William J. Kunkle Jr., prosecutor in Gacy, DuPage 7 cases, dead at 81

As the prosecutor who secured the death penalty for serial killer John Wayne Gacy, William J. Kunkle Jr. could have coasted on the celebrity of the case for the rest of his career.

Instead, he used the experience to travel the country and teach others about the trial and its legal peculiarities.

Kunkle, 81, was found dead of natural causes Saturday in his suburban Indian Head Park home, his family said.

Kunkle also special prosecutor of the "DuPage 7" - the seven law officers accused and later acquitted of cooking up evidence to convict Rolando Cruz in the 1983 kidnapping, rape and murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico in Naperville Township.

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