John Wayne Gacy Once Hired A Satanic Cult Leader As A Handyman

It's probably safe to assume that serial killers don't surround themselves with very wholesome people. For a time though, convicted murderer John Wayne Gacy carried on like anyone else in his quiet Illinois neighborhood and was actually quite adored by most members of his community. According to Biography, Gacy would often host barbecues in his back yard for large groups of his neighbors and gave little indication at all that he was secretly a serial killer behind the scenes. However, after his arrest in 1978, police discovered 29 bodies buried beneath his house/across his property, and four more were exhumed from the Des Plaines River near Chicago. 

Biography reports that Gacy would often dress like a clown while subjecting his victims (most often teenage boys) to demented acts of torture, sexual assault, and strangulation, and though he initially confessed to the crimes, he recanted that confession and maintained his innocence up until his final breath on May 10, 1994, when he died in prison via state-sanctioned lethal injection. Gacy would often accuse others of his crimes, but that never had credence. However, according to Investigation Discovery, one name associated with Gacy actually made investigators take a second look at the murders that they initially believed were perpetrated by him and him alone. 

Robin Gecht, the Chicago Ripper

For a time, John Wayne Gacy (above) made a living running his own construction company, which became the channel through which he'd often get close to his victims. According to Biography, he'd offer young men jobs, only to drug and overpower them once he had them alone in his house. Investigation Discovery reports that at one point, Robin Gecht came to work for Gacy as a handyman. It's hard to say whether the team-up was intentional or not. It would make sense if it were, because Gecht, like his employer, was also a violent criminal. 

According to CBS News, the infamous "Chicago Ripper Crew," a satanic cult that terrorized the greater Chicago area throughout the early 1980s, consisted of four men: Thomas Kokoraleis, Andrew Kokoraleis, Edward Spreitzer, and Robin Gecht. The group would often lurk around at night looking for unsuspecting young women to abduct right off the street. They would then rape, mutilate, murder, and cannibalize their victims. They'd also perform satanic rituals with dismembered parts of the bodies. While Gecht was one of the individuals Gacy later tried to pin the blame on for his murders, investigators were never able to exhume any credible evidence to substantiate the allegations (per Investigation Discovery). 

What happened to Gecht and the Chicago Rippers?

"Robin Gecht, the leader of the four-man crew, was said to make Charles 'Manson look like a Boy Scout,' and he may have been an apprentice of John Wayne Gacy," Windy City Ghosts shared. The truth of whether or not Gacy ever had any influence over Gecht's later crimes remains a mystery, but between 1981 and 1982, the Chicago Ripper Crew would kill 11 different people (10 women and one man) in a ghastly display of malicious torture. Gecht reportedly installed a satanic chapel in the upper portion of his house where the group would enact their demented rituals with the severed body parts of their victims. Gecht actually shared the house with his wife and children (via Windy City Ghosts). 

In late 1982, all four members of the Chicago Ripper Crew were arrested. According to the Chicago Tribune, Robin Gecht did not confess to murder, but was found guilty of the rape and mutilation of an 18-year-old sex worker who somehow survived the assault. He was sentenced to 120 years in prison, where he remains. Andrew Kokoraleis and Edward Spreitzer were given the death penalty. Andrew Kokoraleis died in prison via lethal injection in 1999. Edward Spreitzer's sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2003. He remains incarcerated to this day. Thomas Kokoraleis (above) was released from prison in 2019 (per CBS News) and moved into a spiritually-based residence for ex-prisoners (per another article from the Chicago Tribune). Gecht is eligible for parole in 2042. If he lives that long, he'll be 89 years old.