When it comes to American serial killers, John Wayne Gacy—aka the “Killer Clown”—is by far one of the most infamous. Claiming the lives of at least 33 young men and burying them under his house, Gacy, from Cook County, Illinois, lived a “normal” life by all accounts when looking from the outside in. With an ordinary job and two marriages under his belt, no one suspected the gruesome truth that was hiding underneath his facade—including his children.
Many people wonder: what are the children of a serial killer like as people, and what are they doing ever since justice was served in 1994 when their father died of lethal injection? Let’s delve a little deeper into Gacy’s family life.
John Wayne Gacy Was A Family Man
One of the most terrifying things about Gacy is the fact that he blended so well into his community—all while devising and acting out his devious and morbid actions. Living in suburban Illinois, Gacy began working as a manager at a shoe company when he met his first wife, Marlynn Myers, in 1964. They dated less than a year before the couple married and moved in with Myers’ well-to-do parents.
A few years pass before Gacy and Myers decided to move to Waterloo, Iowa with her parents to help them manage a few Kentucky Fried Chicken stores that the Myers parents had acquired. Gacy was eager to help his father-in-law manage the then-new fast-food chain. Known as a hard worker and pillar of the community, Gacy was even an active volunteer. During their time in Waterloo, Myers gave birth to two children—Michael born in February 1966, and Christine born in March 1967. All seemed perfect in the Gacy family during this time.
He Went To Prison And Remarried
It was in 1968 that Gacy’s “perfect” household began to crumble, however, it would prove to be just the start of his horrific plans. Despite being a seemingly “good man,” the soon-to-be serial killer was convicted of sexually assaulting two teen boys and given a ten-year sentence. While serving his sentence, Myers filed for divorce in 1969 and acquired sole custody of their children—whom he’d never see again. Sadly, for his victims, he was released on parole in the summer of 1970.
“He had no particular problem during his stay,” Warden Calvin Auger told the New York Times in 1979. “His adjustment was exceptionally good. He was a good worker, a willing worker with only one minor disciplinary thing on his record, just a hassle with another resident with nobody injured.”
After Gacy’s parole release, the terrible chain of events he had started to create in his mind was only beginning. In fact, he was charged yet again with another sexual assault of a teenage boy, however, the charges were dropped when his victim never appeared in court.
Amazingly, Gacy tried his best to live, yet again, a “normal” life. After his first run-ins with the law, he moved back to Illinois to live in Chicago where he started his own business called PDM—an acronym for Painting, Decorating, and Maintenance. It was during 1972 that he married his second wife Carole Hoff who had two daughters. She also happened to be a friend of Gacy’s sister and had known him since childhood. Little did she know, her new husband had already committed his first murder by then and had buried the victim in the crawl space of the house that they had lived in together.
“He swept me off my feet,” Hoff had said of Gacy at the time—having no idea of all the horrors to come.
It was also during this time in the early 1970s that Gacy took up the hobby of dressing like a clown—a behavior that would eventually earn him his nickname of the “Killer Clown.” Gacy called his alter egos “Pogo the Clown” and “Patches the Clown,” and he would appear in costume and full makeup at children’s parties and charity events. Terrifyingly, “Pogo” and “Patches” would play a role in the multitude of murders he was about to commit.
Gacy would lure his young male victims to his home by pretending to be a police officer or promising them construction work. Once in his home, Gacy would take on the clown persona before drugging, sexually assaulting, and strangling his victims. Between the years 1972 and 1978, Gacy would go on to claim the lives of 33 (known) young male victims. In 1981, a Cook County jury would finally find him guilty after cops received a search warrant for his home, and Gacy was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Where Are Gacy’s Kids Now?
When Gacy’s first wife divorced him in 1969, she had received sole custody of their children, Michael and Christine. Since then, not much has been revealed about the now-adults that used to call Gacy “dad.” It seems obvious that they’ve made a concerted effort to stay out of the spotlight and disassociate themselves with the Gacy name.
If Michael and Christine are still alive today, they would be in their 50s and it’s likely that they would have changed their names. Like most of Gacy’s family, including his sister, Karen Kuzma, they would rather not think about him. Speaking on the show Monster in My Family, Kuzma said, “How can you love somebody like that? How can you love somebody that is so evil, that you can love them but at the same time hate them?”
It would only be understandable for his two children to feel the exact same way.