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Chicago Paper To Publish Mass Murderer’s Love Letters

February 27, 1988 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) _ John Wayne Gacy’s love letters give a clear understanding of the convicted mass murderer’s personality and the reason he ended up behind bars, a forensic psychiatrist says.

Beginning Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times will carry a week-long series featuring the 41 letters Gacy wrote to Sue Terry of Centralia, a 43-year-old mother of eight children, said Michael Soll, a newspaper spokesman.

Ms. Terry said Gacy asked her to marry him, according to the statement released Friday.

Gacy, 45, a former suburban businessman convicted in March 1980 of the sex- slayings of 33 young men and boys, is on death row at Menard Correctional Center in Chester.

Marvin Ziporyn, a Chicago forensic psychiatrist, said in a telephone interview Friday night that the newspaper gave him the letters to read Wednesday and that he wrote an analysis of them for the series.

″He doesn’t discuss the (murder) case in the letters, but they show the mechanics of his personality like what makes a watch tick,″ Ziporyn said.

″I think what’s important is that he’s ‘John Wayne’ Gacy. John Wayne like the movie star, and his trying to live up to that image is an important part of his personality,″ Ziporyn said.

″These letters represent a major contribution to the scientific understanding of psychology and will be analyzed and discussed by psychiatrists and psychologists for years to come,″ Ziporyn told the Sun- Times.

Ms. Terry began writing to Gacy after reading about him in a local newspaper, and she first traveled the 140 miles from her home to Menard to meet the prisoner nearly two years ago, according to the Sun Times statement.

″To me he’s a real nice person, and he seems to be really concerned about me and my kids,″ the newspaper quoted Ms. Terry as saying.

Ms. Terry could not be reached for comment by telephone Friday night because there is no telephone listing for her in Centralia, and Soll’s home telephone number in Chicago is unlisted.

He was given 12 separate death sentences and 21 terms of natural life in prison with no hope of parole. No one has been executed in Illinois since the early 1960s.