---- — CHICAGO (AP) — Four decades after John Wayne Gacy lured more than 30 young men and boys to his Chicago-area home and strangled them, his case has helped authorities solve another killing — one he didn’t commit.
Investigators have identified the remains of a man who in 1978 never returned to his home just a few miles from Gacy’s house. They also say they know the identity of his now-deceased killer. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to announce the findings today — the result of an ongoing effort to name several unidentified victims of Gacy, who was executed in 1994.
Authorities released the information to The Associated Press ahead of their announcement.
Though the news that 22-year-old Edward Beaudion of Chicago is believed to have been killed by a small-time Missouri crook named Jerry Jackson who died last year at age 62 comes too late to bring Jackson to justice, it answers a question Beaudion’s family has spent decades asking.
“I always thought he was killed but you still aren’t sure until you get the proof,” said Beaudion’s father, Louis Beaudion, 86, who professed that he was “scared” he would die, as his wife did in 2001, without knowing what happened.
Many questions still remain in the case that may never be answered. Edward Beaudion’s skull, which could have revealed how he died, was never recovered.
Beaudion was driving his sister’s car on July 23, 1978, when he dropped off a friend and told her he was heading home. No one ever heard from him again.
That August, Jackson was taken into custody in Caruthersville, Mo., after he was found driving the car, which Beaudion’s family had reported stolen.
Jackson was extradited to Chicago, where police said he told them he had met Beaudion on July 23 in downtown Chicago and had punched him in the face during an altercation, rendering him unconscious. Police said he told them he stuffed Beaudion’s body in the car, drove to a wooded area about 15 miles southwest of Chicago and dumped it.