James Meggison solves case

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James Meggison solves case - Acid thrower Stephen Mokone j ! i He convinced...
Acid thrower Stephen Mokone j ! i He convinced everyone but his wife and police By PATRICIA TURNER Courier-News Staff Writer . Stephen Mokone ;U a very convincing man. He convinced Rutgers' medical school that he held a doctorate degree while he only had a masters. As a result, the school gave him a job as a psychiatric social worker at the Rutgers Community Mental Health Center in Piscataway. He convinced Carolyn Rice, sister of Los Angeles Dodger star Maurey Wills, to marry him in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Feb. 8, 1977. He was already married at the time. He convinced his 23-year-old son to adore, yet fear him. And he convinced a circle of friends in Philadelphia to revere him. That's how Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Joyce Munkacsi describes Mokone, who last week pleaded guilty to charges that he threw acid into the face of his other wife, Joyce Mokone, last year as she tried to flee from him. Joyce Mokone was afraid of her estranged husband in November, 1977, because he had been harassing her after she filed for divorce. Interviews with participants in the case show Joyce Mokone believed her husband put sand in her car's gas tank and loosened the lug nuts on the tires of a friend's car. She knew he had made telephone calls, including bomb threats, many of them to the large New York City hospital where she worked as a nursing supervisor. Joyce Mokone also believed that her husband had attacked her lawyer, Ann Marie Boylan, with acid on Oct. 8, 1977, as Boylan was returning to her New York City home with groceries. Boylan was working on Joyce's divorce case at the time. But Joyce lowered her guard the weekend of Nov. 18, 1977, when she went to pick up the couple's 11-year-old daughter. The little girl said Mokone told her he had gone to South Africa for ber aunt's funeral. She listened to her daughter (whose name authorities would not reveal because still attends a local school) describe the trip she took with her father and her 23-year-old half-brother Ronnie to the bus depot in New Brunswick. Joyce thought her husband would take a bus to the airport in New York. She was. relieved to learn he was out of town. But Mokone was not out of town for long, according to Munkacsi. After boarding a Suburban Transit bus, Mokone-rode as far as the Ramada Inn in East Brunswick a few miles away. There he rented a car and drove to New York and Philadelphia in the next two days. Then he drove to Piscataway, where Joyce was staying with friends on Wood Lake Drive. Spotting Joyce in her car as she was returning to the friend's house, Mokone steered his vehicle into his wife's car, Munkasci said. After the collision, both drivers got out of their cars. They looked at each other for a moment. Then Joyce started running. She hadn't put much distance between them when she fell, Munkacsi said. Mokone caught up to her and threw a lye solution from a glass ice bucket onto Joyce's head as she lay on the ground. The lye turned a wig she was wearing white. It seeped under the wig and burned her scalp so that by the time she reached the hospital ber hair, was falling out in clumps. The lye ran into her ear and into both eyes. It also injured her shoulders, neck and back, and it left a serious burn on the hand she threw in front of her to protect her face. Mokone fled in his rented car, heading back to Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Joyce was unconscious from the fall and attack. When she regained consciousness, her skin was still burning, Munkacsi said. So she ran into her friend's house and tried to wash off the lye by taking a shower while wearing her clothes. Finally, friends and neighbors came and summoned the rescue squad, which took her to St. Peter's Medical Center in New Brunswick. Doctors there gave her little chance of recovering her sight because lye remains on the skin and continues to burn for weeks after original contact has been made. Joyce told Piscataway police she believed her husband had attacked her, even though he was supposed to be in South Africa. She said he was capable of such an attack because she believed he had attacked her lawyer in the same way. But Piscataway Detective Gary Eberle recalls that whether from fear, trauma or shock, Joyce later said she wasn't sure if "Steve Mokone did this to me." Picked up and questioned by police, Mokone first offered the South Africa story. Later he said he had been in Philadelphia for the weekend. He said he had ill Piif ipv Vic I Iff Jif 11 : 4 Staphan Mokona Had about his aducatlonal background to gat a Job, navar told his sacond wlfa J that ha was still marrlad to tha first, and ha danlad ha had thrown acid on his wlfa bafora plaadlng guilty. witnesses who would testify to this. And he had a hotel receipt. It was Piscataway Detective James Meggison who solved the case, Munkacsi said. Meggison remembered that Mokone bad not used his Mercedes that weekend. There had to be a rental car. After contacting numerous car rental agencies in the area, Meggison found David Carey, manager of Econo-car in East Brunswick. Carey remembered renting a car to Mokone on Oct. 18 at about 5:15 p.m. When the vehicle was located, the mileage read 433 miles, enough to cover the trips investigators believed Mokone had made that weekend. But there was more. The employee who cleaned the car said it was "filthy" from a gritty substance and had stains on the front seat. Tests showed the stains were made by the lye. Police fitted together pieces of lye-covered glass found at the scene of the attack. They showed it to Joyce and she identified it as the ice bucket given as a gift to the couple. She even produced the tray into which it fit. Investigators also discovered that on Oct. 21, 1977, Mokone had received treatment for lye burns on his lip and on a finger of his right hand at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. A week later, he asked a doctor at St. Peter's what he could do for lye burns oil his leg. In addition, Munkasci said, witnesses said they would swear they had seen Mokone in East Brunswick the day his wife was attacked in Piscataway. He had told police he spent the day in Philadelphia. But that wasn't all. Mokone's second wife, Carolyn Will Rice Mokone, told police Mokone had tried to break into her Maryland apartment at 3 a.m. on Oct. , 1977. However, her call to the police Continued Back Page This Section

Clipped from
  1. The Courier-News,
  2. 07 Nov 1978, Tue,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 3

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  • James Meggison solves case

    mtmeg67_ – 03 Dec 2016

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