Authorities use DNA to identify victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy

·1 min read
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Through DNA testing, police in Chicago have been able to identify a victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy whose name was unknown for more than 40 years.

On Monday, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart identified Victim No. 5 as Francis Wayne Alexander, a man who grew up in North Carolina and was killed not long after moving to Chicago. Dart said Alexander's family "just loved him, but they thought that he wanted nothing more to do with them, so that's why there was never a missing person's report."

Alexander's sister, Carolyn Sanders, wrote in a statement released by Dart's office that "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. ... We can now lay to rest what happened and move forward by honoring Wayne."

Gacy was convicted of killing 33 boys and young men in the 1970s and sentenced to death; he was executed in 1994. He hid most of the bodies in a crawl space at his home near Chicago, and while many of the victims were identified, eight were not. In 2011, the Cook County Sheriff's Department announced it would start conducting DNA tests on the remains, and including Alexander, three of the victims have since been identified.

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