Serial Killers in Film

John Wayne Gacy: True Crime Background

Alias: Pogo the Clown, The Killer Clown, Johnny, Colonel, Sissy
Born: March 17, 1942 in Chicago, IL
Died: May 10, 1994 in Crest Hill, IL
Pathology: Serial Killer, Serial Rapist, Ephebophile, Necrophiliac
Modus Operandi: Rape and torture, stabbing (first murder), asphyxiation (later)
Killed: 33 (known)

“The dead won't bother you, it's the living you have to worry about.” -John Wayne Gacy

Gacy grew up in a rough home; his father was an abusive alcoholic who beat Gacy and his sisters with a razor strap if they misbehaved, in addition to physically abusing his wife. Gacy was born with a congenital heart condition that prevented him from being very active as a child and because of this his father thought of Gacy as a failed child and called him “sissy” growing up. Later on in Gacys childhood, he realized he was gay, which was still very much taboo during his youth, so he chose to hide this part of him away, pretending to be straight his entire life. Gacy struggled in school, eventually dropping out of high school and moving out West, cutting contact with his family. He lived in Vegas, where he worked as a mortuary assistant. Gacys bosses knew that he had no place to live, so they let Gacy sleep at the funeral home. It was later found out that Gacy would undress the male dead bodies and talk to them, often attempting to have sex with them. When the funeral home director became suspicious Gacy quit and moved back to Chicago, where he enrolled in business college. He soon moved to Springfield, IL for work, where he met his first wife. They then later moved to Waterloo, Iowa, where Gacy and his wife had two children. His wife later divorced him after he went to jail for sexual assault. After she left Gacy moved to Chicago to start fresh, he remarried and started his own construction business. He often performed at children’s parties as “Pogo the Clown,” and was well liked in the community. He never heard from his first wife or his biological children again.

Sexual Assaults
In 1964 Gacy was convicted of sexual assault against two teenage boys and was sentenced to ten years in prison, but was released in 1970, after only serving 18 months. In 1971 he was arrested again for sexual assault, but the charges were dropped as the young male accuser did not show up for the trial. By 1975 Gacy had been accused twice more of rape and was questioned by police about countless other cases.

Gacy first killed in 1972, where he stabbed Timothy McCoy in Gacys own home. In 1975 a teenager who worked for Gacy went missing, the family of the teenager went to the police asking them to investigate Gacy, but the police never looked into it. In 1977 a young man went to the police claiming that Gacy had kidnapped him and molested him, a report was made, but police never investigated Gacy on the claims. On December 11, 1978 a boy named Robert Piest went missing, who was last seen by his mother on the way to Gacys home. After a report was made by Robert Piests mother, police finally investigated Gacy for the first time and on December 21 of the same year a police search uncovered evidence of Gacys killings. The police received a search warrant of Gacys home, where they discovered a powerful odor and belongings of several young men. After police received a second search warrant they ripped up the floorboards to Gacys crawlspace, where they found evidence of human bones. It was soon revealed Gacy had killed at least 33 young men, 26 of which were buried in the crawl space of his home, others buried throughout various places of the property, and some even thrown into the Des Plaines river. After investigating, Gacy admitted that he would lure his victims with the prospect of work with Gacys construction company, once in his home he would sexually assault them, and then kill them. Often Gacy would pick up white male runaways and male prostitutes near the Chicago Greyhound Bus Station, or just off the streets. He would take them to his house after offering jobs or payment for sex, sometimes he forced them into his car at gunpoint. Once at his home Gacy would handcuff or tie up the men after getting them drunk or knocking them out with chloroform. He would them torture his victims in various ways- fire poker, dripping hot candle wax on them, drowning them in his bathtub, placing them on a homemade rack, and even urinating on them. Gacy raped the men often before the killings and after, sometimes even keeping the dead bodies around for a few days. Usually he would kill his victims by strangling them and often he would dress up as “Pogo the Clown,” which was Gacys alter ego. Gacy then buried the bodies under the crawlspace of his home, pouring lime juice to hasten decomposition.

Gacys trial began February 6, 1980, where Gacy admitted to all of the crimes he had committed. The conversation was not of Gacys guilt, but rather on whether or not he should be admitted to a mental institution after he confessed the killings were committed by his alter ego Jack. Psychiatric evaluation proved this false and after much deliberation and testimonies from medical professionals on both sides, Gacy was ultimately found guilty of his crimes and sentenced to 12 death sentences and 21 natural life sentences. Gacy later changed his argument, stating that his construction employees had set him up and he did not commit any of the murders, stating that he was the 34th victim. He was imprisoned at the Menard Correctional Facility for a decade and a half after appealing his sentence. Gacy died by lethal injection on May 10, 1994 at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, IL, where Gacy’s last words were “Kiss my ass.”

Gacy’s Known Victims
Waterloo, IowaChicagoSources editors. “John Wayne Gacy” The Website, A&E Television Networks,
“John Wayne Gacy.” Crime Museum, –said they got info from
“John Wayne Gacy.” Criminal Minds Wiki, Wikia,, 

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