Intro: It has been established that Gacy killed thirty-three men and boys, but he probably killed more. In any case, the murders themselves were animalistic and devoid of mercy. Some of the boys worked in their killer’s construction company, and others were runaways and prostitutes. Gacy would alternate between promising one victim marijuana, alcohol, and to play pool, and pretend to arrest another, posing as a police officer. He may even have kidnapped some at gunpoint. He then brought them back to his house and trick them into trapping themselves in a pair of handcuffs before torturing them for several hours, gagging them with their own underwear or socks, or a wad of paper towels. (Inspectors would later recover a long stick, covered with dried blood and human waste.) He would then strangle them, either by squashing their airways with a plank or via “the rope trick”, a fiendish device consisting of a couple of bits of wood and a loop of string. After the victim was dead, the murderer then disposed of the body. Sometimes he dumped them into a nearby river; more often then not he buried them in his crawlspace (which many of them had helped to dig.)
On to the victims….
Tim McCoy was murdered on the second of January, 1972, in Gacy’s house. He was fifteen years old. He was on a bus trip, but whilst in Chicago he missed his bus, with ten hours to go until the next one. It was late at night, it was cold, and he was hungry. He also had nowhere to sleep.
He ran into Gacy at the bus station, who got to talking with him. As they chatted, the man asked him if he would like to drive around and see the sights. Tim, who must’ve been frozen at this point, agreed.
It was as they were driving around aimlessly that the conversation took an unsavoury turn, when Gacy propositioned his young passenger. Tim, rather surprizingly at first glance, accepted, but immediately after agreeing mentioned that he was peckish. Gacy said he’d fix him something to eat. As it turned out, he made him some sausage.
So, Tim ended up finding sustenance and lodgings for the night-at a rather unpleasant price, but hey, the alternative would’ve been way worse. In the morning, he decided to express his gratitude towards his host by cooking him breakfast. So, he got up before Gacy woke and bustled around in the kitchen, putting together stuff like eggs and ham, chopping stuff with the same knife that’d been used to cut the sausage. When everything was just about ready, he went into the bedroom to wake Gacy.
Who, incidentially, thought he was being attacked.
He threw up an arm to protect himself, and the knife glanced off him and left a scar. He launched huimself at his unsuspecting guest and bowled him over. A deadly wrestling match ensued, in which the knife fell into Gacy’s possession. He began to stab poor Tim, who at this stage was screaming stuff like “I’m sorry!” and “I didn’t mean it!”
Gacy stabbed him into silence.
Timothy McCoy was buried in the crawlspace under a big slab of concrete. He was interred wearing only his jeans. The rest of his clothes-a blue jacket with white checks and a belt with a large buckle-were disposed of. Tim wasn’t identified until 1986.
John Butkovitch was seventeen years old. Apparently, he loved cars, and had one of his own. In order to maintain it, he got a job. Unfortunately, it was with John Wayne Gacy’s building company. At first, they had a good working relationship, but then a dispute erupted over pay issues (read: Gacy was witholding John’s wages to make money for himself.) He went to the man’s house with a few friends to confront him about it, but to no avail. They gave up and left. John dropped his friends off at their house and drove off. The year was 1975. Three years later, John’s body would be discovered under his former employer’s garage.
Darrell Sampson was eighteen years old. He vanished on the sixth of April, 1976. He was thought to be a runaway until his body was found in Gacy’s crawlspace.
Randall Reffett was fifteen years of age. On the fourteenth of May, 1976, he was playing on the street when a black car of the Oldsmobile make pulled up alongside them, and the driver offered them a lift. In they hopped. Hours later, fourteen-year-old Sam Stapleton was abducted by the same predator. Their bodies were later recovered in the driver’s crawlspace, in 1978.
Michael Bonnin, who was seventeen, was a DIY enthuasiast, and in the month of June, 1976, was working on an old jukebox.He never got to finish this project, because he was abducted by Gacy on the third of June en route to seeing his stepfather’s brother. His body was discovered in the crawlspace.
William “Billy” Carroll, who was fifteen years old, was a bit of a mischievious soul. He generally ranged around the uptown area of Chicago, arranging meetings between the local hustlers and clients for a commission. Before one judges, one must remember that he was just like millions of other rebellious young people around the globe. besides, there are worse things he could’ve done. Like, for example, lure a minor into a homemade torture chamber, assault him, kill him, and bury him in his crawlspace….just like John Gacy did to him. This occured on the tenth of June.
