A Second Presumed John Wayne Gacy Victim Found Aliveon December 22, 2011 in Serial Killers by Brian Combs
Theodore “Ted” Szal disappeared in Chicago, Illinois in 1977 at the age of 24. As Ted matched John Wayne Gacy’s preferred victim type, his family always believed he had fallen victim to the Killer Clown.
But his family has recently learned that Ted is actually alive and well in Beaverton, Oregon.
Ted was not reported missing to the authorities as he had a history of disengaging from his family. After Ted’s car was found near Gacy’s home, which happened to be near the airport, it was assumed that Ted was probably one of the unidentified victim’s found in Gacy’s crawlspaces.
When Cook County investigators called for family members of potential Gacy victims to submit DNA, Ted’s family did so. None of the unidentified victims matched the family’s DNA.
This lead investigators to search for Ted, and he was found in Oregon. When an investigator called Ted and told him that his family was looking for him, there were several seconds of silence on the phone.
A sheriff’s department spokesperson said:
Ted was completely surprised and searched for words. After talking with the detective for a while, he asked him to relay a message to his dad; he wanted his dad to know that he was still fishing, just the way his dad taught him when he was growing up.
It turns out that after a severe disagreement with his family, Ted decided to leave town and never come back.
Ted told a newspaper:
I threw my keys away down the sewer grate so I couldn’t change my mind.
Ted figured that if any of his family wanted to reach him, they could find him on the Internet. Family members are currently trying to determine the best way to reach out to him to reconnect.