John Wayne Gacy, The Original Killer Clown Murderer


The original killer clown who inspired it all, John Wayne Gacy

Carley Stone, Staff Writer

Remember all those clown sightings and murders in October of 2016? Some have said they were inspired by a man named Pogo the Clown. You might know him by the name John Wayne Gacy. In the state of Chicago, Illinois, Gacy lived as any. He was middle class, he had a nice home, he was successful with his contractor business, and he was very well respected by many friends. He was into politics, he told local democratic officials that he wanted to run for office someday. He had even been married and divorced twice with two kids, Michael and Christine Gacy. That is the scary part, he seemed so normal and no one expected him to do such a horrific thing.

It all started in 1968 in Iowa when Gacy was convicted of his first crime. He was arrested for sodomy toward a young boy, Donald Vorhees. He was sentenced to ten years at the Anamosa State Penitentiary but there he would cook for the warden and did a lot of other good things so he was on their good side. After eighteen months in prison, he was released for “good behavior”. Later they would discover that letting Gacy out of prison was the worst decision they could have ever made. Ten years later he murdered his first known victim, a fifteen-year-old boy named Rob Piste. Piste worked at a local pharmacy in Illinois and it was a rock’s throw away from Gacy’s house. On December 12th, 1978 Piste was working his shift at the Nission Pharmacy. After his shift was over his mother came to pick him up. Piste had told his mother to hold on a minute because he was going to talk to the contractor that was doing maintenance at the pharmacy. Piste was hoping to get a job as a contractor for better pay. Hours went by and Piste never came. She went looking for him but he never came. Rob was known to be a good kid with good grades so his mother knew something wasn’t right and that he wouldn’t have just run away. After a couple more hours Piste’s mother filed a missing persons report, but she also got to thinking and she told police to figure out who the contractor was. It was Gacy.  

Two of Gacy’s employees, Michael Russi and David Cram. They were both twenty and they were very “close” with Gacy, meaning that Gacy would give them better jobs in his company and pay them more money and in exchange Russi and Cram would sleep with him or pleasure him in some sort of way. In this incident it was consensual. Russi and Cram were ordered to dig trenches underneath Gacy’s house as he claimed it was for “installing new drain pipes’ ‘, but later it was discovered that that is where he buried twenty-nine of his victims’ bodies and four in the Des Plaines river, where Robert piste was finally found.

Over the next ten days after Piste went missing, police officers Michael Albrecht and David Hachmeister went undercover to follow Gacy around. They were suspicious of him because they found out about his crime in 1968 in Iowa. Gacy noticed them and was quite friendly. He invited Albrecht and Hach to a local diner for breakfast. The impression that they got from him was very confident, he was very braggart about how successful he was. To them he seemed like an average Joe and just talking to Gacy and having a good conversation would make them forget about what they were there for. 

The first time police got a search warrant was right after Piste went missing. At the beginning of the ten days, they completed their search warrant. Gacy seemed unphased and not worried at all. Police didn’t find anything crazy, but they did find things that seemed like they shouldn’t be there, like a class ring that didn’t belong to him because it didn’t have the initial’s JWG it had JS. They also found shackles and handcuffs in his attic, along with two books titled “The Gay Love Letters” and “Pretty Boys Must Die” and gay pornographic films. There was no evidence here so the police couldn’t do anything. Gacy freely invited Albrecht and Hach into his home for dinner and this resulted in trying to get a second search warrant because before dinner Hach went to the restroom to wash his hands. While he was in there the heat kicked on and through the vents, Hach could smell a horrific smell that he described as a decaying body. 

After the first murder, he went on to murder thirty-two more young boys. They ranged from the ages of fourteen to twenty-one. He lured them in through his construction/contractor business when they were looking for jobs, some got lured because they were sexual meet-ups, and some were even abducted. Gacy killed his victims through “magic tricks”. He would show them an escape the handcuff’s trick and then he would put the handcuffs on his victims and tell them he could get them out without the keys. Another trick involved a rope around the victim’s necks and then he would end up strangling them. He confessed to David Cram that he killed thirty-three people. Cram immediately told the cops, which happened to be officer Albrecht and Cram also said that Gacy was going to go to his father’s grave and attempt to take his own life because he knew the police were on to him and it was over. That is when Albrecht and Hach cuffed him and took him into custody. In 1979 he pleaded guilty and was charged with the murder of thirty-three boys. He spent the next fourteen years at the Menard Correctional Center waiting on death row. His death sentence happened on May 10th, 1994. He had requested a strange last meal, twelve deep-fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe chicken from KFC, french fries, and a pound of strawberries, pie, ice cream, steak, pizza, lobster, hamburger, spaghetti, sushi, and lastly crab potatoes. He died at 12:58 p.m from lethal injection 

All his victims were murdered between the years 1972 through 1978. If Gacy would have served his full sentence like it was intended to, from 1968 to 1978 then a lot of those young boys would be alive today. So many people could have stopped Gacy to save all those lives. There were so many red flags that people turned their heads to. A psych ward in Illinois labeled him as a dangerous man who will sexually assault people until the day he dies and they just let him roam around for ten years! Those kids would have grown up and had families and lived happy lives, but their lives were cut short and their mothers and fathers and grandparents and aunts and uncles off all those young boys were left hopeless and had to mourn their deaths.