Four Key Inaccuracies In Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer Series That Didn’t Happen In Real Life

It hasn't entirely stuck to fact.

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is one of the most-watched shows on Netflix right now. The entire world is collectively finding itself both fascinated and horrified by the crimes Jeffrey Dahmer committed during the 80s and 90s, against the queer, men of colour whom he preyed on. 

Despite the show’s high ratings and online popularity, it has also come under consistent fire for a variety of reasons. From Netflix’s decision to tag it under the ‘LGBTQ+’ category, to members of the victims’ family’s expressing their dismay at yet another Hollywood project profiting from their trauma, it has been shrouded in plenty of controversy from day dot. 

On top of this, the show, while not claiming to be a documentary, is still retelling a historical event, oftentimes with laser-focused detail that eerily parallels real life. Then, in other instances, it will fabricate the truth almost entirely. Understandably, viewers are frustrated with the lack of consistency. After all, if you’re going to retell a story that actually happened, shouldn’t you be sticking to the facts the entire time? 

Below, we highlight four of the biggest inaccuracies within the show which will likely change the way you feel about it. 

Glenda Cleveland didn’t actually live in the Oxford Apartments (or ever meet Jeffrey)


Contrary to what the the show depicts, Glenda Cleveland (played by Niecy Nash) didn’t actually live in the Oxford Apartments. She resided in a different apartment building next to the Oxford block. Nash’ character is a more accurate portrayal of Pamela Bass, who did live in the Oxford Apartments and interacted with Dahmer. She, however, believed him to be kind and personable, even going so far as to accept (and eat) a sandwich from him, not suspecting anything (though she says she has thought about this encounter every day now). 

Cleveland was also not the one to discover Konerak Sinthasomphone. It was actually Glenda’s niece, Nicole Childress, who saw Konerak fleeing from the building, bloodied and bruised, which she explains in this interview. While waiting for the police, Dahmer approached her, and whent he officers arrived, they never asked Childress for any details of what had occurred, instead focusing on Dahmer. While they were asking questions, Childress went to get Cleveland, but when they came back, everyone was gone. We know that tragically, Konerak was murdered by Dahmer not long after this. 

Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t wear his glasses during trial


When Dahmer’s trial began in September 1991, he appeared in court without his infamous glasses. As it turns out, he had a very intentional reason for doing this — he didn’t want to look his victims’ family members in the eye. 

He’s not wearing glasses so that he can’t see people. He panics,” his stepmother Shari told Inside Edition at the time. 

In his own interview on the same show, Dahmer said: “I felt uncomfortable looking anyone in the face, I didn’t want to see anyone’s face clearly, it helped me disassociate myself from what was happening.” 

Despite this, the show depicts Peters as wearing the glasses in every courtroom scene for the duration of the trial. 

Lionel Dahmer did not teach Jeffrey how to dissect roadkill


Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, spends a significant portion of time documenting the relationship between Jeffrey and his father, Lionel Dahmer. The show insinuates that Jeffrey’s early fascination with dissecting roadkill came from Lionel, who actively encouraged the process and even went so far as showing his son what to do. 

As Lional explains in his book, A Father’s Story, he did teach his son about preserving animal bones, as Jeffrey had shown a keen interest in chemistry and biology, and Lionel had a pHD in chemistry. He did not, however, physically show him how to do anything or ever dissect roadkill with him. 

Jeffrey’s real neighbours were not overly suspicious of him


As previously mentioned, Pamela Bass, was a neighbour who lived within the same building and had interactions with Dahmer. In a documentary, The Dahmer Files, she described him as “kind of friendly but kind of introverted,” and recalled a time where she saw him taking a bag of trash out which in retrospect, now makes her feel uneasy.. She also revealed that she would occasionally have a beer at Dahmer’s house and still didn’t suspect anything, describing him as “someone who would always share.” 

The most Bass claims to have heard from Dahmer’s apartment was music. 

“In my opinion, he appeared to be a geek,” said another neighbour in a news interview at the time. “By that I mean he kept to himself and would just do weird things, but not to the degree that you would think.” 

According to some reports, Dahmer’s neighbours didn’t complain that his apartment smelled of flesh, they only believed it to smell of urine, which, while unhygienic, didn’t feel like cause for concern. 

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