John Wayne Gacy: Lab Digs Into Mystery

Texas lab is using DNA technology to ID eight of John Wayne Gacy's victims.
2:50 | 11/22/11

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Transcript for John Wayne Gacy: Lab Digs Into Mystery
Police in 1978. -- the horrific task of pulling bodies from the crawl space and other areas around the home of John Wayne -- Bodies of young boys who gacy had -- with the promise of a job or by using a -- The so called clown killer would eventually be convicted of killing 33 people. Most of whom investigators identified using dental records the most sophisticated method available at the time. That worked for all but eight victims who remain unidentified to this day. But now in the heart of cowboy country Fort Worth, Texas. They're working to help Chicago area families find long awaited answers you really have access to the best lines. The university of north Texas Health Science Center is using some of the most sophisticated DNA identification technology in the world. To try to learn the names of those finally victims. Not so much that it was such a high profile. Serial killer but the fact is that these families. You know have gone. This long without knowing. This summer the cook county sheriff's office exhumed the bodies to extract DNA samples. The remains and the DNA of decomposed greatly over the last three decades the samples are microscopic. There is no -- and Illinois even capable of doing this work. Without from the university coming forward like they did. I don't know how we -- on this. DNA from the bodies is just half the equation. The sheriff is collecting DNA samples from family members with loved ones who went missing during -- six year killing spree in the 1970s. The lab is comparing the samples hoping to find a match. Our job is to provide information -- that information. Can give these families peace. Or at least allow them to wake up. Each morning now knowing what's happened to their loved one that's the first step. Most of the university's funding comes from federal grants from places like the Department of Justice. And all of the DNA samples eventually wind up in a computer database. That means even if the samples provided by the families failed to match the eight gacy victims. They could match one of the estimated 40000 other unidentified bodies from around the country. If -- samples. Can get into the national databases. Then -- their cases are active they're not cold since reopening the search for the KC victims' identities investigators have found -- helping families in ways they never anticipated. Harold -- levels family long thought John Wayne Gacy had killed their brother. But as they prepared to send DNA samples they discovered. He was still alive living in Florida other samples the lab determines are not a match for -- victims. Could still provide information. In some instances the results are going to be. We still haven't found your loved one but he was not one of his victims which should be some level -- relief.

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