Gacy Case Detailed by Cook County Sheriff

Convicted killer John Wayne Gacy’s lifestyle, criminal activity, methods and more — and law enforcement’s efforts to identify victims — were summarized by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart on Jan. 29.

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart gave a presentation on the John Wayne Gacy case and his office’s recent efforts to identify previously-unknown victims at the City Club of Chicago on Tuesday.

Sheriff Dart shared many details about Gacy’s life, how he preyed on his victims, how he committed the killings and what he did with the remains.

Gacy craved attention, Dart said, threw big neighborhood parties, and volunteered to dress up as a clown at parties.

One method Gacy used to lure victims into his car, Dart said, was to wear a black leather jacket, show a badge, tell them he was an undercover agent and needed to speak with them.

Dart explained how modern technology expands law enforcement’s ability to solve cold cases.

Dart said dental records were one of the primary methods to identify Gacy’s victims in the late 1970’s, whereas today DNA-based methods can be applied.

A video of Dart’s presentation about the Gacy case is posted on the City Club of Chicago’s website.

One Missing Des Plaines Teen Unraveled Gacy

Des Plaines police first became involved in the case while following up leads of a missing Des Plaines teenager, Robert Piest. Des Plaines officers arrested Gacy, one of the most sensational mass-murder cases in history, at his Norwood Park Township home on Dec. 21, 1978.

Since Gacy lived in an unincorporated part of the township, by Norridge, the sheriff’s office then became the primary law enforcement agency handling the case, involving the murders of dozens teenage boys throughout the 1970’s.


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