Northern California authorities solve 25-year-old murder

A serial rapist who died in prison last year has been linked to the murder of a woman in California’s wine country more than 25 years ago, authorities said this week.

DNA evidence has led investigators to identify Jack Bokin — who died at a prison medical facility in December — as the man who bludgeoned Michelle Veal in July 1996 in unincorporated Sonoma County, the office said Wednesday. of the county sheriff.

Veal’s naked body was discovered by a team of investigators on the side of a road near some wineries. The 32-year-old Union City resident had a fractured skull and broken neck.

A quarter century later, detectives submitted evidence to a lab for testing and in January a match was made with Bokin through a DNA database maintained by the FBI, authorities said.

Veal left behind three daughters.

“There are a lot of mixed emotions with the family and obviously our investigations unit,” the sheriff’s sergeant said. said Juan Valencia. “Obviously that doesn’t bring her back… but now there’s a closure.”

“Although she is gone, the memories of her beautiful smile, impeccable style, generous spirit and enthusiasm for life live forever in the hearts of the many people whose lives she touched,” said a family statement reported by KTVU-TV.

Less than a year after Veal’s death, Bokin was arrested in San Francisco and charged with kidnapping with intent to rape and sexually assaulting a person under 14, as well as false imprisonment and attempted murder. .

The case involved attacks on sex workers, including a 19-year-old prostitute who was bludgeoned in the head and thrown into San Francisco Bay while playing dead.

In 2000, Bokin was sentenced to 231 years in prison, days after he attempted to escape from the courthouse by using a handmade key to unlock his chains and get out of a holding cell. He was tackled on the balcony of the field.

Los Angeles Times

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