State v. Gacy

The People of the State of Illinois

vs.

John Wayne Gacy

79-C69, et seq.

FBI File Number: 62-5154 (mostly redacted)

I researched through public court documents to obtain facts related to this case and these words are my own.

I realize most people may have heard of the serial killer, John Wayne Gacy, however, there are many facts surrounding this case that you may not have been aware of. During my research, I found because there was no DNA; no data base for fingerprinting; or real communication between police departments at local or state levels, Mr. Gacy was able to kill and maintain a double-life for many years.

Defendant, John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 17, 1942, to a middle-class family. Although ill as a child from a congenital heart defect, his father maintained throughout his life that his son was defective. Additionally, Defendant’s father, was an abusive alcoholic who regularly beat the children and his wife with a razor strap.

In 1964, John Wayne Gacy married and moved to Iowa to manage several of his father-in-law’s Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. Over the next four years, he and his wife had two children.

In 1968, John Wayne Gacy was convicted of sexual assault of a teenage boy and sentenced to ten years in prison. Gacy was released from prison after a couple of years for good behavior. Subsequently, after his conviction, his wife divorced him.

After being released from prison, Gacy moved back to Chicago and started a contracting company. He eventually re-married and became a respectable businessman in his community. Defendant was active in the Jaycees and he regularly visited sick children in the hospital dressed as a clown. During this period of time, he was photographed with First Lady Rosalynn Carter at a charity event.

Victims:

John Wayne Gacy murdered his first victim in 1972, it was then he began a double-life. Gacy would lure male prostitutes and teenagers that worked with him to his home where he tricked them into wearing handcuffs and ropes around their necks. Once the victims were unable to move, he chloroformed each, then he raped, tortured and murdered them.

Robert Piest

On December 11, 1978, fifteen year old Robert Piest was an employee at a pharmacy in Des Plaines. His mother drove to the pharmacy to pick him up from work. Once Robert’s mother arrived, he told her that he wanted to meet up with a contractor for a summer job and he would be right back. Robert Piest’s mother waited inside the pharmacy for over 20 minutes. She then began looking outside for him. Robert Piest was never seen alive again.

Pharmacy employees indicated that a contractor came into the pharmacy at 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and again at 8:50 p.m, which was the approximate time Robert was last seen. The employees indicated that a black van with PDM Construction had been nearby during the time the contractor was in the store.

Investigation

Over the next couple of days, police were able to obtain a search warrant to search Gacy’s home. Outside of his home was the black van with the letters PDM Construction, and they learned that Gacy was a home contractor.

During their investigation, Officer Schultz, a police officer, asked Defendant if he could use the bathroom, but in fact, wanted to check the serial number of a TV that was located in Gacy’s bedroom against a receipt they had found. While walking down the hallway, Officer Schultz smelled a foul odor. After checking the TV’s serial number, he made his way into the bathroom to flush the toilet (as that is where he told Gacy he was going). When Officer Schultz flushed the toilet a gas emitted from the toilet that smelled like rotting flesh. At first he thought it was a sewer problem, but that was quickly dismissed by him. At that point, Officer Schultz believed there to be a dead body on the premises, however, he did not know, at the time, that he had stumbled upon a serial killer.

While walking out of the house, police looked inside the van and saw bloody clothes, many dried blood samples, as well as a high school ring which was the same high school that Robert Piest attended.

On December 22, 1978, John Wayne Gacy was arrested. During the confession, Gacy told police that “under an alternate personality” he killed twenty-four young boys and men and burying them in the basement under his Chicago home. Five other bodies were thrown into several rivers in the area. While under arrest, police excavated the Gacy’s home where they uncovered twenty-nine bodies. Four additional bodies were found at several nearby rivers.

Gacy was charged with: 33 counts of murder; 1 count deviated sexual assault; 1 count of indecent liberties with a child; 1 count of aggravated kidnapping.

He was sentenced to: execution for twelve of the murders and natural life as to the other murders. The aggravated kidnapping charge was dismissed.

John Wayne Gacy appealed to the Supreme Court for unfair search and seizure of the van; his confessions; and other issues relating to his execution and mental health. Gacy’s counsel indicated that officers did not have a search warrant for the van. Police officers had given statements that Gacy’s blood-stained clothing and the dried blood samples were visible from the window of the van. The Supreme Court ultimately denied his appeal.

Interestingly, John Wayne Gacy painted thousands of paintings, before and during his incarceration. Many of the paintings were self-portraits of him dressed as a clown, as well as paintings of the basement which highlighted the crawl space where his victims were buried. His paintings are currently being sold for thousands of dollars and are referred to as: murderabilia. There are other serial killers that created art referred to as “murderabilia”.

On May 10, 1994, John Wayne Gacey was executed by lethal injection at Statesville Penitentiary in Joliet, Illinois. His last words are conflicting to be either: “it beats being on death row” to “kiss my ass.”

Introduction

Good day! My name is Jami and welcome to my website/blog. I am honored that you stopped by.

Passion: I have been in the legal field for over thirty years. I have a passion for the legal system and how it works. Although for the majority of my stint in the legal field, I have been employed as paralegal, I have always loved the trial.

