Body of John Wayne Gacy Victim to be Exhumed

on October 7, 2011 in Serial Killers, Victimology by

Sherry Marino has always doubted that her 14-year-old son was victim of John Wayne Gacy. According to the Associated Press, she has been granted her request to have his body exhumed for DNA testing.

It took more than three years to identify the supposed remains of her son using dental records, even though she provided the records immediately when the bodies were discovered in the crawl spaces of Gacy’s house. This, plus the fact that the clothes the boy was wearing did not match those she remembered him wearing that day, have lead her to doubt the identification.

Over the years, Sherry has hired private investigators and lawyers to help her find evidence that might have been overlooked. One attorney found discrepancies in dental records.

Another found an X-ray taken of the body that showed a broken right collarbone. Sherry says she does not remember her son ever suffering such an injury, but still it could happened in the accident, so they got a Bronx personal injury lawyer to review the case.

Lastly, a pathology report suggests that the boy may have been at least partially American Indian. Sherry says there is no American Indian heritage in her family.

But even Sherry’s attorneys acknowledge that there is strong circumstantial evidence that the boy’s remains belong to Michael. Most notable is that Michael has never shown up in the intervening 35 years.

In addition, the remains were found next to those of a friend of Michael’s, who disappeared the same day.

Cook County Associate Judge Rita Novak said:

I hope for her sake it provides some closure for her.

Sherry’s attorneys hope the remains will be exhumed within one month.

The exhumation and DNA testing is expected to cost around $10,000. The attorneys originally asked the county to pay the costs, but later retracted that request. They believe they can raise the money from the public.

The autopsy report indicated that the boy’s remains were partially mummified. That makes it very likely that testable DNA will be able to be collected.

Michael and a friend, Kenneth Parker, disappeared on October 24, 1976. They were last seen near an intersection where Gacy was later found to have picked up victims.

In an email to the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, Sherry said:

Michael was a sweet, kind boy. He was not the best student, but he tried hard and rarely, if ever, got into trouble. He loved sports and music. He was an excellent drummer. … He had big dreams of being a musician when he grew up.

On the day he disappeared, he made me a sandwich and we were planning to go to a movie at 6 p.m. As soon as he was more than 10 minutes late I knew something was wrong because Michael was always on time.


  • Di says:

    I really hope that they will one day identify all of Gacy’s victims. Although I really dislike the term ‘bringing closure’ in relation to the families of murder victims, perhaps it may give some families a little peace if they are able to have an answer as to what happened to their loved ones.

    • Brian Combs says:

      Yeah, I’m not a fan of the term “closure” either. Knowing what actually happened doesn’t really bring a close to the issue, but it does allow healing to begin.

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