Netflix's Conversation With a Killer: John Wayne Gacy, the clown who murdered 33 people

After the release of Netflix’s Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Tapes, the horrifying crimes of the killer left us stunned. Trigger warning: This article discusses sexual abuse.

A clown, in general, is seen as a person who brings joy and entertains people, but this particular clown was a nightmare. John Wayne Gacy, infamously known as The Killer Clown, was a serial killer who raped and murdered 33 men and boys in the 1970s. Netflix's newest show, Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Tapes, revealed Gacy's original audiotapes that were recorded during his testimony.

Who was John Wayne Gacy?

Gacy had a seemingly normal childhood, one that you wouldn't think would result in Gacy becoming a killer. He used to dress up as a clown to entertain kids during birthday parties. He even got married, had two children and ran his own successful business. He seemed like an ideal contributing member of the society.

It all went downhill when Gacy was accused of sexually assaulting two boys. Back in the 70s, homophobia was high in the air, so consequently Gacy was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1968. In the meantime, his wife divorced him and got full custody of their children.

Gacy was released earlier on parole for showing good behaviour and moved in with his mother.

The killer clown in making

Gacy murdered his first victim in 1972. The boy, who was later identified as 15-year-old Timothy McCoy, was lured into Gacy’s car. They both went to Gacy’s house, where he had sex with McCoy and then killed him. Gacy then proceeded to stuff the dead body in the crawl space under his house.

After his first killing, Gacy got more confident. His targets were mostly teenage boys or young men. He lured them into his car with the promise of alcohol or drugs, then took them to his home where he killed them after raping them and then stored the dead bodies under his house.

The victim who survived

Chicago Tribune

Gacy continued his activities until he met Jeff Rignall. Gacy invited Rignall to his car with the promise of smoking marijuana. They arrived at Gacy’s house where Gacy raped and tortured Rignall and then dumped him in the nearby park. Although Rignall reported Gacy’s crime to the police, his pleas were in vain as the homosexuality was untolerated during that time.

Gacy was caught in 1978 when the police finally searched his house and recovered 29 dead bodies, he also confessed to dumping 4 more bodies in the nearby river. He was later executed in 1994 by lethal injection.

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