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Interview: Judge Sam Amirante, Author of John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster

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In December 1978, a young Chicago lawyer named Sam Amirante was starting his own practice as an independent defense attorney. He had recently left a job at the Public Defender’s Office where he’d spent the previous few years “cutting his teeth” and was now eagerly preparing to strike out on his own. Just after moving into his new office, he received a life-changing phone call from a man who would become the first client of his new private practice.

“Sam, could you do me a favor?”

The man on the other end of the call was John Wayne Gacy,a gregarious and boastful 37-year-old who owned a successful contracting business (PDM Contractors) in the Northwest Chicago neighborhood of Norwood Park. Gacy complained that he was being harassed by the Des Plaines Police Department about a missing teenager named Robert Piest. He claimed to know nothing about the boy and insisted that the unwarranted police attention was damaging to his business and image. He needed the cops off his back.

Book CoverSam knew Gacy, if only as a passing acquaintance. Gacy, an overweight man of Polish descent, was a minor figure in local Democratic politics, a volunteer clown for children’s functions, and a tireless worker who provided jobs to an ever-changing clan of young boys. Sam thought of him as being “nice enough”—a harmless, self-important, braggart. Sam needed clients, so he agreed to help Gacy and thus became his lawyer.

Over the next several days, what started with a seemingly innocent phone call snowballed into a true-crime nightmare of unprecedented proportions. On the evening of December 20, 1979, a haggard and drunken Gacy spent the night in Sam’s office talking with his new lawyer. Over the course of several hours, Gacy confessed to murdering more than 30 young men (most of whom he had tortured and raped) and burying many of them under his house at 8213 W. Summerdale Ave in Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood. Sam was horrified.

Gacy was arrested the next day on a minor drug violation. Meanwhile, policemen armed with a search warrant scoured his house and discovered human remains buried in the crawlspace. In all, 29 bodies were found buried on Gacy’s property, and four more were pulled from the Des Plaines River. Most had been victims of strangulation (by a tourniquet method that Gacy would later call his “rope trick”).

Gacy was charged with murder, and Sam became the defense attorney for one of the most bizarre and prolific serial killers in American history: John Wayne Gacy, The Killer Clown. The case went to trial in 1980, and Gacy, who pleaded insanity, was convicted of 33 counts of murder (the most in American history) and sentenced to death.

Sam Amirante, who later became a Judge, has now written a long awaited book about his experiences on the case entitled John Wayne Gacy:Defending a Monster. The book offers chilling insight into one of the worst crime sprees in history and also serves as a testament to Amirante’s unflinching dedication to the American justice system and to defending the rights of the accused—no matter who they are.

Sam AmiranteI was fortunate enough to speak with Judge Amirante by phone as he drove home from the offices of his current law practice in Chicago. We spoke about his book, his love of our country’s judicial system, and his involvement with Gacy. The following is the complete transcript.

You are passionate about the American justice system and the fact that every American is entitled to a fair trial and a capable defense in court. You are so passionate about these things that you defended the most notorious serial killer in American history — placing you in a very controversial role. How did you develop such an intense passion for the law?

No one’s ever asked me that question. I’d say it started with, and was inspired by, my dad who served in the Navy during WW2 in the island-hopping campaign. He was always a very patriotic guy—was so proud to be an American. My grandparents came over from Naples, Italy and were the type people that helped build America.

Dad was hard-working and taught me to be the same. He talked a lot about statesmanship. Ironically enough, he was also an Archie Bunker kind of guy. So aside from inspiring me, he was also one of these old-fashioned Italian kind of guys who didn’t like lawyers and didn’t trust the system. In fact, he wanted me to be a doctor.

I ended up following my father’s footsteps and serving in the armed forces as a Marine, which also helped strengthen my sense of patriotism. After law school, I’d planned on being a prosecutor, but I couldn’t get a job in the State Prosecutor’s office. I ended up working in the Public Defender’s office where I met a guy name Nunzio Tisci, an Italian American like my dad. He was a very passionate lawyer. He would fight so hard for clients — clients who were already convicted.

We were working in post-conviction appeals, writs of habeas corpus, violation of probation — basically, the worst of the worst. He [Tisci] would go in there and fight to win every single case. I learned so much about being a lawyer from him. He would come up with creative thoughts, creative ideas, and creative motions. He taught me to think like a lawyer — to think on my feet — and to really appreciate the system that we have, the presumption of innocence, and individual rights and liberties. I think I’ve maintained that passion throughout my years of practicing law and even when I served on the bench.

You waited many, many years to publish a book about your experiences with Gacy. Why?

Well, for a number of reasons…

Number one, I would have never done it while any of the issues in the case were still pending, because I certainly didn’t want to interfere with the judicial process and issues. I didn’t want to do it back then. A lot of people asked me to, but I didn’t want to. Then, as history and time went on, you see all of the rumors and all the different innuendos and speculation about what happened—different things that really corrupted history.

I had retired from the bench, and I was looking for things to do after retirement. I was practicing law again; in fact, I’m quite busy doing that again. I waited to retire from the bench to do it [write the book], but I always felt that it was a story that had to be told. I wanted to wait until everything was said and done before I proceeded.

When I initially looked for people to help me write the book—I did think about doing it a number of years ago with Bob Motta [the lawyer who assisted with Gacy’s defense]—we could never really find anybody who was able to demonstrate that same kind of passion [for the justice system] that you talked about earlier. Most writers and ghost writers that I talked to had the attitude that I represented Gacy begrudgingly—that it was something I had to do. That wasn’t the case, and I wanted to show that.

Finally, I happened to run into Danny Broderick, whom I hadn’t seen in a number of years. He had been a young associate of mine when he got out of law school. He knew the kind of passion that was involved in my practice and how I felt about things. He was a passionate lawyer in his own regard when he was practicing. He knew the courtroom. I knew that he had written a book, and I thought that maybe he might be able to write the book the way I wanted it.

Sure enough, he did. So, I think the timing was right, and having Danny Broderick to do it was very important.

