The terrifying actual story of serial killer John Wayne Gacy is now streaming on Netflix. True-crime enthusiasts will be fascinated.
Joe Berlinger, who directed Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and Lily James and Zac Efron’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, devised the three-part series.
He produced Netflix documentaries Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich and Murder Among the Mormons. Berlinger directed Netflix’s Confronting a Serial Killer and Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.
John Wayne Gacy—About
Chicago serial killer and sex offender John Wayne Gacy Gacy killed 33 young men in Cook County, Illinois, between 1972 and 1976. In Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes, Gacy claimed to have committed all his killings in his Norridge, Chicago home. He lured victims to his house and raped and tortured them before killing them.
26 victims were recovered in his vacant crawl area and three others around the property. Four are found in the Des Plaines River.
Gacy was dubbed “The Killer Clown” for his clowning at children’s hospitals and charity events. He graduated from Northwestern Business College in 1963 after working at a Las Vegas mortuary. He managed Nunn-Bush Shoe Company in Springfield, Illinois, and KFC.
Gacy was a prominent member of the Illinois and Iowa Jaycees, a civic and leadership training organization.
He had served 18 months of a 10-year sentence for sodomy in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1968.
After prison, Gacy returned to Chicago and founded PDM Contractors, a part-time construction company specializing in “Painting, Decorating, and Maintenance,” in 1974. He hired primarily high schoolers and young men.
In 1972, Gacy murdered 16-year-old Timothy McCoy. In Conversations With A Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes, Gacy’s victims were seduced with promises of PDM jobs, drinks, refuge, or money for sex.
In 1969, Gacy divorced Marlynn Myers, his first wife. A judge granted her full custody of their two small children. He killed 30 persons after divorcing Carole Hoff in 1976.
After 15-year-old Robert Piest disappeared, Des Plaines police captured him on December 21, 1978.
After Phil Torf, the drugstore owner where Piest worked, listed Gacy as a contractor who had visited his store, Lieutenant Joseph Kozenczak and his crew from the Des Plaines Police Department investigated Gacy.
Piest’s mother and coworkers said a contractor wanted to talk to him about a job after his shift.
After a regular check of Gacy’s criminal history—a sodomy conviction and Chicago battery charge—Kozenczack visited Gacy, who denied offering Piest a job at PDM and meeting with him.
Gacy denied involvement in Piest’s disappearance at the local police station. Kozenczack sought a search warrant for Gacy’s residence, thinking Piest was being detained against his will and found handcuffs, a revolver, a syringe, sex toys, and porn. Also found were several driver’s licenses. Police also monitored Gacy.
Gacy’s kitchen had a Nisson Pharmacy photo receipt from Piest’s 17-year-old employee Kimberly Byers. She left the receipt in Piest’s jacket.
Byers told authorities she remembered a man entering the pharmacy on the eve of his disappearance requesting to speak with him, contradicting Gacy’s assertions he had never encountered Piest.
On December 20, 1978, Gacy confessed to his lawyer that he had slain Piest during a legal case against the Des Plaines police for their surveillance. He also admitted to killing 30 men.
While awaiting a second search warrant to find Piest’s body, surveillance cops followed Gacy, who was acting abnormally. After finding cannabis at a petrol station, they arrested Gacy for possession and distribution.
While in prison, the police found human remains in Gacy’s crawl space. On December 22, 1978, he admitted to murdering 30 young guys.
Gacy acknowledged killing Piest and dumping his body in Des Plaines River on December 13. He gave officials a precise map of his home’s tombs.
On February 6, 1980, Gacy’s 33-murder trial began. He claimed four personas and pleaded insanity. The prosecution said Gacy was sane and wanted to kill.
33 murders convicted Gacy on March 13, 1980. In relation to Piest, he was found guilty of sexual assault and child indecency.
He was taken to Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Illinois, for execution.
Is John Wayne Gacy Alive?
Gacy died. Lethal injection killed him at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10, 1994. Despite a June 2, 1980 execution date, Gacy spent 14 years on death row. He lost all his death row appeals.