The narrative on serial killer John Wayne Gacy (1942-1994) is that he operated as a lone wolf to lure and kill at least 33 young men on the Northend of Chicago in the 1970s. Although he was the most prolific killer, evidence points to him being just one of a number of underground predatory criminals operating in the region. He described his killings as being a god-like experience in which he is “the judge … jury and executioner of many, many people.”
In his married life, Gacy was the dominant controller and a swinger. He would openly invite friends and colleagues to have sex with his wife. Such skills would clearly be useful for someone involved in human trafficking networks.
He was an effective recruiter for Jaycees in Waterloo, Iowa, where he was described as ambitious and persuasive. One of his “persuasions” was organizing recruitment stag parties with prostitutes at a local motel. He was elected Jaycee VP. In terms of our larger theory about compromise and control, this begs the question about the character of those these lodges recruit.
When arrested in 1978, Gacy mentioned accomplices immediately. Incredibly, it just wasn’t taken seriously. He told officers, “Who else do you have in the station? There are others involved.”
He was asked, “Directly or indirectly?”
“Directly. They participated,” Gacy said.
He was asked, “Who are they?”
“My associates,” he said.
In 1991, FBI profiler Robert Ressler interviewed Gacy, and he was adamant that others were involved. He continued to be ignored. This begs a question: Was Gacy himself more than a serial killer but also a procurer for the power elite?
In recent years, criminal defense attorneys Robert Stephenson and Steven Becker, who are partners in a Chicago law practice, said they re-examined the circumstances surrounding the disappearances of some of the victims. Their conclusion: The so-called “killer clown” had at least three accomplices.
In prison interviews, Gacy stated that charges should have been brought against three others. He pointed to Michael J. Rossi, David Cram and Philip Paske. There are indications many others were involved at a more indirect level. Strangely, as in the Franklin case, police never followed up on the larger network or accomplices.
Gacy was never a loner or lone wolf type. Besides a Jaycee VP, he was a Democratic precinct captain and a birthday party clown. He was sociable, a good businessman and many liked him. He was a known entity arround town. Like other serial killers and pyschopaths he would have relished commanding a pack of flying monkeys committing evil.
The Chicago Tribune ran a series in May 1977 — before Gacy was arrested on Dec. 21, 1978 — calling Chicago the center of a national child pornography and trafficking ring. A Senate committee ran an investigation into it. As we will discuss, the odds of Gacy not being a part of this ring are nil.
Gacy’s killing methods of killing were not original. He told police he got the idea for his “torture board” from Elmer Wayne Henley, a Texas serial killer. Henley was an accomplice of Dean Corll’s, who killed at least 28 boys and young men. Henley killed Corll and is now serving a life sentence. Gacy also copycatted a killer who used accomplices and may have procured for others. We suspect that in the internet age, a sophisticated Corll-Gacy template is being played out in the Smiley Face killings.
Accomplices played the role of submissive flying monkeys, procuring for money victims to be used for dominant masochists and sometimes assisting with various aspects of torture, murder and body disposal. They all had the goods on each other, so no one squealed. Some say Gacy would give them all up in prison. The truth is that he did but always in an odd and cryptic manner. Blatantly snitching on accomplices is frowned upon in criminal circles and can get one shanked.
The use of accomplices was Gacy modus operand (M.O.) from he beginning, even before his rampage. One of Gacy’s abuse victims was Donald Voorhees, the son of a fellow Jaycee. On Aug. 30, 1968, Gacy persuaded one of his employees, an 18-year-old named Russell Schroeder, to physically assault Voorhees in an effort to discourage the boy from testifying against him at an upcoming trial. The youth agreed to lure Voorhees to a secluded spot, spray mace in his face and beat the youth. Schroeder did so with the promise that he would receive $300.
In early September, Schroeder lured Voorhees to an isolated county park, sprayed the mace that Gacy supplied into the youth’s eyes, then beat him all the while shouting that he was not to testify against Gacy at his upcoming trial.
