Serial Killer Case Study
Presenting the problem.
My name is John Wayne Gacy, a national of the United States, a former building constructor, and a politician. I am a father, and I am married. Over the years, I have had mental problems that pushed me into committing heinous acts that involved hurting and injuring people. I now feel I need help overcoming these mental forces before it is too late to turn back.
History of the presenting problem.
John Wayne Gary was born in 1942 and was brought up in the suburban community of Chicago. John grew up in the care of his alcoholic father, John S. Gacy, who died at the age of 69 (1900-1969), who used to thrash him frequently following his violent rages. Wayne Gacy grew up in such an environment, and it was not long before he began developing instances of an identity crisis. As such, he actually doubted his being male and the whole of the masculinity aspect that he grew in inform of a boy. On one instance when he was at the age of eleven, Wayne Gacy got hit on the head while hanging out around a swing. This blow saw him get frequent blackouts for the most of the five years that followed the accident. It was later discovered by doctors that it was a clot in his brain that was later done away with following a series of medical procedures. Following that incident and the treatment that he underwent, Gacy started faking heart problems looking for attention, attention that he adequately received thanks to the feigning he had gotten used to (Linedecker, 1993).
Later in his life, John Wayne Gacy graduated from college where he pursued a business related course. After his graduation, Wayne Gacy secured himself a job as a shoe salesperson. It is at this point John married. He married his co-worker woman whose family owned a KFC store in Waterloo and before long started to work in the KFC store as a manager. In 1968, in May, Gacy was arrested following a case of sexual misconduct subjected to a young male employee. In this instance, he hired a thug to beat up the witness, an action that dealt the charges against him a great blow (Linedecker, 1993). Pleading guilty of sexual misconduct and sodomy, Gacy was sentenced to ten years in jail. He was however released after eighteen months as he was a model prisoner.
After being paroled, he moved to Chicago to start afresh and worked as a building constructor. He became popular in the new community, with his colleagues and his neighbors. As such, he would organize theme parties and dress up as a clown in parties that involved children as well as in charity shows. Into politics, John Wayne was bent to the democratic party and shared a photo shoot with the then-first lady Rosalynn Carter- the wife of the then President Jimmy Carter (Linedecker, 1993). Later the next year in 1971, Gacy was charged once more for sexual misconduct that involved a young man. To his favor in court, the witness did not report for the hearings and as such, the charges were dropped and allowed him to finish his parole later in October the same year (Sullivan, & Maiken, 2000).
John Wayne Gacy committed his first murder on the third day of January the year 1972, his method of operation included driving around the local looking for young masculine runaways, male prostitutes and people who had come out of the jail. His victims youthful ranged from the age of nine to the age of twenty. He would trick them by flashing a badge as a fake police officer and then he would put them under and equally false arrest whereby he would make friends with them and vessel them to his home. Once in his premises, he would display tricks with “magic cuffs” overpowering them. Once a victim was subdued, Gacy would torture them, defile them then garrote them. Following the procedure, he would then bury them in a space that lay beneath his house. Sooner later, he ran out of space where he could dump these bodies; he took to dumping them in the rivers that neighbored his premises (Linedecker, 1993).
The murders and operations escalated after he divorced his second wife in 1976 since after the divorce he had the entire house to himself. Chronologically, he committed two successive murders on the same day, on 25th October, 1976. With identical operations throughout the year, John Wayne let one of his victims go after he was finished with him. On 12 December 1978, he killed his last victim who also happened to be the last. The victim was a fifteen-year-old boy, Robert Piest, a young boy who hailed from his neighborhood. Apparently, the boy had told of going to see his contractor with regards to a job he is way eyeing, no one ever saw him again. The contractor being Gacy, the police came to his home and obtained a search warrant to investigate the foul smell that came from the house. The search warrant was obtained quite easily since the police records regarding Gacy were suspicious (Sullivan, & Maiken, 2000).
In the search, a total of twenty-nine corpses were found in the crawl space he used to dump them, five more were found in the nearby river. Among the bodies that were discovered, nine remained unidentified. The trial following the search and the results of it was complicated. Gacy was at some point perceived as insane, but the court psychiatrists judged him sane. In 1980, Gacy Wayne was charged with twenty-one lives for murder charges of killing committed before June 1977, the time when Illinois reinstated the death sentence (Linedecker, 1993). He was therefore sentenced to death for the twelve homicides he committed after the reinstatement. John Wayne Gacy was executed by lethal injection in 10th of May 1994.
Application of psychological theories.The entire phenomenon of serial killing and serial murders has over the years attracted a lot of attention to the public as well as to the media. Despite this substantial attention that the topic is subjected to, very little is known regarding the development of the habit. There have been various explanations made and researches done in the bid to explain and bring to light whatever that this disorder is made up of. As such, biopsychological theories have been developed and explained as with regards to the aforementioned disorder. Serial killing can be discussed from various points of view including biological, psychological and social (R. Holmes & S. Holmes, 2009)
One such theory is the biopsychosocial theory. A theory that was primarily introduced to give explanations to the origins of psychological disorders. The theory holds that psychological disorders are not organic in nature. Instead they are a combination of biological, psychological and social factors that interact to produce specific disorders. Or a serial killer, it is a combination of neurological, psychological, social, environmental and physiological factors. As such, with Gacy, a neurological disorder can be caused by an injury on the head. Other than injuries, there can also be caused by birth defects and seizures that play a great role in the display of aggressive behavior. Parts of the brain are stimulated causing the person to be aggressive beyond normal levels to the point that the aggressiveness is vented through violence (Egger, & Doney, 1990).
The injury Gacy suffered on the swing when he was young might have had impacts to his later life as a psychopathic killer and law offender. In addition, when someone is subjected to the labeling by the society, he or she may end up having extreme tendencies as those of serial killing. In most cases, ex-jail birds are the most affected. The society labels them as bad people who had to serve prison sentences such as John Gacy. The victim is subjected to psychological torture that makes him separate himself from the society and have thoughts of vengeance to people who view them as animals (Egger, & Doney, 1990).
In conclusion, I recommend that more studies should be done to explain the instances of serial killing in the modern society. The researcher should primarily focus on the chronology that saw to the breeding of the serial killer. They should also efficiently study the behavioral instincts of the serial killer as well as the environment they live in or the past experiences that the victim went through.
References.Egger, S. A., & Doney, R. H. (1990). Serial murder: An elusive phenomenon. New York: Praeger.
Linedecker, C. L. (1993). The Man Who Killed Boys: The John Wayne Gacy, Jr. Story. Macmillan.
Ronald M. Holmes, & Stephen T. Holmes. (2009). Serial murder. Sage.Sullivan, T., & Maiken, P. T. (2000). Killer Clown: The John Wayne Gacy Murders. Pinnacle Books.