I love true crime and have read Moss' book. The film is certainly worth the watch but does not adequately lead up to the damage done that would later result in Moss' suicide. They also focus only on Gacy and do not give enough attention to Ramirez, Manson, Dahmer etc. Jason Moss looked too long into the abyss, and it looked back at him - that is what the movie failed to adequately demonstrate.
Whats Really sad is that Jason Moss, the author of the Book 'The Last Victim' based on his interaction with Gacy , committed suicide sometime later after the book came out. I read the book & its clear how depraved gacy was and disgusting that he was treated like royalty & like a celebrity in Menard prison by the staff. I beleive Jason Moss' struggles with his own possible homosexuality combined with guilt is what sent him over the edge. how truly haunting such a book title as JM was clearly gacys last victim. How Very Tragic. God Rest His Soul.
Although difficult to watch at times, Dear Mr. Gacy is an intense and absorbing film featuring a virtuoso performance by William Forsythe as the infamous Killer Clown. I found the part of Jason Moss (played, oddly enough, by an actor named Jesse Moss) to be a bit overdramatic at times, but we all know that Gacy is the character we're really interested in here. Those of us so fascinated with serial killers all want to get inside the head of someone like John Wayne Gacy, and this movie is all about Moss' efforts to do just that. Gacy is also, dare I say it, the more likable character of the two. As we see here, he could be as friendly and charming as anyone you're likely to meet, but - once in prison - he was never one to hide his true nature. It's true that he was a sadistic and unconscionable psychotic killer, but he said what he meant and meant what he said. Moss, in contrast, is a naïve college student who dares to believe he can get information out of Gacy that no one in law enforcement or the mental health community had ever been able to get. He's a con man who tried to swim with the biggest of fish and got burned in the end, manipulated by the man he thought he was manipulating. Moss would come to call himself Gacy's last victim, but it was he who put himself in that position - Gacy was just being Gacy. As the Killer Clown repeatedly told Moss, the two really were very much alike - deceitful, unbalanced men using manipulation to fulfill their dark desires.
Most college students churn out a term paper at the last minute, but Jason Moss committed himself early in the semester to write about Gacy from a personal perspective. His plan was to portray himself as the kind of young man Gacy was drawn to and thereby win his trust. Letters would be exchanged, and he would somehow coax a confession out of the man on Death Row. Moss plays the part of an abused young man, lonely and sexually confused - he even goes so far as to send provocative pictures of himself to Gacy. The plan works - but Moss loses control of the relationship almost from the very start. Gacy has no trouble finding Moss' address and phone number, and he begins calling his new young friend, encouraging him to explore the seedier side of the homosexual life. Gacy quickly gets inside the mind of the naïve young man, instilling a sense of fear and terror that threatens to send Moss over the edge and makes it impossible for him to end their "friendship." Gacy is not a man to be spurned or ignored. The whole story culminates in a disturbing face-to-face meeting with Gacy only a day or two before his scheduled execution.
I do not believe I am alone in questioning the absolute truth of some of Moss' story. I find it inconceivable that his meeting with Gacy could go down the way he says it did, and I do not believe there is any firm evidence to back up his account of it. One can also question the degree to which Moss felt threatened and haunted by Gacy's threats to him and his family. The movie tends to embellish Moss' story even more than I think he did himself. For instance, here we see Moss go out and interview a gay hustler (which turned out to be a big mistake) as part of his research, but I believe Moss described preparing for his role as a gay hustler by reading gay literature. Whatever the truth may be, it seems clear that this was more than just a school project for Jason Moss - there is a dark and disturbing undercurrent to his obsession with this killer.
Of course, this whole story is made even more tragic by the real-life suicide of Jason Moss several years later, when the process of turning his book into a movie had gotten underway. A husband, a best-selling author, and a successful criminal defense lawyer, Moss seemed to have everything to live for. One cannot help but wonder if the dark stain Gacy left on his life is what pushed him over the edge, although I tend to think it was the dark side of his own nature (which Gacy certainly raised to the surface) that proved to be his undoing. The cinematic adaptation of his story makes for fascinating viewing, but one is left feeling little pity for either of these two dark and obsessive characters.