Reaction to the Victim (Uptown Chicago Mystery Book 1)


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These days it takes a little something extra to offer up an intriguing novel of domestic suspense, and this book has it in spades. Oh yes. But not-so-behind-the-scenes, a perfect storm of sexual harassment accusations against her husband and past deeds long since swept under the proverbial rug may be coming home to roost. While utilising fun pop culture references — that unforgettable eyelid moment in Raiders of the Lost Ark , an arch Hunger Games comment — Burke maintains an even hand here, nicely sprinkled with the multiple deftly-doled surprises up her cavernous sleeve.

This Is What Happened Soho , a standalone thriller, draws on his incisive spymaster knowledge as well as other imaginative forays, and uses the mean streets of contemporary London to their utmost advantage. Protagonist Maggie Barnes — independent, smart, and ever-so-slightly emotionally vulnerable — is the perfect recruitment target for certain MI5 missions and she accepts her destiny with alacrity.

A rich blend of history and fiction, Widows brings historical Bombay to vibrant life in this engaging mystery. Austin-based Meg Gardiner had already published 12 terrific mysteries when she kicked off her chilling new series last year with the unnerving UNSUB , introducing Bay Area detective Caitlin Hendrix and a serial baddie known as the Prophet.

The seven deadly sins. The shadowed depths of the human mind. Sue Grafton. Most of my top five are source material. She inspired me to write my own novels. The LBJ Museum. The hiking trail around Lady Bird Lake. Book People. Daneet Steffens is taking a well-earned month off. Lori Rader-Day : "What people whisper about is what they care about. For the latter, Lawrence Block organized the participation of a stellar lineup of writers — including Sarah Weinman, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Nicholas Christopher, Jeffery Deaver and Joyce Carol Oates — and the outcome is a bevy of cool and canny tales that embrace — to name just a few of the topics — art heists, familial relationships, historical intrigue and the seemingly straightforward interactions on a good old-fashioned crime scene.

Dip in, dip out, and then dip in yet again. Multiple treasures here. In Signal Loss Soho , a gloriously gritty Australian-based police procedural, Garry Disher juggles multiple ongoing crime-story strands, leading his detectives on several not-so-merry chases across a dusty, rural backwater. Sergeant Ellen Destry and Inspector Hal Challis and their teams have their hands full, and a striking opening scenario offers up a ghoulish Mr.

Wint and Mr. Kidd — that entertainingly deadly duo of Diamonds Are Forever fame — partnership for the 21st century. By far the best thing about Jack Reacher novels is that way in which they begin with utter simplicity — Reacher coming across a West Point class ring in a pawnshop, for example — which then evolves into tales of wonderful complexities. The Midnight Line Delacorte Press is the perfect example, as Reacher, that class ring in pocket, wends his way across South Dakota and Wyoming, taking in the majestic landscape, collecting friends and enemies along the way, while demonstrating a most impressive use of a tumble dryer.

This would be silence, silence, silence, silence, and silence. That said, here are five songs I find inspiring as a writer:. It is also a trenchant reminder of the critical damage an excess of obsessiveness can do, no matter who you are or what your intent might be.

He was a writer, a music critic; she succeeds as a celebrity chef, television series and all. Mma Ramotswe, she of the No. Why was a hardworking employee suddenly fired — and was it even legally done? In her acknowledgements, Winnie M Li makes it abundantly clear that her debut novel Dark Chapter Polis , which begins with the rape of an adult woman, Vivian, by a teenage boy, Johnny, is drawn from personal experience.

If anything, this makes the story — which, while nerve-shreddingly explicit in terms of the assault, focuses primarily on the aftermath for both the woman and the boy — all the more raw in its intensity. Through the searches and the perpetually open police investigation, her parents seen as both despairing and under suspicion, McGregor delineates the lives and times of the locals: villagers fall in and out of love, lose their jobs and gain new ones; flocks of birds fly south and return, badgers settle in their setts, and newborn foxes tumble over each other in their dens.

In Reservoir 13 , McGregor, a terrific novelist with the pen of a poet, has woven a mesmerizing tapestry, a tale not so much about a mystery, as about the sometimes-lingering repercussions that a crime can have on the community around it and the inexorable passage of time. McGregor is based at the University of Nottingham, where he also edits the excellent epistolary literary journal The Letters Page.

Natasha, Hayley, and Jenny are the Barbies, their version of similar cliques portrayed cinematically in Mean Girls and Heathers. But when Tasha nearly drowns and re-friends her childhood bestie, Becca, the stage is set for teen-angst-fuelled intrigue, sex, drugs, and, perhaps, even murder. Just for fun, cast the characters with your preferred actors — film rights have already been sold to Netflix.

Over a single night and day, as multiple victims succumb to an often-fatal batch of heroin, Prosecutor Bell Elkins and her colleagues race against time to discover the source. Keller delineates the infinite and highly personal experiences impacted by drug addiction — in a town this small, no one is unaffected — as she captures the hopelessness, the stifling, dead-end atmosphere of the situation, and the determination of a bold few to address the crisis while secreting several mysteries of their own.

Amber Patterson is onto a good thing in The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine Harper. Daphne Parrish by devious means, angling to replace her as the next Mrs. Parrish ASAP. What stands in her way? Jackson Parrish, who clearly adores his wife. The latest in a wildly proliferating line of sociopathic characters convinced they are smarter than everyone around them, this is a pleasurably soap-opera-ish thriller from two sisters, Lynne and Valerie Constantine, who clearly had a good deal of fun putting this tale together.

