacDonald,
Mrs. MacDonald,
Kimberly, and Kristen...
All had different blood types.
One moment,
Mr. Stombaugh.
Let me just clarify
for the jury.
Are you saying that,
against all odds,
it turns out that the four
members of the MacDonald family
each had a separate
and identifiable blood type?
That's correct.
It's statistically improbable,
but it happens
to be the case here.
Mr. Stombaugh.
Can you tell me
why this is helpful
to our understanding
of the events
of February 17, 1970?
Well, now we can determine
to a good degree of certainty
who bled where and when,
and in some cases, for how long.
You've read
Dr. MacDonald's statements
about what happened that night.
In your opinion, does the story
the blood types tell
Dr. MacDonald's version?
No, it does not.
Where was the preponderance of
Colette MacDonald's blood found?
There in the master bedroom,
and also a very large amount
in Kristen's room on the bed.
Here and here?
And where was the bulk
of Kristen's blood found?
In her room there.
And Kimberly's?
On her bed, and also
a significant amount
in the hallway
just outside the master bedroom.
And where was Dr. MacDonald's
blood found?
There were two drops
in the bathroom sink
and a few drops
on the kitchen floor.
And how much of his blood
was found in the living room
where He claims to have
fought off four assailants?
Mr. Stombaugh,
the "esquire" magazine
that was entered into evidence,
was there any blood on it?
Yes, there was, type ab and a.
That's Kimberly's
and Mrs. MacDonald's.
It was over the "qu"
on the cover.
This magazine,
which contained an article
about the then-recent
Manson family murders.
Jeffrey MacDonald's story
is that
when He came upon his wife
in the master bedroom,
this knife was sticking
out of her chest.
He says He removed it
before administering CPR.
Does the blood evidence
you found support this?
Why not?
Well, of the 37 wounds
on Mrs. MacDonald's body,
the evidence would indicate
that none of them
were made by that knife.
So, Mrs. MacDonald
was not stabbed
with this knife?
She was not.
Mr. Stombaugh,
can you tell me
what this is here?
According to prior testimony,
that is Dr. MacDonald's
And what blood type
was the footprint made in?
Type a,
Mrs. MacDonald's.
Let me repeat that.
This is Jeffrey
MacDonald's footprint
that was made
in his wife's blood?
Tell us what you can also
conclude about this footprint.
The impression of the print
on the floor
indicates that when He made it,
Dr. MacDonald was carrying
something heavy.
Something heavy.
Like, say, He was carrying
something that weighed,
oh, over 100 pounds?
Well, possibly.
It's hard to know for sure,
but that sounds about right.
Mr. Stombaugh,
do you know approximately
how much Colette
MacDonald weighed?
I do not.
She weighed 135 pounds.
Objection, your honor!
That was rough today.
Umm, yeah, it was a pretty
brutal rebuttal
of your whole story.
I don't have a story.
It's what happened.
It's the truth.
Let me ask you.
What did you think of Stombaugh?
How did He come off to you?
He seemed serious.
He seemed like He knew
what He was talking about.
I thought so, too.
I was talking with Bernie.
The crime scene evidence
is so compromised.
He was probably making
an honest effort.
Yeah, that's a point
worth considering.
Most important thing is
that you're still with me.
That you're still committed.
I didn't kill Colette
and the girls.
I couldn't have done that.
I loved them.
You believe me, right?
I know you love them.
I'm glad you're here, Joe.
It's important to get
the truth out there.
More important now than ever.
But how long do you think
it's gonna take?
Come on, we can
do better than that.
Yeah, I'm sure we can.
Hold on a minute.
We got a piece of good news.
They found Helena Stoeckley
hiding out
in some trailer park
in south Carolina.
Federal marshals
are dragging her back here
to Raleigh to testify.
Well, it looks like you
got your book, writer.
That's really good.
That's great.
The sooner, the better.
Ms. Stoeckley,
how are you?
Thank you for being here.
Ms. Stoeckley,
can you tell us
where you were in the early
morning of February 17, 1970?
Helena, do you
recognize this house?
Look closely.
Sorry, no.
Does this help?
Now do you remember?
I can't help you.
I understand all this
happened a long time ago.
So I'm going to ask you
to take your time.
The photo I'm going to show you
is a little rough,
but I'm hoping it might jolt
your memory back to that night.
That is Dr. MacDonald's flesh
and blood, Helena.