Gacy sought out and “employed” his minions in his construction business. Gacy’s turned his home into a flophouse of degenerates. On July 26,1976, he employed an 18-year-old named David Cram. On Aug. 21, Cram moved into his house.
Afterward, Cram put forth rather ridiculous claims on how it all went down. He states that he was a victim, which is the standard M.O. for psychopaths. Even Gacy depicted himself as a victim in bizarre prison interviews. Obviously, Cram was well acquainted with the victimhood methods utilized.
Allegedly, Gacy conned Cram into donning handcuffs while the targeted youth was inebriated. Gacy swung Cram around while holding the chain linking the cuffs, then informed him that he intended to rape him. Cram, who had spent a year in the Army, kicked Gacy in the face, then freed himself from the handcuffs as Gacy lay prone.
Then we are asked to believe the stupid tale that one month later, Gacy appeared at Cram’s bedroom door (in Gacy’s house) with the intention to rape him and said, “Dave, you really don’t know who I am. Maybe it would be good if you give me what I want.”
Cram resisted Gacy’s attempts to assault him, and Gacy left his bedroom. After this incident, Cram moved out of Gacy’s home and subsequently left PDM Contractors, although he did periodically work for Gacy over the following two years. Gacy claims he still had keys to the house.
Shortly after Cram vacated Gacy’s residence, another employee of PDM Contractors, 18-year-old Michael Rossi, moved into Gacy’s house. Rossi answered the door when the Des Plaines police showed up for a look around in 1978. Rossi was related to one of the most powerful political figures in Chicago.
In August 1977, a clue emerged in the disappearance of John Szyc. Rossi, who had “bought” Szyc’s car from Gacy, was arrested for stealing gasoline from a service station while driving the car.
When in March 1978 survivor Jeffrey Rignall was abducted, upon entering the car, the young man was chloroformed and driven to the house on Summerdale, where he was raped, tortured with various instruments, including lit candles and whips. He was repeatedly chloroformed into unconsciousness. Rignall was then driven to Lincoln Park, where he was dumped, unconscious but alive. Eventually, he managed to stagger to his girlfriend’s apartment. Rignall was later informed that the chloroform permanently damaged his liver. Police were again informed of the assault but did not investigate Gacy.
In Programmed to Kill: The Politics of Serial Murder by Dave McGowan):
One of the surviving victims who testified against Gacy had a rather interesting story to tell. Under oath, he told of having a meeting with the police and the assistant state’s attorney not long after his initial complaint was filed; at that meeting, he was not allowed to sign any complaints against Gacy and he was bluntly informed that no action was going to be taken.
Rignall was adamant that at one point during his abuse and torture, a young man with brown hair, kneeling before him, watched his abuse. When this youth realized Rignall had regained consciousness, he was again chloroformed into unconsciousness. Rignall also informed police that as Gacy was raping and assaulting him, a light was switched on in another part of the house.
Another survivor’s story has shades of Smiley Face killer waterboarding and more non-existent policing. On Dec. 30, 1977, Gacy abducted at gunpoint from a Chicago bus strop a 19-year-old student named Robert Donnelly. Gacy drove Donnelly back to his torture house, raped him, tortured him with various devices and repeatedly dunked his head into a bathtub filled with water until he passed out, then revived him. Other victims were also water board tortured. How this all could be done by Gacy alone is a serious question.
Donnelly later testified at Gacy’s trial that he was in such pain that he asked Gacy to kill him, to “get it over with,” to which Gacy replied, “I’m getting round to it.” After several hours of assaulting and torturing the youth, Gacy drove Donnelly to his place of work, removed the handcuffs from the youth’s wrists and released him. Donnelly reported the assault and Gacy was questioned about it on Jan. 6, 1978. Gacy claimed Donnelly was his “sex slave” and insisted everything was consensual. The police believed Gacy, and no charges were filed.