Walter Mosley. The original cool breeze. He taught me that it was possible to write a book about an environment like ours and people like the ones we knew, and that there was a readership who would enjoy it. Also, he created Easy Rawlins, the second, original cool breeze. Mosley also taught me that you can wear a fedora and a T-shirt to a black-tie event.

Elmore Leonard because he writes about lowlifes that are so real they slap you in the face and his dialogue is the best ever. I love his precision and intricacy and the tension he creates without violence. He also came up with my third favorite character of all time, just behind Sherlock Holmes and Christopher Robin: the quixotic, emotionally disabled, brilliant George Smiley. Don Winslow.

And a tie between Janet Fitch and Mary Karr. Mary Karr for her hilarious, tragic, trailer-trash, so-true-it-hurts biographies, and the writing, the writing. And Janet Fitch for her deeply felt quintessential L. There are only two. My study with the shutters closed and the door shut and ear plugs in my ears, and the dog underneath the desk as a foot rest.

Thompson and A. No music. Photo credit: Paul Reich. Her terrific The Long Drop is a beautifully-paced, novelistic slice of s Glasgow, as well as an astute re-imagining of a real-life crime that riveted the city and, to some extent, still does. Catch the hilarious, expletive-strewn outcome here , with episode Sophie Hannah excels at slightly paranoid, overly imaginative, furiously curious women who inevitably land themselves in piping-hot water, and, in Keep Her Safe William Morrow , Cara Burrows is no exception.

Already in semi-hot water as a witness in a grand-jury proceeding, Darren Mathews, black Texas Ranger, finds himself fully immersed when an FBI pal sends him to check out two homicides in the tiny town of Lark, East Texas. No sooner has his long-suffering girlfriend, Livia, jetted back home to Genoa, when a dinner invitation-proposal throws him only temporarily for a loop.

Both fascinated and repulsed by the murder victim who had no qualms about blackmailing and loan sharking an extensive community, Montalbano, true to form, mulls over clues, red herrings and eurekas alike while ingesting the best food Sicily has to offer. Since then, Jance has kept her scores of books band-box-fresh and her prose moving along at a peppy pace.

In my gazebo in the back yard. On the back porch overlooking the garden. In my chair in the family room. On my patio in Tucson. On a cruise ship.

How a rape victim wound up being treated like a criminal

Anything by Anne Murray. Anything by Gentleman Jim Reeves. Tea at the Georgian at the Fairmont Olympic. The 5th Avenue Theatre. TechCity Bowl. John Howie Steak. Bridle Trails Red Apple in Kirkland. Among their many events and discussions, the Centre has hosted a bevy of terrific crime-fiction writers and regularly shares videos and podcasts of those talks. Hard-bitten Portland journalist — and Luddite, a personality quirk that comes in mighty handy in this particular context — Lela stumbles on the story of her life — so far — when she trips over an odd-looking skull in a construction site smack dab in the middle of the trendy Pearl District.

And things go literally haywire from there. Plenty, as it turns out. Then, the narrative shifts between Montreal and a chilly few days months earlier in Three Pines, when a mysterious figure stood on the village common and freaked everyone out. The detective deals with heightened familial tensions — not to mention the deterioration of his aging father, the wayward ways of his adopted son, and a bout of malaria — all while working to ferret out a dangerous killer.

A writer-turned-hopeful-politician and his long-suffering wife appear to be at the heart of the investigation; a vengeful woman appears to hold all the cards. In a novel with not one but four unreliable narrators at its core, you pretty much just have to strap in and go along for the bumplicious ride. I never know where inspiration will come from - for In a Dark, Dark Wood it was a chance conversation with a friend about hen nights.

The Woman in Cabin 10 was me reading too many Agatha Christie novels, combined with some seriously scary news stories about deaths at sea Is it me, or has there been a spate of them recently? Maybe it's a case of noticing what you're attuned to. The Lying Game was inspired by a place I visited in northern France although being a writer, I swiftly snipped it out of its real-life setting and transposed it to the south of England.

Online adverts. Books I've read. People I've met. Oh dear, this is more than five, isn't it? I'm having the opposite problem here: I only write at my desk due to having screwed up my back by writing in bed and on the sofa. Bed is probably my very favorite place to write, but I can't really get away with it any more, even with the most artfully arranged pillows. If I can count plotting, then I love thinking while I'm driving or doing mindless, familiar walks — the sort you do every day and could complete almost with your eyes closed.

When I lived in London, I did my best plotting on the Tube. I think the key is going into a sort of stasis trance — putting your brain on standby, almost. Only five!! This is so hard. Um… Agatha Christie — for a masterclass in plot. Daphne du Maurier for that effortless combination of mystery and emotion. Donna Tartt for creating huge expansive worlds that I love to live in. Shirley Jackson for being simply creeptastic.

Patricia Highsmith for creating fully three-dimensional characters who leap off the page and into your head. Wow, that was hard. It's also not complete. There are a whole load of writers I love just as much. Ok, I'm back to having too few answers for this one. I can't write to music; in fact, I really prefer complete silence. I'm spending a lot of time on Brighton's Palace Pier, partly because it's a beautiful, crazy throwback to Victorian seaside life, partly as tangential research for my new book.

My perfect Brighton day might involve a walk on the pier, throwing some stones into the sea, lunch at La Choza, a truly delicious Mexican restaurant in Brighton's North Lanes, then a drive out into the beautiful Sussex Downs for a drink in one of the country pubs. I love a pub with a proper beer garden — soft green grass underfoot and a wasp trapped under an up-turned beer glass. While I am out that way, I might drop into Charleston Farmhouse, once the Sussex refuge of the Bloomsbury circle and now a fascinating period piece, frozen in amber as tribute to them.

