Forensic scientists study the variety of patterns and imprint of the hair cuticle in all animal species. Scale patterns can differ depending on the species. What aspect of the hair cortex is most important for the forensic scientist and why? The aspect of the hair cortex that is most important for the forensic scientist is the pigment granules. This is because the shape, distribution, and color of the granules exhibit substantial points of comparison. What is the follicular tag and why is it important to forensic scientist studying hair? The follicular tag is a translucent piece of tissue that surrounds the hairs shaft near their root.
It is important to forensic scientists who study hair because this part contains the most DNA used for individualizing hair.
Which of the following cannot be confidently determined by microscopic examination of hair: age, gender, racial origin, part of the body from which the hair came from, whether the hair was forcibly removed or fell out? Sex and age cannot be confidently determined by microscopic examination of hair.
Read the Jeffrey MacDonald case on page 319. Provide a one-page summary of the case and answer the following questions: On February 17, 1970, army police officers answered a 911 call made by Jeffrey MacDonald, a former Army surgeon. He claimed there had been a “stabbing” that occurred in his home. When officers first arrived at the house, the front door was locked so they had to enter through the back door. Jeffrey’s pregnant wife, Colette MacDonald and two young daughters, Kristen and Kimberly, were discovered dead in their bedrooms.
They were all stabbed with a knife/ice pick and beaten with a club an abominable amount of times.
However, Jeffrey MacDonald was found alive, hovering over his dead wife, only wounded minorly. The word “pig” was drawn in blood on the bed’s headboard, mimicking the Charles Manson murders that took place only six months prior. Jeffrey told authorities that he fell asleep on the couch that night and was woken up by the screams of his family. As soon as he went to investigate, he was assaulted by three male strangers with an ice pick and a club while a third woman shouted: “acid is groovy, kill the pigs.” He claimed to be knocked unconscious in the living room while the rest of the events unfolded. Authorities did not believe Jeffrey’s story and the evidence collected from the scene did not add up correctly as well. The living room where Jeffrey was supposedly beaten by the intruders showed no signs of damage. He insisted that his pajama top was torn during the attack, and fibers from the piece of clothing were never found. But, fibers from his top were identified under his daughter’s body, in the bedrooms, and most importantly in Kristen’s fingernail. All sources of weapons were identified from the house in which the crime took place in.
On May 1, 1970, army investigators charged Jeffrey MacDonald guilty for the murder of his own family. An Army Article 32 hearing took place only months after he was convicted. His defense attorney fought against his conviction by claiming the existence of a poor quality investigation and a potential suspect, Helena Stoeckley. He also claimed that the crime scene was not efficiently protected due to their loss of evidence: rubber gloves used to write on the headboard, and skin found under one of the daughter’s fingernails. Helena Stoeckley had also confessed to being involved in the crime and Jeffrey’s description of the women matched up to her appearance. Till this day, her confession is not defined as reliable due to her diagnosis of a schizophrenic and heavy drug usage. In conclusion, all charges were removed against Jeffrey MacDonald and he was admitted an honorable discharge from the Army. In July, a panel of the fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upturned Jeffrey’s conviction due to a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. He was given $100,000 in bail.
A few months later, the circuit ruled to hear the case in front of all the judges. The government appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and agreed to hear oral arguments. On March 31, 1982, the Supreme Court ruled that his right to a speedy trial was not violated and he was re-arrested and sent back to prison. He is now serving three continuous life sentences for the murders of his wife and two daughters. Who was Jeffrey MacDonald? What were his motives, in this case? Jeffrey MacDonald was a former United States Army Officer and surgeon. He was convicted of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters in 1970. It is suggested that Jeffrey’s motives in this case were to mimic the Charles Manson family murders that had just occurred. What types of evidence were found at the crime scene.
At the crime scene, very small amounts of Jeffrey’s blood was found on a cabinet by the surgical gloves box, the bathroom sink, and on his glasses in their living room. Fibers from Jeffrey’s pajama shirt were found in all of the rooms and underneath Kristen’s fingernail. The word “pig” was drawn in blood on the headboard, a copy of Esquire magazine that included an article about the Manson family murders, and latex surgical gloves. What was the outcome of the trial? Do you agree with the outcome? Why or why not? Jeffrey Macdonald was convicted of one count of first-degree murder for the death of Kristen and two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of Kimberly and Colette. I agree with the outcome of the case because Jeffrey’s story did not correspond with the substantial amount of evidence involved.
Even though there are no direct connections, the specific circumstances give you enough leniency to assume. Have there been any appeals on this case? If so, what has happened? In July 1980, a panel of the fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Jeffrey’s conviction due to a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. He was given $100,000 in bail. A few months later, the circuit ruled to hear the case in front of all the judges. The government appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and agreed to listen to oral arguments. On March 31, 1982, the Supreme Court ruled that his right to a speedy trial was not violated and he was re-arrested and sent back to prison. He is now serving three consecutive life sentences for the murders of his wife and two daughters.