Clownpocalypse or Panic?
Over the years, people have reported creepy clown sightings from all over… in more recent times, we seem to have a nationwide clown panic.. Shockingly, most of the creepy clown sightings are simply that, just sightings. No known violence or injuries have occurred based on the creepy clown sightings. Though there was a time when a creepy clown did kill.
John Wayne Gacy was the first Clown Serial Killer. How does one go from performing as a clown to killing people?! It seems that in Gacy’s childhood, he endured severe physical and verbal abuse by his father, was molested and often bullied by children his own age. Upon beginning the 4th grade, Gacy began having blackouts and seizures and was often accused by his father of faking his conditions. In early adulthood, Gacy had various jobs, including assistant precinct captain for a democratic party candidate, working with an ambulance service and a mortuary attendant.
During his time as a mortuary attendant, Gacy found himself fantisizing of the young male corpses and even climbed into a coffin and caressed one, though the experience shocked him enough to move back home. Once home, he enrolled in North Western Business school and in 1964, Gacy took a job with Nunn-Bush Shoe Company in Springfield, Illinois and also got married to Marlynn Meyers.
In 1966, Gacy’s father in law offered him an opportunity in Iowa. The opportunity to manage three of his own KFC franchises with a share of the profits, the couple took the opportunity, moved to Iowa and gave birth to two children. Though this was the beginning of a dark period for Gacy, he began wife swapping, cheating, drugs and held parties in his own basement. Often he employed young men and women at his restaurants. In 1967-68, Gacy began sexually molesting young men and blackmailing them, he was arrested, convicted and imprisoned in late 1968, but he only served 18 months of his 10 year sentence and was ordered to move to Chicago and live with his mother. With the help of his mother, Gacy bought a home in Norwood Park Township, at this time he became engaged to Carole Hoff, a divorced mother of two. All seemed well, though, in ’73, Gacy began raping teens, but no one came forward with formal complaints.
Gacy was a member of the local Moose Club and through his membership became aware of a group, ‘The Jolly Jokers’, a clown club. This group performed at events and volunteered entertainment at children’s hospitals. Gacy joined the group in late 1975 and had created two characters for himself, “Pogo the Clown” and “Patches the Clown”, he applied his own make up and created all of his own costumes. At times Gacy would stop by a local bar, “The Good Luck Lounge” while wearing his clown outfit.
The majority of Gacy’s murders were committed between 1976 and 1978, in total he murdered 33 boys and young men and stored bodies in the crawl space of his home. He will always be remembered as the “Clown Killer”.
Should we be afraid of current clown sightings? Whether fear is what we should feel, we must remember to never panic and always be proactive. As with any creepy perpetrator, regardless of their clothing, you should always make noise, run towards crowds or well lit areas. Though, if you know someone one who is wearing a clown suit to incite fear, you may want to ask them to stop before they get injured. Be safe!