John Wayne Gacy’s Deadly Legacy Put Under Cold Case Scrutiny

Not all John Wayne Gacy's victims were accounted for by authorities. A one-man cold case unit explores the Killer Clown's Deadly Legacy.

Pogo the Clown brought joy and laughter to elaborate street parties he threw for friends and neighbors. The man under the makeup and funny nose was well liked in the community. John Wayne Gacy was a generous man with his time and money. He was a hard working, friendly, devoted family man. He spent his formative years working at an ambulance service, but he was a mortuary attendant where he moved from his cot near the embalming room and into a coffin where he fondled the corpse of a teenage boy. The three-part limited Investigation series into the “Killer Clown” will be reopened when The Deadly Legacy premieres on Sunday, December 9th at 10 p.m on Investigation Discovery.

“Depraved serial killer John Wayne Gacy hunted in the streets of Chicago in the 1970s, luring 33 young men to a violent death,” reads the official press statement. “Gacy’s insatiable urge to kill eventually became his undoing in 1978, and dental records were able to identify 25 of his victims.”

Gacy was put to death by lethal injection in 1994, before he was able to identify his eight remaining victims. “Now, 40 years after Gacy terrorized the streets of Chicago, Investigation Discovery is re-opening the case in an attempt to finally uncover the identities of eight remaining victims,” reads the press statement.

Further reading: Investigation Discovery to Profile Killer Clown John Wayne Gacy

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“John Wayne Gacy is one of America’s most notorious serial killers and while his name lives on, we often forget about the victims he left behind. Indeed, it’s even more jarring to realize that there are still eight unnamed victims,” Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel, and Destination America, said in a statement.

Many thought Gacy’s death closed his case, but it was re-energized in 2011 when the Cook County Police Department decided to reopen the case in hopes that new DNA technology would lead to identifications of the remaining eight victims. The series will center on Cook County, Illinois’ cold case unit. It is a one man operation, with Detective Sergeant Jason Moran employing cutting-edge DNA technology to give the victims’ families closure.

“Through the dogged determination and inspiring intrepidness of Detective Sergeant Moran, Investigation Discovery will deliver answers to multiple families in this intense, riveting, and long overdue investigation,” Schleiff added.

Further reading: Inside The Many Murders of Serial Killer Ed Edwards

Each episode of Deadly Legacy follows Moran as he “begins the painstaking task of reviewing a missing person’s case in an effort to see what became of them. Over the three hours, Moran takes viewers through his investigation as he receives thousands of tips, scours through evidence, and narrows in on three missing persons, interviewing their family, friends, and original investigators, ultimately solving each case.”

The Deadly Legacy premieres on Sunday, December 9th at 10 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.

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Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.