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An Open Letter to David Grann

Hi David,

We’ve never met, but I email people your articles from The New Yorker. Full disclosure: sometimes, if they’re behind the paywall, I scan them and send them as PDFs. Sorry! Sorry. (Subscribe, everyone! Give a gift to a friend!) I will never do it again. Provided you help me out on this one thing.

Did Jeffrey MacDonald kill his family, or not?

You may not know now, and that’s okay. That’s why I’m politely asking you to devote a year of your life to figuring it out. It’s kind of your wheelhouse! You made it extremely clear to me that Texas killed a guy for no reason, and the Guatemalan piece is, jeez, it’s your Stockholm moment. Sometimes you even have to write blog posts to remind us that you’re right about things. Flattery! There’s more where that came from; help a girl out, guy.

Here’s where I’m at. I read Fatal Vision, and I thought he did it. Then I read The Journalist and the Murderer, and I thought he did it, but that McGinniss was a dick. Then I read McGinniss’ book about Sarah Palin, and I decided McGinniss was definitely a dick, but that MacDonald still did it. Then there was Errol Morris’ book. And I was concerned. And then this review of Morris’ book, and then this one. And I’m a big person, I’m open to being convinced that people aren’t murderers, but then Gene Weingarten wrote this thing, and now I’m back to thinking MacDonald is a murderer.

And, hand-to-God, I will believe you either way. I have placed my journalistic trust in you. Tell me. Tell me if Jeffrey MacDonald killed his family.

Season’s greetings,

Weirdos everywhere

P.S. Maybe you and William Langewiesche could team up on this one? If you feel at all over-extended.
P.P.S. MacDonald is mad litigious, so, you know, keep it above-board.


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