John Wayne Gacy Admits To Killing More Than 24 Young Men – 12/22/1978

US History |


John Wayne Gacy admits he killed more than 24 teenage boys and some young men before covering their remains in his suburban Chicago apartment today in 1978. Gacy was sentenced to death on March of 1980, on 33 sex-related murders he committed from 1972-1978 in Cook County, Illinois. At the time, he was tagged the worst serial killer throughout modern American history before George Ridgway popularly known as Green River Killer became the most wanted serial killer in modern American history and surpassed Gacy in November 2003. He confessed to killing 48 women in the Pacific Northwest.

Born John Wayne Gacy, Jr. on March 17, 1942 in Illinois, as the only son of three children to a war veteran named John Stanley Gacy. Apparently, he seemed to have come from a working class family and it was reported that Gacy also suffered some health issues growing up while his father was an alcoholic and abusive man. He married in September of 1964, to Marlynn Myers and later moved to Iowa with his wife to manage his in-law's three Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. During the time the couple lived in Iowa, his wife gave birth to their first child Michael in 1966 and another daughter Christine the following year. He was accused of sexually assaulting one of his male employees, and on December 3, 1968, Gacy was sentenced to 10 years in prison and on that same day, his wife filed for divorce and sole custody of their children, which the court ruled in her favor. He was released for good behavior after serving only a fraction of his jail term.

After his release, Gacy moved back to Chicago, where he began a contracting business and remarried. However, the once decent young man who had a happy family and ran a successful business was living a double life. He killed his first victim in 1972. Among those he killed are male prostitutes and teenagers who were employees in his company. He would deceive his victims to follow him back home where he would trick them into being cuffed or tying a rope around their necks. After he had lured them into doing what he wanted, he would choke them with chloroform and then rape, torture and murder them. Being a well-known figure in the community as well as a clown who entertained sick children, all his evil acts went unnoticed.

In December 1978, Gacy came under suspicion after officials who were investigating the sudden disappearance of Robert Piest found that the young boy was last seen with him. Realizing that he was once convicted for sex-related offences, police began a search on his apartment in his Norwood Park home, they noticed a strong odor coming from a corner of the house but thought it was from a damaged sewage pipe. Several items were recovered from his apartment including a store receipt that linked him to Piest's murder and other men who were reported missing. After Gacy admitted to killing the missing boy, the police uncovered 29 corpses buried on his property alongside another four bodies he threw in nearby rivers when there was no room in his house again.

Gacy spent 14 years on Death Row after his conviction during the time, which he engaged in paintings of clowns and different figures that earned him thousands of dollars. Finally, the Killer Clown (the name given to him by the media) was executed by legal injection at the Stateville Penitentiary in Joliet, Illinois on May 10, 1994, after he had used all his appeals.

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