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 sad**tic 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

An 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.

John Wayne Gacy

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."

Gacy Victims

Identified Victims

  • Timothy McCoy (16) January 3, 1972
  • John Butkovitch (17) July 29, 1975
  • Darrell Sampson (18) April 6, 1976
  • Randall Reffett (15) May 14, 1976
  • Samuel Stapleton (14) May 14, 1976
  • Michael Bonnin (17) June 3, 1976
  • William Carroll (16) June 13, 1976
  • Rick Johnston (17) August 6, 1976
  • Kenneth Parker (16) October 24, 1976
  • William Bundy (19) October 26, 1976
  • Gregory Godzik (17) December 12, 1976
  • John Szyc (19) January 20, 1977
  • Jon Prestidge (20) March 15, 1977
  • Matthew Bowman (19) July 5, 1977
  • Robert Gilroy (18) September 15, 1977
  • John Mowery (19) September 25, 1977
  • Russell Nelson (21) October 17, 1977
  • Robert Winch (16) November 10, 1977
  • Tommy Boling (20) November 18, 1977
  • David Talsma (19) December 9, 1977
  • William Kindred (19) February 16, 1978
  • Timothy O’Rourke (20) June 16-23, 1978
  • Frank Landingin (19) November 4, 1978
  • James Mazzara (21) November 24, 1978
  • Robert Piest (15) December 11, 1978

Suspected Misidentified Victim

  • Michael Marino (14) October 24, 1976

Unidentified Victims

  • January 1974. Body 28. Backyard. Male aged 14-18.
  • June 13 - August 6, 1976. Body 26. Crawl space. Male aged 22-30.
  • June 13 - August 6, 1976. Body 24. Crawl space. Male aged 15-19.
  • August 6 - October 5, 1976. Body 13. Crawl space. Male aged 17-21.
  • August 6 - October 24, 1976. Body 21. Crawl space. Male aged 21-27.
  • December 1976 - March 15, 1977. Body 5. Crawl space. Male aged 22-32.
  • March 15 - July 5, 1977. Body 10. Crawl space. Male aged 17-21.

Famous Killers: John Wayne Gacy

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