If I had the energy, I'd finish up by climbing Firle Beacon, but more likely I'd just stretch out in the sunshine, watch the lengthening shadows, and order another glass of wine. A gleeful moment catching a fictional private investigator in the act of comfort-reading an Elmore Leonard novel had me rushing off to re-visit this fun guide to writing. Abbott, a deft and nimble writer, skillfully steers us through small-community pettinesses and pressures, as well as, yes, the dark evil that lurks — all too often, it seems — deep in suburban territory.

In The Breakdown by B. Paris St. Cass has a wonderful husband, a fiercely loyal best friend and a supportive group of colleagues, but the unexpected death plays on her mind and her emotions. Excellent stuff. I get a lot of inspiration from movies, actually. Both old favorites and something new that really kicks my ass, especially if it has killer dialog.

Songwriters, too. That amazes me. When I hear it done well, it makes me want to get to work. Every time I see my friend Kelcy Mae play music, songs that she wrote, I want to go home and write. My wife, AC, is a great writer and an indefatigable worker. And two weird stories I grew up with — Batman and King Kong. I take my editing on the road, though. I live in a coffee shop rich neighborhood and I can walk to a handful.

My favorite is the Rue de la Course on Magazine Street, which, after a few misguided years as a restaurant, is a coffee shop again. I like Mojo on the corner of Magazine and Race, too — which many years ago was the original Rue. Every now and then I hit HiVolt, but like a lot of the new school coffee shops, they close early. Picking only five is impossible. Kate Atkinson is the first one that comes to mind. And JK Rowling has to be in there, too. I love her books as Robert Galbraith as well as that other thing she did. And Alice Sebold, too, who I always forget to mention when I make these lists.

I hope to God she writes another book. I have lunch there almost every Tuesday with friends who are also self-employed artists. The story that transpires digs into some of the darkest corners not just of the Dark Web, but of what sometimes constitutes human motivation. Polis Books publisher by day, Jason Pinter has an authorial track record of his own: in his latest novel, The Castle , Everyman Remy Stanton blocks a crime-in-action on the Upper East Side, and finds himself in the best books of New York businessman Rawson Griggs, who bears amusing similarities to a Manhattan mogul currently based in the White House.

The notion that every villain is the hero of his or her own story. I bet Pennywise has an amazing tale to tell. Perhaps the thing that most gets my juices flowing is reading a good book. My desk at home. If you walk in there at any time of day, the place is filled with people working on laptops. Great coffee and stable WiFi.

Chain or indie, as long as they have seating, coffee, and WiFi. I love taking a minute break and just walking around, browsing the aisles. Nothing helps pass a cross-country flight than hitting that groove and knocking out a dozen pages before you land. I love writing to movie soundtracks; I have a hard time focusing on writing while lyrics are also playing. The Strand. I collect old first editions of books that have inspired me at some point, and a good portion of my collection has been purchased there. The Mysterious Bookshop , my home-away-from-home.

The Brandy Library. Their drink menu is—I kid you not—several hundred pages long. We went here soon after the Breaking Bad finale, so I just had to try a Dimple Pinch note: it was gooooood. The Comedy Cellar : the best stand-up comedy joint in the country. Keep an eye on their event calendar , which showcases the best of mystery writers, local, regional, national and international.

A river with a forebodingly named spot called the Drowning Pool features as a key element in Into the Water Riverhead. The rural setting lends itself beautifully to the mysteries at hand — a suspiciously high number of people have met their end in the Drowning Pool — and Hawkins has enormous fun with a wide swathe of rotating narrators. She ventures into seriously dark psychological and societal territories here, not the least of which being the hypocrisy and violence that often lies indelibly at the heart of even the smallest of communities.

A cache of bones discovered in a medieval tunnel beneath the city of Norwich piques the interest and curiosity of forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway in The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Griffiths nimbly weaves a proper police procedural with a gimlet-eyed take on finger-on-the-contemporary-pulse social issues, as well as immersing her characters in ginormous life changes. The specter of nefariously used social media — Tinder, in this case — raises its ugly head in The Thirst by Jo Nesbo, translated from the Norwegian by Neil Smith Knopf. Excellent, as always.

A fiery, muscular narrative that travels at relentless speed, Exit Strategy is a page-turner, yes, but also a tale of loneliness at its most extreme. One of our finest writers, Lehane has added high-profile television credits to his name The Wire , Boardwalk Empire and has seen several of his novels transformed into critically acclaimed movies.

Catch the L. This is an ever-changing list. I would conservatively say there are at least songs on my Infinite Writing Playlist and 14, in my iTunes library. But for the sake of argument, this would be 5 in constant rotation right now:. The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year longlist offers a cornucopia of marvelous mysteries and terrific thrillers, all published in paperback in the UK and Ireland between May 1, and April 30, Get reading!

The shortlist is out on May For one thing, detective William Fawkes, aka Wolf, is back on active duty after violently attacking a suspect in a courtroom four years earlier. The disappearance of a young filmmaker following the ransacking of the gym where he held a day-job, kicks off the action in Fallout by Sara Paretsky William Morrow. Luckily, for the filmmaker, he is a cousin of Chicago PI V. Warshawski, who is soon hot on the case. In a terrific, decades-spanning mystery that takes Victoria Iphigenia deep into the heart of a rural Kansas community, master-at-work Paretsky has multiple twisty aces up her sleeve, nicely enhanced with a rich cast of characters, a lovely shout-out to the super-speedy stock-car racer Danica Patrick, and multiple spirited reminders that here in these United States of America, the government is supposed to for We the People.

