New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 16, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Dave Kramer, General Manager
Robert Johnson, Editor
Jack AndersonJailed doctor may be innocent of murder
I have spent eight months investigating the bizarre case of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, who is locked behind bars for murders he swears he did not commit.
My staff has uncovered stacks of evidence that support the doctor’s claim of innocence. They also have found disturbing examples of government misconduct, conflict of interest, inept investigation and obvious prejudice on the part of the judge and Justice Department officials.
Some officials seem more anxious to cover up their own malfeasance than to obtain justice for the imprisoned doctor. After he stimulated my investigation of his case, he was punished by being transferred to a prison hundreds of miles from his family, friends and lawyers. And an FBI agent urged a crucial defense witness not to help.
Here’s the background: As an Army doctor in 1970, MacDonald was stationed at Fort Bragg, NX’., with a Green Beret unit. He says a group of
drug-crazed hippies, angered because he refused to supply illicit narcotics to soldiers, broke into his home, murdered his pregnant wife and two young daughters and seriously injured him. The government says MacDonald committed the murders and inflicted his own wounds to support his cover story.
After a five-month hearing, the Army found that the charges against MacDonald “are not true,’’ and recommended that civil authorities try to find the intruders. Instead, the Justice Department spent years gathering evidence against the doctor. Nine years after the crime, MacDonald was tried and convicted.
One of the alleged intruders, identified by MacDonald, was Helena Stoeckley, a member of a witchcraft cult, who has admitted her involvement in the murders to a number of people over the years. The night after the crime, she even told a Fayetteville, N.C., police detective she had been at the MacDonald home during the killings.
Remember When10 years ago today
An option to buy an existing structure formerly occupied by an auto dealer for conversion into a new police-courts building has been entered into by City Council. Owner of the property at Casten and Garden across from the Civic Center is Johnny Maddox, now living in Dallas. The property has been on the market for several years. Cost would be $60,000 for the building and land if the option is exercised.
Electric power for New Braunfels is assured at least until Monday, according to Oliver Haas, superintendent of the Comal power plant, and R.E. Crocker, manager of New Braunfels Utilities. If the cold wave continues, however, the present fuel shortage may necessitate some curtailment of electricity, according to Crocker.
Sever icing on streets, highways and bridges Tuesday afternoon and night brought traffic almost to a crawl as temperatures dropped into the low 20s and freezing rains his Texas. The weather caused the cancellation of the
first night of preliminaries of the Texas Junior Miss pageant.
Dan Mittel was elected president of the Community Fund at a meeting of directors Monday night in the Chamber of Commerce building. Other officers elected include Mrs. Joe Guinn, vice president; Mrs. Sida Streuer, secretary; and Arlon Baese, treasurer.
Two New Braunfels High School
football players have been named to the Super-C’entex team selected by the Austin American Statesman. Joe Langerhans, 195-pound offensive back, and David Arnold, 190-pound defensive lineman, were named to the team.
The Canyon Cougars basketball team has run its 1972-73 record to 10-6 with a convincing win over Karnes City and a last-minute loss to Cole in last week’s action. Mike Soechting led the Cougars with 17 points in a 64-32, while Gregg Baese scored 15 in the 59-56 loss to Cole.
A recommendation that all water problems and watersheds in all creeks in Comal County be studied thoroughly before any bond issue for financing construction of small dams be considered was made by County Judge Clarence Rice at a joint meeting of the City and County Commissioners Friday. The meeting had been called to study ways and means available to finance the county’s small dams program on Comal and Blieders Creek
Another half-million dollar appropriation for Cauyon Dam construction has been included in President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1959 budget, Mayor Joseph Faust and Chamber of Commerce Manager A.D. Nuhn were informed Monday in telegrams from Senator Lyndon B.
Johnson and Congressman John Young
Alphonse Oberkampf, city street commissioner for the past four years, filed as a candidate for re-election Monday afternoon.
Alton J. Luckett, president of First Federal Savings and Loan here, participated in the University of Texas’ Conference of Expectations in Austin Friday and Saturday, held in connection with the university’s 75th anniversary celebration.
