When people like reporters and private detectives ask public officials for information and get denied, sometimes they smell a rat. Of course, that just makes them try harder. It’s been a busy few months for investigators working on the John Wayne Gacy case, looking at the possibility there were additional victims and the likelihood that […]

Isn’t it amazing? Politicians can not only make news, they can shape it. Especially maybe at happy holiday time. The sheriff’s office just issued a heartwarming tale involving a lost boy and a devastated family–and the thrilling way the sheriff’s investigator rode in on a white horse and ended their misery. The boy is found! […]


What if the conventional wisdom about serial killer John Wayne Gacy is wrong? What if he wasn’t a lone wolf who operated in solitary madness, disposing of all of his victims by burying them under his house or dumping them in a river? What if local and federal authorities seemed to be going out of […]


Last January it seemed that suspicions about 6114 W. Miami might finally be laid to rest, one way or another. Private investigator (and former Chicago homicide detective) Bill Dorsch had presented Cook County sheriff Tom Dart with compelling new evidence about serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who was executed in 1994. Working pro bono, Dorsch […]


After a massive settlement was approved for two men yesterday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said “I am sorry this happened . . . Let us all now move on.” But that may not be so easy if a Burge torture victim succeeds in getting Daley on the stand. The two were among the dozens who underwent […]

Kenneth Parker, who was allegedly found with the remains of the body now known to have been misidentified as Michael Marino

After the 1978 arrest of John Wayne Gacy, and the horrific contents of his crawlspace were revealed, the Des Plaines police began examining missing persons files, looking for potential matches for the dozens of bodies of the young men Gacy admitted to having murdered. Some of them had been missing for years. Gacy’s first known […]


This USA Today story by Judy Valente describes how Gacy’s DNA has contributed to various investigations, both related and not. And this one covers Sherry Marino’s efforts to prove that the remains handed to her after Gacy’s trial weren’t those of her son, Michael. Marino, whose quest I wrote about here in October, connected with […]

CNN screenshot 6/18/13

Forty years after Teamsters Union boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, the Detroit Free Press revealed that the FBI is searching a field for his remains. Now an ex-con named Tony Zerilli suggests Hoffa may have been buried there by the Detroit mob. The parallels with Chicago’s case at Miami and Elston are striking of course, but […]

Rodkin screenshot

Chicago magazine real estate writer Dennis Rodkin reached the agent representing the building at Miami and Elston to ask about the sale. Despite coverage stretching on two years now, the agent told Rodkin he didn’t know anything about the Gacy situation and said as far as he knew it had nothing to do with the […]

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The building at Miami and Elston is for sale. The owner appears to want to discourage potential buyers from talking to current tenants. Of course, we’ve spoken to past tenants. Property taxes of $4,180 for a five-unit building? Very reasonable indeed.

Ground-penetrating radar equipment

The Verge has a shocking new story on the search that Sheriff Tom Dart says he conducted at Miami and Elston on March 20. The Verge reveals that the expert Dart hired to conduct tests there does not agree with Dart’s decision to discontinue the investigation. If you’ve been following the story, you know that […]

If you’re having trouble keeping up, this digest might help. Who’s John Wayne Gacy again? He was a Chicago contractor and one of the world’s most prolific serial killers. In 1978 he was arrested, and in short order he confessed to dozens of murders and to having buried most of the victims in the crawlspace […]

WLUW screenshot

Tracy’s update on the project was featured on Huffington Post this week. And I gave a brief recap of events, past and present, on WLUW radio (at about 20:50 on show 341). Maybe interest in the case is growing? It oughta be.

Reader screenshot

My old colleague at the Chicago Reader has a piece on the Gacy-Dart situation.


Sheriff Dart announced last week that he’d done a search at the property at Miami and Elston that Bill Dorsch has identified as the likely location for additional victims of John Wayne Gacy. Gacy was the caretaker at the building for several years, and after he remarried he set his mother up in a ground-floor […]


A lot of cranky commenters (not here so much, but on other blogs, where this blog’s material is often reposted) say too much time has passed since Gacy’s crimes were committed to justify government spending on continuing investigations. A new old case in Miami is another in a long line of very old cases that […]


For the last year and half Tracy Ullman and I have been working with Bill Dorsch to make public his pro bono detective work in the ongoing case of John Wayne Gacy. Ever since his suspicions about Gacy were first piqued, when Gacy was arrested in 1978, Dorsch has been gathering evidence that suggests additional […]


More from the Second City Cop blog. He’s posted a link to a Picasa set showing photos from the original excavation at Gacy’s home on Summerdale. Those poor officers must be traumatized still. If Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart does what’s necessary, there’ll soon be a similar investigation at 6114 W. Miami. Core samples, which […]


SCC posted with some surprise about the Marzullo revelations. The post is at 12:02 AM today, Monday, March 5. Be sure to read the comments. I especially love the one applauding Bill Dorsch. “Billy was one of the best Gang Crimes Specialist in the city in the real police-old gang crimes unit.” I don’t often […]

Vito Marzullo in a 1982 Chicago Tribune photo auctioned on eBay

Private detective Bill Dorsch, working at the behest of no one and nothing besides his conscience and his curiosity, has uncovered strong evidence that the number of people John Wayne Gacy murdered doesn’t stop at 33. He’s pinpointed at least one likely location for burials, and he’s gathered witnesses, affidavits, and testimony and turned them […]

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When it comes to history and how it’s reported in the news, do you want to know what really happened or do you want to know what public officials want to tell you? There aren’t a lot of staff reporters left these days, so most if not all of the coverage of the continuing saga […]

Filmmaker Tracy Ullman

Next Monday, March 4, filmmaker Tracy Ullman, who’s been working with private investigator Bill Dorsch and whose findings I’ve been writing about on this blog, will be making a live appearance to discuss and screen clips from her documentary on unsolved mysteries surrounding the John Wayne Gacy murders. Ullman will talk about her reasons for making […]

Filmmaker Tracy Ullman

What’s the point of all this? Tracy Ullman hits the nail on the head with her piece on Huffington Post. It’s the parents. To receive updates as this investigation unfolds, please subscribe at right.