Your book opens like a novel. It details the frightening story of how Gacy lured his final victim, Rob Piest, to his home and strangled him. As you point out, Rob was very different from Gacy’s other victims. Rob was a popular and well known kid, and Gacy took him from a public place, eventually leading to the arrest. Why, in your opinion, was Gacy so bold or careless in the case of Piest?

Amirante at the time of the Gacy TrialOne of two reasons: Number one, the most compelling reason: I truly believe in my heart to this day that, subconsciously, Gacy wanted to stop the killing — he wanted to be caught. I think he broke the mold at that point. He was dropping all of those hints to the police. He was doing different things. There was a last bit of sanity he had—sort of like the Jekyll and Hyde from the novel. The evil was completely taking over the good in John Gacy. I really think he broke his MO at that point. It was almost like he wanted to get caught. He did everything differently than he had in the past.

Another thought in that regard is that he was just becoming so… Evil was taking over, and his insanity was becoming so enraging that he couldn’t control himself anymore. He did this to Robert Piest. He’d been “smart” in concealing his crimes before that.

I think he was coming to a point, as defined by law in IL, of insanity when you suffer from a mental disease and cannot conform your conduct to requirements of the law or you cannot appreciate the criminality of your acts. I think he was getting to the point in his mental disease – -which we believed he had—that he couldn’t conform his conduct or appreciate the criminality of his acts.

The argument of the state was, of course, that he could. It was our argument that he was progressively getting worse and worse. So, I think it may have been a combination of really wanting to stop it with the good side of him and not being able to control himself any more—his illness was progressing.

The murders were becoming more and more frequent, and he was being less and less careful with each one. He was going out to the Des Plaines River with the last four bodies and throwing them off the bridge on the highway. Anyone passing in a car could have seen him.

As Gacy’s defense attorney, you spent countless hours sifting through the horrific details of his crimes — all the while having to work with him on a very intimate level. How did you manage to remain professional and keep from being overwhelmed by emotion or revulsion?

I don’t think it’s that difficult when you are a lawyer or a physician who believes in the oath that you take. A physician takes the Hippocratic Oath; a lawyer takes an oath to protect the constitution. You focus on the issues. You focus on the matters at hand. You don’t think about the type of person you are representing. You are not a psychologist or a social worker—you are a lawyer. You are the person protecting that individual.

Just like a doctor, who might treat a person like Gacy at any given time, you’re going to treat that person the best that you can, with the best medical research you can, without considering who the person is. It’s not a difficult thing. It’s a thing you develop.

John Gacy was a man of contradictions. He could be extremely friendly and caring at times, and as we know, he could also be dangerously dark, angry, and violent. Did you ever witness that dark side of his behavior, or did he keep that side of himself hidden from you throughout the ordeal?

Not personally. I witnessed him have a change in personality—a tremendous change in demeanor. But as far as violent acting out, I never personally witnessed that. We tried to get that out. We had alcohol-induced EEG’s done. We had a sodium amatol test done and drug-induced EEG’s.

Gacy as Pogo the Clown

We tried all different kinds of things. We never could bring out that violent behavior in him. I saw his eyes roll back; I saw his eyelids flutter. I saw him go into somewhat of a fugue state sometimes. But as far as violence, I never saw it. I heard about it but never saw it.

It is interesting that you say you used sodium amatol [truth serum] on him. He always claimed to have undergone that test, but many people accused him of lying about it.

Yes, we did use the sodium amatol on him, which is truth serum. His personality was so strong that he was actually fighting off the sodium amatol.

Would society have benefited more from Gacy having been institutionalized and studied rather than executed? Why?

I believed at the time, and I certainly still believe that more positive things could have come out of him staying alive. However, when it comes to just him personally—by the end, at the time he was executed, he was actually in total denial over the killings.

I don’t know how much we would have learned from him, individually, as a person helping out. But I think we could have studied his personality type and his disease with hopes of preventing things like this. It still happens in the world. It wasn’t a serial killing, but just consider the mass shooting in Colorado recently. We have preventative medicines and theories on heart disease and other physical and mental diseases.

I’m not anti-death penalty, personally, but I don’t know how society ever benefits from killing people. Killing somebody is always a loss to society in one form or another. Here was a guy that had a wealth of information that we could have studied to prevent something like it from happening again. Even if you save one more life of an innocent person by studying this guy, isn’t it worth it? Also, it costs more money to impose the death penalty than to keep someone alive, oddly enough.

To what degree do you believe Gacy’s shame of his homosexuality figured into his crimes?

I believe it figured largely. I don’t know if there would be a John Gacy-like personality today because of society’s norms and values today. He was a classic in-the-closet homosexual. He was really killing himself every time he got involved in that activity. He didn’t do it every time he was involved in homosexuality activity, but he hated himself so much for it. He didn’t want to be that. The one deep, dark secret he held to his death was that. He didn’t want to admit that his was a homosexual. He just lashed out every time he found himself in that situation.

Gacy was a perfect storm of the homosexuality that he denied, his dad’s treatment of him being the way it was — everything just kind of came together: him going to jail for sodomy, his dad passing away while he was in jail. All of these different things came together and created the perfect storm which was John Gacy.

I think his homosexuality had a lot to do with it. I don’t think homosexuality in general did — other than the norms and attitudes of the times in the 1970s. I think him being homosexual and not admitting it had a lot to do with his crimes.

Have you had any contact with family members of the victims since the trial — especially since the release of your book?

Danny and I ran into a few of the victims’ sisters and moms at book signings that we had. They were actually pretty understanding about different things. Those that we talked to felt that the story should have been told and that we had treated the victims and the story with respect—which we appreciated. In one instance, out in Vegas, we actually stopped a protest. Some guy was selling Gacy paintings out there, and there was a protest being led by one or two of the sisters of the victims.

Greg Godzik’s sister was at one of the book signings and asked a couple of questions. We didn’t know who she was until after it was all over and she came over and started talking to us. Randy Johnson’s sister, I think, was leading the protest in Vegas. After they heard us talk… We were invited there to speak, and Danny and I spoke about the book and about how we feel about different issues. They actually stopped protesting the paintings, which was a good thing.

