Defending a Monster

Hosted byGeorge Noory

Defending a Monster

About the show

Defense attorney Sam Amirante and co-author Danny Broderick, discussed what it was like to defend one of America's worst serial killers, John Wayne Gacy, and reviewed the gruesome details of the case. It's important to our system of justice that such criminals get a fair trial, as the US Constitution dictates that accused people have a right to a competent attorney, Amirante noted. As a young lawyer, he received a call in 1978 from Gacy, wanting to know why he was being tailed by the Des Plaines PD. Eventually, Gacy confessed to Amirante at his office that he had killed over 30 young men, burying most of them in the crawlspace and other areas of his property. Over hours, in a monotone, matter of fact voice, he described every murder in graphic detail, including specific dates, and names. "One time he killed three at one time," Amirante recalled.

He described Gacy as a kind of Jekyll & Hyde figure, who eventually wanted to get caught and stop his killing. Known for his charitable work, and appearances as a clown, "when Gacy was good, he was the best of good, a wonderful, compassionate human being,...but when he was bad, he was the worst of evil," Amirante said. During the trial, Gacy plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but the prosecution successfully argued that he was an evil psychopath/sociopath who knew exactly what he was doing.

Gacy was an adept con man, and many of his victims were runaways or people whose absence might not be noticed. Chillingly, he was planning on building a second story to his house so he'd have more room to bury bodies between the floors, Amirante detailed, adding that he believed that during the murders Gacy felt like he was killing himself over and over again. Broderick and Amirante also shared their reactions to the Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson trials.

Afghanistan Update

During the first hour, two guests discussed the war in Afghanistan. First, analyst Craig Hulet reported on the chopper crash that killed a number of Americans, including Seal Team 6 members. The Taliban is claiming that they used newly available weapons to shoot down the Chinook, he said. Hulet believes corporations rather than nation states are behind war efforts nowadays.

Researcher Marshall Klarfeld spoke on behalf of adopting The Eagle Plan (PDF file), a non-partisan effort to bring about the end of America's military involvement in Afghanistan, which he compared to the Vietnam War.

News segment guests: Mish Shedlock, Steve Kates

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