What kind of father would
do that to his own daughter?
I don't know.
Look at his wife, Helena.
Look at this picture.
At this poor woman.
A woman that man over there
fell in love with
in the eighth grade.
Dr. MacDonald
is a loving, normal person.
Have you ever been
inside this house?
I wasn't.
I'm sorry.
I'm not gonna sit here
and say something I didn't do.
Besides, how do you know
He's not guilty?
Look, Jeff...
I know this is gonna be
painful for you,
but tomorrow, when
you're on that stand,
I really want the jury
to meet the victims.
I want to put their pictures up
so they can see them...
And for the jury
to see you seeing them.
What good is that gonna do?
Jeff, listen to me.
I want those jurors
to see people,
not just a collection of fibers
and hairs and bloodstains.
I want them to see your family,
the Macdonalds.
Well, I don't think...
I shouldn't even be here!
Get all the anxiety and stress
out of your system tonight.
Just be yourself in that
courtroom, and you'll be fine.
Who else am I supposed to be?
Jeff, what's going on?
Tomorrow, I'm gonna get up
on that stand...
And I hope to god
they see who I am.
All those people Lookin' at me.
In a lot of ways, I've always...
Been a performer.
You can't afford not to be...
With the whole world
always looking at you, you know?
They're always looking.
Are you gonna tell the truth?
I told you I would.
Good night, Joe McGinniss.
Dr. MacDonald,
can you tell us
what this picture depicts?
It's Kris and Kim,
my little girls.
Can you describe the clothing
that Kristen MacDonald
is wearing?
The same pajamas she was wearing
the night of February 17, 1970?
Can you tell us what it reads
across the top of the pajamas,
"Little angel."
Dr. MacDonald,
I would like you
to share a letter
dated August 26, 1969.
From your wife to you.
She was in Patchogue,
long island,
writing to you
at Columbus, Georgia,
when you were in the middle
of paratrooper training.
"My darling Jeff.
I wanted to thank you.
You're the only one who can
make me happy and full of love.
In case you're getting ready
to jump out of an airplane
and need a little..."
"And need a little material
for pleasant daydreams,
Here are a few of my favorites.
The night we came home
from Paul and Cathy's
and had something
to eat in the city.
New year's Eve this year.
And the first time
you came to Skidmore
and our picnic in the woods.
Four kisses, Colette."
Quiet in the court!
Silence in the court!
Is this the pajama top
you wore to bed that night?
I guess.
If you say so.
How did these holes
get in this pajama top?
I assume when I was
being attacked
and held it up to defend myself.
And what would you say
if the jury should find
that there were no blue fibers
from this pajama top
in the living room
where you say you were attacked?
I wouldn't know what
to say to that.
Suppose the jury should find
the fibers from that top
were found in Kimberly's room.
Although, according
to your story,
you say you had removed it
by the time you went in there.
Any explanation for that?
And fibers from that top
were found next
to the headboard of your bed
under the word "pig."
Why would that be?
I have no idea!
Dr. MacDonald,
suppose the jury
should find the evidence
that Colette MacDonald,
four months pregnant,
was beaten, stabbed 37 times.
That Kimberly was beaten,
stabbed nine times.
And that 2-year-old Kristen
was stabbed 32 times.
And suppose, sir,
the jury further finds
that the injuries
that you sustained
were not consistent
in degree of seriousness
and that you are,
quite obviously, still alive?
Any explanation for that?
Your honor, that concludes
the government's cross.
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ladies and gentlemen,
suppose that one night,
raise your hand in anger,
and before you can stop it,
you do something
that is irretrievable.
When you look at the autopsy
photos of those little children
and think about what it would
take to cause someone
to raise a knife
and destroy them,
it can't be true.
We suggest to you the following.
That an argument about
what we do not know
started between Jeff and Colette
in the master bedroom.
The Macdonalds were a young,
vibrant family
about to have another child.
Why would Jeffrey
throw that all away?
The evidence also
shows that Kimberly was struck,
perhaps by accident.
We contend that Dr. MacDonald
bludgeoned and stabbed
Colette to death
in Kristen's room
and then also killed Kristen.
It doesn't make sense
because there was no motive.
Ladies and
gentlemen, we can't tell you
why Jeffrey MacDonald killed
his pregnant wife and children.
But we have proven beyond
a reasonable doubt
that He did kill them.
And that is what is important.
It may never be known.
Jeffrey MacDonald needs peace.
And you, as a jury,
can Grant him that peace.
They're back.
They've reached a verdict.
Mr. foreman.
Has the jury reached a verdict?
We have, your honor.
Would the defendant please rise?
Mr. foreman, how do you find?
We, the jury,
find the defendant,
Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald,
guilty on all counts.
Quiet in the court.
Does the defendant wish to make
a statement at this time?
Sir, I am not guilty.
I don't think the court
has heard all the evidence.
I love you.
We have proven
beyond a reasonable doubt
that He did kill him.
It may never be known.
Thank you.
It's incredibly generous
of you guys to have me.
Thank you very much.
If you're going to write,
you need to know
what really happened.
Not just what Jeff
wants you to think.
You know, from the small amount
of time that I spent with Jeff,
I felt like I knew him.
I thought I knew him inside out.
But I realized almost everything
Jeffrey MacDonald says
or does is a lie.
This is where Jeff
screwed himself.
The article 32 hearings.
It was a closed proceeding.
I wasn't allowed to stay
after I gave my testimony.
But then I got a copy
of the transcript,
and I read every page.
And I found almost 100 things
that Jeff stated as a fact
that I personally knew
not to be true.
Jeff said they didn't
own an ice pick.
Well, I know for a fact
that they did.
I used it myself.
He said He didn't know
the neighbors to go to for help.
Well, Colette was going
to invite them
for Thanksgiving dinner.
After the army dropped
the investigation,
He talked to reporters,
went on "the Dick Cavett show."
He told us He was going on it
to help get the word out
and catch the real killers.
But then on TV,
He just laughed and smiled.
He loved the attention.
Jeff told me stories about
how Colette loved his surprises,
like He bought her
an expensive stereo,
and she was very
excited about it.
That stereo caused a huge fight.
Jeff was always
spending their money
on expensive things He wanted,
then giving them
to Colette as "gifts."
He also told me that Colette
was happy for him,
that He was getting to travel
to Russia for a boxing trip.
There was no trip to Russia.
He just told Colette that.
Jeff was planning
to go to New York
to see an ex-girlfriend.
He was a philanderer.
During the investigation,
the army's Cid agents found
that He had had
sexual relationships
with multiple women.
Did she ever tell you guys
that she wanted to leave him,
or she was going to leave him?
But she was becoming
more independent.
Colette was just
beginning to think about
how she might be able
to have a life outside of Jeff.
Jeff hated that.
He hated looking
after the girls.
He hated that she was starting
to have opinions of her own.
Did Jeff really save Colette's
life after Kristen was born?
That's a dramatic
turn of phrase, but yes.
Colette had severe
internal bleeding
which her doctors missed
and Jeff caught.
I'm not saying that
Jeff MacDonald
isn't a competent physician.
I'm saying He's a liar
and that He murdered
my daughter.
Why'd He do it?
I don't know.
You look okay.
Yeah, I'm okay.
It's until I start remembering
that I lost my family,
and somehow I ended up in here.
This is an insult, you know.
It's an insult to the memory
of my two little girls.
It's an insult to Colette.
Which is why our book
is so important now.
I need to be able to change
people's minds.
I have an idea.
I want to give you some
cassette tapes and recorder.
I want to send you
some questions,
and you record your answers,
and you mail 'em back.
That way, you can talk
all you want.
That's fantastic, yes,
and I've been thinking.
Everything in court was so...
It was so one-sided,
and I had all these records,
these personal documents
that if you take a look
at everything, read everything,
it'll prove that what
I've been saying is the truth.
All that stuff's at my condo.
I can get Bernie
to give you the keys.
That's perfect.
I want to see
everything you got.
Dr. Sadoff,
this is Joe McGinniss.
I'm calling regarding
your sessions
with Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald.
Yeah, Jeff through his
lawyers said He would like it
if I spoke with you.
But I won't be able
to say anything
that breaches doctor/patient
confidentiality, unfortunately.
You're can only get specifics
about our sessions from Jeff.
I mean, I understand that.
I was hoping that I could ask
you a few other questions.
Let me stop you there.
What I would like
to say to you is that
if you want
a better understanding
of Jeffrey MacDonald,
there's a book that I
strongly recommend you read.
It's by the last name Cleckley.
The name is
"the mask of sanity."
I think you'll find that very,
very informative.
This says that someone with
a psychopathic personality
first seems totally normal,
but the more time you spend with
them, there's nothing in there.