Lori Rader-Day sets her psychological thrillers in restricted, restrictive spaces — a tattered motel, an academic campus, a small town — which instantly projects their claustrophobic-tension levels into the stratosphere. The Day I Died , out this month from William Morrow, started life ten years ago as a short story; this extended version packs a powerful, sinister punch, with handwriting analyst Anna Winger trying to help the local police force locate a missing child and finding her own life spiraling rapidly out of control.

Gossip: What people whisper about is what they care about. Rossi had agreed to be interviewed in relation to his possible links with John Szyc as well as the disappearance of Robert Piest. When questioned by Detective Joseph R. Kozenczak as to where he believed Gacy had placed Piest's body, Rossi replied: "In the crawl space; he could have put him in the crawl space.

Cram himself informed investigators of Gacy's attempts to rape him in and stated that after he and Gacy had returned to his home after the December 13 search of his property, Gacy had turned pale upon noting a clot of mud on his carpet which he suspected had come from his crawl space. Cram then stated Gacy had grabbed a flashlight and immediately entered the crawl space to look for evidence of digging. When asked whether he had been to the crawl space, Cram replied he had been asked by Gacy to spread lime down there and also dug trenches upon Gacy's behest with the explanation they were for plumbing.

On the evening of December 20, Gacy drove to his lawyers' office in Park Ridge to attend a pre-scheduled meeting he had arranged with them, ostensibly to discuss the progress of his civil suit. Upon his arrival, Gacy appeared disheveled and immediately asked for an alcoholic drink, whereupon Sam Amirante fetched a bottle of whiskey from his car.

Upon his return, Amirante asked Gacy what he had to discuss with them. Gacy picked up a copy of the Daily Herald from Amirante's desk; he pointed to a front-page article covering the disappearance of Robert Piest and informed his lawyers: "This boy is dead. He's in a river. Over the following hours, Gacy gave a rambling confession that ran into the early hours of the following morning.

He began by informing Amirante and Stevens he had "been the judge Some victims he referred to by name; most he dismissed as " male prostitutes ", "hustlers" and "liars" whom he would give "the rope trick". On other occasions, he stated he would wake up to find "dead, strangled kids" on his floor, with their hands cuffed behind their back. Upon awakening several hours later, Gacy simply shook his head when informed by Amirante he had earlier confessed to killing approximately 30 people, stating: "Well, I can't think about this right now.

I've got things to do. Gacy later recollected his memories of his final day of freedom as being "hazy", adding that he knew his arrest was inevitable and that, in his final hours of freedom, he intended to visit his friends and say his final farewells. Jacobson immediately handed the bag to the surveillance officers, adding that Gacy had told him: "The end is coming for me. These guys are going to kill me. Inside Rhode's living room, Gacy hugged Rhode before bursting into tears and saying: "I killed thirty people, give or take a few.

As he drove along the expressway, the surveillance officers noted he was holding a rosary to his chin as he prayed while driving. As he spoke with his lawyer, Cram informed the officers that Gacy had earlier divulged to both himself and Rossi that the previous evening, he had confessed to his lawyers his guilt in over thirty murders. Upon concluding his meeting with his lawyer, Gacy had Cram drive him to Maryhill Cemetery, where his father was buried.

As Gacy drove to various locations that morning, police outlined their formal draft of their second search warrant. The purpose of the warrant was specifically to search for the body of Robert Piest in the crawl space. Upon hearing radioed reports from the surveillance detectives that, in light of his erratic behavior, Gacy might be about to commit suicide, police decided to arrest him upon a charge of possession and distribution of marijuana [] in order to hold him in custody as the formal request for a second search warrant was presented.

At on the afternoon of December 21, the eve of the hearing of Gacy's civil suit, the request for a second search warrant was granted by Judge Marvin J. Armed with the signed search warrant, police and evidence technicians quickly drove to Gacy's home. Upon their arrival, officers found that Gacy had unplugged his sump pump and that the crawl space was flooded with water; to clear the water they simply replaced the plug and waited for the water to drain. After it had done so, an evidence technician named Daniel Genty entered the byfoot 8. Within minutes, he had uncovered putrefied flesh and a human arm bone.

Genty immediately shouted to the investigators that they could charge Gacy with murder. After being informed that the police had found human remains in his crawl space and that he would now face murder charges, Gacy told officers he wanted to "clear the air", [] adding that he knew his arrest was inevitable since he had spent the previous evening on the couch in his lawyers' office.

In the early hours of December 22, , Gacy confessed to police that since , he had committed 25 to 30 murders, all of whom he falsely claimed were of teenage male runaways or male prostitutes, [] whom he would typically abduct from Chicago's Greyhound Bus station, from Bughouse Square or simply off the streets. The victims would often be grabbed by force or conned into believing Gacy—often carrying a sheriff's badge and placing spotlights on his black Oldsmobile—was a policeman. Once back at Gacy's house, the victims would be handcuffed or otherwise bound, then sexually assaulted and tortured.

