Another look at the “Fatal Vision” murder case, through the eyes of its prosecutor:
“When Errol Morris’s ‘A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald’ came out in September, Brian Murtagh sat in the study of the Oakton home he shares with Margaret, his wife of 43 years, and read it cover to cover, all 500-plus pages. He found it credulous, manipulative, a Swiss cheese of strategic omissions. To assert this, he typed out a rebuttal — a legal brief, double-spaced, 14 pages long, with Roman numerals and alphanumerically labeled paragraphs. It is not light reading. Morris, Murtagh writes, ‘doesn’t explain how 60 pieces of the pajama top, including the ripped-off pocket bearing a contact stain in Colette’s blood, could be found in the master bedroom, as well as 30 seam threads. … ‘ Murtagh didn’t file this odd document anywhere. He didn’t release it to the media. It was mostly for himself.
“Murtagh sounds exactly like a lawyer but carries himself exactly like a butler. You want to call him Jeeves. He’s punctilious, a bit formal, often greeting people with a courtly little bow. He views this whole case with an air of bemused exasperation, puzzled by its refusal to die. He knows his ‘brief’ would mostly confuse people. Only two people on Earth, he says, are really in a position to understand it — to understand what a flimsy, paltry, bankrupt case for innocence Errol Morris makes.”