Original Release Date: December 9, 2022
In episode three of our Case Studies: Part 2 mini season, Just Science sat down again with Jason Moran, Commander of Police at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, to continue discussing how his Forensic Services Initiative team re-opened the John Wayne Gacy case, in attempt to identify the eight remaining victims.
Once Commander Moran’s cold case unit announced the re-opening of the Gacy case, his team was contacted by hundreds of families across the country who were still looking for their missing loved ones. Although the team planned to identify the eight remaining victims, it turned out they were able to provide answers for more families than they could have ever predicted. Listen along as Commander Moran discusses the hurdles of forming a cold case unit, the methodology behind identifying a victim, and the incredible results from his cold case investigation.
This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (Award #: 15PNIJ-21-GK-02192-MUMU).
Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.
Jason Moran is a member of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office where he has served for twenty-four years. He currently holds the rank of Commander of Police and is assigned to the Special Victims Unit. In that role, Commander Moran leads the Forensic Services Initiative which is responsible for the investigation of human identification cases, complex deaths, cold missing person and homicide cases, and death care industry incidents. He has made local and national headlines for leading major investigations and closing several high-profile cases. Among these are the Chicago Burr Oak Cemetery Case, the probe into the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the identification of three of the victims of the serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Commander Moran has appeared in several news programs and has been featured in several documentaries. Recently, he appeared in the Netflix documentary, “Conversations with a Killer; The John Wayne Gacy Tapes.” Commander Moran has completed in-depth research and field work regarding the burial of Cook County’s Indigent, Unclaimed, and Unidentified. He was the Vice-Chairman of the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Advisory Board and has assisted that office with several items like the proper handling of Unidentified Deceased Person cases. As a result of his investigations, Commander Moran has worked with county and state officials in drafting legislation regarding public burials and certain forensic methods. He has formed a Forensic Archaeology Team and has conducted approximately twenty exhumations/grave inspections to include clandestine grave excavation. Commander Moran has received several notable awards for his work. Some of these are the International Association of Chiefs of Police 2012 August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Award, Cook County Crime Stoppers 2015 Excellence in Law Enforcement Award, and the National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College 2017 Conference Service Award. He is trained in many investigative sub-categories like forensic archaeology, human/comparative osteology, human identification, and DNA evidence. Jason is an instructor and lecturer. He teaches the Illinois Lead Homicide Investigator Course and a Missing/Unidentified Person course. In 2019, he lectured at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Expo and Conference in Chicago.