It's like learned responses.
There's not a real
human being inside.
Does that describe
Jeffrey MacDonald?
An amphetamine.
I have to call you right back.
All right, we will, thanks.
What is this?
That is the why.
That is my angle.
That is my bestseller.
What are you talking about?
What am I talking about?
I'm talking about the
prosecution found him guilty
because they were able
to prove how He did it.
Not why.
They've been trying
to figure out the why.
And this, I believe, is the why.
And you figured out the why.
Even though an entire team
of prosecutors
wasn't able to do that.
Because Jeffrey MacDonald
granted me access to his condo,
and I read every
single document He had,
and there was a ton
of information in there
that never made it to trial.
Like what?
Like what?
Some of my favorites.
I read all the psych
Here's some highlights.
He had a lack of conscience.
He had no sense of guilt.
He was susceptible
to violent outbursts
when He thought
his authority was challenged,
particularly by someone who is
not his superior, like Colette.
One shrink even called him
a psychopath in his evaluation.
And so why were
these evaluations
not introduced at his trial?
Because judge Dupree
wouldn't allow any of it in.
He didn't want a war of shrinks.
And I think our good doctor
was taking a massive
amount of speed.
When Jeff MacDonald finds out
that He is the chief suspect,
He is advised to write
a detailed account
of the events
of the night of the murder.
And the first thing He mentions
is a drug called Eskatrol.
The diet pill.
Yep, speed.
He said He was taking three
to five pills to cut weight
for some boxing match in Russia
which, by the way,
was a complete lie.
Now, let me ask you a question.
Why do you think He wrote
"Eskatrol" on his first account?
He is a doctor, and He knew
they'd do a tox screen on him
when He was in the hospital.
And they did.
And guess what?
Nothing showed up
because in 1970,
it wasn't considered
a dangerous drug.
But Eskatrol's especially bad.
In large doses,
carries side effects known as
marked insomnia,
tenseness, irritability,
hyperactivity, panic states,
and the most severe...
Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald,
green beret,
Ivy league, family man,
pillar of his community,
and potential psychopath
I think had a psychotic break.
You gotta back up a little bit
and take me step by step.
Just start at the beginning.
On the night of the murders,
Jeffrey MacDonald
had just worked a 24-hour shift
at the E.R.
Hopped up on amphetamines.
Colette was away at night class,
and He was left with the girls.
When she got home,
they got into a fight
for reasons we don't know.
Maybe it's because
Kimberly wet to bed.
She's five.
That's perfectly normal!
Don't ever tell me what's normal
and what's not normal.
I'm a doctor.
Colette, do you understand?
Do you understand?
Do you understand?
I am in charge!
You don't tell me anything!
Please, Jeffrey!
You're pathetic!
Get out of this house, Jeffrey!
Daddy, daddy!
Daddy, stop it!
Jeff had lost control,
and now He had to regain it.
Maybe Colette tried
to save her youngest child.
But all of them met
with the same fate.
Jeff, don't!
Jeff had to come up with a story
for what had happened.
He had read in
the "esquire" magazine
about the Manson murders.
That would be his story.
That would explain
what happened.
To cover up what He had done.
But there had to be
something else.
To sell his story, the murders
had to be barbaric.
Beyond anything imaginable.
The one final piece
in the puzzle
was that He had to look
like a victim, too.
I need an ambulance
to 544 castle drive.
Is that on or off coast?
If Kristen was asleep
and hadn't seen anything,
why did He kill her, too?
Murtagh had a theory about that.
He thought that Jeff MacDonald
decided to kill Kristen
because He had no reason to.
She hadn't seen anything,
so He went all-in.
It was the one thing no jury
would believe a father could do.
Does MacDonald know
you're going to write that?
He doesn't need to.
Reporter Joe
McGinniss spent three years
investigating Jeffrey MacDonald,
who granted him total
access to his family,
his friends, all his records,
so that McGinniss might write
the definitive book about him.
It is called "fatal vision."
All I'm saying that on the basis
of attending the trial every day
and spending three years of
full-time research afterwards,
that there's no question
that this gentle, caring,
giving man also beat and stabbed
to death his pregnant wife
and his two young daughters.
I love my wife
and my children very much.
I never physically assaulted
anyone in my life,
and certainly not my wife
and my two children.
Mm, mm
Mm, mm, mm, mm
Mm mm