The Victims of John Wayne Gacy / Buried Beneath the House

The Victims of John Wayne Gacy | Buried

John Wayne Gacy murdered 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978 in the state of Illinois. He buried most of the victims in the crawl space beneath his home. Here are the victims of John Wayne Gacy.

victims of John Wayne Gacy
Chicago Tribune

It’s important first to understand the modus operandi of John Wayne Gacy. He was a sexual sadist and a serial rapist who lived solely for his own violent, homosexual pleasures. Stating that these boys and young men were simply ‘murdered’ by John Wayne Gacy is a gross understatement. Gacy would lure these males into his house using the promise of work, drugs, sex or money. Once in, they were never seen again. John would bind them, rape them for hours, torture them with foreign objects and eventually strangle them to death as he had his final sexual release during the shutterings of their death throes. He would rape their corpses for days after their murders. For a negrophilic, such as John was, dead bodies held a sexual pleasure all their own. He would then bury their battered bodies in the crawl spaces beneath his house. Often placing corpse upon corpse.


The Victims of John Wayne Gacy

January 3, 1972

victims of John Wayne Gacy
Timothy McCoy (16 )

Tim McCoy | The Greyhound Bus Boy

Timothy Jack McCoy was born on May 14, 1955. He was the first known victim to be murdered by up and coming serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Tim McCoy, at 16, met John Gacy at the bus terminal in Chicago, Illinois one evening in early January 3, 1972. Tim was returning home to Omaha, Nebraska from a holiday trip in Michigan. McCoy, at Gacy’s insistence, stayed the night at his house. Sometime during that evening, Timothy was stabbed to death by his host and subsequently buried in the crawl space beneath Gacy’s kitchen floor. He later covered the grave with concrete.

Timothy Jack McCoy’s body was discovered in December of 1978 and finally identified, via dental records, in 1986.

Timothy McCoy was labeled Body # 9

several years after his arrest, John Wayne Gacy said that immediately after killing Timothy McCoy, he felt “totally drained”, yet noted that as he stabbed the young man, and listened to the “gurgulations” and gaspings for air, he had experienced a mind-numbing orgasm. He added: “That’s when I realized that death was the ultimate thrill.”

January 1974

victims of John Wayne Gacy
John Doe # 1 (14-18 )

Date of Discovery: March 9, 1979
Location of Discovery: The home of John Wayne Gacy – Buried in the back yard.
Estimated Date of Death: 1972 to 1978 (most likely January 3, 1972 – July 31, 1975 based upon blood evidence, location, and killer’s statements)
State of Remains: Skeletal
Cause of Death: Homicide by strangulation

954UMIL – Unidentified Male @ Doe Net Work .Org

The Murder of John Doe # 1 – Unidentified Victim

John Wayne Gacy himself revealed that he next murdered in 1974. Gacy claimed to have strangled this young man and concealed him in a closet. He eventually buried the body in the back yard near the BBQ pit.

This second victim remains an unidentified white male, between 14 and 18 years of age at the time of his murder. Investigators theorized he was possibly married, based on the ring on the fourth finger of his left hand.

29 victims were located on Gacy’s property; this male was the 28th to be found. 

John Doe # 1 was labeled Body # 28

Gacy later revealed that the second time he killed was around January 1974. The victim was an unidentified teen with brown, curly hair. Gacy said that he strangled the boy to death then stashed his corpse in a closet inside the house. John later stated that body fluids leaked from the boy’s mouth and nose while in storage, staining the carpet. The new serial killer was learning some tough lessons. But learn he did. From that time on, John Wayne Gacy would stuff cloth rags, or more often, the victims’ own sock or underwear in their mouths to prevent the same thing from happening again. He eventually buried victim number 2 near the barbecue pit in the backyard.

– Article Continues Below –


Jeff Rignall – 29 Below

Jeff Rignall was 29 years old when John Wayne Gacy enticed him into his car by offering him marijuana before using chloroform to render him unconscious. Gacy then drove him to his house at 8213 West Summerdale Ave, handcuffed him and sexually attacked him before eventually letting him go. Jeff tells the story of that terrifying night in a book called 29 Below.

In this book, Jeff writes of his experience with John Gacy and about his four month investigative attempts to find the sadistic rapist that had attacked him after law enforcement disregarded his complaints.

