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Inside unseen photos from John Wayne Gacy’s warped memento collection – & the unspeakable reason he kept items

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UNSEEN photos from John Wayne Gacy’s home show his warped memento collection and toolbox of torture – and here’s the unspeakable reason why he kept his victim’s items.
The notorious serial killer murdered 33 young men and boys in Illinois during 1972 and 1978 and buried most of them in a small crawl space under his house of horror.
Cops found Gacy's 'tools of death' scattered across his home13Cops found Gacy’s ‘tools of death’ scattered across his homeCredit: Rafael TovarGacy had a fascination with belt buckles and often wore one with his initials13Gacy had a fascination with belt buckles and often wore one with his initialsCredit: Rafael TovarGacy kept 'mementoes' of his victims that he regularly looked at13Gacy kept ‘mementoes’ of his victims that he regularly looked atCredit: Rafael TovarPolice found necklaces, bracelets and other jewellery belonging to victims13Police found necklaces, bracelets and other jewellery belonging to victimsCredit: Rafael TovarGacy - known as the Killer Clown - was arrested for the murder of 33 young men and boys13Gacy – known as the Killer Clown – was arrested for the murder of 33 young men and boysPolice were granted a search warrant for Gacy’s Norwood Park Township property after noticing the smell of rotting human flesh during a visit in December 1978.
Retired Des Plaines detective Rafael Tovar and his team of ten would go on to uncover 29 victims under Gacy’s along with a chilling collection of mementoes and his sick instruments of death.
Sharing the photos with The Sun Online, Mr Tovar said the items were recovered at various locations in Gacy’s home.
Many belonged to the victims buried under the serial killer’s floorboards and others from various men he had sex with but did not kill.
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“It is believed that he did keep them as a memento,” the retired officer told us.
“After Gacy’s arrest they [the police] asked the families of the victims to view them and some were claimed by them.”
Gacy stripped his victims of any belongings and kept them in the house.
He was also known to have kept a big notebook with pictures of his victims, their parents and newspaper cut-outs about their disappearance.

Cops found watches, bracelets and necklaces believed to have belonged to Gacy’s victims.
They also uncovered a trove of belt buckles with symbols of towers, demonic animals and the letter G emblazoned on them.
One image shows Gacy’s collections of “super studs” and a necklace with a crucifix.
It is also known he would keep clothes and driving licences from his victims.
Gacy would brag in letters from prison that he loved jewellery – saying he had the best “Swank”.
He said he “enjoyed the attention” and boasted he would look like a “millionaire”.
So it appears his stashing of shiny objects taken from his victims may have been him indulging his passion.
You dug with a very small gardening tool and then you used your handsRafael Tovar
Police also found Gacy’s preferred tools of torture including handcuffs, metal chains and padlocks he’d use to tie up his victims before raping them and strangling them to death.
Gacy – dubbed the “killer clown” because he dressed in clown makeup for charity events, as well as during some of his crimes – lured victims to his home and duped them into wearing handcuffs as part of a ‘magic trick’ before killing them.
He deceived many of his victims by telling them he needed their help with “scientific research”, for which he would pay them up to $50 each.
After luring the boys to his house, through lies or at gunpoint, Gacy would then ply them with alcohol and trick them into putting on handcuffs, occasionally as part of his clown routine.
Then, once they were defenceless, he would torment his teenage victims, before raping them and finishing with what he called “the rope trick”: strangling the boys with a length of rope.
Mr Tovar and his team spent six months in dark, cold and cramped conditions clearing the crawl space at Gacy’s home.
Two of Mr Tovar’s men would go on off the rails years later while others struggled to process the horror scenes of bodies stacked on bodies.
Des Plaines officers would go on to find the bodies of 26 victims in Gacy's crawl space13Des Plaines officers would go on to find the bodies of 26 victims in Gacy’s crawl spaceCredit: Rafael TovarGacy lured his victims in with the promise of money or drink - then tied them up and strangled them to death13Gacy lured his victims in with the promise of money or drink – then tied them up and strangled them to deathCredit: Rafael TovarThe dig for victims was so traumatic for officers that some went off the rail years later as a result13The dig for victims was so traumatic for officers that some went off the rail years later as a resultCredit: Rafael TovarRafael Tovar remembers stumbling across two left femurs13Rafael Tovar remembers stumbling across two left femursCredit: Rafael TovarGacy liked dressing up as POGO the clown and hosted creepy dress-up parties13Gacy liked dressing up as POGO the clown and hosted creepy dress-up partiesCredit: Rafael TovarOfficers dug up corpses whose heads had detached themselves from the spine because of the way Gacy strangled them. Others were in such a state they couldn’t be identified, according to Mr Tovar.
“He had them all around the outer edges of the house and he had dug up some trenches. Some of them he put one on top of the other,” the retired detective explained.
“It was very wet, very moist down there. You couldn’t dig with a shovel because we were afraid of breaking a bone or knocking some teeth out because that was the only way we were going to identify them, so you dug with a very small gardening tool and then you used your hands.”
Officers arrived at Gacy’s Illinois property one cold winter’s day following a tip-off that Robert Piest, a 15-year-old boy who went missing at the time, had followed Gacy home on December 11, 1978.
Though the search failed to turn up the boy, one of the officers noticed the smell of rotting flesh coming from Gacy’s heating system, which ran from an underground crawl space.
Des Plaines police returned with a second search warrant and began digging. What they experienced that day would turn their lives upside down.
Among the first finds the seasoned officers discovered was a left femur. Cops tore up Gacy’s floor to find more rotting bodies scattered around the home.
Gacy had poured quicklime over his victims to speed up the decomposition process but once officers cut through that “there was a putrid odour, unlike anything else”, Mr Tovar said.
When investigators told Gacy they planned on digging up his crawl space, he immediately cooperated and drew them a map pinpointing all the bodies.
Mr Tovar said Gacy told officers he wanted them “to be careful because I don’t want you to dirty up my carpets so I’ll tell you exactly where everything is”.
“It’s a dodgy thing to say. There were 29 bodies in the house!
“He had absolutely no feelings whatsoever about human life. For him, killing an individual was like stepping on an ant. He had no moral fibre whatsoever.”
Gacy was eventually convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection.
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Despite being sentenced to death in 1980, he wasn’t executed until 1994, after he exhausted all his appeals.
He died at the Stateville Penitentiary in Joliet, Illinois, on May 10, 1994.
Gacy with his ex-wife Carole Hoff at their Illinois home where he hid his victims13Gacy with his ex-wife Carole Hoff at their Illinois home where he hid his victimsCredit: Rafael TovarOfficers remember the 'putrid' smell of rotting flesh at Gacy's property13Officers remember the ‘putrid’ smell of rotting flesh at Gacy’s propertyCredit: GettyMr Tovar (far right) was one of the officers who busted Gacy in December 197813Mr Tovar (far right) was one of the officers who busted Gacy in December 1978Credit: Rafael Tovar
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk

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