John Wayne Gacy

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Family and early life

Waterloo IA period

Chicago move

Murders committed

Arrest and confession

Murder trial

Death row


Use of accomplices

Sex trafficking connection

Main article: Phillip Paske

Political connections

Democratic Party

Criminal underground

See also


External links

Victim information

  • Timothy McCoy (16) - 1972/01/02
  • John Butkovich (17) - 1975/07/29
    • From the Des Plaines Police Department file in the 1978/12/18 CID supplementary report: "[...] Although LEADS and NCIC do not show a hit on him as missing, Chicago does confirm him as still active for missing. Missing Persons also provided the name of Officer Burkart as having been the one who handled the case from Area 6/Missing Persons, and I had a conversation with him at phone number 744-8266. Officer Burkart related to me that according to the information he had the youth had been at [REDACTED] with friends the night before he was found missing and, while there, he had been involved in some kind of disturbance, but nothing drastic. He indicated that he was to be moved in to an apartment the following day, but never did make it to the apartment. His 1969 gold and black Dodge was found approximately one block from his residence and in the car were found the items that he had left behind, which included his wallet and jacket. Approximately four months later he indicated they received, his family, a phone call from a girl calling from Puerto Rico, who indicated that John was alright, he was with them and hung up. The officer was able to trace the call, since it was a collect call, and called a business establishment in Puerto Rico where the owner, one Juan Perez, indicated that the phone was a business phone and was used by a lot of people and could not provide any further information. The officer indicated that the only thing odd about it was that all friends who used to come by the house all of a sudden stopped coming and never were heard from again. He indicated that the youth did hang around with Puerto Ricans and that he had worked for P.D.M. Construction Company, 8213 West Summerdale, Norwood Park Township. The officer indicated that he also contacted those people, but they advised him he had been terminated and that as a matter of fact the subject never removed his money out of the Ravenswood Bank that he had left. He indicated that he had heard some rumors that the subject had been going to Puerto Rico and had been running dope. Subsequent to this, Detective Ryan and myself went to the Chicago Police Department, Area 6/Youth, and obtained a copy of the original report and one supplement, which pretty much gave us the same information that Officer Burkart had given us with the exception that the call had come at approximately one year after the subject had been shown missing. This subject did have in his possession a card from P.D.M. Construction Company. The father listed under the missing person's report is one Marco Butkovich, of [REDACTED] with a phone number of [REDACTED]. I determined that this phone number was not a good phone number and did, through the Soundex Machine, locate a license plate number for a Mark Butkovich. That was [REDACTED]. This registered to Marco Butkovich at [REDACTED]. We went to that location, however there was no Marco Butkovich living there at that time. This report is all filed under Report Number T300203."
    • From p.100-101 of Killer Clown: The John Wayne Gacy Murders: "Tovar followed up and learned that Butkovich had been involved in some sort of disturbance at a friend's place the night before his disappearance. He was supposed to move into an apartment the next day but never got there. His car, with wallet and jacket inside, was found a block from where he lived. There had been rumors that Butkovich had gone to Puerto Rico to run drugs, and after he was reported missing his family had received a collect call from a girl in Puerto Rico who told them that John was there and well. The call had come from a pay phone and had proved impossible to trace. Butkovich's employer, PDM Construction Company, 8213 Summerdale Avenue, Norwood Park, said that the youth had been terminated."
  • Rick Johnston (17) - 1976/08/06
    • From p.183 of Programmed to Kill: "The family of victim Rick Johnston was convinced that Rick had been abducted by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, an organization heavily steeped in mind control and with extensive connections to South Korean’s version of the CIA (which was created and trained by our own CIA)."
  • Kenneth Parker (16) and Michael Marino (14) - 1976/10/24
  • Francis Wayne Alexander (21) - 1976/11-12
    • Chicago Tribune, "Family of recently identified Gacy victim remembers him as a fearless young man who called home every month", 2021/10/25: "His family expressed surprise that Alexander was in the Chicago area, believing he had relocated to California for work around the time of his disappearance. In his final phone call to his mother in November 1976, he asked her to mail his birth certificate to a California address for a security job. “He called my mother every month and when we didn’t get the December 1976 call, we knew something was amiss,” Sanders said."
    • Tracy Ullman, "The Questions Francis Wayne Alexander Raises in the Gacy Case", 2021/11/04: "In this official report from the Cook County Sheriff's Police, Lt. Frank Braun notes there is a piece of paper found in the vicinity of Body #5. It's important enough to notate and to send to the crime lab for further investigation. This is not publicized at all, although it appears in a transcript from March 28, 1979 at 1:53pm at Cermak Hospital. Defense attorney, Sam Amirante, confronts Gacy about said piece of paper in the last paragraph of this page. [...] It's pretty obvious from this page, Sam Amirante is perplexed when he says, "Do you have any idea how the hell it got there?" Then he wonders if it "could just be bullshit" "to rattle me" or if Gacy was using his name for a referral. Then Gacy says the only person he gave Sam Amirante's number to is David Cram. [...] Then they figure out the other name on the piece of paper is Frank DeLuca, a bricklaying contractor Gacy worked with. It's obvious from the next page, someone questioned Gacy about DeLuca without mentioning the piece of paper from Body #5. [...] It's believed by Francis Wayne Alexander's family that he disappeared in November of 1976. Gacy and Amirante are already friendly enough by that time that Amirante's name is on a piece of paper in Gacy's house and it's possible David Cram was the reason for that. How did it then end up with Alexander's body and why? This question was never answered."
  • Gregory Godzik (17) - 1976/12/12
    • From p.183 of Programmed to Kill:

