Errol Morris tackles the Jeffrey MacDonald case

But as wily as [Errol] Morris is, I was worried when he told me about his latest obsession: the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case. ‘Oh my God, no,’ was my measured reaction, ‘Not that!’

For the past four decades the MacDonald affair has been a toxic swamp that has drawn in some of journalism’s best and brightest writers.

‘Yes, that,’ Morris replied, telling me that MacDonald is the subject of his next book, titled A Wilderness of Error. In fact, he said, the book is the culmination of 20 years of fascination with the case, going back to a time in the early ’90s when Morris and his wife visited wig shops in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to investigate the wig-fiber evidence at the MacDonald crime scene. He is not a MacDonald partisan in that he doesn’t necessarily believe prosecutorial errors are proof of innocence, rather evidence of uncertainty.

If Errol Morris is that excited about the MacDonald case, it’s a sign we can’t say ‘Case closed.’

-from “Errol Morris: The Thinking Man’s Detective,” by Ron Rosenbaum. In the March 2012 issue of Smithsonian magazine. As a documentary filmmaker Errol Morris has focused his camera on former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, physicist Stephen Hawking and Texas death row inmate Randall Adams. His book on Jeffrey MacDonald is slated for publication in August.

Robert Frost at UNC: ‘hard-headed, statesmanlike’

On  this day in 1943: The Charlotte Observer editorializes about poetry and war:

“One would hardly expect a poet to deliver himself of hard-headed statesmanlike utterances. A poet is often busy elsewhere. He’s gazing in the brook or at the stars, busy with sonnet, ballad and roundelay. But Robert Frost, an American poet, speaking at the University of North Carolina, dealt in common sense. He thinks Americans are expecting too many drastic changes in internationalism after the war.

” ‘Our concern right now is to win the war,’ he said. ‘Then the developments we hope for will come about naturally.’

“Many of the scientists, engineers and others who are supposed to deal only in realities might well ponder this. Instead they are dreaming of Utopia on a worldwide scale, starting the day after the war ends. The war, they think, will somehow win itself. It won’t.

“When America and her allies have defeated the devil nations, there will be time to rebuild the world, but that will have to come, as Mr. Frost says, naturally.”