Gacy case helps solve unrelated death

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Gacy case helps solve unrelated death
FILE PHOTO -- This is John Wayne Gacy's police arrest photo from Dec. 21, 1978. Following intensive research, investigation and surveillance, Gacy was arrested by the Des Plaines (Ill.) Police Department on Thursday, Dec. 21, 1978. After being charged with and serving time for 33 murders, Gacy was executed in 1994 by lethal injection. Today, Monday, Nov. 23, 1998, technicians began preliminary work on a possible excavation at an apartment building on Chicago's Northwest Side in search of as many as four more possible victims of the mass murderer. The apartment building at one time, was the home of Gacy's mother, and Gacy had done some construction work there. The information regarding the location was recently released from a retired Chicago police officer who said he had seen Gacy carrying a shovel near the area at about 3 a.m. one day in 1975. The former officer reportedly thought little of the Gacy sighting until three years later, when Gacy was charged with 33 murders. The apartment building is about four miles away from Gacy's house. (Des Plaines Police Department, Tim Boyle)
A photo of Andre "Andy" Drath is seen in the foreground as Dr. Willa Wertheimer speaks at a news conference accompanied by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Chicago. An effort by the sheriff's department to identify remains of young men murdered by serial killer John Wayne Gacy in the 1970s led to a break in an unrelated case of a unidentified teenager found shot to death in San Francisco 36 years ago that turned out to be Wertheimer's maternal half brother Drath. Dart announced Wednesday Sept. 22, 2015 that DNA tests revealed a "genetic association" between the remains of the teen and Wertheimer, who submitted her DNA to the office in 2011. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart speaks at a news conference accompanied by Dr. Willa Wertheimer Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Chicago. An effort by the sheriff's department to identify remains of young men murdered by serial killer John Wayne Gacy in the 1970s led to a break in an unrelated case of a unidentified teenager found shot to death in San Francisco 36 years ago that turned out to be her maternal Half brother Andre "Andy" Drath. Dart announced Wednesday Sept. 22, 2015 that DNA tests revealed a "genetic association" between the remains of the teen and Wertheimer, who submitted her DNA to the office in 2011. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Dr. Willa Wertheimer speaks at a news conference accompanied by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Chicago. An effort by the sheriff's department to identify remains of young men murdered by serial killer John Wayne Gacy in the 1970s led to a break in an unrelated case of a unidentified teenager found shot to death in San Francisco 36 years ago that turned out to be her maternal Half brother Andre "Andy" Drath. Dart announced Wednesday Sept. 22, 2015 that DNA tests revealed a "genetic association" between the remains of the teen and Wertheimer, who submitted her DNA to the office in 2011. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
FILE - This 1978 file photo shows serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The case of John Wayne Gacy has helped authorities solve another slaying, one that he didn’t commit. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to announce Wednesday, April 23, 2014, they have identified the remains found in a forest preserve in 2008 as those of 22-year-old Edward Beaudion of Chicago. Beaudion was identified after his relatives came forward to submit DNA samples as part of the effort to identify several of Gacy’s 1970s victims. Authorities believe Missouri resident Jerry Jackson killed Beaudion in 1978. But without a body at the time, they never charged him. Jackson died last year at age 62. (AP Photo/File)
Cook County Sheriff's Police evidence technicians remove remains of yet another body from Chicago suburban Des Plaines home of John W. Gacy Jr. on Dec. 23, 1978. Gacy was charged with murder after he confessed to killing a youth missing since Dec. 11. An undetermined number of decomposed bodies have been discovered beneath the house and in the garage area. (AP Photo/Fred Jewell)
Cook County sheriff's police remove the remains of another body found Friday March 17, 1979 at the Chicago suburban home of accused murderer John Wayne Gacy. The body, found under an addition to the Gacy home, is the 29th to be found beneath the home or buried elsewhere on the property. (AP PHOTO)
Cook County Medical Examiner, Dr. Robert J. Stein, speaks to members of the press on Monday, July 14, 1980 in Chicago asking for help in identifying the remaining bodies found in the crawlspace of John Wayne Gacy?s home. The picture composite behind Stain is of faces reconstructed from unidentified skuls, found in the crawlspace. (AP Photo/FHJ)
A memorial service for the nine remaining unidentified victims of convicted mass-murderer John W. Gacy is held at a cemetery in Hillside, a suburb of Chicago on Friday, June 12, 1981. The bodies will be buried in nine different cemeteries to avoid creating a tourist attraction. (AP Photo/Jewell)
Cook County Sheriff's Police evidence technicians remove remains of yet another body from Chicago suburban Des Plaines home of John W. Gacy Jr. on Dec. 23, 1978. Gacy was charged with murder after he confessed to killing a youth missing since Dec. 11. An undetermined number of decomposed bodies have been discovered beneath the house and in the garage area. (AP Photo/Fred Jewell)
The gutted shell of the home of convicted multipel murderer, John Wayne Gacy Jr., awaits demolition in Norwood Park Township, Ill., on April 9, 1979. Skeletons of 29 bodies were found in the crawl space and on the ground of Gacy's property. (AP Photo)
Excavation equipment works outside the Chicago suburban home of John W. Gacy Jr., on Des Plaines, Illinois, where the remains of 29 bodies have been found since December. Authorities are seeking a court order to demolish the house saying that the one-story structure, now gutted except for exterior walls, could collapse on investigators if they continue their search. (AP Photo/CEK)
FILE - In this Nov. 23, 1998 file photo, grid patterns are drawn on the lawn where Chicago police planned begin excavating for more possible victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The apartment building is where Gacy's mother used to live. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says his officers and the FBI using high tech equipment and two dogs trained to sniff out human remains, went to the apartment complex in March 2013 and found nothing to indicate the serial killer stashed any bodies there. Dart has been investigating the serial killer who was convicted in 1980 of murdering 33 young men in the 1970s on a number of fronts the last couple years. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett, File)
