5 Recent Developments Involving Serial Killer Clown John Wayne Gacy

The case of the monster who murdered dozens of boys and young men continues to evolve today.

November 01, 2018
John Wayne Gacy [Des Plaines Police Department]

John Wayne Gacy [Des Plaines Police Department]

John Wayne Gacy [Des Plaines Police Department]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

Serial killer John Wayne Gacy terrorized and murdered at least 33 boys and young men who he lured to his home in Cook County, Illinois, between 1972 and 1978 — but the effects of his prolific crime spree reverberate to this day.

Forty years after the so-called “Killer Clown” took his last life, police are still trying to identify six of his victims. In July, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children used facial reconstruction techniques to release brand new sketches of what two of his prey, both white males and possibly between the ages of 17 and 22 years old, could have looked like.

2018 facial reconstructions of Body 10 (left) and Body 13 [Wikipedia]

2018 facial reconstructions of Body 10 (left) and Body 13 [Wikipedia]

2018 facial reconstructions of Body 10 (left) and Body 13 [Wikipedia]

And just last year, DNA helped determine the identity of Victim No. 24, who is now known as James “Jimmy” Haakenson. The 16-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota, had gone on his own to Chicago in the summer of 1976 but never returned. While family always suspected Gacy may have murdered the teen, it took until recently for the late boy’s curious nephew to set in motion the process of investigators eventually discovering Gacy did, in fact, kill Haakenson.

Not all the boys Gacy encountered are dead, however. A Chicago man believes he was almost one of the serial monster's first murder victims. In a recent interview with the Daily Herald, David Bolton recalled how, as a 10 year old, he and his mom vacationed at a resort in Wisconsin. He is now certain he crossed paths there with Gacy, who was just a teenager at the time. “It hit me like a ton of bricks,” Bolton, now 71, said of the realization. I can’t prove it, but that was him.”

Gacy, already displaying clear signs of a sadistic personality, forced the young boy to massacre frogs and sexually molested him. “He said if I didn’t do what he said, he’d throw me in the lake and drown me,” recalled Bolton. “He said people drown all the time. People will think it’s an accident.”

Today, the memories of the possible Gacy encounter are seared into Bolton’s memory. “I think of it every day of my life,” he said. “I wish I could erase it. I’m glad he’s dead.”

For decades now, Gacy’s chilling history has fascinated true-crime fans, and his creepy artwork provides at least a small glimpse into his twisted psyche. Gacy, infamous for his obsession with clowns, created thousands of paintings and self-portraits, including many depicting him dressed up as his alter-egos, Pogo and Patches.

Gacy’s artwork is now so popular it’s even showcased in auctions and online galleries. One clown masterpiece went under the hammer for $7,500 in Philadelphia last spring. “His Pogo paintings were only going for about $250 in the early ‘90s,” noted Stephen Koschal, a Gacy art and memorabilia expert. “But these days they can sell for as much as $50,000.”

Not all new developments regarding Gacy’s crimes are so unappetizing. Some Japanese entrepreneurs recently opened Ningen — which translates to human restaurant” — in Tokyo. The temporary dining destination served twists on the last meals of famous Death Row inmates. Naturally, Gacy’s choice was featured on the menu: a version of the serial killer’s final food request of, among other selections, a bucket of KFC chicken, fries, shrimp, and strawberries.

Gacy was executed by lethal injection in May 1994 after serving over 14 years behind bars, but the lore surrounding the Killer Clown clearly continues to develop and live on today.

For more on John Wayne Gacy, watch the premiere of Deadly Legacy Sunday, December 9, at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery!

Next Up

Woman Who Escaped Serial Killer Uses TikTok To Empower Others Dealing With Trauma

‘I went on to survive and thrive,’ Kara Robinson Chamberlain says of life after Richard Marc Edward Evonitz kidnapped her when she was 15.

Bobby Joe Long, 'The Classified Ad Rapist,' Caused Tampa's Murder Rate To Skyrocket

Bobby Joe Long, who some reports claim is a distant cousin of Henry Lee Lucas, had a troubled childhood prior to his life as a violent offender.

Accused Rapist & Murderer Fathers Children With Woman & Her Daughter; Now On The Run

Tomas Magallon Gonzalez is described as a master manipulator of people, especially children. He’s accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's nine-year-old daughter for years and eventually fathering two children with her before killing her.

True Crime News Roundup: Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy Victim Identified 45 Years After His Murder

Plus: Drug supplier pleads guilty to his role in Mac Miller’s overdose death; 3 children found living with brother’s skeletal remains; mother poses online as minor to ensnare sexual predators; and new details emerge in shooting on Alec Baldwin movie set.

5 Bizarre Facts You May Not Know About Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy

The “killer clown” continues to shock and horrify, 28 years after his execution.

Midwestern Civil War Buff May Be Serial Killer Connected To Dozens Of Females’ Deaths

Larry DeWayne Hall was identified as a suspect in a kidnapping after a witness took down his van’s license plate number.

Modern-Day 'Bonnie And Clyde’ Accused Of Committing 5 Murders Across 3 States

Tyler Terry and Adrienne Simpson face a slew of charges after their arrests in South Carolina.

Jeffrey Dahmer's Murderer Explains Why He Killed the 'Milwaukee Cannibal'

Christopher Scarver, who is serving time for killing his boss during a robbery, insists that Jeffrey Dahmer did not feel any remorse for his crimes.

‘Co-ed Killer' ‘Happy’ Behind Bars: ‘Society Is Not Ready In Any Shape Or Form For Me’

“He's a demented super-genius of a sociopath,” convicted serial killer Edmund Kemper’s half-brother says.

True Crime News Roundup: Beauty Pageant Hopeful Vanishes After Flying To Las Vegas

Plus: Young boy’s body found in Nevada freezer; man accused of murdering, and Florida serial killer convicted of three murders.