For the second time in six years, officials at the UNT Center for Human Identification have helped identify a victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced Wednesday 16-year-old Jimmy Haakenson of Minnesota was among the dozens of bodies found in a crawl space of Gacy’s Chicago-area home in 1978.
The remains were only recently identified thanks to the UNT Center for Human Identification. UNT officials have been assisting the Cook County Sheriff’s Office since 2011 with the Gacy case.
“Back then, our lab developed DNA profiles from eight unidentified Gacy victims,” UNT spokesman Jeff Carlton said in a Thursday email. “These DNA profiles have been continuously compared to family references of missing persons.”
In 2011, the UNT lab positively identified William Bundy, a 19-year-old construction worker from Chicago whose remains were found at Gacy’s home.
The second one came this week with Haakenson, a teen who ran away from his Minnesota home in 1976 and traveled to Chicago.
“We are honored to aid families in finding a resolution in the disappearance of their loved ones,” Carlton said.
Haakenson called his mother to say he was in Chicago and then disappeared. Detectives believe he then met Gacy.
Gacy was convicted of killing 33 young men and was executed in 1994. But authorities had eight victims whom they hadn’t been able to identify.