Man Sentenced to Life in Prison in 1992 Cold Case Murder - NECN


The latest news from around the state

Man Sentenced to Life in Prison in 1992 Cold Case Murder



    Man Sentenced to Life in Prison in 1992 Cold Case Murder
    Suffolk County Prosecutor's Office
    Lena Bruce

    A Massachusetts man found guilty of murdering a Boston woman in her South End apartment more than 25 years ago has been sentenced to life in prison, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

    James Witkowski, 45, was found guilty Monday of killing Lena Bruce on July 11, 1992, when he was 19 and homeless.

    Investigators say Bruce, who was 21, was bound with a telephone cord, sexually assaulted and asphyxiated. Jurors did not consider a sexual assault charge because the statute of limitations had expired.

    Officials say the intruder got in through an open window that night by a fire escape in an alley behind the apartment building.

    Man Indicted in 1992 Boston Murder

    [NECN] Man Indicted in 1992 Boston Murder
    James Witkowski has been indicted in the 23-year-old cold case murder of Lena Bruce, who was 21 when she was strangled and raped.
    (Published Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015)

    Sperm cells were found at the scene and skin cells were found beneath Bruce’s fingernails. Both were stored under laboratory conditions. In 1998 the skin and sperm cells were determined to be a DNA match.

    A DNA profile was uploaded to an FBI database, but no matches were found.

    Witkowski was arrested in 2014 for violating probation in connection with an assault and battery conviction and was ordered to provide a DNA sample, which ended up matching the profile found at the scene of Bruce’s death.

    He was indicted for first-degree murder in 2015. Both of Bruce’s parents had passed away by the time of Witkowski’s arrest.

    An impact statement from the Bruce family said the sentencing was a special moment.

    "Our 'Diamond In the Rough' was taken from us during the beginning of her destiny,” said the statement. "Lena grew up in the times where the saying was, 'It takes a village to raise a child.' She impacted people where ever she journeyed in life, including Boston. We have lost our parents and a brother during the wait for Justice for our sister." 

    Parkland Shooting Survivor Calls 'BS' on Politicians' Gun Stance

    [NATL] Parkland Shooting Survivor Calls 'BS' on Politicians' Gun Stance

    Marjory Stoneman Douglas High senior Emma Gonzalez had a message for president Donald Trump and for other politicians on their failure to enact sensible gun laws: "BS." Gonzalez was one of several survivors to speak at a rally held outside the Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to speak out against the gun lobby.

    (Published Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018)

    Get the latest from necn anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android