To muffle his victims' screams, Gacy would often stick cloth rags or items of the victim's own clothing in their mouths. Some victims had been partly drowned in his bathtub before they had been revived, enabling Gacy to continue his prolonged assault. With only two exceptions, all his victims had died between 3 a. The victims were usually lured alone to his house, although on approximately three occasions, [] Gacy had what he called " doubles "—occasions wherein he killed two victims on the same evening. After death, the victims' bodies would typically be stored beneath his bed for up to 24 hours before burial in the crawl space, although the bodies of some victims had been taken to his garage and embalmed prior to their burial.

Most victims were buried in Gacy's crawl space, where he would periodically pour quicklime to hasten the decomposition of the bodies. When specifically questioned about Robert Piest, Gacy confessed to strangling the youth at his house on the evening of December 11 after luring him there, adding that he had been interrupted by a phone call from a business colleague while doing so; he also admitted to having slept alongside the youth's body that evening, [] before disposing of the corpse in the Des Plaines River the following evening.

The reason he had arrived at the Des Plaines police station in a dirty and disheveled manner in the early hours of December 13 was that he had been in a minor traffic accident after disposing of Piest's body, en route to his appointment with Des Plaines officers. In this accident, his vehicle had slid off an ice-covered road, and he had unsuccessfully attempted to free the vehicle himself before the vehicle had to be towed from its location. Accompanied by police, Gacy returned to his house on December 22 and showed police the location in his garage where he had buried Butkovich's body.

The police then drove to the spot on the I bridge from which he had thrown the body of Piest and four other victims. Only four of the five victims Gacy claimed to have disposed of in this way were recovered from the Des Plaines River. Between December 22 and 29, , 27 bodies were recovered from Gacy's property, 26 of which were found buried in his crawl space, with one additional victim, John Butkovich, being found buried beneath the concrete floor of his garage precisely where Gacy had marked the youth's grave with a can of spray paint. On March 9, the body of a 28th victim was found buried in a pit close to a barbecue grill in the backyard of the property: the victim was found wrapped within several plastic bags and wore a silver ring on the fourth finger of his left hand, indicating the possibility he had been married.

Three additional bodies, which had been found in the nearby Des Plaines River between June and December , were also confirmed to have been victims of Gacy. Several bodies unearthed at Gacy's property were found with plastic bags over their heads or upper torsos. In other instances, cloth gags were found lodged deep down the victims' throats, leading the Cook County medical examiner to conclude that 12 victims buried beneath Gacy's property died not of strangulation, but of asphyxiation.

Two victims were identified because of their known connection to Gacy through PDM Contractors; [] most identifications were facilitated with the assistance of X-ray charts. Six of the victims have never been identified. On April 9, , a decomposed body was discovered entangled in exposed roots on the edge of the Des Plaines River in Grundy County.

A subsequent autopsy revealed that three wads of "paper-like material" had been shoved down his throat while he was alive, [] causing him to die of suffocation. Gacy was brought to trial on February 6, , charged with 33 murders. At the request of his defense counsel, Gacy spent over three hundred hours in the year before his trial with the doctors at the Menard Correctional Center.

He underwent a variety of psychological tests [] before a panel of psychiatrists to determine whether he was mentally competent to stand trial. Gacy had attempted to convince the doctors that he suffered from a multiple personality disorder. The prosecutors presented a case that indicated Gacy was sane and fully in control of his actions. Those doctors refuted the defense doctors' claims of multiple personality and insanity. Two witnesses who testified were PDM employees, who confessed Gacy had made them dig trenches in his crawl space. One of these employees, David Cram, [] testified that in August , [] Gacy had marked a location in the crawl space with sticks and told him to dig a drainage trench.

Immediately after Cram had completed his testimony, Michael Rossi himself testified for the state. When asked where he had dug in the crawl space, Rossi turned to a diagram of Gacy's home on display in the courtroom. This diagram showed where the bodies were found in the crawl space and elsewhere on the property. Rossi pointed to the location of the remains of an unidentified victim known as "Body 13". Both Rossi and Cram also testified that Gacy would periodically look into the crawl space to ensure they and other employees ordered to dig trenches in the crawl space did not deviate from the precise locations he had marked.

On February 18, Dr. Robert Stein, [] the Cook County medical examiner appointed to supervise the exhumation of the victims' bodies from Gacy's home, testified as to how he and his colleagues had conducted the recovery of the remains. Stein testified that the excavation was conducted in an "archeological fashion", adding that all the bodies recovered were "markedly decomposed, putrefied, skeletalized remains". Upon cross-examination, Gacy's defense team attempted to raise the possibility that all 33 murders were accidental erotic asphyxia deaths: Dr.

Stein countered this assertion by stating that this claim was highly improbable. Three days after the testimony of Dr. Robert Stein, Jeffrey Rignall testified on behalf of the prosecution, recounting the abuse and torture he had endured at Gacy's hands in March Rignall repeatedly wept as he recounted his ordeal. In response to questioning relating to whether Gacy appreciated the criminality of his actions, Rignall stated his belief that Gacy was unable to conform his actions to the conduct of law because of the "beastly and animalistic ways he attacked me".

On February 29, one of the youths Gacy had sexually assaulted in , Donald Voorhees, testified to his ordeal at Gacy's hands, and that Gacy had subsequently paid another youth to beat him and spray Mace in his face so he would not testify against him. Robert Donnelly testified the week after Voorhees, recounting his ordeal at Gacy's hands in December Donnelly was visibly distressed as he recollected the abuse he endured at Gacy's hands and came close to breaking down on several occasions. As Donnelly testified, Gacy repeatedly laughed at him, [] but Donnelly finished his testimony.

