Born on March 17, 1942 to a blue-collar family in Chicago, John Gacy’s childhood was rough. John and his siblings grew up with an alcoholic father who did not hesitate to beat his children with a razor strap anytime he thought they misbehaved. He would often physically assault his wife too.
According to Karen Gacy, sister of John Gacy, the siblings eventually learned to withstand the abuse. John was alienated at school, partly because he suffered from congenital heart condition that made him unable to play with other kids. Later on he discovered that he was attracted to men, and endured inner turmoil over it.
At the high points of his life, John Gacy was a successful self-made building contractor and active figure in political organization. He would also perform as Pogo the Clown at charitable events and children’s parties. Underneath the sociable character, however, there was one of the most prolific serial killers in the United States, the Killer Clown.
John Gacy was convicted of the murder and r*pe of 33 victims. He took the life of his first victim in 1972, and would carry out a rampage of more murders until his arrest in 1978.
The discovery of his crimes shocked the suburban Chicago community where he lived and was actually known as a rather respectable member of the society.
It was later discovered that he sometimes dressed as “Pogo the Clown” when he killed his victims, hence the moniker. These are some shocking stories about him.
10 At Least 33 Lives He Took
The term “serial killings” is defined as a series of three or more killings with enough common characteristics to suggest reasonable possibility that the same actor or actors committed the crimes. By that definition, John Gacy was a serial killer 11 times over. A murder is one of the most heinous crimes a person could possibly commit, but it wasn’t enough for John Gacy as he also tortured his victims.
The identified victims and their age when they were reported missing:
– Timothy McCoy (16) – Kenneth Parker (16) – Russell Nelson (21)
– John Butkovitch (17) – Michael Marino (14) – Robert Winch (16)
– Darrell Sampson (18) – William Bundy (19) – Tommy Boling (20)
– Randall Reffett (15) – Gregory Godzik (17) – David Talsma (19)
– Samuel Stapleton (14) – John Szyc (19) – William Kindred (19)
– Michael Bonnin (17) – Jon Prestidge (20) – Timothy O’Rourke (20)
– William Carroll (16) – Matthew Bowman (19) – Frank Landingin (19)
– James Byron Haakenson (16) – Robert Gilroy (18) – James Mazzara (20)
– Rick Johnston (17) – John Mowery (19) – Robert Piest (15)
Not every victim of John Gacy’s crimes has been identified.