John Wayne Gacy
By Joe Agostino
John Wayne Gacy
John Wayne Gacy, who was also known as the Killer Clown, was a serial killer from Chicago that killed approximately 33-34 teenage boys throughout 1972 to 1978.
John Wayne Gacy was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 17, 1942. He had two sisters, who he was very close to and also a mother who he was very close to. However he had a difficult relationship with his father, who was an alcoholic and abusive to his wife and children. Throughout his whole childhood, Gacy tried to make his father proud, but was unsuccessful each time he tried. One of his earliest childhood memory was his father beating him up with a leather belt for accidentally pulling apart a car engine which his father had assembled.
Pogo The Clown
This is an outline of the IDENTIFIED teenagers he killed:
January 2, 1972
Conviction And Arrest
December 11, 1978
Modus Operandi (MO)
Handcuff or Rope trick
The handcuff trick is Gacy encouraging the teenage boy to put handcuffs on as he pretended he was going to do a magic trick. The teenage boy would put the handcuff on and he would rape and strangle them. E.g He killed Darrell Sampson using this trick.
The rope trick is Gacy offering a lot of alcohol to the teenage boy until the boy is too drunk to know what is happening. Gacy would rape the teenager and then put a rope, which has a wooden plank in it, on their neck. This means that the rope would acts as a switch and he could control how much air the teenager would get. He would torture the teenager and eventually suffocate him. E.g He killed Robert Gilroy using this trick.
Gacy would put a cloth in the victims mouths so that no one could hear their scream, usually the cloth would be the victims own underwear. After Gacy kills the boy he would bury the body in the crawl space of his house or in the Illinois River.
How does it work?
Most of the Gacy's victims were strangled or suffocated, forensic anthropologist found this out because the bone on most of the victims neck, which is the hyoid bone, were all cracked.
Forensic anthropologists found out the the age of the victims by the smoothness of their bones. Older people tend to have smoother bones than younger people.
They found out he gender of the victim by analysing the femur, males usually have a larger femur than women. They also have rounder edges, while females tend to have sharper edges. The females femur are more round than the male femur.
The victims height was determined by the length of the bones, anthropologists measure the length of the bone and determine the height.
The weight is determined by how worn out the bones are, if they are badly worn out the person was quite large.
Forensic anthropologists determined the race of the victim from the nose, white people usually have a triangle nose hole, black people usually have a square nose hole and asian people have diamond nose hole.
With all these factors, detectives are able to draw an accurate drawing of what the victim looked like, and therefore was a crucial part of the victim identification in Gacy's case.
Limitations to forensic anthropology
Identification- It is very hard to identify a victim from just its bones and it can be very embarrassing. For example the most famous case where forensic anthropology went wrong is when two men found bones in the New Mexico dessert. Forensic anthropologist stated that it was a missing 12-year old girl, but after they did another analysis they found out that it was just the remains of a bear.
Getting complete bones- Sometime forensic anthropologist can not find a full set of bones and therefore can not do a full analysis of the bones.
Clear bones- Some bones are really dirty and cannot be washed off with water, which disturbs the analysis.