Kennedy Expressway and Cumberland Ave
Hitchhiking outside Chicago
Late Spring, 1978
Seven Years after King Solomon's Gate
John Wayne Gacy read Biblical Passages aloud to his 33 victims as he strangled them with a Garrote and confessed using a Rosary to demonstrate how. In his final days before his execution he received a letter from a survivor, the Excavator of the First Proof of those very Passages whom he had tried to kill years earlier.
Failing to get the college degree didn't seem to really matter all that much. After the years in south east Asia dealing with the flotsam and jetsam of the Killing Fields, it just didn't compute anymore. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon on the south side of Chicago. A gentle breeze, perfect weather, great rides and adventure. Hell, I'm not going to fight for the key to the executive john, I am either going to own it...or I am not going to worry about it, I told myself. My father had decided to start an auction business in Montana, and lacking any other great prospects it was time to go give it a try. I put a sign on my backpack that said "Montana or Bust", stuck out my thumb, and headed for Bozeman. It had been a fun trip so far and I was seeing country I had never seen before. Fresh air, freedom, and no judgments from kids without a clue.
A yellow pickup truck pulled over some hundred feet down the road and I grabbed my pack and ran for it. I opened the door and hoped in. The truck started up as I closed the door. The door closed, the truck started, I turned my head, looked over, saw him, and smelt him all at the same time. It was like those dramatic bursts of music between the scenes in the movie Independence Day.
He immediately started to speak at me as the smell sunk in. I had smelt it before on the borders of Cambodia but didn't put a name to it immediately. My body just knew this was big trouble, the hairs on my forearm stood straight up like a dog's neck bristles and without a cognitive thought my brain was racing like a siren. The smell lit up every circuit in my body,... just like its supposed to.
I looked out the window at the shoulder of the road as it speed by, already considering a jump as he spoke at me. Hey why didn't I take a break and go with him, we'd have a party, and he would show me his handcuff trick that was so cool. I demurred and said I was going straight on through, I had to get there soon, I was going straight on through. He continued to talk. Did I know he was a good guy, yea he owned his own construction company, did I need work. He even helped with charity, yea, he dressed up like a clown sometimes and entertained kids. I didn't need to worry about him he instructed. Hell he was even into politics, a leader in his community. "You'll have a good time". "You'll see". That sickly sweet familiar smell kept wafting through my nostrils and panic created a clear focus and intent. Get away. Stay on the highway, lots of witnesses driving by.
He then announced we were going to his place and started to veer off onto an off ramp. I stamped with my right foot as if I had a break. No No I have to go right on through I insisted as the truck began to cruise up the ramp. 50, 45 40 I watched the row of trees and beyond the low fence the long low set of brown grey tan buildings set back off to the right speed by as we climbed up the ramp. He wasn't really slowing down that much. I silently calculated my options and they all looked bad. I looked at him and they got worse...his arms were bigger around than my legs. If he got a hand on me...I watched the intersection come up, there was traffic and in its midst was someone who must have learned to drive in Boston. The truck jerked as he gassed and braked to dominate the car coming from the left. The man I owe the last 30 years and more would not give. I watched the pavement go by more slowly and looked back. The angel of my existence had forced the pickup truck straight across the median and now Gacy had won but had to make the left without his prey escaping. That Giant right arm swung over the steering wheel to make the 90 degree turn still going 20 at least. I lifted the door latch and fell like a sack of grain propelled by the turn, my pack dragging behind me and landed on the pavement ...a foot down, to my knees, then the hands scraping on the pavement, then flat on my side. "The mouths of the Lions were yet again sewn shut" (Daniel 6:22). The sound of the truck being floored filled my ears as I struggled to my feet and got the plate number.
Wow, I got up and moved to the side of the road carrying my pack, completely stunned...I knew the smell but it would be a while before I put a label on the smell of death, the fear had made details irrelevant. I walked across the on ramp and put my pack down to try and collect my thoughts. Standing there with the green Kelty pack leaning against my legs, the "Montana or Bust" sign stuck in the spokes like a billboard. Then suddenly the thought... what if he comes back for me...I looked around for immediate options, having a plan ready could make all the difference, my brain again racing after 10 seconds of relief..
At that moment fate took a hand. A small sports car roared up with a screech of breaks and some guy was demanding I get in, "come on, get in, get in, get in... the voice insisted. I glanced up quickly to see if the truck was in the oncoming line, looked down and jumped in. The driver began to explain, "I just got a fuzz buster and I am going to set a record to Billings, I can't believe you are going to Montana" he began to chatter. I interrupted, "Look something's happened, I got to have a pen, do you have a pen". He directed me to the glove box. I wrote the plate number down on the "Montana or Bust" sign. "I have got to talk to the police" I said. "WHAT... NOW. WHAT !!! NO WAY. I am going to set a record" he cried. "Then let me out", I replied. I knew I had to take care of this. I was already formulating plans in my head, what could I say or do that would work. Anything to get this asshole investigated. "Your kidding, I'm going right on through Billings non-stop"..."No I have no choice" I replied. The end of the on ramp was the start of the next off ramp. He veered off in a huff, up a long slow upgrade and pulled to a stop at the top to let me out. I started to look around as I got out. It was the middle of nowhere. Nothing around. Not a phone booth, store, gas station, traffic or witness. What if he was still coming for me? Fear still predominating. I tried to look back at the interchange where I had gotten out of the truck but it was too far to get a good take on it, there was too much going on. A long half mile away below me the highway gently curved to the right under the bridge, some kind of building or gas station on the right side of the bridge accross the road, cars coming down the ramp we had just used. Too damned risky. I settled down in the little sports car, ...no I'll keep going, "Then your in for the ride, we aren't stopping until Billings". A short time later we went through a toll booth and I thought about doing something then, but the terror was too fresh and I was feeling better with every mile. I'll file a report from Montana I told myself. I had his plate number, this guy was toast.
