WITCHCRAFT ANNOUNCED FIRST TRUE CRIME DOCUMENTARY SERIES JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEVIL IN DISGUISE PEACOCK
Peacock announced its TCA lineup, which includes six-part documentary series JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEVIL IN DISGUISE, marking Peacock’s venture into unscripted and true crime programming. The docuseries, from NBC News Studios and Rod Blackhurst (Witchcraft Motion Picture Company), the Emmy-nominated producer of AMANDA KNOX, takes a fresh look at the chilling story of one of the world’s most notorious serial killers told through the words of John Wayne Gacy himself, those who were forever changed by his unspeakable deeds and those who believe that the full truth about the case remains concealed to this day.
All six episodes of JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEVIL IN DISGUISE will be available to stream on Peacock on Thursday, March 25.
“When I was approached by NBC about producing this documentary series I was immediately captivated by the work and research of two independent journalists from Chicago, Tracy Ullman and Alison True,” Blackhurst said in a statement. “For nearly a decade these two women had been working quietly and tirelessly to shine new light on the case surrounding John Wayne Gacy. I saw much of myself and my own filmmaking journey in Tracy and Alison, two outsiders who believed in their merits of their work and had refused to back down. They were storytellers worth supporting as much as this was a story worth telling.”
“John Wayne Gacy has become a well known figure of American murder lore, a monster who kidnapped and killed 33 teenage boys in Chicago and buried them in beneath his house. “But there was so much more to the story”, Blackhurst continued. “Tracy and Alison raised important questions like should this spree have been stopped sooner. During the six years he was committing murder, Gacy was repeatedly questioned by police: how did he keep avoiding jail? And did Gacy really fit the familiar profile of the serial killer–the lone wolf–or did he have accomplices? Did they know things that powerful people wanted kept quiet? And what did Chicago’s Democratic Machine know about Gacy? If there are other locations where boys may be buried, why haven’t they been investigated? And even more troubling, was Gacy was tied to a child sex trafficking ring, and did that factor in to his treatment before and after his arrest? I’ve always been drawn to stories that force us to grapple with painful truths. In this case, I believe we have to reconcile the answers to these questions with the official record so that finally this history can be recorded accurately.”
Blackhurst and partner Noah Lang (Sony Picture Classics’ THE CLIMB) originally founded Witchcraft Motion Picture after the success of their 2016 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award winner ‘Here Alone’ and the development of The White Room which was acquired in January 2019 by Amblin Partners with Evan Hayes of Ace Content and Alex Heineman and Andrew Rona of The Picture Company producing.
“Witchcraft was founded as a tastemaker label to live by the ethos we’ve long adhered to; send the elevator back down and be a part of making the entertainment industry more egalitarian. There is an entire creative class out there who is overlooked by systemic institutional failures. A creative class that has the talent, work ethic, drive, and love for storytelling and craft that can make iconic cinema and TV. And they need partners to help them achieve their dreams,” Blackhurst and Lang said in a joint statement.
Tracy Ullman, Alexa Danner and Elizabeth Fischer serve as executive producers on the series which is based on True and Ullman’s investigation, to be detailed in True’s forthcoming book.
Blackhurst recently directed two episodes of the forthcoming second season of National Geographic series “One Strange Rock”. He’s currently casting his original features THE WHITE ROOM and BLOOD FOR DUST.
Witchcraft Motion Picture Company is represented by UTA. Blackhurst is represented by Charlie Ferraro and Kellen Alberstone at UTA, Antonio D’Intino at Circle of Confusion, and Victoria Cook at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.