          Following the disappearance of one of Gacy’s employees, Greg Godzik, John was not questioned by police for a full three months. Godzik’s frustrated parents turned for help to private investigator Anthony Pellicano, Jr., a shadowy character who tends to surface in organized crime and Hollywood circles, and who, as this is being written, is facing a variety of charges in Los Angeles in connection with a case he was working on for actor Steven Seagal. Pellicano never checked out Gacy and later claimed that he had never been given the name by Godzik’s parents, which was an interesting claim given that the primary reason for his hiring was to investigate the man that the police refused to investigate. Pellicano nevertheless maintained that he had been told that Greg worked at a gas station, not for John Gacy.
          Godzik was reportedly seen still very much alive after the time of his reported abduction, as was at least one other victim and former Gacy employee, John Szyc. In one of those bizarre ‘coincidences’ that seem to surround serial killer cases, the Godzik home was burglarized the night before the story of John Wayne Gacy’s arrest hit the airwaves.
  • Robert Gilroy (18) - 1977/09/15
    • As discussed below, Gacy was proven by flight records to be outside of Illinois when Gilroy disappeared
    • Chicago Tribune, "Body of cop's son linked to Gacy", 1979/01/08 (pages 1, 5): "The police file on the Gilroy youth's disappearance is a 44-page report comprising 20 follow-up investigations by police, plus additional information obtained through Sgt. Gilroy's own investigation. It says that the youth was last seen at 6 p.m. Sept. 15, 1977, after he told his parents he was going to a horseback riding lesson. However, the report states, a spokesman for the Blue Ribbon Riding Center in Northbrook, where Gilroy was a member, said the youth had not attended his scheduled lessons for weeks, contrary to indications he had given his parents. On Sept. 29, the youth was to check in at the Potomac Horse Center in Gaithersburg, Md., for a special class. But, the report states, Sgt. Gilroy called the center on Sept. 27 and found that his son had not checked in. Besides, the report said, the youth's riding gear was at home. For these reasons, Gilroy, who works in the Central Auto Pound, reported his son missing on Sept. 27, almost two weeks after he was last seen by his family. THE REPORT states, however, that the doorman of a luxury high-rise apartment building on North Lake Shore Drive [ed. note: actually North Lakeview Avenue] may have seen the youth on Nov. 6, 1977. Sgt. Gilroy, the report says, showed a picture of his son to the doorman, who told him that a youth fitting his description had accompanied a resident into the building in November. Because of the sensitivity of Sgt. Gilroy's inquiries, the doorman said he would contact Gilroy if he could ascertain the name of the youth, the files state. Gilroy never was contacted. The report also says that the Gilroy youth frequented the area of Clark Street and Diversey Parkway, an area where Gacy allegedly picked up some of his victims."
  • John Mowery (19) - 1977/09/25
    • As discussed below, just a couple days before Mowery disappeared, Gacy employee Michael Rossi moved in with him. He insisted that Mowery meet a friend of his who was about to go out of town (Gacy did go out of town right after Mowery disappeared), and after Mowery disappeared, he acted unconcerned and told Mowery's friends that he knew about a place where a bunch of dead bodies were buried that the police had no knowledge of.
    • Chicago Tribune, "Victim's sister slain in 1972", 1979/01/29
      • "On Nov. 9, 1972, John's sister, Judith Mowery, a 21-year old clerk-typist for the county assessor's office, was found stabbed to death in her blood-stained North Side apartment."
      • "Judith's slayer has never been found. "The case is not closed," Robert Mowery said."
      • "John Mowery had just completed 18 months with the Marines when he returned to Chicago in early 1977, Robert Mowery said. At age 19, John moved away from the family home to live in an apartment at Cullom and Western avenues with a friend, who the family knew as "Mike"."
    • From p.421 of Boys Enter the House: "Curiously, this story involves another unusual figure, David Buzzek, one of the owners of the building where Rossi and Mowery lived. Buzzek had known Mowery previously but also knew victim Timothy O’Rourke from the local YMCA. Just four days after Mowery’s disappearance in 1977, Buzzek, a Boy Scout official, was arrested for child pornography and having sex with a minor."
      • TODO: add Boy Scouts perversion files on Buzzek
  • Russell Nelson (21) - 1977/10/17
    • As discussed below, when Nelson disappeared, he was traveling with Gacy associate Robert Young. While Young claims that Nelson just suddenly vanished, it is doubtful that Nelson could have disappeared without Young noticing.
    • From p.134 of The Man Who Killed Boys:

