This is the most sad and strangest story about clowns that I have ever known. Mostly because, it’s all true.
Most people know who Emmett Kelly was. He made kids laugh as a clown for Ringling Bros. for decades as one of the very first hobo clowns, “Weary Willie” . Kelly had a son, Emmett Kelly Jr., who, in the early 60’s Started doing his own “Weary Willie” act. Because of this, his father never spoke to him again. The Son had a son named Paul. Paul had lost his leg in a train accident as a boy, and grew up hardly ever seeing his father or his grandfather. All 3 had issues.
Emmett Sr.’s wife left him after many years saying that “Willie” had slowly taken Kelly over. Jr’s wife left him for the same reason. Both wifes said that father and son didn’t know where they ended and Willie began. Jr claimed that “willie” had came to him in a dream and told him that it was time for him to replace his father as Willie, before that Jr had worked for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
The grandson, Paul Kelly, claimed to have had the same dream while in jail, seems that Paul never met a drug he didn’t like, and when he got out, changed his name to Emmett Kelly III.
Now the first two, even though they might have had a few personality issues, were not even close to being as screwed up as the grandson. According to his girlfriend, there were two Paul Kelly’s, the first was kind, sweet, warm and helpful. The second was a mean, spiteful bastard.
Now other than being the type of person that never met a drug he didn’t like, Paul was also Bi-sexual. & in late 1978, two of his lovers, one was a preacher, were found beaten to death. When the cops investigated, Paul’s name kept popping up. So, they track him down and found that he had items belonging to the dead men, including a brand new color tv. Paul confessed, but said that he wasn’t the only one that was involved, that “Willie” was the mastermind and that he had “Only hit the preacher once but that Willie had hit him 15 times.” Paul Kelly was sentenced in 1979 to 50 years to life for the murders, he was also found to have a split personality.
One family, 3 generations all becoming a victim of a person that wasn’t real outside of the circus. Sr. died only months after his grandson was sentenced, Jr died in 2006. And what of “Weary Willie you ask? No clown has dared take on the mantel for fear that he will consume them as well.
For those that do not believe this story, I have posted below two links that tell more of the story….Sweet Dreams.