Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper by Ancestryprint logo
The Courier from Waterloo, Iowa • Page 1
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

The Courier from Waterloo, Iowa • Page 1

The Courieri
Waterloo, Iowa
Issue Date:

Sunday 66 pages 8 sections December 24, 1978, Waterloo, Iowa 50 cents uVJ" i Piytlhoraes hunt more bodies Sin sicy homo WISCONSII VES PLAINES. 111. (AP)-In-vestigators Saturday continued dismantling the home of a former Waterloo resident here, searching for the remains of young boys buried beneath and around the of John Wayne Gacy Jr. And police said it may be as long as a week before the site, about two miles east of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, is completely searched for bodies. Milwaukee Bodies Discovered Des Plaints 4 Chicago -i Gacy, 36, twice divorced and living alone, was convicted in Black Hawk County District Court of sodomy in May 1968. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison South Bend INDIANA 5r On Friday, Kozenczak said at a bond hearing that Gacy admitted On Thursday that he had killed Piest. Kozenczak said personal effects, including identification and wallets, belonging to two missing youths were found in the house. He identified the youths as John Szyc, about 21, a former Des Plaines resident who disappeared in January 1977. and Gregory Godzik, 17. of Chicago's North Side who has been missing since Dec. 12, 1976. Police said they also found rubber sexual devices, chains and mirrors in Gacy's garage. Kozenczak said the garage was built over a filled-in swimming pool, and police fear that other bodies may be buried there. Sheriff's Police Cliief Edmund Dobbs, who is directing the search, said the entire house would be dismantled if necessary. THE TRIBUNE reported that a sheriff's investigator, who requested his name be withheld, said Gacy, who sometimes performed as a clown for children at parties and benefits, told police he strangled some of his victims. "Using his experience as a clown, he would say, 'Let me show you this such as how to get out of handcuffs," the newspaper quoted the investigator as saying. "Then he would say, 'Now let me show you this and get behind his victim and strangle him with a rope." The newspaper said investigators reported that Gacy told police 16 bodies could be found buried in the crawl space beneath his home and more could be found in other locations. Efforts to confirm the newspaper report were unsuccessful Saturday. (V xy mil was paroiea in i I Officials Mi(1 I remains of two ILLINOIS Bloomington 33 John Gacy Jr. This map locates the Chicago suburb where John Gacy's home is located. Pictures of Gacy house, search for bodies: Page 10 Fund drives lagging West 1 found Friday, one of them buried in a 4-foot crawl space under Gacy's one-story house and the other under a garage behind the house. On Saturday, at least three more bodies were found in the crawl space, and investigators said they expected more would be uncovered. bones were those of young people, but their gender couldn't immediately be determined. Lt. Joseph Kozenczak, head of the Des Plaines Police Department's criminal investigations unit, estimated that the remains of at least five persons were In the crawl space. The Chicago Tribune has reported that it learned from investigators that Gacy, a convicted sex offender, had given police statements that might lead them to as many as 30 more bodies, 16 of them around the home. Gacy was charged Friday with the murder of Robert J. Piest. IS. a Des Plaines youth reported missing since Dec. 11. POLICE SAID Gacy was placed under surveillance after Piest's mother filed a missing person's report and indicated her son may have been with Gacy around the time he disappeared. Charities feeling pinch of inflation Gacy recalled as 'hard worker, recognition seeker in Waterloo Christmas, and there appears to be." These and other fund-raising officials say contributions for all of 1978 likely will exceed the $35.2 billion that the national fund-raisers' association said was given to churches, hospitals, eductional and social welfare programs and the like in 1977. Still the slowdown this Christmas worries some. The lung association's Wahl says donations for Christmas Seals could fall as much as 1.5 percent below last year's $35.8 million, which constitutes most of the New York-based association's budget. The shortfall plus inflation could add up to a 10 percent cut in the program if other campaigns, such as door-to-door solicitations, don't supply additional money. Salmon points out that his organization is committed to delivering 6.500 Christmas packages. 600 in-home Christmas Day meals and several dozen dinner parties for the elderly in Chicago. So far, however, the group has received but $310,000 of the $400,000 it needs to cover the cost, despite an extensive mail campaign and free public service announcements on radio and TV. "WE ALWAYS hope that we'll make out somehow," he said of the 19-year-old organization. "So far we always have." The Salvation Army's collection problems, say spokesmen on both coasts, are' exacerbated by a non-economic issue. Recent court rulings have forced shopping centers to open their gates to all solicitors or none, and an increasing number have opted for none. "Rather than allow a traditional group that has been collecting money for 90-some years in. they cut us all out," said Maj. Ernest Clevctt in Los Angeles. "We're 8 to 10 percent behind in kettle collections." he said, which translates into about $45,000 for Southern California. In Washington, collections