          In September 1974 he enrolled at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis as a major in pre-architecture. A few weeks after beginning classes, he met Thomas Maurer, a sixty-year-old clergyman with the United Church of Christ and a lecturer in sexuality at the university's medical school. Russell moved into Maurer's condominium in the Towers, a posh apartment complex.
          According to reporter James Warren in an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Maurer acknowledged that he is homosexual, but insisted that he never had sexual relations with his young roommate. He said that their ties were closer to a father-son bond. It was a relationship approved of by Russell's parents. "I think Russ became the son Tom never had," Mrs. Norma Nelson was quoted as saying. Maurer went so far as to change his will, making Russell the sole beneficiary.
      • The News-Herald (Franklin PA), "Pleas, challenges to churches on attitudes toward homosexuality", 1971/04/15: "The Rev. Thomas Maurer, a clergyman of the United Church of Christ who works with San Francisco's Drug and Sex Forum, declared, "Homosexuality as a way of life has come of age. Either the church will recognize it or the church will die." The 52-year-old Californian said he had recently made public admission of his homosexuality and reported he was glad. "We've got to have Churches that will free people to be themselves," he said."
      • The Dispatch (Moline IL), "Homosexuals Urge Open Acceptance By Churches", 1971/04/17: "Included were numerous seminarians and ministers, some in clerical collars. Many freely asserted their homosexuality. "Homosexuality as a way of life is an idea whose time has come," said the Rev. Thomas Maurer of San Francisco, urging churches to recognize it as a moral alternative. "If something is sexually loving, it's good," he said."
      • The Daily Journal (Fergus Falls MN), "Black group takes stand", 1975/06/27: "The Rev. Thomas Maurer, a lecturer in human sexuality at the University of Minnesota, responded that "straight" young people have dating opportunities through church and school from early youth, while homosexuals "must wait until they are of drinking age to go to bars and seek dates.""
      • St. Cloud Times, "Lecture", 1977/01/06: "A University of Minnesota professor, Thomas Maurer, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the St. John's University Science Center Auditorium. Maurer's topic is "Sexual Images of Man." He has investigated the changing roles of the sexes and studied sexuality therapy. His lecture is free and open to the public."
  • Robert Piest (15) - 1978/12/11
    • From p.180 of Programmed to Kill: "While his home was being searched, Gacy was taken to Holy Family Hospital for a medical examination, allegedly due to complaints of chest pains. Immediately upon his release from the hospital, John read and signed a Miranda waiver and began confessing to the murders. One of his first questions to police was: “Who else do you have in the station? There are others involved.” Gacy was then asked if the others were involved directly or indirectly, to which he responded: “Directly. They participated.” Asked who these others might be, he answered simply: “My associates.” He was also asked where Rob Piest was, to which he answered: “I don’t know. I didn’t transport him.” When asked who did, he replied: “I can’t say.”"
    • Chicago Sun-Times, "New podcast on serial killer John Wayne Gacy raises questions about police investigation", 2021/07/25: "Gacy’s defense attorneys, who worked on an unsuccessful insanity defense, were Sam Amirante and Robert Motta. Motta’s son, Bob, is also an attorney and is the host of the podcast “Defense Diaries,” which has been examining the Gacy investigation. In Episode 8 of the ongoing podcast, Motta unveiled an admission by three retired Des Plaines police officers and a former Cook County evidence technician that key pieces of evidence that led to the second search warrant, which resulted in Gacy’s arrest, may have been fudged. [...] The smell and the photo receipt turned out to be the two biggest pieces of evidence that led to a second search warrant being issued, which led to the discovery of bodies in the crawl space and Gacy’s arrest. But now, more than 40 years after the crimes that shocked Chicago, former law enforcement officials interviewed on Motta’s podcast alleges that both the smell of decomposing bodies was a myth and that the photo receipt was found in the garbage on the curb in front of Gacy’s home which constitutes public property, not inside Gacy’s home. [...] Karl Humbert, a former Cook County Sheriff’s evidence technician, who was in the Gacy house during the first search, told Motta on the podcast that there was no smell of decomposing bodies. Humbert reiterated his claim in an interview with the Sun-Times. [...] Additionally, Humbert was responsible for evidence logs and noted that there was nothing logged about the photo receipt in his evidence logs from the searches in Gacy’s home. [...] Former Des Plaines police officers Michael Albrecht and Ron Robinson also told Motta on his podcast that the photo receipt, believed to have belonged to Piest’s girlfriend, was found in the garbage on the curb outside of Gacy’s home — a key distinction because garbage on the curb is public property, Motta said."
    • Phil Torf - owned the Nisson Pharmacy where Piest worked, and was a client of Gacy at the time
      • From p.178-179: "The Piest family focused their suspicions on John Gacy and pharmacy owner Phil Torf, who was evasive when questioned about the boy’s disappearance and who refused to provide Gacy’s address. For unexplained reasons, Torf had remained at the pharmacy that night with his friends until 1:00 AM, three full hours after closing time."

