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The Arrest

Crime Files

The Arrest


"Killer Clown" caught

At around the same time, the disappearance of 15-year-old Robert Piest in late 1978 led police to the home of Gacy, who had apparently offered a job to the boy immediately before his disappearance. A background check revealed his earlier sodomy conviction, and a search warrant was obtained for his home.On 13 December 1978 his home was searched and a number of items were confiscated, which included drivers licences and college rings, but no bodies were discovered, although investigators noticed the strange odour which they attributed to a broken drain.

Gacy was placed under 24-hour surveillance and neighbours were questioned. Forensic evidence finally linked one of the rings found during the search to the missing boy, John Szyc, and a more extensive search of the crawl space under the house revealed the horrific extent of Gacy’s killing spree.On 22 December 1978, with the body count mounting, Gacy finally admitted killing at least 30 people, which included the 27 bodies found around his property, as well as a number who had been thrown in the nearby Des Plaines river, when the crawl space became too crowded to accommodate any more.Robert Piest’s body was finally recovered from a lock on the Illinois River in April 1979. Exhaustive forensic work ensured that all but nine of Gacy’s victims were finally identified.