Patrolman John L. MacKechnie
Port Jervis Police Department, New York
End of Watch: Friday, March 18, 1949
Tour: 8 years
Badge # 8
Incident Date: 3/18/1949
Weapon: Blunt object
Suspect: Committed to state hospital
Patrolman John MacKechnie was killed after being beaten and strangled by a mentally unstable person in the Port Jervis City Hall. The man had been taken into custody earlier in the evening after officers received reports that he was acting strangely. The man was taken to a room in the basement of the city hall used as an evidence locker and an interview room. Patrolman MacKechnie was left alone with the suspect when the second officer was called away to assist with an investigation. A few moments later the suspect grabbed a double barreled shotgun being stored as evidence and attacked Patrolman MacKechnie, knocking him unconscious with the shotgun. The man then strangled him with his uniform necktie.
After killing Patrolman MacKechnie, the man ran upstairs and yelled that he had killed the devil. The suspect was pursued back into the basement where he was taken into custody. An ambulance was called for Patrolman MacKechnie but he died before it arrived. The suspect was charged with first degree murder and was later committed to a state hospital. Patrolman MacKechnie had served with the Port Jervis Police Department for 8 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter and is buried at St Mary’s Cemetery in Port Jervis, New York.
In honor of Officer John MacKechnie, the Department’s Canine Unit was founded in 2009 with its first canine affectionately named “Mac” in memory of our beloved and honored brother, Officer John MacKechnie.