John Wayne Gacy terrorized Cook County, Illinois, in the 1970s, murdering no fewer than 33 individuals in just six years. But even after the serial killer’s capture, the family of one Harold Wayne Lovell still felt fear and despair. They in fact believed that Lovell, who had vanished during Gacy’s reign of terror, must have been among the killer’s unidentified victims. However, 34 years after Lovell’s disappearance, his family saw a picture that added a dramatic twist to the story.
The tale begins in May 1977 when Harold Wayne Lovell, at 19 years old, had a thin frame and shaggy, sandy-blonde hair. But according to the Daily Mail, the teen had “never felt wanted” by his mom, Kathy, and her husband. And so Lovell decided to pack up and leave his house in Aurora, Illinois, in search of a better life.
Lovell in fact left behind his mother and stepfather as well as two siblings: brother Tim and sister Theresa. The then-19-year-old had also apparently told some of his family members that he had departed in order to find a building job. And it was this little detail that actually led Lovell’s loved ones to believe that he had fallen victim to serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who also hailed from Cook County, IL.