January 8, 2014

The MacDonald Case: Fayetteville, Fort Bragg and Castle Drive circa 1970

In order to fully dissect the crimes and study the evidence, I think you need to have a good idea on the background of the location. 

Fayetteville, North Carolina (as well as the U.S. in general) was very different back in 1969 and 1970.  Home to the Army's Fort Bragg, there were major changes during the 1960s - - from the Vietnam War to politics to segregation (still alive and well in that era). 

Fort Bragg did not send many large units to Vietnam but from 1966 to 1970, more than 200,000 soldiers trained at the post before leaving for the war.  Many of them would return to Fayetteville (if they were fortunate enough to survive) broken, disillusioned and addicted to drugs. 

At the time the MacDonald family arrived in September of 1969, Fayetteville was not so affectionately known as "Fayettenam" due to the large number of soldiers discharged from the Army who had seen action in Vietnam.  The drug culture was at its height, along with the omnipresent hippies who made Hay Street in the downtown Haymount District their crashpad. 

Fort Bragg at the time was an open post, meaning that there were no guards, no gated entry, no military ID or pass required.  While there was Military Police (MPs) on a constant patrol, anyone could drive on or off base and without any record or notation. 

544 Castle Drive was on-post military housing which, in 1970, meant that you couldn't dial "0" for assistance (911 had not come into being yet).  You had to contact the Military Police on base.  The home was set out like a duplex from the exterior, with the front doors being side-by-side but the MacDonalds' neighbors actually living above them.  The apartment itself consisted of a living room, dining area, kitchen, utility room, bathroom, master bedroom and two additional bedrooms.  In viewing the floorplan, you can see how relatively small the apartment was. 


The exterior of 544 Castle Drive.  The area outlined in red is the upstairs neighbors' apartment.  The MacDonald front door and apartment are to the right in the photo.
February 17, 1970 was also a mere seven months after the gruesome Manson murders - - murders committed by "hippies" against the white establishment they deemed "pigs". 


  1. When you see the vicious wounds on the most helpless, non threatening victims and the relative "clean" wounds on the green beret doctor, it is easy to see that he did it.

  2. Very true, Sherry. The disparity between MacDonald's wounds and those inflicted upon his family are enough to raise doubt with his story - - never mind the physical evidence.

  3. Not to mention this bastard had been training vigorously for 3-5 weeks prior with a military boxing team!!!! Are you kidding me? He should've been bloodied and battered and so should the supposed "assailants" I loved the comment by a CID that "he's either lying or the biggest pussy in the world" truer words could not be spoken and just more circumstantial evidence or actually would it be considered direct evidence Lori?

    1. Hi Thyme,

      The words spoken by Ivory, I think, or perhaps Kearns, could not be direct evidence but it certainly should make someone think and think hard.

      MacDonald's affairs would be considered circumstantial, I would think, if they played a part in the crimes. I personally don't believe there was a motive, per se. I don't think MacDonald sat and planned out the murders while Colette was at school. I think they got into an altercation, he snapped and bludgeoned her and Kimberley and the game was pretty much over.

      Back to your first point though - - Colette, Kimberley and Kristen were horribly overkilled. Colette herself had both her arms broken - - one broken twice - - and put up a ferocious fight. Even allowing for MacDonald to have been coming out of sleep and not having his contacts in or glasses on, he should have torn up that living room, in an attempt not only to survive himself but to get to his family. We all know that his injuries were excessively minor compared to his family's. He apparently also did little to not damage to the alleged intruders; not a trace of them was left behind. No threads, hairs, skin, drops of blood. Not even splinters from the club he says they bashed him with.

      And I pointed this out in another post on the case but MacDonald told the ER docs that wounds on his chest must have come from the icepick - - despite the icepick being outside and MacDonald never having been outside to see it, per his own recounting. Heck, at that point the investigators may not have known which victims,if any, were attacked with the icepick. Another slip up by MacDonald.