We haven’t had any serious threats or flack or anything from the victim’s families. I was surprised, because I thought that we might hear something. Even Greg Godzik’s sister, whose mom was one of the most outspoken critics at the time—a critic not only of Gacy but also of the government, police, and so on. She [the sister] was very, very cordial to us—very respectful and dignified. Any experience that we’ve had with the families of the victims has been positive.

I remember Robbie Piest’s dad even, this was anamazing thing, at trial, he cameGacy after his arrest
up to me one day—and you know the fear; he might stick a knife in your throat since you are the lawyer of the guy that he hates. But Mr. Piest came up to me and said, “Sam, I just want you to let you know that I have no malice or ill will toward you. Iunderstand that you have job to do, sir, and I had to express that and tell you that.” I thought that was the classiest and nicest thing. It was during a time of… It was in the middle of the trial.

I was never afraid of anything or anybody. The only thing that ever bothered me is that if somebody might have wanted to get John Gacy, I might get in the way of a bullet or something. But any personal threats toward me never bothered me.

The toughest thing about a case like that—any case that involves the victims of horrible crimes—is looking at those family members when you’re the lawyer defending someone accused of doing that and sometimes even knowing that they’ve done it. Seeing the looks on the faces of these people and feeling compassion for them is a very difficult thing to experience. That’s much more difficult than representing the person—facing the victims.

When was the last time you spoke with or saw John Wayne Gacy? Can you tell me a bit about that final encounter?

Oh boy. One of the last times I ever spoke to him, he was down in Menard. We used to communicate, and I went down to see him a few times. He was in Menard Penitentiary in Southern IL. He was executed at Statesville, but they brought him back up to Statesville.

Gacy with First Lady CarterAnyway, he was telling me about this woman he had met — a woman who’d become his pen pal and would come there to visit him. She wanted to marry him. I said, “Oh John, that’s good. Maybe you should marry her.” He said, “What? Are you kidding? Are you nuts? I’d never marry that fat hog!” or something like that. He said, “She’s got two kids in the joint down here. You think I’d want to ruin my reputation by marrying into a family like that?”

That was typical John Gacy. He just had no clue. As smart as he was — almost genius in some ways — in others, he didn’t have a clue. He didn’t want to ruin his reputation!

He was always friendly. He would sort of mimic what we would say about the issues. For instance, that’s how he got the idea that other people may have committed the murders. Bob Motta and I used to ask him, “Hey John, are you sure you did this? Are you sure you weren’t stoned or high or drunk or something and woke up with a body next to you — just assumed you did it? Maybe Rossi did it, or Cram did it?” He’d say, “You know, maybe that’s what happened.” So, he started believing that stuff himself.

We told him that he had to attack us, because in appeals you have to attack your lawyers as ineffective and everything. But the last time I talked to him, we didn’t have any animosity toward each other. One thing I wish — I wish I’d had a chance to talk with him before he died and to try to convince him to show some remorse — to apologize to people and go out in some sort of a dignified way. It never happened; his last words were reportedly, “Kiss my ass.” Actually, he convinced his last lawyers that he was innocent, I believe. He was a pretty manipulative guy.

As far as your experience with Gacy, do you have any regrets?

If I have any regrets at all, it’s not having been able to spend enough time with my young family while working on that case. It’d be on a personal level. I’ve apologized to my two young boys, who are now grown men, and my ex-wife — that’s probably why she’s my ex-wife. I didn’t get to spend enough time with them. That bothers me to this day.

There seems to be a new Gacy story in the media every week even today. Why is the public still so fascinated with this case?

For one thing, he is a great manipulator. He is still manipulating from the grave. He’s got people thinking that there are other bodies to be found somewhere — which there are not. If there were… I would have known about it if there were; I’m about 99.99% sure. And people have a morbid fascination with things like that. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t seem to go away.

Just recently, I don’t know if you read it in the news or saw it online, but his nephew is on trial up in Henry County here. Someone asked me why they didn’t ask me to defend him. I figure his mother thought, My brother got the death penalty! I don’t want him! [chuckles]

He is being charged… He’s on trial on a sexual assault case. He was about fourteen years old, I think, when the [Gacy] trial was going on. That’s his [John’s] sister, Jo Anne’s kid, I think.

I saw that. The nephew and his late uncle share a shocking resemblance.

Wow! Don’t they? I looked at that, and I was kind of freaked out. Except, he looks a lot better than John. John was only in his thirties, and he looked like he was sixty. This guy is 49 and still looks like a kid. Still, he looks a lot like John — even built like him.

Recently, there have been stories in the media about two lawyers who are suggesting, based on Gacy’s own meticulous record keeping, that he may have had accomplices in his crimes, specifically Mike Rossi and David Cram, two young men who worked for his business and spent time living in his house. Having heard Gacy’s confessions first hand, what is your opinion on the matter?

We interviewed everybody at the time. Again, it was my idea, and Bob Motta’s idea, that Rossi and Cram may have helped him or actually committed some the murders themselves. We asked John about that and, as John called it, “planted the seed” in his head. He used to talk about “planting the seed.” Bodies being recovered from the Summerdale House

You know, we investigated Rossi and Cram. What they did… They were a couple of kids… They were young kids who were under Gacy’s spell so to speak. They were like his little sex slaves, and they would do anything he wanted them to do. He basically had them digging trenches in the basement—in the crawlspace—knowing that he was probably going to use them for graves and telling them that the trenches were for drain tiles because there was always a water problem in that crawl space. And he had them digging down there.

Did they think he was up to no good? Yeah, I think they thought he was up to no good. Did they think he was a hit man of some sort? Because that’s what he told them—that he was a hit man for the mafia and that he used to help kill people and stuff like that. Did they ever participate in any murder with him? I really don’t believe so. I won’t say it’s completely hogwash, but I just… There is absolutely no evidence of that whatsoever. Did they help him bury the bodies? I don’t think so. Did they dig holes that bodies were in? Absolutely.

I suppose the holes could have been their own graves had things not come to a head.

Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m sure they knew something was going on but sort of turned their heads to it. Because, you know, they got gifts from him. They got items from kids who used to work for him—kids who they thought—who he told them—had run away.

I think they may have suspected something. Even in the end… Well a lot of things Cram told the police are in the book. The night after Gacy was in my office, John went to David Cram and told David—he said, “I was with my lawyers all night, and I told them I killed all these people; I’ve killed over thirty people. I just wanted to let you know that I might be going away.” Cram didn’t know what he was talking about other than he was supposed to be a “hit man.”

The kids, Rossi and Cram, were helpful to the case?

Yes they were—to the state. Rossi went and hired a lawyer—a former state’s attorney. He kind of kept Rossi’s mouth shut after a while. He basically, what they call, “lawyered up”. So he [Rossi] didn’t help anybody too much. Rossi may have known a little more than Cram, but I don’t think either one of them participated in the murders at all or murdered any other people.

Can you tell me a bit about the Missing Child Recovery Act of 1984?

It was 1984. I was running for the state senate. People, you know, didn’t like me because I’d been Gacy’s lawyer. I was looking for some sort of platform to show the kind of person I really am—I’m compassionate. I had asked the jury to do something—to keep him [Gacy] alive and study him. It didn’t happen. No one had ever really done something about the Gacy case and what’s happening. I was a lawyer in it.

I happened to be watching a movie about Adam Walsh, the kid who was missing in Florida, it was called “Adam,” I think. I watched the movie and went to look at my two young boys who were sleeping in bed. I thought, My God, what would I do if my kid was ever missing like that or like one of the victims in the Gacy case—missing? I’d go crazy. What would I do?

I was sitting in court the next day waiting for my case to be called. It was a drug enforcement case where they had specialized drug units to enforce drug laws. I thought, “If they do this for drugs—why can’t we do this for missing children?”

AmiranteSo, I sat there in court and wrote this entire law which did three things. It ended a 72-hour waiting period. Police used to wait… It was an unwritten rule that police used to wait before they would start engaging themselves in looking for lost, missing, or runaway children. It had always been 72 hours. In that 72 hours kids, could fall through the cracks—literally go into the crawlspace and never be found. So it ended that. I wrote a thing for the legislature to end that 72-hour waiting period—to order police departments to act immediately on missing child reports for people under 21 years old.

Secondly, it started a state-wide, central computer system for all information regarding profiling of people. It might be profiling pedophiles and so forth. It included information about missing kids: fingerprints, photographs, dental records and so on. It would all go into this state-wide computer system.

Thirdly, there would be special units created which would specialize in finding lost, missing, and runaway children. These three things were really needed and answered some of the horrors of the Gacy case.

It was drafted into bill form and passed unanimously in the IL state legislature and became ISEARCH: Illinois State Enforcement Agency to Recover Children. It would ultimately become a blueprint for the national version and the forerunner to the Amber Alert.

Early on [in Illinois], after a couple of years, it was responsible for 3,000 children being located and returned to their families. So, it turned out to be a big success. There was state funding for it until the economy went bad and some funds were taken away. There are still some ISEARCH units available.

That was the silver lining to the Gacy cloud. Even with horrible, horrible cases like that—horrible crimes—something good can come of it. I’ve always said, “If you can save one person, it’s worth the effort.” Hopefully a lot of kids were saved and a lot of families were saved a lot of grief by the writing of the law. Ironically enough, the John Gacy case was responsible for that.

Lastly, what does the future hold for Sam Amirante?

Well, there is a documentary coming out in the fall based on the book. I don’t know where it is going to be right now. There is a paperback version coming out on October 6. A director and producer in Hollywood bought our movie rights, and they are planning to do a big screen movie. It’s not going to really be a horror-type movie. It’s going to go into legal history—in the genre of In Cold Blood—a true-crime type thing that carries a message with it but could be entertaining too.

On my front, I’m retired from the bench. I have a young family again; I’m married again. I have a six-year-old daughter who is going to be the first Italian-American president of the United States! Now that I’m older and not involved in a case like that, I’m still working hard, but I’m spending a lot of time with my young family, which is what I should be doing. I’m still going into court every day and defending the rights of the accused.

*Read more about Judge Sam Amirante.

*John Wayne Gacy was the son of an abusive father. In 1968, John was convicted of sodomy against a minor (a young boy) and sentenced to ten years imprisonment in Iowa. He was released early on parole in 1970 — having served just over one year. His killing spree occurred after his parole— during the years that he had originally been sentenced to prison.

Though he confessed to the murders to police at the time of his arrest in 1978, he later denied responsibility and maintained that stance until his death. He was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994.

Seven of his victims were never identified. Below is a list of those who were. Included with each name are the victim’s age and estimated date of death. When covering this sad case, it is important to remember these young victims of violence.

Timothy McCoy (15) January 3, 1972
John Butkovitch (17) July 29, 1975
Darrell Sampson (18) April 6, 1976
Randall Reffett (15) May 14, 1976
Samuel Stapleton (14) May 14, 1976
Michael Bonnin (17) June 3, 1976
William Carroll (16) June 13, 1976
Rick Johnston (17) August 6, 1976
Michael Marino (14) October 24, 1976
Kenneth Parker (16) October 24, 1976
William Bundy (19) October 26, 1976
Gregory Godzik (17) December 12, 1976
John Szyc (19) January 20, 1977
Jon Prestidge (20) March 15, 1977
Matthew Bowman (19) July 5, 1977
Robert Gilroy (18) September 15, 1977
John Mowery (19) September 25, 1977
Russell Nelson (21) October 17, 1977
Robert Winch (16) November 10, 1977
Tommy Boling (20) November 18, 1977
David Talsma (19) December 9, 1977
William Kindred (19) February 16, 1978
Timothy O’ Rourke (20) June 16–23, 1978
Frank Landingin (19) November 4, 1978
James Mazzara (21) November 24, 1978
Robert Piest (15) December 11, 1978

*John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster will be available in paperback on October 6, 2012.

