Crime John Wayne Gacy victim identified through DNA from tooth
DNA evidence from decades-old unsolved child murders heading to private lab
DNA evidence from decades-old unsolved child murder cases in Atlanta are heading across the country to a private lab. From 1979 to 1981, at least 29 Black people, mostly kids and adolescents, were killed in the Atlanta area, according to the mayor's office. The first two victims were a 14-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy who vanished within days of each other, the mayor's office said.
Francis Wayne Alexander's remains were found more than 40 years ago in the crawl space of infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy's home.
For decades their identity was a mystery, but through the work of a non-profit group called the DNA Doe Project (DDP) and police in the Chicago area, genetic genealogy helped solve the case.
, a tooth from the victim was sent to a lab in California for DNA extraction. A sample of the DNA was sent to a lab in Alabama for sequencing.
The data file went to a genetics investigations company in Texas that.
North Carolina man identified as victim of John Wayne Gacy
CHICAGO (AP) — A North Carolina man who moved to Chicago was one of the victims of John Wayne Gacy, who was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the 1970s, authorities said Monday. Francis Wayne Alexander would have been 21 or 22 years old when Gacy killed him sometime between early 1976 and early 1977, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said at a news conference in announcing the identification of Alexander's remains. In a statement,Francis Wayne Alexander would have been 21 or 22 years old when Gacy killed him sometime between early 1976 and early 1977, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said at a news conference in announcing the identification of Alexander's remains.
"DNA matches in the second cousin range were found, enabling DDP's team of volunteer genetic genealogists to construct family trees and identify Francis Wayne Alexander as a candidate for Gacy Victim #5," the DNA Doe Project said.
Alexander's remains were found December 26, 1978, under Gacy's home in Norwood Park Township northwest of Chicago. Alexander likely was killed between early 1976 and early 1977.
"He had both the misfortune of living in the area where John Wayne Gacy did most of his killing, where he targeted most of his victims. He also had the misfortune of also operating in an area where John Gacy targeted specific people and specific groups as well," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said, according to.
New John Wayne Gacy Victim Identified Using DNA Link
The newly identified victim was among the bodies found in the crawlspace of Gacy's Chicago-area home on December 26, 1978.During a press conference held on Monday, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart revealed the name of the victim: Francis Wayne Alexander, formerly known as "Gacy Victim Five." Gacy is believed to have killed Alexander between 1976 and 1977 when the victim would have been 21-22 years old. Alexander's remains were among those found in the crawlspace beneath Gacy's Norwood Park home on December 26, 1978.
Police said Alexander, who was born in North Carolina then came to Chicago after living in New York, was 21 or 22 when he was killed.
The sheriff's office investigated whether Alexander was connected to Gacy in any way using the DNA from Alexander's mother and half-brother. Their DNA samples had a "a strong genetic association," the sheriff's office said
"Sheriff's Police also combed through financial records, public records, post-mortem reports, and other data to confirm that Victim #5 and Alexander were the same person," the office said in the news release.
The sheriff's office formally told Alexander's family about the discovery Friday.
Family says learning of death is still hard
The sheriff's news release included a statement from the family.
"It is hard, even 45 years later, to know the fate of our beloved Wayne. He was killed at the hands of a vile and evil man. Our hearts are heavy, and our sympathies go out to the other victims' families. Our only comfort is knowing this killer no longer breathes the same air as we do," the family said.
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Gacy was arrested in December 1978. Authorities said he had lured his victims into his home over six years. To get them there, he had promised construction jobs, drugs and alcohol, or by posing as a police officer or by offering money for sex. Police said he often targeted hitch hikers and people at bus stations.
Twenty-seven victims were excavated from the crawl space. Another was under his garage, and there was one more in his back yard. Four others had been thrown into the Des Plaines River after, Gacy told investigators, he ran out of room in the crawl space.
Gacy was convicted in 1980 of murdering 33 boys and young men, making him, at the time, the most prolific serial killer in US history. He was executed in 1994.
In 2011, the Cook County Sheriff's Office launched an effort to identify the eight unidentified victims.
William Bundy (2011) and Jimmy Haakenson (2017) were ID'd in 2001 and 2017, respectively, using DNA. Five of Gacy's victims have yet to be identified.
DNA on beer cans leads to arrest in 1996 cold case murder of Florida man stabbed 73 times .
Officials used genetic genealogy websites Family Tree and GEDmatch to link DNA from the crime scene to Kenneth Robert Stough Jr.Terence Paquette, 31, was found murdered on Feb. 3, 1996, in the bathroom of the Lil' Champ convenience store on Clarcona Ocoee Road in Orlando, where he worked. His throat was slit and cash was missing from the store, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.