His car was an MG or something like it. It roared as we speed across the plain. Pleasant company but not a lot of conversation, none of it very memorable. I watched the plain go past in a blur, we stopped for a quick dinner and on into the night. We crossed the Montana border at sunset the next day with a cry of jubilation from the driver and speed on. Just after sunset the wind suddenly began to howl and the car began to bounce up and down waking me up. The wind got more and more and more real quick. The car was starting to jump up and down as he pulled to a stop trying to regain control. I barely noticed as the sign tore off my pack in the back and whizzed by my ear on the way out. As the winds died quickly I realized what had happened and freaked. The plate number scratched on the sign was no more.
We pulled into Billings late and slept the remainder of the night in his car on the Rim Rocks overlooking the city. He didn't want to disturb party he came to meet in the middle of the night. He dropped me by the highway in the morning and I continued on. In Big Timber I got stuck on the side of the Road for a while. It was there that I realized this was the last hitch of my life. Nope, never again. I must have had racked up 50K as a hitchhiking road warrior by that point in my life. That was my last road trip of any consequence. Gacy retired my thumb.
It was so nice to be home. Mom, Dad, family, two cool nieces and peace. Security of sorts. Years in South East Asia, Cambodian refugee evacuations, Car caravans with crazy Iranians, three civil wars, then months of feeling like an alien at college. It was a few days before I picked up the phone for the first time to try to do something about my new problem.
My first attempt was a series of frustrating calls from 1517 Willow way in Bozeman, each getting a "so what" reaction. I admit I didn't have a lot to go on. A Big guy driving a yellow pickup truck, owned a construction company, liked to dress up as a clown and entertain kids, was into politics. Can't you find him and arrest him :). I kept trying off and on for a few months getting nowhere. I gave up for a while. Then would try again. As long as a year and a half later I made repeat attempts, I didn't know that they had arrested him by then, but by then, I had put a name to the smell and I knew this was important.
Several years later, working on a project to statistically analyze classified ads with friends in Bozeman, I got to telling them the story and started again. Gacy unknown to me was already long in custody. Four weeks of color coding classified ads with colored markers to track them leaves time for a lot of conversation. This time I went as far as to march into the little Bozeman Police station and filled out a written report with a female officer on the desk and requested that they forward it to the Chicago homicide police. She listened to my story and assured me she would forward the report to the right people. I had spent time on the Cambodian border. I knew a killer when I met one, I had met a lot of them. The lady at the station smiled, took it down. That was that. I made a few more calls after that then...Finally, I fully and completely gave up and put the incident behind me. That odd feeling of what if he comes after me that had lingered even during the years in Bozeman finally went away.
I should be so lucky.
I moved to Billings started the American Computer Network, got good at backgammon and started to spend my Corporate Presidents salary at the Rex bar in Billings. An entrepreneur in America. A PhD from MIT at 21 named Mitchell Specter as an employee. The American dream. Peaceful serious work, good company, good times. Kicking the auto sales guy's ass in backgammon and trying to hustle the waitress with the double d's. After a game with Paul Fitzgerald (local politico organizer of some repute with a ten pound mustache and weird fish), I sat down to read the Billings Gazette. As I opened the pages a BIG photo on the right stared out at me. Independence Day music again. "Hey...I know that guy I exclaimed out loud". Then the headline. 33 dead under the house. "No I don't". Then the article. Construction Company, dresses as a clown, into politics. First the flush of excitement of being involved in something in the newspaper, then the realization of what had happened. The utter horror of their deaths, ...strangled while being homosexually raped. The worse thing was the pictures. They all seemed to look like me. Then the dates. Then the calculation. Oh my god. Eleven dead since my first call. In the six months after my encounter, until his arrest in December of that year, he had gone on a killing frenzy. Then the big one. What if I had made a 24th call. Those last eleven really did seem to look like me. I mean it was very very strange how much the last eleven looked like me. If you morphed them together... (I wonder). Similar ages, similar haircuts, similar similar similar...I lived with it for years. Survivors guilt, maybe... but maybe something more. After years of it you can imagine the intent with which, on August 1 1995, I embarked to stop a man who seemed bent on bringing down an airliner with hundreds of people...I was not being listened to again...but this time I vowed I would NEVER give up again.
