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 that anyone with a close relative, who went missing between 1972 and 1979, come forward to provide a DNA sample for comparison. A number of responses from around the nation have reached the office since that initial request. Following the reopening of the case, Gacy’s unidentified victims were exhumed with the hope that modern DNA technology might provide the answers that were not available in the past when authorities had little choice but to rely on dental records and fingerprints alone for identification purposes. Authorities located and dug up the victim’s jaw bones, which were separated and stored in the county medical examiner’s office for years before being buried in a pauper’s grave in 2009. The upper and lower jaws, as well as the victim’s teeth, were maintained as evidence in case further information, such as dental records, became available. Authorities believe that this call for public help will successfully bring forth the family members of suspected victims, thus providing crucial connections in the case. According to the DNA profiles compiled by authorities, the eight victims were white males between the ages of 14 and 32 year old.
In a related matter that occurred just days before the Cook County sheriff’s office revealed that it had acquired the DNA profiles, a judge gave Sherry Marino the authorization to exhume the body of her son, to perform DNA testing. Marino, whose son was identified as one of Gacy’s younger victims, noted a discrepancy between an autopsy report and her son’s dental chart and now seeks closure in the matter that has haunted her for decades. According to the autopsy report, the victim’s second molars had erupted but according to Marino’s dental records, he was missing a second molar. However, the orthodontist who examined the victim stands by his findings, noting that while those molars typically come in at about 12 years of age, they can erupt later. He further asserts that Marino’s x-rays showed identical dental fillings to those of the victim. At the time of his alleged death, Marino’s dental records were about seven months old. Gacy, a notorious serial killer, was convicted and executed for the murder of 33 young men and boys in the 1970s. He convinced most of his victims to enter his home on the pretext of offering them construction jobs, money, drugs, or alcohol. Seven of the unidentified victims were found in the crawlspace of his Norwood Park Township home and the eighth was discovered under the barbecue pit.
Published on Jul 26, 2012
Since the Cook County sheriff’s office announced that it had obtained DNA profiles for the eight unidentified victims of John Wayne Gacy las...