Monday, December 5, 2022

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    Jeffrey Dahmer: What is the true story behind the Netflix series?

    The 10-episode miniseries Monster: The Story of Jeffrey Dahmerwhich premiered on Netflix on September 21, presents a series of moments taken from the original report about the horrific murders perpetrated by Dahmer over several years.

    What we know:

    Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys, most of them black. The intent of the series from directors Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan is to project the voices of their victims and highlight the racial injustices that allowed the killer to continue to kill with impunity.

    Evan Peters plays Jeffrey Dahmer, and in an interview with Netflix he commented: “I was very scared by the things that he (Dahmer) did. Diving into that story and committing to the character is absolutely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my entire life.”

    As we said, the series is “based on a true story”, but that can mean a wide range of interpretations of the events.

    Although the series is quite consistent with the information reported by the milwaukeejournal and of milwaukee sentinel, as well as the book by the former reporter of the Journal Anne E. Schwartz, on the subject (“Monster: The True Story of the Jeffrey Dahmer Murders”) there are a couple of moments in the story that deviate from reality.

    Here’s a look at the reality and fiction of the series. Warning: Some details may be disturbing to readers, and these details will reveal the events of the series.

    • Although Dahmer had led a fairly normal life, receiving love from his family, there were some issues that plagued him. On the one hand, he was secretly a homosexual and had a fascination for dissecting and butchering animals, a practice that he would later transfer to humans.
    • Dahmer committed his first murder at age 18, before spending 10 months in jail for abusing a child he wanted to photograph, when he picked up a man who was asking for a ride on the road, took him home and after killing him he masturbated on the corpse. After that, he opened it and masturbated again to finally dismember it and hide the parts of it in the pipe of his house.
    • After his first murder, Dahmer became addicted to alcohol and drugs, and although he went a long time without committing a crime again, he resumed his criminal activity by bringing another man into his home for criminal purposes. a priori sex, then murder him.
    • His criminal acts began to become increasingly bloody, since he not only raped corpses, directly relating sex and death, but on some occasions he ate part of his victims, such as the brains, and others he kept them in the freezer, which gave him the name “Milwaukee cannibal”.
    • One of the biggest changes from the real events is the character of Glenda Cleveland (Niecy Nash). In the series, she lives with Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters), who resides in apartment 213 of the Oxford Apartments, on 25th Street in Milwaukee. I mean, she lived in an adjoining building. It seems likely that the series was trying to amalgamate Cleveland and neighbor Pamela Bass into one character. It is Bass who said that Dahmer made sandwiches for others in the building, which becomes the subject of a disturbing exchange between Dahmer and Cleveland’s characters later in the series.
    • Dahmer did show Tracy Edwards (Shaun J. Brown) ‘The Exorcist’. The man who escaped from Dahmer’s apartment and who later led the police to the location where Dahmer was discovered (although in an interview he said he was “The Exorcist III”). Another of Dahmer’s favorite movies, “Return of the Jedi,” is also mentioned in the series.
    • How many locks were there on Dahmer’s door? Edwards’ story changed throughout the aftermath of Dahmer’s arrest, including talk show appearances in which he discussed the numerous locks on the door, while photos from the scene showed only two.
    • The evidence that police find in the apartment during the episode, from the painted skulls to the heads on the fridge, was actual details from the scene.
    • Milwaukee police officers did return the Konerak Sinthasomphone victim to Dahmer, later radioing that they needed to be “deloused.” The killer had convinced cops that the disoriented 14-year-old was actually his girlfriend. After 19 years of drinking too much, officers returned to his car and radioed in. They later reported that the odor they observed in the apartment resembled that of someone who had just gone to the bathroom and not something more sinister.
    • Both officers, as well as a third who helped them (Rick Porubcan), were suspended once the Dahmer murders were discovered, and five more after that night. The two were fired by Police Chief Philip Arreola, then reinstated by a judge in 1994 and went on to have long careers in law enforcement.
    • Dahmer did indeed steal a mannequin from a department store.
    • Tenants in the Oxford apartments did complain about the smell and did hear screaming
    • The building manager spoke to Dahmer about the matter at least three times, though it’s unclear if he was threatened with eviction as he was on the show. Dahmer did call relatives of his victims and threateningly told them to stop looking for his loved ones, as portrayed in the series.
    • Again, there’s no indication that Cleveland and Dahmer knew each other, so the threatening exchange in which Dahmer insists she eat a sandwich he gave her likely didn’t take place.
    • In the episode , the most effective scene in the series comes towards the end of this episode, when family members are able to speak in court about how Dahmer’s murders have impacted them. That includes a passionate display of rage from Rita Isbell (DaShawn “Dash” Barnes), the sister of victim Errol Lindsey. Isbell actually tried to lunge across the table to attack Dahmer at trial.
    • Much of the series focuses on the complicated relationship between Lionel Dahmer (Richard Jenkins) and his son. It is true that Lionel asked Judge William Gardner not to release Dahmer, considering that he needed treatment for alcohol and other impulses, something that Dahmer did not receive during his stay in the correctional facility while serving his sentence for sexual assault.
    • On the show, Sandra Smith (Glenda Cleveland’s daughter) is arrested for assaulting a voyeur and breaking his camera. There is no record of that happening. What did happen in real life is that Smith was present the night the police returned the Konerak Sinthasomphone to Dahmer.
    • On November 28, 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death by Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin.

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