This post discusses sexual abuse, torture and murder. It may be triggering for some readers.
John Wayne Gacy, aka the Killer Clown, was put to death by lethal injection in 1994. But families are still going through the horror of finding out that he murdered one of their loved ones.
Just weeks ago, the family of Francis Wayne Alexander were told that their son and brother, who they last spoke to in the 1970s, was dead, and he’d died at the hands of Gacy.
Gacy is known as one of the US’s worst serial killers. He grew up in Chicago with an alcoholic, abusive father, who often beat him and told him he was stupid. After a brief period working as a mortuary attendant, he studied business, got married to Marlynn Myers, started managing KFC restaurants in Iowa, and had two children.
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To outsiders, he seemed like a normal, successful man. But he had a dark side. He would invite teenage male employees to his house, give them alcohol, and make sexual advances.
In 1967, he sexually assaulted 15-year-old Donald Voorhees and was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to 10 years in jail. His wife divorced him.
A model prisoner, he became head cook and negotiated better conditions for prisoners, including a mini-golf course. He was released in 1970. While still on parole, he was arrested twice for forcing teenage boys into sex. Both times, the charges were dropped.
Gacy bought a house in Chicago and became a respected member of the local community, hosting parties attended by hundreds of people. He married Carole Hoff, a divorcee with two children, and started a construction business. He would dress as Pogo, the happy clown, or Patches, the more serious clown, and perform at parties, charity events and children’s hospitals.