How Did John Wayne Gacy Survivor Jeffrey Rignall Escape? Let’s find out. Jeffrey Rignall was an American author who escaped serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s attack in 1978. In 1979, Rignall authored a book called ‘29 Below’ about his experience. On March 21, 1978, while walking to a local gay bar in Rosemont, Illinois, Rignall, then 26 years old, was approached by Gacy, who offered him a ride and the opportunity to smoke a joint with him.
Gacy then placed a chloroform-soaked handkerchief over Rignall’s lips until he passed out. During the automobile journey to Gacy’s residence, Rignall awoke briefly and recognised a few landmarks, but was chloroformed again and eventually passed out. Rignall took charge of the inquiry, scouring Northwest Chicago for highway exit ramps and overpasses in search of Gacy’s black Oldsmobile. He ultimately tracked down Gacy, took down his licence plate number, and followed him to his home in Norwood Park Township. The licence plate number and address were given to the police by Rignall.
John Wayne Gacy was apprehended after the mysterious abduction of 15-year-old Rob Piest in December 1978. Authorities discovered multiple human remains hidden in the crawl space of his home, which is a frightening development. He was later found guilty of murdering 33 young men and boys, making him one of the country’s most prolific serial killers.
‘Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes,’ a Netflix docuseries, is about the Killer Clown’s crimes and trial. It also tells the account of Jeffrey Rignall, who was attacked by John but managed to escape. So, shall we investigate what transpired?
Jeffrey Rignall: What Happened to Him?
When Jeffrey Rignall was on his way to a homosexual bar in Chicago, Illinois, in March 1978, he was a Louisville, Kentucky, resident. John stopped by in his car at that point and offered him a ride and some marijuana. Jeffrey, on the other hand, was smacked in the face with a chloroform-soaked rag as soon as he inhaled a couple of puffs.
“It had a cold feeling to it, and I had a buzzing bee in my head, and I went unconscious,” Jeffrey later said. He then remembers being carried into a house in Norwood Park, Illinois, which was John’s home.
Jeffrey was beaten, raped, and tormented in the house, and he went in and out of consciousness multiple times. He remembers John being naked and masturbating in front of him. Jeffrey claimed that he was bound to a wooden board with holes for his head and arms. Following the attack, John dropped him off at a Chicago park. Jeffrey recalled waking up with chloroform burns on his face and rectum that was bleeding. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Jeffrey, on the other hand, had difficulty getting the police to look into the assault since they didn’t appear to believe him. Jeffrey couldn’t recognise John at first since he didn’t know his name. “The cops assumed Jeff’s encounter with Gacy was a consensual agreement,” his companion, Ron Wilder, subsequently said. They had no idea how to deal with a gay rape of any kind, and they didn’t believe it was even possible.”
“Since the police handled the case very, very lightly and I felt that, you know, it wasn’t a light matter,” Jeffrey explains, “I leased a car and sat where I thought I was approximately, waiting for his car to drive by.” He noticed John’s automobile a few days later, took down the licence plate number, and discovered his name. While John was detained, he was later released on bond. John killed four more people after Jeffrey’s attack and before his arrest in December 1978.
What Caused Jeffrey Rignall’s Death?
Jeffrey eventually testified for the defence at John’s trial. Because of the “beastly and animalistic” attack, he concluded John was not legally sane at the time of the attack. Furthermore, Jeffrey stated that another man was present when he was raped. He reportedly mentioned obtaining psychological treatment following the attack, as well as having his liver treated due to the chloroform’s effects.
Following the incident, he published a book called ‘29 Below,’ which he co-authored with Ron. The book detailed the attack and how the two of them tracked down the perpetrator. Jeffrey died on December 24, 2000, at the age of 49, from AIDS-related complications.