Tom Dart agreeing to file a search warrant last summer

Sheriff Dart gives a talk tomorrow at the City Club of Chicago. I wonder if he’ll take questions? The big one is whether or not the investigation at Miami-Elston, for which he applied and received a search warrant, will be thorough. And even more important, whether or not anyone outside law enforcement will be allowed […]


What a relief it is that Cook County’s sheriff and state’s attorney are both on record agreeing that the property at Miami and Elston deserves investigation. But after Michael Sneed (interesting choice) revealed on a recent Friday night (interesting timing) that SA Anita Alvarez had approved Sheriff Tom Dart’s search warrant application, the sheriff’s spokesman […]

Evan-Amos/Creative Commons

The news that Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez finally responded to Sheriff Tom Dart’s request for a search warrant for 6114 W. Miami with a long-overdue thumbs up was welcome indeed. That’s not to say that we’re popping corks around here. There’s ample reason to believe that Gacy got up to no good at […]

Bill Dorsch deserves a good night’s sleep tonight. If Michael Sneed’s report, just posted online, is correct, the sheriff’s finally been given the go-ahead by the state’s attorney to perform a search for additional victims of the serial killer John Wayne Gacy at the apartment building where Gacy worked as a caretaker in the mid-70s. […]

Cook County state's attorney Anita Alvarez

Rob Wildeboer reports on WBEZ that attorneys for victims of police torture under Jon Burge–and other officers who remain unprosecuted–say that Cook County state’s attorney Anita Alvarez is unfit to review these cases. Now a class action petition has been filed seeking new evidentiary hearings in torture cases. This handy who’s who, created by John […]

Michael Marino

We shouldn’t be surprised that busy deadline reporters can’t do a ton of background reporting when they’re served up breaking news. At that point everyone’s racing each other to report it, hoping they’ll be able to persuade their editors to let them revisit and dig into the meat of the story later. What they’re reporting […]

Tom Dart agreeing to file a search warrant last summer

Those of us investigating the many perplexing loose ends in the case of John Wayne Gacy are generally pleased with Sheriff Tom Dart’s announcement this week that he’s submitted an application for a search warrant to State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. He says he hopes to obtain permission to excavate the property at Miami and Elston […]

You’ve probably heard the news about the Peoria teen who went missing in 1978. His parents had long labored under the assumption that he’d been a victim of John Wayne Gacy, but when their DNA was put into a national database, it matched the remains of a person found by hikers in Utah in 2010. […]

Lynn Troester in an interview with the Better Goverment Association in 1998

As I mentioned in our last post, Sheriff Tom Dart’s investigators recently spent a day interviewing people who lived near the intersection of Miami and Elston avenues when John Wayne Gacy had access to a small apartment building there. Bill Dorsch had collected their testimony over the years and presented it to the sheriff in […]

Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-10044 / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de], via Wikimedia Commons

Bill Dorsch saw some of his work pay off this weekend. The former police homicide detective has been trying for 15 years now to tell his story about the possibility of Gacy victims buried at Miami and Elston. There was enough evidence to prompt an investigation in 1998, but for complex reasons we’ll talk about […]

Alvarez: Go for it.

We got exciting news over the weekend. As you know from our previous posts, we’ve been urging Cook County sheriff Tom Dart to reexamine the property at Miami and Elston because of the strong possibility it holds remains of victims of John Wayne Gacy. We’ve spoken to a recent tenant of the basement apartment there […]


The unofficial police blog Second City Cop posted about this site and the comments are flying. Readers seem to be split down the middle on whether or not there are more Gacy victims at Miami and Elston, but what’s interesting is how many of them already seem to know about the controversy. These guys don’t […]

Alvarez: Go for it.

Local media outlets are reporting that another round of test results has failed to match the DNA of known victims of John Wayne Gacy with DNA recently submitted by families of young men who disappeared in the 1970s. When Sheriff Tom Dart recently began moving forward on new attempts to identify the eight known victims […]

Cook County sheriff Tom Dart

More than a year ago Cook County sheriff Tom Dart became aware that former Chicago Police detective Bill Dorsch has long suspected there might be additional Gacy victims buried at Miami and Elston. But there were other unsolved mysteries about the case as well. Dart knew that eight of Gacy’s known victims had never been […]


When John Wayne Gacy was arrested in 1978 and the excavations began that would reveal the remains of dozens of victims buried in and around his home, an awful realization clicked for Bruno Muczynski. As you saw in the last post, Muczynski lived for a time at 6114 W. Miami, in the small apartment building […]

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Police officer Bruno Muczynski lived in the garden apartment of the five-flat at Miami and Elston for part of the time John Wayne Gacy worked there as a caretaker. Though Muczynski and his wife, Lynn, had moved away by the time Gacy was arrested in 1978, the ensuing uproar prompted a troubling realization. They had […]


Mike Nelson can point to exactly where the holes were. Running along two sides of the triangular front yard of the building at Miami and Elston, they were dug by John Wayne Gacy as he performed his duties as caretaker of the building in the mid 1970s.  Nelson says they ran almost adjacent to the […]


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