are down about percent, Slusher said. "We operate by he said. "We trust that the money will come. Maybe not now. But somehow it will come." WASHINGTON (AP) The sale of Christmas Seals is slow. On both coasts, Salvation Army 'bell ringers find fewer coins in their kettles. A Chicago group that serves Christmas turkey to the elderly is well below its goal. Christmas charity, fund-raisers say, appears to be a victim of inflation. "Inflation and the economic crunch affect everybody," said Maj. Eugene Slusher, who directs Salvation Army com-'inuruty services in the Washington area. "I don't blame people for taking care of their families first before they give anything away." MICHAEL Salmon of the Chicago-based Little Brothers of the Poor said, "The dollar is going down. The market is going down. People are more careful about their money." For those who direct charities, a reduced response to pleas for Christmas donations translates into lower aid to America's needy at a time when they, too, are feeling the pinch of a 9-plus percent inflation rate. "We're not like a commercial firm that can pass costs on to the consumer," said fund-raiser Peter Wahl of the American Lung Association, which sponsors the annual Christmas Seal drive. "Higher prices and lower donations mean we have to cut back in staff, and that means we cut back in service." Not all charitable groups report problems this holiday season. For example. the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve "Toys for Tots" program, the U.S. Committee for UNICEF and Volunteers of America said donations were up, though all added that the requests for assistance were greater, too. A mixed report came from Boys Town hear Omaha, where Christmas contribu- tions are down $300,000 from last year's $2.5 million mail-solicitation total. "WE HAD a fall appeal for the first time this year," said Boys Town development director William E. Ramsey. "We thought there would be some decline at those from the Jaycees who knew him were surprised "and more than a little embarrassed," according to one former acquaintance. With the exception of Hill and Pottinger and a handful of others, they wrote Gacy off when District Judge Peter Van Metre sentenced him in December of 1968 to 10 years in prison. EIGHTEEN months later. Gacy was paroled. David Dutton, a Waterloo attorney and the assistant Black Hawk County Attorney who had prosecuted Gacy, was Incensed when he learned of the parole. "I thought he was a dangerous person, and I didn't think he should be out that soon," Dutton said. Dutton admitted he hadn't expected Gacy to be rehabilitated during his prison stay, even if it had lasted the full 10 years, "but with alternatives available at that time, it seemed the most effective one available." The former prosecutor said he didn't blame the state parole board for Gacy's subsequent, violent actions, since they had no way of knowing how the convicted sex offender would develop. "The parole board can be right nine times and wrong one." he said. "The one time they're wrong, everybody's ringing their bell, forgetting the nine times they were right." WHEN GACY was released in the summer of 1970, Charlie Hill was waiting for him. Hill found a different man than the one he had seen walk into prison 18 months before. "He seemed like a beaten man. this John Gacy who had had such enthusiasm for life." Hill said. At the time of his sentencing. Gacy's defense lawyer, C. A. Frerichs. argued that sending him to prison could make Gacy worse when he came out than when he came in. Judge Van Metre said he didn't believe Gacy's prison stay had made him a worse person or a better one. "I don't think jails or prisons rehabilitate anyone." Van Metre said. "They just keep people from committing crimes." Former prosecutor Dutton agreed that Gacy's 18-month prison stay probably wasn't responsible for producing the type of person that could do what Illinois authorities say Gacy did. "A prison may not change people, but simply allow certain tendencies to surface more," he said. GACY'S former friends and acquaintances said they were shocked when they heard the news of his arrest in Illinois last week. Pottinger, who said he had seen Gacy on occasion in Chicago since his release from prison, said he "thought John was a little spacey sometimes, but I figured that was just the pressure he may have been under." Holbach said he "just couldn't believe it. You always figure, 'How the hell could that have happened with somebody you "We can be smart now, because we all know what happened." said Dutton. "But nobody could really have known. Am I surprised? Not much surprises me any more." By MIKE KELLY Courier Staff Writer John Wayne Gacy Jr. was a tireless worker in both business and civic affairs during his days in Waterloo, but he also had an insatiable desire for recognition of his achievements by others. This is the picture that emerges of the 36-year-old former fast-food restaurant manager suspected of sexually molesting and murdering as many as 32 young boys In suburban Chicago over the last four years. During Gacy's stay in Waterloo in the mid to late 1960s, his two closest friends were Charlie Hill and Steve Pottinger. Hill, who was manager of the Ramada Inn and met Gacy through the Waterloo Jaycees, now runs a motel in Marshalltown. HE REMEMBERS Gacy well. "He was a real go-getter," Hill said. did a good Job and was an excellent faycee." Gacy was active in numerous local Jaycee projects, and was named outstanding vice president In 1967. The same year he was chaplain of the local Jaycee chapter, serving as general chairman of Jht group's first city-wide prayer breakfast. 