Lounie Mosley scored 28 points to lead the Goodwin Rural High School senior basketball team to a 60-17 win over New Braunfels Junior High
School senior team in a game played at Goodwin Friday night.
Additional funds which will provide at least part-time labor for every unemployed person in New Braunfels were received by Comal County Tuesday from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Emergency Relief to be used for labor on public enterprises, according to Rev. Frank Charlton, chairman of the Emergency Relief Fund for Comal County.
The First National Bank re-elected the following officers at the annual stockholders meeting on January IO: Walter Faust, president; George Eiband, first vice-president; H. Dittiinger, second vice president; Martin Faust, newly-elected third vice president; Ben Nuhn, cashier; Milton Dietz, Dan Reeh and Waiter Faut Jr., assistant cashiers. 'The bank lost two directors by death during the year, H.G. Heinie and Ed flrklfiyt I Hi
But at the doctor’s trial, fearful of being prosecuted herself, Stoeckley testified that she couldn’t remember what had happened on the night of the murders. The judge refused to let any witnesses who had heard her confessions testify about them.
My associate Donald Goldberg interviewed MacDonald at the Terminal Island prison in Ixing Beach, Calif., for my syndicated television program. The doctor’s friends and ailing mother lived nearby, as did the attorneys who were handling his appeal to the Supreme Court.
But within days after the interview, MacDonald was suddenly transferred to a prison in Bastrop, Texas, 1,800 miles away. En route to Texas, MacDonald spent 55 days in a 5-by-9-foot isolation cell at a transit facility.
Questioned about the sudden transfer, regional Bureau of Prisons officials said the order came directly from Washington. When officials here denied any involvement, the regional officials changed their story and said the decision had been theirs. They25 years ago today
50 years ago today
claimed MacDonald’s legal process was over — which is not true — and that he was scheduled to be moved to a prison with stricter security before the TV interview.
Stoeckley is also being subjected to Justice Department pressure since she was interviewed by my associate and confessed involvement in the murders. Soon after the interview, two men visited her, one identified as an FBI agent. They urged her to stop cooperating with MacDonald’s lawyers.
The FBI acknowledges the visit took place, but refuses to discuss it.
Meanwhile, some of the accomplices Stoeckley named have been located, along with vital evidence linking them to the murders.
Footnote: Justice Department
officials refuse to discuss the MacDonald case. A spokesman. John Russell, said the reason officials won’t agree to an interview is that they don’t like me. Needless to say, I’m crushed.
Shot in the Arm: Eight hundred
high-level employees of the Postal Service got an early Christmas present last month when the Board of Governors voted to pay the full cost of their health-insurance premiums. This backdoor pay raise has understandably stirred resentment among the lower-level employees. They continue to pay a healthy share of their own medical-insurance premiums, which keep on going up.
A Postal Service spokesman said the decision to pay the health fees for the top grades was intended to make their $50,000-plus jobs more attractive and keep the officials from leaving for better-paid positions in private industry.
The additional cost of the government will be $635,000 a year.
Headlines and Footnotes: The best-paid union members in this country — football players — came to the rescue of the worst-paid — poets — in a touching display of working-class
solidarity. The poets and small-magazine writers division of the new National Writers Union needed help in getting out a mailing. Typically, they had no money. So the National Football League Players Association let the down-at-heel doggerel dispensers use its Xerox sealing and postage machine. The poets are praising their burly benefactors as “lines-backers,” and thanking “the divinity that shapes our ends” for speeding their letters on “wingbacks of song.”
— Opposition to the dense-pack MX missile basing is not confined to Congress. A group called the Tri-State MX Coalition has been organizing opponents who live near the proposed site east of Cheyenne, Wyo. Spokesman Mark Bonkiewicz of Sidney, Neb., said the group’s educational campaign is slowly gathering strength. They plan to recruit high-ranking retired military officers to argue the case against the MX.
Mondale campaign already in full swing
Stockholders of the Guaranty State Bauk have re-elected the following officers at their annual meeting: Emil Heinen, president; R.B. Richter, first vice president; Alfred Rothe, second vice president; G.D. Reinarz, cashier; Fred Tausch, RolandHeinen, HW. Adams and Fred Henne, assistant cashiers.
