Who was Jeffrey Dahmer? The true story behind the harrowing Netflix series

·3-min read
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

This article contains discussion of murder and sexual assault some may find upsetting.

Netflix is back with another true crime drama, all about notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Titled DAHMER - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story the series sees Evan Peters starring in the titular role, and it's a harrowing depiction of horrific true events.

Also known as the 'Milwaukee Cannibal', Jeffrey Dahmer was responsible for the murder of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Evan Peters offers up an uncannily realistic performance when placed side-by-side with Dahmer, as do the rest of the cast playing the real-life people involved in the events.

Here's a run-through of the true story behind the Netflix Jeffrey Dahmer series.

Who was Jeffrey Dahmer?

Dahmer was born in 1960 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is where he also went on to commit most of his crimes.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Reports have claimed that Dahmer was interested in dead animals from a young age, and even started collecting the skeletons of small animals and roadkill. He's also said to have been an outsider at high school.

Which crimes did Jeffrey Dahmer commit?

Dahmer was responsible for the murder of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. His sickening murders involved dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism, with Dahmer later becoming known as the 'Milwaukee Cannibal'. He was also found to have preserved body parts in his home.

Prior to the murders, Dahmer had been arrested on various occasions including for groping a young boy. He committed his first murder just three weeks after graduating high school in 1978. He killed his second victim in late '80s, after a stint in the army, continuing for years up until his arrest in 1991.

Dahmer's victims were predominantly Black, Asian and Latino men, ranging in age from 14 to 33. He would meet victims in various places, including at gay bars and in malls.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

When was Jeffrey Dahmer convicted?

Dahmer was ultimately caught when one of his victims, Tracy Edwards, escaped and was found running down the street with a pair of handcuffs dangling from his wrist. He told police that Dahmer was trying to kill him, with authorities going on to find body parts preserved in his apartment.

In court, a sanity trial found Dahmer to be legally sane. He was jailed for life in 1992 - given 15 consecutive life sentences, equating to 957 years in prison. He was also later issued a 16th life sentence.

He reportedly told the court, "I never wanted freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself. I knew I was sick or evil or both. Doctors have told me about my sickness and now I have some peace. I know how much harm I have caused. I feel so bad for what I did to those poor families."

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

When did Jeffrey Dahmer die?

In 1994, just two years into his sentence, Dahmer was attacked and killed by fellow prison inmate Christopher Scarver, who hit him over the head with a metal bar.

20 years later, in 2015, Scarver said in a New York Post interview, "Some people who are in prison are repentant - but he was not one of them."

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is streaming on Netflix now.

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