America’s sordid secret: discovery+ to stream explosive exposé on network of paedophiles linked to serial killers

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Investigation Discovery (ID) and discovery+ are readying an explosive exposé into a conspiracy of networks of men preying on children in the 1970s, a decade when paedophiles and child killers could hide in plain sight and tragically get away with murder. Connecting the murders of John Wayne Gacy in Chicago with the Houston Mass Murders by Dean Corll, The Clown And The Candyman traces a path through the past to expose how this dark web was able to exploit America’s youth, and the legacy of pain it left behind.

The 1970s saw a rise in serial killers unlike anything the United States had previously seen. Two of the killers operating during this time were John Wayne Gacy in Chicago and Dean Corll in Houston. Gacy often performed as a clown for hospitals and charity events and became known as “The Killer Clown,” while Corll, whose family owned a factory, often gave away candy to kids in the neighborhood which earned him the nickname “The Candyman.”

Gacy and Corll were far more sinister than their outward facing personas, and their depraved actions resulted in the deaths of more than 60 young men and women and brought heartbreak to countless families, with some of their victims still unidentified to this day. The police believed the murders were the work of sole killers, but for the first time, the sordid secret revealing the network of pedophiles spanning the country is explored. This network included prominent members of American society with tentacles in some of our most trusted institutions.

Two serial killers, Dean Corll and John Wayne Gacy, thousands of miles apart, brutally murdered over 60 teenage boys. The police said the murders were the work of these sole deranged killers; but for the first time, this documentary reveals that they were actually connected by a network of paedophiles, which was partially financed by prominent members of American society. This is America’s sordid secret.

In the eight-episode podcast THE CLOWN AND THE CANDYMAN, journalist-television producer Jacqueline Bynon investigates this paedophile network that exploited children across the US. It is a story of secrets, coverups, and conspiracies that extended to other high-profile cases at the time. The podcast features interviews from police who investigated these predators, the reporters who exposed them, and the families of victims still reeling from their loss. Bynon peels back the layers of the past to investigate and illuminate the networks that allowed these killers to thrive. THE CLOWN AND THE CANDYMAN podcast releases weekly on Tuesdays and is available now on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Listener discretion is advised.

The four-part companion special The Clown And The Candyman takes viewers down the rabbit hole to a murky world of predators in the ‘70s. Centred around the depravity of Gacy and Corll, the special offers a deep dive into their crimes, how they were discovered, and the race to identify their remaining nameless victims. The special also investigates their connections to John David Norman, the key operator of a nationwide pedophile ring, while never-before-heard tapes of Gacy offers viewers a glimpse into the disturbed man and his hideous actions. The documentary The Clown And The Candyman begins streaming on discovery+ on Friday, January 15. The four-part special will air on ID on Monday, February 15 and Tuesday, February 16 from 9-11pm. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Clown And The Candyman is produced by Cineflix (Candyman) Inc. for discovery+ and Investigation Discovery. Jacqueline Bynon and Charles Tremayne are the executive producers and Kim Bondi serves as the producer for Cineflix. Tim Baney is the executive producer for ID.

Photo by Ari Spada on Unsplash