Dettling loved the tale when I briefly related it to him one day in his office. When they finally executed Gacy, I must admit to totally loosing it for several weeks both before and after. I sent him a FedEx at Joliet reminding him of our encounter, and of my sign, and telling him I was going to Piss on his grave. After the execution they announced an anonymous grave site. In those days before and after the execution, I was quite a spectacle. Hunter Thompson would have been proud. But if you don't go at least a little temporarily insane facing the thought of eleven gruesome murders you might have been able to stop, well then are you really worth anything at all ?
Dan Pride 1974 (L) Gregory Godzik 1976 (R)
These very disturbing series of coincidences are probably best read in
light of the Habemus Papam story and
after viewing my appearance in the international News footage, ...a Revelations event
predicted in a thousand years of Catholic Dogma to accompany the
election of this Pope. The Gacy coincidences are uniquely central to
these events and span or include coincidences with almost every other
event. I also find them quite disturbing, but having observed them
feel they should be noted... so here goes. I Graduated from North
Yarmouth Academy sometime late in June 1970, I am still trying to
confirm a suspicion that as I delivered the Valedictorian address to
my class, he was walking out of his prison cell for discharge on his
first (non-lethal) sex charge stating "Never
Again" i.e. from now on no witnesses left alive (June 18, 1970, my address was mid late morning). I have a
compression fracture of the Lumbar spine, Gacy had similar back
injuries. I had a heart attack in 1996, Gacy claimed he was having heart attacks constantly. I unwittingly
posed for a photo making a "Chi-Rho" with my hands with Dettling
holding a Firestick, Gacy was membership chairman of the Catholic
Chi-Rho club in springfield (See Firestick). I have been having an odd
streetlight thing for some time (see Reading Kings- first but not only
example)...Gacy was street light commissioner. Church
Bells tolled. (See The Two Noahs) Written text leads me to believe I
escaped at Kennedy Expressway and Cumberland Ave. I grew up in Cumberland
Maine and had interesting situations with both JFK Jr (See Welfare
Motel Scandal) and his wife and her sister (See Treadmill Company-Backgammon atThe
Ear bar NYC). His handwriting has a more than subtle similarity to my
(See Nathan R Note). His alcoholic and abusive father, considered one
cause of his behavior, died on Christmas
Day (See JonBenet Ramsey). My encounter was in late May right about
the 22nd, after which Gacy murdered until he got to the number of thirty
three. Again, oddly, for an almost victim involved in the first
biblical proof, the age of Christ !!! Gacy read the Bible aloud to his victims as he
strangled them with a Garrote (JonBenet), and confessed using a Rosary to demonstrate how. I dug the hole
that resulted in the first proof of a Biblical Passage, and appeared
in the footage ahead of Pope Benedict at his election. The Day Care
center he was hired to build... "Angel House" for the Innocence
project, Karr had two children named "Angel and Innocence" (See
JonBenet Ramsey). Gacy was ultimately caught over the disappearance of
a Robert Piest (Close to Priest), a sophomore at Maine West high school (I went to North
Yarmouth Academy, Yarmouth Maine) on (again) December 11
(Same day as Godzik 2 years earlier). "One short"... Gacy was
justly and properly executed on May 10 1994, one day before my 42nd
(An eye for an eye).
Dan Pride 72 and John Butkovitch
Documentary Sources: Sources for this story are first off, the
unknown driver with his new fuzz-buster driving to visit someone in
Billings,... my sister and nieces who heard the story at the time
first hand, the Employees, all from Bozeman Mt who worked on the
classified ad project (during which and in their presence I made my
last 5 or 10 attempts) (Reann x, ) the Bozeman Montana female police
officer (whom I asked to forward a formal report to Chicago Homicide),
the patrons and staff of the Rex Bar (for days after I could talk of
Nothing else) including John Karlsen, Paul Fitzgerald whom later
became a political heavyweight in Billings and Montana politics, the
Car sales guy who's lot was one block up from the Rex toward the Rim
Rocks on the right side, the files of correspondence Gacy received at
the time prior his execution, the fedex records from San Jose that
transmitted the letter, John Greenleaf Saratoga Ca, and potentially any Chicago Homicide
detectives who took my 20+ misplaced calls (Gacy lived in the
suburbs), and lastly and perhaps most importantly, Gacy himself
"speaking from the grave" through the testimony of the people guarding
him. If he got my letter, my bet is he remembered the "Montana or Bust
sign" and reacted. It does appear that he changed his funeral
arrangements at the last minute. Research is underway for additional
comparison photos. Years ago when I saw it it was stunning to me.
(Survivors guilt or not will be for the reader to judge). The victim
photos look different in different stories, the set I was looking at
at the time was published in the San Jose Mercury News in Late April
just before the execution. They were incredibly upsetting at the time.
The dates are difficult to match, but Gacy was forced by neighbor complaints about the smells from his basement to move the bodys around and spread lime etc. That would match the overwhelming smell I got hit with.
This is just one of the Paranormal Events surrounding
King Solomon's Gate
The first Archaeological Proof of King Solomon's Life