Serial Killers and Mass Murderers

Categories: Criminology

If you were to ask me what piqued my interest regarding mass murderers and serial killers, I honestly wouldn‘t be able to give you a straight, clear answer. There aren’t any specific personal anecdotes in which I could share, I never knew anyone who was murdered and I have not had any run-ins with any serial killers myself. Yet the question remains: why? Well, to be frank, I suppose I always found mass murderers to be a particularly gruesome, but extremely fascinating topic, What kind of life must an individual have led in order for their darker, fearless side to manifest and take hold? I don’t necessarily mean that they have no fear, since they do harbor a fear of attracting attention from authorities and their community.

They hide their tracks and mask their mutilated victims by any means, some undergoing more elaborate methods of disposal than others. I feel this behavior that serial killers partake in order to avoid detection demonstrates that they have all the characteristics of rational human beings; be that as it may, there appears to be a detachment from reality somewhere.

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Most choose to take care and time with their killings, lovingly plotting each step and weighing every potential outcome to perfection.

Others have no rhythm or style, simply hacking and slashing at those who are unfortunate enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. They resemble wolves acting in sheep’s clothing; living amongst their prey, they take what they want while unsuspected by others and display truly commendable acts of cunning.

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These thespian wolves come in many shapes, have different rituals they partake in before a kill, yet one specific predator comes to mind when dealing with serial killers. A man who is perhaps the undisputed leader of 33 killings and convicted rapes, his reign spanned through the 19705 known to many as the Killer Clown. Mr, John Wayne Gacy (In) is one of the original American serial killers who made a name for himself through his ghastly murders ending in quiet kisses.

My research on Gacy began at the Sunnyvale Public Library. Upon entering, I searched for the Librarian so that I may inquire where a specific book was located. I found a book as well as an old article, both explaining potential reasons behind Gacy’s psychiatry for his murders. This was quite a substantial amount of knowledge regarding the murders; however the personal life of the Killer Clown remained a mystery to me, After proceeding to search on Google, it turns out that many websites have extensive information regarding his childhood, detailed information on all of his murders as well as the investigation and procedure of his arrest. This helped indicate the possible reasoning for his urges and the process in which they were created. After reading Clifford L. Linedecker’s novel, The Man Who Killed Boys: The John Wayne Gacy, Jri Story, it occurred to me that Gacy grew up a troubled young man, tormented by his peers and constantly belittled by his father. Coming from a Danish background, he was born in Chicago, Illinois and the middle of three children. He constantly experienced his father‘s drunken abuses and his incessant disparagement of Gacy, often comparing him to his two sisters.

At the age of six, young Gacy stole a toy car from the grocery store which his mother shortly discovered- upon hearing the news, Gacy’s father beat him with a belt, Once in an interview Gacy was asked if he hated his father, to which he severely denied regardless of the vehement nature of his treatment, At the age of nine a contractor who was a friend of his father took him for a ride in his truck and fondled him, having never told his father due to his fear of bearing the shame. As a teenager, his father’s explosive fits were more frequent, often causing severe lacerations and deep bruising. After dropping out of high school, Gacy left his house following an argument with his father and left for Las Vegas. Here he worked in a mortuary for three months before returning to Chicago.

Following his return, Gacy graduated from Northwestern Business College without obtaining a high school diploma and began his own construction company. It was here on January 2, 1972, Gacy picked up a fifteen year-old youth named Timothy Jack McCoy from Chicago’s Greyhound bus terminal. He offered sharing a joint with McCoy and they smoked as Gacy took McCoy on a sightseeing tour of Chicago, Gacy then drove McCoy to his home on the promise that he could spend the night and be driven back to the station in time to catch his bus, High and unaware of his surroundings, McCoy was struck across the ahead as Gacy proceeded to furiously stab him in the chest. Subsequently, Gacy dismembered his victim and buried him under a crawlspace by the porch of his house Since McCoy was a drifter from another state, there was no reason for the police to notice his disappearance, allowing Gacy to continue with his murdersi Along this time Gacy became active in his community and the projects they panook in, He discovered and quickly joined the “Jolly Jokers” club where members would dress up as clowns and perform at children’s eventsi Gacy devised his own character.

