Detectives identify suspect in 25-year-old cold case of murdered woman in Union City

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that detectives have solved a 25-year-old cold case of a Union City woman who was found dead on the side of the road.

sergeant. Juan Valencia said DNA linked a now deceased criminal – Jack Alexander Bokin with a long criminal history – to the July 15, 1996 death of Michelle Marie Veal, 32, of Union City.

His body was found by a team of investigators working in the Stony Point Road area north of West Railroad Avenue in unincorporated Sonoma County a quarter of a century ago.

The autopsy showed that she had suffered multiple skull fractures and a fractured neck.

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Valencia said detectives conducted a “thorough investigation” at the time, but failed. He added that Bokin’s name was mentioned by FBI agents at the time, but there was no evidence to link him to his death, Valencia said.

Authorities said Bokin picked up Veal in San Francisco that night and then took her to North Bay. Her DNA was found on her, authorities said.

And in April 2021, detectives again submitted evidence for review to the Serological Research Institute for biological testing.

They got a hit on January 18.

A DNA match came back to Bokin, who died on December 4, 2021, where he had been held at the California Department of Corrections Medical Facility in Vacaville.

“There are a lot of mixed emotions with the family and obviously our investigation unit,” Valencia said. “Obviously it’s not bringing back his mother or daughter, but now there’s a closure.”

Bokin had been arrested in October 1997 – less than a year after Veal’s death – by San Francisco police on charges of kidnapping with intent to commit rape and two counts of oral copulation of a person under 14. , false imprisonment and attempted murder.

And in 2000, Bokin was sentenced to serve 231 years in the case – days after he tried to escape from the courthouse after using a makeshift key to unlock his chains. He rushed from a holding cell with deputies – and even Judge James Warren in pursuit – and was caught.

“I’m not surprised. He was a very scary guy,” said Elliot Beckelman, the San Francisco who handled the previous case. “He’s such a candidate for this type of crime. He’s a violent guy – he was a violent guy – and he took a lot of risks, and he had this ‘I don’t care’ attitude.”

Veal was a mother of three daughters.

In a statement, Veal’s family said, “Although she is gone, memories of her beautiful smile, impeccable style, generous spirit and enthusiasm for life live forever in the hearts of many people whose lives she touched.

“Our dear Michelle was a mother to three young girls who were raised under the care of her amazing mother, as well as her loving sister. enabled her to persevere through many adversities, to do her best for those she loved. Michelle’s tenacious spirit lives on in her daughters, who all lead happy, healthy lives today, and raise their children to remember her as the beautiful grandmother we all wish we had met.”

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An article by Lora Lusher in Crime Magazine described Bokin as his cousin, and she chronicled the trial of a 19-year-old prostitute whom he attempted to kill by hitting her head and throwing her into San Francisco Bay.

She described her cousin as a bright boy who grew up in a working-class Mission family in San Francisco, but he had “dirty secrets”, such as bringing his father’s gun to school at the age of 7 years. At the age of 9, he was stealing bicycles. And when he was 10, he started molesting her when she was only 3.

“Even at that young age, Jack was already so practiced in stealth that the abuse was never suspected. In the years that followed, even my father, who was a San Francisco police inspector on the Sex Crimes Detail , didn’t feel that anything was wrong.” Lusher wrote.

In the article, Lusher chronicled a host of other women Bokin abused, from a 30-year-old woman at the University of California, Berkeley Extension campus in San Francisco in 1964 to another case in the 1990s where he picked up a prostitute on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco and raped and beat her.

She documented in detail all the wrongs Bokin had done to women, saying that even though he was part of the family, “he will never and should never have another chance at freedom, but I don’t find no joy, only relief to myself and deep regret that he wasted his life and shattered so many others.”

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