- The property where John Wayne Gacy buried his victims was demolished and replaced with a new home on the lot.
- John Wayne Gacy is considered one of the worst serial killers in U.S. history.
- Dressed as Pogo the Clown, Gacy would visit children’s hospitals and entertain at birthday parties as his eerie alter ego.
- A documentary titled John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise was released in 2021 that features actual interviews with Gacy himself.
John Wayne Gacy was an infamous American serial killer and sexual predator that was responsible for the murders of over 30 young men and boys. According to Gacy himself, the deranged killer committed all the murders in his ranch house in Illinois. Given the terrifying brutality of his crimes and the sheer number of victims he had amassed in his active years, John Wayne Gacy is considered one of the worst serial killers in U.S. history. Keep reading for more on the John Wayne Gacy murders, facts about the killer himself, and details on the John Wayne Gacy house.
Where Is John Wayne Gacy’s House?
The John Wayne Gacy house was located near Norridge – a village in the unincorporated Norwood Park Township of metropolitan Chicago, Illinois. This was the site where Gacy reportedly lured his victims to assault, murder, and bury them.
John Wayne Gacy House Chicago
The John Wayne Gacy ranch-style home in Chicago looks surprisingly unremarkable at first glance. Gacy purchased the property with help from his mother and lived there until his arrest in 1978.
Downstairs, the John Wayne Gacy basement housed a recreation space with a Tiki-style bar where Gacy often hosted themed parties for neighbors and friends.
Under the careful visage of a regular suburban home, however, a mortifying truth was hiding just under the surface. What no one could have ever realized during their visits to the Gacy residence was that they were likely surrounded by tortured murder victims buried just beneath their feet.
While guests had always noticed a foul smell inside the home during their visits, Gacy quickly explained this away as moisture buildup.
John Wayne Gacy House Address
Serial killer John Wayne Gacy s home address, aka the site of his murders, was 8213 W. Summerdale Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60656.
Was John Wayne Gacy House Demolished?
Thankfully, and unsurprisingly, the original John Wayne Gacy house on Summerdale Ave is no longer standing. The home was demolished in 1979 during the thorough search for the dozens of victims buried on the property.
In 1988, a new home was built on the site of the former Gacy residence by the Jendrycki family.
The new house built on the lot is far nicer than the home that previously occupied the space – featuring a large family room with a double-sided fireplace as well as a fully updated kitchen, loft space on the second floor, and a spacious basement.
While the new home bears little resemblance to the former residence at 8213 W. Summerdale Ave (even donning a new house number), the idea that dozens of bodies were buried on the site does still leave a dark stain on the location immortalized by death.
The home was placed on the market in August 2019 for $459k but would end up selling in 2021 for $395k, according to property records.
John Wayne Gacy Crawlspace
29 bodies in total were found at the John Wayne Gacy home – 26 of which were buried in the crawl space beneath the house and the remaining 3 placed in other areas of the property.
Photos of police excavation in this crawlspace paint a gruesome picture of unending horrors. Every numbered flag in the picture below shows where remains were found.
Gacy buried bodies so close together sometimes that police suspected the killings were performed at the same time. This theory was proven correct when Gacy himself admitted he would sometimes kill more than one victim in a day.
Was John Wayne Gacy a Clown?
If you’ve ever seen a film about a psychopath that dresses like a clown and kills people, chances are the writers took direct inspiration from the John Wayne Gacy case.
Nicknamed “The Killer Clown” in the media, Gacy was known for dressing up as his clown alter ego “Pogo the Clown” and visiting children’s hospitals as well as performing at parties.
While there’s no evidence that Gacy murdered his victims in clown costume – the eerie photos of a smiling Gacy in face paint and colorful clown garbs have become synonymous with his killings.
In American Horror Story: Freakshow – Twisty the Clown is a character loosely inspired by Gacy’s Pogo.
How Many People Did John Wayne Gacy Kill?
