Examining Gacy’s early life, could anyone have guessed at the horrors to come? John Wayne Gacy was born on March 17, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. As a child, he was shy, overweight, and non-athletic. His father was an abusive alcoholic whom John felt the need to please. At age 20, after a fight with his father, John moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. He worked in a mortuary.

Only after he met and married his first wife in 1964 did the illusion of a normal suburban life begin to crumble. Gacy was first arrested in 1968 on child molestation charges . He served only 18 months of a 10-year sentence, and upon his release, returned to Chicago to live with his mother.

Gacy married Carole Hoff, a divorced mother of two, in June 1972, the same year he began his killing rampage. They divorced in 1976, and Gacy’s crimes remained a mystery until police began investigating him in 1978. Gacy was convicted of killing 33 people and brought to trial in 1980. He remained on death row for fourteen years, and was executed by lethal injection on May 9, 1994.