One of Gacy's defense attorneys, Robert Motta, during Donnelly's cross-examination, attempted to discredit his testimony, but Donnelly did not waver from his testimony of what had occurred. During the fifth week of the trial, Gacy wrote a personal letter to Judge Garippo requesting a mistrial [] on a number of bases, including that he did not approve his lawyers' insanity plea approach; that his lawyers had not allowed him to take the witness stand as he had desired to do ; that his defense had not called enough witnesses, and that the police were lying about statements he had purportedly made to detectives after his arrest and that, in any event, the statements were "self-serving" for use by the prosecution.

On March 11, final arguments from both prosecution and defense attorneys began, with the arguments concluding on the following day. Prosecuting attorney Terry Sullivan argued first, outlining Gacy's history of abusing youths, the testimony of his efforts to avoid detection and describing Gacy's surviving victims—Voorhees and Donnelly—as "living dead". I tremble when thinking about just how close he came to getting away with it all. After the state's four-hour closing, counsel Sam Amirante argued for the defense.

Amirante argued against the testimony delivered by the doctors who had testified for the prosecution, repeatedly citing the testimony of the four psychiatrists and psychologists who had testified on behalf of the defense. The defense lawyer attempted to portray Gacy as a "man driven by compulsions he was unable to control". On the morning of March 12, [] William Kunkle continued to argue for the prosecution. Kunkle referred to the defense's contention of insanity as "a sham ", arguing that the facts of the case demonstrated Gacy's ability to think logically and control his actions.

Kunkle also referred to the testimony of a doctor who had examined Gacy in ; this doctor had diagnosed Gacy as an antisocial personality , capable of committing crimes without remorse. Kunkle indicated that had the recommendations of this doctor been heeded, Gacy would have not been freed. At the close of his argument, Kunkle pulled each of the 22 photos of Gacy's identified victims off a board displaying the images and asked the jury not to show sympathy but to "show justice".

Kunkle then asked the jury to "show the same sympathy this man showed when he took these lives and put them there! After Kunkle had finished his testimony, the jury retired to consider their verdict.


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The jury deliberated for less than two hours [] and found Gacy guilty of the thirty-three charges of murder for which he had been brought to trial; he was also found guilty of sexual assault and taking indecent liberties with a child; both convictions in reference to Robert Piest. The jury deliberated for more than two hours before they returned with their decision in the sentencing phase of the trial: Gacy was sentenced to death for the twelve counts of murder upon which the prosecution had sought this penalty. Upon being sentenced, Gacy was transferred to the Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Illinois , where he remained incarcerated on death row for 14 years.

Isolated in his prison cell, Gacy began to paint. The subjects Gacy painted varied, although many were of clowns, some of which depicted himself as "Pogo". On February 15, , Gacy was stabbed in the arm by Henry Brisbon, a fellow death row inmate known as the I killer. At the time of this attack, Gacy had been participating in a voluntary work program when Brisbon ran towards him and stabbed him once in the upper arm with a sharpened wire. A second death row inmate injured in the attack, William Jones, received a superficial stab wound to the head.

Both received treatment in the prison hospital for their wounds. After his incarceration, Gacy read numerous law books and filed voluminous motions and appeals, although he did not prevail in any. Gacy's appeals related to issues such as the validity of the first search warrant granted to Des Plaines police on December 13, , and his objection to his lawyers' insanity plea defense at his trial.

In mid, the Supreme Court of Illinois upheld Gacy's conviction and ordered that he be executed by lethal injection on November The following year, Gacy filed a further post-conviction petition, seeking a new trial. His then-defense lawyer, Richard Kling , argued that Gacy had been provided with ineffective legal counsel at his trial. This post-conviction petition was dismissed on September 11, The decision that he be executed was again appealed by Gacy, although his conviction was again upheld on September 29, , with the Illinois Supreme Court setting a renewed execution date of January 11, After Gacy's final appeal to the U.

That afternoon, he was allowed a private picnic on the prison grounds with his family. For his last meal , Gacy ordered a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a dozen fried shrimp , french fries, fresh strawberries, and a Diet Coke. Before the execution began, the chemicals used to perform the execution unexpectedly solidified, clogging the IV tube administering the chemicals into Gacy's arm and complicating the execution procedure.

Blinds covering the window through which witnesses observed the execution were drawn, and the execution team replaced the clogged tube to complete the procedure. After ten minutes, the blinds were reopened and the execution resumed. The entire procedure took 18 minutes. This error apparently led to Illinois' subsequent adoption of an alternative method of lethal injection. On this subject, one of the prosecutors at Gacy's trial, William Kunkle, said: "He got a much easier death than any of his victims. According to published reports, Gacy was a diagnosed psychopath [] who did not express any remorse for his crimes.

His final statement to his lawyer before his execution was that killing him would not compensate for the loss of others, and that the state was murdering him. In the hours leading up to Gacy's execution, a crowd estimated to number over 1, [] gathered outside the correctional center; the majority of whom were vocally in favor of the execution, although a number of anti-death penalty protesters were also present. Some of those in favor of the execution wore T-shirts hearkening to Gacy's previous community services as a clown and bearing satirical slogans such as "No tears for the clown".

It is in the possession of Helen Morrison , a witness for the defense at Gacy's trial, [] who has interviewed Gacy and other serial killers in an attempt to isolate common personality traits of violent sociopaths. His body was cremated after the execution. In the months following Gacy's execution, many of his paintings were auctioned. Only 27 of Gacy's victims were ever conclusively identified. By the time of Gacy's trial, 22 victims had been identified.

