John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
Alias(es): "Pogo the Clown", "The Killer Clown"
Born: March 17, 1942
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: May 10, 1994
Cause of death: Death by lethal injection
Penalty: Capital punishment (death)
Number of victims: 33
Span of killings: January 3, 1972 through December 11, 1978
Country: U. S. A.
State(s): Illinois, USA
Date apprehended: December 21, 1978

John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994), also known as the Killer Clown, was an American serial killer and rapist who was convicted of the sexual assault and murder of a minimum of 33 teenage boys and young men in a series of killings committed between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. John Wayne Gacy, Jr. had a horrible childhood and was severely abused by his father. Gacy also was molested often by family friends. His murders were largely homosexual love interests. See wikipedia for details of his life.

All of Gacy's known murders were committed inside his Norwood Park Township, Cook County, Illinois home. His victims would typically be lured to this address by force or deception, and all but one victim were murdered by either asphyxiation or strangulation with a tourniquet (his first victim was stabbed to death). Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space of his home. Three further victims were buried elsewhere on his property, while the bodies of his last four known victims were discarded in the Des Plaines River.

Convicted of 33 murders, Gacy was sentenced to death for 12 of these killings on March 13, 1980. He spent 14 years on death row before he was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10, 1994.

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.


Identified victims

Only 25 of Gacy's victims were ever conclusively identified. By the time of Gacy's trial, a total of 22 victims had been identified. In March 1980, two further bodies unearthed from Gacy's crawl space were identified via dental and radiology records as those of Kenneth Parker and Michael Marino, two teenage friends who were reported missing on October 25, 1976,[1] the day after they had disappeared.</ref> However, DNA analysis conducted in 2012 has confirmed that the 14th body exhumed from the crawl space—initially believed to have been Michael Marino—was misidentified.[2]

In May 1986,[3] the ninth victim exhumed from Gacy's crawl space was identified as Timothy Jack McCoy, Gacy's first victim.[4] One further victim was identified in November 2011 through DNA testing as William George Bundy, a 19-year-old construction worker who was last seen by his family on his way to a party on October 26, 1976.[5][6] Bundy had apparently worked for Gacy before his murder.[6] Shortly after Gacy's arrest, his family had contacted Bundy's dentist in the hope of submitting his dental records for comparison with the unidentified bodies. However, the records had been destroyed after the dentist had retired.[7]

  • Timothy McCoy (15) January 3, 1972[8]
  • John Butkovitch (17) July 29, 1975
  • Darrell Sampson (18) April 6, 1976
  • Randall Reffett (15) May 14, 1976
  • Samuel Stapleton (14) May 14, 1976
  • Michael Bonnin (17) June 3, 1976
  • William Carroll (16) June 13, 1976
  • Rick Johnston (17) August 6, 1976
  • Kenneth Parker (16) October 24, 1976
  • William Bundy (19) October 26, 1976[9]
  • Gregory Godzik (17) December 12, 1976
  • John Szyc (19) January 20, 1977
  • Jon Prestidge (20) March 15, 1977
  • Matthew Bowman (19) July 5, 1977
  • Robert Gilroy (18) September 15, 1977
  • John Mowery (19) September 25, 1977
  • Russell Nelson (21) October 17, 1977
  • Robert Winch (16) November 10, 1977
  • Tommy Boling (20) November 18, 1977
  • David Talsma (19) December 9, 1977
  • William Kindred (19) February 16, 1978
  • Timothy O'Rourke (20) June 16–23, 1978
  • Frank Landingin (19) November 4, 1978
  • James Mazzara (21) November 24, 1978
  • Robert Piest (15) December 11, 1978

Suspected misidentified victim

  • Michael Marino (14) October 24, 1976

Unidentified victims

Eight victims remain unidentified, seven of whom had been buried beneath Gacy's crawl space, with one additional youth buried approximately 15 ft (4.6 m) from the barbecue pit in his backyard.[10] Experts used the skulls of the unidentified victims to create facial reconstructions.[11] Based upon Gacy's confession, information relative to where the victims were buried in his crawl space relative to Gacy's identified victims, and forensic analysis, police were able to determine the most likely dates when his unidentified victims were killed.

