age at first kill
number of victims
John Wayne Gacy Jr. had an alcoholic as a father who often liked to beat him with a leather belt. Gacy's father kept telling him that he was worthless and a mother son. If that is not enough pain and suffering for a child, then there was also his outward appearance: Gacy was overweight and unsportsmanlike.
A family member sexually abused John Wayne Jr. at the age of 9. He didn't tell his father anything because he was afraid that he would blame him. As a child he was often ill and had circulatory problems. "Overall, I was in the hospital for a full year between the ages of 14 and 18," said John Wayne Gacy after his arrest. His father saw in the long hospital stays only his son's attempt to win sympathy among friends - and he called Gacy a simulator at the bedside.
At the age of 18, the future serial killer Gacy Jr. decides to support the Democratic Party. He becomes a volunteer and receives a car from his father, which he pays off with his own money in many years. The car bore the name of the father. If Gacy Jr. wanted to use the car, he would have to ask his father's permission. One day, Gacy had the car keys secretly copied to drive the car without father's permission. When the father found out, he removed the distributor cap from the car. Gacy got a new one and continued from home. “I was totally confused in the head. In Las Vegas, far from Chicago, I found a job as an assistant in the ambulance, ”said the 33-fold killer later.
When he moved back to Chicago, he worked as an assistant in a mortuary and often went to sleep in the embalming room. “Once I lay down next to the body of a little boy and hugged him. After a while, I was startled by myself, ”Gacy later said in an interview. The occasion prompted him to ask his family if he could live at home again. They agreed. In 1963 he successfully completed a commercial apprenticeship at Northwestern Business College and took up a trainee position in a shoe company. A year later, he was transferred to Springfield, Illinois, where he was employed as a salesperson and later as a manager. The employee Marylinn Myers worked in the same company, which he married a year later in September 1964. He became involved in the commercial non-profit organization Jaycees and quickly rose in its hierarchy. During this time, he gained homosexual experience. Oral sex occurred while he was drunk. In 1965, John Wayne Gacy Jr. became Vice President of the Springfield Jaycees.
Gacy received an offer from his father-in-law to run three fast food restaurants as a manager. He was promised $ 15,000 plus a share of the profits. Gacy agreed. His first child Michael was born in 1967, followed by Christine in October 1968. When his father visited him in his new home in Waterloo, he said: “Boy, I was wrong with you. After all, something has become of you ”. Gacy later remembers: "It was the most wonderful time of my life - just perfect".
At the same time, however, there were downsides to Gacy's marriage: infidelities, drugs, prostitution and swinger parties accompanied the private life of the later serial killer even then. He gradually invited employees to the basement of his house to play the pool and drink alcohol. Here he made sexual allusions to the male employees and their children. If a man or a child did not accept his offers, he dismissed them as a joke. This unsuspected, dark side was the basis for the second life of John Wayne Gacy Jr. The beginning life of an undiscovered child molester and child killer.
In March 1968, Gacy received a complaint from Donald Voorhees's father, who alleged that Gacy forced him to have oral sex. Gacy denied and offered a saliva test, which, however, weighed heavily on him. Before the trial began, Gacy instructed his young colleague Russell Schroeder to blackmail Donald Voorhees: If he did not withdraw his testimony in court and exonerate Gacy, he would be beaten up. After Russell lay in wait for Donald and attacked him, Donald's father again informed the police. John Wayne Gacy Jr. came to a police special clinic that was diagnosed with an anti-social personality disorder. He was also fully guilty in court. On December 3, 1968, John Wayne Gacy was sentenced to 10 years in Anamosa State Penitentiary. His wife Marylinn Myers divorced the same day. Gacy never saw his wife and children again.
After only 18 months in prison for his 10-year sentence, Gacy was released on June 18, 1970. His father died during his prison term. Gacy moved back in with his mother and, from his father's legacy, bought a house in Cook County's Norwood Park Township, where he lived until his arrest in 1978. In August 1971 he moved into the house with his mother and became engaged to Carole Hoff, a divorcee with two young daughters. On July 1, 1972, John Wayne married Gacy Jr. again. In 1972 Gacy ended his job as a cook and founded the construction company PDM (Painting, Decorating and Maintenance).
His neighbors noticed Gacy for his kindness and care. He was active in the community and was highly valued by everyone. In the summer months he organized parties to which he invited all neighbors and employees. He became active again in the Democratic Party and offered the workforce of his construction company to the local community free of charge. Gacy rose in the community to become the managing director of the annual Polish Constitution Day Parade in Chicago. Here he also met the then First Lady of the United States, Rosalynn Carter. She signed a card with the words: “To John Gacy. Best Wishes, Rosalynn Carter ”. This event was later to become uncomfortable to the United States Secret Service because Gacy wore one of the "USSS" badges - the law enforcement logo.
John Wayne Gacy joined the “Jolly Jokers” in late 1975. The Jolly Jokers were an organization whose members dressed up as clowns performed at fundraisers and in children's hospitals. Gacy developed the character "Pogo the Clown" with which he regularly delighted small children. Nobody suspected that Gacy had sexually abused several children and adolescents at the time. Even worse, if someone had said it, no one would have believed it. Because how should a building contractor, who is also socially committed, do something harm to a child?In 1975 Gacy revealed to his wife Carole Hoff that he was bisexual. On Mother's Day, May 11th, he told her that they would never sleep together again. Gacy came home early in the morning, apologizing that he would be working long hours. Carole saw Gacy occasionally invite teenagers home to his garage. When she found porn magazines, John Wayne Gacy and Carole Hoff divorced in March 1976 by mutual agreement.
