'One Man Cold Case' Searches For Victims Of Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy

When John Wayne Gacy was executed by lethal injection in 1994, may of his secrets died with him – including the identities of his eight remaining victims.

November 28, 2018
By: Catherine Townsend


Jason Moran looking at silhouettes of the unidentified Gacy victims.

Photo by: [Investigation Discovery]

[Investigation Discovery]

Jason Moran looking at silhouettes of the unidentified Gacy victims.

CHICAGO, IL — Serial killer John Wayne Gacy hunted in the streets of Chicago during 1970s, and eventually sexually tortured and murdered 33 young men.

Gacy would lure his victims to his Norwood Park ranch house, where he killed all but one by asphyxiating or strangling them with a makeshift tourniquet. He then buried the bodies in the crawl space under his house or dumped them into the Des Plaines River – and, as the body count rose, Gacy continued to live a normal life.

Eventually Gacy, whom the media nicknamed the “Killer Clown” because he dressed up as the character Pogo the Clown at children’s parties, was convicted of the murders and sentenced to death.

John Wayne Gacy

Photo by: [Des Plaines Police Department]

[Des Plaines Police Department]

John Wayne Gacy

Police were able to identify 25 of the men he killed through dental records. But when Gacy was executed by lethal injection in 1994, may of his secrets died with him – including the identities of his eight remaining victims.

In 2011, the Cook County Police Department decided to reopen the case in hopes that new DNA technology would lead to identifications of the remaining eight victims.

The new Investigation Discovery limited series Deadly Legacy follows Detective Sergeant Jason Moran, a one-man cold case unit in Cook County, as he reviews each case. Moran takes viewers through his investigation as he receives thousands of tips, scours through evidence, and narrows in on three missing persons.

He interviews friends, family members, and potential witnesses and uses DNA technology in his quest to finally give families closure.

“John Wayne Gacy is one of America’s most notorious serial killers, and while his name lives on, we often forget about the victims he left behind,” Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel, and Destination America, said. “Through the dogged determination and inspiring intrepidness of Detective Sergeant Moran, Investigation Discovery will deliver answers to multiple families in this intense, riveting, and long overdue investigation.”

Watch the premiere of Deadly Legacy Sunday, December 9, at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery!

Read more: Den of Geek

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