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 the form of videos and signed affidavits. Their stories helped persuade Dart that an investigation is in order, and he’s pledged to file an application for a search warrant. Then about a week ago he sent his investigators to meet with the witnesses.
One of the people Dorsch introduced them to was Lynn Troester, who lived in the building from 1967 to 1974. She lived in the garden apartment (that’s Chicagoese for the one below ground level) with her husband at the time, Bruno Muczynski. We spoke to Muczynski not long ago about what he had witnessed there (here’s a video clip from that interview). He and Troester are among the many residents of the neighborhood who had “aha moments” when Gacy was arrested. That’s “aha moment” as in “Oh no–maybe that’s what he was up to.”
Dorsch’s own concerns about the property eventually came to the attention of the Better Government Association, and in 1998, 20 years after Gacy had been arrested and four years after his execution, the police did conduct a brief investigation of the property. What happened at that dig–and what inside sources related to him about it–led Dorsch to conclude that their efforts had been less than strenuous.
When you see what Troester told the BGA’s Mike Lyons in 1998 you’ll understand why Dorsch felt the way he did.
Here’s what she said about Gacy showing up to work in the basement in the middle of the night:
And here she is describing him digging mysterious trenches in the yard, with the assistance of boys.
Note in this clip how Troester describes the randomness of the locations for the holes–and the evergeen on the corner that prevented him from digging there. That’s the same spot Nelson told them in 1998 not to bother to dig–and yet it’s the only place the police did dig.
Make of that what you will, but clearly these witnesses’ recollections are enough to require a harder look. Once Dart submits his search warrant application, the decision lies with state’s attorney Anita Alvarez. And as a commenter on a story Eric Zorn published in the Chicago Tribune noted, “The State’s Attorney doesn’t get to decide the cops’ enforcement priorities. Only whether the warrant application states probable cause.”
Are you thinking “Yeah, probably”?