Question: John Wayne Gacy… Just a Serial Killer Who Offered “Art” or Was There More?

What makes someone an artist?

We all have made something at least once in our lives. But when does that creation become art?

Take, for instance, John Wayne Gacy. Just hearing his name makes me cringe. Despite how he became famous’, there was more to him than meets the eye.

I am kind of on the fence about whether John Wayne Gacy simply was a brutal, cold, sociopath who murdered 33 boys and young men who happened to make some art, or he was an artist who ultimately became one of the most notorious serial killers of all time. 

If we look at who he was, we will see some traits that played a role in his murders, but could also have played a role in his art.

Gacy’s father hated him because he was chubby, not athletic and, according to his dad, ‘not very manly’. Gacy reports that his dad beat him with a belt and a broomstick.

It sounds as if Gacy thought his dad was at fault. On the flip side, his mother coddled him and many called him a mama’s boy.

That turmoil certainly played a huge part in his sociopathic behaviors. But, those pent up emotions could have also led him to do the art he produced.

Take this piece, for instance. There are a few reasons this piece caught my attention.

First, he was a clown for children. Creepy on all accounts.

But the fact that it seems as if we are watching him transform is eye opening. Was this his way of telling us that ‘there is more than meets the eye’? 

Another interesting fact about Gacy was that his first job was in a mortuary. It is at this time when he developed his comfort around dead bodies.

He even found pleasure in watching the morticians work. At some point, he admitted to being a necrophiliac.

So many red flags here, am I right? Like the clown art; this just lends to that creepy feeling one gets when they read about all that Gacy did and all the traits that made him who he was. 


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Before he stood trial, he had a psychological evaluation. As someone whose day job is that of a mental health counselor, the results intrigue me.

He was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and those evaluating him stated that medication, in any form, was not effective. They went as far as to state he was a permanent threat to society.

In the true fashion of a psychopath, his last words were, “kiss my ass”. 

So, you tell me.

What John Wayne Gacy simply a cruel, emotionless man who killed innocent men and boys for his pleasure?

Or was he an artist who suffered PTSD from abuse who paid the ultimate price for the trauma inflicted on him?

Or maybe, he can be all of that? Why can’t he be a serial killer artist with PTSD?

Does that really change how you feel about it? And, if I am being honest, his art isn’t anything amazing.

In fact, I find it just as creepy as Gacy himself.

So, you tell us your thoughts? Is Gacy a monster or an artist?

Or maybe you think he’s both? 


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1 Comment

  1. Wow what an intense blog! I had no idea this psychopath did art, but I guess it makes sense to be creative and get away with so much before getting caught.

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