Others involved

  • From p.183-184 of Programmed to Kill: "As for the unnamed others who were possibly involved in the killings, there were any number of people who lived for varying periods of time in the Gacy home, or who regularly spent time there, all of whom denied knowledge of the crimes and of the source of the stench permeating the house. One of Gacy’s longtime employees and sometime houseguest, identified only by the pseudonym of Dick Walsh [Michael Rossi], was said to be evasive when questioned. He was given a polygraph examination, but his examiners claimed they were “unable to render a definite opinion.” There is no indication that further examinations were attempted. Another Gacy employee was Gordon Nebel, who reportedly worked as the company’s bookkeeper. He was curiously misidentified in the logs that Gacy’s surveillance team kept of his visitors, even though the officers were well aware of Nebel’s identity, and aware that he worked two days a week inside the death house. Two other associates of Gacy’s, Donald Morrill and Ronald Rohde, were known to have protected and shielded John from police during his period of surveillance. Neither of them appears to have been investigated in connection to the crimes, nor were any of the numerous names that appeared in Gacy’s address book marked with a mysterious “H.”"
  • Gacy appeal process - a central argument was that he did not commit many of the murders
  • CBS2 interview by Walter Jacobson of Gacy aired 1992/05/11-15 (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) - at 4:20 in part 1, Gacy is asked about John Butkovich, and says that Butkovich is not part of "the five that I know about" and "not one that I killed" (implying that he was responsible for some but not all of the murders); at 1:16 in part 2, Gacy says "Robert Piest was killed by another individual in my home" after being "transported to the house by another", and takes responsibility for dumping Piest's body in the river after the murder; at 2:55 in part 3, Gacy shows a collection of victim profiles produced by him and his lawyers; at 5:25 in part 3, Gacy insults the mother of John Mowery and asks why he ran away from home twelve times; at 4:20 in part 4, after the aforementioned remark from Gacy about Mowery and his mother Dolores Nieder plays again, Jacobson says that Gacy was lying about Mowery having run away from home; at 1:30 in part 5, Gacy says that at the time of his arrest, the police had four additional suspects including his employees Michael Rossi, David Cram, and Phillip Paske who all had keys to his house; at 2:04, Gacy claims to have met John Szyc on the night of his murder because he was hanging out at Gacy's house with Rossi, and when Gacy next saw Szyc he was dead, though Gacy didn't intervene because "it wasn't my business" and the body was gone the next time he returned to the house
  • WGN9, "Did John Wayne Gacy have an accomplice?", 2012/02/09
  • Southtown Star, "Lawyers contend Gacy had help in some killings", 2012/02/09
  • Chicago Sun-Times, "Gacy had at least one accomplice, two lawyers believe", 2012/02/10 - mentions Gacy asking "Who else do you have in the station?" after his arrest; says that Gacy got the torture board idea from the Dean Corll case; mentions the early evidence of victim Jeffrey Rignall noticing another man in the house while he was being tortured
  • Chicago Sun-Times, "Sheriff to investigate possible Gacy accomplice theory", 2012/02/10
  • MSNBC, "Serial killer John Wayne Gacy had accomplices, lawyers say" by James Eng, 2012/02/11 (newer link) - says that one of the suspected accomplices is Russell Nelson's friend (ed. note: Robert Young); reveals that of the three suspected accomplices, two are alive and the other one is believed to be dead (ed. note: though Robert Young has died, the lawyers claim that he is still alive and living out of state, so they're more likely referring to Cram or Paske)
  • CBS story on 2012/02/12 about Gacy accomplices - his defense lawyer Sam Amirante (ed. note: who Dave McGowan suggests was railroading Gacy) shifts position and says he doesn't know to this day if Gacy had accomplices
  • TIME, "Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy May Have Had Accomplices", 2012/02/13
  • WGN9, "John Wayne Gacy investigation continues into possible Gacy accomplices", 2012/02/16
  • Chicago Sun-Times, "Women tell of links between Gacy friend and victim", 2012/02/17
  • MSNBC, "Witnesses shed new light on John Wayne Gacy murder, suggest he had accomplice", 2012/02/17 - the Gacy employee who moved in with John Mowery is evidently Rossi, as Rossi and Cram were the employees who told the police about digging trenches in Gacy's crawlspace, and Cram was found dead of suicide in 2001, leaving Rossi as the only one who got arrested for unrelated crimes (movie theater violence) and would still be alive in the Chicago area
  • Andy Matesi video on 2012/04/22 playing a tape recording of Gacy - he remarked there were 12 other people with keys to his home and implicated some of those he believed were complicit in the murders; at 3:35 he said (referring to his young male employees Michael A. Rossi, David F. Cram, and Phillip R. Paske along with Paske's child trafficking partner John D. Norman) "we already know that Rossi, Cram, Paske, and Norman were involved in the case", accusing the authorities of covering it up; at 5:00 he said "David Cram, Rossi, and Paske all had keys to the house. In fact, they used the house while I wasn't in town."
  • Andrew Lutzke, "Unsolved Mysteries and Scary Stuff: John Wayne Gacy’s Unknown Victims", 2013/07/30: "The police did have 5 men on the suspect list (along with Gacy) and ultimately seemed to believe that two of the men actively took part in the torture sessions but not the murders. The two men were never prosecuted in any manner for these crimes. Worse yet, Gacy was actually out of the area when one of the victims went missing, and the circumstantial evidence surely points to Gacy not committing this particular murder. One of the two key suspects did admit to police that he procured young boys for Gacy to fuck, but he added he had nothing to do with any murders."
  • David F. Cram / David Cram
  • Michael Rossi / Mike Rossi - likely the accomplice who Jeff Rignall saw
    • From p.148 of The Chicago Killer: "Venice [Rossi] claimed innocence or ignorance of all the questions regarding Piest and the polygraph results were unclear-what we call an “inconclusive.” To help confirm the test results, and possibly obtain new information, I decided to give Venice an optional test called the “Peak of Tension Test.” It involved a map of Cook County divided into twelve grids. Grid #4 included unincorporated Norwood Park Township where Gacy's house was located. I instructed Tom [Mike] to respond “No” each time I pointed to a grid and asked, “Is the body of Robert Piest buried in grid #1? . . . Is the body of Robert Piest buried in grid #2? . . .” There was an extreme response in his blood pressure reading when we reached grid #4. I assumed from this that he actually believed Rob was buried there, but the overall test was inconclusive because Venice refused to continue. He said that he didn't like the way the test felt and he asked to have all the attachments removed. I did that and asked if he'd talk for a while. He refused and walked out of the polygraph lab."
    • Legal representation by Edward Hanrahan
      • From p.309 of Killer Clown: The John Wayne Gacy Murders: "[...] prosecution strongly opposed granting immunity because in the jurors’ eyes it taints a witness and harms your case against the defendant. Hanrahan, however, was adamant. We went back and forth for months. In the end, Hanrahan relented, mostly, I think, because he was willing to trust me when I personally promised him that we’d stick to the questions he and I already had discussed and that we’d protect Walsh [Rossi] as best we could on cross-examination."
      • While Cook County State Attorney, Hanrahan ordered a raid on the apartment of Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, which ended in the murder of Hampton and Mark Clark. Hanrahan essentially did so on behalf of the FBI. The raid was carried out by Chicago police under the direction of Sgt. Daniel Groth, who (according to p.204 of JFK and the Unspeakable by Jim Douglass) frequently went on "training leaves" to Washington DC, and most likely worked undercover for the CIA. Sgt. Groth was one of the two Chicago Police Department officers who arrested Thomas Arthur Vallee, the patsy in the Chicago assassination attempt on JFK. See articles: The Nation, "Was Fred Hampton Executed?", 1976/12/25
