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Disappointing story of an incredible woman
I was very disappointed in this movie for the same reasons the two reviewers above gave. Jill Clayburgh was just terribly miscast as Jill Ireland. It distracted me throughout the movie. While Ms. Ireland's real-life struggle to save her adopted son from drug addiction was admirable, eventually I started hoping for her son to hurry up and O.D. and get it over with it already, instead of having to watch the plot wander through the same territory again and again. It was difficult to work up much sympathy for him. I know that frequent relapses are symptomatic of drug use, but the movie had an obligation to entertain as well as inform. Unfortunately, it didn't do either very well.
Fatal Vision (1984)
I have always been interested in the the McDonald (Fatal Vision) murders. Ever since I read Joe McGinniss' book I have tried to keep up with any developments in the case. Unlike dtucker86, I am not totally convinced that Jeff McDonald is innocent. I also can't say with 100 percent certainty that he is guilty either, but I do lean toward the latter. First of all, most doctors will tell you that if you receive an injury to the head severe enough to knock you out during a traumatic event, your memory of that event is usually either non-existent or severely impaired. McDonald had total recall. He even remembered many minute details. How was he able to do that? Furthermore, how many criminals walk around intent on killing innocent women and children without even bringing their own weapons? Speaking of motive, why would these people kill children who were not even a threat to them? The children were in bed. If the intent of the hippie murderers was to kill McDonald, then why didn't they do that? It would also seem to me that a violent struggle on the first floor would have awaken everyone in the house. So, why were all the victims still upstairs in their bedrooms? Why didn't they come down the stairs or at least run and hide? Also, why didn't these killers bring weapons with them? If their intent was to kill innocent people they should have come prepared with guns, knives, etc. Instead they brought "candles." Where they afraid there would be no electricity? All of the weapons used were from the McDonald's house. Furthermore, the drug-crazed killers "hid" the weapons (but not the candles) in the bushes where they could be found but were careful not to leave fingerprints on the weapons. Am I to believe that these four people cared so little about what they were doing that they answered the phone while in the commission of these horrendous murders, risking tipping off whoever had called, and that the dropping of the telephone receiver was the only sound the neighbors below heard? Am I also to believe that these killers cared so little about being caught that they talked openly about what they had done and walked around wearing bloody clothes (all four of them)? If so, they had to not only be drugged out of their minds but they also had to be insane. I just can't believe four people in that condition could pull off such a thing without waking the whole neighborhood. McDonald admits he had several affairs while he was married. His wife's pregnancy might possibly have been an unwelcome development. That is a motive as far as I'm concerned (see Charles Stuart and Scott Peterson). Unfortunately, some men do kill their wives and children. These men generally don't look like or act like killers either (What does a killer look like or act like before he kills anyway?) I think the only way that McDonald's wife and children died upstairs in their bedrooms is because the only threat to them was from someone they knew and trusted.