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John Wayne Gacy slept in a coffin with a dead teenage boy

John Wayne Gacy will forever be known as the 'killer clown'

Before his reign as a child-killing clown, John Wayne Gacy had a stint working at a mortuary... where the pay was so low he was allowed to sleep in one of the backrooms. Needless to say, when everyone had gone home for the night, he got up to all sorts of depraved acts with the corpses waiting to be buried...

John Wayne Gacy once slept in a coffin with a dead boy - and it wasn't one of the 33 victims he strangled, raped, and buried beneath his house.

Gacy, best known as 'the killer clown' was convicted of the murder of 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978. But before his sickening crime spree - and discovering a secret affinity for the big top buffoons - he fled the family home in Chicago after a row with his dad, and headed for a fresh start in Las Vegas.

Gacy was arrested just days before Christmas 1978

Aged just 18, he started working for the ambulance service, but when they found out he was three years below the minimum age for the job, they transferred him to a low paid job working at Palm Mortuary.

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The salary wasn't enough for him to survive on, so his new bosses let him sleep on a makeshift bed set up at the back of the embalming room, a situation that lasted for three months - until he did something that even shocked and upset himself.

Gacy would admit to cops that one night the lure of the embalming room was just too strong. He left his temporary digs and gently climbed in to the coffin of a dead boy... and spent the night touching and fondling him.

Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas - best signage I've ever seen TBH

He was never caught interfering with the bodies at night, but later admitted to police that he would open the drawers where the bodies were stored and speak gently to them, with greater detail given in the book Born Killers, Childhood Secrets of the World's Deadliest Serial Killers, by Christopher Berry-Dee.

Berry-Dee writes: "Alone in a strange city, without friends and no social life, John Gacy became a ghoul. When all was secured in the funeral home and the staff had left, he would shuffle over to the cabinets and pull out a drawer. In the weak, yellowy light, he would converse in hushed tones with the corpses, explain his troubles and touch the bodies ever so gently, curiously examining them.


“Sometimes he would undress them, neatly fold the clothes and leave them next to the caskets.”

The author added that the funeral director became suspicious of his young employee's late night - and grossly inappropriate antics - and called police, but Gacy was never caught in the act.

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He killed men in sadistic ways, and strangled them before burying them in mud under his house

Years later when he was interviewed on Death Row, Gacy indignantly rebutted the rumours that his penchant for necrophilia had begun during the long lonely nights in Las Vegas.

He said: “They got me a job with Palm Mortuary, being the night man picking up dead bodies from all the hospitals and stuff for them. I worked as the night man only, I didn’t have nothing to do with the bodies.

"All this talk that I slept with dead ones, or had sex with dead bodies, there is no truth to any of that. I lived in the mortuary but not in the embalming room. I mean it sounds like I slept in the crypts with them."

Typically of the blood-thirsty dad-of-two, he would contradict earlier statements about his appalling behaviour.

He said: "And I never climbed in to a coffin or anything like that. That is so damned ridiculous.

"And, besides, the dead don’t bother you, it’s the living you have to worry about.”


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