It was one of the most horrific crime scenes in American history, the doctor says Eric Hickeycriminal psychologist, when he recalls how the decomposing bodies of 33 young men were buried in the basement John Wayne Gacyone of America’s worst serial killers.
Although almost half a century has passed since then, today Gacy’s case continues to be studied by crime experts and portrayed in documentaries due to the eerie events surrounding this killer. In fact, it was just a year ago another identified a so far unknown victim.
In the early 1970s, Gacy, a nice guy in his 30s who dressed up as a clown to entertain charity events at Illinois hospitals and shelters, ended up burying a woman in his home. thirty young men between the ages of 14 and 21 after he raped and killed them.
The events took place between 1972 and 1978, when disappearances began to worry the suburban community. Chicago.
During this time, “pogo clown“, as he was called at the parties and piñatas he attended, proved to be a cheerful person, with a busy agenda of social activities in his neighborhood.
During the day, he organized and participated in charity events, and even went to Democratic Party activities. On one occasion, he took a photo with Rosalynn Carterwho was the first lady of the United States (1977-1981).
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However, Gacy tricked children and young people into taking them to his house at night, and then abused, tortured and killed them, recalls the chronicle of the newspaper The New York Times at the time.
The truth is that during the six years that the crimes took place, no one suspected the friendly clown. “He was very popular and loved.
Nobody just suspected him,” Michael Albrecht, the agent who tracked him down and arrested him years later, said at the time. In fact, his amiable image and presence at charity events later caused so much fear when his true identity was revealed.
“He kind of represents the idea of the enemy within; the perfect psycho Gacy was the best neighbor, the one who helped the kids, offered barbecues and was even part of a political party. But he was also the one with the corpses 30 guys. This contradiction makes his case very powerful,” explains anthropologist and writer Esteban Cruz.
Why was he behaving like this? Researchers in the United States have devoted hundreds of studies to deciphering your mind. Some attribute this to a family system that was outwardly kind, but privately was hostile and violent environment.
As his sister recalls in a documentary broadcast on History, Gacy’s father beat and abused him when he came home drunk. And it is assumed that as a child, someone is close to the family sexually abused himan episode that was never shown.
By 1964, Gacy had married a woman with whom he had a daughter, but they soon separated when his wife found out that he had been convicted of sexual abuse of a minor. And although he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, he was paroled in 1970. He never saw his daughter again.
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Two years later he began the crimes that unleashed his madness and led him to commit thirty murders.
remarried, Carole Hoff. But that didn’t stop him. On January 2, he picked up a 15-year-old teenager, killed him with a knife and buried him under his house. As he admitted, it was his first victim. The presence of the corpse released bad smells.
Hoff began to suspect that her husband’s constant nights out were not for work and that he he had sex with teenagers in the basementbut she was unaware of the crimes Gacy had committed and finally divorced him.
In late 1978, police raided Gacy’s home following the disappearance of the teenager, who was last known to have a daughter. working meeting with Gacy. The police found and dug out body after body from the basement; 27 corpses were eaten by worms. Two others were found elsewhere in the house, and four more in the Des Plaines River. He threw them there because “they no longer fit in the house”.
In 1980, he was sentenced to death and spent 14 years on death row. There he painted and decorated pictures with clowns. According to chronicles of the time, Gacy said clowns were his alter ego. Finally, in 1994, this serial killer was executed by lethal injection.
* Grupo de Diarios América (GDA), to which it belongs UNIVERSALis a leading media network founded in 1991 that promotes democratic values, an independent press and freedom of expression in Latin America through quality journalism for our audience.
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