CHICAGO, IL — Investigators are hoping that facial reconstructions will lead to the identification of two young men found buried beneath the home of Chicago serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children along with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office released the facial reconstructions of the two unknown Gacy victims, designated “John Doe #10” and “John Doe #13.” The facial reconstruction images developed by an NCMEC forensic artist are believed to show what both young men looked like in life.
In addition to the new facial reconstructions, NCMEC is releasing a video, “Gacy-Unsolved,” highlighting the work of Detective Sgt. Jason Moran and Sheriff Tom Dart with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to identify the remaining victims of Gacy.
Between 1972 and 1978, Gacy raped and murdered young boys and men at his home in Chicago. Gacy owned a small construction company that remodeled commercial businesses throughout the Chicago area, and would lure young men to his home in unincorporated Norridge Township with the promise of lucrative jobs. The 37-year-old serial killer’s crimes horrified Chicagoans and the nation in 1978, when the bodies of 29 young men were exhumed from a mass crawl space grave beneath Gacy’s nondescript tract house. Four other bodies were discovered elsewhere, when it is believed that Gacy started running out of room on his property and began disposing his victims’ bodies in rivers.
The remains of John Doe #10 have been determined to belong to a white male, 17 to 21 years old. He stood approximately 5-feet-7-inches and 5-feet-11-inches tall. His hair and eye color are unknown. An autopsy revealed that the young man suffered an injury to his left clavicle prior to his death that had healed well over time. He had also been treated by dentist in life as a few dental fillings were observed. He is believed to have died between 1972 and 1978.
Like John Doe #10, the remains of John Doe #13 belong to a white male, 18 to 22 years old. He stood approximately 5-feet-9-inches and 6-feet-2-inches tall. He had dark brown wavy hair. One of his upper teeth was displaced behind another tooth. It is possible that this characteristic would have been noticeable to others that knew him well. It’s estimated that the male died between 1972-1978.
Gacy’s hunting ground covered Greyhound bus stations, concert venues and gay bars. In addition to entertaining youngsters at children’s hospitals dressed as a clown, Gacy mingled with civic leaders and politicians. He was famously photographed in 1978 with First Lady Rosalynn Carter at a Chicago political function. It wasn’t until the disappearance of a 15-year-old Des Plaines boy in December 1978, when investigators were led to the grisly discovery of 29 bodies and skeletal remains in Gacy’s crawl space.
In 2011, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart reopened the investigation to identify the eight remaining unknown victims to help bring closure to their families. The victims’ graves were exhumed and DNA samples collected. The remains of 19-year-old William George Bundy, known as Bill to his friends and family, were finally identified in 2011.
Another identification was made last year as the remains of 16-year-old Jimmie Haakenson, who had left his home in St. Paul, MN, during the summer of 1976, were identified. Today, six Gacy victims, including John Doe #10 and John Doe #13, remain unidentified.
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Gacy was ultimately tried and convicted of the murders of 33 young men in 1980. Gacy was executed by lethal injection in 1994 at the Stateville Correctional Center.
Anyone has information about these unidentified boys is urged to contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or the Cook County Sheriff’s Office at 708-865-6244.
Video courtesy of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children