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Chicago police say they have solved the killing of a man who vanished in 1978

The search for new victims of John Wayne Gacy, the "killer clown" serial killer, helped solve the mystery of a young man who vanished in 1978.
By Frances Burns   |   April 23, 2014 at 11:35 AM
CHICAGO, April 23 (UPI) -- Chicago investigators say they have solved the killing of Edward Beaudion, an aspiring teacher who vanished in 1978 after leaving a wedding.

The identification of Beaudion's remains is indirectly related to the reopened investigation into John Wayne Gacy, the "killer clown" serial killer who was arrested in 1978 after killing at least 33 teenagers and young men and executed in 1994. Ruth Rodriguez, Beaudion's sister, learned in 2011 that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was trying to determine if Gacy had additional victims and thought her brother might be one of them.

Investigators say that skeletal remains found in a wooded area 30 miles southwest of Chicago in 2008 have now been conclusively identified as Beaudion's body. Jerry Jackson, a Missouri man who died in 2013, is believed to be his killer.

Jackson spent four years in prison for stealing a car belonging to Beaudion's sister. Ben Breit, a spokesman for the Cook County sheriff, said Jackson actually admitted killing Beaudion, and dumping the body but was not charged because the remains could not be found.

Jackson said Beaudion collapsed and died after being punched.

Rodriguez said her brother was about to start teaching at St. Andrew School in Lakeview, Ill. He was last seen by a friend he dropped off following the wedding in July 1978.

“He loved to teach kids,” Rodriguez told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He was so excited about his teaching position at St. Andrew’s.”

Rodriguez said she would have liked to ask Jackson why he did not take her brother to a hospital instead of dumping him.

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