Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced Tuesday that a Chicago teen named William George Bundy was murdered by Gacy after he disappeared in 1976.
Bundy went missing back in October 1976. He told his family he was going to a party that evening. He never returned.
Bundy's family waited 35 years for answers. They long suspected he was one of John Wayne Gacy's victims, but they had no way to prove it until now.
He was known for more than three decades simply as Victim No. 19, one of the eight unidentified among John Gacy's 33 murder victims who were buried in the crawlspace under his home. But now he has a name -- William Bundy -- and family.
"All my girlfriends wanted to date him. They wouldn't come over for me, only for him," said sister Laura O'Leary.
O'Leary was 17. Her brother was 19, a good athlete who had attended Senn High School on the North Side. He had found work with a construction contractor who was teaching him the electrical business. The family now knows that contractor was John Wayne Gacy.
"When that happened and I saw that Gacy was a contractor I just knew it," said O'Leary.
Despite suspicions that Gacy was the killer, Bundy's family had no dental records, the only way to prove it back in 1978 when Gacy was arrested.
Sheriff Tom Dart reopened the investigation, however, and the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth solved the mystery by linking DNA from the family to Bundy's remains, confirming O'Leary's belief.
"Without DNA back then, there was nothing I could really do, but I'm happy it's over," O'Leary said.
"It's reinforced the significance...The family felt they had been forgotten and that this was their brother who they loved terribly who had become just a number somewhere," said Dart.
The family lived in an apartment in the 4100-block of North Clarendon, not far from where investigators believe Bundy disappeared. His remains are now buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Alsip, coincidently the same cemetery where Bundy's maternal grandparents and other relatives are buried.
Family members say they are grieving but at last they have answers.
"My mother was never the same," O'Leary said. The sheriff's investigators collected DNA samples from a dozen people so far that they believe could be a match for the other seven unidentified Gacy victims. The lab in Fort Worth has now returned five of those samples, including William Bundy.
The other four have been excluded as possible Gacy victims. That fails to provide an answer for their families, but as the sheriff said, it also keeps them from knowing their loved one died a horrible death at the hands of a monster.