More than three decades after the skeletal remains of 33 men were found beneath John Wayne Gacy’s house in a Chicago suburb, detectives have exhumed bones of eight unknown victims in hopes of establishing identification.
Gacy is known as one of the worst serial killers of all time. He murdered at least 33 teenage boys between 1972 and 1978 and buried 29 of them in a crawl space under his house located in the Chicago-area. Four others were found in Illinois rivers. He was able to lure the boys to his home with the pretense of sexual relations by sometimes impersonating a police officer. Gacy was convicted in 1980 and executed in 1994 at the age of 52.
The Cook County Police Department secretly began the process of exhuming the bones with the belief that DNA testing could solve the last mysteries of these horrific murders. Detectives are asking the public to come forward if they had a relative who disappeared between 1970 and 1978. Salvia tests could prove if the remains are a match.
“These are eight people that deserve more,” Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart said Wednesday. “These are eight individuals who right now are nothing more than just forgotten people that were murdered by one of the most evil persons to ever walk the earth.”
After so many years, the relatives could be anywhere, so the sheriff’s department is setting up a website and a phone bank to field calls from across the country. Dart doubts that all eight victims will be identified. But he is confident that the office will finally be able to give some of them back their names. “I’d be shocked if we don’t get a handful,” he said. “The technology is so precise.”
Those interested in giving a DNA sample can contact the Cook County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-942-1950 or www.cookcountysheriff.com.
-articles by Cavan Sieczkowski and Cheryl Corley rewritten and adapted by admin-