Monday, February 8, 2010


Back in 1986, or 1987 I had just finished reading my second book on John Wayne Gacy. The book showed some of the clown paintings he painted, "Pogo", himself as a clown, “The Seven Dwarfs” as clowns, etc. It also gave his address in prison. I began to wonder how much those paintings might be worth someday, so I wrote a letter to him inquiring about the prices, and I enclosed a self addressed stamped envelope to my P.O. Box.

I suffer from Coulrophobia a fear of clowns. What was I going to do with a painting of a clown? Keep it facing the wall in my closet? Put it under the bed? I don’t think so! My great aunt Letha used to paint those crying clowns with "Paint by Number" kits back in the 60's then frame them and hang them in my great grand parent’s house. They really creeped me out. As soon as I sent the letter I wish I hadn’t. I thought my problem was solved when a couple of weeks later I received a letter from the prison returning my letter explaining that a self addressed stamped envelope was considered "contraband", I was so happy I breathed a sigh of relief.

A few days later I opened my P.O. Box and there was a small blue envelope along with my other mail. It was typed on one of those old manual type writers. I looked at the return address and it was John W. Gacy I almost passed out. I shook all the way home and opened it while drinking a scotch and soda. He had somehow seen my letter and thanked me for my inquiry. He enclosed a price list and all I remember is that the small paintings started out at thirty five dollars and went up to one hundred and twenty five dollars for the larger ones. He signed it with only his initials, it might have been more, but it wasn't a signature.

I have to tell you that letter radiated pure evil. I couldn't stand to have it in my apartment, so I took it to work, showed it to one co worker and put it in my desk. That letter called to me and I read it twice more before I finally couldn't stand it, so I tore it up and threw it away. The simple act of tearing it into pieces seemed to break the spell and get rid of the evil. I've heard his paintings sell for big bucks today, but I have no regrets about not buying one.

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