Rignall’s determination and patience finally paid off. He eventually spotted the black Oldsmobile he’d regrettably climbed into that evening so many months ago. He followed it to 8213 West Sommerdale Avenue and wrote down the address. He recorded the license plate number of the car and went to the police. Once again, they did not act on the information. By the time they finally did, 33 young men had been delivered a far worse fate than Jeff. He had survived the attack of John Wayne Gacy. They had not.

Jeff Rignall died on December 24, 2000 of AIDS-related causes.

The Victims of John Wayne Gacy

July 31, 1975

Victims of John Wayne Gacy
John Butkovitch (18 )

The Murder of John Butkovitch

Note: John Butkovitch had worked at PDM Contractors for John Wayne Gacy.

John Butkovitch was born on September 15, 1956. He became the third victim to die at the hands of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

On July 31, 1975, the now ex-employee of John Gacy was headed to 8213 West Sommerdale Avenue to demand his last paycheck. Gacy had failed to pay the 18 year old for several months. He was never seen again.

John Butkovitch’s body was discovered on December 21, 1978, when Gacy himself led officers to his garage and showed them where the make shift grave was located. Butkovitch’s body was exhumed the next day and dental records confirmed his identity.

After his disappearance, and for the next three years, John Butkovitch’s parents called the police more than 100 times, urging them constantly to investigate John Wayne Gacy. Unfortunatly, they did not.

John Butkovich was labelled as Body # 2

John Wayne Gacy later admitted to encountering John Butkovitch at the corner of West Lawrence Avenue. According to Gacy, Butkovitch approached his car, stating “I wanna talk to you.” Gacy invited Butkovitch back to his home promising to correct a debt. Once at his home, Gacy conned the boy into allowing his wrists to be cuffed behind his back. John Gacy later confessed to having “sat on the kid’s chest for a while” before strangling him. He stowed Butkovitch’s body in his garage, intending to bury the corpse later in the crawl space beneath his house. When his wife and stepdaughters returned earlier than expected from an out of state visit, John Gacy buried Butkovitch’s body under the concrete floor of the garage in an empty space where he had initially intended to dig a drain tile.

April 6, 1976

Victims of John Wayne Gacy
Darrell Samson (19 )

The Murder of Darrell Samson

Note: Darrell Samson went to 8213 West Sommerdale Avenue to obtain a promised job with PDM Contractors and John Wayne Gacy

Darrell Samson was born on December 6, 1957. He was last seen alive in Chicago on April 6, 1976.

Sampson had been taken to Gacy’s home under the pretense of a construction job offer and was brutally murdered. 

John Wayne Gacy buried him under the dining room floor in the joists of the floorboards. with a piece of cloth still lodged in his throat.

His body was identified on November 18th, 1979.

Darrell Samson was labelled as Body # 29

May 14, 1976

Victims of John Wayne Gacy
Randall Reffett (15 )

The Murder of Randall Reffett

Randall Reffett was born on September 20, 1960.

On May 14, 1976, Randall became yet another victim of John Wayne Gacy and believed to be the second of two murdered on that day.

Randall was walking home from school that Friday afternoon. He never made it there.

His body was found in the crawl space under the front door of John Gacy’s house on December 25, 1978. He had been gagged with a cloth of some nature and died of asphyxiation.

His body was found buried with that of Samuel Stapleton.

Reffett was identified by an X-ray that included his jaw and some teeth, which confirmed his identity on April 11, 1979, almost three years after he went missing.

Randall Reffett was labelled as Body # 7

May 14, 1976

Samuel Stapleton Victim of John Wayne Gacy
Samuel Stapleton (14)

The Murder of Samuel Stapleton

Samuel Stapleton was born in 1961. He too became a victim of John Wayne Gacy on May 14, 1976. It is believed he was the first of two murdered on that day.

Samuel Stapleton was last seen walking home from his sister’s house in Chicago. He never arrived. His mother and stepfather report him missing the next day.

One distinctive clue led his family to believe Stapleton had indeed been a victim of John Gacy because of a bracelet found on one of the bodies in Gacy’s crawl space. Their suspicions were confirmed November 14,1979, via a previous X-ray of his head that included the outlines of his teeth.