Dan Cupid just about held his own in Comal County during 1932, according to the records of marriage licenses in the office of County Clerk Richard Ludwig Four hundred and twenty-eight couples decided to take the plunge in 1932, as compared with 446 the previous year. In other words, leap year doesn’t mean a thing in Comal County. On the other hand, there were seven divorce decrees handed down in 1932, as compared with 19 in 1931.
By HARRY F. ROSENTHAL Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The building that houses Walter Mondale’s campaign headquarters is so new that the street number is hand-lettered on a piece of paper taped to the front door. But there is nothing slapdash about the activity within.
More than a month before he announces formally that he is a Democratic candidate for president, Mondale’s basic staff is in place, a budget is drawn, legalities are taken care of and the kind of campaign he’ll run is taking shape.
For his pursuit of the Democratic Party’s nomination, the former vice president expects to raise $18 million on his own and get another $8 million in taxpayer matching funds. He plans to spend $3 million to $5 million this year — mostly for fund raising — with the rest targeted for the 1984 primary campaigns.
Mondale spent the months before last November’s congressional elections stumping on behalf of Democratic candidates, banking IOUs for 1984. With that, Mondale followed the path trod successfully in 1966 by another former vice president who wanted to be president, Richard M. Nixon.
Although Mondale registered as a candidate with the Federal Election Commission on the first business day of the new year, he won’t make his ceremonial announcement until late February. The setting will be the Minnesota state capitol in St. Paul.
The first-opportunity registration
with the FEC is a practical necessity because all money raised after the first of the year may be matched by the U.S. treasury. The early announcement of his candidacy is a different matter.
It establishes Mondale immediately as the front-runner — subject to the searching scrutiny that it provokes. In 1980, Edward M. Kennedy was an automatic front-runner and was hurt by it. From day one of his campaign, the Massachusetts senator was under a microscope provided by two planeloads of reporters.
The longer the campaign trail, the more the possibility of road hazards. Remember Edmund S. Muskie and George Romney?
There are exceptions. Jimmy Carter went on the road just as early for the 1976 election. But he wasn’t taken seriously and he was able to work out the kinks before anybody caught on to his strength
Early announcers run the risk of peaking too soon. Mondale’s team is confident that won’t happen to him.
“We think our candidate is one whose preparation for the race is exceptional,” says a campaign insider. “He has the kind of political skills and substantive approach which is likely to wear well over a long period of time. And we welcome the opportunity for him to get as much scrutiny as possible and to have as many opportunities as possible to put himself and his views forward.”
Two days after registering with the FEC, Mondale had met the requirements for matching funds by raising $100,000 in amounts of at least
$5,000 in 20 different states, and the campaign staff was being fleshed out.
Even the choice of a national headquarters is in line with Mondale’s determination to stay the course. By necessity, most candidates start with small quarters and move to larger ones as the campaign matures. Mondale’s staff got options to expand the telephone switchboard and die office space in the building right up to convention time.
The Mondale staff hopes to attract some of the Kennedy people, especially the organizers and his efficient fund-raisers. Until Kennedy announced last December that he would not run in 1984, Mondale figured to have a hard time attracting minorities. He hopes it’s easier now.
Mondale’s campaign isn’t spending
money yet on polling, his handlers say. Nor have they worked out the strategy for the all-important early primaries in 1984, because so many changes are yet to be made in the calendar of caucuses and primaries.
After the disastrous loss in 1980, politicians wonder how Mondale is going to handle his tie to Jimmy Carter. Will he act if he never existed, as the Republicans have done with Richard Nixon?
No, say Mondale aides. He feels that Carter gave him more opportunity as vice president than any president in history and that the experience gave him a unique perspective.
“He will not in any sense walk away from Carter,” said an aide. “He’ll welcome Carter’s support.”
Rep. Tom Loeffler U.S. House of Representatives 1213 Longworth House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Sen. John Tower United States Senate Room 142 Russell Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United State Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510