From community helper to murderer: John Wayne Gacy

Netflix is putting an end to the big, bad guy image. It caught me off guard and the feeling will be the same for you.

Gioele Fazzeri on Unsplash

The rise in true crime shows

You’re probably not the only one wondering why nowadays Netflix seems to have a new true crime show every day.

The explanation, whether we like it or not, comes down to a darker side existing in human nature. Our fascination with true crime shows is our way to seek to understand that.

This leads us to John Gacy’s documentary, which not only features a true story, but it contains the original interview tapes from when he was in jail.

If you’re a clown, you can get away with anything

At least, that was what John thought when he came up with the character of Pogo The Clown.

Pogo The Clown was present at public events, in the rooms of sick children at hospitals… everywhere someone needed to cheer up.

This would be all fine and dandy if the only reasoning behind Pogo The Clown was to bring joy to people… instead, this character came to exist because “You can get away with anything if you're a clown.”.

More than bodies: a gay in the closet

In the ’70s, it was heavily frowned upon to be gay.

Even though Gacy never admitted to being gay, the fact that his victims were all young boys definitely speaks volumes.

One can wonder, if being gay wasn’t seen as a sin…

If it wasn’t something your family could disown you for… would we have never experienced Gacy’s wrath?

Why: Personality shift

After watching with completely undivided attention (okay, maybe there were some bathroom breaks), all that was on my mind was this question.

I mean, why would someone who genuinely enjoyed being an active and helpful part of a community, turn into a murderer?

As previously mentioned in the introduction to this post, if you have a fancy for understanding humanity’s dark side, then buckle up, as we’ll be figuring out John Wayne Gacy.

How much of an impact does upbringing have?

Normally, the easiest route to understanding an atrocity committed by someone is to look at their early years.

However, John reports a fairly ordinary childhood, except for his abusive father, who probably also contributed to the sadistic tendencies shown by him.

Later, they manifested into assaulting another boy, gaining some time at a reformatory.

What would make someone turn on their loved community?

Your mind likely attributes being an outcast as the main reason to justify something like this.

However, as a proud business owner of a contractor company and a regulator of the state of Illinois, John was far from an outcast.

What drove him to the murder of 33 people from his community?

His growing frustration with having others in positions above his.

Some say that John Gacy was the biggest mistake of his time, but I say that someone should have seen the ticking timebomb he was.

--

--

--

Bite-sized content in the realms of criminology, self-development and fitness | Freelance Writer

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

“Where are you from?” — A Third Culture Kid’s conundrum

A Tentative Defence Of The Royal Family (but not the monarchy)

PDF Download#% More Myself: A Journey Read #book !ePub

Rocket Science: Alex Little

Iconic dresses that have marked the history of fashion over time

Tamanna ki Vus’at @ Amal Mega Project

Enter the Theatreverse:

The Cruelest Cut: The Ins and Outs of Bad Art Friends

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Carina Barrau

Carina Barrau

Bite-sized content in the realms of criminology, self-development and fitness | Freelance Writer

More from Medium

Candy producers Robin Veith and Nick Antosca bring Candy Montgomery’s story to Hulu

Candy Hulu Jessica Biel Candy Montgomery

The Unsolved Murder of Miami-Dade Jane Doe

MICHAEL PETERSON — NOT GUILTY? OWL THEORY?  THE STAIRCASE.

BadaBing BadaBoom: The Rise of the True Crime: the genre