Pogo the Clown, and would regularly attend local parties, events and hospitals to entertain young children, He even appeared at his favorite bar in this costume at times after committing murders; however people never suspected any such actions from Gacy. Gacy’s final murder that leads into his investigation began on December 11, 1978 after luring fifteen year old Robert Piest with the promise of a job into his home. There he chloroformed his victim, and handcuffed him to a kitchen chair while contemplating his method of disposal. Upon waking it is said that as Pogo the Clown, Gacy laid out various sized dildos and told Piest that he should smile because they were going to play a gamer Manacled and helpless, Piest endured Gacy’s violation of his body and his screams muffled clue to Gacy’s gag (which was an old sock that he used for all of his victims), Gacy slit his throat, dismembered the body and loaded him in his car for disposal in the nearby river since his crawlspace was filled with over twenty victims at this time.

Following the murder, Piest’s parents phoned the police indicating that their son had not returned home from Gacy’s house, After Gacy flatly denied seeing Piest when questioned, the police were convinced he was behind Piest’s disappearance and proceeded to run a background check on him. Discovering he had an outstanding charge of battery in Chicago and sewing prison in Iowa for sodomy, a judge issued a search of his house. Upon the search, various items aroused suspicion; these included different driver’s licenses (none belonging to Gacy), handcuffs, a two by four with drilled holes in the ends, books on homosexuality, articles of clothing too small for Gacy, a syringe and a receipt from the pharmacy where Piest worked at, Following the assignment of a two man detective duo to monitor Gacy’s activities, they noticed the smell of decay upon entering his house, and when questioned about it Gacy simply replied, “You know. ., clowns can get away with murder.” Trailing the scent to the crawlspace, they proceeded to dig and discovered numerous skeletons belonging to teenage malesi Learning of this, Gacy felt he should “clear the air” and confessed to over thirty murders. After his confessions and his trial where he was found guilty, Gacy was incarcerated to the Menard Correctional Facility in Chester, Illinois where he would spend fourteen years on death row.

According to the reports that were published, Gacy was a diagnosed psychopath who failed to express or indicate any remorse for his audacious crimes. His last words to his lawyer prior to his execution were that “killing him would not compensate for the loss of others, and that this was the state murdering him.” It is reported that his final spoken words were simply, ”Kiss my ass” and so ended the reign of John Wayne Gacy, Jr. It was fairly interesting researching the Killer Clown as I had literally known very little about him prior to this investigation. Through my research, I have grown to view him as a double faced coin, each with its own personality, On one side we had the man who was devoted to creating an exceptionally improved living environment for his community and the people living in the premises. He even remained a prominent figure as his murders were undergoing investigation. Yet, on the other side of that coin, there was his insatiable, malignant side. However, regardless of my findings, I still find myself questioning if his devotion to his community was truly pure or rather a facade to obscure the commonwealth with the image of a good-hearted, public figure.

I found that many serial killers have traumatic events that occur during their childhood that leave them a mental scar, Whether it be a witness of a brutal murder, a victim of sexual harassment or other altering events; something materializes in the killer’s mentality that allows their detachment from reality to manifest. I feel for John Wayne Gacy, .lr. it was numerous factors that contributed to his alter ego. As a child he was frequently abused by his father, both physically and verbally belittled as well as molested in a truck by his father’s close friend. Quite frankly, I find this to be an extremely difficult environment to grow up in. The abuse causes psychological differences that are irreparable and Gacy never spoke to anyone about his sexual violation until much later. The shame he had held inside him must have caused great trouble and grief in his life Along with this, he suffered from blood clots that occurred after struck in the head by the seat of a swing, his mother and teachers noted that this caused noticeable changes in his behavior. Gacy was more erratic and unpredictable, as if the swing set had struck a bolt loose in his brain. Similar results from similar situations can be seen in other killers as well such as.

Charles Manson, who as a child his alcoholic mother once sold him for a pitcher of beer or Ted Bundy whose role model growing up was his racist, fitfully sadistic and violent Grandfather. To conclude, I feel as though Gacy is an unfortunate character to fully comprehend. It was difficult finding sources for my specific killer clown, but from what research I undertook, I ultimately View him as a momentous factor in American history as well as the first true killer to properly avoid detection (his means of disposal and behavior became sloppy as he became too comfortable; other serial killers usually have repeated flaws in their method of disposal and this is primarily what leads the authorities to them). Learning mttch about his profile somewhat inspired me to potentially pursue a career in the Justice System, yet more specifically Criminal Profiling, I want to visit the crime scenes, physically experience the rush of analyzing the potential causes of murders, interview killers and root out their style and method of processing thought. It truly is fascinating in general hearing about killers and their means of doing so I wonder what factors in their life contributed to their current disposition and sketch out possibilities while listening to their methods of tactic and skill (if they even have any). All in all, this research has proven to be of great value to me as it probably someday will support my future career in Criminology.

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Serial Killers and Mass Murderers. (2022, Aug 08). Retrieved from

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