John Wayne Gacy, Jr. was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1942. Gacy had an apparently normal childhood and as an adult, he was liked and respected by most people who knew him. He was considered generous, friendly, and hard working. Gacy even married, twice, and fathered two children, a son and a daughter. However, he had a dark side that some 30 young men had the unfortunate opportunity to witness.
The first hints of Gacy’s deviant behavior became apparent in the late ’60’s. Gacy was indicted in May 1968 by a grand jury in Black Hawk County for allegedly committing the act of sodomy with a teenage boy. Gacy received ten years at the Iowa State Reformatory for men. During his time in prison, his first wife divorced him and his father died. He was paroled, 18-months after entering and left prison on June 18, 1970. It is believed that John Wayne Gacy’s first murder took place in 1972.
Following the first victim, a killing spree lasting approximately three years began. Gacy would muffle the screams of his victims by stuffing items such as paper towels and the victims’ own underwear. After the victim was quieted, the sadistic torture would begin. Gacy would violently rape and torture his victims using dildos, handcuffs, drugs, and other items. The victims totaled over 30 in number. Twenty-seven bodies were discovered in a crawl space underneath Gacy’s Illinois home. Other bodies were discovered in the Illinois River, and still other bodies were excavated from other areas on Gacy’s property. All but nine of the victims were eventually identified.
On December 13, 1978, police entered John Wayne Gacy, Jr.’s house. A vast number of items were collected, including handcuffs, an 18-inch rubber dildo, marijuana, a hypodermic syringe and needle, and a small brown bottle, later to be used as evidence against Gacy. On Friday, December 22, 1978, Gacy finally confessed to police that he killed at least thirty people. On February 24, 1979, the defense began its proceedings. The prosecution reminded the jury of the heinous crimes committed by Gacy, talked of his manipulative behavior, his rape, and torture of the victims and how his crimes were premeditated and planned. The defense insisted that Gacy was insane, out of control at the time of the killings, and pointed to the testimony given by experts during the trial. After five weeks of testimony from over 100 witnesses, the jury announced its verdict after only two hours of deliberations. Guilty!