More than 40 years after John Wayne Gacy brought terror to Cook County, Illinois, authorities have identified another victim. Gacy had murdered 33 young men and boys in the Chicago area between 1972 and 1978. Now, in 2017, another body has risen to the surface.
James Byron Haakenson has been identified as the previously unknown victim #24. His decayed corpse was discovered inside a crawlspace of Gacy’s suburban Chicago home.
Authorities identified the victim by using DNA analysis. Haakenson’s brother and sister contacted authorities earlier this year, providing a DNA sample.
Haakenson was only 16 years old when he left his home in St. Paul, Minnesota, in search of a new life under the bright lights of the city. Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart said that the boy was “in search of a different life in the big city.”
It is not known how Gacy and Haakenson met. Gacy was known for searching Chicago for young men and boys who are either gay, alone or out of work. Gacy routinely raped, tortured and murdered his prey.
Haakenson’s corpse was discovered sandwiched between two other bodies. Authorities believe that the boy died in 1976.
John Wayne Gacy was convicted of 33 murders and sentenced to death in 1980. After a shade over 14 years sitting on death row, Gacy was finally executed by the state via lethal injection.