In March , two further bodies unearthed from Gacy's crawl space were identified via dental and radiology records [] as those of Kenneth Parker and Michael Marino; both reported missing on October 25, , [] the day after they had disappeared. However, the records had been destroyed after the dentist had retired. Six victims remain unidentified, five of whom had been buried beneath Gacy's crawl space, with one additional youth buried approximately 15 feet 4. In October , Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart announced that investigators, having obtained full DNA profiles from each of the unidentified victims, were to renew their efforts to identify all of them.

At a press conference held to announce this intention, Sheriff Dart stated investigators are actively seeking DNA samples from individuals across the United States related to any male missing between and In , DNA tests conducted upon remains identified as those of Michael Marino revealed that the remains had been misidentified. Marino's mother had always doubted the identification of her son because clothing found upon the body was inconsistent with what her son had worn when she last saw him.

In addition, the dental X-ray conducted upon the victim identified as Michael Marino had revealed the victim had all of his second molars , whereas a dental X-ray conducted upon Marino in March revealed one molar had not erupted. At the time of Gacy's arrest, he had claimed to both Des Plaines and Chicago investigators that the total number of victims he had killed could be as high as Investigators did excavate the grounds of his property until they had exposed the substratum of clay beneath the foundations, yet only 29 bodies were found buried upon his property.

On May 8, , a year-old named Charles Hattula was found drowned in a river near Freeport, Illinois. Moreover, this employee had stated that Hattula was known to have conflicts with Gacy.


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  • Des Plaines authorities had contacted colleagues in Freeport during their investigation into Gacy, but were told the youth had fallen to his death from a bridge. However, Hattula's death has been officially ruled as accidental.

    Victim Six by Gregg Olsen and Terry Rose - Listen Online

    Gacy stated that after he had assaulted and then released Jeffrey Rignall in March , he had begun to throw his murder victims into the Des Plaines River. He confessed to having disposed of five bodies in this manner. However, only four bodies were recovered from the river and conclusively confirmed to be victims of Gacy. Given the gap of over four months between the dates of the murders of the first and second victims known to have been disposed in the river, it is possible that this unknown victim may have been killed between June and November A retired Chicago police officer named Bill Dorsch [] has stated he has reason to believe there may be more victims buried within the grounds of the apartment building located at the block of West Miami Avenue in Chicago; a property which Gacy is known to have been the caretaker of for several years prior to his arrest.

    In , Dorsch—then a Chicago police officer—observed Gacy whom he knew on a casual basis , holding a shovel in the early hours of the morning. When confronted by Dorsch as to his actions, Gacy stated he was performing work that he was too busy to do during the day. Dorsch has also related that several other residents of West Miami Avenue have stated that, in the early- to mids, they had observed Gacy digging trenches in the grounds of the property; [] one of these residents has also stated that Gacy would later place plants in the elongated trenches he had dug.

    At the time these actions had been observed, Gacy had still been married to Carole Hoff. John Butkovich had been buried beneath his garage and the unknown victim known as Body 28 had been buried in his backyard. Gacy's wife had informed investigators that, on several occasions in the years preceding their divorce, she had found several men's wallets and identification cards discarded about the property at Summerdale.

    In March , Cook County Sheriff's officials submitted a request to excavate the grounds of this property. However, the Cook County State's Attorney denied this request, stating a lack of probable cause as the reason the submission was denied including the previous search. Of the 12 remaining anomalies which police had not examined in greater detail on that occasion, four were described as being "staggeringly suggestive" as human skeletons. This request was granted in January , and a search of the property was conducted in the spring. Both FBI sniffer dogs and ground-penetrating radar equipment were used in the second search of West Miami Avenue; however, the search yielded no human remains.

    In , Sam Amirante, one of Gacy's two defense attorneys at his trial, authored procedures that were incorporated by the Illinois General Assembly into the Missing Child Recovery Act of Amirante has since stated that the primary inspiration for this legislation was the fact that at the time of the Gacy murders, there had been a hour period which police in Illinois had to allow to elapse before initiating a search for a missing child or adolescent. Other states across America subsequently adopted similar procedures and sensibilities, as a result of which a national network aimed at locating missing children was gradually formed.

    This national network has since developed into the Child Abduction Emergency—commonly known today as an Amber Alert. One of the first things Gacy told investigators after his arrest was that he had not acted alone in several of the murders: he questioned whether individuals he referred to as "my associates" had also been arrested.

    Gacy specifically named two PDM employees as being the individuals he had referred to as being involved in several of the murders. Gacy neither confirmed nor denied Ressler's suspicions. Jeffrey Rignall, who had been assaulted and tortured by Gacy in March , was adamant that at one point during his abuse and torture, a young man with brown hair, kneeling before him, watched his abuse.

    Rignall also informed police that as Gacy was raping and assaulting him, a light was switched on in another part of the house. Moreover, on one occasion during the surveillance of Gacy prior to his arrest, two of the surveillance officers followed Gacy to a bar to which Gacy had driven to meet two of his employees. At the bar, the surveillance officers overheard a hushed conversation between Gacy and one of his employees in which the youth asked Gacy the question: "And what?

    Buried like the other five? In interviews following his arrest and conviction, Gacy repeatedly claimed that he was not present in Chicago when 16 of the identified victims had disappeared. In one interview, he stated that at the time of his arrest, four PDM employees were also considered suspects in the disappearances of the missing individuals investigators had linked to Gacy—all of whom he stated were in possession of keys to his house.

