John Wayne Gacy Jr. sexually assaulted, tortured and murdered at least 33 young boys and men inside his Illinois ranch house between 1972 and 1978. The vicious serial killer — who claimed to have multiple personality disorder — lived a double life. During the day, he was a cheerful and friendly party clown who went by the name of Pogo, but at night, he was a boozed-up murderer who lured naïve men into his house of horrors to end their lives.
After years of hiding his killer identity, John Wayne Gacy Jr., also known as “killer clown” told his pals and lawyers about the murders. Realizing his life was over, he pointed authorities to the missing bodies — some which he’d buried under his own house, and some which he’d thrown into the river.
He spent 14 years in prison and was killed by lethal injection in 1994. His last words? “Kiss my a**.”
Now, over four decades since the killer clown’s brutal murders, REELZ’s new docuseries, Murder Made Me Famous: John Wayne Gacy, is giving viewers a look back at his creepy double life.
“Gacy created this persona of Pogo the clown, which stood for Gacy being Polish and on-the-go: Pogo,” explains John Borowski, the director of Serial Killer Culture in the show teaser.
“The magic tricks and dressing up as a clown gave him almost a way to recreate his childhood and to do nice things for these kids. It was, I think, all a part of this smoke and mirrors that was his life,” says forensic social worker Tricia Phelps. “I want you to look over here so that you don’t see what’s happening back here.”
Gacy hosted costume parties to which he invited neighbors and powerful politicians.
“Gacy would throw these big bashes where everyone would dress up, and he invited a lot of well-connected political people,” says Murder Made Me Famous host, Steve Helling.
“Because when you’re in the public eye, nobody suspects you of doing anything wrong or underhanded,” adds Borowski.
Murder Made Me Famous: John Wayne Gacy, Saturday airs November 17 at 8 ET / PT on REELZ.