Request Denied for Warrant to Search Potential Gacy Property

The Cook County Sheriffs Police tendered a Search Warrant to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office seeking their approval to present it to a Judge for further review and subsequent execution of said warrant. The Warrant requested permission to enter a specific property located on the north side of Chicago and perform a search for possible bodies buried beneath the ground. To make this process as least intrusive as possible the search would have been aided and directed by ground penetrating radar before any ground would be examined by core sampling of anomalies.


The goal of the Sheriff’s Police Department was to use a combination of infrared thermographic imaging and ground penetrating radar site investigation techniques for the location of subsurface anomalies indicative of clandestine gravesites. These techniques have been used by law enforcement all over the country, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Sheriff’s Police Department during the investigation of Burr Oak Cemetery. Both techniques are not just accurate but non-invasive.
If anomalies were discovered, the next step would be to use a Cadaver Dog to indicate the presence of decomposed human flesh. A bore hole is made in the site of the anomaly, and after waiting 30-mintues a Cadaver Dog is brought in to sniff around the hole and indicate if there is any odor of human decomposition.

The Warrant contained all information relevant to the property and its relationship to John Wayne Gacy possibly burying bodies on the property. After a careful and professional review by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office they concluded that the information in the Warrant did not meet the requisite legal standard of probable cause sufficient to present it to a Judge.

A request for permission to conduct the non-invasive search was presented to the owners of the property and they politely declined. Their denial is respected and understandable especially in light of the fact that they had given permission to the Chicago Police Department to do a search in November of 1998. That search resulted in a media frenzy, which greatly disrupted the living conditions of their tenants.

The Sheriff’s Office wishes that the privacy requested by the owner be respected at this time as well.