On This Day, Dec 22, 1978 – John Wayne Gacy Confesses

On this day in 1978, John Wayne Gacy confesses to police to killing over two dozen boys and young men and burying their bodies under his suburban Chicago home. In March 1980, Gacy was convicted of 33 sex-related murders, committed between 1972 and 1978, and given the death penalty. At the time, he was the worst serial killer in modern American history. George Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer, overtook Gacy in November 2003, when he admitted to murdering 48 women in the Pacific Northwest. Gacy was born in Chicago on March 17, 1942. Outwardly, he appeared to have a relatively normal middle-class upbringing; however, by some accounts, Gacy had an abusive alcoholic father and also experienced health issues in his youth. In 1964, Gacy married and moved with his wife to Iowa, where he managed his father-in-law’s Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. The couple had two children. However, Gacy’s...

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On This Day, Nov 30, 1989 – America’s First Female Serial Killer Strikes

Richard Mallory, a store owner in Palm Harbor, Florida, is last seen taking a ride with Aileen Wuornos. The following day, his car—containing his wallet, some condoms, and an empty vodka bottle—was found abandoned in a remote area of Ormond Beach. Nearly two weeks later, his body turned up in a Daytona Beach junkyard with three bullets in his chest. Mallory’s murder was the first of seven committed by Aileen Wuornos over the next year. Perhaps because she was one of the few women killers to gain widespread fame and notoriety, she was inaccurately dubbed “America’s first female serial killer.” Her case was heavily publicized through television talk show appearances and a documentary, The Selling of a Serial Killer. Wuornos had been the victim of abuse and neglect herself. Her parents split before she was born and her father, who had been arrested for child molesting, killed himself while...

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On This Day, July 22, 1991 – Cannibal and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is caught

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police officers spot Tracy Edwards running down the street in handcuffs, and upon investigation, they find one of the grisliest scenes in modern history-Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment. Edwards told the police that Dahmer had held him at his apartment and threatened to kill him. Although they initially thought the story was dubious, the officers took Edwards back to Dahmer’s apartment. Dahmer calmly explained that the whole matter was simply a misunderstanding and the officers almost believed him. However, they spotted a few Polaroid photos of dismembered bodies, and Dahmer was arrested. When Dahmer’s apartment was fully searched, a house of horrors was revealed. In addition to photo albums full of pictures of body parts, the apartment was littered with human remains: Several heads were in the refrigerator and freezer; two skulls were on top of the computer; and a 57-gallon drum containing several bodies decomposing in chemicals was...

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