Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Sam L. Amirante  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1948 in Chicago, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Sam grew up in Norridge, Illlinois and is a graduate of Loyola University and Loyola University School of Law.

Biographical and Professional Information

Sam L. Amirante is a retired judge and lawyer. His first case after leaving the Office of the Public Defender was The People of the State of Illinois v. John Wayne Gacy. In 1988, he was appointed to the bench as an Associate Judge of The Circuit Court of Cook County where he served until his retirement in 2005. He is now the principal attorney of the firm of Sam L. Amirante and Associates, P.C. Amirante authored procedures adopted by the Illinois General Assembly such as the Missing Child Act of 1984 (I-SEARCH), which is credited with helping to locate more than 3,000 missing children.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster
ISBN: 1616082488

Skyhorse Publishing. 2011

"Sam, could you do me a favor?" Thus begins a story that has now become part of America’s true crime hall of fame. It is a gory, grotesque tale befitting a Stephen King novel. It is also a David and Goliath saga—the story of a young lawyer fresh from the Public Defender’s Office whose first client in private practice turns out to be the worst serial killer in our nation’s history.

Sam Amirante had just opened his first law practice when he got a phone call from his friend John Wayne Gacy, a well-known and well-liked community figure. Gacy was upset about what he called “police harassment” and asked Amirante for help. With the police following his every move in connection with the disappearance of a local teenager, Gacy eventually gives a drunken, dramatic, early morning confession—to his new lawyer. Gacy is eventually charged with murder and Amirante suddenly becomes the defense attorney for one of American’s most disturbing serial killers. It is his first case. This is a gripping narrative that reenacts the gruesome killings and the famous trial that shocked a nation.