On this day, July 16, in 1979, an Army surgeon went on trial for the murder of his pregnant wife and two daughters in a crime that spawned the book "Fatal Vision."

In 1970, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald reported that he and his family had been attacked by drug-crazed hippies. The girls were ages 5 and 2. The killings shocked a nation still reeling from the Charles Manson murders six months earlier.

Investigators said MacDonald was the killer. His injuries were either self-inflicted or resulted from a fight with his wife, Collette, authorities said.

MacDonald was convicted for all three deaths. His case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court more than any other murder.

MacDonald, now 66, is housed at a federal prison in Cumberland, Md.

-- Scott McCabe