Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

John Wayne Gacy Jr.


In September 1964, Gacy met and married a co-worker named Marlynn Myers whose parents owned a string of Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant franchises in Waterloo, Iowa. Fred W. Myers, Gacy's new father-in-law, offered him a position with one of his franchises. Soon after that Gacy and his new wife moved to Iowa.

Life seemed to hold a lot of promise for Gacy at this time in his life.

Gacy began working for his father-in-law, learning the business from the ground up. On average he worked for 12 hours a day, yet it was not uncommon for him to work 14 or more hours a day. He was enthusiastic and eager to learn, with hopes of one day taking over the string of fast food restaurants. When Gacy was not working, he was active in the Waterloo, Iowa, Jaycees.

Gacy worked tirelessly performing volunteer work for his community through the Jaycees. It was there that he made most of his friends and spent most of his time. In Clifford L. Linedecker's book, The Man Who Killed Boys, he quoted Charlie Hill, a Jaycee volunteer who knew well: "He wanted to be very successful and he wanted to be recognized by his peers... [Gacy] was always working on some project and he was devoted to the Jaycees. The club was his whole life."

However, Gacy managed to find some time with his wife when not working for his father-in-law or doing volunteer work. Marlynn gave birth to a boy shortly after their move to Iowa and soon after the birth of their son, they celebrated the birth of a daughter. The Gacys had every reason to be happy during the first few years in Iowa. They had a nice house in the suburbs and a loving and healthy family. Marlynn enjoyed looking after the children and John was happy in work and with the Jaycees. He was even working on a campaign for the presidency of the Jaycees. Everything seemed almost too good to be true, and indeed it was.


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