CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities say 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.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said at a news conference Monday that Francis Wayne Alexander would have been 21 or 22 years old when Gacy killed him sometime between early 1976 and early 1977.
“He had the misfortune of both living in the area where John Wayne Gacy did most of his killings, where he targeted most of his victims,” said Dart. “He also had the misfortune of operating in an area where Gacy targeted specific people in specific groups as well.”
Alexander was one of eight Gacy victims whose remains were buried without police knowing who they were.
Dart's office exhumed those remains in 2011 in the hopes that DNA testing could help. Along with DNA, detectives used financial records and parking tickets to confirm the body was Alexander’s.
In a statement, Alexander’s sister, Carolyn Sanders, thanked the sheriff’s office for giving the family some “closure.”
“It is hard even 45 years later to know the fate of our beloved Wayne,” the family said in their statement. “He was killed at the hands of a violent, evil man. Our hearts are heavy. Our sympathies go out to other victims’ families. Our only comfort is knowing this killer no longer breathes the same air that we do. We can now lay to rest and move forward by honoring Wayne.”
Five victims now remain unidentified.