What Really Happened To John Wayne Gacy's Brain After His Death

As morbid as it may be, it is something of human nature to have a sort of fascination with serial killers. After all, the acts they commit are so heinous that they are incomprehensible to the average person. So it makes sense that so many of us wish we could peer inside the brain of a serial killer to see if there is some kind of anomaly or injury that ordinary people do not possess, which drives them to commit the terrible crimes they commit. As it turns out, while wanting to get inside the mind of a serial killer may just be a dark curiosity for some, for Dr. Helen Morrison, it is an actual reality. The Chicago-based psychiatrist is currently in possession of the preserved brain of one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th century, John Wayne Gacy.

Like many of us, Dr. Morrison, who spent about 50 hours with Gacy at Cermak Hospital before his trial, wanted to see if there was perhaps a physical reason that could help explain what drove Gacy to brutally murder 33 boys and young men in cold blood, according to the Chicago Tribune. So following the trial, in which she testified for the defense that he was mentally ill and legally insane, and Gacy's subsequent execution, Morrison obtained permission from Gacy's living relatives to remove his brain for research.

Gacy's brain remains preserved in the basement of Dr. Morrison's Chicago home

During John Wayne Gacy's autopsy, his brain was removed and given to Dr. Morrison, and it has remained in her home ever since. Although she is in possession of both the brain and preserved slices of all of Gacy's internal organs, Dr. Morrison remains tight-lipped about the exact location, except to say that it is in "the safest place it can be" in her basement. "We have it in our home in an area in the basement that is secure and not accessible," she explained to the Chicago Tribune. Although morbid curiosity has driven people, including reporters, to ask to see the brain over the years, Morrison has largely refused.

However, the brain has been studied by researchers, who asked not to be identified. While one might hope that access to Gacy's brain would prove to be illuminating, the studies conducted on the organ showed no signs of abnormalities that could possibly help explain Gacy's abhorrent behavior. "They basically told us that there's actually nothing abnormal, so no tumor, no growth, no sign of any injury. The ventricles are fine; no sign of hydrocephalus," Morrison said.