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Wednesday 1 October 2014

New hunt for serial killer victims

Published 12/01/2013 | 21:25

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Serial killer John Wayne Gacy (AP)

Detectives in Chicago are planning to search under an apartment complex for the bodies of possible victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy who was convicted of murdering 33 young men.

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Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has agreed to ask a judge for a warrant to search the housing complex where the killer's late mother lived on the city's Northwest Side.

Officials have found records showing that Gacy, a contractor, had done handyman work at the complex, and located witnesses whose sworn affidavits raised questions about Gacy's activities there.

Investigators would use high-tech thermal imaging devices that detect underground anomalies indicating something may have been buried. At the same time, searchers would bore holes in the ground and have FBI dogs sniff the holes' openings for the scent of human remains.

A search would be the latest twist in one of the most terrifying crime sprees in American history, one that ended when investigators discovered 29 bodies buried in the crawlspace of Gacy's Chicago-area home and yard in the 1970s.

Gacy, who was arrested in 1978, convicted in 1980 and executed in 1994, has been the subject of countless articles and books, as well as at least one film.

A few weeks ago, the sheriff's department announced it was submitting the DNA of Gacy and other condemned murderers who were executed in Illinois to a national database in the hopes of clearing the coldest of cold cases across the country. Detectives say that because Gacy travelled extensively, he may have killed people in other locations.

Press Association

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