Who was Jeffrey Dahmer? The Notorious Serial Killer from Netflix's New Crime Series

“Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” Netflix's new series, depicts the life of a Wisconsin serial killer. Here's what to know about the case

Evan Peters plays Jeffrey Dahmer in DAHMER - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Jeffrey Dahmer, a notorious Milwaukee-based serial killer and sex offender, is the latest subject of the Netflix documentary team in a 10-episode series titled “Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”

The series was released Wednesday and stars Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer. Peters rose to fame as a key member of the American Horror Story cast and has also made appearances in the X-Men franchise and One Tree Hill. He is joined in the cast by Richard Jenkins and Molly Ringwald, who play Dahmer’s dad and stepmom. 

Here’s a look at Jeffrey Dahmer ahead of the 10-episode series.

Who was Jeffrey Dahmer?

Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer who murdered seventeen men and boys from 1978 to 1991. 

Dahmer was born in Milwaukee but moved with his parents to Doylestown, Ohio -- a suburb of Akron -- at the age of 6. His brother, David, was born shortly after. 

While there are conflicting reports about family life in the Dahmer household, Jeffrey’s childhood was marked by his mom’s struggle with depression, his dad’s prioritization of work and frequent moves around the Akron area.

Did Jeffrey Dahmer suffer from alcoholism?

By early high school, Jeffrey was regularly drinking in school and grew increasingly withdrawn, despite maintaining a penchant for pranks and earning a bit of a reputation as a class clown. He was also coming to terms with his sexuality as a gay man.

Jeffrey reportedly developed sexual fantasies throughout high school, that later involved cannibalism and dissection, a practice he had learned through scientific conversations from his dad, a chemist. 

Who was Jeffrey Dahmer’s first victim?

Three weeks after his high school graduation, Jeffrey Dahmer picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks who became his first murder victim. 

Over the course of the next decade, Jeffrey bounced from different environments -- including a brief stint as a student at Ohio State and in the U.S. Army -- while slipping deeper into alcohol dependency and eventually returning to Milwaukee to live with his grandma. 

When did Jeffrey Dahmer murder his second victim?

On Nov. 20, 1987 -- almost a decade after killing Hicks -- Jeffrey committed his second murder, which then sparked a four-year stretch of 15 more murders. 

When was Jeffrey Dahmer caught?

On July 22, 1991, one of Jeffrey’s potential victims escaped his home and flagged down police nearby. An investigation revealed countless body parts and images of victims throughout his Milwaukee house. 

Over the course of the next two weeks, Dahmer confessed to all 17 murders -- 16 in Milwaukee and one (Hicks) in Ohio. In 1992, he was convicted of 16 counts of murder -- all serving life sentences. 

He wasn’t charged for his first Milwaukee murder as he claimed to have no recollection of the killing and prosecutors didn’t feel like they could prove his involvement beyond a reasonable doubt.

Is Jeffrey Dahmer still alive?

Following sentencing, Dahmer was transferred to Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisc. Despite concerns for his safety as a notorious serial killer, Dahmer was integrated into the general prison population.

Dahmer was killed on Nov. 28, 1994 by a fellow inmate, two and a half years after his final conviction. 

What other movies or TV shows have been made about Jeffrey Dahmer?

Netflix isn’t the first to document Dahmer’s crimes. 

Countless books, shows and movies have been produced regarding Dahmer’s life, including a number of high profile interviews and biographical movies prior to Dahmer’s death. Most recently, Ross Lynch and Alex Wolff starred in the 2017 biopic “My Friend Dahmer,” based on the book by Jack Backderf, one of Dahmer’s high school classmates.

“Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is available to stream on Netflix. 

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