The Des Plaines (not Chicago) surveillance team that were following Gacy in the end apparently saw him meet with two employees (unnamed but presumably Rossi and Cram) in which one is quoted as saying, “And what? Buried like the other five?”
When Gacy was finally taken down, Rossi and Cram were brought in for questioning. They both revealed information about the scene at Gacy’s house and about the crawlspace under it, where Gacy had placed the bodies of his victims. The Des Plaines police let the two young men go but not before they admitted to digging holes under Gacy’s house and spreading lime around to suppress the smell, and to having brought young men back to Gacy’s house for work or parties. Rossi remarked upon Gacy’s insistence that he not deviate from where he was instructed to dig. Cram stated these trenches were 2-feet (0.61 m) wide, 6-feet (1.8 m) long and 2-feet (0.61 m) deep- effectively shallow graves.
The pressure and clout to release Rossi (and Cram) is described by Detective Dorsch in the following clip.
In one interview, Gacy stated this three-man crew (and maybe as many as six) were in possession of keys to his house. One of these employees was a young man named Philip Paske, who is known to have been a close associate of a man named John Norman, who operated a nationwide sex trafficking ring known as the Delta Project, which at the time operated from Chicago. Paske was the co-founder. At least two victims believed to have been murdered by Gacy, Kenneth Parker and Michael Marino, are known to have last been seen alive close to where Norman resided at the time of their disappearance.
Dallas police had information associating Norman with the ring that helped transport to Texas the 27 boys murdered in Houston in 1973 by Gacy’s inspiration, Dean Corll. Material from Norman’s Odyssey Foundation was found in Corll’s home.
Lt. Harold Hancock of the Dallas police arrested Norman in March, 1973 on charges of contributing to juvenile violation of state drug laws. Hancock told The Tribune he confiscated from Norman more than 30,000 index cards listing clients around the country, some of them prominent people and some of them federal employees in Washington, D.C.
Shades of the Franklin Scandal: “I felt that some federal agency should get the cards, and I contacted the State Department through the FBI, I think it was,” Hancock said. “All the cards were sent to Washington [D.C.], to the [U.S.] State Department, and that’s the last I heard of it.”
The U.S. State Department confirmed to The Tribune that it had received the cards. Matthew Nimetz, a counselor for the State Department, said officials there determined “the cards were not relevant to any fraud case concerning a passport” and therefore destroyed them.
Nimetz was unable to explain why the State Department looked at the cards only from the standpoint of possible passport irregularities, or why it had not turned them over to the FBI or postal inspectors.
Gacy was well aware of Paske’s connection to Norman — or it should be said that Paske was well aware of Gacy’s Delta Project connections? Paske was one of the men who operated the nationwide child porn ring after Norman was arrested and in jail. The paper trial on the case revealed that there were three “pay stubs” from Gacy to Paske for undisclosed services. Paske himself was arrested for serial murders a few years after Gacy. One of Paske’s victims was to testify against Norman in court.
According to Chicago police, Norman also ran organizations called The Norman Foundation and Epic International. He was also likely connected to the Guyon Society, a pedophile organization founded in Europe whose members believed in establishing regular sexual contact with children prior to eight years of age.
After charges were levied against Norman in Texas, he fled to Chicago where he formed The Delta Project. His vision for this organization was expanding upon a network of child sex slaves across the U.S. who could be called upon to service men. His plan involved establishing “dormitories” designed to house three to four children and monitored by one or more adults. It’s unclear how far Norman got in his plans before being arrested by Chicago police in 1973; however, Chicago police said Norman’s ring was active in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Upon his arrest, authorities discovered a new list of 5,000 clients, contacts and subscribers to Norman’s self-published pedophile magazine titled “Hermes.” It was one of three known boy-love newsletters published in the U.S. at the time. The other two were benignly titled “Better Life Monthly” (California) and “Broad Street Journal” (Colorado). The list of subscribers to these publications, too, has disappeared.
