Gacy Childhood Friend Praises ABE Film28 Dec, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey
Barry Boschelli is a 69-year-old retiree living in Cheyenne, Wyo., who collects antiques, has a great affinity for trains and American presidents, and constantly refers to his childhood friend as “Johnny.”
The rest of America knows Johnny as John Wayne Gacy, the Killer Clown serial killer who murdered 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 and was executed in Illinois in 1994, after spending 14 years on death row.
Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Dec. 14 DVD ($26.98) and Blu-ray Disc ($29.99) release of Dear Mr. Gacy focuses on the bizarre relationship between Gacy and 18-year-old college student Jason Moss, who strikes up a pen pal relationship with the imprisoned serial killer as part of a college assignment. Based on Moss’ book The Last Victim, the psychological thriller leads up to a face-to-face meeting between the two before Gacy is executed.
Boschelli has seen the previous films made about Gacy (1992’s To Catch A Killer, 2003’s Gacy) and calls Dear Mr. Gacy the most accurate portrayal of the friend he knew when he was 8 years old.
“The movie is disturbing in parts, but fascinating,” Boschelli said. “It shows the real Johnny.”
While not excusing the man’s crimes, Boschelli says that growing up abused likely molded Gacy into the monster he became. Boschelli — whose memoir Johnny and Me revisits his time with Gacy — relays stories of a charismatic Gacy, a seemingly normal boy who would later become one of the more storied killers in American lore. Boschelli’s last encounter with Gacy came in 1975, he said, when he visited Gacy’s Chicago-area home, hoping to reconnect with his old friend.
Boschelli says he barely escaped from the house (“The smell was like five skunks died”) and that Gacy’s last words to him as he ran away were: “I’m going to kill you.”
“He deserved what he got, and then some — don’t get me wrong,” Boschelli said. “But we had an understanding, and for a while, we walked the path together. Then Johnny went one way; I went the other.”
Boschelli said the strength of Dear Mr. Gacy lies in the performance of William Forsythe (88 Minutes, The Devil’s Rejects) as Gacy. Boschelli worked with Forsythe prior to filming, relaying personal stories about Gacy.
“William Forsythe is magnificent,” Boschelli said. “He captured Johnny, and he was right on the mark. Watching [him] brought back a lot of things.”
The DVD and Blu-ray includes the behind-the-scenes featurette “The Gacy Files: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” which looks at the making of the film by interviewing the cast and crew and friends of Gacy. A teaser and theatrical trailers are also included.