John Wayne Gacy grew up with an alcoholic father who beat him and when he got old enough to leave, he drove to Las Vegas and became an attendant at a funeral home for three months, but he had to dip because he climbed into a coffin with a dead boy and fondled his corpse. He went to college, got married, joined a local Jaycee club and was managing KFCs. He eventually started his own business called PDM, but only hired boys and young men to work for him. Gacy was accused several times of sexually assaulting boys, but he still received clearance from the United States Secret Service and was photographed with the First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, oopsies!
John Wayne Gacy Jr. was born March 17th, 1942, in Chicago Illinois. Gacy and his siblings grew up with an alcholic father, John Sr. who beat them with a razor strap if they did anything wrong. A razor strap is a flexible strip of leather material that is used to straighten and polish the blade of a razor, knife, or chisel. The siblings all learned early on to toughen up and not cry during the beatings. In school, Gacy was very alienated. He was overweight, awkward and had a congenital heart condition that made it so he couldn't play with the other kids or participate in sports. He was bullied at school, but he was bullied worse at home by his father.
Gacy's father didn't believe in his illness, it was never diagnosed, and his father accused him of faking it to avoid school. During one of his beatings, his father knocked him unconscious with a broomstick. His father would also call him names, like sissy or mama's boy. At age 7, Gacy was caught fondling a young girl and his father whipped him with the razor strap, but made comments like, at least we know he's not queer. During this time, Gacy was actually being sexually abused by his father's coworker. He would take him for rides in his truck and would fondle him.
By age 9, Gacy was passing out at school often and kept being hospitalized. At age 11, Gacy suffered a blow to the head from a swing. Over the next five years, he had frequent blackouts and doctors ended up finding a clot in his brain that was removed with medications. As he got older, Gacy realized that he was attracted to men and this made his life even more difficult. When Gacy was in high school, he had appendicitis and was suffering from seizures. So, he spent lots of time in the hospital again.
Friends of Gacy's recall that he was constantly belittled and ridiculed by his father, then he would get a beating. His friends say he would become complacent and would never hit back during his beatings. Things were really rough between Gacy and his father. They never had a good relationship. One day, John Sr. bought his son a car. He told him hey, I got this car for you and you can make low monthly payments on it. This may have seemed like it would be a turning point in their relationship, but it was just another way for his father to control him.
John Sr. would take the keys away from Gacy if he did anything to upset him. Gacy got a second set of car keys, but his father found out about this and took away the distributor cap, which rendered the car useless. This enraged Gacy and as soon as his father put the distributor cap back on, he peaced the fuck out. He drove to Las Vegas and became an attendant at a funeral home and was allowed to sleep on a cot at night and watched morticians embalm bodies during the day. Gacy worked at the funeral home for 3 months, but one day, he just took off without warning and headed home to Chicago. It was later discovered that Gacy had a damn good reason to leave. He climbed into a coffin with a dead boy and fondled his corpse. He was so shocked that he did this and ended up calling his mom to see if he could come home.
When Gacy got back home, he enrolled in Northwestern business college. He also worked for a business called NunnBush Shoe Company. He finished his degree and graduated in 1963. Gacy was transferred to Springfield and promoted to manager. He met a lady named Marylynn Myers and they got engaged. During this time, Gacy joined Jaycees, which is the United States Junior Chamber. It's a leadership training and civic organization for people between the ages of 18 to 40. It's geared towards providing opportunities to young men so they can develop personal and leadership skills through service to others. While Gacy was a Jaycee, there was an incident. One night, he stayed on the couch of a local Jaycee and they had both been drinking. Gacy claims he woke up to a Jaycee performing oral sex on him, but Gacy took zero responsibility and says it was due to the alcohol that this happened.
In 1965, Gacy was elected Vice President of the Springfield Jaycees and it was around this time that he was also named the third most outstanding man in the organization. Gacy got married to MaryLynn and his father-in law bought 3 KFCs in Waterloo, Iowa. The couple packed up, moved to Iowa, and Gacy became the manager of the KFCs and was earning $15k a year and profit sharing. (Just to put in perspective for you, this salary would be equal to over $123k in 2020) By 1966, the couple had a son, named Michael and soon after, their daughter, Christine was born. Things were going great for Gacy and his parents decided to go visit him during this success. While they were there, his dad told him, Son, I was wrong about you. This was the approval that Gacy had longed for.
