Who was Pogo the Clown: Story of John Wayne Gacy

Kloey Jackson

It is known that some people are afraid of clowns, so now imagine if one was a serial killer. Between the years of 1972 and 1978, John Wayne Gacy, also known as Pogo the Clown, had sexually assaulted and killed 33 young boys in Cook County, Illinois. Gacy worked as a clown performer at children’s parties and used his alter ego “Pogo the Clown” to lure victims. When Gacy was young he went through an abusive childhood. He and his siblings grew up with a drunken father who often beat them with a razor strap if they misbehaved. As well as struggles at home, Gacy went through alienation at school when he was struggling with his sexual orientation. Gacy had struggled with a heart disease that disabled him from playing with the other kids and participating in sports. Gacy’s father saw his heart disease as another one of Gacy’s failures which led to him to receiving more beatings.

In 1960 Gacy worked at a fast-food chain manager and was well-liked in his community before and during the serial murders. In 1968 Gacy was convicted of sexual assaulting two teenage boys and was given a 10-year prison sentence. Gacy had been released and put on parole in 1970 but was arrested again for another sexual assault of a teenage boy. His charges were dropped when the boy did not show up for the trial. In 1972 Gacy committed his first murder, he killed Timothy McCoy after luring the boy to his home. Gacy sexually assaulted his victims and them with a rope. He used the technique he learned from boy scouts. Gacy buried his victims under the crawl space in his home when his wife and kids were still living there.

Gacy attended a pharmacy on December 11, 1978 where he talked to a 15-year-old boy offering him a job in construction work. The boy had gone home to tell his mother and returned to the pharmacy to talk to Gacy. The boy never returned home and left his mother there waiting. She filed a missing person’s report and Gacy’s truck was found in the parking lot at the pharmacy. When police talked to the manager of the sore they were told that Gacy was the last contractor the boy talked to the boy. When Gacy was questioned he denied all the allegation, but police knew it was him.

On Dec 13 police were armed with a search warrant and found many suspicious things in Gacy’s house, other people’s driver’s license, a syringe, and clothes that were too small for Gacy. Police had talked to one of Gacy’s employees and were told that Gacy paid him do dig trenches under the crawl space in his home. During previous searches in of Gacy’s home the heater had not been turned on. This made the smell of the dead bodies not as noticeable.

On December 22, 1978 Gacy had finally admitted to killing the bodies that were found. He was sentenced to death for 12 of the murders. Those 12 murders were committed after the post-Furman death penalty was passed in Illionois. He was sentenced to natural life in prison for the other murders and was killed by lethal injection.