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John Wayne Gacy

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John Wayne Gacy Jr.

John Gacy with First Lady Rosalynn Carter in May 1978, before his arrest for murder
Born March 17, 1942
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died May 10, 1994 (aged 52)
Crest Hill, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Salesman
Restaurant manager
Spouse Marlynn Myers
(m. 1964–1968, divorced)
Carole Hoff
(m. 1972–1976, divorced)
Children Son and daughter

John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942– May 10, 1994), also known as The Killer Clown, was an American serial killer. He is confirmed to have killed 33 young men and boys. He would often kill them in a brutal way and bury their bodies in or near his Chicago home.

Gacy became known as the "Killer Bole" because he would dress as a clown for fundraising events and parades. In March 1980, Gacy was convicted of 33 sex-related murders, committed between 1972 and 1978, and given the death penalty. He was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994.

Early life

John Wayne Gacy, Jr. was born on March 17, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, to father John Stanley Gacy and mother Marion Elaine Gacy.[1] Gacy's father was a World War I veteran and a machinist, while his mother worked at home.[2]:25[3]:195 He had two sisters, one younger and one older.

Gacy's father was an alcoholic. Growing up, John Gacy, Sr. would verbally and physically abuse his children.[4]:22 Gacy also had health problems in his youth. For example, in 1953, while playing on a swing set, Gacy hit his head off a swing and suffered a blood clot. The clot was not treated until he was 16.[5]chapter one

After dropping out of high school in his senior year, Gacy moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, to work in a mortuary. Three months later, Gacy returned to Chicago, where he enrolled in and graduated from Northwestern Business College.[2]:51 After graduating, Gacy worked as a shoe salesman for the Nunn-Bush Shoe Company. In 1964, Gacy was transferred to Springfield, Illinois, where he met Marlynn Myers. The couple married in September 1964.[3]:195

In Springfield, Gacy was involved in community organizations such as the United States Junior Chamber. He became the vice-president of the Springfield chapter by 1965.[1]

Move to Iowa

After Gacy's father made him an offer to manage three KFC restaurants, Gacy and his wife moved to Waterloo, Iowa, where they had a son and daughter.[6]

In 1968, Gacy was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.

Popular culture



  • Buried Dreams: Inside the Mind of Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy, written by Tim Cahill (ISBN 1-85702-084-7).
  • Johnny and Me: The True Story of John Wayne Gacy, written by Barry Boschelli (ISBN 1-4343-2184-3).
  • Killer Clown: the John Wayne Gacy Murders, written by Terry Sullivan and Peter T. Maiken (ISBN 0-7860-1422-9).
  • The Last Victim: A True-Life Journey into the Mind of the Serial Killer, written by Jason Moss and Jeffrey Kottler, Ph.D (ISBN 0-7535-0398-0).
  • The Man Who Killed Boys, written by Clifford L. Linedecker (ISBN 0-312-95228-7).
  • John Wayne Gacy: Defending A Monster, written by Sam L. Amirante and Danny Broderick (ISBN 1-616-08248-8).



  • Stephen Gregory Bier Jr., Marilyn Manson's keyboard player from 1989 to 2007, was known as Madonna Wayne Gacy, a stage name made from the names of Madonna and Wayne Gacy.
  • Sufjan Stevens tells John Wayne Gacy Jr.'s story in his song "John Wayne Gacy Jr."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kneeland, Douglas E. (January 10, 1979). "Suspect in Mass Deaths Is Puzzle to All". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2011. (subscription needed)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cahill, Tim (1986). Buried dreams: inside the mind of a serial killer. Bantam Books. ISBN 0553051156 .
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jackson, Kenneth T.; Karen Markoe, Arnie Markoe (2000). The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives: 1994–1996. Charles Scribner's Sons. ISBN 0684806444 .
  4. Hillard, Terry G.; Jurkanin, Thomas Joseph (2006). Chicago police: an inside view—the story of superintendent Terry G. Hillard. Charles C Thomas Publisher. ISBN 0398076111 .
  5. Bell, Rachael; Bardsley, Marilyn. "John Wayne Gacy Jr.". truTV. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  6. Connelly, Joel. "Bachmann mixes up John Wayne, John Wayne Gacy". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  7. "To Catch a Killer (1992)". Yahoo!. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  8. "Gacy (2003)". Allrovi. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  9. "Dear Mr. Gacy (2010)". Allrovi. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  10. "8213: Gacy House (2010)". Allrovi. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  11. Iverson, Dan (October 26, 2006). "South Park: "Hell on Earth 2006" review". IGN. Retrieved July 18, 2011.

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