While Gacy was managing the KFCs, he was working a lot of hours, but he still found time for the Jaycees. He often brought chicken to the meetings and insisted that the members call him the colonel. The Jaycees seemed like a well-rounded organization, but they had their dark side too and perhaps this is why Gacy thrived in it. There was wife-swapping, prostitution, porn, and drugs. Gacy ended up opening a club in his home where he could have people over to drink and play pool after his children went to bed. The major problem, was that the people that were invited, were teenage boys that worked with him at KFC. Gacy would give the boys alcohol, drugs, and show them porn. Then, he would make sexual advances and if the boys said no, he would just act like it was all a big joke.
In August 1967, Gacy sexually assaulted a 15 year old boy, Donald Voorhees. This kid was actually the son of another Jaycee. The boy was told that he could watch porn if he came to Gacy's house. When he got there, he was given alcohol and was persuaded to perform oral sex on Gacy. Several other boys were lured over to the house and were sexually assaulted and Gacy would blackmail them. He tricked several teenagers into believing he was commissioned to conduct homosexual experiments for scientific research and then he would pay them for their services.
Donald, the son of the local Jaycee, told his father that Gacy had sexually assaulted him. The police were notified and Gacy was arrested and charged with performing oral sodomy on Donald and he was charged for the attempted assault of 16-year-old Edward Lynch. Gacy denied all of the charges and was like, ok, if you don't believe me, I demand a polygraph test. The police were like, ok, sounds good. Gacy took the test and the results indicated that he was nervous each time he tried to deny having relations with both of the young men. Gacy insisted that these charges were politically motivated. Donald's father, had actually opposed Gacy's nomination for president of the Iowa Jaycees. He used this as leverage and several other Jaycees showed their support and believed his story. On May 10th, 1968, Gacy was indicted on the sodomy charge.
On August 30th, 1968, Gacy talked one of his employees into something pretty shitty. He got 18-year-old Russell Schroeder to physically assault Donald Voorhees so he would be too scared to testify. Gacy told him if he followed through with the plan, he would pay him $300. Russell decided to do it and in September that year, he lured Donald to an isolated park, maced him and beat him up. Donald was able to escape and reported the assault to the police and was able to identify his attacker, who was arrested the next day. Russell initially denied having anything to do with the attack, but he eventually caved. He told them about being hired by Gacy and he ended up catching a charge for hiring him.
On September 12th, Gacy was ordered to do a psychiatric evaluation at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Iowa. Two doctors examined him over the course of 17 days and they finally arrived at a conclusion. They said Gacy had an antisocial personality disorder which incorporates sociopathy and psychopathy. They believed that it was unlikely that he would benefit from any therapy or medical treatment. They also noted that his behavior pattern would likely bring him into repeated conflict with society. So, he's fucked up, but he was mentally competent to stand trial. Sociopathy is an antisocial personality disorder or mental condition where a person shows no regard for the rights or feelings of others. Psychopathy means you have antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and you have very egotistical traits. So he doesn't care about others, has no remorse and there's no treatment or therapy.
On November 7th, 1968, Gacy plead guilty to one count of sodomy in relation to Donald, but not guilty to the charges related to any other young boys. Gacy claimed that Donald offered himself to him and he was just curious. No one bought his bullshit story and he was sentenced on December 3rd to 10 years in prison. On this same day, his wife was like, peace! She petitioned for divorce and asked for the home, property, sole custody of the kids, and alimony. She won everything and the divorce was finalized September of 1969. Gacy never saw her or the kids again.
When Gacy was in prison, he had a reputation of being a model prisoner. Within just two months of being there, he was already the head cook. He also joined the inmate Jaycee chapter and was able to increase the membership from 50 to 650 men in less than 18 months. He got an increase in the daily pay for inmates and supervised projects to improve the conditions for the inmates. Even though Gacy attended college when he went home to Chicago in his earlier years, he never actually finished high school. While he was locked up, he completed 16 high school courses and got his diploma. On Christmas day 1969, Gacy's father died and compassionate leave to attend the funeral was denied. Gacy's sentence was 10 years, but he was so well-behaved, they granted him parole with 12 months probation, after only serving 18 months of his sentence. The only conditions of his probation were to relocate to Chicago to live with his mom, and he had a 10:00 PM curfew.
Now that everything was cleared up, Gacy was ready to start over. He was very active in his community, plowed snow for his neighbors, and hosted annual summer parties. In 1971, Gacy got a house and he also got engaged to Carole Hoff, a girl he knew from high school.
On February 12th, 1971, Gacy was charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy. He was waiting for a Greyhound bus and Gacy lured him into the car and tried to force him to have sex. The court ended up dismissing the complaint because the boy failed to appear. On June 22nd, just one week before the wedding, Gacy was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery and reckless conduct. A young boy claimed Gacy flashed a sheriff's badge at him and lured him into his car and forced him to perform oral sex. The charges were dropped after the boy attempted to blackmail Gacy. Now, you won't believe this next part. The Iowa Board of Parole never heard about these incidents, so, in October 1971, parole ended and all of his previous convictions were sealed.
