News Column

John Wayne Gacy 'Victim' Found Alive After 41 Years

December 20, 2013

Deanese Williams-Harris, Chicago Tribune

john wayne gacy
John Wayne Gacy (file photo)

A man who disappeared 41 years ago, and was feared to be a victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, has been found in Montana and reunited with his family.

Robert Hutton was reported missing in 1972 after he made a call to his mother and told her of plans to travel from New York to California. Hutton's family never heard from him again, according to the Cook County sheriff's office.

After several years of trying to locate Hutton, law enforcement closed the missing person case, the office said.

Then in February of 2012, Hutton's sister contacted the sheriff's office because it was looking into Gacy's victims that were still unidentified. Gacy has been connected to the killings of 33 people from 1972 to 1978.

Hutton's sister thought her brother may have been one of those victims because he traveled through Chicago to California, the office said.

Investigators looked into the Hutton lead because he fit the profile of many of the victims. He was in the right age range and had been a hitchhiker who also traveled by bus. Hutton was 21 when he went missing. Hutton also worked in the construction industry, and Gacy was known to lure his victims by hiring them to do work.

The sheriff's office traced a man named Robert Hutton to Colorado, but when investigators went to his home they discovered he had moved to rural Montana. Investigators went to his home in Montana and confirmed he was the same Robert Hutton who disappeared in 1972, the sheriff's office said.

Hutton was reunited with his sister and father earlier this year and has since visited his father several times. He plans to visit with his sister soon.

The sheriff's office said seven missing person cases have been closed as a result of the investigation. Anyone who believes their family member may have been a Gacy victim can call 708-865-6244.

dawilliams@tribune.com

Twitter: @neacynewslady

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