This article contains discussion surrounding the real-life crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy, including pedophilia and murder.

Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story details the life and crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer, but it also features another one of history’s most prolific serial killers: John Wayne Gacy. Known as the Killer Clown, Gacy was convicted of sexually assaulting and killing 33 boys and young men in Chicago, Illinois, throughout the 1970s. When he wasn’t on the prowl, he was known for donning an alternate persona — Pogo the Clown — and volunteering in children’s hospitals. The Monster John Wayne Gacy appearance shocked viewers and caused major questions, as it was supposed to be exclusively about Dahmer.


Though Jeffrey Dahmer denied any comparison between them, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer had a fair bit in common. Gacy and Dahmer targeted young men, preferred strangulation as a killing method, hid remains within their own homes, and used drugs to aid them in their crimes. Despite the John Wayne Gacy Dahmer connection, the pair never met — they both operated out of different cities, and Gacy was arrested in 1978, the year Dahmer committed his first murder. In Dahmer’s mind, there was one key difference between them: while Dahmer confessed to his crimes, Gacy refused. It’s still possible that Gacy indirectly influenced Dahmer’s later crimes.

Why John Wayne Gacy Appears In Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Dominic Burgess as John Wayne Gacy in Monster The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

The John Wayne Gacy Dahmer connection is frail, there are enough coincidences between the two to merit the former’s inclusion in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Gacy and Dahmer followed similar methods, and their active periods overlapped. The Monster John Wayne Gacy scene at the start of episode 10 helps the much-debated true-crime series show that Dahmer wasn’t as unique as society would hope.

The episode also depicts a particular coincidence: on the day of Gacy’s execution — May 10, 1994 — Dahmer was being baptized in another prison just 180 miles away, and it all occurred underneath an ominous, full solar eclipse. With this eerie John Wayne Gacy Dahmer connection in mind, the series would have been remiss not to highlight it. Before Monster, the similarities in their crimes and modus operandi were relatively unexplored. It makes sense that Ryan Murphy would want to shine a light on the congruity of their murders, as well as this bizarre event.

Monster Season 2 Won’t Be About John Wayne Gacy

A split image of the Menendez Brothers and Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer

Despite the John Wayne Gacy Dahmer connection teased in Monster season 1, season 2 has already found its new subject(s), and it’s not Gacy. Rather, Monster season 2 will regale the tale of brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez. Better known simply as the Menendez brothers, the salacious nature of their crimes and opulent lifestyles were the talk of the early ’90s, with a specific emphasis on their two separate trials causing a media circus. The title of the second season will be Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Menendez Story, and based on the media sensation that their case caused, season 2 could rival season 1 in terms of popularity.

Since the John Wayne Gacy Dahmer connection was established in Monster, it’s surprising that the focus will be on entirely different subjects. However, the oddness of the case and subsequent trials should attract plenty of viewers. In 1989, Lyle and Erik Menendez shot their mother and father, Jose and Kitty, to death and blamed it on an unknown assailant, claiming they weren’t home at the time of the murders. Their first trial ended in a hung jury, thanks to compelling evidence from controversial defense lawyer Leslie Abramson alleging that the brothers were sexually and physically abused by their father, and feared for their lives, committing the murders in self-defense.

John Wayne Gacy Could Still Be The Focus Of Monster Season 3

John Wayne Gacy Tapes Trailer with Gacy as Pogo the Clown

Monster seasons 2 and 3 have already been confirmed, and while the sophomore installment already has its subject, season 3 could see the John Wayne Gacy Dahmer connection explored furhter. Gacy’s inclusion at the end of the miniseries could hint at a Monster season 3 focused on the Killer Clown. Monster has seen incredible success on the streaming platform, and creator Ryan Murphy already has a talent for making anthology series, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Netflix revisit the killer clown. With all of this in mind, it’s possible that Monster season 3 could focus on John Wayne Gacy.

Gacy isn’t the only serial killer that Dahmer is compared to throughout the series, as the equally-infamous Ed Gein is mentioned during his defense. But Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story includes brief scenes that explore the John Wayne Gacy Dahmer connection specifically to show the startling coincidences between these killers, whether he’s also being set up for season 3 or not. By highlighting the fact that there are many killers out there like its titular figure, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story makes itself all the more unsettling.

Creator Ryan Murphy has promised that Monster will be an anthology series that focuses on monstrous figures from history per season — meaning John Wayne Gacy is bound to come up. The John Wayne Gacy Dahmer connection is something that the show decided to highlight for a reason, meaning Gacy’s story could be on the way. Gacy certainly fits the bill as a monstrous figure, as he’s one of the most renowned serial killers of all time. Having him the focus of season 3 could tie back the series into Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, which would fall in line with Murphy’s proclivity to have his anthology seasons connecting.

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