Tags: james byron haakenson | john wayne gacy | victim | id

James Byron Haakenson ID'd as John Wayne Gacy Victim No. 24

By    |   Wednesday, 02 Aug 2017 05:46 AM

John Wayne Gacy’s 24th known victim was identified using DNA samples from two of the dead youth's siblings, solving a mystery that spanned nearly 40 years, according to investigators.

Authorities identified James "Jimmie" Byron Haakenson by testing the unidentified remains of what was known as Gacy Victim No. 24 to Haakenson's two siblings, according to Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart. The testing was done at the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification.

Dart said detectives reviewed original missing person reports, social security administration information, post-mortem reports, and other data to help confirm that Victim No. 24 was Haakenson.

Haakenson was 16 when he left home in St. Paul, Minnesota in the summer of 1976, said Dart. His mother last heard from him on Aug. 5, 1976, when he told her over the phone that he was in Chicago.

The body of Gacy Victim No. 24 was found on Dec. 29, 1978, in a grave containing multiple bodies in the crawl space of the notorious serial killer's house.

"My brother has been missing for so long, and it's so nice to know that we've found our brother now, even though now it's not good," Lorie Sisterman, Haakenson's sister, told the Chicago Tribune. "It's so wonderful, but it's also, you know, horrible at the same time."

The Tribune noted that Gacy was convicted of killing 33 boys and young men in the 1970s, 32 of them strangled. All but four of the victims were found in the crawl space of Gacy's home in the suburban Chicago area of Norwood Park Township.

Authorities executed Gacy by lethal injection in state prison in 1994 after his appeals failed.

Dart ordered the exhumation of eight unidentified Gacy victims in 2011 in hopes of finding out who they were, reported WLS-TV. Haakenson was the second person to be identified from those bodies.

The sheriff had also asked that relatives of young men who disappeared from 1970 up to Gacy's 1978 arrest to submit saliva samples in hopes to use advanced DNA technology to make possible matches.

"Every family deserves to have closure," said Dart, per WLS-TV.

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John Wayne Gacy’s 24th known victim was identified using DNA samples from two of the dead youth's siblings, solving a mystery that spanned nearly 40 years, according to investigators.
james byron haakenson, john wayne gacy, victim, id
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2017-46-02
Wednesday, 02 Aug 2017 05:46 AM
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