Francis Wayne Alexander, from North Carolina – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) – Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced Monday that his office has identified another victim of the infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy: Francis Wayne Alexander of North Carolina.

Dart said Alexander was probably killed by Gacy between early 1976 and early 1977, and would have been 21 or 22 years old at the time of his murder.

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The sheriff said Alexander was born in North Carolina and his family later moved to New York, where he married before moving to Chicago in 1975. He later divorced and then disappeared, according to Dart.

“He had both the misfortune of living in the area where John Wayne Gacy carried out most of his killing, where he attacked most of his victims. He also had the misfortune that he also operated in an area where John Gacy also was aimed at specific people and specific groups, ”said Dart.

Francis Wayne Alexander (Source: Cook County Sheriff)

Dart said Alexander’s family at the time believed he would simply be at peace and that a missing person’s report was never filed.

“It’s hard, even 45 years later, to know the fate of our beloved Wayne. He was killed at the hands of a violent and evil man. Our hearts are heavy. Our sympathy goes out to the families of other victims. Our only consolation is to know, “This killer no longer breathes the same air as we do. We can now calm down what happened and move on by honoring Wayne. We ask you to respect our wishes for privacy while we deal with this tragedy.” said his family in a statement from Darts office.

DNA from one of Alexander’s cheek teeth was used to identify him.

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Cairenn Binder, a forensic genealogist with the DNA Doe Project, a non-profit group working to help identify John and Jane Does through genetic testing, said they were able to match the DNA from Alexander’s cheek tooth to several members of his family tree on a genealogy website, including his second cousin and several other distant cousins.

The DNA Doe Project then shared these DNA samples with Dart’s office, which was able to complete the investigation and establish that Alexander was the Gacy victim, previously known only as victim number 5, by comparing the DNA from Alexander’s tooth. with the DNA of his mother and half-brother.

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The sheriff’s detectives also used financial records, parking fines and other records to confirm that Alexander was victim number 5.

“It was the typical painstaking work of figuring out when Wayne was last seen – tax records, parking fines – that we were able to put it all together and combine it with the DNA,” Dart said.

Dart said he spoke to Alexander’s family after identifying him as one of Gacy’s victims, and they are “incredibly grateful” to have a sense of accomplishment.

“I’m thrilled that we were able to create a closure. It’s heartbreaking to talk to the family. It’s the first time we actually had a parent who was still alive from one of the cases, and “It was very difficult to talk to her, a very, very sweet, sweet lady,” said Dart.

Gacy killed at least 33 young men in the 1970s. Most of the victims were buried in Gacy’s home crawl space.

For more than a decade, Darts’ office has been working to identify previously unidentified victims of Gacy’s killings using new DNA testing technology.

In 2011, detectives used DNA to confirm that 19-year-old William George Bundy was one of Gacy’s unidentified victims. He was a retired Senn High School who disappeared in 1976.

In 2017, the sheriff’s office identified 16-year-old James Byron Haakenson, a runaway from Minnesota, as another Gacy victim.

Five other victims remain unidentified, and Dart said his office is committed to continuing its work to find out who they were.

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“We will continue to push with it. We are going to use all these different tools that we have used on this,” he said.

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