In January 1972, Gacy brought home a 15-year-old named Timothy Jack McCoy from the Chicago bus station. Gacy promised to drive him back to the bus station the next morning so that he could continue his bus journey to Omaha, Nebraska. Gacy later describes the following: When he woke up the next morning, he saw Timothy hurt himself with a knife and arm. A fight ensued in which Gacy grabbed the knife and stabbed Timothy McCoy. Afterwards, Gacy saw that Timothy apparently only wanted to use the knife for breakfast because there was an unopened pack of ham next to the pan. Gacy brought the body to his basement and poured cement over it. In 1974, a teenager became Gacy's second victim. The 15 to 17 year old was never identified. He was strangled by Gacy and buried in his garden.
Many school and college students were employed in Gacy's construction companies due to the increasing number of orders. One day, one of Anthony Antonucci's assistants reported sick. When Gacy visited him, he gagged the 15-year-old, who was able to free himself. When Gacy later visited Anthony again to rape him, the athletic wrestler overpowered Anthony Gacy and gagged him again. It was only when Gacy screamed and promised to go if he freed him that Antonucci released him again.
On July 29, 1975, another employee from Gacy's company disappeared - 17-year-old John Butkovitch. The angry boy visited Gacy because wages were still open for a few weeks. Gacy then overpowered the boy, gagged and strangled him. He later buried his body in his basement. The boy's father called a few days later and asked if he had seen his son - he knew about his boy's visit to Gacy. The serial killer told the father that the boy left after talking about the open salary and that he regretted that his son had run away. Butkovitch's parents found the story untrustworthy and called the police over 100 times in three years. However, this did not respond because they were from a boy who only ran away from home.
In July 1975, Gacy hired 18-year-old David Cram. A few weeks later, Cram moved into Gacy's house. The following day, Cram was gagged by Gacy and handcuffed. Gacy then said that he would rape him. However, just like Anthony Antonucci, Cram was sporty and physically strong, spent among other things one year at U.S. Army. Cram kicked Gacy in the face and freed himself from his handcuffs. A month later, Gacy returned to his guest room to sexually abuse him. However, Cram struggled again and quit Gacy's company. Apparently, neither Anthony nor David have filed a police complaint against Gacy. There would not have been many subsequent murders.
Many more children and adolescents will disappear in the next months and years until 1978, and there are constant reports of missing parents. However, the police do not respond. It was too common for children to run away from home, the police said. What an ordeal for the parents, who mostly knew that their child would never run away from home! Most of the time there were no obvious connections to Gacy. The parents who accused Gacy of hiding something were stopped by the police - there was no evidence against the multiple serial killer. The teenagers who survived mostly kept the secret - the secret of an attempted or successful rape by a serial killer. However, if the police had read the Gacy police file, they would have received an important clue from his past - the prison stay for sodomy in December 1968. It can therefore be rightly said that the police are also at fault.
How could countless bodies in John Wayne Gacy's house go undetected over a period of many years? Incredible but true. The evidence that condensed that Gacy could be associated with all of the missing young people did not come from a surviving victim. They came through the parents of the last missing person, Robert Piest. Robert Piest was last seen alive in the Des Plaines pharmacy on December 11, 1978.
The salesman Phil Torf, who knew Gacy, saw how he talked to the 15-year-old. The next day Robert Piest was gone. Robert Piest's parents were able to prove by their credibility that their son would not have been able to run away from home. Her son Robert just wanted to give photos to develop in the pharmacy. Due to the increasing missing persons reports, the police then asked Gacy about Robert Piest. Gacy testified that he had never spoken to him. Phil Torf, the owner of the pharmacy, clearly stated that he saw Gacy with Robert Piest in his pharmacy that day. After a house search at Gacy, countless objects were found that did not belong to Gacy and suspected him. The ring of a victim with his initials and - the main indication - the parka by Robert Piest with the photo coupon from the Des Plaines pharmacy, issued on December 11, 1978. At the same time, the police received a call from Gacy's former employee Michael Rossi. He testified that young Charles Hattula, who was found dead in the Des Plaines River the previous year, was also an employee of Gacy. In addition, Michael Rossi had to pour several hundredweight of lime into Gacy's basement, which seemed strange to him.
On December 19, two detectives visited Gacy. One of the detectives noticed a musty smell coming from the bathroom. The policeman had experience with corpses and knew what the smell was: the smell of a decayed corpse. From then on, Gacy was guarded every step of the way. However, the house was not ransacked, so the police were tied up. They could only monitor and question him. Gacy enjoyed talking to the police on these occasions and even invited them home to drink a little alcohol. A two-faced psychopath who started playing with fire.
During a second house search, which was finally granted by the public prosecutor because of the missing Robert Piest, police found the first body parts in the basement. John Wayne Gacy, previously arrested for marijuana possession, was now suspected of murder. Over the next few weeks, corpses from Gacy's basement came to light. Several weeks passed before the entire foundation of Gacy's house was searched. A total of about 30 victims were found. On February 6, 1980, Gacy was found guilty of 33 murders. Gacy pleaded innocent and wanted to convince doctors and coroners that he was suffering from a multiple personality disorder and was therefore not accountable. However, on March 13, 1980, the court granted Gacy full responsibility. He was sentenced to death twelve times.
John Wayne Gacy was taken to the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill on May 10, 1994 by helicopter. Here he received a lethal lethal injection. His last words were: "Kiss my ass".