TOPIC: Print Evidence
FingerprintsThere were 104 prints of value found at 544 Castle Drive. Thirty prints were unidentified, 10-13 were accidentally destroyed, and seven were accidentally destroyed while in the process of being photographed. Not one of the 30 unidentified prints matched a known intruder suspect. No fingerprints were obtained from Kimberley or Kristen MacDonald and the partial print exemplars obtained from Colette at autopsy were of poor quality. During his Grand Jury testimony, CID fingerprint technician Hilyard Medlin stated that Colette was probably the source of the unidentified prints found on the household blinds. In addition, the unidentified prints found on the lower portions of the walls and door frames were most likely those of the MacDonald children.
Bloody footprintsInvestigators discovered three bare bloody footprints at the crime scene. All three footprints were found exiting Kristen MacDonald's room. A right footprint and a partial left footprint were found just inside Kristen's room. A partial left footprint was found in the middle of the hallway just outside the entrance to Kristen's room. The right footprint was formed in Colette's or Kimberley's blood, the partial left footprint was formed in Colette's blood, and the partial left footprint could not be typed due to the paucity of the stain.
The only footprint that could be sourced was the left footprint formed in Colette's blood. CID fingerprint technician Hilyard Medlin sourced the footprint to Jeffrey MacDonald. CID investigators were curious as to how the footprints were formed, especially the footprint sourced to MacDonald. Their curiosity was due to the fact that the footprint was the lone trace of Colette's blood on Kristen's floor. The completion of the Fort Gordon lab reports provided CID investigators with a possible explanation.
The blue bedsheet and multi-colored bedspread found rumpled together in the master bedroom bore massive blood stains from Colette MacDonald. Investigators surmised that MacDonald placed the multi-colored bedspread on Kristen's floor and that he subsequently set Colette's body down on the bedspread. The heavy bedspread shielded the floor from Colette's bleeding body. MacDonald then obtained the blue bedsheet and used it to lift Colette's body off of the multi-colored bedspread. Investigators felt that MacDonald may have stepped on a bloody portion of the bedspread and formed three bloody footprints as he was in the process of transporting Colette out of Kristen's room in the blue bedsheet. Hilyard Medlin and CID agent Paul Connolly concluded that the formation of the left footprint indicated that MacDonald was carrying something heavy as he exited Kristen's room. In 1974, fabric impression analysis by Paul Stombaugh appeared to bolster the CID's original conclusion. Stombaugh discovered bloody pajama cuff impressions on the blue bedsheet which indicated that Jeffrey and Colette MacDonald came in direct contact with the blue bedsheet.