The Horrifying True Story Behind Jeffrey Dahmer’s Serial Killers on Netflix


Netflix’s latest addition to the true crime canon is a thriller from Ryan Murphy, who investigates the case of one of America’s most notorious serial killers: Jeffrey Dahmer.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story stars Mare by Easttown actor Evan Peters as the man also known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal” or the “Milwaukee Monster”, who committed the murder and mutilation of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.

Here are the key points to know about the true story behind the show…

**Warning: This article contains shocking content***

Dahmer’s background

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Dahmer was born in 1960 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to a telex machine instructor and a chemist.

There are conflicting reports as to whether Dahmer was neglected as a child or whether he was in love, but there seems to be no doubt that he came from a broken home. His mother suffered from depression and attempted suicide, and his father spent much of his childhood away from college. Dahmer’s parents eventually divorced when he was 18.

Dahmer was a quiet child who had a double hernia operation at the age of three. The family moved to Ohio when Dahmer was about six, and his younger brother David was born.

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Dahmer was interested in dead animals from an early age, especially animal bones, something that is believed to have started when he saw his father extract animal bones from under their house. He began collecting insects and the skeletons of small animals, such as squirrels, and storing them in jars of formaldehyde. His father showed him how to bleach and preserve animal bones, and Dahmer began collecting road deaths so he could dissect them and add more bones to his collection.

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In high school, Dahmer was an outcast. He drank heavily and called alcohol his “medicine” to classmates. Although teachers thought he had good academic potential, his grades were average. After being quiet before, he started having false seizures and mocking people with cerebral palsy.

In his early teens, Dahmer had a brief relationship with another teenage boy, but he didn’t tell his parents he was gay. He later admitted that he fantasized about dominating a submissive male partner, and that these fantasies involved dissection.

(TBEN via Getty Images)

Dahmer’s crimes

Dahmer committed his first murder three weeks after graduating from high school in 1978. One day in June, he picked up 18-year-old hitchhiker Steven Mark Hicks, lured him to his house for “a few beers,” and hit him with a barbell. Dahmer then strangled Hicks to death, undressed him, masturbated, dissected the body and buried the remains in a shallow grave in his backyard. He later dug up the body so he could dissolve it in acid and crush and scatter the bones.

Shortly thereafter, Dahmer joined the United States Army for a few years. He continued to drink heavily. He was fired in 1981 and in the mid-1980s, back in Milwaukee, began frequenting gay baths where he drugged and assaulted men. In the late 1980s, he committed his second murder, this time of a man he took to a hotel. He then began to commit attacks and murders in his grandmother’s house.

Dahmer’s grandmother asked him to move, largely because of his drinking, his habit of bringing young men back late at night, and the foul odors coming from both the basement and garage—where Dahmer would store and dispose of his victims. He moved into an apartment in Milwaukee and the murders and mutilations continued into the 1990s.

Many of his later murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism and the permanent preservation of the skeleton.

Evan Peters as Dahmer in ‘Monster’

(Courtesy of NETFLIX)

Dahmer’s conviction

Despite being arrested numerous times in his life, once for groping a young boy, authorities only discovered Dahmer’s murderous activities when he was arrested after one of his victims escaped in 1991. Running down a street in Milwaukee with a pair of handcuffs dangling from one wrist, Tracy Edwards told police that Dahmer was trying to kill him.

On that day, at Dahmer’s apartment, police found body parts and severed heads in his refrigerator, freezer, filing cabinet, and kettle.

In 1992, Dahmer was sentenced to life imprisonment. He failed to convince the jury that his cannibalism and necrophilia were the result of insanity, despite being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and a psychotic disorder. He was given 15 consecutive life sentences and was told he would never be eligible for parole.

His trial included some of the most horrifying evidence ever heard in a US courtroom. In his statement to the court, Dahmer said: “I never wanted freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself. I knew I was sick or bad or both.

“Doctors have told me about my illness and now I have some rest. I know how much damage I’ve done. I feel so bad for what I did to those poor families.”

Dahmer was later sentenced to a 16th life sentence for an additional murder committed in Ohio in 1978.

Dahmer’s death

On November 28, 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death by Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin.

More than 20 years after the incident, Scarver first spoke out about why he killed Dahmer.

Scarver said he fatally struck Dahmer on the head twice with a metal rod after he became unnerved by the killer, who he said would make severed limbs out of prison food and sprinkle them with packets of ketchup for blood.

“He would put them in places where people would be,” Scarver said The New York Post.

“He crossed the line with some people – inmates, prison staff. Some people in prison repent – ​​but he was not one of them.”

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story arrives on Netflix on September 22.


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