On the sixth of August (still in 1976), Rick Johnston was waliking home after a concert when Gacy picked him up. The boy was about eighteen at the time. He was raped and strangled, like his predecessors. His body was found in the crawlspace.
Gregory Godzik, who was seventeen, was one of the youths employed by Gacy to dig a crawlspace for him, so as it turned out he dug his own grave. At the time of his disappearance, on the twelveth of December, he had been employed by PDM Contractors, Gacy’s company. He had been working in order to finance parts for his car. On that night in December, he dropped his crush off at her house and drove off. His body was located two years later in the crawlspace.
John Szyc was nineteen. He disappeared on the twentieth of January, 1977-the first victim of the new year. He had gone to Gacy’s house-the man was an acquaintice of his-in order to sell his car to him. He must’ve been wondering, as he made his journey to the house, about the whereabouts of two of his friends, Johnny Butkovitch and Gregory Godzik, who had not been seen for a while now. Gacy, of course, killed him….and made a tidy little return on the murder by selling his car to another emloyee. Meanwhile, John was buried in the crawlspace.
Jon Prestige disappeared on the fifteenth of March. He was twenty years old and was from a delightfully named town called Kalamazoo in Michigan. He had gone to Chicago to visit some friends, and somewhere along the line was picked up by Gacy. He was buried in the crawlspace.
Matthew Bowman was nineteen and was murdered on the fifth of July. He was from a town called Crystal Lake. He was buried in the crawlspace, with the material used to strangle him still knotted around his neck.
The next victim was killed on the fifteenth of September. His name was Robert Gilroy, and he was eighteen years old. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed horseback riding. Apparently, he vanished on the way to a riding lesson. A year later, his body was found in the crawlspace.
John Mowery was killed ten days later, on the twenty-fifth of September. At nineteen, he was a year older than Robert. He was a Marine, with ambitions to become an accountant. His mother, Dorothy Nieder, was later cruelly ridiculed by her son’s killer, who incidentially claimed falsely that John was a runaway. Gacy recommended that the grieving woman take “thirty-three Valiums and go lie down”, in response to her statement that he be subjected to thirty-three lethal injections.
Russell Nelson was a twenty-one year old college student. He was murdered on the seventeenth of October, and was later found in the crawlspace. His mother, when later interviewed, said that her son’s killer should be tortured to death, as he did with Russell and the other victims.
Robert Winch died on the eleventh of November. He was sixteen years old, and, like Jon prestige before him, came from Kalamazoo. He was strangled and buried in the crawlspace.
Tommy Boling was twenty, and a father of one. He was murdered on the eighteenth of November. He was also strangled and entombed in the crawlspace.
David Talsma was nineteen years old. He went to a rock concert in a town called Hammond on the ninth of December and never came back. His body was discovered in Gacy’s crawlspace.
William Kindred was nineteen. On the sixteenth of Febuary, 1978, he said goodbye to his girlfriend and set off for a local bar. he never returned. He was the last victim to be buried in the crawlspace.
Timothy O’Rourke was twenty, and he was killed during the month of June. His body was flung into the Des Plaines river. He was later identified by friends of his father, who read about a body dicovered with a tattoo reading “Tim Lee”. Tim had been such a fan of the martial arts star Bruce Lee that he’d incorporated his first name and Lee’s surname into the tattoo.
Frank Wayne Landingin, nicknamed Dale, disappeared on the fourth of November. He was nineteen. His body was, again, tossed into the Des Plaines river by his killer.
James “Mojo” Mazzara, aged twenty, was abducted and killed on the thirteenth of November. His body was dumped in the river.
John Wayne Gacy’s last victim was a young adolescent called Robert Piest, a fifteen-year-old who wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up. Rob was a clean-cut sort of boy-he was of good character, was good-looking and had a well-scrubbed quality to him. He was a typical example of the type of innocent teen Gacy preyed on gleefully. He was abducted on the ninth of December from outside of a pharmacy, having been lured away by gacy with promises of a job. As with the others, he was tortured, suffocated with paper towels that were pushed down in his throat, and thrown into the Des Plaines river. His boy was found a few days later.
An honourabe mention goes to Michael Marino, aged fourteen who was originally thought to be a victim. Recently, however, it was proven that the remains lying in a grave dedicated to him were not his. The true identity of the corpse, and Michael’s whereabouts, are still unknown.
I should also commemorate the eight unidentified males who were also found in the crawlspace. Not one was older, at most, than twenty-eight. Their bodies had decomposed too badly to extract DNA evidence to identify them.