John Wayne Gacy

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John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994) was an American serial killer also known as the Killer Clown who committed the rape and murder of 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. Twenty-six of Gacy's victims were buried in the crawlspace of his home, three others elsewhere on his property and four victims were discarded in a nearby river.

Gacy became known as the "Killer Clown" due to his charitable services at fundraising events, parades and children's parties where he would dress as "Pogo the Clown," a character he devised himself.

Contents

Early life

John Wayne Gacy was born in Chicago, Illinois, the only son and the second of three children born of John Samuel Gacy (June 20, 1900 – December 25, 1969), a machinist, and Marion Elaine (née Robinson; May 4, 1908 – December 14, 1989).[1][2][3] Gacy was of Polish and Danish heritage.[4] As a child, he was both overweight and nonathletic. He was close to his two sisters and mother (who affectionately called him "Johnny"),[5] but was regularly disciplined by his father — an alcoholic who was physically abusive toward his wife and children[6] — with a leather belt.[7] Gacy continuously strove to please his father, but seldom received his approval; the elder Gacy regularly belittled him, often calling him a "sissy",[5][8] "stupid" and a "Mama's boy".[7] At the age of nine, Gacy was molested by a family friend.[7] When he was 11, he was struck on the forehead by a swing. The resulting head trauma formed a blood clot in his brain that went unnoticed until he was 16, when he began to suffer blackouts. His father suspected the episodes were an effort to gain sympathy and accused his son of faking.[9] Gacy was prescribed medication to dissolve the clot.[10][11] Gacy attended four different high schools but dropped out of every one, never actually graduating. At the age of 20, following an argument with his father, Gacy left home and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he worked in a mortuary for three months before returning to Chicago.[12] Without returning to high school, Gacy enrolled in and eventually graduated from Northwestern Business College.[13][14] He obtained a management-trainee position with the Nunn-Bush Shoe Company shortly after graduation. In 1964, Gacy was transferred to Springfield, Illinois to work as a salesman.[12] There he met co-worker Marlynn Myers, and they married in September 1964. After completing his apprenticeship, Gacy was promoted to manager of his department. He became active in local Springfield organizations, joining the Jaycees and rising to vice-president of the Springfield chapter by 1965.[15]

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