DNA helps iden­tify vic­tim of Gacy

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NEWS -

CHICAGO — Af­ter run­ning away from his Min­nesota home in 1976, 16-year-old Jimmy Haak­en­son called his mother, told her he was in Chicago, then dis­ap­peared for­ever.

More than 40 years later, a de­tec­tive from Illi­nois ar­rived at the fam­ily’s home to tell Haak­en­son’s rel­a­tives that at some point, the teenager crossed paths with se­rial killer John Wayne Gacy. Haak­en­son’s body was among dozens found in a crawl space of Gacy’s Chicago-area home in 1978. But the re­mains were only re­cently iden­ti­fied thanks to DNA tech­nol­ogy that wasn’t avail­able then, the Cook County sher­iff’s of­fice an­nounced Wednes­day.

Gacy, a Chicago-area build­ing con­trac­tor, lured young men to his home by im­per­son­at­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer or promis­ing them con­struc­tion work.

There, he stabbed one and stran­gled the others. Most of the vic­tims were buried un­der his home, but others were dumped in a river.

Gacy was con­victed of killing 33 young men and was ex­e­cuted in 1994. But the rev­e­la­tion about Haak­en­son is the lat­est turn in a years­long ef­fort to solve the re­main­ing mys­tery sur­round­ing Gacy’s case: Who were the eight vic­tims au­thor­i­ties hadn’t been able to iden­tify? James “Jimmy” Byron Haak­en­son’s body is only the sec­ond that au­thor­i­ties have iden­ti­fied since 2011.

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