How was Jeffrey Dahmer caught? Who is victim Tracy Edwards and how did he lead to the serial killers arrest

New Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story see’s The Dropout star Shaun J Brown as survivor Tracy Edward

On Wednesday 21 September, Netflix dropped its newest limited series based on the crimes and victims of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, titled Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

The show is 10 episodes long and stars Evan Peters (American Horror Story, Mare of Eastown) as the man who would be called the Milwaukee Cannibal.

But how was Dahmer, who went on a 14 year long murderous spree, caught? This is everything you need to know.

How was Jeffrey Dahmer caught?

Dahmer’s rampage, which resulted in the murder 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, was brought to and end in in July 1991, when potential victim Tracy Edwards was able to escape the hands of the killer.

On 22 July 1991, Dahmer invited Edwards, 32, back to his apartment under the guise of taking some pictures. Dahmer had claimed to be a professional photographer.

With Edwards inside his apartment, Dahmer attempted to handcuff him but failed to do so successfully, only managing to cuff one hand. Upon entering Dahmer’s home, Edwards had noted the rancid smell coming from each room and boxes of hydrochloric acid on the floor.

Tracy Edwards was able to survive his attack and have Jeffrey Dahmer arrested (Photo: Court TV)

With Edwards partially handcuffed, Dahmer instructed him to follow him into the bedroom where he would then take naked pictures of Edward. He was forced to lie on the floor, with Dahmer pointing a six inch knife at his groin.

Edwards spent four hours attempting to bargain with Dahmer before he was able to make his escape. He testified that Dahmer chanted and rocked back and forth whilst watching the film Exorcist III in his bedroom, and added: “He put his head on my chest, was listening to my heart, and said he was going to eat my heart.”

After spending hours building up trust between himself and Dahmer, Edwards was able to make his escape when he asked the killer if he could use the bathroom. He noticed that Dahmer wasn’t holding his handcuffs and took the opportunity to punch him in the face.

Edwards is played by Shaun J Brown in the new Netflix series (Photo: Netflix)

From there Edwards was able to run out the front door and at 11:30pm that evening was able to flag down two Milwaukee police officers called Robert Rauth and Rolf Mueller.

The two officers noticed that Edwards had a handcuff on one wrist and Edwards explained what had happened.

Edwards said in court: “I told the police, “This freak, this crazy guy was trying to hurt me”.”

He asked the officers if they were able to remove the handcuffs from his wrists, however after their attempts failed to open them up, Edwards agreed to go with the officers back to Dahmer’s apartment.

Jeffrey Dahmer enters the courtroom of judge Jeffrey A. Wagner 06 August 1991 (Photo by EUGENE GARCIA/AFP via Getty Images)

When the officers entered into Dahmer’s home to retrieve the key, Mueller discovered various polaroid pictures that showed bodies in different stages of dismemberment.

After attempting to fight the officers, Dahmer was arrested and it was then that the true extent of his crimes were uncovered.

When Milwaukee’s Criminal Investigation Bureau searched Dahmer’s apartment, they discovered, among other things, four severed human heads in his kitchen, seven human skulls, two human hearts, two whole human skeletons, a mummified scalp and three dismembered torsos dissolving in a 57 gallon drum of acid.

At the time, Edwards said: “He underestimated me. God sent me there to take care of the situation.”

Where is Tracy Edwards now?

According to ABC, after being placed in the spotlight following his encounter with Dahmer, Edwards was identified by Mississippi police as a wanted felon, and was charged witht he sexual assault of a 14 year old girl.

Edwards was extradited to Mississippi to face the charges. He returned to Milwaukee where he reportedly collected a number of police charges, including arrests for drug possession, theft, failure to pay child support and property damage.

The news outlet reported that Edwards had been homeless and moving from different shelters from 2002 to 2011.

Edwards was arrested in July 2011 and accused of throwing a man to his death off a Milwaukee bridge.

He had been seen on a bridge over the Milwaukee River with two other homeless men, with a witness claiming to have seen Edwards and another man push the third man into the river.

While the witness called the police, the man had drowned by the time the authorities arrived.

In 2012, the Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge convicted Edwards to a year and a half in prison, and two years of extended supervision, for his role in the death of the homeless man.

Edwards’ defence attorney Paul Ksicinski, speaking of his life after the Dahmer trial, said: “It’s like Humpty Dumpty. It’s like he was never able to put the pieces back together again.”

When did Jeffrey Dahmer die?

On 17 February 1992, Dahmer, 34, was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment, with another life term added at a later date.

Just over two years later, on the morning of 28 November 1994, Dahmer left his cell in the Columbia Correctional Institution to carry out his assigned work detail, which included cleaning the toilet block. With him were two of his fellow inmates - Jesse Anderson and Christopher Scarver.

All three were left unsupervised in the shower area for approximately 20 minutes, and at around 8:10am, Dahmer was found on the bathroom floor with extreme head wounds.

It was discovered that Scarver had bludgeoned Dahmer using a bar he had taken from the prison gym. Dahmer survived the initial attack, but died an hour after being taken to hospital.

Christopher Scarver killed Jeffrey Dahmer and Jesse Anderson in prison (Photo: Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department)

Anderson, the other inmate present at the attack, was also severely injured, and died two days later. Anderson was also a convicted murderer who had stabbed his wife, Barbara, five times in the face and head.

Scarver quickly confessed to killing the two men, stating: “God told me to do it. Jesse Anderson and Jeffrey Dahmer are dead.”

In his will, Dahmer had requested that no service be held for him upon his death. Instead, he wished to be cremated.

In September 1995, Dahmer’s body was cremated and his ashes split between his parents.