Quest to Identify Eight Gacy Victims

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Quest to Identify Eight Gacy Victims
By Teresa Cajot


Since the Cook County sheriff’s office announced that it had obtained DNA profiles for the eight unidentified victims of John Wayne
Gacy last week, more than 30 people have come forward to see if the DNA samples might prove to be a match for a missing loved one.




On Wednesday, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart requested                In a related matter that occurred just days before the Cook
that anyone with a close relative, who went missing between            County sheriff’s office revealed that it had acquired the DNA
1972 and 1979, come forward to provide a DNA sample for                profiles, a judge gave Sherry Marino the authorization to
comparison. A number of responses from around the nation               exhume the body of her son, to perform DNA testing. Marino,
have reached the office since that initial request.                    whose son was identified as one of Gacy’s younger victims,
                                                                       noted a discrepancy between an autopsy report and her son’s
Following the reopening of the case, Gacy’s unidentified               dental chart and now seeks closure in the matter that has
victims were exhumed with the hope that modern DNA                     haunted her for decades.
technology might provide the answers that were not available
in the past when authorities had little choice but to rely             According to the autopsy report, the victim’s second molars
on dental records and fingerprints alone for identification            had erupted but according to Marino’s dental records, he
purposes.                                                              was missing a second molar. However, the orthodontist who
                                                                       examined the victim stands by his findings, noting that while
Authorities located and dug up the victim’s jaw bones, which           those molars typically come in at about 12 years of age, they
were separated and stored in the county medical examiner’s             can erupt later. He further asserts that Marino’s x-rays showed
office for years before being buried in a pauper’s grave in            identical dental fillings to those of the victim. At the time of
2009. The upper and lower jaws, as well as the victim’s teeth,         his alleged death, Marino’s dental records were about seven
were maintained as evidence in case further information, such          months old.
as dental records, became available.
                                                                       Gacy, a notorious serial killer, was convicted and executed
Authorities believe that this call for public help will successfully   for the murder of 33 young men and boys in the 1970s. He
bring forth the family members of suspected victims, thus              convinced most of his victims to enter his home on the pretext
providing crucial connections in the case. According to the            of offering them construction jobs, money, drugs, or alcohol.
DNA profiles compiled by authorities, the eight victims were           Seven of the unidentified victims were found in the crawlspace
white males between the ages of 14 and 32 year old.                    of his Norwood Park Township home and the eighth was
                                                                       discovered under the barbecue pit.




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Description: Since the Cook County sheriff’s office announced that it had obtained DNA profiles for the eight unidentified victims of John Wayne Gacy last week, more than 30 people have come forward to see if the DNA samples might prove to be a match for a missing loved one.