Samuel was one of the youngest victims to be raped, tortured, murdered and buried in the crawl spaces of 8213 West Summerdale Avenue. The home of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

He had been buried with Randall Reffett.

Samuel Stapleton was labelled as Body # 6

June 3, 1976

Michael Bonnin Victim of John Wayne Gacy
Michael Bonnin (17 )

The Murder of Michael Bonnin

Michael Bonnin was born in 1959. On June 3, 1976, he became yet another victim of John Wayne Gacy.

Michael disappeared while on his way to meet his step-father’s brother at the train station when he suddenly vanished.

Michael was traveling from Chicago to Waukegan, when John Wayne Gacy somehow lured him into his car for a drive. Under some false pretense, Michael found himself at Gacy’s residence.

John Wayne Gacy strangled Bonnin with a ligature and buried him in the crawl space under the spare bedroom floor, the ligature still wrapped around his neck.

A fishing license found inside Gacy’s house belonging to Michael Bonnin was the first clue as to what had happened to the young man following his disappearance.

Michael’s remains were identified on January 6, 1979.

Michael Bonnin was labelled as Body # 18

June 13, 1976

William Carroll Jr. Victim of John Wayne Gacy
William Carroll Jr. (16 )

The Murder of William Carroll Jr.

William Carroll Jr. was born on August 31, 1959.

On June 13, 1976, William Carroll Jr. said goodbye to his mother Violet and brother Robert, stating that he would return within the hour to celebrate his brother’s birthday. He climbed into an old green car with several other young men and drove away. The 16-year-old boy was never seen or heard from again.

William would become the first of four victims to be buried in the crawl space directly beneath the kitchen and laundry room at the home of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. This area would become a common grave for those murdered between June 13 and August 6, 1976.

Using dental record, William Carroll Jr. was identified on Saturday, March 17, 1979.

William Carroll Jr. was the 22nd body recovered from the crawl spaces beneath 8213 West Sommerdale Avenue.

William Carroll Jr. was labelled as Body # 22

Summer 1976

victims of John Wayne Gacy
John Doe # 2 (23-30 )

Date of Discovery: December 29, 1978
Location of Discovery:  8213 West Sommerdale Avenue
Estimated Date of Death: 1972 to 1978 (most likely June 13, 1976 to August 6, 1976 due to being buried under victim #23, who has since been identified)
State of Remains: Not recognizable – Near complete or complete skeleton
Cause of Death: Homicide

956UMIL – Unidentified Male @ Doe Network .Org

The Murder of John Doe # 2 – Unidentified Victim

It’s assumed this victim was murdered between June and August 1976 due to his burial location in the crawl space.

He was a white male between 23 and 30 years of age, who was missing his top two front teeth and wore a removable denture.

John Doe # 2 was labeled Body # 26

August 5, 1976

Victims of John Wayne Gacy
James Haakenson (16)

The Murder of James Haakenson

James Haakenson was born on June 10, 1960.

James Haakenson left his home in St. Paul, Minnesota in the summer of 1976. On August 5, he called home to inform his mother that he was in Chicago and doing alright. It was the last time his family ever heard from him.

After weeks with no word from their son, the family became worried. A missing persons report was filed and a message from St. Paul police dated September 7th, stated: “Mother thinks he may be in the company of gays in Chicago.”

Police believe John Wayne Gacy murdered James not long after he phoned his mother and find it plausible that he’d made the call from Gacy’s home.

James Haakenson’s skeletal remains were found directly under the body of Rick Johnston in a crawl space at the residence John Gacy. James was found wearing a shirt, underwear, sock remnants and two silver-colored metal chain necklaces. He’d been suffocated.

Nearly 40 years after the fact, James Haakenson’s nephew wrote to a Chicago police department and offered DNA by James’ brother and sister. It was a match. It was announced in July 2017 that victim No. 24, James Haakenson, had finally been identified.

James Haakenson was labelled as Body # 24

August 6, 1976

Rick Johnston Victim of John Wayne Gacy
Rick Johnston (17)

The Murder of Rick Johnston

Rick Johnston was born on September 25, 1958

Rick Johnston, 17, was last seen headed into a rock concert at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. His mother had dropped him off and afterwards he was supposed to call her for a ride home. That call never came.

