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John Wayne Gacy (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994) was an American serial killer and sex offender who raped, tortured, and murdered at least 33 young men and boys in Norwood Park Township, near Chicago, Illinois. He became known as the Killer Clown due to his public performances as a clown prior to the discovery of his crimes.
John Wayne Gacy
|Born||(1942-03-17)March 17, 1942|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||May 10, 1994(1994-05-10) (aged 52)|
Stateville Correctional Center, Illinois, U.S.
|Other names||The Killer Clown|
|Criminal status||Execution by lethal injection|
Murder (33 counts)
Indecent liberties with a child
Deviate sexual assault
Span of crimes
|December 21, 1978|
|Imprisoned at||Menard Correctional Center|
Gacy committed all of his murders in his ranch-style house. Typically, he would lure a victim to his home and dupe them into donning handcuffs on the pretext of demonstrating a magic trick. He would then rape and torture his captive before killing them by either asphyxiation or strangulation with a garrote. Twenty-six victims were buried in the crawl space of his home, and three were buried elsewhere on his property; four were discarded in the Des Plaines River.
Gacy had previously been convicted in 1968 of the sodomy of a teenage boy in Waterloo, Iowa, and was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, but served eighteen months. He murdered his first victim in 1972, had murdered twice more by the end of 1975, and murdered at least thirty victims after his divorce from his second wife in 1976. The investigation into the disappearance of Des Plaines teenager Robert Piest led to Gacy's arrest on December 21, 1978.
His conviction for thirty-three murders (by one individual) then covered the most homicides in United States legal history. Gacy was sentenced to death on March 13, 1980. He was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10, 1994.