The Nightmare closet

John Wayne Gacy

(Killings between 1972 and 1978)

A respected member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, a precinct captain in the local Democratic party, the owner of a contracting business and a performing joker at children's parties, John Wayne Gacy is as normal as they come.


He came to be known as one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history.

Gacy was born on March 17th, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. His father was an abusive alcoholic who degraded him, but he got along well with his mother and two sisters. He developed a blood clot on the brain stemming from an accidental head injury as a child and suffered from blackouts. 


He later got married and had two kids, but his wife left him when he was arrested for trying to coerce a fellow employee into homosexual acts. He was always surrounded by young boys and supposedly made passes at the ones that worked under him. In 1968, he was indicted for committing sodomy to a minor named Mark Miller. Miller told the court that Gacy tricked him into being tied up at Gacy's house and raped him. Gacy defended himself by saying that Miller willingly had sex with him for money and that Jaycee members against his campaign were trying to set him up.


A few months later, he was charged with hiring a man named Dwight Andersson to beat up Mark Miller. He offered three hundred dollars to Andersson to lure Miller to his car, drive him out of town, and spray mace in his eyes before beating him. However, Miller fought back, breaking Andersson's nose and running to safety. Andersson was arrested and told the police about Gacy hiring him. Gacy was ordered to have a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he was competent to stand trial. Gacy was found to be antisocial, but competent to go to trial, pleading guilty to the sodomy charges. Gacy was given ten years at the Iowa State Reformatory and his wife divorced him. In prison, he was well-behaved and given parole after eighteen months. On June 18, 1970, Gacy was released and moved back to his hometown of Chicago.




In 1972, Gacy married a woman named Carole Hoff, who was aware of his crimes, yet believed he had changed. Carole had two daughters and they moved into Gacy's new home. The neighbors began to notice a terrible odor in the house, but Gacy blamed it on a moisture buildup in the crawlspace. In 1974, he started a business called PDM Contractors, which performed painting and maintenance tasks. All of his employees were young teenage boys and Gacy justified it by saying that it kept costs down. However, Gacy was frequently attempting to seduce the boys and his homosexual desires slowly made Carole drift away from him.


By 1975, Gacy and his wife were no longer having sex and Gacy became very unpredictable. He would frequently have tantrums and throw things around the house. He was rarely home at night and Carole found magazines with naked men and boys laying around. Gacy admitted that he liked boys more than women and they divorced in 1976. Gacy started taking on jobs as "Pogo the Clown" to entertain children and was given a job as secretary-treasurer in the street lighting commission. Gacy continued to cause problems with his sexual advances, approaching a young boy named Tony Antonucci who fought his advances with a chair. A month later, Gacy attempted to handcuff the boy and undress him at his house, but the boy wrestled loose and handcuffed Gacy, making him promise that he would never touch him again. Gacy began to cause more problems when boys that worked for him started disappearing. A number of his employees had gone missing before the police brought him in for questioning. Gacy denied any knowledge of the boys' whereabouts, but the police ran a background check and, finding the sodomy charges, obtained a search warrant for Gacy's house.


 On December 13, 1978, the police entered his house and found plenty of incriminating evidence such as child pornography, handcuffs, rubber dildos, and ropes. After being unable to charge Gacy on anything other than drug possession, the police did some intense interrogations and began to discover that some of the evidence had belonged to the boys that disappeared. They questioned Gacy further, who admitted that he had killed someone in self-defense and buried them beneath his garage.


The police eventually found nearly thirty bodies on Gacy's property, as well as several others in nearby areas, such as the river. Police discovered a total of thirty-three bodies and Gacy's trial began on February 6, 1980. Gacy was found guilty after a short trial and sentenced to death by lethal injection. On May 10, 1994, after a failed appeal, he was executed, ending a criminal legacy that horrified the nation.


"A clown can get away with murder." ~ John Wayne Gacy