    • Chicago Tribune, "Friend of murderer Gacy pleads guilty in beating", 1982/07/29: "A MAN WHO once testified that he dug trenches for John Gacy without knowing they later would be used as graves for some of Gacy's 33 murder victims pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of battery in connection with the abduction and beating of a Northwest Side man Jan. 4. The defendant, Michael Rossi, 23, 4726 N. Drake Ave., testified in February, 1980, during Gacy's trial, that he worked for and lived with Gacy, and that at Gacy's request he had dug "a trench line for some drain tile" and had spread lime to "sweeten the odor" of the crawl space of his Norwood Park Township home where many of Gacy's victims were buried. [...] Rossi was sentenced Wednesday to one year of probation and 40 days in jail, time he already has served. He is among five men who were charged in the kidnaping and beating of Joseph Chavez, 22, who the defendants thought made a harassing phone call to the wife of one of the-suspects. CHARGED WITH Rossi were Robert Muller, 24, 1250 N. Mason St.; his brother, Paul Muller, 25, 1647 N. Latrobe Ave.; Brian Bodie, 18, 3625 S. Wolcott Ave.; and John Gunia, 25, 2421 W. 45th St. They were accused of luring Chavez from his home and taking him to the basement of Paul Mutter's home, where they allegedly bound and beat him after blaming him for a phone call Gunia's wife received."
    • Identity as Michael A. Rossi
      • Chicago Tribune, "Man given 5-year term in beating", 2003/08/26: "According to Marchese, Rossi and Macari wanted jobs as union projectionists in Chicago-area movie theaters. They attacked Leyland, a non-union projectionist, in an attempt to impress union officials."
      • 2003 Associated Press stories on the attacks against movie theaters: "Seven union members and two aspiring members have been charged with a wave of fires and violence at movie theaters in 10 states, including Wisconsin, as part of Chicago-area contract disputes, federal officials said Friday. [...] The defendants were described by prosecutors as members or prospective members of Motion Picture Projectionists, Operators and Video Technician Local 110 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees of the United States and Canada. The local has an image, acquired decades ago, of corruption and alleged mob links. In the early 1980s, the Chicago Crime Commission said at least 24 relatives of "reputed hoodlums" held ghost jobs with the union. [...] Those charged were identified as Albin C. Brenkus, 48, of Willowbrook, business manager of the local; Carl A. Covelli Jr., 48, of Westchester; Kent B. Dickinson, 52, of Bonfield; Keith J. Dutton, 48, of Chicago; Peter C. Lipa, 48, of Wonder Lake; Peter R. Macari, 41, of Plainfield; Joseph L. Marjan, 29, of Riverdale; Michael A. Rossi, 44, of Ingleside; and Gregory J. Tortorello of Fort Stewart, Ga. Prosecutors said all were Local 110 members except Macari and Rossi, who were promised membership as a reward for the August 1999 baseball-bat beating of a suburban Chicago theater manager. Both are currently serving state prison sentences in connection with the beating."
      • Chicago Tribune, "6 get prison terms in theater arsons", 2004/04/24: "Six men with connections to the movie projectionists union local in Chicago were sentenced to prison Friday for arson-related convictions as part of a plot to coerce labor deals from movie companies."
      • BeenVerified information on Michael A. Rossi of Ingleside IL
      • FastPeopleSearch information on Mike A. Rossi Sr. of Ingleside IL
    • Alison True, "Vito Marzullo and Gacy: the biggest open secret in Chicago history?", 2013/02/24
      • Chicago Tribune, "EX-ALD. VITO MARZULLO, CHICAGO POLITICAL LEGEND", 1990/03/06: "The powerful former alderman from the city`s West Side 25th Ward, Mr. Marzullo was second only to the late Mayor Richard J. Daley in Chicago`s modern-day political legend, ruling his ward and its Democratic organization on the simple political principle that ''all politics are local.'' ''I`ve got the clout, and I`m going to have the clout as long as I live,'' Mr. Marzullo was fond of saying, even after anti-patronage decrees and his departure from government in 1986. [...] His political life began as a 25th Ward precinct captain in 1920. His work was rewarded in 1941, when he was slated by the Democratic organization and then elected state representative, a post he held until 1954. During his years in the Illinois legislature, he became friendly with another fledgling politician named Richard J. Daley. Mr. Marzullo was elected alderman of the 25th Ward in 1953, two years before Daley began his 21-year reign as Chicago`s mayor, and during those more than two decades, both men came to rely on each other as friends and allies. ''We were always very close,'' Mr. Marzullo often reminisced, especially after Daley died in 1976. ''He`s been to every one of my kids` weddings, and I`ve been to every one of his kids` weddings. When he became mayor, I was much closer to him.'' [...] In the City Council, Mr. Marzullo took no major official leadership role, settling for the chairmanship and large patronage staff of the Local Transportation Committee, which regulated taxicab licenses and fare structures. Behind the scenes, however, no major political decision or council action was taken without Mr. Marzullo`s counsel and consent. [...] Mr. Marzullo is survived by his wife, Letizia; two sons, William V. and Robert; four daughters, Helen Dimperio, Adeline Maiorano, Ann DeMaria and Eleanore Masciola; 19 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren."
    • Identity as Michael J. Rossi
      • See below for the story of Frank Marcus, who implicates Michael J. Rossi
      • Clustrmaps page on Catherine Rossi of Yonkers NY - birth date was 1940-06-5; aliases include Cookie Rossi, C Rossi, Cookie A Rossi, Cathie Rossi, Cathy Rossi, Catherine A Rossi, Rossi Catherine; suspected relatives include Ben Marzullo / Bernard Marzullo and Michael J Rossi
  • Robert Young
    • From p.136 of The Man Who Killed Boys: "The Nelsons refused to give him the money, but Russell's older brothers met him in Chicago when they arrived there to search on their own. The effort was fruitless. The brothers rejected an offer by Young to get them jobs with a local contractor while they were in the city. Young didn't mention the contractor by name, but John Gacy was in Roseville, Minnesota, remodeling the Setzer Pharmacy in June 1977—only four months before [...]"
    • Alison True, "The disappearing witness", 2014/06/10 - identifies Robert Young as the friend of Russell Nelson
    • Pioneer Press (Twin Cities), "Another of John Wayne Gacy’s victims: a 22-year-old UMN student", 2017/07/19: "Initially, police sought Nelson’s traveling companion to Chicago as a possible suspect. The man, 30-year-old Robert Young of Belle Fourche, S.D., was described as a “drifter” by the Dispatch and raised suspicion when he initially demanded money from Nelson’s family to aid in the search for Nelson but then appeared to disappear himself. In addition, Young, who has been dead for more than a decade, appeared to have had contact with Gacy’s contracting business at the time."
    • Spokeo information on Robert B. Young of Belle Fourche SD - after that, he lived in Hemet CA (ed. note: where Henry Lee Lucas was during the 1980s) and Greenbrae CA
    • Dick Bobbit background
      • The Star (Tinley Park IL), "Chief, Officers Arrested Following Investigation", 1969/02/13: "The arrest of the Oak Forest police chief and two police officers has stirred the. residents of the community, many of whom crowded into the small village hall Tuesday night. They expected to hear a statement from the village board on the investigation by the Illinois Crime Commission, under Charles Siragusa, and the Better Government Association. Police Chief O.B. (Duke) Christenson of 15630 Lavergne Ave., and Officers William Tuomey of 4420 Adele Lane; and Robert Martin of 15436 Lamon Ave., were served warrants by the state's attorney's office Tuesday. At the meeting, Mayor protem Lindsay Snedden, acting on behalf of Mayor Richard Bobbit, who has been vacationing in Florida, said that the board is shocked by the events of the past few days. He also informed those present that the mayor is on his way back and that a special meeting would be held on his return. It was set for Wednesday, Feb. 12. [...] Patrolman Tuomey was charged with selling pornographic films, "in which a number of village housewives are featured." Martin allegedly collected insurance on his speeaooat after falsely reporting it stolen in an effort to collect $420 insurance. [...] Chief Christenson was charged with obstructing justice in the warrant served bv Lt. Edward King of the State's Attorney's office. [...] Richard. S. Jalovec, an assistant state's attorney, said charges against Christenson and Martin stem from the reported theft of Martin's 15-foot outboard motor boat last November. The boat was found by the state police on Monday, hidden in the back yard of another Oak Forest policeman, Lt. Fred Brozek."