Rick Johnston’s dead body was found in a crawl space at John Wayne Gacy’s house, buried with James Haakenson and another unidentified victim.

Via dental records, Rick Johnston was identified on January 1, 1979.

Rick Johnston was labelled as Body # 23

Summer / Fall 1976

Unidentified Victim # 3 (18 – 22)

Date of Discovery: December 27, 1978
Location of Discovery: Norwood Park Township, Cook County, Illinois
Estimated Date of Death: 1972 to 1978 (most likely August 6, 1976 to October 5, 1976 based upon trial witness’ testimony of digging trenches/graves)
State of Remains: Not recognizable – Near complete or complete skeleton
Cause of Death: Homicide

955 UMIL – Unidentified Male @ Doe Network .Org

The Murder of John Doe # 3 – Unidentified Victim

This unknown victim was between 18 to 22 years old and had dental problems at the time of his death. His identity remains a mystery.

John Doe # 3 was labeled Body # 13

Summer / Fall 1976

Unidentified Victim # 4 (15 – 24)

Date of Discovery: December 28, 1978
Location of Discovery: Norwood Park Township, Cook County, Illinois
Estimated Date of Death: 1972 to 1978
State of Remains: Not recognizable – Near complete or complete skeleton
Cause of Death: Homicide

962 UMIL – Unidentified Male @ Doe Network .Org

The Murder of John Doe # 4 – Unidentified Victim

This unidentified white male was between 15 to 24 years old at the time of his death.

His identity has yet to be discovered.

John Doe # 4 was labeled Body # 21

October 25, 1976

Kenneth Parker (16)

The Murder of Kenneth Parker

Kenneth Parker was born on December 15, 1959.

Kenneth Parker and longtime friend Michael Marino,14, were last seen on October 24, 1976, hanging out together near a restaurant at Clark Street and Diversey Parkway, an intersection where John Wayne Gacy picked up many of his victims.

The boys were reported missing the following day.

Investigators believe the friends may have been killed at the same time because they shared a common grave under John Gacy’s house. They had both been strangled to death.

Dental records and previous X-rays were used to identify the bodies of Kenneth Parker and Michael Marino in 2014.

The boy’s bodies were both exhumed in 2016, at the behest of Michael Marino’s mother, for DNA testing. She insisted her son did not fall victim to John Wayne Gacy and claims the DNA tests given to her were not her son’s. She believes Michael is still alive.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office and medical examiner stand by their findings.  

Kenneth Parker was labelled as Body # 15

October 25, 1976

Michael Marino (14 )

The Murder of Michael Marino

Michael Marino was born on February 8,1962.

Friends Micheal Marino and Kenneth Parker were reported missing on October 26, 1976, after last being seen together on Chicago’s North Side the day prior. They had not returned home that evening.

Their bodies were discovered, buried together, under the crawl space of John Wayne Gacy’s home. They had both been strangled.

Through dental records and previous x-rays, both boys were identified in 2014.

Sherry Marino, Michael’s mother, had both bodies exhumed in 2016, claiming the DNA tests show that the remains given to her are not her son’s. She believes Michael is still alive.

The Sheriff’s Office and the medical examiner stand by their findings.  

Michael Marino was labelled as Body # 14

October 26, 1976

William Bundy (19 )

The Murder of William Bundy

Note: William Bundy had worked at PDM Contractors for John Gacy.

William Bundy was born on October 22, 1957.

William Bundy was an accomplished diver and gymnast at the Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago, Illinois. He also worked part time for PDM Contractors, owned by John Wayne Gacy.

On October 26, 1976, William told his family he was heading to a party. He was never seen again.

William Bundy had been suffocated and strangled to death, then buried in the crawl space directly beneath John Gacy’s master bedroom.

Though his family had always suspected he was one of the victims found in Gacy’s crawl space, his remains weren’t identified until 2011 when his surviving siblings provided DNA samples to police.

His identity was confirmed on November 8, 2011.

William Bundy was labelled as Body # 19

December 12, 1976

Gregory Godzik (17 )

The Murder of Gregory Godzik

Note: Gregory Godzik had worked at PDM Contractors for John Gacy.

