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40 Years Later One Of John Wayne Gacy’s Victims Is Finally Identified

Now after 40 years the Cook County Sheriff’s office has identified one of the few remaining unidentified unknown victims of notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

 16 year old runaway from Minnesota, James Byron Haakenson was believed to have been killed in August 1976.  Haakenson’s family received the grim news from a Cook County investigator this week.

 Lorie Sisterman who was John’s sister submitted a sample of her DNA after someone in the family wondered if James had been a Gacy victim. The DNA turned out to be a match with one of the seven left unknown victims.

 Sisterman, the oldest sibling, said the father of the family drank and wasn’t always around and that her brother was a troubled youth who ran away to Chicago at the age of 16.

She remembers a conversation with another sibling around that time.

“And he said something like, ‘Jimmy’s wearing makeup.’ And I’m like, ‘What?’ Well maybe he’s into the gay lifestyle.” Sisterman went onto say not all the family were understanding about it.

Shortly after that Jimmy ran away from home.

Jimmy Haakenson called his mother from Chicago on August 5, 1976.

Then, after that there was no word for over 40 years.

This week, a Cook County Sheriff’s detective went to Minnesota to tell the family the news.

“We talked.  A couple of people burst out crying. And all I could say was, ‘Wow,” Sisterman said.“”It’s not every day you hear a monster murdered your brother.”

John Wayne Gacy sexually assaulted, tortured and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978.  He was finally executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10, 1994.

It is reported that his final spoken words were simply, “Kiss my ass.”


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the 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 on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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