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Joseph Kozenczak

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Joseph R. Kozenczak is the former chief of detectives of the Des Plains Police Department.  He is the author of The Chicago Killer and A Passing Acquaintance.  

According to the book description of The Chicago Killer, “The Hunt For Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy is the story of the capture of John Wayne Gacy, as told from the perspective of the former Chief of Detectives of the Des Plaines, Illinois Police Department , Joseph Kozenczak. The conviction of Gacy on 33 counts of murder is a record in the archives of the criminal justice system in the United States. Two additional bonus chapters give the reader a comprehensive insight into the use of psychics and the lie-detector in a serial murder investigation.”

One reader of The Chicago Killer said, “This is a chilling true police story about the capture of John Wayne Gacy, one of America's most prolific serial killers. The story is told by the former Chief of Detectives for the Des Plaines, Illinois Police Department, Joseph R. Kozenczak and was co-authored with Karen M. Henrikson. The book offers two additional Bonus Chapters regarding the Use of Psychics in a serial Murder Investigation, along with an insight into the use of a lie-detector which helped in cracking the case. This book is a Silver Commemorative Issue, First Edition. Well worth reading!”

One reader of A Passing Acquaintance, “Diehard true crime fans will recognize author Joe Kozenczak as the same man who led the 1978 police investigation that resulted in the arrest of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Because Kozenczak and his officers were so heavily involved in the case, I had hoped that this book might rival the definitive book on Gacy's crimes, "Killer Clown" by Gacy co-prosecutor Terry Sullivan. Alas, this book had so little additional information to relate that I sometimes questioned why it had been written at all.

Reading this book was like having a long case of deja vu because it so closely mirrors the organization of "Killer Clown." In fact it sort of reads like an abridged version of that book. Kozenczak and coauthor Henrikson chose to structure their narration just as Sullivan did -- chronologically -- but rather than filling in any gaps, they left out countless details while failing to add anything new to the grim tale. Given that Kozenczak's book was printed almost ten years after Sullivan's, the lack of any new insight or relevant information was a big disappointment to me.

The book is capably written but is otherwise unremarkable except for being conspicuously short on pages (192 in the hardback). However, I'm not being 100% fair when I say there wasn't any new information herein; Kozenczak does give details about the two psychics he consulted during the Gacy investigation, something which was (and remains) rather controversial. This book isn't a bad read and so it's worth an objective rating of 3 stars, but I can't help feeling that it could have been a lot better. Anyone who really wants to learn about the true horror of John Wayne Gacy's crimes should turn instead to Terry Sullivan's fine book on the case.”

The Chicago Killer: The Hunt for Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy
Joseph R. Kozenczak  More Info
A Passing Acquaintance
Joseph Kozenczak  More Info

About the Des Plaines Police Department

The primary objective of the Des Plaines Police Department is to provide twenty-four hour professional police service to the community, ensuring the protection of life and prosperity.  To accomplish this, the Department is divided into three divisions:  the Operations Division, Investigations, and the Support Services Division.


The Operations Division includes the Uniform Patrol Section which is responsible for patrolling in marked police vehicles; responding to all incidents requiring police service; enforcing the law; initiating criminal investigations; preserving the peace; investigating traffic accidents; enforcing traffic/truck laws and overseeing special events.


The Investigations Division is divided into three units:  Criminal Investigations, responsible for investigating adult crimes; Juvenile Investigations; and the Tactical Unit, responsible for investigating drug and gang related activity.


The Support Services Division includes the traffic/crime prevention section responsible for traffic enforcement, the special problems unit, and coordinating, planning crime prevention, and administering the Drug Awareness & Resistance Education (DARE) Program The Records Section, responsible for compiling all records, reports and statistics, and the Community Service Officer Section, responsible for responding to service calls not requiring a police officer, are also included in the Support Services Division.  The training section, Court Liaison Position, the Property/Evidence Room, and Vehicle Maintenance also comprise the Support Services Division.


It is the objective of the Des Plaines Police Department to work closely with the community to ensure a safe environment and enhance the quality of life for all citizens.





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