Many families willing to give DNA to help identify Gacy victims

October 18, 2011

(Photo courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Office)
A photo from the scene when Cook County officials exhumed an unidentified victim of John Wayne Gacy.

Dozens of families have approached Cook County officials to help identify victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Gacy killed 33 young men in the 1970s and buried them under his house near the Northwest side of Chicago. Over the last several months, Sheriff Tom Dart's office exhumed the remains of eight unidentified victims.

Dart said Tuesday his office has heard from about 50 families who are willing to give DNA samples to see if they are related to one of the unidentified victims.

"There are a lot of families that back then, even, in '78, might've had suspicions but just didn't want to face the potentially horrible realities of what might've been down in that crawl space," Dart said. "So, there are still families that are discussing things."

Dart said the families who have approached his office are from 28 states; one family is from Canada. He expects the investigation to start winding down in the next three or four weeks.