Netflix true crime series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story follows the 14 year murder spree of American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the police negligence that enabled it. X-Men and WandaVision star Evan Peters stars as the titular killer, and The Breakfast Club’s Molly Ringwald plays Dahmer’s stepmother, Shari.
But who was Jeffrey Dahmer, how many people did he kill, and what happened to him after he was caught? This is everything you need to know:
*This article contains descriptions Dahmer’s killings which may be disturbing*
Who was Jeffrey Dahmer?
Jefrey Dahmer was an American serial killer, sexual offender and cannibal who operated in Wisconsin from 1978 to 1991.
Dahmer’s first victim was Steven Hicks, a hitchhiker whom Dahmer lured back to his house, where he bludgeoned him with a dumbbell and strangled him to death with the dumbbell bar. Dahmer dissected Hicks’ body before destroying the remains.
Over the next 13 years Dahmer is known to have killed 17 people - all of his victims were men or boys, and Dahmer also sexually assaulted several of them. In several instances Dahmer lobotomised his victims by drugging them, drilling a hole into their skull, and pouring acid or boiling water into it, hoping to put them into a permanently submissive state.
He dismembered many of his victims in his bathtub and often dissolved the remains in acid. In his confession, Dahmer admitted to engaging in necrophilia with the bodies of some of his victims, in some cases during the process of dismemberment.
Dahmer also preserved body parts of some victims - investigators discovered two complete skeletons, a pair of severed hands and two severed penises at his home. It is also believed that Dahmer practised cannibalism on some of his later victims.
Dahmer was arrested after one of his intended victims, Tracy Edwards, managed to escape from his home, punching Dahmer in the face before running away and flagging down two police officers.
When the officers returned with Tracy to the home, they found a severed head in Dahmer’s fridge and arrested him immediately. A further search of the property uncovered many more remains, including a 57-gallon drum in which three dismembered torsos were dissolving in acid.
How long was Jeffrey Dahmer sentenced for?
Dahmer was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and a psychotic disorder, and his defence team argued that he was insane. However, Dahmer was found to be legally sane at trial and was convicted for 15 murders in Wisconsin - we has later setenced for an 1978 murder in committed in Ohio.
For these crimes Dahmer received 16 consecutive life sentences - 941 years in prison. His sentence was served at the maximum security Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.
What happened to Jeffrey Dahmer?
Dahmer served the first year of his sentence in solitary confinement due to concerns for his safety among other prisoners.
He was later transferred to a less secure unit and in July 1994 he survived an attack by a fellow inmate who tried to slash his throat. In November 1994 Dahmer and another inmate, murderer Jesse Anderson, were killed by Christopher Scarver, who was serving a life sentence for murder.
What is Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story about?
The series is a dramatisation of Dahmer’s life, focusing on his gruesome crimes and using flashbacks to recount his troubled early life.
A major theme explored in the series is how huge incompetencies in the police force allowed Dahmrer to get away with his many crimes, even as others asked the force to intervene.
When is Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix?
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story landed on Netflix in the UK on 21 September. There are 10 episodes in the series and they are all available to watch now.