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Supposed Victim Of John Wayne Gacy Found Alive And Well 25 Years Later

19 year old Harold Wayne Lovell left his home on South Pulaski Road in Chicago in 1977, 25 years ago to look for work in the construction industy and vanished.

Lovell,  tall and thin with long sandy blond hair was thought to have been a victim of the notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy who between the years of 1972 and 1978 who murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young .  Tim Lovell,  Harold’s brother, theorized that Harold and Gacy crossed paths while Gacy did construction work at a fast-food restaurant in Aurora, Illinois.

But he was wrong.

The Cook County sheriff’s office, had  recently reopened the Gacy’s case in an effort to identify eight long-unidentified victims of Gacy’s and the Lovell’s contacted them in hopes of finally being able to put Harold to rest through DNA samples and another shot at investigating what really happened.

According to Sheriff Tom Dart, more than 120 families have emailed the sheriff’s department or called a hotline to learn if they qualify for the testing that could link them to the DNA of one of those unidentified victims.

Approximately 70 of them, Dart said, are “right in our target zone, agewise and locationwise.” That is, their missing family member fits the profile of most of Gacy’s victims: between 14 and 21 or so when last seen, and either living or working where Gacy was known to meet his victims.  Harld was thought to be one of them.

After weeks of looking into Harold Lovell’s possible connection to Gacy they stumbled upon  a police booking photo online that showed Harold Lovell was alive and well, although sometimes in trouble with police, in South Florida.

Before dawn Tuesday, the family was reunited, with Harold  Wayne Lovell getting off a Greyhound bus and stepping into the embrace of his sister and brother, an unexpected yet happy ending to their lengthy quest.

“I never felt wanted at home, so I left,” Harold said. “I’ve gone from having nothing to having all this.”  

John Wayne Gacy was convicted of 33 murders and sentenced to death .  He was executed in May 1994.

Take notice parents.  You never know what you have till you think you lose it.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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