John Arthur MacLean of Pompano Beach, Florida was arrested Friday after DNA evidence from decades-old cold cases linked him to a series of three rapes in South Florida, news sources indicate. DNA evidence may have linked MacLean to two other rapes, but prosecutors say that too much time has passed for them to press charges. MacLean, 65, was booked into Broward County Jail on two charges of sexual battery as the result of the new findings. It is unclear whether he has qualified for bail bond. It is also not yet known whether MacLean has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
Reports say MacLean fell into legal trouble in the late 1970’s, during which time he reportedly burglarized a number of homes. One of those homes included the mansion of a wealthy family heir, and the burglary yielded a million dollars’ worth of jewelry, sources say. Detectives nabbed MacLean, who had earned the name ‘Superthief,’ in 1979 for the purported robbery. A judge sentenced him to a lengthy imprisonment, and MacLean took to writing in his time behind bars. In 1983, his book “Secrets of a Superthief” was published. Within its pages, MacLean offered his professional input on how burglaries occur and how to prevent them.
Now, over 30 years later, detectives say DNA evidence from cold cases has linked MacLean to a string of rapes in Boca Raton and Miami. The crimes themselves originate from the early to late 1970s. Detectives say they lifted the DNA evidence from articles of clothing collected from the victims. Reports did not publicly identify any of these alleged victims.
In one case from October of 1976, evidence indicates that MacLean was the gun-wielding perpetrator who unlawfully entered the home of a 15-year-old girl and sexually assaulted her. In another case from February 1977, detectives say the DNA evidence suggests that MacLean was the man who broke into a 26-year-old woman’s home and raped her while her children slept in the opposite room. Detectives say MacLean was armed with a gun during that assault as well. Police recently interviewed the woman, who said she could still vividly recall the details of the rape.
MacLean is also accused of the rape of a Miami college student in 1974. Sometime following the assault, detectives claim MacLean may have wrote the victim a letter that said, “I think I love you. I’ll see you again soon.”
Reports say there are two more purported rapes, but the statute of limitations in those cases has expired and police cannot charge MacLean. The alleged incidents occurred in February of 1976. According to police reports, DNA evidence implicates MacLean as the man who entered the home of two sisters, aged 14 and 18 at the time, and sexually assaulted them both.
Reports say investigators are now scanning a number of cold-case rape files to see if they can link McLean to any other assaults. Detectives speculated whether McLean had any ties to the “Gentle Rapist,” who was a prolific rapist accused of nearly 200 unsolved sexual assaults in the 70’s.