To Catch a Killer (TV Movie 1992) - Plot Summary Poster

(1992 TV Movie)

Plot Summary

  • "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>
  • One night at a pharmacy in Des Plaines, IL, a 15-year-old named Chris Gant mysteriously disappears after being seen talking with a heavy-set contractor named John Wayne Gacy (Dennehy). The boy's parents immediately call in the Des Plaines police, led by Lt. Joe Kozenczak (Riley) who investigates Gacy's background to find out that the contractor had a history of assaulting young men. A search warrant is obtained and evidence from the Gacy house reveals the contractor's ties to several missing boys. Gacy is put under surveillance but strikes back with a lawsuit. Eventually a second warrant is obtained, and something more frightening is found - there are bodies buried all over the property! Gacy is charged with 33 counts of first-degree murder. This is the true story of how the worst mass murderer in the history of the United States was eventually brought to justice, and how the methods used to apprehend him became the model for law enforcement across the country in detecting & apprehending mass murderers.

    - Written by Derek O'Cain
  • It is December of 1978, and 15-year old Chris Gant disappears after being observed talking to a contractor about a potential new job. He would never be seen alive again. The man he was talking to was John Wayne Gacy - the worst mass murderer in the history of the United States. Chris's family immediately report him missing to the Des Plaines, IL, Police, and Lt. Joseph Kozenczak starts looking for the missing boy right away. Looking into Gacy's past, they discover he has a history of assaults on young men & boys, and this enables them to get a warrant to search his house. They find several items that belong to other missing people, along with a photo stub that was in the parka Chris was wearing the night he disappeared! Gacy is put under 24-hour surveillance by the police but swiftly reacts by trying to have his lawyer file a lawsuit to shut down the investigation. With time running out, Kozenczak interviews Gacy's old roommate Ted Koslo, who reveals a frightening secret - that Gacy was making him dig holes under the house, supposedly for drainage tiles. In addition, after being invited into the house, a policeman notices a bad smell in the immaculately-kept home - the smell of decomposing bodies! Gacy is later arrested on a drug charge and a second search warrant is obtained. When Kozenczak and his officers re-enter Gacy's house, the house is filled with the odor of death, and within minutes, an officer makes a horrifying discovery; there are bodies in the crawlspace under the house. A long excavation & recovery process begins which reveals 25 bodies in the crawlspace, and 4 others found in various locations on the property. In addition, 4 more bodies are found off the property, dumped in the Des Plaines river. This is the story of how a small-town police department put an end to the career of the worst mass-murderer in U.S. history, and of the detective whose tactics became adopted around the country in the detection & arrest of serial murderers.

    - Written by Derek O'Cain


At the Wabash Ave. Police precinct in Chicago, a man, Marko Miklovich, reports his 19-year old son missing...

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