Horrifying true story of real Pennywise killer clown John Wayne Gacy who murdered 33 men as victim ID’d 45 years later

ONE of the 33 victims of killer clown Wayne Gacy has been identified 45 years later after being reported missing.

Francis Wayne Alexander's remains were among those found in the crawl space of Gacy's Chicago-area home in 1978.

Gacy was one of America's most twisted murderers – a rapist and torturer convicted of killing dozens of teenage boys and young men between January 1972 and late 1978.

The real-life killer clown, whose story is more chilling than any horror film, would lure his young victims to his home in Norwood Park, Illinois.

Once he had them there, the killer would trick them in to putting on handcuffs, leaving them defenceless against the predator's torture and sexual attacks.

Dubbed the "Killer Clown", Gacy's six-year reign of terror was marked by unimaginable cruelty and relentless abuse.

All his victims were strangled or choked – bar his first, who he stabbed – before their bodies were bundled into his home's crawl space, buried on his property or dumped in the local Des Plaines River.

But the whole time, Gacy was living a double life, presenting himself as an upstanding member of the local community and doing charity work in character as "Pogo the Clown".

Born on March 17, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, Gacy suffered severe childhood abuse at the hands of his alcoholic father.

The killer went on to find success as a businessman, managing three KFC restaurants before starting his own construction firm.

Gacy's first marriage, to Marlynn Myers, saw him father a son and a daughter, but she divorced him after he was convicted of  sexually abusing a 16-year-old in 1968.

It was after Gacy's release on parole, in 1970, when he started his own business and threw himself into his community, marrying divorcee Carole Hoff in 1972.

In his free time, Gacy would don his clown costume and pretend he was Pogo, a chirpy clown who helped the murderer "regress into childhood".

A keen Democrat, Gacy served on a local organising committee, even meeting First Lady Rosalynn Carter through his community work on May 6, 1978.

But nobody had any idea that the sick man beneath the clown mask was a sadistic killer responsible for a spate of disappearances in the area.

It is hard, even 45 years later, to know the fate of our beloved Wayne. He was killed at the hands of a vile and evil mam

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart ordered eight unidentified victims' bodies to be exhumed in 2011 in an effort to identify them through DNA testing.

In reopening the investigation, Sheriff Dart asked families of youngsters who had vanished between 1970 and Gacy's 1978 arrest to submit saliva samples to compare DNA with the eight victims who were buried without being identified.

Investigators matched DNA samples from Mr Alexander's mother and half-brother to his remains.

Alexander's sister, Carolyn Sanders, thanked the sheriff's office for giving the family "closure".

"It is hard, even 45 years later, to know the fate of our beloved Wayne. He was killed at the hands of a vile and evil man," Ms Sanders said.

"We can now lay to rest what happened and move forward by honouring Wayne."

Authorities say they are unsure how Mr Alexander's crossed paths with Gacy, one of America's most infamous serial killers.

He had moved to Chicago, where he was married for around three months before divorcing in 1975.

In January 1976, he received a traffic ticket in Chicago. After this, officers found no record of him being alive.

Mr Alexander "lived in an area that was frequented by Gacy and where other identified victims had previously lived", the sheriff's office said.

Alexander is the third Gacy victim to be identified in the last decade.

He would have been 21 or 22 when Gacy killed him between 1976 and 1977, Mr Dart's office said.

Months later, William George Bundy, a 19-year-old construction worker, was identified as a Gacy victim.

In 2017, James Byron Haakenson – a missing teenager from Minnesota – was named as another victim.

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