JohnWayne Gacy Psychological Profile John Wayne Gacy was a Serial killerand rapist responsible for the murders and sexual assaults of at leastthirty-three teenaged boys and young adults between 1972 and 1978 in CookCountry Illinois before being caught on December 21st, 1978. Gacywas later known as the “Killer Clown” based off his charitable work where hewould dress up as “Pogo the Clown” at fundraising events, parades, andchildren’s birthday parties. Gacy grew up in a home with his twosisters, his mother and his father.
He was close to his sisters and his mother,but his father was an abusive alcoholic who physically abused his wife andfamily. At seven years old, Gacy and another boy were accused of molesting ayoung girl. Gacy was also molested by a family member in the seventh grade butdid not tell his parents due to fear of being beat by his father. At the age ofeleven he fell off a swing set and hit his head, this incident formed a bloodclot in his brain, that was found and treated years later when he was sixteen.During his youth, he was ostracized from the other kids at school because ofhis congenital heart condition, making him unable to play with them. He laterrealized that he was sexually attracted to men and this caused great stress inhis life. Gacy was diagnosed with anti-socialpersonality disorder after being charged with assault and court ordered to bediagnosed.
Anti-social personality disorder characterized by disregard for society’s laws, violation ofthe physical or emotional rights of others, lack of stability in job and homelife, irritability and aggressiveness, lack of remorse, consistentirresponsibility, recklessness, impulsivity, deceitfulness. Gacy would be considered apsychopath. Using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, a checklist used to rate aperson’s psychopathic tendencies, phycologists can determine if a person is apsychopath. Gacy, exhibits many of the items on the check list including; glib and superficial charm, grandiose estimation of self, pathologicallying, cunning and manipulativeness.
There are many factors that couldhave contributed to Gacy’s need to kill. His traumatic childhood may have beena factor of his killings because when children are or witness abuse during theirchildhood they are more likely to be violent adults, because they learn behaviourfrom their parents. This abuse paired with his isolation from other childrenhis age during childhood had severe impacts on his mental health. When Gacy wasolder and realised he had a sexually attraction to men, then suppressed thatfeeling, he may have felt like the only way to release his pent-up feelingswere to sexually assault and murder young men. Gacy’s brain was removed after hisdeath and it showed no abnormalities (Fritsch, 2004). Gacy was caught when he offered 15-yearold Robert Priest a job. Before going to meet Gacy, Priest called his mother totell her where he was going and with who. When he never returned home, Priest’smother called the police and filed a missing’s persons report and told them wherehe last was and who he was last with.
Before Robert Priest, Gacy had mostlyprayed on young men who the police had thought were most likely runaways andthere was no further investigation, how ever Priest did not fit into this category,prompting police to investigate more thoroughly. The police but Gacy under constant surveillanceafter Priest was reported missing, and after a while they searched his house. Thefirst time they found nothing, but the second time they police reported the smellof rotting corpses. Gacy eventually confessed and was sentenced to death for twelvecounts of murder. He was on death row for fourteen years before dying fromlethal injection.