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As serial killers go, John Wayne Gacy is up there with the most prolific and odious.
The twisted children's entertainer, who dressed up as a clown, raped, tortured, and murdered at least 33 young men and boys in the 1970s.
And some might argue that his death, which was drawn out and painful, fit his crimes.
Now, a new Netflix three-part series has uncovered never-before heard audio recordings from interrogation by law enforcement.
The documentary, Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes, is the latest offering from Joe Berlinger, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker responsible for a similar piece of work on another serial killer, Ted Bundy.
It details Gacy’s bone-chilling accounts of his crimes in the rural outskirts of Chicago.
It also features exclusive, and very graphic, archival footage of police officers excavating Gacy’s lair – the crawl space of his home where bodies were left to decompose under layers of cement.
But one of the most chilling parts of the documentary covers Gacy's final moments on death row.
Involved in local politics, Gacy was able to approach men with little suspicion.
He was eventually convicted of 33 murders in March 1980 and sentenced to death, but he remained on death row for 14 years.
After several failed appeals, the Illinois Supreme Court set a date for his execution on May 10, 1994.
Gacy’s last ever meal on May 9 was a bucket of KFC fried chicken, 12-piece fried shrimp, chips, strawberries and a Diet Coke.
He then proceeded to pray with a Catholic priest prior to being transferred to the Stateville Correctional Centre’s execution chamber to be given a lethal injection.
It was botched. Taking 18 minutes, the chemicals Gacy received in the execution had solidified unexpectedly, clogging the IV drip into his arm. This would have made his death more painful than usual.
He was pronounced dead shortly before 1am on May 10.
Chillingly, his final words were: “Kiss my ass.”
Almost 40 years later, there are six victims associated with Gacy who have yet to be identified, with survivors such as Jeffrey Rignall, who have bravely spoken out about Gacy’s horrific transgressions.
Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes is available to watch on Netflix.
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- Serial Killers
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