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What comes to your mind when you think of a clown? Some feel clowns to have humor, be playful, and laugh while for some, they feel scared and horrified as shown in a few movies. It is fine until they exist in movies but what if they are a real-life killer clown? 

The real-life Killer Clown

In December 1978, the police in Chicago uncovered the evidence of one of the monstrous crimes that happened in the city. They pulled out the bodies from under the floorboards which were in a normal suburban home. The investigators dealt with the case and found that behind these murders it was the real-life killer clown who is recognized as one of America’s most evil serial killers John Wayne Gacy. He has murdered around 33 men. 

The first Murder by Pogo the clown

Timothy McCoy

Timothy McCoy a 16-year old boy met John Wayne Gacy at the Chicago bus terminal in the night and Gacy let him stay over while he made his way home to Iowa after spending time in Michigan for Christmas. The next day after Timothy met Gacy which was on January 2nd, 1972, the boy woke up early and got out the eggs and bacon for breakfast. 

He walked up the stairs to wake up Gazy and he didn’t realize that he had not put the knife down. Gazy did not realize that the boy had not intended to harm him, so Gazy stabbed him in the chest and killed him.  He buried the body beneath his home and covered the Grave with concrete. 

It was then he realized that he gets a feel of orgasm when he killed the boy.  It was actually a mistake at first but this was what made him continue his murders.  Over the next 6 years, a lot of bodies were being buried. 

The story behind the real-life killer clown

He was a likable person

John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy was a mild-mannered and likable person in society and worked in customer service and then started his own construction business. The customers described him as a generous, kind, and helpful person and he employed the local teenagers who were in need of jobs.  He took time on the weekends to dress up as a clown for the kids’ birthday parties. He attended church and was involved in the local polish community. He was married to his second wife and was a devoted stepfather to her daughters. 

A childhood with abuse

But what made him a real-life killer clown? He was born on March 17th, 1942 in Chicago. He was born into an upper-middle-class family in Chicago to an auto-repair machinist called John Stanley Gacy. He named his child to be a Hollywood icon who would star in westerns and to consider as a paragon of American masculinity. But Gacy was overweight,  unathletic, and mostly depended on his mother. 

John Stanley drank heavily and degraded his son Gacy calling him a “sissy”. And he would beat both John Wayne and his mother. Gazy realized that he was gay but he pretended to be straight because during those years homosexuality was illegal.

He had a heart condition that limited his physical activity and made him with lifelong obesity where he spent much of his youth in the hospital.  He was discovered with a blood clot in his brain when he was 11 years old and the doctors were able to treat it. Gacy had enough of abuse and so moved out West. There he worked as a mortuary assistant in Las Vegas.  Later he returned home and joined a business school. 

His first marriage

After graduating, He met Marlynn Myers a coworker at a shoe company and they got married in 1964. He took over the management of Marlynn’s father’s Kentucky fried chicken franchise in Lowa.  They had two children and he had a perfect life.  But then Gacy searched for satisfaction,  where he joined a group of businessmen who participated in prostitution, pornography, and drug abuse.  He opened a club and targeted teenagers to drink and play pool. He formed a trust with them and was a good friend. 

The time he was prisoned. 

It was the time when he started to force young men including the ones who were employed to perform sexual acts with him. As he assaulted 2 young men, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and served there for 18 months while getting divorced. Later he was granted parole. 

He was given 12 months probation and he moved back to Chicago to live with his mother.  

Pogo the clown

Pogo the clown

Months after release, Gacy took a teenage boy into his house and tried to rape him. Although he was charged for it, the charge got dropped as the boy failed to show up to the court. By 1971, he settled in Norwood Park. There he joined a Jolly Joker club which was a clown club that performed at birthday parties and hospitals. 

He learned to apply clown makeup and turned himself into Pogo the clown performing in all sorts of parties.  

His second marriage

He got married to his second wife Carol Hoff in 1972. It was the year where he committed his first murder and in 1974 he killed his second victim. When his wife knew about his sexuality, she divorced and left him alone. And this is when the Killer Clown got his freedom to bring more victims where he killed them and stored them under his house. 

His victims were young men and boys where he brought them to his house with an offer of a job, a place to party, or to give money. He made them drink and handcuffed them. He would torture them, rape and then murder them. Everything was going perfectly for him until his 33rd murder. 

The time he got caught


On December 11th, 1978, Elizabeth Piest went to pick up her son Robert from his job at a pharmacy. Robert went outside and told her to wait and said that he wanted to talk about a job that would pay him twice what he is earning. But he never came back. 

So she went to the police station and filed a report. Police figured out the man Robert spoke to and found that he was John Wayne Gacy. They called him to station and Gacy Obliged after taking Piest’s body and dumped it into the Des Plaines River. Within a few hours, the authorities search Gacy’s home. They didn’t find any bodies but found evidence. They uncovered 29 bodies in the crawlspace. 

Gacy was sentenced to death and would spend 14 years in prison. The night before he was put to death, he returned to his roots and ordered a bucket of Kentucky fried chicken as his last meal. Most of his victims were identified but a few are not identified even after 23 years. Six of his victims are remaining anonymous. It was in 2017, they found one of the remaining bodies.

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