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Killer Clown: The John Wayne Gacy Murders Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1994

63 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078600083X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786000838
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,733,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Paul Cerra on December 5, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In December of 1978, Terry Sullivan was working as a state's attorney in Cook County, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Lieutenant Joseph Kozenczak was commander of the Criminal Investigation Division of the nearby Des Plaines Police Department. And John Wayne Gacy was a thirty-six year old building contractor who had just lured away and killed a 15-year-old boy, Rob Piest. Over the next ten days, Kozenczak, Sullivan, and their teams of policeman and investigators would uncover Gacy's horrible crimes.
This is a remarkable book that sets the standard for true crime stories. More than just an insider, Sullivan played an active role in the Gacy investigation. Kozenczak, then a 16-year veteran of the DPPD, came to Sullivan and his assistants early in the investigation into Rob Piest's disappearance to seek advice on how to deal with Gacy, who was emerging as their prime suspect. Sullivan was thus a participant in the entire case, including Gacy's trial, and he presents a vast amount of information here in Killer Clown.
In this book, Sullivan (writing with Peter T. Maiken) paints the most comprehensive and accurate picture of Gacy that has ever emerged. It can be roughly divided into three parts: the investigation surrounding the disappearance of Rob Piest, the discovery of bodies on Gacy's property and the painstaking investigations into Gacy's past, and Gacy's trial and convictions for murder. For some, this book is "boring" because it spends too many pages discussing the police investigation. In fact, Sullivan actually does a service to true crime readers everywhere by detailing the interaction between a suspect and the police and how the investigation can be shaped by it.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By S. Dryden on September 20, 1998
Format: Hardcover
For anyone that follows true crime stories, "Killer Clown" is author Terry Sullivan's impeccably detailed and researched account of the John Wayne Gacy murders. Beginning with the seemingly meaningless piece of evidence (a photo receipt) that cast strong suspicion that Gacy may have had more to do with the disappearance of the victim that would be his final downfall to the ending of Gacy's innocence and freedom in the courtroom, this book should not be passed up. Sullivan does an outstanding job of researching the case that led police to the discovery of 28 young men that Gacy had molested and ultimately murdered, then buried in the crawlspace of his suburban Chicago home, as well as the discovery of 5 more bodies Gacy was responsible for. No clue is left alone and no stone was left unturned in Sullivan's mentally visual story. A truly frightening account, you feel as though you're right along with the police during their investigation of Gacy. It should be noted that this story can at times be gruesome in its revelations and depictions of the details of Gacy's deranged killing spree and may not be best suited for the sensitive reader. But after reading the book cover to cover, you almost feel like you were part of the investigation team that finally stopped Gacy's killing and eventually put him in prison which ultimately led to his execution. Immediately after being apprehended, in an apparent state of guilt and remorse, Gacy admitted to the killings, but shortly thereafter recanted on his confession and proclaimed his innocense all the way until his last day on earth.Read more ›
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By J.A. VINE VOICE on September 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently ordered a number of true crime books, mostly dealing with motive and serial killers for a study I'm doing. When I pulled this book out of the box, I was extremely disappointed. The front cover of Killer Clown is unnecessarily garish, bearing a closer resemblance to the National Enquirer than a solid, well written book (which it is). The back also proclaimed that there were "16 pages of shocking photos!" With one or two exceptions, they're hardly shocking, although I did pause over the one picture of a victim they chose to include. But that was more in sadness than in shock -- it was the face of an innocent, apparently happy young boy, and that spoke more strongly than any amount of gratuitous schlock could hope to.
This was a well thought out book, and kudos to Terry Sullivan and Peter Maiken for not drawing on the wealth of gore that came with Gacy's case. I agree with the other reviewers with regard to its methodical step-by-step review of the entire case, from his last murder to the handing down of the death sentence.
It's a shame, though, for I'm sure that some serious students of true crime may have passed on this book simply because of its packaging. If you're having similar qualms -- don't. This is a worthwhile read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. D Finder on January 28, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read Killer Clown and some other books on the John Wayne Gacy serial murders, and can unequivocally tell you that the book by Terry Sullivan is the most accurate. I should know. I was the Assistant State's Attorney to whom John Wayne Gacy made several confessions, and I testified for the State of Illinois in the trial. Additionally, I spent several hours with the authors as the book was being prepared. If you are looking for a true chronicle of the events leading up to the arrest, trial and conviction of that animal, this book is what you want.
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