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About Jason Spraggins

Jason was born in Bells, TN. As a high school musician, Jason achieved membership in the All-West Tennessee Honor Band and, as a senior, received the John Phillips Sousa Award. He was also the 1998 recipient of the Joe Kincaid Memorial Scholarship for Musicians. He later earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with an English minor from Lambuth University in Jackson, TN. As a student at Lambuth, he participated in and was a featured soloist for the University Jazz Band (playing first alto sax). He also performed with the school's Brass Ensemble (on tuba) and Wind Band (playing first sax and tuba). Over the years, Jason has served as a summer camp instructor for various high school band programs in the area and has arranged concert band, small ensemble, and marching band music for a variety of ensembles. As a church musician, he has served as pianist and has directed vocal and hand chime groups. He has also taught instrumental music privately since his graduation. In 2004, Jason wrote the script and songs for a two act Christmas musical entitled Beyond Bethlehem. The musical has been performed twice locally and has now been submitted for publication. He is currently preparing the scores for two new shows, Elizabethtown: A Musical Western and Adventures in the Closet: A Children's Musical, both of which he is co-writing with his long-time friend and collaborator, Andy Brown. The two are also busy developing a cycle of songs for a concept album entitled Garfield County. In addition, Jason is working on a musical, "Beneath the Surface," based on the John Wayne Gacy murders of the 1970's. Aside from these projects, Jason is also preparing a set of instrumental pieces for a solo piano album called Daydreams and Reflections that is to be recorded in the coming year. Along with his current theatrical projects, Jason is actively writing stand-alone songs to be pitched to publishing houses and studios and is working to earn album placement and the inclusion of his music in T.V. and film. As a writer, Jason has a variety of approaches when crafting songs. At times he writes alone, creating both the lyrics and music himself. He most often writes with Andy Brown, setting Andy's lyrics to music. One of their new stand-alone songs, "Yours," just received a glowing review and was nominated as "Best of SongU.com" (an online songwriting community/music industry website based in Nashville). Recently, Jason has collaborated on a number of songs with composer Matt Glickstein from Hawaii, providing lyrics for Matt's compositions. The very first collaboration by Spraggins and Glickstein, a song called "Ghosts," was also nominated as "Best of SongU.com" (an honor several more of Jason's works have earned) by an award-winning professional songwriter with over a hundred cuts to his credit by major artists in country, rock, and contemporary Christian music.
  • Chad

    Gacy lived in Norwood Park, not Norridge Park. Also, it is not a suburb of Chicago, it is part of the City itself… that’s just the name of the neighborhood .

  • anonymous

    I know David F. Cram and Michael J. Rossi killed people. The police won’t listen to me. Former Shrf Richard Elrod, Former Shrf Richard Doria, Former Gov. James Thompson. and Shrf John Zaruba all know about Deep Quarry (a confidential mass murder site) They need to admit they screwed up and go get Rossi who is the only one still alive. I am an eyewitness to many murders at Deep Quarry but the police won’t listen. The major media won’t listen to me either. The police are stonewalling me to protect their reputations. I am not sure what to do anymore.

  • observer

    Keep pressing it, anon. I agree with you from my research. Rossi is up to his ass in this. Take your information to the guys pushing the body dig on Miami Ave.

  • deep quarry

    The realization of slander lawsuits on behalf of a mass murderer in regards to Deep Quarry may unfortunately be a textbook example to show the people the grotesquely magnified effects of a non-investigated major crime, to show the people the magnified ill effects of the misuse of the blue code of silence, and it also serves to show the people how even a mass murderer can be multi-protected by the laws that were designed to protect honest people. Mr. Michael J. Rossi, who was Gacy’s employee, wherever he is, is sitting smug right now (as was Mr. David F. Cram and potentially others), multi-protected by;
    1)The non-investigation of the late 1970’s mass murders covertly and incorrectly blamed 100% on John Wayne Gacy.
    2)The blue code of silence;
    3)The potential volley of attorneys, through no fault of their own, who are willing to work for free, willing to take up the cause of protecting a mass murderer from “supposed” slander simply because there are “no reports”.
    4)The potential Judges and Jurys, through no fault of their own, who can falsely and unjustly punish witnesses, simply because non-disclosure and non-investigation was the chosen and protected plan in 1979.
    5)Honest witnesses being falsely prosecuted for “filing a false police report” or being falsely declared mentally incompetent simply because there are “no reports”.
    All of these reasons and more can falsely prosecute the innocent, tie up the court systems, waste tax dollars and bring to public spotlight witnesses whose desires were to always remain anonymous for the safety of their family from lunatics and sympathizers. Unjustly finalized slander suits would be another coffin nail in the ethical protocols of justice, the protection of victims and witnesses rights, and the system of due process. If anyone needs legal protection from the misuse of power it is the people, and NOT the criminals. This all could have been avoided with simple honesty in government that used strict proper protocol. There are no valid reasons to protect the interests of a mass murderer.

    Witness stand anyone?
    I fear no truths, yet I fear an untruthful government.
    Felix Francis Marcus, age 56, eyewitness of Deep Quarry mass murders.

  • deep quarry

    I Felix Francis Marcus, b. NFLD, CANADA 1957, an eyewitness to mass murders performed throughout the late 1970′s at what is now known as Deep Quarry in rural Dupage County IL;

    1) I publicly charge Michael J. Rossi and his friend David F. Cram (deceased) with mass murder from 1976-1979 whereupon I observed them prey upon approximately one dozen victims on a secluded path, kidnap them, murder them and then dispose of their bodies in the small south end lake of the quarry. The victims cars were then driven away by the pair of murderous young thugs. I charge them with attempted murder on my own life at least twice during that time and attempted car theft of my vehicle when they mistakenly had assumed my car belonged to one of their freshly murdered victims.

