CHICAGO — Serial killer John Wayne Gacy may have been executed nearly 20 years ago, but questions about the case still linger, and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wants some answers.
On Friday night, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez granted the sheriff's office a warrant to investigate the property around Gacy's mother's home in Norwood Park, on the city's far northwest side, said Dart's spokesman Frank Bilecki.
The warrant seeks to use magnetic imaging to find if "Gacy potentially could have buried additional kids" around the home on the 6100 block of West Miami Avenue.
Gacy was excecuted in 1994 after being convicted for sexually assaulting and murdering 33 young men and boys in the 1970s. Gacy buried 26 of his victims around in the crawlspace of his home in Norwood Park township, an unincorporated part of Cook County.
Bielecki said the sheriff's department had requested a warrant about eight months ago, but was denied. The state's attorney's office wanted more information. Over the next few months, Bielecki said the department received additional information pointing to the possibility that more victims were buried near Gacy's mother's home.
"A few of the neighbors that used to live around there would mention he'd do odd jobs in the middle of the night," Bilecki said. "A number of individuals came forward with affadavits ... They saw him working in the middle of the night digging holes, pouring concrete or fixing sidewalk areas."
Bilecki doesn't know when the investgation might begin at the home; a judge must sign off on the warrant. But when it does, it will use high-tech methods to find "anomalies" in the area.
Magnetic imaging will penetrate the ground and return results. Previous investigations showed there were 18 anomalies around Gacy's mother's home, Bilecki said, but only two were searched. Then small holes will be drilled in the ground around the anomalies; cadaver dogs will hunt for a scent.
Dart's office reopened the case in 2011, and late last year entered Gacy's DNA into a national database that could yield new information.
"One of the goals - the main goal - is to put final closure on all of the unanswered questions in regards to this horriffic killer," Bilecki said. "It's always been a cold case of ours because of the remaining unidentified bodies in his crawlspace."