Also known as the Killer Clown for his charitable work dressed as “Pogo the Clown” at events, fundraisers and children’s parties in the Chicago, Illinois area of the United States. Between 1972 and 1978 managed to kill a minimum of 33 teenage boys and young men in a series of murders usually involving a sexual assault and death by asphyxiation or strangulation. Gacy managed to bury 26 of his victims in his own home before his arrest in december 1978. He was eventually convicted of 33 murders and sentenced to death on March 13, 1980. After a period of 14 years on death row was finally executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10th, 1994.
Born in 1942 in Chicago, the son of Danish and Polish parents, Gacy and his siblings grew up with a drunken father who would regularly beat the children with a razor strap if they misbehaved, and due to a congenital heart condition was further alienated by his inability to play with other children. Gacy experienced great turmoil over his sexuality only later admitting to being attracted to men. He was first convicted in 1968 and given a 10 year prison sentence in relation to the sexual assault of two teenage boys. Released on parole in 1970 was arrested again the following year after another boy accused Gacy of sexual assault. The charges were eventually dropped but by the mid seventies was further accused by two more young males of rape. It was in this period that Gacy would be questioned by police about the disappearances of others. It was later discovered that he had committed his first killing in 1972.
Trial and Execution. John Wayne Gacy was brought to trial for the murders on February the 6th, 1980 and charged with 33 murders. Gacy had attempted to convince the doctors that he was suffering from a multiple personality disorder and his lawyers opted to plead not guilty by reason of insanity with three psychiatric experts testifying that Gacy was a paranoid schizophrenic with a multiple personality disorder. The prosecutions case was that Gacy was sane and fully in control of his actions with further witnesses testifying to his ability and premeditated actions and efforts he went to in order to escape detection. The jury deliberated for two hours before they returned the verdict, and Gacy was sentenced to death for the twelve counts of murder upon which the prosecution had sought. On the morning of Gacy’s execution in May 9th 1994 he was transferred from Menard Correctional Center to Stateville Correctional Center to be executed by lethal injection. Before the execution had begun, the chemicals used for the procedure had unexpectedly solidified, clogging the IV tube into Gacy’s arm which complicated the process further. This error apparently led to the state of Illinois’ alternative method of lethal injection. Gacy was eventually put to death and was confirmed at 12:58 am on May 10th 1994. His brain was then removed and later examined in an attempt to isolate common personality traits of violent sociopaths. An examination of Gacy’s brain after the execution revealed no abnormalities.