Boys Enter the House: The Victims of John Wayne Gacy and the Lives They Left Behind by David B. Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is part of an encouraging new trend to take the spotlight off serial killers and their histories and instead feature the identities and lives of their victims. Books like The Five by Hallie Rubenhold, who retells researched details of the lives of the victims of Jack the Ripper, documentaries like “Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer”, which features Bundy survivors, both stranger victims and his long-time girlfriend, in actual interviews.
Boys Enter the House starts out with a Norman Rockwell-esque tone painting portraits of Americana that set the scene for the lives of Gacy’s victims before drilling deeper into the more gritty reality of life in “Uptown” Chicago in the 60’s and 70’s that sent many young men into hustling to make money, which led them to the dangerous world of “chickens” and “hawks”: young male hustlers and their middle-aged, often violent, johns.
Details of their family lives, friendships, as well as those of their loved ones, who survived them and searched tirelessly for them with no answers until, at the end of the book, enter the villain, finally, who we already know more about than we ever should have in the first place.