Police announced on Oct. 25 that they have identified another previously unnamed victim of infamous 1970s serial killer John Wayne Gacy through DNA testing.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office identified “Victim #5” as Francis Wayne Alexander, a man originally from North Carolina whose body was found in Gacy’s crawl space on Dec. 26, 1978.
According to authorities, Gacy killed Alexander sometime between early 1976 and early 1977 when he would had been 21 or 22 years old.
Authorities also said that they went through records to confirm Alexander’s identity and found a traffic ticket he received on Jan. 5, 1976, with no other “proof of life” for him after that time.
The Sheriff’s Office formally notified Alexander’s family who thanked authorities for giving them “closure.”
“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 only comfort is knowing this killer no longer breathes the same air as we do,” Alexander’s sister Carolyn Sanders said in a statement.
The Sheriff’s Office collaborated with the DNA Doe Project, an organization that uses genetic information to find the relatives of unidentified deceased, as part of the investigation into naming the remaining unidentified victims of Gacy.
“These unidentified young men brutally murdered by this vicious serial killer deserve dignity and that includes knowing their names,” Sheriff Thomas Dart said in a statement.
The other two victims identified since authorities reopened the investigation in 2011 were James Haakenson and William Bundy.
The investigation into the remaining five unidentified victims of Gacy is ongoing, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Gacy killed 33 teenage boys and young men from 1972 to 1978. He was executed in 1994.
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