John Wayne Gacy Jr. was an American serial killer and rapist. He sexually assaulted, tortured and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County, Illinois. Take a look below for 30 more strange and scary facts about John Wayne Gacy.
1. All of Gacy’s known murdered were committed inside his Norwood Park ranch home.
2. His victims were typically induced to his address by force or deception, and all but one of his victims were murdered by either asphyxiation or strangulation with a makeshift tourniquet; his first victim was stabbed to death.
3. Gacy buried 26 of his victims in his crawl space of his home.
4. Three of his victims were buried elsewhere on his property, while the bodies of his last four victims were discarded in the Des Plaines River.
5. Convicted of 33 murders, Gacy was sentenced to death on March 13, 1980, for 12 of those killings.
6. He spent 14 years on death row before he was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10, 1994.
7. Gacy became known as the “Killer Clown” because of his charitable services at fund-raising events, parades, and children’s parties, where he would dress as “Pogo the Clown” or “Patches the Clown,” characters he had devised.
8. Gacy was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 17, 1942, to John Stanley Gacy and Marion Elaine Robinson.
9. He had two sisters. His father was an auto repair machinist and World War I veteran.
10. His father was an abusive alcoholic and young Gacy had a very difficult relationship with him. His father would mercilessly beat him for no reason, and even rendered him unconscious on a few occasions.
11. His mother tried her best to protect John from his father, but to no avail.
12. Young Gacy was also sexually molested by a family friend.
13. He suffered from a heart condition, which is why he could never play sports. Overweight, he was often mocked by his neighborhood bullies. His bad health also prevented him from performing well at school.
14. His father’s abusive behavior continued to worsen with time, and tired of all the troubles at home, young Gacy left the family home and went to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1962.
15. In Nevada, he found work as a mortuary attendant.
16. During his time as a mortuary attendant, he hugged and caressed one of the dead bodies in the mortuary, and was shocked by his own behavior. Confused, he returned home to his parents.
17. When he returned, he enrolled in the Northwestern Business College from which he graduated in 1963.
18. In August, 1967, Gacy committed his first known sexual assault on a teenage boy. The victim was a 15 year old named Donald Voorhees, the son of a fellow Jaycee.
19. Gacy lured Voorhees to his house with the promise of showing him adult movies. Gacy plied Voorhees with alcohol and persuaded the young boy to perform oral sex on him.
20. Over the following months, several other young boys were sexually abused in a similar manner, including one who Gacy encouraged to have sex with his own wife before blackmailing him on performing oral sex on him.
21. Gacy tricked several teenagers into believing that he was commissioned with conducting homosexual experiments in the interests of “scientific research,” for which each were paid up to $50.
22. On January 2, 1972, Gacy picked up 16 year old Timothy Jack McCoy from Chicago’s Greyhound bus terminal. Gacy raped and killed McCoy, making him the first murder victim.
23. In an interview after his arrest, Gacy stated that immediately after killing McCoy, he felt “totally drained,” yet noted that he had experienced a mind-numbing orgasm as he killed the boy. He added: “That’s when I realized that death was the ultimate thrill.”
24. Gacy later stated that the second time he committed murder was around January, 1974. The victim is believed to have been an unidentified teenage youth with medium brown hair, estimated to be aged between 14 and 18 whom Gacy strangled before stowing the youth’s body in his closet prior to burial.
25. Gacy later stated that fluid leaked out of this youth’s mouth and nose as he was stored in his closet, staining his carpet. As a result of his experience, Gacy later stated that he regularly stuffed cloth rags or the victims’ own underwear in their mouths to prevent a recurrence of this incident.
26. By 1975, Gacy’s business was expanding rapidly; by his own later admission, he began working 12 and 16 hour days to fulfill agreed commitments upon an increasing number of contracts. Gacy freely admitted that 1975 was also the year in which he began to increase the frequency of his excursions for sex with young males. He would often refer to these jaunts as his “cruising.”
27. The majority of Gacy’s murderers were committed between 1976 and 1978, which he later referred to as his “cruising years” now that he had his house to himself, after divorcing his wife.
28. One month after his divorce was finalized, Gacy abducted and murdered an 18 year old teenager named Darrell Sampson. Sampson was last seen alive in Chicago on April 6, 1976.
29. On June 3, 1976, Gacy killed a 17 year old Lakeview youth named Michael Bonnin. He disappeared while traveling from Chicago to Waukegan, and was strangled with a ligature and buried in the crawl space.
30. On the morning of May 9, 1994, Gacy was transferred from the Menard Correctional Center to Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill to be executed. That afternoon, he was allowed a private picnic on the prison grounds with his family. For his last meal, Gacy ordered a bucket of KFC, a dozen fried shrimp, french fries, fresh strawberries, and a Diet Coke. That evening, he observed a prayer with a Catholic priest before being escorted to the Stateville execution chamber to receive a lethal injection.