John Wayne Gacy
Historical records matching John Wayne Gacy
About John Wayne Gacy
Cause and Effect: John Wayne Gacy was often beaten by his father, whom he was named after. At the age of 11, John was knocked unconscious by a vicious swing and through out his teen years would have black outs.
John Wayne Gacy left school without graduating and traveled to Las Vegas in hopes of making his fortunes. Instead, he ended up working in a mortuary where he showed an unhealthy interest in the bodies.
Model Citizen: In 1964, John married Marlyn Myers, whose father owned a string of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises. Soon after, Gacy joined the family business and became a restaurant manager. Soon the couple had a child and John became very active in local charities and community groups around their new home in Waterloo, Iowa. By all accounts, John Wayne Gacy was the model citizen, but underneath that image was a monster waiting to be let out. That monster first showed its face in May of 1968 when Gacy was charged with raping Mark Miller, a young employee. John Wayne Gacy was sentenced to 10 years for sodomy and his wife divorced him.
Released from prison after only 18 months for good behavior, his mother helped him get back on his feet. His father died while he was in prison. John bought a new house in the Chicago Suburbs and in June of 1972 he got married again, this time to a divorcee, Carole Hoff, who had two daughters of her own. John, Carole and her daughters became very popular in the neighborhood as they would throw parties with Western or Hawaiian themes and became active in Democratic politics.
The Monster begins to show again: As time went on, rumors began to spread about Gacy's conduct with teenage boys he would hire. By 1975, his marriage began to deteriorate as Carole started finding homosexual pornography around the house. John refused to apologize and even told her he preferred men over women. They divorced in 1976.
The Killings: Little did anyone know, while John was married to Carole, he had been picking up strangers in Chicago's gay bars and after killing them, would bury the bodies under their house. Even the neighbors had made complaints about the horrible smells coming from their house. With his marriage over, John's lust for killing was in full force.
Gacy would either pick up strangers, or lure men from his work force back to his home where he would offer them alcohol and marijuana. He would then offer to show them a magic trick where he would have them put on a pair of handcuffs. His victims, now subdued, were at his mercy as he tortured them then strangled them to death as he had sex with them.
The Clown: Gacy continued to lure men to his home and kill them, burying them under the house. Though his neighbors still continued to complain about the smell, they never suspected what was happening. John continued to throw parties and dressing up as "Pogo the Clown" to visit sick kids in hospitals. He became such a valued member of the Democratic Party that he even had his picture taken shaking hands with the First Lady Roslyn Carter.
His Mistake: In February of 1978, Gacy abducted Jeffrey Rignall. He chloroformed him, raped him and tortured him, but rather than killing him, Gacy dropped him off in a park. When Rignall went to the police, they showed little interest and the young man managed to act alone as he tracked Gacy down and made an official complaint.
On October 16th, Gacy still had not been charged with a crime when he killed 15 year old Robert Piest. When the young man turned up missing, his parents found that he was going to meet John Gacy to see about a job. When the police questioned Gacy, he played ignorant, but the officer was not satisfied and checked his house. Finding suspicious evidence like handcuffs, pornography and drugs, along with the smell coming from the house, they confronted Gacy who eventually confessed to a single murder.
When the police went back and started digging, they were shocked to find not one body, but dozens buried underneath his house. In all, there were 28 victims buried under the house. Gacy's 5 most recent victims had been dumped in nearby rivers as he had run out of space under the house.
The Sentence: Gacy tried to plea insanity, however the jury decided that any man who would dig graves ahead of time for his victims was not the act of a man taken by uncontrollable sudden urges. Finding the murders to be in premeditation, John Wayne Gacy was sentenced to death.
Gacy obtained a sort of celebrity status as his admirers were able to call a premium rate number and listen to his refute of the charges against him. He gave frequent interviews and showed his fans his paintings. Toward the end of his time on Death Row, Gacy began to claim that he had never killed at all, but was the victim of an elaborate conspiracy.
On May 10, 1994, John Wayne Gacy was put to death by lethal injection. Total Kills: Confirmed - 33