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Women tell of links between Gacy friend and victim

This is jacket thwas last worn by John A. Mowery before he became one John Gacy's victims. This jacket along

This is the jacket that was last worn by John A. Mowery before he became one of John Gacy's victims. This jacket along with the drivers license found in the pocket were some of the items found in Gay's home that linked him to the murders. | Sun-Times Library 98-11-392

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Updated: March 18, 2012 8:14AM

A pal of serial killer John Wayne Gacy roomed with a victim who vanished in 1977 and later told the victim’s friends he knew where bodies were buried, two witnesses revealed to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Criminal defense attorneys Steven Becker and Robert Stephenson have been investigating whether Gacy worked with accomplices and say the witness accounts should prompt authorities to re-interview the roommate, who still lives in the Chicago area.

“There is overwhelming evidence Gacy worked with an accomplice,” Becker said.

Last week, after the attorneys first unveiled evidence of possible Gacy accomplices, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he would look into their findings.

The female witnesses spoke to the Sun-Times earlier this week at the request of the attorneys, saying they were teenage friends with 19-year-old Gacy victim John Mowery of Chicago.

Mowery was among 29 victims found on Gacy’s property in Norwood Park Township in 1978. Four other victims were pulled from the Des Plaines River. Gacy was executed in 1994.

Before Mowery disappeared, his roommate insisted Mowery meet a man who was going out of town, the women said. Gacy, a contractor, was out of town at a job in Michigan the morning after Mowery vanished, records show. The roommate acted strangely after the disappearance — even trying to give away Mowery’s dog, the women said.

The roommate later told prosecutors he had lived with Gacy for months, worked for Gacy and even dug a trench in his crawlspace.

The Sun-Times isn’t naming the roommate because he wasn’t charged with a crime in connection with the Gacy murders. No one but Gacy was prosecuted for the killings, although Gacy initially told police “there are others involved.”

The women, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they reported the roommate’s odd statements to Chicago police after Mowery’s body was identified, but authorities never followed up.

Mowery, a former Marine, was studying accounting at Truman College. A woman who dated Mowery said the roommate moved into Mowery’s Northwest Side apartment less than a week before he disappeared.

The girlfriend said she was in the apartment on Friday, Sept. 23, 1977, and overheard the roommate say “he wanted John [Mowery] to meet a man this weekend because the person was going to go out of town.”

She said she called Mowery the next day, but he couldn’t talk because “there’s been an accident.” Later she learned one of his two dogs was killed by a car.

The girlfriend said she didn’t hear from Mowery that Sunday. He went to his mother’s for dinner, left at 10 p.m. and vanished.

She said she and a female cousin went to Mowery’s apartment Monday. She said the roommate told them the dog was dead, Mowery was not there, but the roommate said he had left his keys and groceries on the counter.

“Then [the roommate] said he goes to one area where there’s a lot of dead bodies and the police don’t even know about it,” the girlfriend said.

The roommate also asked if they wanted Mowery’s other dog, the girlfriend said.

“We thought it was strange,” she said.

Later that week, the roommate told the girlfriend he was glad Mowery was gone, she said. He offered the woman and her cousin a job working for a contractor as typists, she said.

The women said they never saw the roommate again. But they recently viewed a photo of a young man who lived with Gacy and confirmed it was Mowery’s roommate. The girlfriend’s cousin recalls the roommate’s full name because she made a rhyme out of it.

“He was a scary guy,” she said. “He ridiculed us for being so concerned.”

The man could not be reached for comment.

Becker and Stephenson said they don’t think Mowery would have disappeared without saying anything to his friends or family. His mother testified he was never a runaway.

The attorneys said their time line of Gacy’s whereabouts indicates he may have worked with an accomplice in the Mowery case. Gacy didn’t have a lot of time to kill Mowery and bury the body alone, they said.

Eight hours elapsed from Mowery’s disappearance at 10 p.m. Sunday to the time Gacy showed up at work at 6 a.m. Monday in Michigan — a three-hour drive from Chicago, Gacy’s contractor records show.

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