Where Is Carole Hoff, Who Was Married To John Wayne Gacy During His Murder Spree?

It's difficult to imagine that some of the monsters that walk among us have seemingly normal lives from the outside looking in. While some serial killers are transient and loners, others have established careers and families.

When Chicago police arrested John Wayne Gacy in December 1978, it shocked neighbors and community members. Gacy was an established contractor in the area, was active in several civic organizations, and had a bit of a foothold in local Democratic Party politics. The news that this trusted citizen had sexually assaulted, tortured, and murdered at least 33 young men and boys over a seven-year period made national headlines, perhaps surprising some that a "normal" neighbor could be harboring so many dark secrets.

Though single at the time of his arrest, Gacy had been married twice before. His first wife, Marylynn Myers, quickly divorced him after he went to prison in Iowa in 1968 for sexually assaulting two teenage boys. The union had produced a son and a daughter, neither of which ever saw Gacy again (via Newsweek). Little is known of Gacy's first wife or his children, as they have understandably chosen to not seek attention and have stayed out of the spotlight.

Gacy was released from prison 18 months into his 10-year sentence, moving back to his native Chicago to stay with his mother in 1970 (via The New York Times). Gacy would soon launch his remodeling business from here, and it wasn't long until he began dating the woman who would later marry him.

Hoff was bothered by the smells from the crawlspace

Carol Hoff was a friend of Gacy's sister. Per "Conversations With A Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes" (via Newsweek) Hoff and Gacy had known each other since they were in high school, and had even gone out on a date when they were teenagers. In 1971, the two became reacquainted and a romance began brewing. By then, Hoff had two children from a previous relationship. In 1972, Gacy and Hoff married.

What Hoff and her children didn't know at the time was that the new man in their lives was a ruthless killer. In the time that Gacy and Hoff were together, he managed to kill at least three people. Timothy McCoy, John Butkovich, and an unidentified teenage boy were later discovered to have been Gacy's victims, each one murdered while Hoff and Gacy were making a home together. 

Hoff began to grow tired of how much time Gacy was spending away from their marriage, becoming critical of the late nights out and all the free time he spent in the garage. Their sex life dried up almost entirely. She soon discovered that her husband had hidden away gay pornography, stashed with several wallets belonging to young men. There was also the stench from the crawlspace that wouldn't go away.

The combination of his growing absence and the couple's dysfunctional sex life led to a divorce in early 1976, paving the way for Gacy to have an easier time luring in and killing 30 additional victims.

Hoff has given several interviews over the years about her killer ex-husband

Hoff has been reluctant to give many details about her personal life after divorcing the Killer Clown, but unlike Myers, Hoff has gone on camera to discuss her marriage and divorce from him, appearing in at least four documentaries and TV series about him (via IMDb).

In those interviews, Hoff recalls the rotting smell that seems to come from underneath the house. She acknowledges that she and her daughters were smelling the decaying flesh of at least one of Gacy's many victims. Hoff even had the later revelation that Gacy most likely killed at least one victim in the home that they shared.

Spike TV reports that Hoff stated in some of those interviews that she grew to fear Gacy's growing temper. She accused him of throwing furniture when he was enraged, even breaking some of Hoff's belongings. The final straw was an incident involving their checkbook. After losing his temper over a financial disagreement, Gacy physically attacked Hoff, prompting her to move out of the home with her daughters.

Aside from the occasional interview, Hoff has kept away from the media, and she and her daughters whereabouts are unknown.