Gregory Godzik was born on March 23, 1959.

Seventeen year old Gregory Godzik, a Taft senior, and an employee of PDM Contractors, left his home at 8:00 pm on December 11,1976 for a date with his girlfriend. The last time she saw him was when he dropped her off at home after their evening out. He was never heard from again.

Gregor’s girlfriend eventually went to John Wayne Gacy’s house in search of her boyfriend. John says that Gregory had told him that he intended to run away. Greg’s girlfriend did not believe him.

Gregory Godzik had worked for PDM for only three weeks before he disappeared. He had informed his family that Gacy had had him “dig trenches” in a crawl space under the house. (John Wayne Gacy would later state that Gregory Gotzik had literally dug his own grave.)

Friends soon found Greg’s abandoned car. His parents then contacted Gacy about Godzik’s disappearance. Gacy claimed that he had run away from home, having indicated that’s what he wanted to do. Gacy also claimed to have received an answering machine message from Godzik shortly after he had disappeared. When asked if he could play back the message, Gacy said he had erased it. The family then hired a private investigator, but nothing ever emerged.

Greg Godzik’s wallet was found during a search of Gacy’s home. It was later confirmed that his remains were among those found in the crawl space beneath Gacy’s home.  

Gregory Godzik was labelled as Body # 4

January 20,1977

John Szyc (19 )

The Murder of John Szyc

Note: John Szyc had worked at PDM Contractors for John Gacy.

John Szyc was born on December 9, 1957.

On January 20, 1977, John Szyc, a 19-year-old acquaintance of John Butkovitch (who had disappeared on July 31, 1975), Gregory Godzik (who had disappeared on December 12,1976 , just slightly over a month prior), and John Wayne Gacy, suddenly disappeared himself.

In truth, John Szyc (just like John Butkovitch and Gregory Godzik) had been lured under false pretext to 8213 West Summerdale Avenue.

John Wayne Gacy buried John Szyc in the crawl space directly above the body of Gregory Godzik.

On Dec. 15, 1978, police found a Maine West High School ring in John Wayne Gacy’s home. That ring belonged to John Szyc. His body was found in Gacy’s crawl space and was identified through dental records in January of 1979.

John Szyc was labelled as Body # 3

Winter 1977

Unidentified Victim # 5 (22-33)

Date of Discovery: December 26, 1978
Location of Discovery: Norwood Park Township, Cook County, Illinois
Estimated Date of Death: 1972 to 1978 (Most likely January 20, 1976 – March 15, 1977 due to being buried between two known and identified victims)
State of Remains: Not recognizable – Partial skeletal parts only
Cause of Death: Homicide

958 UMIL – Unidentified Male @ Doe Network .Org

The Murder of John Doe # 5 – Unidentified Victim

This unknown white male was between 22 to 33 years of age and was found in possession of a key fob with the name “Greg” on it. He remains unidentified.

John Doe # 5 was labeled Body # 5

March 15,1977

Jon Prestidge (20 )

The Murder of Jon Prestidge

Note: Jon Prestidge had worked at PDM Contractors for John Gacy.

Jon Prestidge was born on November 3, 1956.

Jon Prestidge was visiting Chicago from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He came to see friends and somewhere along the way, he found work with a “local contractor’. He was last seen alive on March 15, 1977, meeting “a friend” for coffee in a restaurant near Bughouse Square. And then he was never seen again.

The 20-year-old’s body was later found in the crawl space under the home of John Wayne Gacy.

Dental records, provided by his mother, confirmed in January of 1979 that Jon Prestige had, on March 15, 1977, unwittingly fallen victim to one of the world’s most prolific serial killers that was, as yet, still running wild and undetected.

Jon Prestidge was labelled as Body # 1

Spring / Summer 1977

Unidentified Victim # 6 (17-21)

Date of Discovery: December 26, 1978
Location of Discovery: Norwood Park Township, Cook County, Illinois
Estimated Date of Death: 1972 to 1978 (Probably March 15, 1977 – July 5, 1977 based upon arbitrary pattern and timing)
State of Remains: Not recognizable – Near complete or complete skeleton
Cause of Death: Homicide

957 UMIL – Unidentified Male @ Doe Network .Org

The Murder of John Doe # 6 – Unidentified Victim

At some point before his death, this unknown white male had his left clavicle broken and was between 17 and 21 years old.

