Conversations with Callahan
In the spring of 1999, I had several discussions about the MacDonald case with author Fred Bost. Bost was initially wary of conversing about the case because he felt burned by several reporters who had contacted him since the publication of his book. In addition, he was frustrated with the fact that he was interviewed on camera for several hours by A&E's American Justice, yet he was only given about 20 seconds of screen time when the program first aired in 1998. Bost felt that he generously provided his time for nothing. Once Bost realized that I was merely a private citizen who was interested in the MacDonald case, he quickly warmed to the idea of speaking to me. Bost seemed to feel comfortable discussing any aspect of the case and he was quite cordial throughout our interactions.
The first topic we discussed was Judge Fox's decision to allow DNA testing of unidentified hairs found at the crime scene. Bost attended the DNA hearings and was impressed with Judge Fox's grasp of the evidence. He stated that the hairs were the most important pieces of trace evidence in this case and that Judge Fox has "finally taken the time to read the entire record." Despite the presentation of hairs allegedly found under the girls' fingernails, Judge Fox had denied MacDonald an evidentiary hearing in 1997. Bost felt that Judge Fox has since taken a hard look at the evidence and has concluded that the government has gone beyond mere foot dragging in terms of complying with DNA testing. Bost stated, "Phil, the judge has finally come around." Judge Fox ordered the FBI to videotape the packaging of the 15 hair exhibits prior to sending the evidence to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for DNA testing.
Bost has little respect for Joe McGinniss, pointing out that McGinniss' laziness led to critical errors in Fatal Vision. For example, McGinniss stated in Fatal Vision that MacDonald lost 10-15 pounds in the weeks leading up to the murders, adding that this was a significant weight loss for an already fit individual. Bost argues that MacDonald was actually overweight and began boxing as part of a weight reduction program. Bost adds that MacDonald wasn't the only person at Fort Bragg attempting to lose weight. MacDonald was one of 51 soldiers enrolled in this program. In 1970, Bost was a Sergeant Major on the base and states that he can attest to this program being in place. Bost then began to discuss all the evidentiary arguments pointing to MacDonald's innocence. The arguments mirror the claims levied in Bost's (and Jerry Potter's) book Fatal Justice.
Bost stated that he did get the opportunity to speak with Franz Grebner. Bost felt that Grebner was a "good guy," but perceived him as someone that "swings with the power."
Alan Dershowitz became involved in the MacDonald case in 1989, and along with Harvey Silverglate, presented their evidentiary arguments at the 1992 appellate hearings. After the presentations were complete, the MacDonald defense team had planned to get together for a bite to eat, but Dershowitz told them that he would catch up with them later. Dershowitz subsequently distanced himself from the MacDonald defense team and according to Bost, MacDonald was quite upset at Dershowitz's rapid departure from his legal team. Bost told me that Dershowitz is an "ego hunter" who left the defense team once he realized that there would be no immediate solution to the case.
Bost maintained that the primary reason for the CID's focus on Jeffrey MacDonald was due to the Stoeckley group's ties with military personnel. Stoeckley and others in her inner circle had family members in the military. Bost surmised that the Army wanted to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that children of military personnel were responsible for the slaughter of a family who lived at Fort Bragg and that these children were heavily involved in the drug community.