John Wayne Gacy - Famous Serial Killers

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Born: Tue March 17, 1942
Born in: Chicago, Illinois, United States
State(s): Illinois
Country: United States

AKA(s): The Killer Clown

Birth Name: John Wayne Gacy, Jr.


John Wayne Gacy liked to dress in a homemade Pogo the Clown outfit to entertain kids. Gacy was thought of as a generous, hard-working, charismatic man who was devoted to both his family and community. As is true with many serial killers, other than his victims, few witnessed the evil within. In the end, he became known as a ‘killer clown’ due to the time he donated to charitable services at fundraising events, children’s parties and parades where he would dress in the character costume he devised himself.  A true serial killer, Gacy was a lonely and sadistic contractor who liked to entertain young boys privately in a sick and twisted way. The final count for his viciousness came in at 33 teenage boys and young men he viciously tortured, raped and murdered between the years 1972 and 1978.

Serial Killer Gacy’s Modus Operandi

John Wayne GacyAn original in style and organized killer, he had all aspects of the murder worked out before each kill with many measures of precaution. Once he began his murderous fantasy, there was no turning back for this Devil. Gacy told police he would often lure young boys into his car by promising them sex or grabbing them by force, covering their face with the chloroform-soaked rag until they passed out. To subdue their screams when they awoke, he would stuff their mouths with clothing. He took unusual joy in handcuffing his victims, sodomizing them, beating them to a pulp, offering to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, reciting verses from the Bible and strangling them to death, often keeping their bodies with him until they were badly decomposed.

Serial Killer Gacy’s Capture

On November 11, 1978, the Chicago Tribune reported police, acting on a tip from a former detective, were searching for human remains in a parking lot behind Gacy’s mother’s house. Authorities believe there could be as many as four bodies buried 3 1/2 feet deep.

In 1978, Chicago police finally tracked down John Wayne Gacy and made a gruesome discovery. Twenty-six bodies were found buried in the crawl space underneath his house. When he ran out of room there, he buried three others on his property and reportedly disposed of the others in a nearby river. Serial killer Gacy’s wife, family and the many party guests to their home often complained of the stench coming from the basement. Gacy would explain it away as dead rats and somehow kept his alter ego a secret. As a prisoner, Johnny Boy started painting mostly colorful clown pictures, which have been shown in galleries nationwide. John Wayne Gacy, Killer Clown, was found guilty on March 13, 1980 and executed by lethal injection in 1994.

Former Detective Bill Dorsch, now a private investigator, told prosecutors of a night in 1975 when he found Gacy holding a dirty shovel next to the alley where the new search was proposed. “I stopped and said, ‘John, what are you doing out here at this time of night with a shovel?”’ Dorsch said. Gacy replied: “Well, with all the kind of work I do, there just isn’t enough time in the day. So here I am.”

Famous Killers: John Wayne Gacy

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