      • Chicago Tribune, "OAK FOREST'S MAYOR PLANS HIS OWN QUIZ", 1969/02/16: "The mayor of Oak Forest said yesterday he will ask village trustees tomorrow night to hire a private firm to give lie detector tests to village policemen in an investigation of police corruption. Richard E. Bobbit said he was conducting his own investigation of the charges, which include allegations that police peddled pornographic films, committed theft, and, obstructed justice. The mayor, who earlier this week said he was considering withdrawing from public life in the wake of the charges which rocked the suburban community of 15,000, said yesterday he will ask fellow members of the United Peoples party to give him a vote of confidence before he makes a final decision. [...] Bernard J. Kelly, a village trustee who also has announced that he will oppose Bobbit for the mayor's post in the April election, called yesterday for the hiring of a private consultant "to review the organization and operation" of the police force which is composed of 11 full-time policemen and an unknown number of part-time employes. One aspect of the investigation would be to determine exactly how many persons have been made part-time police men."
      • Chicago Tribune, "Oak Forest Mayor Eyes Election for Further Strength", 1971/04/08: "Oak Forest Mayor Bernard J. Kelly has endorsed a slate of candidates he hopes will consolidate his own gains in the 1969 election. Kelly defeated by a margin of five to one former Mayor Richard Bobbit in the wake of a police department scandal that resulted in the indictment, but not conviction, of former Police Chief Oliver B. Christiansen and Patrolman Robert Martin."
      • Fort Lauderdale News, "City Moves To Reduce Crime Rate In Suburb", 1975/09/17: "The commissioners assured Richard E. Bobbit, president of Lauderdale Harbors Improvement Association Inc., that more land policemen will be added to the force Oct. 1."
      • Fort Lauderdale News, "SHOW OFF YOUR BOAT", 1977/11/30: "SHOW OFF YOUR BOAT in the Lauderdale Harbors Improvement Association's second annual Venetian Night Boat Parade Dec. 11. Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated boats in five categories. There is no entry fee. Call President Dick Bobbit at 525-7773 or Fleet Captain John Callaway at 763-6764."
      • Fort Lauderdale News, "BOAT PARADE", 1979/12/09: "Lauderdale Harbors Improvement Association plans its Venetian Night Boat parade starting at 7:30 p.m. in Lake Sylvia south of Bahia Mar, cruising up the Intracoastal north to the Las Olas bridge. Prizes for best-decorated boats will be awarded at a street dance and party following the parade at 1642 SE 13th St. Call 763-2230."
      • Fort Lauderdale News, "The "Live Aboards" ordinance", 1983/04/13: "The "Live Aboards" ordinance will be discussed at the annual meeting of Lauderdale Harbor Improvement Association at 8 p.m. in the Church by the Sea, 2700 E. Mayoan Drive, Fort Lauderdale. For information, call Richard E. Bobbit at 761-3300."
      • Chicago Tribune, "TALKING ABOUT A LOVE AFFAIR", 1987/07/29: "With the help of the Freiss brothers and others, progress continued into the 1920s as more people settled in Oak Forest. Electricity came to the town in 1927 when a few men, including prominent businessman Evert Bobbit, advanced part of the money for installation of electric poles. [...] Oak Forest was incorporated as a village May 10, 1947. Residents wanted police protection, street lights and cheaper insurance rates. The first village board meeting was held July 26 at the home of the village clerk, Richard Bobbit, son of Evert and eventually Oak Forest`s third mayor. The Bobbit family had a restaurant, service station and trailer court on the corner of 159th Street and LeClaire Avenue, according to the history booklet. ''This is where our first village clerk had his office. He would often ask a customer, `Do you want a sandwich or a village sticker?`''"
      • South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "PAID OBITUARIES", 1999/04/30: "BOBBIT - Richard E. (Dick), died April 4, 1999. He was the former mayor of Oak Forest, IL, and managing partner of Bobbit Brothers Builders also of Oak Forest, IL. He was a local real estate agent for many years. He was predeceased by his parents, Hilda and Ernest; and his brother, Irving. The funeral was April 20, 1999 in Oak Forest, IL, with burial on April 21st in Calumet City, IL. A memorial service will be held, Saturday, May 1, 1999 at 1 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church, 11 SW 11th St., Ft. Lauderdale with The Reverend Louis Abel officiating."
  • Starting in 2012, Felix Francis Marcus has posted online about Michael J. Rossi and David F. Cram (as well as a third person who may be named Bill or Phil) abducting, murdering, and dumping the bodies of people in Deep Quarry in DuPage County IL: Chris Maloney, "EXCLUSIVE – Unfinished Nightmare: The Search for More Victims of John Wayne Gacy", 2011/02/07; Jason Spraggins, "Interview: Judge Sam Amirante, Author of John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster", 2012/09/13; Second City Cop, "Why Aren't They Digging?", 2012/06/13
  • Harold Wayne Lovell - possible unknown accomplice
    • NBC Chicago, "Presumed Gacy Victim Found Alive", 2011/10/26: "Reunited with his siblings in Alabama this week, Lovell said Wednesday he had no idea his family thought he was dead. But before he left Chicago, Lovell said he did meet Gacy. "I did some yard work for him," Lovell said. "A few times, he actually tried to get me into the house, but I wouldn't go. And thank God that I didn't." Lovell was headed to work there the day he left. His mother begged him not to go, he said, but he needed the money to fix his broken down car so he left. Kathy Lovell told NBCChicago in 1994 and again in 1998 she feared her son was dead and that Gacy was behind his murder. She recognized items which belonged to her son, in crime scene photos taken from the Gacy home. Lovell said those items were indeed his, but insisted he had no idea why Gacy had them in his possession."
    • Sun Sentinel, "Man thought to be John Wayne Gacy victim found alive after 34 years", 2011/10/27: "The man who disappeared when he was 19 did not die by the hand of the so-called Killer Clown after all. Instead, he was working busboy jobs in South Beach, partying in Fort Lauderdale, and making another life for himself far from his troubled home near Chicago. "I never stopped thinking about my mom or my brothers and my sisters," Lovell, now 53, said from rural Alabama on Wednesday, during an emotional family reunion. "I feel bad that they had to go through life thinking that I'd been killed like that," he said. "I feel terrible. But I was a teenager, and who didn't want to go to Fort Lauderdale, where it's nice, sunny and hot?" Lovell left his home in Aurora, Ill., in May 1977, telling his relatives he was off to look for a construction job. Instead he made his way to Florida, and for the next three years worked a series of odd jobs in hotels and restaurants. When he never came back, a younger sister, Theresa Hasselberg, along with his brother Tim, became convinced that their brother — who goes by Wayne — had crossed paths with the serial killer. Gacy had done construction work at a Aurora fast-food restaurant about that time. [...] Between media interviews, he has told the family his story. He left home because he didn't feel wanted. He worked at the Fontainebleau Hotel, swam in the ocean in Fort Lauderdale. He met a girl from Wisconsin on South Beach, followed her back to the Midwest and got married. He lived in Wisconsin for several years, he said, and when he and his wife split up, he returned to Florida, this time to the West Coast. Lovell said he has two daughters, ages 30 and 28, whom he has not seen since they were small."
      • Note that the Black Tuna Gang run by Raul Davila-Jimeno, which imported Colombian marijuana during the 1970s and was linked to pivotal Florida drug trafficker Allen Rivenbark, operated out of the Fontainebleau Hotel for part of its existence; United States Tax Court, nos. 26213-81, 26644-81, 29798-82: Robert Platshorn v. Commissioner and Robert Meinster v. Commissioner, Memorandum Findings of Fact and Opinion, 1992/12/07: "Sometime at the end of 1976, Platshorn took over the barbershop concession at the prestigious and luxurious Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach. [...] Petitioners freely admit to buying and selling marijuana as wholesalers during 1976 and 1977. The headquarters for petitioners' drug importation operation was located at the Fontainebleau Hotel (the Hotel), the same hotel where Platshorn maintained his barbershop concession. Petitioners leased the luxurious 17th-floor oceanfront Presidential Suites during the period of 1976 to 1978. The purposes of the Hotel suites were to provide a place for payments of money, to host elaborate parties for petitioners and their friends at which drugs were freely available, and to create the aura of petitioners' wealth and importance. Petitioners selected the Hotel in part because it offered a marina across the street that would accommodate large yachts. Further, the Hotel was the most prestigious in Miami Beach, and petitioners hoped that this factor would help to establish their credibility in the drug trade."
    • ABC, "Long Lost Brother, Harold Wayne Lovell, Believed a Gacy Victim, Reunited With Family", 2011/10/27

