Broward News

Man Thought to Be Victim of John Wayne Gacy Found Living in Florida Thanks to Weed Arrests

Here's one way to find out your long-lost family member wasn't murdered by a serial killer who dressed up as a clown on the weekends and buried bodies under his house -- he's been arrested ten times for marijuana possession since 2005.

Noted American serial killer John Wayne Gacy buried the bodies of 29 teenaged boys and young men he'd killed on his property -- most of them under the floorboards of his house -- although eight of those bodies were never identified.

Two weeks ago, the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Illinois reopened the Gacy case in an attempt to identify the eight bodies and this time compiled DNA profiles from all eight.

The sheriff's office then asked anyone who was directly related to any male relatives who went missing in the United States between 1970 and 1979 to provide a DNA sample for a comparison to the Gacy victims.

One of those men who went missing was Harold Wayne Lovell, who disappeared for good after leaving home for a construction job -- the type of men Gacy would hire -- in 1977, at the age of 19.

According to the Chicago Tribune, his family was convinced for years -- almost obsessively -- that Lovell was one of Gacy's victims.

The Tribune says his family applied for help from the Cook County Sheriff's Office, and when an investigator started looking into Lovell, a recent police booking photo was found online.

Sure enough, smoking a lot of weed reunited Lovell with his family.

Lovell has been arrested ten times since 2005 for either buying or possessing marijuana -- sometimes coupled with other charges -- leaving ten police-provided photos of him online.

Lovell, who's now 53 years old, has been living in the Tampa area for quite some time. At the time of his first arrest that landed him in an online booking photo, on July 7, 2005, he was living in Valrico and working on the grounds of a local cemetery.

According to the Tribune, Lovell reunited with his family just before dawn yesterday and told reporters it was "awesome."

Let that be a lesson -- smoking weed is at least one way to let your family know you haven't been murdered by a killer clown and buried under his house.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley