Childhood• John was born March 17th, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois.• John was a Boy Scout and a teacher’s pet who got along with his teachers and played with friends afterschool.• John had a couple of after school jobs consisting of a bag- boy and a store clerk to pass the time.• At age 11, John was hit in the head by a swing which caused a blood clot in his brain discovered by doctors about 5 years later.• At age 17, doctors diagnosed Gacy with a heart problem.• John’s childhood was mostly normal except for his father being physically abusive to his mother and verbally abusive to him and his sister.• John kept a strong bond with his sister and mother.
Adulthood• John went to four different high schools but never graduated, so he moved to Las Vegas, and shortly moved back to Illinois to be with his mother and sister.• John went to business school and became an exceptional salesman, and shortly got a job at Nunn-Bush Shoe Company.• Gacy served his community by leading groups like the Catholic Inter-Club, Chicago Civil Defense, Holy Name Society and many others.• John married a co-worker named Marlynn Myers and moved to Iowa. John had 2 children, one boy and one girl.• John started learning more business tactics from his stepdad and grew a healthy relationship with him.
Adulthood (cont.)• John was accused of being a homosexual and fell from grace in the Jaycees. John was charged for sodomy and bribing someone to beat up someone else, and was served 10 years, but got out on early parole of only 18 months.• After John returned from incarceration he soon became a chef and moved into his own house.• A couple months after being let out of prison early, was charged with disorderly conduct, for making a young male do sexual acts toward him. However, the boy didn’t show up to court and the charges were dropped.• John got married to Carole Hoff, who had 2 daughters. John soon got into politics and got democratic township committeeman, Robert F. Matwick to make him his secretary treasurer.
Motives• John’s father was abusive to him, his mother, and his sister, which exposed him to erratic and manipulative behavior.• John also had a blood clot in his brain that would sometimes cause him to blackout and could definitely have done permanent brain damage and contributed to his behavior.• John was a homosexual and was ridiculed and punished by his father, which could have caused him to seek vengeance towards men or boys that had a better life than him.
Methods and Rituals• Once John actually started killing, he usually knew his victims prior to his killing them.• Gacy would always kidnap, then handcuff or tie his victims up, then rape and/or torture them, then kill them and bury them or dispose of them himself.
Profiles and Characteristics• Gacy always went after males and usually went after teenagers, but also towards the end of his killing spree killed a married man.• John seemed to always go after guys that worked on cars or worked for him to make money to pay for a hobby.
Factors that got him caught• John had stored most of his victims in a crawl space underneath his house which left a terrible odor throughout his house.• John almost always kidnapped young men that worked for him so it was easy to trace the victims back to him.• Gacy had already been put into prison due to sodomy and hiring a man to beat someone else up, so he had a criminal background.
Charged and Sentenced• John was originally charged with 33 counts of murder, sexual assault, and being indecent with a minor.• He eventually was only charged with 12 counts of murder and was sent to death row. However, it took 14 years before he was actually put to death by lethal injection.
Why it’s Hard to Spot Killers• Serial Killers don’t show any symptoms of a psychopath.• The killers use different disguises to deceive others and make them seem sane or normal.• People know them and see no precursors to their heinous action.
Crime Scene Characteristics Types of Crime Scenes Organized Disorganized Mixed AtypicalCharacteristics of a Crime Scene Transports Body Body left at Death Scene Mixture of Organized and Crime Scene can’t be Disorganized Identified by Data Available Planned Offense Spontaneous Offense Looks like more than One Decomposed Remains Fall Offender under this Type Body’s Hidden Evidence/ Weapon at Scene Offender Planned the Crime Police May Look into Past but was Interrupted During Crime Scenes and see if there the Act are Similarities Controlled Conversations Victim/ Location Known Offender may have Staged the Police may have to Take Other Scene Things into Consideration Demands Submissive Victims Body Left in View N/A N/A Missing Weapon/ Evidence Depersonalizes Victim N/A N/A Victim is a Targeted Stranger Sexual Acts After Death N/A N/A Personalizes Victim Minimal Conversation N/A N/A Crime Scene Reflects Control Minimal Use of Restraints N/A N/A Restraints Used Sloppy Crime Scene N/A N/A Aggressive Acts Done Before Sudden Violence to Victim N/A N/A Death
Interesting Information• John Gacy, even though a deranged man, had parties where hundreds of people would come, led respectable groups that contributed to the community, was involved in politics, and even dressed up as a clown and brightened sick kids and hospital patients by doing magic tricks and telling jokes.• John was married twice and had children despite his erratic behavior.• John’s last words to his lawyer before he was killed by lethal injection was “Kiss my Ass.”