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Movie, Documentary Could Be Adapted From Book By Gacy’s Lawyer

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John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy was known for many years around his neighborhood as a Democratic precinct captain and a birthday party clown. But in December 1978, police discovered 29 bodies buried in a crawl space of his house and the surrounding yard in unincorporated Norwood Park Township. Another four bodies were found in the Des Plaines River. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — There could soon be two movie adaptations of the book written by serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s lawyer.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Gacy, who sexually assaulted and murdered 34 young men and boys, was retired Cook County Judge Sam Amirante’s first major client when he was a young attorney back in the late 1970s.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

This past summer, Amirante wrote about his experience in his book, Defending a Monster.

Now, the Daily Herald reports Amirante and co-author Danny Broderick have sold the movie rights for both a feature film and a documentary.

The feature film option was sold to new Hollywood production company Leeden Media LLC, the Daily Herald reported. The newspaper said Amirante and Broderick will be credited as “story consultants.”

Amirante and Broderick also signed a deal Nov. 20 with DM Documentary LLC to make a 90-minute documentary about the book, the Daily reported.

The filmmakers began shooting footage for the documentary right after Leeden media approved the project, the Daily Herald reported. There is no timetable yet for the feature film.

Amirante told WBBM Newsradio in last summer that nearly 20 years after execution, he remains convinced that Gacy was insane and a compulsive killer.

“We were told by the doctors – all the doctors – that if he ever got out again, he would do it again,” Amirante said. “As long as he lived in a structured environment, he’d be OK. But if he ever got out of jail – he could have been in jail for 20, 30, 40 years – when he got out again, he would have committed another crime.”

Amirante also spoke this summer with CBS 2’s Walter Jacobson, who also interviewed Gacy himself in a CBS 2 exclusive back in 1992. Amirante talked with Jacobson about why he chose to defend a cold-blooded killer.

“Absolutely everybody deserves a defense,” said Amirante. “It’s irrelevant what they’ve done and what they’re accused of. It’s my job as a lawyer and I believe in that passionately.”

Gacy was convicted of 33 murders in the 1970s. One of eight unknown victims was identified just last month as William George Bundy, who had last been seen in October 1976.

Gacy, an ex-convict with a history of sodomy, worked as a contractor on Chicago’s northwest side and northwest suburbs in the years immediately preceding his arrest. He was a Democratic precinct captain and worked as a clown at children’s parties.

He was arrested on Dec. 20, 1978, after police discovered 29 bodies buried in a crawl space of his house and the surrounding yard of his house at 8213 W. Summerdale Ave. in unincorporated Norwood Park Township. They were covered with lime and encased with plastic.

Another four bodies were found in the Des Plaines River.

Gacy was sentenced to death when he was convicted of the murders. When he was executed on May 10, 1994, his notorious last words were, “Kiss my ass.”

A direct-to-video dramatic movie on Gacy, simply titled “Gacy,” was released in 2003. The low-budget production starred Mark Holton as Gacy and received poor reviews, with an average rating of 3.8 out of 10 on RottenTomatoes.com.

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