Who Was Jason Moss?: The Shocking & Tragic Story of The Young Man Who Wrote To Infamous Serial Killers & It Ruined His Life

(On the left: John Wayne Gacy. Right: Jason Moss. Picture credit: viralnova)

Jason Moss was just eighteen years old when he began writing to serial killers. He had always been fascinated by them and the psychology of how they think and carry out their crimes with no remorse and feeling for their victims. Their attitude to their crimes and what they were able to carry out, always intrigued and disturbed him. He was an honour student and seemed to be have an ability to turn whatever he touched into gold. He had a lovely family, a girlfriend, a great social circle, so nothing was missing in his life but there was a curiosity and he wanted to look into it for a school project where he could talk about whatever subject interested him. 

When he was a young child his mother had a fascination with true crime books and would often take him to the local library where she would share with him the disturbing details that were written in the pages of the books. He was always confused as a child as to why his mother would tell him about such things. As a student he found himself in a bookstore and was drawn to the true crime section. His first book about serial killing was the classic, Hunting Humans by Michael Newton. The book focuses on various serial killers and it grabbed Jason's attention. Soon he was stacking up true crime books like they were going out of fashion, he wanted to soak up as much knowledge as possible. So, as mentioned at the start of the post, he decided that he wanted to do a project for school and include his interest in criminology. Over the dinner table one night he declared to his shocked parents that he was going to write to some infamous serial killers. His mother thought it was odd despite her curiosity with true crime but his parents didn't really object to it and let him carry on so he set about writing to them. 

Whilst I have been spending the majority of the week studying John Wayne Gacy for my 1970s serial killer series, Jason's name popped up and I'd never heard of him before. I'd discovered he'd written a book with Jeffrey Kottler called 'The Last Victim' based on his experiences of writing and meeting various serial killers. I was intrigued by the title and the fact that he had partaken in extensive communication with John Wayne Gacy whilst John was on death row serving time for the r*pe, torture and murder of 33 young men and boys in the 1970s. 

Out of the serial killers that Jason had been in touch with, he seemed to have had quite a strange relationship with John Wayne Gacy almost like a strange, close bond and friendship. Jason claimed that he wanted to be in communication with the killers purely for research purposes and he would try and act out various roles with these dangerous men. He would write to several in the hope that one of them would write back. He would find out what their likes and dislikes were, including their sick tastes and he would write to them pretending to have the same things in common with them in a an attempt to get as much information out of them as possible. 

With John Wayne Gacy, he (although he claimed to be heterosexual) pretended that he was confused about his sexuality. Being a handsome looking young boy of 18, he knew that he was John Wayne Gacy's type so to speak and wanted to play into that. As you can imagine, John was pushing for the letters to be sexual in nature and Jason, unsure and uncomfortable with how to approach this, decided the best way for him to be able to respond to theses letters in a believable manner, was to speak to someone in the gay community. Jason had found a male sex worker who gave him stories about his life meeting various different men and indulging in different sexual practices. Jason took what this man said and copied the language in his letters to John Wayne Gacy. 

The letters were not just sexual, they talked about various things including the fact that John was trying to manipulate Jason into thinking and believing that he was innocent. He told Jason that it had all been a set up, he was innocent and he was very persuasive and Jason found himself at times coming around to some of what John was saying, especially when John mentioned that other people had keys to his house. As time went on and the letters continued, it was quite clear that John was trying to manipulate Jason into more sexual conversations whilst dangling information about himself which he knew that Jason, being a young, naive teenager and somewhat in awe of John Wayne Gacy. John had established from the outset that he was completely in charge and Jason went along with it. 

However, things started to get out of hand when John started to talk about sexual abuse he had endured in the past and he also mentioned that he had molested his own sister. The letters were becoming more and more disturbing and explicit but Jason couldn't stop writing to him for whatever reason. It got to the point where John had persuaded Jason to attempt an incestuous relationship with his younger brother. Of course Jason was horrified but instead of throwing the letters in the bin and calling a day on the whole thing, he decided to go along with this facade by pretending to also be his brother, writing to John. 

