In a case rife with physical evidence, the bloody footprint found inside Kristen MacDonald's bedroom is often overlooked in being as "important" as other clues and evidence but the print is vital to telling the true story of what happened the evening of February 16-17, 1970.
The footprint was noticed by the investigators on the morning of February 19, 1970 and classified as a bloody print made by an adult bare foot. While there was a great deal of blood in all three bedrooms, the bulk of the blood found in Kristen's room was under her body, on her bed and splattered on the wall. So a bloody footprint on the wood floor would definitely stand out.
Photographs were taken of the print and, unfortunately, the print itself was destroyed when, in an attempt to preserve it by removing the floorboards, the boards split and basically eradicated it. However, based on the photographs, analysis and Jeffrey MacDonald's own testimony, it provides an important piece of the puzzle.
MacDonald was fairly descriptive of his alleged attackers, down to sergeant's stripes on a jacket and boots worn by the female intruder and three male intruders. He never mentioned that any of them were barefoot. All members of the MacDonald family, however, were at that time. Given the footprint was obviously that of an adult, both Kimberley and Kristen can be ruled out. That leaves Colette MacDonald and Jeffrey MacDonald.
Colette's feet were examined and while she did have blood down portions of her pajama bottoms, her legs themselves were not injured and never bled. Neither did her feet. Not to mention that the size difference between her feet and MacDonald's feet would be apparent.
|MacDonald's left foot, February 25, 1970|
Now, that's not unusual. This was his home. He said he put Kristen to bed earlier that evening. He also said that he went to Kristen's room at least twice after the killings in order to administer CPR and check on her. So finding a bare footprint is not incriminating. Not even a bloody footprint.
This is where we have problems, Houston.
That footprint was made in the blood of Colette MacDonald.
It would be expected that in his handling of the bodies, MacDonald would get blood on him. With the exception of the spot in the master bedroom doorway where Kimberley was felled, all of the blood (and there was a lot of it) shed in the master bedroom was Colette's. The carpet her body was found lying on was pretty much soaked through. MacDonald could most certainly have stepped in it while checking on/administering aid to his wife.
But no bloody footprints were discovered exiting the master bedroom, walking down the wood floor hallway nor going into Kristen's room. Only exiting.
How on earth could someone step in Colette's blood in the master bedroom, leave the bedroom, walk down the hall, enter another bedroom and track that blood on their way out? It is impossible.
So let's go back to Kristen's room. As I posted above, the majority of the blood found in her room was under her body, on the top sheet of her bed, in spatters on the wall and some drips going down the side of the bed from her body. Most of that blood belonged to Kristen.
The spatters on the wall and blood on the top sheet, however, belonged to her mother. None of Colette's blood found in that room was on the floor, save the footprint.
MacDonald never admitted to climbing on Kristen's bed and standing on it. (For good reason - - he didn't do it and why would he?) That is the only way he might innocently have gotten Colette's blood on the bottoms of his feet and then tracked it on the floor on his way out.
During his many interviews and his testimony about the events of that evening/early morning, he never said that Colette was in Kristen's bedroom during any of his "visits" to check on his daughter. So clearly Colette had already bled in that bedroom before MacDonald went in, per his own testimony.
|The doorway of Kristen's bedroom|
We know that Colette MacDonald bled in that bedroom. We know that scrapes from the club were found on the ceiling of the room, despite the fact that Kristen herself had not been struck with the club. We know that Colette's blood spattered the wall and we know that she was struck with the club multiple times. We know that some of her own blood was found down the front of her pajama pants, despite her not suffering any injuries below her chest. We know that she was then moved back to the master bedroom where she was found. We know that the blue bedspread had a large quantity of Colette's blood in it, as well as bloody fabric impressions from her pajamas.
Take all of this together and what does it mean?
Jeffrey MacDonald left that footprint as he was carrying his wife's battered body back to the master bedroom. He had struck her at least once, viciously, with the club and had hit her with enough force to leave the scrape marks on the ceiling and cast off blood spatter on the wall. Colette had bled enough to leave bloodstains on the top sheet of Kristen's bed and then had fallen forward to bleed on her own pajama bottoms. MacDonald left her there, unconscious and bleeding, while he returned to the master bedroom to collect the bedspread so that he could return Colette to the master bedroom. He placed her body in that spread and as he was picking her up, as she was still bleeding, he stepped into her blood that was in/on that spread and left the footprint.
There is no innocent explanation for it. None. MacDonald himself admitted he left that footprint. He cannot explain or account for its presence in any way.