John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994), also known as the Killer Clown, was an American serial killer and rapist who sexually assaulted and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County, Illinois.
All of Gacy's known murders were committed inside his Norwood Park Township home. His victims would typically be lured to this address by force or deception, and all but one victim were murdered by either asphyxiation or strangulation with a tourniquet (his first victim was stabbed to death). Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space of his home. Three further victims were buried elsewhere on his property, while the bodies of his last four known victims were discarded in the Des Plaines River.
Convicted of 33 murders, Gacy was sentenced to death for 12 of these killings on March 13, 1980. He spent 14 years on death row before he was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10, 1994.
Gacy became known as the "Killer Clown" due to his charitable services at fundraising events, parades and children's parties where he would dress as "Pogo the Clown", a character he devised himself.
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