We’ve covered a lot of serial killers who were involved in wrongful death scenarios throughout the span of this series, but John Wayne Gacy is perhaps one of the most chilling killers. Throughout his terrible spree, Gacy took the lives of at least 33 young men, often times sexually assaulting them before committing the murder. Continuing on with our Wrongful Death Serial Series, this blog will go into more depth about Gacy’s origins, his crimes and the aftermath of those crimes.
Gacy’s childhood wasn’t an easy upbringing, he had an abusive childhood and even struggled with his sexuality, which no doubt contributed to his aggressive attitude later on. Gacy was molested by a family-friend but refused to tell his parents in fear of being blamed for the act by his hate-filled father.
When Gacy turned 23, he began attending Northwest Business College and graduated in the year 1963. After his time in college, he met his first wife, Marlynn Myers. Her father had purchased three Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in the area and Gacy eventually became the manager of those fast food restaurants.
John Gacy’s Adult Life and Crimes
In 1967, Gacy assaulted a 15-year-old boy while attempting to assault another younger boy. It was after this crime that Gacy was convicted of sodomy and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. After the incident, Gacy’s wife filed for divorce and he never saw her or his children ever again. Unfortunately, Gacy’s sentence was short lived. After just 18 months, he was released on parole.
Once released, Gacy purchased a home in Cook County, Iowa and reunited with a woman that he once dated in high school. Shortly after, they got married and she and her two children moved in with Gacy. At that time, Gacy was an active member of his community and worked for the Democratic Party as a clown. As a trusted employee apart of the Jolly Joker Clown Club, Gacy performed at Democratic parties, community events and even made appearances at children’s hospitals.
Only five years past from his first conviction that Gacy committed his next heinous crime. Gacy picked up and murdered a 16-year-old-boy and buried him in the crawl space under his home. From that point on, Gacy continued cruising around in search for young boys to pick up, torture and murder on his free time. He used a handcuff trick where he would attempt to get his victim to willingly put handcuffs on.
Gacy’s wife divorced him as his disappearances became more noticeable, though she did not know that he was out committing murders.
Capture and Confessions
Gacy eventually confessed to his crimes in 1978; he told the authorities that he had murdered 23 teenage boys. He also confessed to burying them in the crawl space underneath his home. He was found guilty of 33 murders, sexual assault and indecent liberties with a child, and was sentenced to death by lethal injection on May 10th, 1994.
The wrongful death cases we’ve covered before are without a doubt horrific, but and Gacy’s is no different. It’s unknown to us whether any of the victims’ families ever filed for wrongful death.