John Wayne Gacy and then First Lady Rosalyn Carter

John Wayne Gacy and First Lady Rosalyn Carter

By White House photographer -, Public Domain,

John Wayne Gacy

The Killer Clown


A successful businessman, well-known and liked by the community, John Wayne Gacy is the epitome of a psychopathic serial killer.

Gacy enjoyed throwing street parties where he entertained with his magical acts, dressed up as “Pogo the Clown”.  He was active within the Democratic Party, having his photo taken with First Lady Rosalyn Carter.  In between these activities, he managed a construction company, often employing teenage boys and young men, as they were cheap and hardworking labourers.  His business became quite successful; Gacy lived in a “middle-class” house in the Chicago suburbs.
Married, successful, and well-liked Gacy had more than most could ever want, yet there were much more sinister prospects on his mind.  Ones that he kept hidden from the world for years.

“Kiss my ass.”
— Gacy's final words before execution

From 1972, Gacy lured young men and teen boys back to his residence, most of whom either had worked for his construction company or were connected to it.  There he coerced or forced them into handcuffs behind their backs, sometimes as part of a “magic act”, before ultimately taking advantage, raping and strangling his victims.  Most found with their own underwear shoved down their throats.

In 1978, the world would discover the extent of John Wayne Gacy’s depravity.  Confessing to nearly 30 murders in December 1978, he told authorities how there were dozens of bodies in his house.  Later that month, police unearthed 27 young male bodies from Gacy’s property.  So tightly packed in the mass grave The Killer Clown had been producing for close to 7 years, there could no longer fit any new victims.
His confessions led police to the bridge where his most recent 5 victims were thrown into the Des Plaines River – only 4 of these victims were ever recovered.

Another body was recovered buried in his backyard, and a further buried under the concrete in his garage.

John Wayne Gacy went to trial in 1980, charged with 33 murders.  He received 12 death sentences, one for each murder committed after the death penalty in Illinois was reinstated in 1976 and 21 counts of life in prison.

His execution took place 9th May 1994, by method of lethal injection.


List of all Gacy's confirmed victims

List of all Gacy's confirmed victims

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