DNA Links Serial Rapist to 2 Crimes

John Mckenzie Sentenced to Life in Prison

Boca Raton, FL - On June 28, 2006, an Evidence Custodian for the Boca Raton Police Department, while reviewing evidence from cold cases, submitted a sexual battery exam kit from a 1989 rape case to the Palm Beach County DNA Lab for analysis. On July 29, 2010, detectives were assigned that case when the PBSO Lab notified them that the FBI had matched a suspect’s DNA profile. On August 30, 2010, detectives received the official report from PBSO which stated while searching the National Convicted Offender Database, the suspect’s DNA profile matched convicted offender John Leonard McKenzie.

In the 1989 case, the victim was washing her car at about 3:15 in the afternoon, in the front parking lot of her apartment complex. The victim went into her apartment, leaving the door unlocked. A few minutes later a white male entered the victim’s apartment and holding a large knife, he confronted the victim. The suspect cut off the victim’s clothing, cutting the victim in the process, and then he raped her.

On September 8, 2010 detectives received a warrant and arrested John McKenzie for armed sexual battery and armed burglary with a battery. After his arrest, detectives continued to research other crimes that included elements similar to McKenzie’s method of operation.

They found such a case from June 18, 1987. In this case, the victim reported that a white male broke into her apartment through the bedroom window, in the early morning hours. The suspect, who was armed with a knife, threw a blanket over the victim’s head, cut of her clothing and raped her. The suspect fled, but left evidence behind. This evidence, along with the victim’s DNA, was sent to the PBSO DNA Lab for analysis. On January 21, 2011 detectives were notified that the DNA profile matched John McKenzie.

In both these cases, the original officers, detectives, and crime scene technicians conducted an exhaustive investigation, which included processing the crime scene and collecting evidence, canvassing the neighborhood, interviewing the victims and witnesses, and compiling a composite sketch of the suspect. This thorough police work allowed later evidence custodians and detectives to successfully bring a case against the offender, John McKenzie.

On March 3, 2011, after a jury trial, John Leonard McKenzie was found guilty of armed sexual battery, for the 1989 case. On March 22, 2011, John McKenzie was sentenced to life in prison.