John Wayne Gacy took the lives of 33 young men and boys – six of which have never been identified. Gacy would lure these boys back to his home sometimes under the pretense that they would discuss a job at his successful contractor business (or they were already working for him).
Inside his home, he would often show them a “magic trick” with handcuffs and would encourage the boys to put the handcuffs on themselves so he could show them how it was done.
Once restrained, Gacy would carry out unspeakable crimes against these young men before murdering them and burying their remains on his property.
The lot was so filled with human remains at one point that Gacy disposed of his last 4 victims in the Des Plaines River and Dresden Island Lock and Dam in the Illinois River.
John Wayne Gacy Victims
When telling the story of a monster like John Wayne Gacy, it’s important not to forget that the bodies found in his home belonged to real people that had families. These young men and boys deserved more in life than to end up discarded in the crawlspace of a cold-blooded serial killer.
The following are the names of the young men who were murdered by Gacy:
Timothy Jack McCoy (age 16), Victim No. 28 (age 14-18), John Butkovich (age 18), Victim No. 5 (age 22-32), Darrel Samson (age 19), Samuel Stapleton (age 14), Randall Reffett (age 15), Michael Bonnin (age 17), William Carroll (age 16), Victim No. 26 (age 22-30), Jimmy Haakenson (age 16), Victim No. 13 (age 17-21), Victim No. 21 (age 21-27), Rick Johnston (age 17), William George Bundy (age 19), Michael Marino (age 14), Kenneth Parker (age 16), Gregory Godzik (age 17), John Szyc (age 19), John Prestidge (age 20), Victim No. 10 (age 17-21), Matthew Bowman (age 18), Robert Gilroy (age 18), John Mowery (age 19), Russell Nelson (age 21-22), Robert Winch (age 18), Tommy Boling (age 20), David Talsma (age 20), William Kindred (age 19), Timothy O’Rourke (age 20), Frank Landingin (age 19), James Mazzara (age 20), Robert Piest (age 15).
John Wayne Gacy Documentary
There’s been a plethora of documentaries and true crime series that have covered Gacy’s murders. One new series released in 2021 titled John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise, however, uses real never-before-seen interviews with Gacy himself.
The series consisted of 6 episodes that aired in March 2021 on the streaming service Peacock.
John Wayne Gacy Family
John Wayne Gacy was married twice in his lifetime. His first wife, Marylynn Myers, he met while the two were working at the same shoe store and married in 1964. Myers would divorce Gacy following his prison sentence for the sexual assault of 2 boys. She cited cruel and inhumane treatment for the divorce.
In 1972, Gacy married childhood acquaintance Carole Hoff. Carole was friends with John’s sister and she had even once gone on a date with him when she was 16. Hoff moved in with Gacy after their marriage – never knowing the home she lived in was the burial site of Gacy’s first victim.
In the years that followed Gacy’s confession, Carole admitted that she had once found wallets of young men inside her husband’s car and he became enraged when she confronted him. She also noted a putrid smell in the attic shortly after moving in, but Gacy had told her it was a leaky sewer pipe.
Hoff would divorce John in 1976 – only 3 and a half years after marrying.
John Wayne Gacy Children
John Wayne Gacy fathered two children with ex-wife Marylynn Myers: Michael Gacy (1967) and Christine Gacy (1968).
Little is known about Gacy’s children because, like the rest of the Gacy family, they have tried to avoid the public eye. It’s likely that both Michael and Christine have changed their name at some point in order to avoid being known as the children of the Killer Clown.
What Happened to John Wayne Gacy?
Following his confession to the murders and the unearthing of the brutal crime scene at his home, John Wayne Gacy was convicted of 33 counts of murder in 1980. He was sentenced to death.
In the years that followed his sentence, Gacy earned money while in prison by selling his crudely drawn self-portraits dressed as Pogo the Clown.
John Wayne Gacy was executed by lethal injection in May 1994.