    2) I further accuse the following men with

    “Obstruction of Justice”,
    “Accessory to a Crime”

    -(tentatively) 1979 Governor James Thompson,
    -(tentatively) Current Sheriff of Dupage County John Zaruba,
    -(tentatively) former 1979 Sheriff of Dupage County Richard Doria,
    -(tentatively) former 1979 Sheriff of Cook County Richard Elrod,

    For the following offenses;

    a) The non-investigation of the mass murders in which they told a limited number of trusted employees and officials that
    “We feel John Wayne Gacy is responsible, we have our man in custody, there is no reason for an investigation”
    (these words are repeated from one of their own officers.)
    b) Telling their employees in secret that it was a high number of young boys who were drowned by John Wayne Gacy, this was a lie, I saw at least one woman, and older men who were victims.
    c) Falsifying death records.
    d) Misleading the public for decades with the contrived and ambiguous statement that “there are no reports” which is true because they intentionally made no public reports.
    e) Cordially inviting and luring the media to John Wayne Gacys home on Summerdale Ave as a media decoy for months on end while Deep Quarry was being quickly and covertly dug out and cleaned up.
    f) Offering no assistance to me whatsoever in my identification of thus far 3 of the 4 thugs at Deep Quarry. (Gacy, Rossi, Cram and the third abductor)
    g) Creating a mystery regarding the fates of the victims at Deep Quarry.
    h) Creating a mystery regarding whether or not any reports or investigation were actually undertaken regarding the mass murders at Deep Quarry.
    i) Ignoring eyewitness accounts for decades regarding John Wayne Gacy’s extensive presence in the Deep Quarry general area.
    j) Ordering that the records be sealed, or else not taken thus assuring themselves as to never be indicted on charges with no recourse for the citizens of this country.
    k) Ordering that the records be sealed , or else not taken thus accidently assuring that no Gacy friends will ever be indicted on charges with no recourse for the citizens of this country.
    l) Ordering that the records be sealed, or else not taken thus accidently assuring that some of the worst mass murderers in history will never be investigated with no recourse for the citizens of this country.
    m) Creating an illegal situation where mass murder charges cannot even be filed.
    n) Telling their employees in secret that the local politicians of Dupage and Cook Counties requested the cover up of for the purposes of avoiding bad publicity.
    o) Misusing their power, misusing their affluence, misusing their perfect political record to maintain secrecy of their illegal cleanup
    3) I further charge one other man, as yet unidentified, but easily identifiable, with assisting Cram and Rossi in the kidnappings on at least one occasion.
    4) I further charge the state of Illinois for misusing their power since 1979 for illegal purposes of political favoritism by protecting the politicians illegal activities in their involvement in the Deep Quarry “no reports” ruse who have had otherwise impeccable careers. The “no reports” words twisted in a multitude of ways.

    Felix Francis Marcus, age 56, Deep Quarry mass murder witness.

  • deep quarry

    ANSWERS TO SNOOPY on shadowreports (the detailed answers to your questions are in my many postings)
    Here are some quick answers.

    1) Why would you go back to that area after witnessing murders.?
    I didn’t know they were murders at that time. I thought I saw drunk people, drug deals, lounging people at lakeside, strange fishing practices, my eyes playing tricks on me, and other things; because there were no police reports in conjunction with those guys being there for several years before and after I let it go. I knew something was wrong at that time but I didn’t know what, so I lightly avoided those guys and that’s about it. I started getting heavily
    suspicious in 2010 when Dupage County would not investigate my Gacy
    encounters at Deep Quarry and the other areas. I finally figured out in July 2012 what happened at Deep Quarry after I read and analyzed Frank Mains article regarding Becker Stephenson’s investigations. The site described in Frank Mains article must have been Deep Quarry. I also remembered that there were rumors of secret cleanups back then. I also found out from one source that there was at least one major secret cleanup back then, I just did not know where. Everything pointed to Deep Quarry.

    2) Did you tell the police right away?
    Yes. I eventually remembered in great detail that about 1980 or 1981 I told a high ranking Cook County deputy in a 67 or 68 dark Blue Eldorado with “ELROD” license plates about Gacys extensive presence in that area. He listened with interest but then dismissed my story. I gave the current police a sketch of this officers face even though I don’t know what good it will do.

    3) How did you know their identities?
    I looked on the internet until I found their pictures. I had an idea who they were from reading Wikipedia.

    4) Why did you feel they wouldn’t harm you?
    I lightly avoided them, that’s all. I did not have a deep rooted fear of any of them. The only deep fear I ever had was when Gacy first chased me on my bicycle. After that I avoided him but it was not a deep fear, just enough to avoid him and his friends. I was there many times on my bicycle, my cars and my dirt bike. I saw those guys there a lot and became accustomed to seeing them. At that time, with no reports ever happening in that area there was no reason to have a deep rooted fear.
    -Felix Francis Marcus, Deep Quarry witness.

  • deep quarry

    BACK TO THE PREDICTIONS OF THE RETIRED OFFICER 42 MONTHS AGO.
    Let’s go back to the police officer mentioned above who predicted the outcome of my 2010 disclosure to the police. This retired police officer also predicted and informed me 42 months ago that the police will tell me one thing and then do another, that they will never tell me anything, and that all they will do is file papers, and do absolutely nothing. At that time, I did not believe this. I did not believe that our government is that underhanded to ignore mass murderers running around, but that was 39 months ago and still I wait. I am starting to think he was right. Time will tell.
    What this officer said, who served in the 1970’s and 1980’s eras, highlights several issues that should seriously concern the public. The mentality of elaborately deceiving the public, and the governments polishing of politicians public images through illegal methods was spoken with such matter-of-factness and nonchalance that it should concern all those who hear these words. Of utmost concern is that the current administrations I am dealing with seem to be completely on board with such unethical trickery. The police have a tough job, no doubt about it, but for the police to listen to the politicians self serving orders is nonsense. Who do these politicians think they are to mandate double standards regarding important matters of the law? These are people who openly and with grand announcements imprison others for the very acts that they themselves commit, which is bamboozling the public for personal gain, in this case political gain and the pursuit of glory. Only the most corrupt of nations allow their government to run amuck, unchallenged, without due process, without accountability to the people, by allowing criminals to remain free while pretending that the highest governmental ethics are in place, when in actuality their ethics and morals are selfishly driven and their lawless actions illegal, while criminals laugh and enjoy the freedom necessary to murder others. Civilized nations do not forsake criminality, especially murder…………especially COLD BLOODED MASS MURDER…………… in exchange for clean political records of the self appointed few and their reign of uncontested filthy power. Illinois appears to be leading a third world charge into the next generation. Could this cover-up happen in current times? I believe the answer is yes, the Deep Quarry continuing cover-up is proof enough that cover-ups will continue because the entire state of Illinois, along with the perhaps unknowing indifference of NY and the federal government are doing nothing, or so it seems, to correct this blind accidental stupidity,……..”absolutely nothing” as predicted by a retired police officer 42 months ago…and counting.
    WITNESS STAND ANYONE, I’m ready when the politicians are.