Norman somehow continued to publish the magazine while in jail, and he also enlisted the help of Paske, an inmate he met while in prison. Paske was released prior to Norman, and Paske took up publication of Hermes. The Chicago Tribune eventually discovered that Paske was employed by the City of Chicago as a local swimming pool attendant, and he was fired. Paske subsequently served prison time for criminal conduct.
Norman was re-convicted of molestation in 1988 and convicted of distributing child pornography in 1995 and 1998. In 2008, at the age of 81, he was released from prison in San Diego.
Robin Gecht was the ringleader of what is known as The Chicago Ripper Crew — another S&M murder ring that included three flying-monkey psychopathic associates: Edward Spreitzer and brothers Andrew and Thomas Kokoraleis.
A prime motive for these reprobates was satanism. By sheer coinkydink, Gecht had worked as a construction subcontractor for Gacy during the 1970s. He said little about this connection except to express serial-killer “professional” disagreements about Gacy’s body-disposal methods under his house.
There are debates and rumors that Gecht played some roles in dirty deeds for Gacy and Project Delta. However, The Ripper Crew’s M.O. was different and didn’t focus on homosexual young men but rather women. They killed at least 18 women between May 23,1981, and Oct. 8, 1982, which is after Gacy was arrested. So their involvement with Gacy was likely more peripheral odd jobs, as part of a murderous like-minded community.
Two others who probably should have been investigated were Donald Morrill and Ronald Rohde, friends of Gacy’s who deliberately helped shield him during police surveillance.
Did Gacy Procure Victims, Provide a Killing Site and Offer Disposal Services for a Larger Network of Psychopathic Killers?
Gacy claimed he was not around when 16 of the tortures and murders took place and that some of the victims found in his home were not killed by him. He insisted that other people had murdered victims in his house while he was out of town.
For at least one of the murders (Robert Gilroy), authorities were able to confirmed via airline tickets that Gacy was out of town when the person disappeared. The time frame of another makes Gacy’s involvement doubtful. The victim’s disappearance was at around 10 p.m. and authorities confirmed Gacy was in Michigan at 6 a.m.
Gacy was known for using a rope and a board to strangle his victims, but autopsies on Gilroy and Nelson showed they died from asphyxiation due to suffocation rather than strangulation, WGN TV reported.
And new DNA evidence has led investigators to believe some of the bodies found beneath the Gacy rancher-style home by police were warehoused there on behalf of the so-named Delta Project. Also in the final phase, Gacy and his minions were dumping victims in the Des Plaines river.
There is also evidence of other burial sites around Chicago. Gacy told Chicago detective Bill Dorsch, who was a social acquaintance before his arrest, that he was a “caretaker,” including at an apartment near where Dorsch lived. In the following Ed Opperman interview, Dorsch describes going down his alley at 2 a.m. and encountering Gacy coming from behind the apartment with a shovel. Dorsch asked Gacy what he was up to.
Gacy replied with a grin, “The work never stops.”
Years later, Dorsch arranged to have the site scanned with ground-penetrating radar and disturbed areas were located. But the lead was never properly pursued by authorities.
Gacy loved cruising and prowling around in the middle of the night. Besides searching for abduction victims, he would have gotten off on 3 a.m. body-disposal expeditions. Winter Watch theorizes there may be a number of these sites, including the one mentioned by Dorsch. But no one is looking, as Chicago police are even ignoring the Dorsch possibility.
Gacy had a black book with a number of names that were inexplicably marked with the letter “H.” Did that stand for homosexual? Was this an aspect of his S&M services business? In addition to sadistic recreational killing, were he and his flying monkeys running a procurement and body-disposal operation for others, including the power elite in the Delta Project?
He offers a clue. His last words: “Kiss my ass.”
Winter Watch Takeaway: The Gacy-Norman-Panske operation may be the early genesis of what evolved into the current day Pedogate conspiracy.