PLAYING WITH FIRE

June 6, 2006. 6-6-6 was the date Jason Moss chose to take his own life. Many speculate Moss never fully recovered from his time spent delving head first into the lives of Serial Killers. You see, when Jason Moss was an 18-year-old college freshman at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas he had one goal- a career in law enforcement, namely the FBI. As a creative honors student Moss decided to fast track his path to success with an unorthodox approach to his research project.

He became pen pals with some of the most notorious incarcerated serial killers.
Vile murderers like John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez and Jeffrey Dahmer.

It was Moss’s thought that gaining the trust of a serial killer and possibly learning details about some of their unsolved cases would secure him a spot in the FBI program. This decision set into motion a series of events that quite possibly contributed to Moss taking his own life on this day 14 years ago. Moss gained the trust of many serial killers, however his relationship with one in particular, John Wayne Gacy was on an entirely different level. Gacy, who was known as the Killer Clown, murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men in the Chicago area between 1972 and 1978, twenty six of whom were buried in the crawl space under his home.

When Moss wrote to Gacy he decided to do so with the mindset of one of Gacy’s potential victims, thereby creating an interest that could possibly set him apart from others. He posed as a naive young man who could be easily manipulated. He also pretended to be gay in hopes Gacy would develop a sexual interest in him, going as far as sending photos of himself in various sexy poses.

His plan worked. Gacy began sending him very graphic letters discussing his lurid sexual fantasies. In total, Gacy sent Moss over 100 letters in just a few months, many including hand drawn pictures. It was around this time they began talking on the telephone as Gacy was allowed to make calls on Sunday mornings.

Not long after the calls began, Gacy extended an invitation Moss to visit him in prison where he was on death row awaiting execution. Moss agreed and traveled to the prison to meet Gacy. It wouldn’t take Moss long to realize perhaps he was not the master manipulator he envisioned himself to be. Gacy began to disparage and criticize Moss showing him that he was the one in control, making sexual advances toward him and telling Moss he could kill him with his bare hands any time he wanted. Fortunately just as Moss thought he was about to be raped, a guard came in and he was able to escape. It was after this incident that Moss decided to cut off all contact with his serial killer pen pals.

A few months later, on May 10, 1994 Gacy was executed by lethal injection. This event set forth a serious depression for Moss which led him to write a book about his experiences titled ‘The Last Victim.’ It was released in 1999 when Moss was just 24 years old. After college, Moss had internships with both the U.S. Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. While he never made it into the FBI, he did decide to go into law and graduated in 2002 from University of Michigan Law School. He hung up his shingle in Henderson, Nevada practicing criminal defense for just four short years before taking his own life on June 6, 2006… never knowing that his best-selling book chronicling his experiences with Gacy would later be turned into a feature film in 2010.
Dear Mr. Gacy.

SOURCE CITATIONS

Dear Mr. Gacy, 2006 film website – screenplay adapted from Moss & Kottler’s book

Kalil, M (June 13, 2006): “Best-selling author of book on serial killer kills himself”, LV Review-Journal archive]

Moss, Jason. Kottler, Jeffrey. The Last Victim: A True-Life Journey into the Mind of A Serial Killer. 1999. Grand Central Publishing.

Obituary: Jason Moss, Las Vegas Review Journal

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