    Felix Francis Marcus- Deep Quarry mass murder witness

  • deep quarry

    I don’t know to what legal lengths Illinois accidently went to in assisting mass murderers Mr. Rossi and Mr. Cram in their quest to keep a low profile. If our government provided the great actors Mr. Rossi and Mr. Cram with help similar to a witness protection program then they may have had all the lifetime protection they needed.
    Felix Francis Marcus age 56

  • deep quarry

    JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS.

    Subject: The “just following orders” mindset of the public employees who take orders from the politicians of 1979 (and now) regarding the Deep Quarry mass murder cover-up.

    Please explain the justification and the humanity of your mindset of “ just following orders” to God when you get there for lawlessness is next to Godlessness.

    The families of past and future murdered victims of Cram, Rossi and possibly the third abductor are just going to have to deal with your decisions to protect your old bosses interests and the state of Illinois’ interests aren’t they?

    Stuck in the middle between 7 shades of wrong and nowhere to go except down the road of truth, a road you have turned your back on, a road to a just and moral life which you have also turned your back on. You are on a path of self destruction when you choose to protect the wrongs which turns a blind eye to the endangered innocent, the innocent you took an oath to protect.

    Witness stand anyone? I fear no truths.
    Felix Francis Marcus -Deep Quarry mass murder witness

  • deep quarry

    CONSEQUENCES OF ARROGANCE
    IMPEACHMENT RECOMMENDATIONS IN 6 MONTHS UNLESS…
    Deep Quarry’s insurmountable lawless deception; inexcusable when condoned by the highest levels of our government serves no benefit to the free citizens of Illinois; the upper tiers of the criminal law branch of the Illinois government; embarrassingly driven to a new low point of corruptive misadventure deeply beckons for the people to FORCE UPON the government a new era of checks and balances. Unchecked arrogance is dictatorial and a direct contradiction to both the basic and the complex laws of civilized society. In the last 42 months these lawless lawmen have proven that the arrogant tend to deny their own arrogance; it is circular behavior, it is legally protected corruption, it’s dangerous and apparently it cannot be fixed by those currently in power. For the recipients who lost their lives in Deep Quarry at the hands of both Gacy and his associates it is the absolute government insult. I personally move for impeachment should they continue this denial of their misconduct at Deep Quarry, thereby aiding mass murderers in their quest for freedom. They foolishly believe that there is safety in numbers, but in reality they have achieved only stupidity in numbers.
    From our Declaration of Independence;

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    Our government has trampled upon every word of this document and others as well.
    -They have appointed themselves superior in judgment and treat “we the people” as “unequal”.
    -They have “derived their powers” from behind closed doors, unfairly dictating lawlessness to subordinates, orders which are absolutely not “to the consent of the governed”, a condition of which they must be fully aware of, or else they would discuss them with the public.
    -They have become extremely “destructive to these ends”, and in fact outright dangerous.
    -They have become apathetic to “we the people” who put them there in the first place.
    -They have removed all the citizen’s rights “to alter” the system, feigning apathetic public gestures at best.
    -They have become overbearing, omnipotent and arrogantly dangerous to our “safety and happiness”.
    -Quote from the Declaration. “Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury”
    (Despite 42 months of requests they APPEAR TO DO nothing)

    Witness stand anyone? I fear no truths, yet I fear an untruthful government.
    Felix Francis Marcus- witness to mass murders at Deep Quarry.

  • deep quarry

    CONSEQUENCES OF ARROGANCE
    IMPEACHMENT RECOMMENDATIONS IN 6 MONTHS UNLESS… (continued)
    The politicians deserve no civil kinship amongst the citizens as long as they continue to practice treachery against us. Their arrogance alone in the matter of Deep Quarry should suffice as hardship of burden against the honest people of Illinois and beckons for an undignified removal of their command should they continue to choose political favoritism over the citizens they swore to protect. It’s been 34 long filthy years since they pulled this asinine stunt. My personal opinion is that our hopelessly arrogant government believes that the people are powerless and nothing will ever happen. When we look at the recent reports of the new developments regarding Gacy accomplices; NOWHERE does it state that the police are actually doing anything, these developments ALL come from the private sector who will “meet with the police later”. It is my own personal belief that the government is on a mission to find cold case victims only and that any findings will be attributed to Gacy alone. The consequences of their arrogance is yet to come, the people will have their day.
    The government’s 34 year persistent deceptive conceit in the Deep Quarry matter has trampled upon every known major law document of this country with misbehavior that serves no benefit to civilized humanity. We live in a country founded by honesty, dumfounded in dishonesty.
    Their shameful trampling upon society with their Deep Quarry dangerous ruse must be exposed…must be remedied… for the disgraceful mockery that they have made of the entire system. The politicians shameful borrowing and ordering of the Blue Code of Silence is tragic, a code that draws it’s only “parallel of misuse” to the organized crime codes of the ”Mafioso Omerta”. What a shameful misuse of a shameful borrowed code by our politicians.
    Our government has discovered an Eternal Fountain of Filth for their own personal needs ….adding on to it filthy brick by filthy brick, ingloriously steeped in dishonorable tradition …a priceless emergency scapegoat system for bumbling egotists that serves no practical purpose to “We the people”. Our politicians have taken this once great constitutional republic that the just and moral people of the USA have created for them and unconstitutionally trampled upon it with lawless reckless abandon. If our government continues to the protect the mass murderers I WITNESSED at Deep Quarry then impeachment recommendations in 6 months will be justifiable and well deserved.

