PORT JERVIS – It was on March 18, 1949 that Port Jervis City Patrolman
John MacKechnie was killed by a mentally unstable man in City Hall. The
man had been taken into custody earlier in the evening after officers
received reports that he was acting strangely.
MacKechnie, 38, was left alone in a basement room used as an evidence
locker and interview room. The suspect grabbed a shotgun being stored
as evidence and attacked the officer, knocking him unconscious and strangling
him with his uniform necktie.
After killing the patrolman, the man ran upstairs and yelled that he
killed the devil. He was charged with murder and committed to a state
Officer MacKechnie had served on the Port Jervis police force for eight