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To Catch a Killer (1992)

TV Movie  |  Unrated  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  15 May 1992 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,440 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 3 critic

"To Catch a Killer" tells the true gruesome story of John Wayne Gacy - a good friend and helpful neighbour, a great child entertainer, a respectful businessman, and a violent serial killer ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Joe Kozenczak
...
Rachel Grayson
...
Attorney Carlson
Martin Julien ...
Koslo
...
Paxton
David Eisner ...
Williams
John Boylan ...
Atkins
Tony De Santis ...
DeMarco (as Tony DeSantis)
...
King
Gary Reineke ...
Petrie
Tim Progosh ...
Morris
Danny Pawlick ...
Santori
...
Bragg
Brenda Bazinet ...
Alice Pearson
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Storyline

"To Catch a Killer" tells the true gruesome story of John Wayne Gacy - a good friend and helpful neighbour, a great child entertainer, a respectful businessman, and a violent serial killer who raped and murdered over 30 young boys. Written by Jaromir Krol <jaromirk@kr.onet.pl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

15 May 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jagt den Killer  »

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(video) | (video) | (video)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Brian Dennehy, John Wayne Gacy wrote him a letter in protest of the film and to proclaim his innocence. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the detective is confronting Gacy, the first time while Gacy has his back to the bar, you can see the mike and boom at least on three different cuts. See more »

Connections

Version of Gacy (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
To Catch A Killer
11 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As the IMDb says, this is a true story, but gruesome does not begin to describe it. John Wayne Gacy - the killer clown - was responsible for the deaths of over thirty young men and boys, most of whom were buried under his house at 8213 West Summerdale Avenue, which like not a few other houses of horror, was later demolished. "To Catch A Killer" was released while Gacy was still under sentence of death; he was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994. The film does not cover his trial but focuses on the investigation into the disappearance of his last victim, Rob Piest, who herein is called Chris Gant, presumably to protect the family.

The name of the detective who brought Gacy to book is not so disguised, but there is one criticism that can be made of the film in that it panders to the usual film-flam of psychics. Herein, Detective Kozenczak consults a psychic, who gives him in retrospect startlingly accurate information about both the crimes of Gacy and his own personal health. In reality, he did consult a psychic, and as might be expected she provided no meaningful information at all. Kozenczak's unwarranted faith in psychics is a little surprising because in reality he was the one who exhibited not psychic powers but the classic policeman's hunch, in this case that there was something not quite right about Gacy, who had been seen talking to the teenager shortly before he disappeared, never to be seen alive again.

The role of Gacy was alloted to Brian Dennehy, who is no stranger to sinister roles, and here he plays the Jekyll & Hyde Gacy to a tee. We see Kozenczak and his team applying psychological pressure to Gacy that in the end leads to him cracking up partly under the strain and perhaps because what little conscience the man had, finally caught up with him.

This is not a film for thrill seekers but a semi-documentary that apart from the psychic non-incident adheres closely to the facts of the case. This and its length meant it was never likely to win any awards, but this was a film that was clearly made as an historical document rather than for either plaudits or profit.


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