1 That also was the year he committed a exual act with a teen-age boy here, which led to a plea of guilty to a charge of aodomy. 1 Even while the charge xas pending gainst him, Gacy was running for the presidency of the local Jaycees. "And if that sodomy thing hadn't come up then, he probably would have nailed 'down the election," said Pottinger. now an auto salesman in Des Moines. POTTINGER said Gacy had "a hell of a 'big man' complex," and this turned some fellow Jaycees, as well as others in the community, against him. But even those who didn't particularly care for Gacy respected him, Pottinger added. "John worked his brains out, working for his father-in-law at those chicken places from early in the morning until 10 or 11 at night." he said. After rumors of Gacy's homosexual leanings began circulating locally, even prior to the filing of the 1967 sex charges, those who formerly had tolerated Gacy and his boastful manner began avoiding him, according to Pottinger. Jerry Holbach, another fellow Jaycee from the late 1960s, described Gacy is "gregarious, hard-working and quite concerned with getting the proper recognition." HOLBACH said he never considered Gacy a friend, and couldn't think of too many others who did. "He wasn't a guy you could say had a lot of friends." Holbach said. "He worked so hard to ingratiate himself, and tried so hard to be everybody's friend, but I can't say that he really had many." Gacy, who liked to call himself "Col. John Gacy." would often bring chicken from one of hit father-in-law's restaurants to Jaycees as they worked on projects far into the night. Holbach said, "but even that would wear on you eventually." When Gacy was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to sodomy in 1961. Snag holds up arms pact Inside A Waterloo man spends his "vacation" helping construct buildings in an impoverished country. Page 9. Weather Chance of snow Christmas Day. Complete weather page 2. Today's Quick Comment THE White House press center was flooded last week with Christmas cards sent to Washington reporters in care of the White House. The cards bore the printed sign-off. "Betty and Jerry Ford." We suppose former President rMd R. Fo'd Jtist warn to in with tilt- I -'A i hi' an; thn la do with Ford's views toward the 1980 presidential election could they? Friday evening. American sources had said that a tentative deal had been struck and that Vance and Gromyko would announce it Saturday at noon. State Department spokesman Hodding Carter said at the time, "We are close to the end of the road." Vance, looking grim and pale, emerged from the Soviet headquarters here Saturday morning and said little progress had been made, making an afternoon session necessary. VANCE HAD been scheduled to fly to Brussels Saturday afternoon to speak with Egyptian and Israeli officials in an effort to get Mideast peace talks started agaia Those meetings were postponed, diplomatic sources said. American officials gave no details about the morning bargaining session, but one indicated was the Soviets, and not the Americans, who had reopened at least one substantive issue. "We didn't change signals." he said when asked which side was responsible for the delay. Friday night and again Saturday. S. officials here said privately that tentative agreement had been reached on a new treaty. But the White House had cautioned that several difficult Issues still had to be settled. The officials, who asked not to be identified, defined tentative as meaning Soviet negotiators had to consult Friday night with Kremlin leaders about compromises reached and reserved (he right to reopen those issues when talks resumed Saturday. Diplomatic sources in Brussels said Vance was expected to arrive there at I pin Saturday (4 EST). reached agreement on most of the questions on which disagreement had existed We agreed in principle on a meeting of the heads of the two states. The question of timing is to be a subject for careful consideration by both sides." Asked how he would describe the issues left, Gromyko are important. Some are not. They must be resolved before there can be a summit." He expressed his satisfaction that both sides are fully determined to complete their work within the shortest possible time." The outcome of the talks was less than Vance had hoped for when he flew to Geneva and said he wanted to reach a basis for signing an agreement at a summit meeting between Presidents Carter and Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev next month. GENEVA. Switzerland (AP) -America and the Soviet Union broke up their negotiations on strategic arms Saturday night without reaching agreement on a treaty or a summit meeting to sign the pact. The failure to reach an accord was caused by an unexpected snag that apparently developed Saturday morning after the two sides had nearly completed their work Friday night. But both Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko said they still hoped to complete a new SALT agreement "In the nearest possible future" after emerging from their talks. The two men gave no details of the disagreements which still stand in the way of a treaty. IN A JOINT statement, the two negotiators said they had "essentially Capitol quips There's one thing we know for sure about the feminists' Santa Claus. That's a phony beard she'i wearing.

Clipped articles people have found on this page


Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Courier
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About The Courier Archive

Pages Available:
Years Available: