What Causes Deviant Behavior

Topics: John Wayne Gacy, Des Plaines River, Des Plaines, Illinois Pages: 4 (1709 words) Published: July 16, 2014
What Causes Deviant Behavior
In 1980, an Illinois jury convicted John Wayne Gacy for killing 33 young boys and men. Sarcastically, after his conviction, the infamous killer, also known as “The Killer Clown” said “I should have never been convicted of anything more serious than running a cemetery without a license” (Berry-Dee, 2011). Obviously, something intrusively wrong resonated in Gacy for him to make such a statement that negated the intensity of his actions. Gacy buried the majority of his victims under the crawl space of his home and discarded other victims in the Des Plaines River (Amirante & Broderick, 2012). People often question what would make someone do such vicious and tortuous acts on another person. Criminologists developed theories explaining the reasons people deviate from societal norms and commit immoral acts laws prohibit (Schmalleger, 2010). Particularly, in this case, John Wayne Gacy is a person suitable to study. Certainly, a few crime causation theories explain how his upbringing, life experiences, and other deep underlying issues led him to committing crimes to the extent he did. Gacy was the only son of three children born to Marion and John Gacy. He was the middle child. The Gacy’s lived on the north side of Chicago. As a young boy n middle school, Gacy kept busy by working part-time as a bag boy, delivering newspapers and participating in Boy Scouts. Even though he was not popular, his teachers liked him, and he had many friends (Lohr, n.d.). To people outside of Gacy’s home, it appeared he had an awesome childhood. However, many people did not know Gacy’s relationship with his father was far from normal. Gacy’s father physically abused his mother and verbally assaulted Gacy by calling him a “queer” and a “sissy”. Additionally, a family friend molested Gacy as well (Lohr, n.d.). Between the ages of 11 and 16, Gacy suffered blackouts resulting from an incident doctors learned occurred years earlier. At the age of 11, a...

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The Clown That Killed: The Horrifying Legacy of John Wayne Gacy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.prairieghost.com/gacy.html
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