Police officials use a radar unit resembling a power lawn mower to scan an area near an apartment building in Chicago, Monday, Nov. 23, 1998, where they suspected more victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy might have been buried. The building is where Gacy's mother used to live. Police announced that Monday's dig produced no human remains. (AP Photo/Stephen J. Carrera)
The grave of an unidentified victim of John Wayne Gacy is seen at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Forest Park, Illinois, on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. The Cook County Sheriff's Department exhumed eight bodies in the hopes of identifying the victims. (Keri Wiginton/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 23: Chicago Police and hired technicians use a ground penetrating radar device in an attempt to confirm the existence of more bodies, victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacie, 23 November. Authorities are expected to dig the parking lot in the coming days at the apartment building where Gacy's mother lived. The investigation began when press reports quoted a retired Chicago detective as saying that in 1975 he witnessed Gacy carrying a shovel outside the building in the middle of the night. (Photo credit should read JAY CRIHFIELD/AFP/Getty Images)
Behind this apartment building on Chicago's northwest side, photographed on Monday, Nov. 16, 1998, Chicago police may dig in search of as many as six more victims of mass murderer John Wayne Gacy. The possible burial site was found by ground-penetrating radar after information was released recently from a retired Chicago police officer that he had seen Gacy carrying a shovel near the area at about 3 a.m. one day in 1975. The former officer reportedly thought little of the Gacy sighting until three years later, when Gacy was charged with 33 murders. The apartment building is about four miles away from Gacy's house where 29 bodies were found in 1978, 27 in the crawl space and two in the yard. Chicago police are now waiting for the owner of the property to cooperate with the issued search warrant to dig up the area. Gacy was executed by lethal injection in Ill., in 1994. (Photo/Tim Boyle)
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart speaks during a news conference accompanied by Detective Jason Moran, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 in Chicago, Ill. In an ongoing effort by the Cook County Sheriff's Office to identify the unidentified victims of John Wayne Gacy, the department was able to solve another unrelated cold missing person case. The body of Peoria Illinois native Daniel Raymond Noe, (in photo), who went missing 30 years ago was discovered on Mount Olympus in Utah and evidence has determined his disappearance and death are not connected to Gacy. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2012 file photo, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, left, and sheriff's detective Jason Moran are seen in Chicago with three recently discovered vials of mass murderer John Wayne Gacy's blood. Dart says his officers and the FBI using high tech equipment and two dogs trained to sniff out human remains, went to the apartment complex of Gacy’s late mother in March 2013 and found nothing to indicate the serial killer stashed any bodies there. Dart has been investigating the serial killer who was convicted in 1980 of murdering 33 young men in the 1970s on a number of fronts the last couple years. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
More than 30 years after finding bones beneath John Wayne Gacy's house, authorities have identified William Bundy, a 19-year-old Chicago construction worker who disappeared in 1976 as one of Gacy's eight unnamed victims during a news conference in Chicago, Tuesday, Nov., 29, 2011. The announcement by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart on Tuesday came nearly seven weeks after the sheriff's office issued a public plea for families of young men who disappeared in the 1970s to submit DNA samples for comparison with the victims' remains. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart speaks during a press conference in Chicago, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, about the renewed effort to identify eight unidentified victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. More than 30 years after 33 young men were murdered by Gacy, detectives are relying on advancements in DNA technology to identify the victims. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Mrs. Harry Piest is assisted by a deputy, right, as she leaves the Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 1979 following a hearing for accused mass murder suspect John Wayne Gacy, Jr. Gacy has been charged with murder in connection with the death of her son, Robert, whose body has not been found. Gacy?s lawyer entered a plea of innocent to each of seven murder charges. (AP Photo/CEK)
Jury members selected for the trial of John Wayne Gacy Jr. pass through security checkpoints on arrival at Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 1980. Impaneled last week in Rockford, Ill., jurors are sequestered in Chicago where they will be permitted visits from friends and relatives on Sundays. (AP Photo/LES)
Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announces the identify of one John Wayne Gacy's unknown victims during a press conference at the Daley Center in Chicago, Illinois, Tuesday, November 29, 2011. The victim, William George Bundy, who went missing in October of 1976, was 18 years old. Bundy had been working construction jobs for Gacy. (Cook County Sheriff/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Cook County Sheriff's office officials examine containers that hold the upper and lower jaws and their teeth of the unidentified victims of John Wayne Gacy in June 2011. They were stored for many years at the county's medical examiner's office and in 2009 were buried in a paupers' grave. After the Cook County Sheriff's office obtained a court order, a wooden box containing eight smaller containers shaped like buckets, each holding a victim's jaw bones and teeth was dug up at Homewood Memorial Gardens in June 2011. (Cook County Sheriff's office/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
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By DON BABWIN
Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- Four decades after John Wayne Gacy lured more than 30 young men and boys to his Chicago-area home and strangled them, his case has helped authorities solve another killing - one he didn't commit.

