Talk:John Wayne Gacy

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Good articleJohn Wayne Gacy has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
March 10, 2021Good article nomineeListed
On this day...A fact from this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on May 10, 2015.

Missing quotation mark in Trial section[edit]

There is a missing quotation mark under the Trial section in the text:

In his opening statement to the jury, one of Gacy's defense attorneys, Robert Motta, remarked: "The insanity defense has been looked [upon] as an escape; a defense of last resort. The defense of insanity is valid and it is the only defense that we could use here, because that is where the truth lies ... because if [Gacy] is normal, then our concept of normality is totally distorted.[1]

I believe there should be a closing quotation mark before the citation.

  1. ^ Sullivan 2000, p. 299.

Thisissomethingtolookfor (talk) 17:33, 26 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


@Kieronoldham: your comment here is exactly the point. This article is intended to provide an accessible overview of the subject for a generalist audience. If a reader needs to have "read most or all of the literature out there about this individual" to understand the significance of a particular point, we have already failed. This article suffers badly from having too many trees and not enough forest, and adding more intricate detail detracts from rather than enhancing the narrative. Nikkimaria (talk) 04:14, 25 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the surface I understand your observations. But, your mindset seems to override (maybe negate) the point you are trying to make. Seems solely you have these issues with these tags and maybe a GA article will be better with one editor's concern remaining for potentially years (I'll be happy to add a referenced note to both sections by the way). I never even implied that every last reader should be knowledgeable on the topic - on the contrary, my message implies otherwise but focuses on the fact you seemingly think the insertion of the info. is to the detriment of those who read the article in full for the first time. Tagging with "importance" or suchlike just reflects a personal view and potentially leaves a tag on a (hard fought for by several editors by the way) GA article. As for the sterile info. accompanying the two tags, there is no meandering derisiveness beyond the fact the crimes were committed inside his home, or the fact he was Polish in one simple sentence.--Kieronoldham (talk) 04:28, 25 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The article has already been pruned heavily before GA was established. There is very little meandering or superfluous info. left. A simple reference to the design of his home, or the fact he was half Polish and half Danish (given his crimes and burial grounds and public persona) is hardly impertinent.--Kieronoldham (talk) 04:40, 25 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do think that the insertion of material without clear significance is to the detriment of the reader. If it were just this one sentence it wouldn't be a big deal either way, but this is a recurring problem here, and each detail added compounds it. And I think in many ways your mindset is obscuring that problem, because you do have the in-depth knowledge of the literature, and therefore of course you can justify in your own mind (and your edit summaries re-adding it) why each little detail is significant. But our readers don't have the benefit of that knowledge, and what might be clear to you is not to them - and so the article becomes less accessible, full of sterile info and lacking narrative. Nikkimaria (talk) 04:44, 25 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have removed many tidbits and superfluous info. which hardly needed to be there. :) I understand an article of this nature is not particularly palatable for all, and in no way will all be content with what is revealed or withheld, Nikki. Others among the 672 active watchers both scythed the article to achieve GA status and submitted it for review - not me, even though I responded to suggestions etc. and did populate it to quite a large degree. They determined the best narrative for readers and I can only agree with the narrative of what others have formed the article into, from many a contributors' mindset and observation. I'll be happy to add notes or expound in response to suggestions.--Kieronoldham (talk) 05:02, 25 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The nature of the article would be equally as unpalatable if we removed twice again as much, or added three times more. That's not the issue at hand here. It will never be emotionally easy to read, but we should strive to make it easy to follow. Nikkimaria (talk) 05:04, 25 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here's another example: this revert adds wordiness but little value. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:35, 26 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is nothing wrong with the paragraph structure (I'm sure you'll at least agree upon that). As for the "value claim", the addition/reinsert clarified the father's abuse was not just toward his son. It is just a clarification of his relationship with his father and his father's dismissive attitude towards him, which psychologists have inferred led to his lifestyle pattern of striving for acceptance in addition to his denial of his homosexuality (another failure/mark of scathing in his father's eyes). Needless to say with all the info. out there, and the article generously referenced, the article shouldn't be a pocket book equivalent article. I'm not denying some unnecessary text has been removed here and there by you (and thanks for that), but I'll say again this article has been wrung, re-wrung, hung out to dry, and then forced through a lathe more than once over the years until, each time, it finally met consensus of someone's personal observations and concerns until, finally, after many edits by several editors, it finally passed GA review.--Kieronoldham (talk) 01:04, 26 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would agree that there was nothing wrong with the paragraph structure, before that edit; I wouldn't say the same after. As to the article shouldn't be a pocket book equivalent article, it's meant to be much more concise than it is at present - see WP:DETAIL and WP:AS (which are part of the GA criteria). The clarification that the abuse was not just towards the son was accomplished by three words; the rest of the diff doesn't clarify. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:37, 26 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Norwood Park Township[edit]

This article list Norwood Park Township as “close” to Chicago. It was actually incorporated into Chicago in 1893, so it is a Chicago neighborhood, not a suburb and is “in” Chicago, not near it. 2607:FB91:2236:C8E3:181C:E48D:9906:7F6E (talk) 22:23, 30 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Death by asphyxiation[edit]

I could be wrong, but I think Gacy stuffed his victim's throats to muffle their screams, not necessarily to kill them. Shouldn't this be mentioned? Do the sources clarify this? Not saying that they didn't die by asphyxiation, but it could have been an accident. LittleJerry (talk) 02:17, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Generally he did, yes. Those wads of cloth/clothing were wound and lodged deep in the rear of the mouths and blocking the upper trachea and esophagus of the victims, however. Cahill's book states Stein ruled the cause of death of these victims as asphyxiation. If memory serves me correct, Stein ruled that twelve victims found in the property - plus Piest - died of asphyxiation. Landingin was found with his own underwear in his throat; he asphyxiated on his own vomit (reflux lodged back into his bronchi) as a result of the body's response to the gag.--Kieronoldham (talk) 02:38, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]