A North Carolina man who went missing in the 1970s has been identified as one of dozens of victims killed by serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
The remains of Francis Wayne Alexander were among those found in the crawl space of Gacy’s home in the Chicago area in 1978.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart ordered the exhumation of the bodies of eight unidentified victims in 2011 in an attempt to identify them through DNA testing.
Alexander is the third Gacy victim to be identified in the past decade.
He would have been 21 or 22 when Gacy killed him between 1976 and 1977, Mr. Dart’s office said.
Gacy was convicted of killing 33 young men between 1972 and 1978 and burying them on his property. He was executed in 1994.
He often lured young people to his home to have sex by pretending to be a police officer or by promising them construction work.
In reopening the investigation, Sheriff Dart asked the families of the young people who disappeared between 1970 and Gacy’s arrest in 1978 to submit saliva samples to compare DNA with the eight victims who were buried unidentified.
Months later, William George Bundy, a 19-year-old construction worker, was identified as a victim of Gacy’s.
In 2017, James Byron Haakenson – a missing Minnesota teenager – was named as another victim.
Investigators compared DNA samples from Mr. Alexander’s mother and half-brother with his remains.
Alexander’s sister, Carolyn Sanders, thanked the sheriff’s office for closing the family.
“It is difficult, even 45 years later, to know the fate of our beloved Wayne. He was killed at the hands of a vile and evil man,” said Ms. Sanders.
“Now we can silence what happened and move on honoring Wayne.”
Authorities say they are unsure how Alexander’s path crossed with Gacy, one of America’s most notorious serial killers.
He had moved to Chicago, where he was married for about three months before getting divorced in 1975.
In January 1976 he received a fine in Chicago. After this, the agents found no trace of his life.
Mr. Alexander “lived in an area that was frequented by Gacy and where other identified victims had previously lived,” the sheriff’s office said.
Police say their efforts to identify the other remains are ongoing.
- Missing persons
- United States
Name of the teenage victim of US serial killer Gacy
- July 19, 2017
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