Investigators have identified the remains of a man who in 1978 never returned to his home just a few miles from Gacy's house. They also say they know the identity of his now-deceased killer. The Cook County Sheriff's Office is scheduled to announce the findings Wednesday - the result of an ongoing effort to name several unidentified victims of Gacy, who was executed in 1994.

Authorities released the information to The Associated Press ahead of their announcement.

Though the news that 22-year-old Edward Beaudion of Chicago is believed to have been killed by a small-time Missouri crook named Jerry Jackson who died last year at age 62 comes too late to bring Jackson to justice, it answers a question Beaudion's family has spent decades asking.

John Wayne Gacy Case Helps Solve Unrelated Homicide

"I always thought he was killed but you still aren't sure until you get the proof," said Beaudion's father, Louis Beaudion, 86, who professed that he was "scared" he would die, as his wife did in 2001, without knowing what happened.

Many questions still remain in the case that may never be answered. Edward Beaudion's skull, which could have revealed how he died, was never recovered.

Beaudion was driving his sister's car on July 23, 1978, when he dropped a friend off and told her he was heading home. No one ever heard from him again.

That August, Jackson was taken into custody in Caruthersville, Mo., after he was found driving the car, which Beaudion's family had reported stolen.

Jackson was extradited to Chicago, where police said he told them he had met Beaudion on July 23 in downtown Chicago and had punched him in the face during an altercation, rendering him unconscious. Police said he told them he stuffed Beaudion's body in the car, drove to a wooded area about 15 miles southwest of Chicago and dumped it.

When he took police to the area, a search for the body came up empty. Without a body, police didn't charge him in Beaudion's death, settling for auto theft instead and a four-year prison sentence for Jackson.

In 2008, hikers discovered a partial skeleton in a forest preserve - in the same general area where Jackson had taken police years before. With little more than shreds of clothing and no indication of a cause of death, the investigation went nowhere. The bones, one of which had an orthopedic screw in it, were taken to the county medical examiner's office.

"They never did anything," Sheriff Tom Dart said.

Three years later, Dart's office exhumed eight of Gacy's unidentified victims from the 1970s to test DNA. And the sheriff asked that relatives of young men who disappeared about the time Gacy was committing slayings to submit DNA samples for comparison.

Beaudion's sister, Ruth Rodriguez, called. "I didn't think Gacy killed him but we figured we'd go ahead and try," she said.

Tests ruled out Gacy as her brother's killer.

In the meantime, sheriff's detective Jason Moran was among those working with the medical examiner's office to clean up the operation in the wake of embarrassing revelations about stacked bodies and remains tossed haphazardly in boxes. As a result of that work, the office shipped some unidentified bones to the same lab where Moran had earlier sent DNA samples from Beaudion's relatives as part of the Gacy investigation.

Then earlier this year, the lab reported a "genetic association" between the bones and Beaudion's relatives' DNA.

Moran said he interviewed Beaudion's father and sister, who confirmed Beaudion had an orthopedic screw in his left knee.

Rodriguez and her father said they're disappointed Jackson died before he could be brought to justice.

"I still want to ask Jerry Jackson why, if you even thought for a moment my brother was still alive ... you brought him all the way out there and dumped him like garbage," Rodriguez said.

Beaudion's family did not exactly find justice, but they were able to identify their loved one's remains and get closer to knowing what happened to him. Detective Moran said he recalls the moment when he and Sheriff Dart recently took the family out to the spot where the bones were found.

"He (Louis Beaudion) starts crying and opens a bag that has a cross in it (and) he gets down on one knee and with a little hammer pounded this cross into the ground," Moran said. "This guy, 36 years after his son is killed, he's crying like he went missing yesterday and then he grabbed my arm and said, `Thank you.'"

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