“John Wayne Gacy Meet Your Fate”
Born on St Patrick’s Day 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, John Wayne Gacy, Jr had a troubled childhood. After getting a business degree, he moved to Springfield, Illinois, where he met and, in September 1964, married Marlynn Myers. They relocated to Waterloo, Iowa where Gacy became manager of the local Kentucky Fried Chicken branch. At the end of 1968 Gacy was sent to the Iowa State Penitentiary for ten years for sodomizing two boys, aged 16 and 15. During his time inside his wife divorced him and he never saw her or his two children again.
Released, he worked a shoe salesman and then as a building contractor. In 1971 he bought a house in Norwood Park, a suburb of Chicago. The house had a 1.2-m (4-ft) deep crawl space under the floor. In June 1972 he married Carole Hoff, a mother of two, but on 22 June he was arrested after a young man said that Gacy had raped him. Carole Gacy noticed a smell coming from the crawl space but Gacy blamed it on a broken sewer pipe and put down lime to cover the odour.
In 1975, Gacy began his own business, PDM Contractors, a building firm. The Gacys divorced in March 1976, around the time he found work performing as Pogo the Clown at charity functions. In December 1977 Gacy was accused of raping a 19-year-old young man but Gacy claimed that the teenager was a rent boy and the dispute was over his fee. On 13 December of the next year the police searched Gacy’s home after Robert Piest, a 15-year-old schoolboy, went missing.
One of the policemen had worked in a mortuary and recognized a familiar smell. In the crawl space under the house the police found the remains of seven boys and a further eight buried in the back garden. Gacy was found to have killed 33 boys and young men, but only 24 were ever identified. He had prowled the streets looking for victims, sometimes claiming he was a policeman, complete with flashing light on his car. Back at his home he would handcuff and torture the victims, putting their clothes in their mouths to stifle their screams, before killing them.
8213 West Summerdale Avenue, Norwood Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Monday 3 January 1972-Monday 11 December 1978
On 6 February 1980 Gacy’s trial began at the Cook County Criminal Courts Building in Chicago. He was found guilty on 13 March and sentenced to death. Gacy was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center, Crest Hill, Illinois on 10 May 1994. His last meal was a dozen deep-fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe chicken and fries from KFC, followed by fresh strawberries. Outside demonstrators chanted, “Justice, Justice, Not Too Late – John Wayne Gacy Meet Your Fate.”
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
John Gacy was active in the local Democratic Party and on 6 May 1978 he met and was photographed with the First Lady, Rosalynn Carter. She gave him a signed photograph and he was given a badge by the Secret Service to show he had been given special clearance.