A Serial Killer: The Result of an Abusive Childhood

Wayne Gacy Jr. is a serial killer whose actions were a cause of his childhood and acceptance of his father. He also had his sexual preference be a big factor as to why he killed. He was bullied at school and was abused by his father. He showed symptoms of antisocial personality disorder and had unusual behavior that was often unjustifiable.

John Wayne Gacy had many contributing factors that caused him to become a serial killer. As a young child, John Wayne Gacy Jr. was overweight and unathletic. He was the second child of three. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 17, 1942. 

He was described as a community helper and often was at younger children's parties dressed up as a clown named Pogo. John Wayne Gacy Jr. As a young child, his father mistreated him. Gacy had caused a lot of trouble when he was young. He was beaten by his father very often and was belittled by him constantly. Gacy was also molested by a family friend whom he had not told anyone because he thought he would get blamed for it. He was diagnosed with a non-specific heart ailment. Then, during the ages between 14 and 18 Gacy was constantly getting medical attention for blackouts and a burst appendix. 

He attributed the decline of grades to this. He went to multiple high schools in his senior year and ultimately did not graduate however, he did attend Northwestern business college and graduated in 1963. He married Marilyn Myers and had two children with her. He then moved to Waterloo, Iowa. He then was charged with sodomy and was diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder. His wife left him and then he married Carole Hoff. He moved back to his mother’s home. He stayed there until he was arrested for murder.

John Wayne Gacy Jr. often entertained his victims or lured them before killing them. He would ask young men if they wanted to have sex, usually, oral sex or he would promise the young men a job in construction. Other men simply were forced to go into his house by being threatened or risk of losing their job in his construction company. He had killed young men throughout the years 1976-1978. Most of his victims were strangled to death. 

Gacy did not take anything from the bodies, but said that killing young men and boys provided him the ultimate satisfaction. He hid the bodies in the crawl space of his house, in the ground under his house where he filled up the holes with cement, or at a river near his home. When Gacy had been charged with sodomy, he was put under surveillance and was concluded that he had an antisocial personality disorder. He was also found to be competent enough to stand trial. 

The evidence used against him was the bodies that he had hid in his house and the nearby river. In court, he tried to plead that he had multiple personality disorder but failed. He was then convicted of 33 sex-related murders, sexual assault, and taking indecent liberties with a child. He was then sentenced to death row on March 13, 1980. He was killed on May 9, 1994, by lethal injection.

John Wayne Gacy Jr. is a psychopath who knew that his crimes were wrong. He would describe it as the ultimate orgasm. He was stable because he would perform sexual acts on his victims and often killed them by strangulation. He was a Hedonistic serial killer because he killed people for satisfaction. In his confession, he said that the only way to achieve the best satisfaction was to kill people. He also claimed that he had another personality that did the killing for him. 

He named it Pogo the clown and was also the name he used for his clown act. His symptoms show that his actions were caused because of his childhood and how abusive it was, his father looking down at him, and his sexual preference. The Nurture part of this is that he was often abused by his father, whom Gacy was often looking for his approval. The killings were a way to make himself feel better and stronger as a “man”. The nature part of this is that he had liked men more as a sexual partner which fueled his activities.according to the theory of sociocultural stages Gacy mistrusted everyone when he was young, had shame over what his standing was in his household and doubtful if he was going to gain recognition as a human. 

Felt guilty because he thought he would never achieve anything, felt inferior to everyone as a child because of abuse and bullying in school, confused with his identity and sexual preference, he admitted that he did not feel connected to anyone, and never developed the skill to care for someone. Motivational theories that are evident are acquired needs because of his thinking of being inferior and Activation theory because of his need to feel satisfied and satiate his sexual needs. Gacy did not age past 18 months in terms of mental intelligence, according to Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. 

Relating to Freud's psychodynamic perspective Gacy had Id take over his way of thinking when it came to why he did his crimes. He would do it based on feeling good. Howard Gardner’s theory of intelligence most relates to Gacy’s education and intelligence. Gacy had performed badly at school, but used his verbal intelligence to get through college. Gacy is crazy because he had done bad things such as kill and rape men. He knew what he was doing, but his lust kept making him repeat his crimes. Gacy has an antisocial personality disorder because he manipulated people to provide a sense of superiority and because he had not aged past 18 months according to Erikson’s theory on psychosocial development.



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