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The John Wayne Gacy Tapes: New Netflix series Conversations With A Killer

FINALLY John Wayne Gacy is getting a decent documentary - as until now, I always feared he would only be analysed and explored in the form of terrible movies. Which isn't always a bad thing as I will happily watch them, but it's nice to have a splash of fact mixed in with really shoddy scripts and acting.

Launching in the UK on April 20th, Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes will speak to victims, investigators and feature archive soundbites from police interviews with Gacy himself.

Yes, including his immortal soundbite, "A clown can get away with anything... a clown can get away with murder."

I think a lot of people will be "shook" when they discover that the 'killer clown' of horror lore is based on fact - but it's worth noting that Stephen King has said that his iconic clown character Pennywise from IT is based on Ronald McDonald. Who, if you count cholesterol and obesity as weapons, is a mass murderer, too.

But that's not the only unsettling thing that will come to light when the series starts next week.

Here are some of the creepiest facts about John Wayne Gacy....

  1. As a young man he ran away from home and ended up driving hearses for a Las Vegas mortuary. They let him live in the back room, but at night when everyone had gone home, he would climb in the coffins and interfere with the bodies of dead teenage boys.

  2. He was the manager of three KFCs in Waterloo, Iowa. And for his final death row meal before he was executed, he asked for a bucket of the chain's fried chicken.

  3. John Wayne Gacy started painting while on death row, selling hundreds of paintings. They are now highly sought after, and sell for thousands of dollars. However, many of his works were burned on a huge pyre by the families of his victims after they teamed up to buy a load of them at auction.

  4. In November 1968 he was given a 10 year sentence for 'sodomising' a boy. But after just 18 months, Gacy was released early due to good behaviour, and his records sealed. This meant he was able to move away to Chicago and start afresh - and kill more than 30 young men.

  5. While serving his ridiculously tiny fraction of a sentence at Anamosa State Penitentiary, he designed a mini golf course for inmates which is still in use today.

  6. The day he plead guilty to sodomising a boy his wife filed for divorce, petitioning to keep the marital home. He never saw her or their two children again.

  7. Gacy became known as 'the killer clown' as he would often dress up as 'Patches' or the more commonly known moniker 'Pogo' to entertain sick kids at hospitals or to entertain guests at community events. Find out why Gacy called himself Pogo the Clown here.

  8. He would impersonate a police officer to get lone young men in to his car on charges of soliciting so he could rape them - and then scare them in to silence.

  9. Gacy had two 'tricks' that he would use when killing his victims - one involving handcuffs, one using a piece of rope.

  10. He hid the bodies of the men he killed beneath the floorboards of his house - a bit like Dennis Nilsen. When he ran out of space he began throwing their remains in to a nearby river.


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