(CBS) — There are new questions being raised about serial killer John Wayne Gacy and his infamous clown suits. They were seized by police as evidence after Gacy was arrested for murdering 33 young men and boys. CBS 2’s Dave Savini, in this Original Report, uncovered evidence those clown suits ended up on the market.
Gacy’s clown suits should be in a locked facility with other evidence from this case. But the costumes he used to transform into Pogo and Patches the clowns, instead ended up becoming a money-maker for someone.
“They’ve called me killer clown,” said John Wayne Gacy during an interview win 1992.
His life was a contradiction, clown by day and serial killer by night.
“To me, clowning was a way of relaxation,” said Gacy. “To me, you regressed into childhood. You were able to relax and you could be goofy if you wanted to.”
And he would entertain sick children, said Gacy’s lawyer Sam Amirante.
“When Gacy put that clown outfit on, he was the good John Gacy,” said Amirante.
But because of the bad John Gacy, those clown suits became quite valuable.
Even though they were collected as evidence and inventoried in his case, Gacy’s clown suits, the red one and his other one, ended up at the National Crime Museum in Washington DC. But, how did they get there?
In February 1979, Gacy’s two hand-made clown suits were taken from his home on Summerdale and locked up in the Cook County Sheriff’s evidence room. The Sheriff’s Department says they sent the suits to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office in November 1979. Then, the trail ends. The current prosecutor’s do not know what happened back then.
“I would hope they would know,” said Amirante. “I would hope there’d be a better accounting, a better accountability, a better inventory system.”
CBS 2 Investigators obtained a picture of a Gacy clown suit, with the County evidence tag still on it, in a home on the Southwest Side of Chicago. We’re told a County employee got a hold of this suit and was able to sell it for $25,000.
So how did it end up at the National Crime Museum? A private collector loaned it to them. The museum has other Gacy artifacts including a jacket, wallet, paint and paintings.
“There is a morbid interest out there,” said Amirante who adds anyone who took the suit to make money could have a real problem.
“If somebody said, ‘We’re going to remove this from the inventory, you sell, you cut me a piece of it’, then I think they have some problems,” said Amirante.
Because of CBS 2’s findings, the Cook County State’s Attorney has launched an investigation to determine if there was misconduct or theft on the part of any current or former employee.
Our attempts to reach the collector who donated the clown suits to the museum were unsuccessful.