John Wayne Gacy

The Killer Clown

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Background Info:

Who: John Wayne Gacy

What: Known as the Killer Clown, was an American serial killer and rapist who was convicted of the sexual assault and murder of a minimum of 33 teenage boys and young men.

When: Crimes occurred between 1972 and 1978

Where: Chicago, Illinois.

Why: Unknown.

How: Gacy would lure his victims to his address by force or deception. His victims were either killed by strangulation or asphyxiation. Gacy buried 26 of his victims in a crawl space in his basement.

Media Portrayals

On one side, the media portrays John as a psychopathic killer. Being that he was ruthless in his actions, him being mentally ill as the only way to explain his actions.

Other medias perceive him to just be a monster, capable of ruthless acts of murder and rape. They believed for him to be executed as soon as possible.

Media Bias

In an article I found about John Gacy, called "The County's Worst Serial Killer" bias by selection of sources was used. The article out of the Chicago Tribune serves to inform the people on the killings and how horrific the event was. The author of the article includes expert views such as forensic scientist input and medical examiner reports. This article is based solely on facts and what the experts know of the situation.

Media Bias Cont.

In the second article I read titled, "Man feared to be Gacy victim found alive in Montana after 40 years" the story of a Gacy victim is shared. In this article the author is using bias by story selection, where an author selects a certain story on the topic and disregarding other related events.


This event can be best seen through a historical critical lens. In this lens we look at the affects of a his event in history, and how this event influenced society. Gacy is called "The Country's Worst Serial Killer" because the killings shook the heart of America and everyone in it. This event also caused a lot of controversy around the death penalty and how we treat it, especially being that Gacy's execution was long after he was actually arrested.

We can also view this event through a Marxist critical lens. Looking at Gacy's age when he did his killings, it seems as if he did these murders in a response to a life of feeling powerless. Through Gacy's eyes he might've felt like empowering teenage boys gave him more power and maybe the power is what he was lusting for.

Work Cited

"John Wayne Gacy, the Country's Worst Serial Killer." N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2015.

"Suspected Gacy Victim Found Alive in Montana after 41 Years." Tribunedigital-chicagotribune. N.p., 19 Dec. 2013. Web. 07 May 2015.

John Wayne Gacy - Serial Killer Interview