My second book, Souls Speak, fingered serial killer John Wayne Gacy as the likely killer of the three boys in Hannibal, who vanished on May 10, 1967. Gacy was convicted and put to death for the Chicago-area murders of thirty-three young men and boys, most of whom were buried beneath his suburban Chicago home between 1972 and 1978.
The initial story about the boys’ disappearance is documented in my book Lost Boys of Hannibal, about the frantic race-against-time search for the trio in a cave network beneath their Hannibal neighborhood. No evidence of the boys was ever found, despite a month-long search by hundreds of people, including the nation’s top cavers.
Later, my second book, Souls Speak, details the extraordinary supernatural story about how Gacy met the boys, abducted them and killed and buried them south of Hannibal, according to three experience psychics across the country who all essentially tell the same story.
Now, some never-before-heard audio clips of John Gacy talking about his murders are being shared on a Chicago-based podcast, developed and hosted by Bob Motta, the son of one of Gacy’s defense attorneys, Robert Motta. Son Bob Jr. received the box of audio cassettes as a gift on his 21st birthday.
In the tapes, Gacy discusses his crimes and feelings for the victims, often contradicting himself while trying to mislead his own attorneys.
The podcast and the Gacy audio clips can be heard at Defensediaries.com.
The tapes are chilling as you hear Gacy matter-of-factly discuss his evil deeds devoid of any emotion or sense of wrong-doing, often blaming his alternate personality – Jack Hanley – for some of the killings.
Stay tuned. I’ll be writing more about this new development in coming days.
What a journey it has been. My first book, Lost Boys of Hannibal: Inside America’s Largest Cave Search, chronicled one of the nation’s most vexing mysteries. In May of 1967, three Hannibal, Missouri boys, two of whom were childhood friends of mine, went missing after being seen near caves exposed during highway construction. Missouri is the Cave State, with nearly 5,000 identified caves, and Hannibal’s underside is criss-crossed with many dark, narrow passages. Despite a month-long search by the nation’s top cavers, the three boys were never found.
We fast forward to 2018.
I wrote a follow-on book, Souls Speak: Missing Children Reveal their Serial Killer from Beyond, after three evidential psychics identified the boys as the abductees and victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. My year-long investigation revealed that all three psychics independently identified the precise location in Ralls County Missouri where they say the bodies of the three boys are buried. Gacy went on to be put to death in the 1990s for the murders of 33 young men and boys in the Chicago area between in 1972 and 1978. Souls Speak laid out a credible theory that placed Gacy in Hannibal in May 1967. He lived in Waterloo, Iowa and drove through Hannibal to visit his mother and sister in Little Rock Arkansas on Mother’s Day.
Now, new information in this remarkable paranormal, true crime story.
We discovered more evidence about Gacy’s travels to Hannibal, and his possible role in the boys’ murders, during a conversation with Shawn Jackson, a cousin to Gacy’s nephew Ray Kasper. In February 2021, while in Hannibal for a family medical matter, New Mexico resident Steve Sederwall, a retired law officer and a childhood friend of Craig Dowell’s, tracked down Jackson who lived in Hannibal for several years in the 1980s and 1990s, and now resides in a small-town west of St. Louis.
Sederwall told me that in a phone conversation with Jackson, he broached the topic of John Wayne Gacy and his possible travels through Hannibal in 1967. Jackson readily acknowledged Gacy regularly drove through Hannibal in the 1960s and 1970s, en route to visit his mother and sister in Little Rock, Arkansas. “He always stayed at the Holiday Inn,” Jackson told Sederwall. This is a big break in our ongoing investigation as it proves Gacy was regularly travelling to Hannibal. The Holiday Inn where Gacy overnighted was located on the western edge of town, just east of Highway 61, the route Gacy would have driven from his home in Waterloo, Iowa, four hours away by car.
When the topic of Hannibal’s three lost boys was mentioned by Sederwall, Jackson openly acknowledged that he, too, had wondered whether his depraved distant relative might have been involved in their abductions and deaths. Jackson spoke to Gacy occasionally at Menard Prison and once even raised the subject. “I asked him if he knew anything about those three boys in Hannibal who went missing. He was evasive about the matter and quickly changed the subject,” Jackson related. It seems clear Gacy was uneasy with the topic and didn’t want to discuss the matter with one of the few people with whom he still maintained a semblance of a normal relationship.
As time progresses, we’re discovering more about Gacy’s travels and his increasingly likely role in the murders of three children taken and dispatched in the bloom of their lives. Shawn Jackson’s admissions are important additional pieces to the puzzle.
For more information, visit John Wingate’s author blog CardiffHill.com, and visit him on Facebook (AuthorJohnWingate) and Twitter (@CardiffHill).
Both of John Wingate’s books were published by Calumet Editions, and are available on Amazon.com.
On July 15, 2018, I called Lynnie, the oldest sister of the two missing Hoag boys. Her first words were, “John! Gacy killed them! They were his first kills!”
With that startling and chilling statement, the conversation launched me on a year-long odyssey that points to serial killer John Wayne Gacy as the man who abducted, tortured, and strangled three Hannibal boys, then buried them in a single hastily dug grave. The location, preserved with GPS coordinates, is only a few miles from where Joey and Billy Hoag, and their friend Edwin Dowell, were last seen on the early evening of May 10, 1967.
