APNewsBreak: Gacy victims exhumed to ID them

By DON BABWIN | October 12, 2011 | 9:05 AM EDT

FILE - This 1978 file photo shows serial killer John Wayne Gacy. More than 30 years after a collection of decaying bodies was found beneath John Wayne Gacy’s house, detectives have secretly exhumed the remains of eight young men who were never identified in the hopes that DNA testing can solve the last mystery of one of the nation’s most gruesome serial killers. (AP Photo/File)

CHICAGO (AP) — It's been more than 30 years since authorities discovered the skeletal remains of more than two dozen young men hidden beneath serial killer John Wayne Gacy's house in Chicago. Now detectives are trying to answer a final question: Who were they?

The Cook County Sheriff's Department last spring secretly exhumed bones of the eight victims who were never identified. They hope scientific tests that were unavailable in the 1970s will make it possible to determine their names.

Investigators are seeking DNA samples from blood relatives of any young men who vanished between 1972 and 1978. Those samples will be compared with DNA from the bones. Gacy was convicted of 33 slayings. He was executed in 1994.