John Doe # 6 was labeled Body # 10

July 5,1977

Matthew Bowman (19 )

The Murder of Matthew Bowman

Matthew Bowman was born on June 22, 1958.

Matthew Bowman,19, was found in John Wayne Gacy’s crawl space with the rope used to strangle him still wrapped tightly around his neck.

The Crystal Lake native was reported missing by his sister on July 5, 1977.

The body was confirmed as Bowman’s on January 27, 1979.

Matthew Bowman was labelled as Body # 8

September 15,1977

Robert Gilroy (18 )

The Murder of Robert Gilroy

Robert Gilroy was born in 1958.

18-year-old Robert Gilroy, the son of a Chicago police sergeant, was last seen alive on September 15, 1977. He lived just four blocks from John Wayne Gacy.

Gilroy told his parents he was going to a horseback riding lesson on September 15th. The youth, however, unbeknownst to his parents, hadn’t attended his scheduled lessons for several weeks. Subsequently, he was not reported missing until September 27, 1977, since he was believed to have traveled to Maryland for a special class.

His body was identified via dental records on January 6, 1979 after it was exhumed from a crawl space at the home of John Wayne Gacy.

Robert Gilroy was labelled as Body # 25

September 25,1977

John Mowery (19 )

The Murder of John Mowery

Note: John Mowery went to 8213 West Sommerdale Avenue to discuss employment with PDM Contractors and John Wayne Gacy

John Mowrey was born on March 13,1958. 19 year old John Mowery had just returned home to Chicago after completing 18 months with the Marines. He was studying to become an accountant.

On the evening of September 25, 1977, John, who lived in his own apartment with a roommate, stopped by the family home for a short visit. He told his family he was going out for a while, although he did not mention where he was going. (According to CBS Chicago, John was headed to John Wayne Gacy’s house to inquire about work. John’s step father, Robert Nieder, however stated that John did not work for Gacy, but rather did accounting work elsewhere and was not seeking a job.) Either way, John Mowery was never seen again.

A body found in John Wayne Gacy’s crawl space was confirmed, via dental records, to be that of John Mowery on January 27, 1979. Mowery had been strangled to death and buried in the northwest corner of the crawl space under the master bedroom, perpendicular to the body of William Bundy.

John Mowery was labelled as Body # 20

October 17,1977

Russell Nelson (22)

The Murder of Russell Nelson

Russell Lloyd Nelson was born on September 26, 1956.

In October of 1977, Russell Nelson, a 22-year-old University of Minnesota architecture student from Cloquet, traveled to Chicago, Illinois with a friend.

On October 17, Russell Nelson suddenly vanished. He was last seen outside a Chicago bar.

Nelson was said to be looking for “contracting work”. 

Russel Nelson was discovered buried in the crawl space beneath the guest bedroom at 8213 West Sommerdale Avenue.

Russell Nelson was labelled as Body # 16

November 10,1977

Robert Winch (16)

The Murder of Robert Winch

Robert Winch was born in 1961.

Robert Winch was murdered on November 10, 1977. He was just sixteen years old, and, like Jon prestige, came from Kalamazoo. He was strangled and buried in the crawl space at the home of John Wayne Gacy.

Robert Winch was labelled as Body # 11

November 18,1977

Tommy Boling (20)

The Murder of Tommy Boling

Tommy Boling was born on July 5, 1957.

On November 18, 1977, the 20-year-old, father-of-one, Tommy Boling, disappeared after leaving a Chicago nightclub. It is unknown how he fell victim to John Wayne Gacy, but the discovery of his raped and tortured body in a crawl space at 8213 West Sommerdale Avenue, was proof enough he did exactly that.

Tommy Boling was labelled as Body # 12

December 9,1977

David Talsma (19)

The Murder of David Talsma

David Talsma was born on November 16, 1958.

Three weeks after the murder of Tommy Boling, on December 9, a 19-year-old U.S. Marine, David Talsma, disappeared after informing his mother he was to attend a rock concert in Hammond.

John Wayne Gacy strangled David Talsma with a ligature and buried him in the crawl space, close to the body of John Mowery.

