John Wayne Gacy: Portrait of a Killer


Though John Wayne Gacy was executed in 1994, his story still strikes fear in many. In total, Gacy murdered 33 young men, and hid the majority of them underneath his home. After his execution, Gacy’s brain was extracted and studied in hopes of finding what would make a person commit such hideous crimes. However, nothing physically out of the ordinary was discovered. This leaves us to examine his life for clues.

The Childhood of John Wayne Gacy

By all accounts, John Wayne Gacy had a normal childhood. One of three children, he was raised as a Catholic, and lived a life similar to other boys. He had a paper route, and was active in the Boy Scouts. Where he did differ from some is that he was plagued by health problems. These included a blood clot in his brain that was the result of a swing set accident at the age of 11, and a heart ailment that was never completely diagnosed.

Though he seemed to get along fine with his Mother and siblings, Gacy Wayne had a strained relationship with his alcoholic father. The father was said to have been verbally abusive to his children, and physically abusive to his wife. While other children throughout the world experience similar situations, and never harm anyone, it is possible that this could be one of the reasons that Gacy Wayne murdered.

The Adult John Wayne Gacy

As an adult, Gacy graduated from college, had a steady job, and was very active in his community. He married Marlynn Myers in September, 1964. The couple had two children, one girl, and one boy. At this point, John Wayne Gacy Jr. seemingly was leading the typical American normal life.

Despite this, rumors regarding the sexual preference of John Wayne Gacy began to circulate due to the fact that he always surrounded himself with young boys. Soon, the rumors were confirmed. Gacy plead guilty to sodomizing a young boy by the name of Mark Miller, and was sentenced to 10 years of prison at the age of 26. It was during this time that Gacy’s wife filed for divorce.

John Wayne Gacy – The Monster

Gacy only served 18 months in prison, and once released, moved in with his Mother for a short period of time. It was his mother that helped him purchase the home that would eventually become infamous, 8213 West Summerdale Avenue. This home was recently featured in the movie, 8213 Gacy House.

johnwaynegacy187Soon after, Gacy made another attempt at a normal life. He took a job as a chef, and married again, this time to Carol Hoff. Hoff was well aware of Gacy’s past, but felt that he had changed. For three years the couple lived a normal life, with Gacy hosting many neighborhood parties. It was at some of these parties that Gacy dressed as “Pogo the Clown.”

Carol Huff filed for divorce in 1976. Gacy’s moods had become erratic, and Huff had found Gacy’s pornographic magazine collection which was all centered around young boys. Gacy admitted to Huff that this is what his sexual preference was, and soon Huff was gone from his life.

After this, young boys around town started to disappear one by one. Gacy was not a suspect until he abducted a 15 year old boy who had told his mother that he had a job interview with Gacy scheduled on the day of his disappearance. Armed with this information, the police were able to obtain a warrant, and searched Gacy’s home. Despite finding disturbing items such as child pornography, police badges, handcuffs, and boy’s clothing, police did not have enough evidence to immediately arrest Gacy Wayne.

Suspecting that Gacy was involved with the disappearance, he was detained on a marijuana charge, and this bought police the time they needed to begin to piece together the evidence they needed. They likely had no idea the magnitude of what they would discover.

John Wayne Gacy Exposed

As evidence started to mount, Gacy confessed to killing a young man in self-defense, and burying him under his garage. Once Gacy was informed that digging for this body had taken place at his home, he began confessing all of his crimes.

Gacy confessed to at least thirty murders, all which included violently raping the victims. He confessed to burying most of his victims under his home, but also told authorities that when he had begun to run out of room, he disposed of some bodies in a nearby river.

When all was said and done, the death toll was 33. The majority of the remains were identified. However, nine were not. Gacy went to trial, and was found guilty on all counts. He was executed by means of lethal injection in May of 1994.



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