    At the time, Norman operated a nationwide sex trafficking ring based in Chicago. This led to the theory Gacy may have been connected to this trafficking ring. In , two Chicago lawyers named Steven Becker and Robert Stephenson [] publicly stated that, having reviewed archived records relating to Gacy's business travels for both PDM Contractors and PE Systems, it is likely that Gacy may have been assisted by one or more accomplices in a minimum of three murders. In one case, that of year-old Robert Gilroy, investigators found that on September 12, —three days before Gilroy's disappearance—Gacy had flown to Pittsburgh and did not return to Chicago until the day after the youth had disappeared.

    Investigators also note that Robert Young, the traveling companion with whom victim Russell Nelson was visiting Chicago at the time of his disappearance in October , gave differing accounts of the youth's disappearance to both Nelson's family and investigators. To Nelson's family, Young had stated Nelson failed to arrive at a bar at a prearranged time; to investigators, Young claimed he had last seen Nelson standing among a crowd who had gathered outside a Chicago bar and when his attention was diverted for a few moments, Nelson simply disappeared.

    Investigators contend this could not have happened without his traveling companion noticing. Young is known to have filed a missing person's report with Chicago police, before unsuccessfully requesting money from Nelson's parents to finance a search for their son. When Nelson's two brothers arrived in Chicago to search for him, Young had offered both brothers a job with Gacy's construction company.

    In a third case, travel records indicate Gacy was at a scheduled job site in Michigan at a. Two witnesses have stated that this roommate had recommended to Mowery that he meet "a man who is going out of town" two days prior to the youth's disappearance. Criminal defense attorneys and investigators researching the possibility Gacy had not acted alone in several of the murders have stated there is "overwhelming evidence Gacy worked with an accomplice".

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American serial killer. For other uses, see Gacy disambiguation. Chicago , Illinois , US. The Killer Clown [1] Pogo the Clown [2]. Marlynn Myers m. Carole Hoff m. He can produce an 'alibi' for everything. He presents himself as a victim of circumstances and blames other people who are out to get him Timothy McCoy 16 January 3, [] Body 9. Crawl space. John Butkovich 18 July 31, [] Body 2. Darrell Samson 18 April 6, [] Body Dining room. Randall Reffett 15 May 14, [] Body 7. Samuel Stapleton 14 May 14, [] Body 6. Michael Bonnin 17 June 3, [] Body William Carroll 16 June 13, [] Body James Haakenson 16 August 5, [] Body Rick Johnston 17 August 6, [] Body Kenneth Parker 16 October 24, [] Body Michael Marino 14 October 24, [] Body William Bundy 19 October 26, [] Body Gregory Godzik 17 December 12, [] Body 4.

    John Szyc 19 January 20, [] Body 3. Jon Prestidge 20 March 15, [] Body 1. Matthew Bowman 19 July 5, [] Body 8. Robert Gilroy 18 September 15, [] Body John Mowery 19 September 25, [] Body Russell Nelson 21 October 17, [] Body Robert Winch 16 November 10, [] Body Tommy Boling 20 November 18, [] Body David Talsma 19 December 9, [] Body William Kindred 19 February 16, [] Body Timothy O'Rourke 20 June 16—23, [] Body Des Plaines river.

    Frank Landingin 19 November 4, [] Body James Mazzara 20 November 24, [] Body Robert Piest 15 December 11, [] Body January Body Male aged 14— Male aged 23— Male aged 18— Male aged 15— Body 5. Male aged 22— Male aged 17— Capital punishment in Illinois List of people executed in Illinois List of unidentified murder victims in the United States Most prolific murderers by number of victims.

    Chicago News

    He would justify his actions by claiming the bodies he had defiled were "just dead things" who "couldn't tell anybody". Best wishes. Rosalynn Carter". This victim was aged between 17 and 21 when he died, and his remains bore evidence of a well healed left collarbone fracture. He would typically cuff his own hands behind his back, then surreptitiously release himself with the key before offering to show his intended victim how to release himself from the handcuffs. Kenneth Parker's relatives refused to submit to DNA testing. Com WebSite. February 11, [April 2, ]. Retrieved April 5, The Biography.

    Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. New York City: Bantam Books. Retrieved March 14, London, England: Marshall Cavendish Printworks: 7. Psychology Today. New York City: Sussex Publishers. April 19, Retrieved January 13, Chicago Tribune. May 10, Retrieved October 12, Chicago Sun-Times. The Doe Network. Retrieved July 18, The Montreal Gazette. March 10, January 1, Retrieved April 11, Ottawa Citizen.

    Archived at Google News. October 11, Archived from the original on February 2, Retrieved January 26, CBS Local. July 19, Retrieved July 19, Archived from the original on July 20, New York Times. Retrieved August 8, Joseph Gazette. February 9, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Simon and Schuster. Ulysses Press. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. February 10, Retrieved October 24, January 5, April 12, Spartanburg Herald-Journal. December 24, Retrieved July 20, Archived from the original on December 23, Retrieved November 22, The Hour.

    Retrieved September 26, November 23, The Calgary Herald. February 19, The Telegraph. March 14, The Harlan Daily Enterprise. March 1, November 25, Retrieved February 13, May 13, Retrieved May 15, Boca Raton News. September 12, September 30, p A2. Orlando Sentinel. December 18, Retrieved December 7, Tucson Weekly. Retrieved November 11, Serial Killer Dies of Lethal Injection".

    Archived from the original on June 12, Retrieved January 14, Deseret News. Retrieved February 12, New York City: Guilford Press.

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