Why John Wayne Gacy Was Convicted According to the Covariation Model Example
John Wayne Gacy is one of the most intriguing people to have ever been convicted of a crime here in the United States. He was convicted of torturing, raping, and killing 33 teenagers over a span of six years. Despite being a sex offender and a serial killer, she worked as an entertainer, a pogo the clown, in charitable events and children’s hospitals, in addition to being an active participant in the Democratic party at the local level. We provide legit paper writing services on the John Wayne Gacy Covariation Model Example.
The police were able to track the bodies of 26 young men in 1978 during an investigation of Robert Priest’s disappearance. Some of the bodies were found on his property, while others had been buried along Des Plaines River. He was later executed in 1994 after unsuccessfully using insanity as a defense (Kifner). This paper will apply the Covariation Model to determine why he was convicted of being a pedophile and a murderer.
As proposed by Harold Kelley, the Covariation Model states that there lies a covariance between possible cause and its effect. A particular behavior can be attributed to potential causes and is observable over time (Cantone). Therefore, this theory is more reactive rather than proactive, especially in the solving of John Wayne Gacy case as the investigator had to use hindsight to observe his behavior over the six years of the murders and rape and his life before.
Additionally, the convicted was aware that his behavior would be used in his apprehension over time, and thus his active participation in community services create a contradicting profile. This was effective as he managed to maintain his crimes concealed for years (Adelstein et al.). One of the most revealing behavior for his pedophilia is that he worked as an entertainer at children’s parties. This granted him access to the unsuspecting victim and granting him the opportunity to win their trust over time before raping, torturing, and killing them.
According to the Covariation Model, the causes of an outcome can be attributed to the stimulus, which is external circumstances, and internal circumstances, which is their personality. This necessitates that the investigators look closely into the suspect’s life to determine whether internal or external factors would lead them to commit the alleged crime. Three key attributions are effective in such an investigation: consistency, distinctiveness, and consensus.
Consensus refers to the Covariation Model of the suspect’s behavior, whereby the investigators observe the general notion of the people who knew him well (Stack). There was a consensus among the people who knew him well that he was constantly seeking people’s approval, due to the fact that he had been denied approval in his developmental years. Additionally, he was unathletic and overweight, which led to a consensus that he had been a bitter person since childhood and thus a suspect.
Distinctiveness is another attribute that can be used in the conviction of a suspect as the investigator seeks individual behavior’s uniqueness. The greater their behavior’s distinctiveness, the higher the probability that they committed the crime. John Wayne Gacy had difficulty blending into society and would be considered by the people who knew him well as a psychopath (Zietsch & Sidari).
The grievous mistake made by this murderer, which gave away his distinctiveness to law enforcement, is the bad odor oozing from his house, which was alarming to the law enforcement. Additionally, being a suspect, his clown-like appearance, which earned him the name the Killer Clown, was another source of this criminal’s distinctiveness.
His 1976 divorce with his second wife was an internal distinctiveness, a source of resentment, and the possible trigger of his heinous behavior (Kifner). Additionally, Gacy had been constantly molested by a family friend at the age of 7 years, which as another source of external stimulus, thus another distinctiveness from other suspects in the law enforcement radar, suspected of Robert’s disappearance Piest.
Finally, the investigators’ consistency is consistent with how consistent a person is an overtime and whether this consistency is broken in specific circumstances. John Wayne Gacy was high consistency throughout his life, something that had enhanced his success in business and a good reputation in his community in the early years of his life; this consistency was, however, affected after his second divorced, while leading to the downward spiral of his life, which as an external stimulus.
Additionally, his behavior was consistent with the profile of a pedophile and a serial killer (Stack). Furthermore, he exhibited much bitterness with his childhood was consistent with the profile of a person suspects of committing his crimes. It was clear to the investigators that pain and anger a consistent attribute throughout the suspect’s life, thus leading to his conviction.
In conclusion, it is clear that John Wayne Gacy’s conviction for the rape, torture, and murder of 33 young boys was based on a High Consensus, Distinctiveness, and Consistency and thus a stimulus attribution, according to the Covariation Model. Therefore, his behavior was caused by a culmination of multiple internal and external factors, which lead to the change of his behavior from a responsible husband, businessman, and member of the community to a pedophile and serial killer (Zietsch & Sidari).
Covariation Model Example References
- Adelstein, Dani, et al. “Serial Killer & Childhood Trauma.” (2020).
- Cantone, Jason A. “Counterfactual thinking, causation, and covariation in mock juror assessments of negligence: Twenty‐five years later.” Psychological reports 123.2 (2020): 371-394.
- Kifner, John. “Gacy, Killer Of 33, Is Put To Death As Appeals Fail (Published 1994).” Nytimes.com. N.p., 1994. Web. 3 Mar. 2021.
- Stack, Liam. “John Wayne Gacy Victim Is Identified After Four Decades (Published 2017).” Nytimes.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 3 Mar. 2021.
- Zietsch, Brendan P., and Morgan J. Sidari. “A critique of life history approaches to human trait covariation.” Evolution and Human Behavior 41.6 (2020): 527-535.