John Wayne Gacey dissected

An interesting post, if you find stories about serial killers interesting, that is. There’s a video of an interview with the man before he became known as the most prolific serial killer in the U.S., and an analysis that tells us something about what he was.

It caught my attention because, a few years ago, when I was working the eight weekends of the Southwest Ohio Renaissance Festival, I met someone who might well have qualified for the exact same analysis. The Festival has a troupe of actors who play the parts of Queen Elizabeth I, and her court, as well as several stages where professional festival-themed shows are put on, but even those of us who worked the shops and booths selling souvenirs were expected to wear costumes and speak in (very bad) English accents, and in general play the part of Elizabethan villagers. One year, a man appeared among the crowd wearing a blue clown suit, with his face painted like a clown, and he pretended to be a toy. In fact, he said his professional name was Toy. We thought his shtick wasn’t really in keeping with a renaissance or medieval theme, but otherwise, we had no reason to suspect he wasn’t a regular, paid performer. He would go behind the shops to the open area between the buildings and the outer stockade for his breaks, and I shared a bench and conversation with him several times.

Until the next year, that is, when we had our regular pre-festival meeting with the showrunner, and I asked if Toy would be back that year. The showrunner said, “Who?” and when several of us explained who we’d seen, he said, “I never hired anyone like that. I’ll investigate.”

The first weekend, I went out back for my break and discovered Toy sitting on the break bench in his costume, handcuffed, and in the company of the local police who were waiting for a van to take him to jail. It turns out, Toy had been arrested before. He was known to the police as a predatory pedophile of young boys (apparently, the younger the better), and he had nothing whatsoever to do with the Renaissance Festival. In fact, his brazen appearance there was a violation of his parole, so I hope he went back to prison for a good long time, although I never heard anything after that.

And he was such a bland, nice man. :-{

4 Responses to “John Wayne Gacey dissected”

  1. major dad Says:

    I know and feel this pain. Back in the seventies as a young Marine, I hitched a ride with someone on an on ramp to the I-5 in Oceanside Ca, probably about 2 A.M.. Guy was a little weird but I was sober and just needed a ride. He let me off at the Pulgas gate on Camp Pendleton. Didn’t think much of it till years later. The Orange County Register had story about a serial killer and the picture in the paper made the blood drain out of my face. Randy Kraft. There he was and I was in his car years earlier. Talk about thanking the God. This guy never got the press he should have, probably because he killed young men and Marines on the fringe. Check out how many he killed and his methods.

  2. thefrollickingmole Says:

    No murderers for me. However I did meet one of Western Australia’s worst serial rapists while I was working at a mental institution.

    He appeared to have lost his inhibitions about speaking his thoughts out aloud, and had been sent to the psych unit to fix this problem. (It wouldn’t have looked good to have had a kiddie fiddler muttering about what he wanted to do to kids while at his parole hearing).
    Within a day he had both staff and most of the patients in the secure ward wanting to hurt him.
    I was reading a book (I was seconded to the ward because an immigration detainee was there, so no real standing as a staff member /visitor or patient) in the ward when he came up and sat beside me and started saying how all the little girls loved it, loved him, he never had to force any of them because he was so good and so on.
    I put up with about 5 minutes before I told him if he didn’t go away Id crush his balls with the heel of my boots while he slept. Funnily enough he was sane enough to go away and leave me alone after that.
    The secure unit was a great experience to visit, quite different to the “bedlam” image most mental institutions have.

  3. Rebecca H Says:

    Major Dad, yikes! Glad he didn’t get you.

  4. spot_the_dog Says:

    I have that Sufjan Stevens CD as well, “Illinoise.” The John Wayne Gacey song is creepy in its ordinariness. This is the first time I’ve seen the video, though.

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