David Talsma was labelled as Body # 17

February 16,1977

William Kindred (19)

The Murder of William Kindred

William Kindred was born on July 14, 1958

The Chicago resident’s girlfriend, Mary Jo Paulus, reported William missing when he failed to arrive at her home on February 16, 1977.

Investigators later learned that John Wayne Gacy had picked William Kindred up near Diversey Parkway and Broadway. He was not seen or heard from again.

William’s body was found in Gacy’s crawl space and his identity was confirmed via dental records on May 21, 1979.

William Kindred was labelled as Body # 27

No More Room For Bodies

By 1978, the crawl space beneath 8213 West Sommerdale Avenue had no more room for bodies. John Wayne Gacy later confessed to police that he considered stowing bodies in his attic initially, but had been worried about complications arising from “leakage”. Therefore, he chose to dispose of his victims off the I-55 bridge into the Des Plaines River. Gacy stated he had thrown five bodies into the river in 1978. He believed one had landed on a passing barge because he had heard no splash. Only four bodies were ever found.

June 30,1978

Timothy O’Rourke (20)

The Murder of Timothy O’Rourke

Timothy O’Rourke was born on October 20, 1957

The first known victim to be thrown from the I-55 bridge into the Des Plaines River was 20-year-old Timothy O’Rourke. Tim had disappeared on June 30, 1978 shortly after leaving his apartment to purchase cigarettes.

Friends said that Tim frequented gay bars, which John Wayne Gacy was also known to prowl.

Tim had recently told his roommate a “contractor” on the Northwest Side had offered him a job.

A body was recovered on June 30, 1978, near the Dresden Island Lock and Dam in the Illinois River. In January of 1979, Timothy O’Rourke was identified using fingerprint records and a distinctive tattoo on his left biceps reading “Tim Lee”

The death of Timothy O’Rourke was not initially connected to serial killer John Wayne Gacy. However, after Gacy was arrested, that determination was changed. An autopsy was unable to rule out strangulation as the cause of death.

Timothy O’Rourke was labeled as Body # 31

November 4, 1978

victims of John Wayne Gacy
Frank Landingin (19)

The Murder of Frank Landingin

Frank Landingin was born on July 5, 1959

On November 4, 1978, he was murdered by John Wayne Gacy. His naked body was found in the Des Plaines River on November 12.  A pair of underwear had been stuffed in the 19-year-old’s mouth. Investigators determined he had died from strangulation, not drowning.

Frank Landingin’s official cause of death was certified at autopsy as suffocation through his own underwear being lodged down his throat, plugging his airway and effectively causing him to drown in his own vomit.

Frank Landingin was labeled as Body # 32

November 24, 1978

victims of John Wayne Gacy
James Mazzara (20)

The Murder of James Mazzara

James Mazzara was born on May 28, 1958.

On November 24, 1978, 20-year-old James Mazzara disappeared shortly after sharing Thanksgiving dinner with his family.

James had informed his sister the day prior to his disappearance that he was “working in the construction industry”.

He was last seen alive walking in the direction of Bughouse Square, carrying a suitcase.

Mazzara’s body was later found in the Des Plaines River. He had been strangled to death with a ligature. Evidence found in John Wayne Gacy’s home tied him to the crime.

Gacy confessed to having murdered James shortly after Thanksgiving.

James Marrara was labeled as Body # 33


December 11, 1978

victims of John Wayne Gacy
Robert Piest (15)

The Murder of Robert Piest

John Wayne Gacy’s final victim was 15-year-old Robert Piest.

Robert Piest was born on March 16, 1963.

Prior to his disappearance, Robert had last been seen in the Nisson Pharmacy, where he worked part time.

He was talking to John Wayne Gacy about a summer job at PDM Constructions.

Robert left the store at 9: 00 pm, telling his mother, who was there to drive him home after work, that he’d be right back. She never saw him again.

On April 9, 1979, a decomposed body was discovered entangled in exposed roots on the edge of the Des Plaines River in Grundy County. With the use of dental records, the body was identified as that of Robert Piest. A subsequent autopsy revealed that three wads of “paper-like material”, perhaps paper towels, had been shoved down his throat while he was still alive, causing him to suffocate.

Robert Piest was labeled Body # 30

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