Conversations With a Killer – What happened to John Wayne Gacy's house

·4-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Conversations With A Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes is a little hard to stomach at the best of times, with the notorious "killer clown" speaking out about his crimes with a bitter, unapologetic stoicness.

The murders, which occurred largely between 1972 and 1978, claimed the lives of 33 men and boys, with Gacy taking them to his ranch house in rural outskirts of Chicago, Illinois, before sexually assaulting, torturing and murdering them.

When he was finally arrested, a search of his Norwood-area home recovered a horrifying 26 bodies under the crawl space of his house. A further four bodies were found in the nearby Des Plaines river, with three more buried around the property.

As a result, the home became synonymous with the evil acts that happened there.

But what do you do with a house that has become so undeniably attached to one of the most heinous killers in US history?

Here's the location of the home, and what has happened since Gacy's arrest.

Where is John Wayne Gacy's house?

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The home is located at 8213 W. Summerdale Ave. in unincorporated Norwood Park Township, about a 25-minute drive north of central Chicago, Illinois.

The 1979 investigation into the home ultimately caused the house itself to be razed to the ground, as the sheer number of bodies continuing to be found needed further hunts.

In the years following Gacy's occupancy, a property built on the site of his demolished home has exchanged hands multiple times, and has since been given a new number so it can not be connected to avoid attracting onlookers.

It took five years for someone to purchase the property after what happened there, with the home being turned over to a savings and loan company in 1984.

In 1986, it was turned into a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, according to Realtor.com, with the property being bought by a woman for her elderly parents.

However, the horrors that happened on the site continue to haunt the land and its value, over time, has continued to deplete.

"The stigma runs with the land, not the house," real estate appraiser Orell Anderson told the site. "When these houses come up for sale, some people buy the place thinking if they tear it down and change the address a little bit and do some cosmetic fixes, the stigma will go away. But it typically doesn't."

Most recently, it was sold again for $391,000 in 2021 (according the NBC Chicago), after two years on the market. It was initially listed for $489,000, but lack of interest resulted in multiple price cuts meaning the site lost almost a fifth of its value.

Reportedly, the buyers weren't aware of the history of the house they purchased until they were informed by reporters.

What happened to John Wayne Gacy?

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

John Wayne Gacy died on May 10, 2004 via lethal injection.

He was convicted of all 33 murders, the highest number attributed to one serial killer in American history. He was given the death penalty for 12 of those murders, with life sentences for the remaining 21.

He was also found guilty of one count of 'deviate sexual assault' and one count of 'indecent liberties with a child'. All his appeal attempts were denied.

At one point he tried and failed to claim he was not guilty due to an insanity defence.

Before the murders, Gacy had been arrested for sodomy and sexual assault, and was sentenced to 10 years in Iowa State.

In preparation for the trial, Gacy spoke openly to his attorneys about his crimes, which included the rape and attack of several other men.

Between November 1979 and April 1980, the lawyers recorded Gacy's recounts for more than 60 hours. These have now been released for Conversations With A Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes.

In some instances, filmmaker Joe Berlinger shares survivors' accounts of their attacks by Gacy, alongside Gacy's chilling dismissals and twisted vision of the exact same event.

After being caught, Gacy remained unrepentant for what he did.

His final words before dying were reportedly "kiss my ass".

Gacy was survived by two sisters, two ex-wives, and five children.

As of 2022, five of the men found on the property remain unidentified.

Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes is available to stream now on Netflix.

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