John Wayne Gacy

Topics: Serial killer, John Wayne Gacy Pages: 8 (2828 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Dan Loper
SOC 4508

An Analysis of John Wayne Gacy

We live in a society where violent behavior not only exists; it is something that we are exposed to as it is celebrated and glorified. We see it in the news, television, movies and video games. As a result, there is a pattern of desensitization that exists throughout the United States which may help explain why the United States has the highest rates of murder by serial killers in the entire world. Throughout the years, the United States has had many confirmed serial killers who have committed their horrid acts for many different reasons. Some kill for to gain fame while others kill to achieve a feeling of power. One of the more famous serial killers (and sexual predators) John Wayne Gacy killed due to sexual frustration and frustration brought upon by a dysfunctional childhood full of disappointments.

Over the course of his serial killing career, Gacy murdered at least thirty three people (it is believed that the number is actually much higher) from 1972 to 1978 before he was convicted of 33 counts of murder. Gacy would lure his victims into his home by using various methods at which point he would sexually assault them, murder them and bury the dead bodies all around his property with twenty seven of those bodies being buried in his crawl space. Gacy was known as the “Killer Clown” because he would dress as a clown (Pogo the clown, a character that he created) for various community events and he was also known to wear said clown suit when committing his numerous rapes and murders making such acts seem much more deranged than they already are. He had many victims that he would target with many of those victims being young boys who were working summer jobs at his construction company. Because of this fact, he was able to gain their trust which made his targets more vulnerable and his attacks much more surprising. Gacy was eventually sentenced and put on death row for fourteen years before being executed by lethal injection on May 10th, 1994 at the age of fifty two (Linedecker).

The word dysfunctional more than explains Gacy's childhood. Gacy grew up in Chicago Illinois and was the middle child of three children. His relationship with his father was northing short of complicated in that his father was a raging alcoholic, abusive to his spouse and children and a constant antagonist throughout Gacy's more impressionable years. Gacy would constantly seek the approval of his father but no matter how hard he tried, he would come up short which only added to his father's frustration. Much of this was due to the fact that as a child and teenager, Gacy was overweight, unathletic and somewhat feminine. His father would constantly administer verbal and physical abuse because in his eyes, these qualities were not that of a true man and were not up to his alpha male standards. These physical characteristics also caused Gacy to be the target of bullying at school and because of his lack of support from his father, the mental torment only dug deeper into his already fragile mental state which made him more socially awkward and insecure. The strained relationship that Gacy had with his father also caused Gacy to become closer to his mother and sisters which (in his father's eyes) only solidified the point further that John Wayne Gacy was a mentally weak “mommas boy” who could not live up to his standards (Linedecker).

Another staple of his dysfunctional childhood was a series of incidents that occurred when Gacy was nine. During this time, John Wayne Gacy was molested repeatedly by a contractor and friend of the family who would take Gacy on long truck rides. On these trips, this man would effectively take advantage of the young boy's weakness and vulnerability by sexually assaulting him and taking advantage of the fact that Gacy was awkward child that probably wouldn't tell anybody about the repeated abuse. Gacy's low self esteem and fear of...
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