RALEIGH, N.C. — Jeffrey MacDonald, a clean-cut Green Beret and doctor convicted of killing of his pregnant wife and their two daughters, is getting another chance to try proving his innocence — more than four decades after the nation was gripped by his tales of Charles Manson-like hippies doped up on acid slaughtering his family.
The case now hinges on something that wasn’t available when he was first put on trial: DNA evidence. A federal judge planned to hold a hearing Monday to consider new DNA evidence and witness testimony that MacDonald and his supporters say will finally clear him of a crime that became the basis of Joe McGinniss’ best-selling book “Fatal Vision” and a made-for-TV drama.
It’s the latest twist in a case that has been the subject of military and civilian courts, intense legal wrangling and shifting alliances.
“This is Jeff’s opportunity to be back in court almost 33 years to the day of his conviction,” said Kathryn MacDonald, who married him a decade ago while he has been in prison.