Jenna's Reviews > A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald

A Wilderness of Error by Errol Morris
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's review
Sep 07, 2012

really liked it
Read from September 07 to 16, 2012

I was mildly obsessed with "Fatal Vision" as a teenager. I probably read it three or four times between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. I picked it up for the first time off the community bookshelf at the motel we were staying at in Florida for summer vacation. The first thing that attracted me was that it was a big, thick paperback. I was (and am) a voracious reader. Finding a book long enough, that I could really sink my teeth into, was a treasure! Secondly, I was drawn in by the description on the back cover. An unthinkable crime. Who did it? Mystery and jumbled facts, but strong hints that Jeffrey MacDonald had killed his family in a psychotic drug-fueled rampage. I was hooked. After reading and re-reading it over the years, I was fairly convinced of MacDonald's guilt.
So when I heard about Errol Morris's book, "A Wilderness of Error:The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald", and that Morris had unearthed evidence that could exonerate MacDonald, I knew I'd have to buy it right away. The book, while over 500 pages, is quickly read, especially if you are familiar with the case. The chapters are short and many are interview-style. After reading it, I'm much less certain of MacDonald's guilt. I'm 100% positive that he did not receive a fair trial. Witness testimony was disallowed or buried, witnesses were threatened and intimidated into changing their testimony, and physical evidence that supported MacDonald's story or that could not be explained was swept under the rug. Joe McGinniss chose what material to include in his account, also dismissing and not using facts that suggested MacDonald was not culpable in the deaths of his family. This book is a fascinating counter-point to "Fatal Vision" and if you have had a fascination or interest in the MacDonald case, I highly recommend it.
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09/07/2012 page 59
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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Just started this one after I saw the author on Stephen Colbert.

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