The acting coach who sexually abused Drake Bell was also pen pals with serial killer John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy on December 21, 1978, at the Des Plaines Police Department.
John Wayne Gacy on December 21, 1978, at the Des Plaines Police Department.Des Plaines Police Department/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
  • Brian Peck, the dialogue coach who sexually assaulted Drake Bell, was friends with John Wayne Gacy.

  • "All That" cast member Kyle Sullivan says that Peck had a self-portrait from the serial killer.

  • Sullivan also says that Peck had letters and photos from John Wayne Gacy.

Brian Peck, the disgraced Nickelodeon acting and dialogue coach who sexually abused a then-15-year-old actor Drake Bell, also had a sinister connection to real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

New revelations about Peck are part of Investigation Discovery's four-part docuseries"Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV," premiering across two nights on Sunday and Monday. During episode two, former "All That" cast member Kyle Sullivan recounts his experience working with Peck.

"Everybody loved Brian," Sullivan says. "He was charming, he was clever, and he was around all the time.'"

"All the parents loved him too. Everybody trusted Brian," Sullivan adds.

Sullivan, who was 14 at the time, recalled the cast and crew going to Peck's house for a barbecue when he noticed something peculiar.

"His house was a little off," Sullivan says. "He had a room that was just dedicated to vintage toys and comic books. And he converted his garage into a 'Planet of the Apes' shrine. I noticed a painting in the room that stuck out to me because it had nothing to do with 'Planet of the Apes.' It was of a birthday clown holding balloons."

"Brian got very excited when I asked him about it," the actor continues. "He flipped the thing around and on the back, it said, 'To Brian, I hope you enjoy the painting. Best wishes, your friend, John Wayne Gacy.'"

A self-portrait of a clown by John Wayne Gacy.
A self-portrait of a clown by John Wayne Gacy.Steve Eichner/WireImage

Gacy was known as the "Killer Clown" because he dressed in clown attire and was convicted of raping and murdering 33 boys and young men in the '70s. Sullivan said that Peck saw nothing wrong with owning a self-portrait of the serial killer.

Sullivan says Peck proudly showed the painting to the other parents and kids at the house party, too.

"Brian actually developed a pen pal relationship with John," Sullivan says. "He kept this pile of letters and photos from John Wayne Gacy in his nightstand next to his bed. He pulls them out and starts showing them to me."

Sullivan admits that he turned a blind eye to Peck's disturbing connection to the serial killer.

"Your instinct is to give someone the benefit of the doubt if you've known them for that long, even in the face of this really bad sign," he says. "It was one of those classic failures of group psychology. This man who was trusted as basically a supervisor of kids is not safe."

John Wayne Gacy photographed on December 23, 1978.
John Wayne Gacy photographed on December 23, 1978.William Yates/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Peck was arrested months later in August 2003 on 11 charges of child sexual abuse, specifically related to a child actor. It wasn't until "Quiet on Set" that Drake Bell ("The Amanda Show, "Drake & Josh") revealed that he was the unidentified actor molested by Peck when he was 15 years old.

At Peck's sentencing in October 2004, the dialogue coach's side of the room was filled with supporters, some of whom were recognizable stars.

Forty-one letters in support of Peck were written to the judge from Hollywood celebrities, including James Marsden, Alan Thicke, and "Boy Meets World" stars Will Friedle and Rider Strong.

Peck was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender in October 2004. He later found work on three episodes of the Disney Channel sitcom "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" that aired in 2006 and 2007.

Rich Correll, the episodes' director, and Beth Correll, the first assistant director, said in a statement to the producers of "Quiet on Set" that they "had no input or involvement in the casting" of Peck on the Disney show. They also said that when they asked Peck about the case, he "simply replied that 'the problem had been resolved.'"

Kate Taylor served as an executive producer for "Quiet on Set." The four-part docuseries is produced by Maxine Productions, a part of Sony Pictures Television Nonfiction, in association with Business Insider. It is directed by Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz.

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