The Truth About John Wayne Gacy's Ex-Wives

John Wayne Gacy was in his late 30s when his horrific crimes — which included the capture, sexual assault, torture and murder of 33 young male victims before his eventual capture, per Britannica, — came to light in 1978. Gacy had by that time already had married twice, and had two children, his periods of typical family life strikingly at odds with the grim and brutal crimes that eventually shocked the world.

Gacy met his first wife, Marlynn Myers (pictured above), in 1964, while the two were co-workers at the Nunn-Bush Shoe Company in Springfield, Illinois. Soon engaged, Myers would then become Gacy's entry point into middle management for the next few years, as her father had recently bought three Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in Waterloo, Iowa. The pair moved, and Gacy began training as manager, according to the book by his future defense lawyer Sam L. Amirante, John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster.

Myers gave birth to Gacy's son and daughter, born in 1966 and 1967 respectively. Things were about to come crashing down around her, however, when in 1968 Gacy was convicted of sodomy after encouraging a teenage employee to perform sex acts on him, and sentenced to 10 years in prison. According to Robert J. Debry Associates, the revelations led to Myers filing for divorce. Gacy would remain estranged from his first wife and his two biological children for the rest of his life.

John Wayne Gacy's second marriage

Thanks to developing a reputation as a "model inmate," Gacy ended up serving just 18 months of his 10 year sentence, according to Crime+Investigation UK, and was released on parole in June 1970. Two years later, Gacy was already remarried — this time to a woman called Carole Hoff (pictured above with Gacy), a resident of Illinois he had met after moving to live near his mother in the suburbs of Chicago to fulfill the conditions of his parole.

"He swept me off my feet," Hoff, a divorced mother of two, told the New York Times around the time of Gacy's murder trial. However, as reported in the same article, "Then one time, she said, she found several wallets apparently belonging to teen‐age boys in his car. He exploded in anger." Hoff claimed that Gacy would become violent and break furniture. Hoff and Gacy divorced in 1976, by which time Gacy had already claimed the lives of many of his victims.

"I think now, if there were murders, some must have taken place when I was in that house," she told the New York Times.

According to NBC News, the six-part documentary series John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise premieres March 25 on Peacock. (The trailer is posted on Youtube.)