Human trafficking involvement

  • John Norman pedophile ring
  • Blackmail files on local individuals held by Gacy
    • Tracy Ullman, "GACY’S ARREST AND IMPORTANT DETAILS THAT WERE NEVER PUBLICIZED Part 2 of 3", 2021/03/19: "Another obscured item we were able to locate four decades later was a household inventory Gacy and his lawyers filed shortly thereafter in the Cook County Courthouse. On each page, is an official stamp of acknowledgment, so this is a legal document that shows…Gacy had a whole set of blackmail files for sports figures, politicians and celebrities. The big question is: where did those files go? Because they were never entered into evidence. Why? Other items in Gacy’s extremely detailed household inventory are film cameras, photo cameras, an 8mm editing deck and viewing screen. It might seem like Gacy was a burgeoning amateur filmmaker, but discussions with other living employees make these items seem a little more peculiar than that.

      In talking with Marty Zelinski, who was an employee and family photographer for John Gacy, he was asked to photograph pornography by Gacy and turned it down. In Terry Sullivan’s hand-written case notes, they show that Gacy asked several living victims if they’d like to appear in male pornography. And Karen Kuzma, Gacy’s sister, found pornographic photos including John Gacy, Michael Rossi and a third male taped underneath a dresser left in a Cook County Sheriff’s storage warehouse taken from Gacy’s house."
  • North Fox Island pedophile ring - page here
    • At 87:02 in the Opperman interview, William Dorsch says that when Russell Nelson moved from Wisconsin to Minneapolis, he met and moved in with an openly gay minister (ed. note: Thomas Maurer) who had helped set up North Fox Island; this was prior to him meeting Robert Young, who was from South Dakota but in Minneapolis doing drugstore remodels for Chicago contractor John Gacy
      • According to part 2.5 of a Reddit overview of the Oakland County Child Killer (OCCK) case, the money manager for North Fox Island (Adam Starchild) had roots in Minneapolis: "The Money Mover Malcolm McConahy changed his name to Adam Aristotle Starchild. He made a career of tax fraud and writing books about it. He also was constantly plauged with accusations of inappropriate relationships with young boys. Malcolm McConahy’s Perversion file states that in 1965 he admitted to sexually abusing two Boy Scouts in Minneapolis Troop 27. To his Scout victims, he was an Assistant Scoutmaster. From wiki - Between February and July 1965, McConahy was an assistant scout master with Troop 27 in Minneapolis, a troop sponsored by Plymouth Congregational Church of that city, but was suspended after admitting homosexual interest in boys in the troop. Scouting records state that his personal and family church relationship was with Joyce Methodist Church. At the time he was operating a travel business in Minneapolis."
    • Doug Wilson, a witness to the abduction of Oakland County Child Killer (OCCK) victim Timothy King, saw a young man approach Timmy King and an older man sitting in a car, with all three of them soon gone. After seeing Gacy in a documentary, he came to believe that Gacy was the older man who he saw in the car. However, other researchers have suggested that it could be Chris Busch, a known OCCK suspect who resembles Gacy.

