SHERIFF’S GACY INVESTIGATION SOLVES FOURTH COLD CASE
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — – Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today that the victim and the killer in a 36-year-old homicide case has been identified as a result of the ongoing investigation to identify the unnamed victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
In 2011, the sister of Edward Beaudion, after learning of Sheriff Dart’s investigation into identifying Gacy’s eight unidentified victims, contacted Sheriff’s Police thinking that her brother may have been one of them.
Beaudion, 22, was reported missing to the Chicago Police Department in July 1978. The last person to see him alive was a female friend who he had dropped home after they attended a wedding together in Oak Lawn.
The car Beaudion was driving when he disappeared was located in Caruthersville, MO in August 1978 and was in the possession of 26-year-old Jerry Jackson, of Chicago. Jackson was extradited back to Chicago for the stolen car case. While in custody, Jackson told police officers that he punched Beaudion –who he did not know – on the night Beaudion was last seen alive. He said in statements taken by a court reporter that after he punched him, Beaudion fell to the ground, became unconscious, and stopped breathing.
Jackson also said that he put Beaudion’s body into the car and drove southbound on Interstate 55 to an unspecified garbage dump or quarry and left Beaudion’s body there.
A search at that time of the areas near Interstate 55 and the Chicago River did not locate Beaudion’s body. Because investigators did not find a body, Jackson was never charged with Beaudion’s death.
Jackson, who had since legally changed his name to Jerry Cole, died in May 2013, in Caruthersville, MO – the town he originally was arrested in for possessing the vehicle that Beaudion was last seen driving.
The Beaudion family lived within close proximity to Gacy, and Edward fit the right age profile for a Gacy victim investigation. These factors, in addition to Jackson never having been charged, led Beaudion’s sister to believe that perhaps Gacy was responsible for his disappearance, making Beaudion Lead #2 in the reopened Gacy investigation.
Sheriff’s Police Detectives took DNA samples from Beaudion’s sister and from his father.
There was no genetic association between Beaudion’s relatives and any of Gacy’s unidentified victims. As a result, their DNA samples were uploaded to the Biological Relatives of Missing Person’s Index of the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) – the standard procedure for all non-associated samples in this investigation.
In February 2014, Sheriff’s Police investigators received information from the University of Northern Texas Center for Human Identification that Beaudion’s sister’s and father’s DNA samples associated genetically with the DNA samples from a partial human skeleton that had been found in the Cook County Forest Preserve area near Lemont.
Those skeletal remains were found in 2008 near Lemont Road and Bluff Road in a wooded area that resembled a garbage dump or quarry. The area is also along Interstate 55. Clothing and a pair of shoes were also located near the remains. The cause of death was undetermined. The remains were submitted by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office to University of Northern Texas Center for Human Identification in October 2013 – after working with the Sheriff’s Office to adopt new protocols pertaining to unidentified remains.
On Feb. 26, 2014, the remains found in the Forest Preserve were officially identified as Edward Beaudion.
On April 1, 2014, the Sheriff’s Police conducted a second search of where Beaudion remains were found. Additional remains were found at the location, but nothing that could help scientifically determine the cause of Beaudion’s death.
Based on the prior court reported statements from Jerry Jackson, who accurately described the location of the body in 1978, Sheriff’s Police have concluded that Jackson killed Beaudion in July 1978.
Since Sheriff Dart reopened the Gacy investigation in 2011, one of the unidentified victims, William George Bundy, has been identified. Seven missing persons cases have been solved – five people have been found alive and two others had died earlier of natural causes. Additionally, three unrelated, decades-old cold cases –including Beaudion’s— have been solved as a result of the investigation.
Gacy killed 33 teenage boys and young men in Chicago from 1972 to 1978. Seven of his victims remain unidentified.
Gacy was executed for his crimes in 1994.
Sheriff Dart asks anyone who believes their male relative may have been a Gacy victim to call 708- 865-6244