Where Is John Wayne Gacy’s Lawyer ‘Sam Amirante’ Now? Let’s find out him. It’s not easy defending a legendary serial killer, especially when they’re your first private client. That was the case with Sam Amirante, who defended John Wayne Gacy, the famed “Killer Clown,” at his trial. Despite his desire to protect the serial killer, he considered Gacy to be a “monster.”
In the 1970s, Gacy murdered at least 33 young men and boys while maintaining a somewhat influential role in his suburban Chicago community. He apparently managed a thriving contracting and building company and was involved in local politics. Perhaps most infamously, he undertook charity work as a children’s clown on a regular basis. While shoving body after body into the crawl area beneath his Des Plaines home, he basked in this façade.
After teenaged Robert Piest went missing unexpectedly in December 1978, authorities zeroed down on John Wayne Gacy. While the cops pursued him for any possible proof, John called Sam Amirante, an attorney who was going to open his own business. ‘Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes,’ a Netflix documentary, examines John’s murders and how Sam came to represent the “Killer Clown” in court. So, if you’re curious about what Sam has been up to since then, you’re in luck.
Sam Amirante: Who Is He?
Sam earned his law degree from Illinois’ Loyola University School of Law in 1974. He wanted to work for the State Prosecutor’s Office but was unable to find work there. As a result, Sam spent a few years working for the Public Defender’s Office before starting his own firm.
He received a phone call in December 1978 from someone who would go on to become his first client and lead the young lawyer to represent him in one of the century’s most high-profile cases. It was John Wayne Gacy who asked Sam if he could do him a favour and tell him why the cops were tailing him. Sam knew John as a friend at the time; he was involved in local democratic politics.
After Rob, a 15-year-old, went missing from work in December 1978, officials began checking into John. They put John under 24-hour surveillance, despite his claims that he had nothing to do with Rob’s disappearance. He said that the cops following him around had a negative impact on his business and that he wanted them to cease.
A drunken John strolled into Sam’s office a few days later, on December 20, 1979, and spoke for hours in what turned out to be a terrible confession. John went into considerable detail about the murders of more than 30 young men, one of them was Rob. Later, he claimed he didn’t remember the murders and that they were perpetrated by an alter personality.
In February 1980, John’s defence attorneys, Sam and Robert Motta, argued that John was not guilty due to insanity. The jury, however, found John guilty of 33 murders and sentenced him to death. Despite the loss, Sam and Robert received numerous awards for their legal work. Despite John’s horrible acts, Sam’s zeal for the American justice system paid off, and he defended him.
Sam, on the other hand, thought his client was manipulative. John was finally put to death in May of 1994. Sam believed that there was more to learn about John’s personality type from him. Sam believed that if he had been living at the time, those studies could have helped to prevent similar crimes in the future.
What Happened to Sam Amirante and Where Is He Now?
Sam was appointed to the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, in 1988. During his more than a decade as a judge, he presided over a number of trials. Sam, a former Marine, has returned to practise law and now owns his own firm in Des Plaines, Illinois. Apart from that, he was in charge of creating ISEARCH: Illinois State Enforcement Agency to Recover Children, which eventually became a bill in Illinois.
Sam admitted in an interview that he wished he had spent more time with his then-wife and two sons while working on John’s case. He later remarried and now has a little kid. Sam continues to represent clients in court while also spending time with his family. The attorney now resides in the city of Chicago, Illinois.
Sam wrote a book called ‘John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster,’ which describes his experiences with the case many years after it concluded.