John Wayne Gacy tapes: who was ‘Pogo the Clown’ featured in Netflix’s Conversations With a Killer documentary?

Convicted serial killer John Wayne Gacy was known for donning a clown costume and performing at events and children’s birthday parties

John Wayne Gacy is one of America’s most infamous serial killers.

Gacy was sentenced to death by lethal injection after confessing to murdering 33 young men and boys, five of which have never been identified.

Netflix’s latest documentary will look at newly unearthed tapes that follow Gacy and his legal team discussing his crimes.

Here’s everything you need to know about who he was and what you can expect from Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer documentary.

When can I watch Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes on Netflix?

The documentary will be available to watch on Netflix from Wednesday (20 April).

The three-part series features unheard audio of the serial killer as he meets with his legal team.

Directed by Joe Berlinger who brought us Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes in 2019, it aims to search for an explanation as to how Gacy got away with his crimes for so long, before being apprehended in 1979.

Who is John Wayne Gacy?

John Wayne Gacy is one of the most prolific serial killers of the United States, having murdered and assaulted an estimated 33 young men and boys.

Gacy had many jobs including an aspiring politician and and contractor, but he is infamously known for dressing up in a clown costume and performing at events and children’s parties.

He would cruise for vulnerable victims before luring them to his home and tricking them into a pair of handcuffs as part of a magic trick. Some of his victims’ bodies were buried in the crawl space of his Illinois home and he hid others in the Des Plaines River. Sadly, five of John Wayne Gacy’s victims have never been identified.

In 1980, Gacy was found guilty and sentenced to death by lethal injection. During his time on death row he turned to painting, with some of his pieces, including his infamous self-portrait in a clown costume, recently being bought by Ghost Adventures host Zak Bagans in 2020.

Gacy was executed for his crimes by lethal injection on 10 May, 1994 at Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois.

How was John Wayne Gacy caught?

Gacy was under surveillance after he was connected to some of the missing victims.

Fifteen-year-old Robert Piest went missing after he told his mother he was visiting Gacy to enquire about a contractor job opportunity. She reported this to the police and Gacy’s home was searched. During this search a receipt was found that pointed to Piest being at the property and Gacy was placed under police surveillance.

It was under this surveillance that he was caught handling marajuana and subsequently arrested. Gacy confessed to his crimes after police searched his home for a second time and found bones in the crawl space.

What is Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes about?

The Netflix documentary will reveal unheard taped conversations of John Wayne Gacy and his legal team.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly on how they got access to the tapes, director Joe Berlinger said: "Someone from the original legal team reached out and said that these tapes were available but they asked for their anonymity."

The documentary also includes never before seen footage of police officers excavating the crawl space. With Berlinger stating to Entertainment Weekly: “Their excavation footage has never been seen before and that’s truly horrifying material. We debated how much of that excavation footage [but] we felt enough of it had to go in to make people realise the horror of what was going down.”

Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes is available to watch on Netflix from Wednesday (20 April).

Related topics: