He Was About 21 When John Wayne Gacy Killed Him

Francis Wayne Alexander has been newly identified as a victim of the serial killer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 25, 2021 1:07 PM CDT
Another John Wayne Gacy Victim Is Identified
This undated photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Office shows Francis Wayne Alexander, a newly identified victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. He would have been 21 or 22 at the time of his murder in the 1970s.   (Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A North Carolina man who moved to Chicago has been identified as one of the victims of John Wayne Gacy, who was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the 1970s, per the AP. Francis Wayne Alexander would have been 21 or 22 years old when Gacy killed him sometime between early 1976 and early 1977, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said Monday. “It is hard, even 45 years later, to know the fate of our beloved Wayne,” wrote Alexander's sister, Carolyn Sanders. “He was killed at the hands of a vile and evil man. ... We can now lay to rest what happened and move forward by honoring Wayne.”

Alexander’s remains were among 26 sets that police found in the crawl space under Gacy's home just outside the city. Three victims, meanwhile, were found buried on Gacy's property and four others whom Gacy admitted killing were found in waterways south of Chicago. In 2011, Dart's office exhumed the remains of eight victims, including Alexander, who had been buried without being identified. Dart called on anyone who had a male relative disappear in the Chicago area in the 1970s to submit DNA.

The details of Alexander’s life in Chicago are sketchy. Born in North Carolina, he moved to New York and then on to Chicago, where he was married for approximately three months before he was divorced in 1975. According to the sheriff’s office’s news release, the last known record of Alexander’s life was a traffic ticket he received in Chicago in January of 1976—a year in which he earned little money. How he crossed paths with one of the most notorious serial killers in American history is a mystery, as authorities say all they know is that “Alexander lived in an area that was frequented by Gacy and where other identified victims had previously lived." (Read more John Wayne Gacy stories.)

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