Gacy’s blood could help solve murders
Detectives have long wondered what secrets serial killer John Wayne Gacy and other condemned murderers took to the grave when they were executed — particularly whether they had other unknown victims.
Now, in a game of scientific catch-up, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department is trying to find out by entering the killers’ DNA profiles into a national database shared with other law-enforcement agencies. The move is based on an ironic legal distinction: The men technically were listed as homicide victims themselves because they were put to death by the state.
Authorities hope to find DNA matches from blood, semen, hair or skin under victims’ fingernails that link the long-dead killers to the coldest of cold cases. And they want investigators in other states to follow suit and submit the DNA of their own executed inmates or from decades-old crime scenes.
Marches, strike planned in Egypt
Egypt’s political crisis is widening, with plans for a huge march and a general strike today to protest the hurried drafting of a new constitution and decrees by President Mohammed Morsi that gave him nearly unrestricted powers.
Morsi also faces the prospect of wider civil disobedience as media, the tourism industry and law professors pondered moves that would build on a strike by the nation’s judges.
The planned strikes and march raise new fears of unrest, threatening to derail the country’s transition to democratic rule.
An earthquake knocked items off shelves in homes around Anchorage, Alaska, but there are no immediate reports of injuries.
The magnitude-5.8 earthquake happened about 4:45 p.m. Monday. The temblor was centered about 25 miles northwest of Anchorage.
Officer dies in sea-smuggling case
The killing of a U.S. Coast Guardsman whose crew was chasing a vessel suspected of being laden with drugs appears to be the latest example of how smugglers are venturing farther north in a game of cat-and-mouse along the California coast.
Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne, 34, died Sunday after he was struck in the head by the suspect vessel near the Channel Islands, west of Los Angeles and about 180 miles northwest of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Two Mexican men — Jose Meija Leyva and Manuel Beltran Higuera — were charged Monday in Los Angeles with killing a federal officer while the officer was on duty.
CO2 sickens scores of students
Potentially lethal carbon monoxide levels at an Atlanta elementary school with no detectors sent at least 42 students and seven adults to hospitals Monday and forced 500 more to evacuate, authorities said.
Young children with oxygen masks over their faces were strapped to gurneys and others carried to ambulances by emergency officials at Finch Elementary School in southwest Atlanta. Four children reported passing out at the school, according to hospital officials.
A teacher and a cafeteria worker also were among those treated.
Firefighters found unsafe levels of carbon monoxide near a furnace at the school with a reading at 1,700 parts per million, said Atlanta fire Capt. Marian McDaniel.