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Fatal Justice: Reinvestigating the MacDonald Murders

by and

Fatal Justice: Reinvestigating the MacDonald Murders Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Things do not lie," charged the prosecution in the "Fatal Vision" case, and on the basis of forensic evidence Jeffrey MacDonald was sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal murders of his wife and two young daughters. Ensuring that the MacDonald murders would remain one of the most famous and disturbing criminal cases of our time, Fatal Vision, the bestselling book by Joe McGinnis and the top-rated miniseries based upon it, etched a vivid portrait of a husband and father in the grip of a murderous, irrational rage and seemed to leave no doubt that the forensic evidence pointed unequivocally to Jeffrey MacDonald's guilt.

This painstakingly documented book, largely based on the government's own lab notes and other case documents secured through the Freedom of Information Act, presents a very different picture, a harrowing recount of justice gone wrong. Re-creating the night of the murders in unprecedented detail, Jerry Allen Potter and Fred Bost go on to reexamine every piece of the puzzle of this extraordinary case to show:

  • How the prosecution held to its belief in MacDonald's guilt in the face of evidence that might have freed him
  • The steps the prosecution took to keep this evidence from the defense and the jury
  • How the government's own laboratory tests contradicted the prosecutor's claims about key forensic evidence
  • How Joe McGinnis wove the theory, in Fatal Vision, that Jeffrey MacDonald killed his family in a psychotic rage triggered by taking diet pills and how McGinnis later admitted, in a sworn deposition, "I'm not convinced it actually happened."
  • That the evidence found at the crime scene does not point at Jeffrey MacDonald but in fact supports his contention that a Manson-like group of intruders committed the murders
  • Why MacDonald's appeals have failed and what keeps him from winning the evidentiary hearing that could free him
Exploring every facet of the evidence with scrupulous fairness, this book is both a gripping narrative of a family-destroying crime and a shocking account of a tragically flawed investigation and trial.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 399-445) and index.

Product Details

(reinvestigating the MacDonald murders )
Bost, Fred
W.W. Norton
New York :
Trials (Murder)
Trials (Murder) -- North Carolina -- Case studies.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Trade Cloth
463 p.
9.53x6.33x1.71 in. 1.85 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime

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