John Wayne Gacy, known as Pogo The Killer Clown, was born on March 17, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois.
He was raised by Danish and Polish parents and did not have a happy childhood. His father was an alcoholic and because of this he would abuse John, John's sister Karen, and John's mother. He would be hit them with a razor strap if they misbehaved. Gacy’s sister would tell him to toughen up and not cry. Gacy had troubles at school as well. He didn’t have any friends and he didn’t play with other kids due to having a heart condition that his father knew about and blamed him for. While Gacy was at school, he realized he liked boys, which confused him about his sexuality.
Once Gacy was an adult, he worked at a fast food shop in the 1960’s. He eventually became a building contractor , and in the 1970’s, was a democratic precinct captain in the Chicago area. He was well known in his community.
He was married twice. However, he divorced both of his wives. He had two biological children and two stepchildren.
Gacy eventually became a member of the Jolly Joker Clown Club in the Chicago area. He would perform at children’s birthday parties, dressed up as either Pogo the Clown or Patches the Clown. Soon Gacy discovered that berating and scaring people excited him. From there he started capturing people and sexually assault them. Later on he would strangle them to death and put them under his house. Once people started getting suspicious, detectives came and asked him some questions. In one of their conversations he said, “Clowns can get away with anything right?”
In 1968, Gacy got 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting two teen boys, but then was released on parole after two years. However, in 1970, he was accused of sexually assaulting another teen, but the charges got dropped because the teen did not attend the trial. In the middle of the 1970’s, two teen boys accused him of rape. He was questioned by the police about all of the killings that had happened.
On December 11, 1978, a 15 year old boy named Robert Piest went missing. The last time anybody saw him he was with his mother at the drug store before he headed to go see Gacy about a construction job. Once the mother got concerned, she called the authorities who ten days later went to search Gacy’s house in Norwood Park Illinois where they found evidence of all the crimes and murders he committed. The police figured out that he started his killings in 1972, and that his first victim was Timothy McCoy, a 16 year old. The authorities kept Gacy under surveillance and kept investigating his house. They found 29 human bodies under his house. He dumped four in the Des Plaines river. In 1978 he confessed killing all of them then in 1978. Out of the 33 deaths only eight bodies were identified. Gacy said his killing spree was called the cruising years.
Gacy’s trial started in 1980 with him confessing to all of his crimes and murders. Because of this, people started arguing about whether he should go to a mental facility because he was insane or be sentenced to death. Gacy told the police where he committed the crimes and because of this Gacy was found guilty and was sentenced to 12 death sentences and 21 life sentences. He died by lethal injection in May, 1994, in Stateville Correctional Institute in Illinois. Gacy was only 52 years old.