Video: The view from the garden apartment


As I mentioned earlier, Sheriff Tom Dart’s investigators recently spent a day interviewing people who lived near the intersection of Miami and Elston 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. Dorsch, Tracy Ullman, and I spoke to Muczynski not long ago about what he had witnessed there (here’s video from that interview). He and Troester are among the many residents of the neighborhood who had “aha moments” when Gacy was arrested.

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 serious.

What Troester told the BGA’s Mike Lyons in 1998 suggests that the basement should be investigated.

She also describes him digging mysterious large trenches in the yard, with the assistance of his young workers.

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 in 1998 it’s the only place the police did dig.

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.”

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