So Jason was pretending to have an incestuous relationship with his brother in order to keep the letters and conversation with John Wayne Gacy going. He was also trying to communicate with other serial killers too. With Jeffrey Dahmer, he wrote a letter to him pretending to be this loner type who lived with his sick grandmother. He had obviously done his research on Jeffrey and was trying to tap into his world. He would try to adapt and portray himself in various different roles when writing to these infamous killers. He did have some luck with responses back but he communication with John had seemed to be the strongest and that is what jumped out at me, hence another reason why I wanted to write about Jason. 

What started off as a research project was now taking over Jason's life, he found himself having nightmares and constant thoughts of the horrible things that he was been told by the monsters he was in communication with. Despite the obvious toll that it was taking on his mental health and his social life, he continued. Jason was a hard worker and always dedicated himself to whichever task he undertook and always aimed to see things through to completion. I think he felt that he'd been able to do something that a lot of people would have desired to do and that was being able to communicate on a personal level with John Wayne Gacy and as John would often remind him ''Do you know who I am?'' and ''I get thousands of letters from people but I chosoe to talk to you''. John was very dominant as he always was and the situation was becoming more scary even just through letters and phonecalls. 

John had organised for Jason to come and visit him for a couple of day, John paid for the whole thing and had his lawyer set it all up. So, this was the first time that the pair were to meet and of course, Jason was nervous. The first meeting is a complete rollercoaster. Jason was able to observe that John had pretty much the run of the place with the guards fussing over his every whim. It was a ridiculous set up and John had organised for the pair to have lunch together but he wasn't happy with what the guards had brought to him so he ordered them to take it back and bring him something else. Jason watched in shock as the guards walked away and sorted out John's food for him like it was some sort of restaurant. The guards pretty much left the two of them alone in private. 

The whole first visit was creepy and disturbing. It's unclear what exactly John thought this was or that Jason had maybe lead him on too much in the letters, but John was under the impression that something sexual was going to occur between the pair. Jason had noticed that throughout him trying to make conversation, John repeatedly touched himself through his trousers and that he was clearly turned on. Before Jason knew what was happening, John had pulled his penis out of his trousers and was shouting at Jason to look at it. The whole scene just went from horror to horror as John Wayne Gacy, aggressively horny, proceeded to masturbate in front of Jason whilst telling him how beautiful his penis was and that it was like a mushroom. He said that people died for his penis (I'm trying to be careful with the exact wording here but it's all in the book) and saying obscenities to Jason who was terrified. 

John continued to get more and more aroused as he told Jason that he wanted to bend him over a chair and sodomize him until he bled. He also threatened that he could kill Jason right there and then. Jason claimed that he had seen the evil look in John's eyes and the change from him being friendly when he first walked in with the guards to how he was in that moment. He said that he experienced some of what John's victims had experienced before he killed them. 

Luckily the guards appeared and that seemed to calm things down a bit especially as John was very angry at Jason because Jason would not engage with him sexually. Things were very tense for a moment but John seemed to snap back into a more chilled manner which was quite scary too, how he was able to switch moods so fast in the blink of an eye. 

Jason had come all of that way to visit John and had been writing endless letters to him in an effort to gain his trust and he really wanted this to be a success. He wanted photographs taken with John maybe as some sort of proof that they had actually met. John was happy to do this and just before Jason was about to leave he slipped some sexy underwear in his hand and said ''Can you wear these for me tomorrow''

I don't know if Jason actually wore the underwear the next day for John's approval but I was shocked that he actually went back for another visit. After the two visits, Jason had more or less got what he wanted in terms of having had the communication with John Wayne Gacy and the photographic evidence. The novelty seemed to wear off but John was quite persistent and wanted the whole 'incest' thing to continue with Jason and his brother. Jason was fed up and didn't want to play along with it anymore. He had an answer machine and John would often call and leave messages. Jason would receive some of John's art work as a gift and it was clear that John had quite a romantic, sordid interest in Jason and Jason had realised that he had gone too far and possibly led John on to think that the relationship was something more than it was. He tried to avoid John's letters and phoencalls but eventually responded and told John that he might not be able to be in communication as much anymore because his Dad was finding it difficult to cover the costs and it was getting expensive with the calls and postage of the letters. 

