Killer clown John Wayne Gacy’s absences from the public sphere are only ever fleeting.
And then, there he is again. Evil personified.
Of course, John Wayne Gacy got the big adios in 1994 when the state of Illinois stuck a needle in his arm sending him to oblivion.
But on Monday, there again was Gacy — who murdered 34 young men and boys in a homicidal rampage in suburban Chicago in the late 1970s — back in the news.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office revealed that they had identified another one of Gacy’s nameless victims. Francis Wayne Alexander — found in Gacy’s crawl space in December 1978 — was identified as victim No. 5 in the string of killings.
According to cops, the North Carolina man was murdered by Gacy between early 1976 and early 1977. His family said he was around 21-years-old at the time of the murder.
He is survived by his mother, two half-sisters, and two half-brothers.
“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,” his family said in a written statement.
“Our hearts are heavy, and our sympathies go out to the other victims’ families. Our only comfort is knowing this killer no longer breathes the same air as we do. We can now lay to rest what happened and move forward my honouring Wayne.”
The sheriff’s office revealed that Alexander was identified by DNA extracted from one of his molars.
There remains at least four John Does that were dug up in the Gacy crawl space.
In 2011, the sheriff’s office exhumed Gacy’s unknown victims hoping to identify them through new technology and advances in DNA testing. Anyone who had a relative disappear in the Chicago area in the 1970s was asked to submit DNA.
The first unidentified victim was named weeks later as William Bundy, 19, a construction worker who had vanished. Six years later, the remains of 16-year-old Minnesota native Jimmy Haakenson, who disappeared after calling his mom from Chicago, were identified.
In addition, the DNA has helped close 11 more cold cases that had nothing to do with Gacy.
Gacy has been planted for more than 27 years, but cops were never under any illusions that the killer clown’s execution tied up myriad loose ends in the case.
Retired homicide detective Rafael Tovar was one of the cops who put Gacy on death row. Last year, Tovar revealed that in conversations with the serial killer, Gacy hinted that there were more victims.
“So we’re in the car and I ask him: ‘John, how many bodies are there?’” Tovar told me in March.
Gacy paused. “Then he replies, ‘I’ve told my lawyer, and I’ve told you guys that there’s 34, but really, 45 sounds like a good number,’” the retired detective recalled.
“I honestly believe there are more victims … but the others might be outside Chicago. There are gaps in his killing when he was travelling,” Tovar said, adding, “that doesn’t mean he stops killing.”
Even in death, John Wayne Gacy refuses to leave the stage.