My latest book, Souls Speak: missing children reveal their serial killer from beyond is the product of the year-long probe, conducted with three experienced clairvoyants who peered across the boundary between this world and the heavenlies and connected with the etheric spiritual energy of the boys and Gacy himself.
The Hoag boys were friends of mine, and over these past five decades their families and many friends have grieved them.
Writing about the missing boys incident has brought its challenges. A relative of Edwin Dowell has sent threatening messages promising harm to me and my family. The relative, only a little boy when the three Hannibal boys went missing, is still engaging in juvenile behavior born of trauma. My team’s sole goal is to find the boys so they may be put to rest.
A former TV news colleague has written an inciteful review about my new book – Souls Speak – the most astonishing true story you will ever read.
Here’s former WRAU-TV News Director Gary Reagen’s review:
“I was a journalist working in TV news in the years when that monster, John Wayne Gacy, the so-called “Killer Clown”, was so often headline news. Many people in the justice system and elsewhere reportedly believed that Gacy was never held to account for all his crimes; there were so many unanswered questions.
I read John Wingate’s first book, “Lost Boys of Hannibal”, I was
fascinated by the heroic efforts of so many would-be rescuers but also troubled
by the unanswered questions “Lost Boys” raised – including the
possibility that they were victims of a criminal, not a cave in.
Wingate’s follow-up book, “Souls Speak,” is a chiller. It is troubling squared. Count me a skeptic when it comes to psychics and mediums. Count me a skeptic, too, of anyone who claims we know the full truth about Gacy’s full list of horrors. But after reading this book … well, best have an open mind about whether this is a long-cold case or whether it offers new and accessible evidence. Highly recommended.”
“Eternity it seems does not start at death; we have been in eternity for our entire lives, this continuum of earthly life to death to eternal life into which we are born. The Bible speaks of us as merely a vapor. Indeed, life on earth, for those blessed with the gift of many decades, is but a nanosecond compared to the eternity of life beyond.
During her preternatural experiences, Mary has seen angels and guardian angels who specifically protect us and chilling demonic forces like Gacy seeking to destroy us. She has frequent contact with what she calls intelligent spirits, the immaterial energetic beings who can respond to questions, provide detailed information and physically move objects in our three-dimensional world. She believes that souls eternally located in Heaven are able to energetically connect with our world with the help of attentive mediums. In this place of higher energetic frequency, she says, a whole series of unique dramas can play out.
Sometimes, we can see only one side of these dramas from our limited worldly perspective, as the following example I relate to Mary dramatically illustrates. A family friend, Charles,now retired as a professor of biblical history, once related to me an incident his physician father experienced during his work in northern Minnesota.
Doc, now deceased, was a long-time country doctor and a devout Christian. Doc had a patient, Frank, an avowed dyed-in-the-wool atheist who rejected any belief in God. Frank refused to hear any Christian witnessing despite the doctor’s best efforts during the span of many years.
One winter when Frank grew gravely ill, Doc tended him and even sat overnight with the patient in his rural Minnesota home. This was in the 1940s when physicians made house calls and did such things.
The winter night was subzero and quiet until about 3:00 a.m. when Frank suddenly cried out, “Doc, Doc!” The doctor raced up the stairs and into the bedroom to find the sick man sitting bolt upright in bed, his eyes wide open in terror, as he lamented, “The fire, the flames, it’s so hot!”
And once the moment of high drama passed, Frank fell back onto the pillow dead. Doc had seen many miracles in his decades of medical practice, but this supernatural moment was the most soul-chilling ever, as he grieved for Frank’s soul….”
On Tuesday, July 30th I did an hour-long interview with the Colorado-based podcast, Paranormal Prowlers. Host Tessa Mauro does a great job. The link to the show will be available beginning Monday, August 12. I’ll be sure to post the link at that time.
I can’t stop thinking about Souls Speak. This proved to be a uniquely compelling read that I just couldn’t put down! John Wingate’s loyalty to his childhood friends, Joel, Billy, and Craig, who disappeared in Hannibal, Missouri on May 10, 1967, is pretty straight forward and admirable. The most common belief has been that they had disappeared into the cave system and that’s probably where they still were, which is detailed in Wingate’s first book, The Lost Boys of Hannibal.
Then, along came these three psychics, who totally rocked his world with the news that John Wayne Gacy abducted and murdered the boys. That’s where the author’s faith struggle begins. As he journeys through the investigation unraveling the psychic mysteries behind the Hoag and Dowell boys’ disappearances, the author runs a parallel exploration of Christian principles in his personal search for a faith comfort zone in handling this new information. As with his first book, Wingate’s research is impeccable.
I adore Wingate’s writing style. He takes you with him as he travels through Hannibal separately with each of the three psychics. His descriptions bring pictures to mind, the sentences flow and are written conversationally, with intelligence — the vocabulary choices are masterful! He conveys tender compassion for the boys and their families, respect for the psychics, and disdain for Gacy and his evil. It’s such a pleasurable read — albeit a shocking addendum to his first book!
This excerpt from Chapter 10 really strikes a chord:
“Eternity it seems does not start at death; we have been in eternity for our entire lives, this continuum of earthly life to death to eternal life into which we are born. The Bible speaks of us as merely a vapor. Indeed, life on Earth, for those blessed with the gift of many decades, is but a nano second compared to the eternity of life beyond.”
This an amazing true story written by an extremely talented writer who brings every page to life for the reader. I highly recommend Souls Speak!