Everybody loves a clown. At least, back in the day, they did.
Before clowns became the icon of horror, the creepy colorful killers that have stalked the nightmares of kids and adults alike were still weird but were generally well-liked.
Clowns maintained a family-friendly image for a while, up until one particular clown started doing the least funny things imaginable: rape and murder.
John Wayne Gacy, aka “Pogo the Clown” or sometimes “Patches the Clown,” was an American serial killer and sex offender who was mainly active throughout the mid to late 70s.
During most of his killings, his public face was that of an entertainer. But behind the makeup was a psycho, who was plain to see.
Gacy started a legacy of terror in media, the original Killer Clown, who ended up inspiring large swaths of horror genre fiction.
10 Not All In The Name
Gacy grew up in an abusive household. His father beat him frequently, and his mother and mentally scarred him. He was also sexually abused by a family friend when he was a child.
Over the years, he developed health problems, grew up as an unhealthy child, and was kept under the strict heel of his father’s disappointment.
9 First Of Many
Gacy’s first acknowledged assault occurred in 1967. While in Waterloo, Iowa, he managed a KFC that his wife’s father owned.
He demanded that people he catered for called him “Colonel” to gain the recognition that he had been denied from his home life. He sexually assaulted the son of a fellow Jaycee member after inviting them to his house.
He continued to solicit teenagers, all boys, to his home to force them to engage in oral sex with him until one finally reported Gacy to his father. After much contention, Gacy was indicted.