  • January 1974. Body 28. Backyard. Male aged 14–18.[12]
  • June 13 – August 6, 1976. Body 26. Crawl space. Male aged 22–30.[13]
  • June 13 – August 6, 1976. Body 24. Crawl space. Male aged 15–19.[14][15]
  • August 6 – October 5, 1976. Body 13. Crawl space. Male aged 17–21.[16][17]
  • August 6 – October 24, 1976. Body 21. Crawl space. Male aged 21–27.[18][19]
  • circa October 24, 1976. Body 14. Crawl space. Male aged c. 14.[2]
  • December 1976 – March 15, 1977. Body 5. Crawl space. Male aged 22–32.[20]
  • March 15 – July 5, 1977. Body 10. Crawl space. Male aged 17–21.[21]

On October 11, 2011, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart announced that investigators, having obtained full DNA profiles from each of the unidentified victims, were to renew their efforts to identify all of them. At a press conference held to announce this intention, Sheriff Dart stated investigators are actively seeking DNA samples from individuals across the United States related to any male missing between 1970 and 1979. Test results thus far conducted have confirmed the identification of one victim, ruled out the possibility of numerous other missing youths as being victims of Gacy[22][23] and solved two unrelated cold cases dating from 1972 and 1978 respectively.[24]

In October and December 2011 respectively, two youths whom investigators had initially believed were likely matches to unidentified victims of Gacy were found alive. One of these individuals, Harold Lovell, had disappeared from Aurora, Illinois in May 1977 at age 19. Lovell was located in Florida and subsequently reunited with his family. The other individual, Theodore Szal, had disappeared from Glen Ellyn, Illinois in March 1977 at age 24. Szal was located in Oregon and had also worked in construction before his disappearance.[25]

In September 2012, sheriff Thomas Dart announced that through efforts made to identify Gacy's unidentified victims, investigators had solved an unrelated cold case relating to a 21-year-old Peoria, Illinois youth named Daniel Noe, who was last seen alive on September 30, 1978.[26] His remains had been found near Mount Olympus (Utah) in 2010.

Efforts to identify Gacy's unidentified victims solved one further unrelated cold case in May 2013.[27] The case solved was that of a missing 16-year-old named Steven Soden, who was last seen alive April 3, 1972, in New Jersey. Soden's sister had contacted investigators in 2011 to submit a DNA sample for comparison with Gacy's unidentified victims. Although not a match with any of Gacy's victims, the DNA samples provided matched those of an unidentified body found in April 2000 in Burlington County, New Jersey, close to where Soden was last seen alive.[28]


  1. Kingman Daily Miner, March 31, 1980. Retrieved on 2010-07-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 DNA Backs Up Mom’s Doubt: Gacy Victim Misidentified « CBS Chicago. Retrieved on 2013-03-14.
  3. Mohave Daily Miner May 8, 1986. (1986-05-08). Retrieved on 2013-03-14.
  4. "Closed Cases", Doe Network. Retrieved on 2010-07-07.
  5. Rogers, Phil. 19th victim of Gacy is identified - U.S. News. Retrieved on 2013-03-14.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Sheriff: Gacy victim identified through DNA", Chicago Tribune, November 29, 2011
  7. Toronto Sun Nov. 29, 2011
  8. Locin, Mitchell. "pre-1997+Fulltext) Archives: Chicago Tribune",, 1986-05-10. Retrieved on 2010-07-07. 
  10. "All about Forensic Anthropology", Crime Library. Retrieved on 2010-07-07.
  11. Katherine Ramsland. All About Forensic Anthropology. truTV Crime Library. Retrieved on 2010-07-18.
  12. NamUs Case File 276Mar79
  13. NamUs Case File 1455Dec78
  14. Case File 960UMIL. The Doe Network. Retrieved on 2010-07-18.
  15. NamUs Case File 1453Dec78
  16. Case File 955UMIL. The Doe Network. Retrieved on 2010-07-18.
  17. NamUs Case File 1325Dec78
  18. Case File 962UMIL. The Doe Network. Retrieved on 2010-07-18.
  19. NamUs Case File 1385Dec78
  20. NamUs Case File 1265Dec78
  21. Case File 954UMIL. The Doe Network. Retrieved on 2010-07-18.
  22. Don Babwin. "Sheriff: Solid leads in effort to ID Gacy victims", The Boston Globe, October 17, 2011. Retrieved on October 26, 2011. 
  23. More DNA Being Analyzed To Determine IDs Of Gacy Victims « CBS Chicago. (2012-05-07). Retrieved on 2013-03-14.
  24. John Wayne Gacy Investigation Helps Solve Missing Daniel Noe Case. (2012-09-21). Retrieved on 2013-03-14.
  25. Fong, Dominique. John Wayne Gacy: Missing man found in Beaverton explains his 34-year absence. The Oregonian. Retrieved on 6 February 2013.
  26. Main, Frank. John Wayne Gacy investigation helps identify body found in Utah. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 6 February 2013.
  27. [1]. ABC 7 Chicago, May 14, 2013.
  28. Cook County

External links

Wikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at John Wayne Gacy. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.