As a legal professional your entire case leads up to the trial. All of the hard work has been done and now it’s up to the attorneys on both sides, to take what you have thus far, and make your case.

In this blog, I plan on providing an unbiased look at some cases I find interesting. I intend to provide the facts and you, as the reader, can make your own opinions about a Defendant or maybe the victim.

Caveat: I am a mother of four children. Of course, I have an opinion on each case that you see on my blog. Of course, these cases are devastating. I give my word, that I will never sensationalize a case, nor post any photos, just true facts from court documents filed. My intent is fact based.

I welcome your opinions or if you have an interesting case that you would like me to research, you may email me at: jami@interestingcourtcases.com.

Thank you! Jami K

Featured

My First Blog Post

The People of the State of NY

vs.

Martin Heidgen

Ind: 1910N-05

NYSID: 5195576K

I researched through public court documents to obtain facts related to this case and these words are my own.

People of State of NY v. Martin Heidgen is most likely the most devastating alcohol-related accident that I have read. (I realize that all alcohol-related accidents are tragic, this one in particular has been embedded in my mind for several years).

Martin Heidgen

According to court documents, on July 1, 2005, Defendant, Martin Heidgen (a 24 year old), met a friend in Manhattan for drinks and consumed approximately six beers. After his friend left the bar, he stayed behind. Later that night (11:00 p.m. to midnight),  the Defendant attended a party at a friend’s house and consumed several alcoholic beverages. Witnesses at the party indicated that he left without saying goodbye and although he had been drinking, he was not unsteady on his feet nor slurring his words.

At approximately 2:00 a.m., Defendant, Martin Heidgen, was driving on the wrong side of Meadowpoint Parkway, traveling approximately 70-75 mph for approximately 2 miles. After three separate witnesses attempted to get his attention by honking and flashing their headlights, he never deviated from the center lane nor reduced his speed.

Stanley Rabinowitz and Katie Flynn

Limo driver, Stanley Rabinowitz picked up Jennifer; her husband, Neil Flynn; their two little girls, Katie and Grace; along with family members,  Christopher and Denise (parents of Jennifer Flynn). The family attended a wedding earlier in the day where seven year old, Katie was the flower girl. The family had been celebrating and were having a wonderful time together.

Stanley Rabinowitz was a 59 year old husband and father. Interestingly, Mr. Rabinowitz was known to provide drunk drivers a free ride home through his limousine company.

Tragedy

Martin Heidgen, after consuming approximately fourteen drinks, and being three-times the legal limit struck the limousine. The limousine was hit by Defendant’s vehicle with such intensity that the engine was pushed forward and into the lap of Mr. Rabinowitz, he was killed instantly. Jennifer Flynn and her husband, Neil, immediately began trying to locate their children (even though both were severely injured). Jennifer told Neil that Grace was trapped and they were unable to get her out of the car. Neil crawled out of the wreckage and attempted to seek help, even though he had a broken back. Jennifer’s father was thrown from the vehicle, his leg broken in several places (one leg was later amputated). Jennifer’s mother, Denise, was also severely injured and unable to move. After a few minutes, Jennifer found little Katie’s body sitting in her seatbelt and she had been decapitated from the force of the seatbelt. Jennifer screamed to Neil that Katy had died, Neil told her that she was just injured and it would be alright, however, Neil did not know Katie’s devastating injuries.

Michael Tangney, a police officer and the uncle of Jennifer Flynn, was one of the first on the scene. He ran and opened the door of the limousine and realized that it was his family. He too, had been at the wedding earlier. Off to the side of the street, he found his niece holding the head of her child and Jennifer was in shock.

Once rescuers came onto the scene and was able to get Grace out of the wreckage and into the ambulance, Michael Tangney was able to retrieve the child’s head from her mother after about an hour. Mr. Tangney told his niece that her daughter, Grace needed her in the ambulance. She handed her child’s decapitated head over to her uncle after giving Katie a kiss on the cheek.

The Trial

Martin Heidgen was charged with two counts of second degree murder and first degree assault and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Families of both victims remained in the courtroom for duration of the five-week trial.

Tampering with evidence: During the trial, the Judge ordered the Defendant to provide a DNA sample. It appears that Martin Heidgen obtained saliva from another inmate and placed it in his cheek. When the DNA sample came back, there was Martin Heidgen’s DNA, along with another inmate. The Defendant was charged with tampering with evidence during the trial and four additional years was tacked onto his sentence.

In addition, Martin Heidgen challenged his conviction in the Court of Appeals of New York. He cited that the evidence was not legally sufficient to support his conviction and that he was too incapacitated to have committed murder (basically that he was too drunk to commit murder). The Court of Appeals upheld his murder conviction.

Conclusion

Several months after the trial, Jennifer and Neil Flynn shared their story on Oprah. They wanted to be a voice for their daughter, Katie (as well as Stanley) and show the devastation that drinking and driving has on families.

As for Martin Heidgen, he is currently serving his sentence at Woodbourne Correctional Facility (a medium security prison) as Inmate Number: 08A1782.