Fact Vs Fiction: Everything That Actually Happened In Netflix’s Dahmer Series

Fact vs fiction_ All the tiny details in Netflix’s Dahmer series that actually happened
Fact vs fiction_ All the tiny details in Netflix’s Dahmer series that actually happened

It’s a true crime drama series, so you’re probably not surprised that Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix sticks to fact over fiction for the most part. However, some of the scenes are so shocking that you may wonder if they could actually happen in real life.

As the 10-part series about this story progresses, it becomes increasingly twisted and disturbing. But, unfortunately, Netflix and Ryan Murphy stuck pretty closely to the story in order to create the show. In case you’re wondering what’s true and what’s fiction in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix, here’s a rundown of all the true moments and small details.

Club 219 exists, and Jeffrey Dahmer visited it

Jeffrey Dahmer is seen in the show visiting the bar Club 219 and picking up multiple victims before bringing them back to his apartment. Club 219 in Milwaukee was a real gay bar, and Jeffrey Dahmer did go there. According to the Wisconsin LGBT History Project, Club 219 first opened its doors in February 1981 and quickly became known as one of the best gay bars in the area.

The club, however, is closed today. Its popularity began to dwindle as more bars opened in the area, and after it was revealed that Dahmer frequently picked up victims here, it struggled to attract customers.

Cannibalism and a Fridge Filled With Body Parts

Viewers may think the show’s decapitated head in the fridge, organs, and genitalia in the freezer, and other grisly discoveries sound like something out of a bad horror movie, and they would be correct. All of this happened, and the reality of Dahmer’s crimes has served as the basis for many horror films since then.

When police searched Dahmer’s apartment in person, they discovered photo albums containing dismembered bodies and parts. They also found bleached skulls, several heads in the fridge and freezer, barrels of hydrochloric acid used by Dahmer to dissolve the bodies, and evidence that he had been eating the body parts.

Dahmer’s First Murder

Dahmer murders his first victim, hitchhiker Steven Hicks, in Episode 3 of the show. Dahmer offers to drop Hicks off at a concert in exchange for Hicks first hanging out with him at his parents’ house, where they drink and smoke weed. When Dahmer tries to kiss Hicks, he recoils and attempts to flee, at which point Dahmer hits him with a barbell and strangles him. He then dismembers the body, dissolves it in acid, pulverizes the bones with a hammer, and scatters the ashes in his parent’s backyard.

The exact details of what led Dahmer to kill Hicks are unknown, as is whether Dahmer attempted to kiss Hicks (though Dahmer later stated that the killing was unplanned), but the broad strokes are all correct. However, the show skipped a step because, after dismembering the body, Dahmer buried it in the backyard for several weeks before digging it up again to dissolve it.

‘I want to hear your heart because I’m going to eat it,’ Dahmer told Tracy Edwards.

Dahmer tells Tracy Edwards in one creepy scene in the series that he wants to hear his heart because he’s going to eat it, right after watching The Exorcist III with him. In court, Edwards confirmed that this did occur in reality.

Police Hand Over The Boy To Dahmer

Despite being heavily sedated, 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone manages to escape Dahmer’s apartment in the show. Three women discover Konerak in the street, disoriented and unable to communicate, and dial 911. When the cops arrive, Dahmer meets them on his way back from the liquor store, convinces them that the boy is of legal age and his boyfriend, and is given permission to take the boy back to his apartment, where he later murders and dismembers him.

Tragically, this is entirely correct, and there was significant media backlash as a result of the two officers’ handling of the situation. For their negligence, the officers in question, John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish were eventually suspended and fired from the police force.

The show, if anything, underplayed the police officers’ negligence. In reality, the officers refused to let the ambulance crew check on Konerak, made homophobic jokes, and failed to identify Dahmer. If they had identified him, they would have discovered that Dahmer had a child molestation charge from 1988 for abusing Konerak’s 13-year-old brother (which is also referenced in the show).

He did, in fact, give his teacher some tadpoles.

As we watch Dahmer grow up and try to fit in at school, there’s a scene in which he gives one of his teachers a glass filled with tadpoles. This is based on true events, and Dahmer was irritated when the tadpoles were given to a friend, and he did kill the tadpoles by pouring motor oil into the glass.

Dahmer was employed by the Milwaukee Blood Plasma Center.

This is one of the few moments in the Jeffrey Dahmer Netflix series that is based on fact but contains a significant amount of what appears to be fiction. In the series, Dahmer works at a blood donation center and takes some of the donations home with him. He did get this job, but there is no evidence that he ever stole any donations from there.

In Dahmer’s Apartment, There Is A Satanic Bible

When Tracy Edwards walks into Dahmer’s apartment for the first time, there are several red flags: the foul odor, the dead fish in the aquarium, a drill on the side, and a Satanic Bible. The latter made viewers of the show wonder if Dahmer was a Satanic worshipper.

In fact, there is no link between Dahmer and Satanism. Certainly, there was an occult element to Dahmer’s crimes, as one of his goals was to build an altar in his apartment out of the bones of his victims, but this was never explicitly linked to Satanism. The Satanic Bible could have been a TV show flourish, inspired in part by Dahmer’s lawyer saying that he identified with figures like Palpatine and the Exorcist’s demon for their ‘Satan-like’ qualities.

‘Meat Sandwiches’

In the show, Dahmer offers his neighbor Glenda a “meat sandwich.” She rejects the sandwich and inquires about its contents, to which he responds, “like pulled pork” (never accept a sandwich from someone when the meat inside is like meat that you know).

Dahmer’s real neighbor was a woman named Pamela Bass, who, like the majority of his other neighbors, did not appear suspicious of the serial killer (which would imply that the smell emanating from his apartment did not permeate through to their homes as it did in the show). Dahmer, according to Bass, was polite and liked to make sandwiches for his neighbors.

Unsettlingly, Bass stated in the 2013 documentary The Jeffrey Dahmer Files that Dahmer did offer her a sandwich, but she accepted and ate it, unlike Glenda in the show. While she didn’t say anything about how it tasted, Bass did say, “I’ve probably eaten someone’s body part.”

The police did return Dahmer’s Konerak Sinthasomphone

After being drugged, 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone escapes Dahmer’s apartment covered in blood in one shocking scene. Dahmer claims they are boyfriends, and Konerak is an adult. This actually happened, and Glenda Cleveland, a neighbor, was present and later called the police to express her concerns.

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HImansh is a freelance writer and editor specializing in Public Relations, Culture, Politics and the intersection between them. He's a St.Xavier's College Graduate who has a degree in Public Relations. He's currently based in Chandigarh, India Word from Himansh: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”