John Wayne Gacy (The Killer Clown)

Moawia Mahareeq

Basic Information

  • WHO- John Wayne Gacy was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 20, 1900. As a child, Gacy was overweight. He was close with his sisters and his mother, but it was his dad where he endured a difficult relationship. His dad was an alcoholic and was very abusive toward Gacy.
  • WHAT- Also known as the Killer Clown, was a serial killer and a rapist who was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering a minimum of 33 young teenage boys.
  • WHEN- These murders happened between 1972 and 1978. He was sentenced to death row for 12 of these killings on March 13, 1980. And he finally died on May 10, 1994 by lethal injection.
  • WHERE- It was in Gacy's home-town Chicago, IL. All of the known murders were committed inside his Norwood Park Township home. His victims were drawn to com to him either by force or by deception. Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space of his home. 3 of the victims were tossed in the Des Plaines River.
  • WHY- It was because Gacy himself was molested when he was a young boy by a relative of his. He always used to get abused by his father for everything that he'd do wrong. He was labeled as a "queer" and a "mama's boy". He was also made fun of because his sexual orientation.
  • HOW- He would lure his victims or the boys near his home whether by fooling them or by forcing them, once they come close enough he would rape them and then strangle/choke them to death. His first victim was stabbed to death.

Media Portrayal of The Issue

  • One way the crowd saw this event was as an inhuman act. A large group of people gathered to watch this man die.
  • Another way the media portrayed this event was as Gacy being insane and mentally ill. They weren't trying to justify his actions, instead they tried to find a valid reasoning for this act.
  • The last way people portrayed it was the fact that the man had a very rough history and the crimes he committed was a mere image of what was going on inside his head.

Biased Articles

  • I read an article about on of the victim's mom, she was talking about how she wanted to know what happened to her little boy. The police later contacted her and told her they have identified her son dead in a crawl space. This is very biased it puts it only in the victim's mom's perspective. (bias by labels, bias by headline, bias by statistics)
  • I read another article that is talking about how they still can't find the last victims. This is very biased. (bias by labels, bias by photos, bias by source control)


  • One of the criticisms is historical. This gives us an idea of what the surrounding and the environment was back then, and how it differs from now. That causes us to view it much differently than we did back then.
  • Another criticism is Marxist. This affects our perception by letting us understand why this man would do such a thing. He wanted power, he wanted his power because he was denied of it when he was a boy/teen. And he thought the only way to gain that power is by raping these kids and killing them.

Works Cited

  • A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 02 May 2015