He was able to start a part-time construction job business called PDM (Painting, Decorating, and Maintenance). He worked this in the evenings and worked as a cook during the day. In 1973, Gacy was able to quit his job as a cook and work on his construction business full time.
Gacy took a young employee and the two traveled to Florida to view a property that he purchased. On the very first night there, Gacy raped the boy in their hotel room. Once they got back to Chicago, the kid drove to Gacy's house and beat him in his yard. Gacy explained to his wife that he was attacked for refusing to pay the kid for his poor quality work.
In 1975, Gacy told his wife, Carole that he was bisexual. The couple had sex on Mother's Day and he let her know that this would be the last time they would ever have sex. He started staying away from the house more often and would say he was working late. Carole often saw Gacy bringing young boys into the garage and she found gay porn and men's wallets in their home. When she asked Gacy about this, he got angry and told her it's none of her business. In October 1975, Carole and Gacy were in a fight because Carole didn't balance the checkbook correctly. She was so fed up and asked for a divorce. Carole and her two daughters moved out and the divorce was finalized.
Gacy wasn't too lonely when his family moved out because he was always staying involved with the community and he had a membership in a local Moose club, which is a men's social club. This guy was all about being in clubs. Through the Moose Club, he found out about another club. It was called the Jolly Joker clown club and the members regularly performed at fundraisers, parades, and even volunteered to entertain children in the hospital. Gacy joined the club in 1975 and felt that acting as a clown allowed him to regress into childhood. He performed as Pogo the clown and Patches the clown.
During the day, Gacy was busy running his company. PDM employees consisted of mainly high school boys or young men. Gacy would proposition his employees for sex or force them into sexual favors for financial assistance or promotions. He owned guns and one time, he told his employee “Do you know how easy it would be to get one of my guns and kill you, and how easy it would be to get rid of the body?” This company may have been Gacy's entire downfall. He was literally able to to surround himself with temptation by hiring only young boys. In May of 1975, Gacy hired a 15-year-old named Anthony Antonucci. In July of this year, they went to Anthony's home, drank a bottle of wine and watched a movie. All of a sudden, Gacy wrestled Anthony to the floor and handcuffed his hands behind his back. Luckily, one of the cuffs was loose and Anthony was able to free himself while Gacy was out of the room. Anthony was a high school wrestler and he was ready. When Gacy walked back into the room, Anthony seized his opportunity and pounced on him. He wrestled Gacy to the floor, got the handcuff key and cuffed Gacy's hands behind his back. First, Gacy tried threatening Anthony. When this didn't work, he calmed down and told him to take the cuffs off and he would leave. Anthony complied and Gacy left.
On July 26th, 1976, Gacy picked up 18-year-old David Cram who was hitchhiking on Elston Avenue. Gacy told him he could work for him at PDM and David began work that very evening. On August 21st, David moved into Gacy's home. The following day, the two had several drink to celebrate his 19th birthday and Gacy was dressed as Pogo the clown. Gacy got David to put the handcuffs on, but he put them on in front of his body. Gacy swung him around, held onto the cuffs and told him he was going to rape him.
David was able to kick Gacy in the face and freed himself from the handcuffs. This guy must not have been too bothered by the incident, because he continued living with Gacy at this point. A month later, Gacy showed up in David's room and said, “Dave, you really don't know who I am. Maybe it would be good if you give me what I want.” David resisted and ended up leaving Gacy's home October 5th and left PDM, but he actually did still work a few jobs for Gacy over the next two years. Another boy moved into Gacy's home shortly after David left. A PDM employee, 18-year-old Michael Rossi lived there until April 1977 and the pair often went to clowning gigs together.
The PDM business was expanding and Gacy was working up to 16 hours per day. In March 1977, he became supervisor for PE systems. This was a firm that specialized in remodeling drugstores. He was working both jobs and traveled often.
In 1978, Gacy met and was photographed with First Lady Rosalynn Carter on May 6th, 1978. For a few years, he had entered local Democratic party politics and was rewarded for his community service with an appointment to serve on the Norwood Park Township street lighting committee. This earned him the title of precinct captain. Then, he was appointed director of Chicago's annual Polish Constitution Day Parade. He supervised the annual event and through his work at the parade, he was able to meet the first lady. This actually became a huge embarrassment later because Gacy was wearing an “S” pin, which means he was given special clearance by the United States Secret Service.
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