Greg had grown up and matured into a responsible young adult. I would see him in the hallway at school every so often , or he would stop in by the drug store where I worked as a cashier from time to time with his employer, John Wayne Gacy, for cans of soda and chips. Greg looked fantastic.
Fourteen days before Christmas there was a small blurb in the neighborhood newspaper that Greg had disappeared and police found his car abandoned in a nearby Chicago suburb. Something was terribly wrong. Greg lived and breathed for that car. He treated like it was his baby. There was no way in hell he would have just left it. News of Greg’s disappearance was all anyone could talk about at school. Detectives interviewed kids, asking if they knew where he could have gone. I learned a month earlier Greg had taken the exam for the Navy and planned to go immediately after graduation.
Months passed without a word. From time to time a story would be written offering a reward and asking the public’s help with any information that could direct authorities to the missing young man.
On December 11, 1978, a 15-year-old Des Plaines high school sophomore, Robert Piest, disappeared shortly after leaving work at a pharmacy where Gacy had recently completed a remodeling job. Police put Gacy under surveillance, and when it was learned that two teenage employees of Gacy, Gregory Godzik and John Butkovich, also had recently disappeared, the police obtained a search warrant for Gacy's home. A roll of film belonging to Piest was seized in the ensuing search. A second search warrant was executed and three lime-covered bodies were found in the crawl space. Gacy pointed Chicago police detectives to the precise locations of certain bodies in the crawl space and stated that he had lured the victims to his home, either expressly for sex or through the promise of employment, and then strangled or asphyxiated them.
Greg Godzik's murder will be forever associated with the worst serial killer in history. But for those of us who knew Greg, the image we will always remember is of him driving his 1966 rusted-out Pontiac around the neighborhood or racing on a Saturday night against someone from another part of town on an old dirt road.
John Wayne Gacy was convicted of 33 murders of mostly teenage boys. He was sentenced to death for only 12 of the murders (12 proved to have been committed after Illinois had passed post-Furman death penalty), and he was sentenced to natural life in prison for the others.