John Wayne Gacy

Topics: Criminology, John Wayne Gacy, Crime Pages: 8 (2065 words) Published: October 8, 2014
John Wayne Gacy

Edward Low

Fall 2013
Professor Ortiz

On March 17, 1942, John Wayne Gacy was born into an Irish middle-class family. His parents were Marion Gacy and John Gacy Sr. Gacy Jr. had enjoyed a uninteresting childhood until he suffered a head injury at a playground when he was 11. Up until age 16, Gacy had suffered blackouts due to the injury. After all he was put through, he worshipped his father like a hero, despite the fact that his father was an abusive alcoholic with a bad temper and an intense hate for homosexuals. Gacy was often accused and beaten by his father for being sickly. In the year of 1964, he married his co-worker Marlynn Myers. He moved to her home state of Iowa to take a position in her father’s fast food business. Soon enough, Marlynn gave birth to two children. Some time after, rumors began to spread that Gacy were making sexual advances towards his male employees. In 1968, he was indicted of sodomizing a teenage employee, Mark Miller. 10 years later, he was arrested on accounts of multiple murders. He was tried and convicted in 1970. John Gacy Jr was finally executed on May 10, 1994. John Wayne Gacy was a convicted serial killer who murdered 33 young males. His nickname was the Killer Clown. As a child. he was often severely beat by his drunken father because he had congenital heart disease and was seen as abnormal in the family. When he first started attending school, other students teased him. Sometime later, he discovers that he was strongly attracted to males.

In 1968, he was convicted of his first sexual offense and was sentenced to ten-years imprisonment. He was given parole after showing exemplary behavior after eighteen months. In 1972, he was convicted of his first known murder of a teenage male named Timothy McCoy. Between these 4 years, he had continued to sexual assault young males. Three criminology theories can be applied to John Wayne Gacy: General Strain Theory, Social Control Theory and Social Disorganization Theory.

General Strain Theory states that people are more likely to commit crime when multiple strains are in effect. This theory was developed by Robert Agnew. If the person experiences a single strain, he or she is very unlikely to commit crime. I suppose that, if one person suffers multiple strains but was able to solve them, then that person will also not be likely to commit crime. However, if that person experiences multiple strains and can not solve it, criminal activity are more than likely going to be the result. John Gacy grew up in a strict household. Although the relationship between him and his father were quite horrible, Gacy wanted to gain his father’s approval. At age 11, John suffered a head trauma and experienced blackouts that went undiagnosed until he was 16. Doctors were able to treat the blackouts, but a year later, Gacy was diagnosed with a heart disease. John Gacy was also a homosexual but could not tell his father because he was scared of what his homophobic father might think of him. SOCIAL CONTROL THEORY

Social Control Theory, created by Travis Hirschi, argues that people are less likely to become criminals through the process of 4 elements: attachment, commitment, involvement and belief. Without having these 4 elements, a person is subject to become a criminal. Attachment is the emotional connection with another person, such as teachers, peers, and other adults. Cullen and Agnew (2011) states that “when such a relationship exists, youths will be more likely to care what that other person thinks of them” (p. 215). Thus, as a result of keeping this relationship, the individual will restrain from committing crimes. Commitment is the rational conformity of society. This accounts for being able to consider the benefit and costs if the individual considers deviant behavior. If the individual goes to school, is working or is...
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