The 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 revealed on a recent Friday night that State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez had approved Sheriff Tom Dart’s search warrant application, the sheriff’s communications director Frank Bilecki told the Chicago Tribune that “being able to close a chapter of it at this property would be nice.”
There’s more from Dart’s office: “‘We’re not going in with backhoes and the whole nine yards,’ Bilecki said. ‘We don’t expect to be there more than a day.”
If there are human remains in that yard, it will take more than a day to deal with them. Despite seeming to agree that there’s compelling reason to explore the property, Dart sounds confident he won’t find anything.
If you recall, the same property was examined briefly in 1998, but the search was inconclusive. The president of the ground-scanning radar company, Ron LaBarca, who had personally scanned the property and found anomalies demanding a closer look, sent private investigator Bill Dorsch an angry letter afterward decrying the city’s methods.
The recent Trib story continues: “The work will be relatively non-invasive, Bilecki said. Investigators will use devices that scan the ground for anomalies, he said. If any are found, a small hole will be drilled in the ground at that spot, and cadaver dogs will then sniff that spot, he said.”
How small? As we know from previous scans of the yard there are considerable anomalies in the way the ground has settled in the yard. Will a small core sample hit the remains? And as Bill Dorsch says, “Whose dogs?”
Bilecki also said it would be a while before any investigation would take place, telling the Trib “the sheriff’s office will have to enlist the help of the FBI and private companies to search the property.”
But private investigator Bill Dorsch, who independently collected all the evidence Dart is now working with, says the FBI already has all the technology required to scan and test the property.
And Dorsch personally spoke with the FBI weeks ago. He hand-delivered to them the same materials he had previously given to the sheriff: affidavits, videotaped interviews, and other documents. So it shouldn’t be too hard to persuade them to help out.
There are videotaped interviews with eyewitnesses who saw Gacy at the property digging holes, making strange noises in the basement in the middle of the night, and carrying a shovel in the middle of the night.
Another eyewitness is still angry that in 1998 the police dug in the one spot he told them not to bother: because during the time Gacy was involved with the property, there had been an evergreen there.