John was not one to take no for an answer and still continued to try and contact Jason. On one occasion, Jason heard his phone ring and it went straight to answer machine but there's was a problem with the answer machine and Jason was able to overhear a conversation that was going on between John and his lawyer. 

John and his lawyer were unaware that Jason could hear everything that was being said. John complained that Jason had been avoiding his calls and letters for about a month. He said that he had spent a lot of money on Jason and his lawyer agreed but the conversation turned dark when John said that he basically wasn't going to be taken for a mug and threatened to send the private letters that Jason had sent him about the so-called incest with his own brother, to Jason's father. Jason continued to listen in shock and all of of a sudden he realised that he was no longer scared and intimidated by John and he's had enough of everything so he got on the phone and he told John (who was shocked, there was uncomfortable silences) that he had heard everything that had been said and that he was lying the whole time in the letters and that he was not having a incestuous relationship with this brother. 

John was silent and was at a loss for words which for him was quite something as he always had something to say for himself. I think in that moment that Jason was lucky that he was in the safety of his own home because I think John Wayne Gacy would have killed him in that moment. All Jason heard was John hanging up the phone and that was it. 

Jason realised that he had to tell his parents everything about the truth of the letters and the fake story about the incestuous relationship with his brother. His family supported him and contacted a lawyer for advice. There was nothing that John Wayne Gacy could do even though he would often threaten to tell authorities that Jason was abusing his brother so that he would get arrested and his brother would be sent away somewhere. They were able to prove that Jason had been lying and no sort of abuse was going on in the family. 

The whole situation sort of dwindled away and Jason pretty much got on with his life but the day soon came where it was announced that John Wayne Gacy was due to be executed by lethal injection. Jason was nervous about this because John had managed to have his execution put off numerous times and everyone was concerned that he would be able to do it again. This time however, it was to go ahead. Jason was with his family at home when he heard that there had been an issue with John's execution. It took him 18 minutes to die which raised some concern although that is nothing compared to the utter hell and torture that he put his poor, innocent young victims through. Compared to what those 33 young men and boys went through (and who knows for sure, how many countless others who have never been identified) he actually got it easy in my opinion. 

Jason went to his bedroom after the official announcement was made that John Wayne Gacy was no more. He was officially gone and a lot of people breathed a sigh of relief. John's lawyer called Jason and it was a somewhat bizarre and emotional phonecall. John's lawyer told Jason that John had been asking about him in the weeks leading up to his execution and he believed that John had genuinely liked Jason. Jason found himself in tears when he heard that. It really was a strange relationship between himself and John Wayne Gacy. 

I think that like a lot of us in the true crime community and anyone with an interest in true crime we often think about what it would be like to meet these infamous monsters. It leaves a chill down the spine the idea of having these people in the same room as you. I often get asked who I would like to interview and I've always said John Wayne Gacy. I would have to have some security in the room because even though I wouldn't fit his criteria for a possible victim, I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. As well as being a master manipulator, John Wayne Gacy was very clever at sniffing out people's weaknesses and using them against them. He was a control freak but he did it in a way that he was able to trap people into doing what he wanted and would feel vulnerable in his presence especially if he was alone with them. I noticed that in front of other people he would put the 'nice guy' performance on. He was very much like two people. 