    Witness stand anyone? I fear no truths, yet I fear an untruthful government.
    Felix Francis Marcus- witness to mass murders at Deep Quarry.

  • deep quarry

    CONSEQUENCES OF ARROGANCE.
    A COWARDICE SOCIETY.

    Take any human, and call them a mass murderer, and watch them fight.

    Take any human, and call them a filthy protector of mass murderers, and watch them fight.

    Where is the fight, the proclamations of justifiable innocence, the inner cries of deep mental wounds?

    Take any mass murderer and call him human, and watch the innocent die.

    What have you criminals in government created that causes such enormous eternal cowardice amongst your peers, who are also your victims as well?

    As for my own disclosures!
    How could I take so long?
    Why would I take so long?
    Because memories beget memories, once remembered never forgotten.
    But mostly, I was duped…we were all duped.

    Witness stand anyone? I fear no truths yet I fear an untruthful government.
    Felix Francis Marcus- eyewitness to Deep Quarry mass murders.

  • deep quarry

    JOHN WAYNE GACY AND ASSOCIATES DUPAGE COUNTY MASS MURDER COVER UP FEDERAL PROBE REQUEST.
    We the undersigned citizens of the United States of America believe in honesty in government and demand to know the truth in regards to the government cover up of the late 1970’s mass murder site at what is now known as Deep Quarry in Dupage County Illinois. Due to decades of stonewalling by high level Illinois officials with conflicts of interest we demand that a federal probe be launched in order to get to the truth as to this heinous mass murder site at the aforementioned quarry that was never properly investigated nor disclosed to the public. We believe that the true perpetrators are still free.

    THE ABOVE PETITION.
    IF NEED BE the public petition shown above will be fine tuned and then eventually mass emailed along with other petitions and a short synopsis of the governmental misadventure of the Deep Quarry continuing saga of Filth and Bullheaded Senseless Denial. Should Mr. Dart, Mr. Zaruba, A. Alvarez and a few others decide to protect the blind accidental stupidity of 1979 which indirectly has protected some of the greatest mass murderers in history I will seek their impeachments through public opinion at the most inopportune time……election time. I will attempt to put “We the people” back onto the frontline of the doctrines of this land displacing the atrocity of our governments backhandedness that has somehow rammed “We the backdoor government” down our throats as the frontline to our basic credo.
    Witness stand anyone?
    Felix Francis Marcus, age 56- eyewitness to Deep Quarry mass murders.

  • deep quarry

    I Felix Francis Marcus, b. NFLD, CANADA 1957, an eyewitness to mass murders performed throughout the late 1970′s at what is now known as Deep Quarry in rural Dupage County IL;

    1) I publicly charge Michael J. Rossi and his friend David F. Cram (deceased) with mass murder from 1976-1979 whereupon I observed them prey upon approximately one dozen victims on a secluded path, kidnap them, murder them and then dispose of their bodies in the small south end lake of the quarry. The victims cars were then driven away by the pair of murderous young thugs. I charge them with attempted murder on my own life at least twice during that time and attempted car theft of my vehicle when they mistakenly had assumed my car belonged to one of their freshly murdered victims.

    2) I further accuse the following men with

    “Obstruction of Justice”,
    “Accessory to a Crime”

    -(tentatively) 1979 Governor James Thompson,
    -(tentatively) Current Sheriff of Dupage County John Zaruba,
    -(tentatively) former 1979 Sheriff of Dupage County Richard Doria,
    -(tentatively) former 1979 Sheriff of Cook County Richard Elrod,

    For the following offenses;

    a) The non-investigation of the mass murders in which they told a limited number of trusted employees and officials that
    “We feel John Wayne Gacy is responsible, we have our man in custody, there is no reason for an investigation”
    (these words are repeated from one of their own officers.)
    b) Telling their employees in secret that it was a high number of young boys who were drowned by John Wayne Gacy, this was a lie, I saw at least one woman, and older men who were victims.
    c) Falsifying death records.
    d) Misleading the public for decades with the contrived and ambiguous statement that “there are no reports” which is true because they intentionally made no public reports.
    e) Cordially inviting and luring the media to John Wayne Gacys home on Summerdale Ave as a media decoy for months on end while Deep Quarry was being quickly and covertly dug out and cleaned up.
    f) Offering no assistance to me whatsoever in my identification of thus far 3 of the 4 thugs at Deep Quarry. (Gacy, Rossi, Cram and the third abductor)
    g) Creating a mystery regarding the fates of the victims at Deep Quarry.
    h) Creating a mystery regarding whether or not any reports or investigation were actually undertaken regarding the mass murders at Deep Quarry.
    i) Ignoring eyewitness accounts for decades regarding John Wayne Gacy’s extensive presence in the Deep Quarry general area.
    j) Ordering that the records be sealed, or else not taken thus assuring themselves as to never be indicted on charges with no recourse for the citizens of this country.
    k) Ordering that the records be sealed , or else not taken thus accidently assuring that no Gacy friends will ever be indicted on charges with no recourse for the citizens of this country.
    l) Ordering that the records be sealed, or else not taken thus accidently assuring that some of the worst mass murderers in history will never be investigated with no recourse for the citizens of this country.
    m) Creating an illegal situation where mass murder charges cannot even be filed.
    n) Telling their employees in secret that the local politicians of Dupage and Cook Counties requested the cover up of for the purposes of avoiding bad publicity.
    o) Misusing their power, misusing their affluence, misusing their perfect political record to maintain secrecy of their illegal cleanup
    3) I further charge one other man, as yet unidentified, but easily identifiable, with assisting Cram and Rossi in the kidnappings on at least one occasion.
    4) I further charge the state of Illinois for misusing their power since 1979 for illegal purposes of political favoritism by protecting the politicians illegal activities in their involvement in the Deep Quarry “no reports” ruse who have had otherwise impeccable careers. The “no reports” words twisted in a multitude of ways.

    Felix Francis Marcus, age 56, Deep Quarry mass murder witness.

  • deep quarry