[Mostly Menard, IL; ca 1989-93]. Vachula, a Chicago freelance journalist, penned his article "The Gacy Connection" for Chicago Magazine's July, 1989 issue. The article presented convincing (but ultimately inconclusive) evidence that John Wayne Gacy's career as a serial killer may have extended as far back as 1955, when he was just thirteen years old, and that he may have been responsible for the unsolved deaths of three teenage Chicago neighbors that year. Vachula's correspondence with Gacy deals primarily with Gacy's early years in Chicago; his friendships with other neighborhood boys, landmarks, and events, in an attempt to establish some chain of association between Gacy and the three slain boys. Gacy is by turns cooperative, rambling, belligerent, self-serving and self-aggrandizing, often demanding compensation for his efforts. But in general he proves surprisingly open about his past and his "accomplishments," and in aggregate the letters contain a tremendous amount of biographical background on one of America's most notorious serial killers. The letters were quoted at length in Vachula's article, but have never been published in full.
In addition to the letters from Gacy, the archive contains a number of significant related documents, including advertising flyers for Gacy's prison-produced clown paintings; letters to other Gacy correspondents (collected by Vachula); press releases, photocopied documents produced by Gacy to be included in his correspondence, etc. A total of 49 items, providing a chilling record of a notorious criminal career.
PROVENANCE: Through the trade, from the collection of Richard Vachula. Archive of 18 substantial typed, signed letters with excellent content, together with 5 other related signed documents; 15 unsigned documents generated by Mr. Gacy, and approximately 10 further related items, all assembled by journalist Richard Vachula, most in the course of writing a 1989 article for Chicago Magazine on Gacy's infamous career as a serial-killer. Letters generally 2 to 5 typed pages in length (a few shorter), signed either "John" or "J.W.," most with return envelopes bearing Gacy's prisoner number. The archive housed in protective sleeves in a three-ring binder. Condition generally fine.