After John's death, Jason became well known for the young guy who wrote to John Wayne Gacy and other serial killers. People were fascinated with him and asked him constant questions. Some people thought he was brave for what he did and some thought he was crazy. 

Jason was still suffering a lot with the things that he was told by John Wayne Gacy and the other killers who had responded to him. He was struggling with the thoughts and descriptions of what these people had done to their victims. Despite the project being a success, Jason continued his contact with some of the serial killers and was attempting to get close to The Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez. He actually was successful in doing so and had even been to meet Richard in prison. As part of trying to tap into Richard's world, Jason started studying satanism. 

I wish I could write that Jason had wrapped up this strange urge to continue to communicate with such people after the success of his project and the experience with John Wayne Gacy coming to an end but sadly he continued on and nobody knows the exact circumstances of what was to happen next. 

It seemed that Jason had been going on a downward spiral for quite some time. He was just a kid when he started writing to these people, these monsters and his head was filled with some of the most horrific things you can imagine. As a writer, I try my best to take care of myself when I'm writing about some of these cases because it can be really tough, the details can be horrendous and you see the world in a different light. I'm lucky that I have the ability to separate my private life from that of my writing. I'll research a case, read every book I can about it, watch every trial etc and I will type it up on my blog and then I close the book on it and move on. I don't know how I would feel if I was in contact with some of the most infamous serial killers to have ever existed. My blog would be through the roof, it would be amazing from a popular stand point but I would be traumatised. To be honest, I think anybody in their right mind would. 

Jason wrote about his experiences in detail in the book The Last Victim and I highly recommend that everyone who hasn't read it, to have a look at it because he spoke honestly about what the whole thing had done to him psychologically, being in contact with these monsters. He was only a young man and he should have been like other young people of his age at that time, care-free, thinking about the future, parties, fun, holidays etc but he was suffering from nightmares and terrifying thoughts that he could never shake. He didn't wish it on anyone. 

(Richard Ramirez with Jason Moss. Picture credit: dearmrgacy)

Jason sadly took his own life and it became clear that he had been researching a lot of satanic materials and had been connected to Richard Ramirez. He ended his life on the 6th day of the 6th month in 2006. Was it just sheer coincidence or was that intentional? We know Richard Ramirez was an absolute monster and the things he had done to his victims were the stuff of nightmares. Jason was already vulnerable as it was and to have been involved in some small capacity with Richard Ramirez was just a big mistake. One wonders if it was an addiction for Jason, the thrill of being able to get near to these monsters when other people couldn't or were too scared to? Maybe he felt it was his duty to find out all he could incase they felt comfortable enough to tell him about other possible victims? Whatever the case, I know he was old enough to make his won decisions but I feel that it would have helped if somebody stepped in and said ''That's enough Jason, you need to stop all of this and get on with your life and live your life''. 

None of us can really know what was going through Jason't mind and it's heartbreaking on so many levels because he was such a bright, intelligent young man who could have done anything he wanted and it seemed he found himself sucked into this horrible, dark world that he couldn't get out of of. Once the door was open to all of these dark and disturbing curiosities, he just couldn't turn away. 

I hope that you have found my posts on both John Wayne Gacy and Jason Moss to be interesting and informative. I hope to have provided you with some new information that you may not have come across before. So I end this week of research into John Wayne Gacy with the sad post about Jason. Jason is often referred to as the title of his book 'The Last Victim' and in a lot of ways, sadly he was. RIP Jason and for whatever the reasons for your strive to learn about these people, we have learned from you. Not only have we learned that these monsters were every bit as horrific as we imagine from what we have read about their crimes but that the idea of ever being tempted to write to these sorts of people, is a seriously bad idea unless you can fully handle what they are going to tell you and in the end, unless they are revealing new details about missing victims or locations of remains, it's simply not worth it. 

Side note: A movie based on Jason's book called 'Dear Mr. Gacy' was released in 2010. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post and I hope you will join me in the next one as I will be continuing on with my 1970s Serial killers series. 

Take care x 


  1. Hello Jo,

    This is the first time that I read in details about Jason Moss but I’ve seen the movie “Dear Mister Gacy” at the time of his release. Back then, I thought that the movie was effective and William Forsythe is good but not as convincing as Brian Dennehy. I read a lttile bit about Jason Moss but I wasn’t aware of too much details.

    I definitely learn so much about Jason Moss reading your post Jo. I want to read “The Last Victim”, that will be another book to add to my wishlist.

    John Wayne Gacy was not only a monster but he was such a manipulative narcissist evil person. He was playing in Moss head and he sadly completely changed his life for the worst.

    Jason couldn’t take it anymore. When I read the part of your post about his first meeting with Gacy, I was so disturbed, I’m still are. That must have been so creepy for Jason to meet with this manipulative controlling monster. The fact that he visited him another time shocked me too.

    The fact that he took his own life is beyond sad. After everything that happened with Gacy, being connected to Ramirez too… it must have been really tough on his mental health. It’s heartbreaking that nobody was there for him at the time.

    RIP to Jason Moss.

    Thank you for your masterful work Jo, you’re amazing.

    1. Thank you so much! It's interesting to see that you watched the movie, I haven't watched it yet. You should defo sign up to Audlible as they have The Last Victim on there. Thanks again for your comments. I really appreciate it x

  2. I loved this post it was, again, an eye opener into something that is often overlooked and not thought about in regards to true crime research and true crime writing. I know from following you and the work that you do I've often times been concerned about the impact of what you are researching and working on might possibly have on you.

    The absolute monsters that have walked this earth and the horrifying things they have done is something that can not be looked at lightly or easily forgotten. With that I commend you and admire your ability to close the books when you're done with your research and compartmentalize the things that you have gone through.

    In regards to Jason Moss the first red flag that jumped out at me is what the parents did by allowing their son to contact these horrifying monsters via letter. I'm sure their intentions were good and they probably wanted to encourage their son to pursue his passion in Criminology. However, I feel there was a major failure on their part, if this was my son doing this I'd insist on reading every letter coming in and going out and listening in on every phone call that was made.

    This obviously wasn't done as no parent in their right mind would have allowed this to happen. And that is heartbreaking as they lost their son in the long run because of this.

    The second red flag that jumps out at me is the lawyer of John Wayne Gacy. Lawyers are notoriously morally corrupt and sick individuals as it is that have no common decency amongst themselves. And John's lawyer was no exception. Here you have a lawyer that is representing someone that has been convicted and sentenced to death for murdering young men that fit the description of Jason Moss. This is sick in my opinion and I feel that the lawyer should of been disbarred and held liable by Jason's parents.

    Another major red flag was the prison guards treating Gacy like some kind of superstar in prison and catering to his every whim. He didn't like the food they'd go and get him whatever he wanted. And they left him alone with Jason during the visit! None of this should of EVER happened.

    The nightmares that Jason endured just dealing with Gacy himself should of been a warning beacon to Jason's parents that he should stop going down the path that he had chosen or maybe taken a different less personal approach to his research and work.

    But they didn't and that allowed Ramirez to claim another victim even from the confines of his prison cell. None of this should have ever been allowed to happen for any reason.

    My heart does go out to Jason's family as they lost a very incredibly brilliant son, and I can only imagine how they feel about that.

    This was a very insightful and incredible story and I hope that when you do your work because I do know how deep your research goes, that you continue to compartmentalize and put each of these cases behind you as you delve into the facts of each one.

    Again this was mind-blowing, riveting and at the same time heartbreaking, and for that I must say thank you for your incredible work.

    1. Thanks for checking out the post and leaving a very detailed comment, I really appreciate it and I totally agree about John's lawyer. It was clear what John was up to and what he expected from Jason. It is a wonder how many other boys visited Gacy in prison with his lawyer helping set it all up. Shocking x