(CBS) – Thirty-nine years after dozens of victims were discovered in John Wayne Gacy’s crawl space, the case still holds many mysteries.
Among them: the identities of six victims. CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov talks with the Cook County detective who’s made identifying them his mission.
“I think the victims themselves and the victim’s family deserve a name,” says Cook County Sheriff’s Detective Jason Moran.
For six years, he has devoted much of his time — and life — to closing those cold cases connected to Gacy.
“I’ve sat with many families of long-term missing persons, and they’re the saddest people you ever want to talk with. They just live in a cruel limbo,” Moran says.
His most recent opportunity to provide some closure occurred July 6, when a DNA match positively ID’d Jimmy Haakenson as Gacy “Victim No. 24.”
It’s the second unidentified victim found buried in Gacy’s crawl space that Moran has been able to identify.
But there are the six who haven’t been identified.
Their profiles are stuck on the wall next to his desk. He’s combing through more than 100 leads, he says.
Moran’s work has led to solving nine unrelated cold cases, including finding two missing people — alive. Those profiles also hang on his wall. He says with each closed case – including this month’s breakthrough — new leads pour in.
He plans to visit Woodlawn Cemetery with Haakenson’s family, where the teen’s remains have always been.
“I’m looking forward to memorializing his grave with them when they come to Chicago,” he said.
Detective Sgt. Moran says another result of his Gacy case work is that the sheriff’s department has become a sort of national repository for missing persons, with calls coming from all over the country and world.