More than 50 years ago army surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald almost got away with murdering his family, including his pregnant wife who was slaughtered Charles Manson style in their North Carolina home.
Jeffery, 78, has maintained his innocence in the the 1970 slayings of his pregnant wife, 26-year-old Colette, and their two daughters, 5-year-old Kimberley and 2-year-old Kristen.
At the time, Jeffery insisted that his family was killed by drugged up hippies similar to the Manson Family – who were on a rampant killing spree the year prior in California.
The three killed were stabbed multiple times with a knife and ice pick while prosecutors say Jeffery then stabbed himself in the lungs and other places to make it appear like he was attacked while attempting to protect his family.
Jeffrey MacDonald almost got away with murdering his family in 1970, including his pregnant wife who was slaughtered Charles Manson style in their North Carolina home
PICTURED: 26-year-old Colette, five-year-old Kimberley, and two-year-old Kristen
Jeffery’s wife and kids were killed in their Northern Carolina house. Prosecutors say Jeffery stabbed himself to make it appear as if he was attacked
On the night of February 17, 1970, Jeffery told police he awaken on a sofa after a 24-hour shift by the screams of his wife and daughters, and was attacked by intruders – which included three men and a woman with long blond hair.
The woman allegedly chanted, ‘acid is groovy, kill the pigs.’
Police later found ‘pig’ was written in blood on a headboard at the MacDonald home – the same was on the door of pregnant Manson victim Sharon Tate’s house in Los Angeles.
When police arrived, the ‘hippies’ had fled and Jeffery, who was 26-years-old at the time, was found by police lying next to his wife’s body while the murder weapons remained out of site, according to the Sun.
The weapons were later discovered by investigators in the garden of the murder home along with a piece of wood – and fibers from his pajamas were found under his wife’s bloody body and in his daughter’s rooms.
Jeffery’s daughters, five-year-old Kimberley, and two-year-old Kristen, were stabbed multiple times in their beds
Jeffery was initially arrested for murder in May 1970, but the charges were dropped and he moved to California to move on. A local troubled woman, Helena Stoeckley told prosecutors at the time that she was present at the killings.
Stoeckley also told several others that she was present for the murders, but the district court said her heavy drug makes her alleged confessions unreliable.
She later died from liver disease in 1883 at the age of 30.
Meanwhile, Collette’s family knew there was more to the story than what Jeffery told police.
Her stepfather, Alfred Kassab was convinced that his daughter was murdered and even went back to the scene and reviewed police interviews to help fill in the gaps, according to The Sun.
Helena Stoeckley, a local troubled woman from North Carolina, told prosecutors at the time that she was present at the killings
Collette and Jeffery tied the knot in 1963 after learning she was pregnant. The two met in the 9th grade and had an off and on relationship
Jefferey was arrested and convicted of murder in 1979 when evidence debunked his testimony
Jeffery was later convicted of murder in 1979 when evidence debunked his testimony that a hippie gang killed his family.
Conducted tests and a lie detector test Jeffery refused to do help contradicted Jeffery’s innocence.
Throughout the trial he believed he would found innocent and asked author Joe McGinniss to write a book about the case that was later named, Fatal Invasion, after Jeffery was found guilty.
Jeffery was portrayed as a killer who had no remorse for killing his family.
Conducted tests and a lie detector test Jeffery refused to do help contradicted Jeffery’s innocence
Author Joe McGinniss wrote a book about the case that was later named, Fatal Invasion, after Jeffery was found guilty. The book depicts the convicted killer as being cold blooded with no remorse for slaughtering his family
He spent decades attempting to clearing his name, and even told Vanity Fair in 1998 that he felt guilty being unable to ‘defend his family’
While in jail Jefferey remarried in 2002 to the owner of his former children’s drama school, Kathryn Kurichh.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Errol Morris believed Jeffery was innocent and even launched a book in 2012, A Wilderness of Error, to help lay out the evidence in favor of the convicted killer.
The convicted murderer halted appealing his case in 2020 after several attempts and continuously failing.
He will likely serve his three life sentences dying in federal prison.