Personal background

  • Waterloo IA life - TODO document further
    • From p.176-177 of Programmed to Kill:

          [...] In the 1960s, John lived in Waterloo, Iowa, where he owned several businesses, including four restaurants, a clothing design firm and a motel. During that period of his life, he joined the Jaycees and quickly forged a bond with the man who soon became the local chapter president. This particular Jaycee chapter was known at the time to be involved in prostitution, pornography, and various other crimes of vice. A local prosecutor identified Gacy’s motel, managed by his newfound friend, as the hub of those activities. According to the prosecutor, the motel was a front for a gay and straight prostitution ring.
          Gacy was in the habit of hiring many young people of both sexes to work at his businesses. He also reportedly set up what was described as a ‘social club’ in his basement recreation room, which he kept well stocked with drugs and alcohol to supply to his numerous underage guests. He was also said by those who knew him at the time to “control” his wife and to openly offer her sexual services to friends and colleagues. One former employee also said that Gacy always carried a gun.
          On March 11, 1968, Donald Voorhees, Jr.—the son of a Jaycee and former Iowa state representative—gave a statement to police alleging that Gacy had assaulted and sodomized him. In early May, Gacy was indicted by a grand jury, though no further action was taken for several months. On September 12, John made a court appearance at which he was ordered to submit to a psychiatric examination at the ominously named Psychopathic Hospital of the State University of Iowa. While in custody there, he spoke freely to investigators of wholesale corruption among the city’s elite. He talked of gambling, prostitution, pornography, wife swapping, and the corruption and complicity of local police. He supplied the names of numerous Jaycees, police personnel, and various other prominent individuals who were involved in criminal enterprises.
    • Other corruption in the Waterloo area
      • KWWL 7, "New Leads In The Johnny Gosch Case", 2005/05/25: "Those witnesses include a Black Hawk County woman who wishes to remain anonymous. She sent Rothstein this packet of information. "Johnny Gosch is mentioned in it involving something that was going on years ago in the Waterloo, Iowa area," Rothstein says."
  • Chicago political connections
    • Tracy Ullman, "WHY THE 1978 JOHN WAYNE GACY SERIAL MURDER CASE IS RELEVANT TODAY - Part 1 of 3", 2021/02/17
      • "Even after Mayor Richard J. Daley’s death, in May 1978, Rosalynn Carter visited Chicago for the Polish Constitution Day Parade as a “peace offering” from President Jimmy Carter to then Mayor Michael Bilandic for some perceived slight. And who was the organizer of the parade there to greet her? John Wayne Gacy. Gacy had been appointed head of the parade several years before that by the director of Special Events – Mayor Daley’s friend, Colonel Jack Reilly. Months after the infamous photo of Gacy and Carter was taken, the Secret Service was put under a microscope for having allowed a convicted felon to socialize with the First Lady: Gacy had been jailed in Waterloo, Iowa for sodomy and had accrued several arrests in Chicago for sexual violence - one arrest had been just months before. Later on, it was determined Gacy was the one who organized security for the event, as he had done for several years before without too much thought. Did someone from Mayor Richard J. Daley’s administration vouch for Gacy when it came time to screen him for security?"
      • "This was all happening as Gacy himself navigated the Chicago Democratic Machine in the position of precinct captain to Norwood Park Township Democratic Committeeman, Robert Martwick, Senior. The lengthy title may sound inconsequential, but Robert Martwick, Sr. has been a power broker within Chicago politics since he became a Committeeman in 1969 and finally retired in 2017 – almost 50 years. Starting in 1970, Martwick was among a cohort who pushed Cook County to raise tax bills on commercial and industrial properties. This happened simultaneously to his law firm, Finkel, Martwick and Colson PC, transitioning to a focus on property tax appeals – a surcharge unique to Cook County, since property owners are charged the tax unless they know how to appeal it. The appeals business made Martwick a rich man and a behind-the-scenes political kingmaker. His law firm made changes along with that of former House Speaker and fellow property tax appeal attorney, Michael Madigan - another politician Gacy rubbed shoulders with according to Gacy’s ex-wife, Carole Lofgren. As Chicago’s infrastructure grew exponentially during the 1970s, so did these men’s wallets and their ability to leverage power."
  • Chicago mob connections
    • From p.51 of Killer Clown: The John Wayne Gacy Murders: "Two items on the Chicago report were blacked out, indicating that they were FBI matters."
    • From p.302 of Killer Clown: The John Wayne Gacy Murders:

          When court resumed in the afternoon we put on both Eugenia Godziks—mother and daughter—as well as Greg Godzik’s girlfriend, Judy Patterson. Judy testified that she and two other girls had gone to Gacy’s house to see if he knew anything about Greg. Gacy was still saying that Greg had run away, but he did give the impression that he was trying to be helpful.
          “He said to give [him] my address and phone number,” Judy testified, “and that he was in the syndicate and that they were going to look into this in their own way. And he said, ‘If you have any questions, call me.’ He gave me his contractor’s card, and I left.”
    • From p.139 of The Man Who Killed Boys:

          The chunky contractor talked about other shady dealings he was supposedly involved in, but wasn't specific, although he claimed that he had been questioned by the FBI and local police. Gacy told some of the younger boys that he was a hit man for the Mafia, and offered to take care of anyone who was giving them trouble.
          Zielinski said that he was threatened during one of their quarrels after demanding payment for photo work. Gacy reputedly sent word that he had friends who would put Zielinski in a hospital if the photographer didn't back down. “I do a lot of horrible things, but I do a lot of good things too," Gacy once told him.
    • See above for how Mike Rossi, one of Gacy's most trusted employees and a likely accomplice in his murders, was allegedly the grandson of Vito Marzullo
    • TODO: document Gacy's claim of being the cousin of Tony Accardo
    • TODO: document Gacy's claim that many of his murders were Syndicate killings (maybe in Des Plaines records?)
  • Multiple personality disorder
    • Criminal, "Serial Killer Deep Dive: John Wayne Gacy", 2017/12/08: "John's trial took place on February 6th 1980 where he faced 33 murder charges. His lawyers opted for him to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, which lead to a psychiatric evaluation. Three psychiatric experts testified that John was a paranoid schizophrenic with a multiple personality disorder but prosecutors presented a case that indicated that John was sane and fully in control of his actions. The jury deliberated for two hours before returning with a decision to sentence him to death for twelve counts of murder."
    • Reddit comment arguing that his Jack Hanley personality was most likely real: "The mysterious split persona "Jack Hanley." Interestingly, the prosecution attempted to discredit this at trial by calling a man named James Hanley at the trial's eleventh hour. They argued that he had appropriated Hanley's name, though Gacy had first told others about "Jack Hanley" in 1970 - before the two were alleged to have met. Even curiouser, the state claimed that they had produced him so late because "investigators looking for Hanley for more than a year, but somehow the police computer didn’t turn up his name." This does not make sense, however, as James Hanley was a plainclothes detective with the Chicago Police Department since the late sixties."