Increasingly in demand, the popularity of true crime documentaries continues to grow, with Netflix releasing their latest chilling serial killer documentary ‘Conversations With A Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes.’
Focusing on one of America’s most notorious serial killers, the documentary follows the gross crimes of the Chicago born criminal, releasing previously unheard of tapes which showcase the full extent of the horrifying darkness which plagued the mind of the sadistic serial killer.
The three-part series uncovers conversations between Gacy and his legal team as they discuss his crimes.
Here is everything you need to know about who he was, what happened to him and how to watch Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes.
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Who was John Wayne Gacy?
Gacy is one of the most infamous American, and prolific, serial killers and sexual offenders. He was convicted of the murder and assault of an estimated 33 young men and boys.
Described as someone who would often embellish his own importance, Gacy was known for his manipulatively charming nature.
Convicted of the sodomy of a teenage boy in Iowa during the late 1960s, he was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, though only served 18 months.
He murdered his first victim in 1972, had murdered twice more by the end of 1975, and murdered at least thirty subsequent victims after his divorce from his second wife.
Known by his disturbing nickname ‘Pogo The Clown’, the Illinois criminal had numerous jobs and was known to work as a contractor, while he was also an aspiring politician. though the killer is best known performing at events and children’s parties as ‘Pogo’ in his infamous clown costume.
He was found to ‘cruise’ for his young, vulnerable victims, where he would lead them to his property before coaxing them into wearing handcuffs by promising to show them a ‘magic trick’ before committing his shocking crimes.
Many of his victims were found buried beneath the crawl space of his Illinois home, where others were placed in the Des Plaines River. Sadly, there are still five of Gacy’s victims which remain unidentified.
How can I watch Confession Of A Serial Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes
The documentary is available to watch now on Netflix UK after being released on Wednesday 20 April. You must have a Netflix subscription to watch the true crime series, which can be purchased here.
Split into three parts, each episode of the series is approximately one hour long.
Who was Robert Piest? What happened to Robert Piest?
Of the multiple young men and boys murdered by the Clown obsessed manic Gacy, Robert Priest’s murder was the crime that led to the conviction of the notorious killer.
Piest, a 15-year-old part time employee at a Nisson Pharmacy, was first reported missing on December 11, 1978. Gacy was confirmed to have been at the store that day to discuss a remodeling deal with the owner, Phil Torf.
It was his Mother’s birthday on the day the teen was reported missing, and it is said she had arrived to drive her son home so the family could celebrate her birthday together at approximately 9pm. Piest’s mother confirmed he had asked her to wait as he had planned to talk with “some contractor wants to talk to me about a job” – the contractor being Gacy, of course, who had reportedly offered him a job at double the rate he was receiving at the pharmacy.
When his mother returned to collect him, the young boy was nowhere to be seen – something which was widely out of character for Piest. He was reported missing to the Des Plaines shortly afterwards.
The store owner, Torf, informed police it was likely to be Gacy who had offered the boy a role, and Gacy was later interviewed by police. However, he vehemently denied he had offered Piest a job, citing he would give a full statement to the police later that evening.
Gacy did not attend the police station until the early hours of the following morning, and arrived covered in mud, claiming he had been in a car accident.
Despite his denial, the Des Plaines police became increasingly suspicious that he was holding the 15-year-old at his home against his will, and this obtained a warrant to search Gacy’s house on December 13. During the search, a receipt which indicated the victim had been inside the property was uncovered. Gacy was placed under police surveillance following the search.
When under surveillance, he was caught handling illegal drugs and was arrested. It was at this point the serial killer confessed to the crime, and several others, which led to a second search of his home for him, where police made a gross discovery – finding human bones in the crawl space of the property.
What happened to John Wayne Gacy?
Shortly after the remains of his victims were found in the crawl space, he was arrested. Gacy admitted to officers he knew his arrest of him was inevitable since the previous evening and wanted to “clear the air.” He then provided a statement which confessed to murdering approximately 30 males – though he claimed they had all willingly entered his home, adding they were almost all teenage male runaways or male prostitutes.
When asked about Robert Piest at this time, the serial killer confirmed he had lured him to his house and strangled him before alongside sleeping Piest’s body that evening. He disposed of the teen’s body in the Des Plaines River.
For his crimes, Gacy was sentenced to death row on March 13, 1980. He was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center on May 10, 1994.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.