I broke the Jeffrey Dahmer story in 1991. Here’s what the new Netflix series got wrong

TNetflix’s new Jeffrey Dahmer series sacrificed accuracy for drama, according to the journalist who first broke the shocking story three decades ago.

said Anne E Schwartz The independent that the filmmakers back Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story took “artistic license” with many key details, saying the series “bears little resemblance to the events of the case”.

“When people watch the Ryan Murphy series on Netflix and go, ‘Oh my God, this is terrible.’ I want to tell them that it didn’t necessarily turn out that way,” he said.

Ms. Schwartz worked as a crime reporter for the Milwaukee Journal in 1991 when he received a call from a police source to say that a human head and body parts had been found inside a city flat.

Rushing to the scene, Ms. Schwartz said she arrived to find only a few police officers there and entered the Oxford Apartments building for a closer look.

“I went up to Dahmer’s apartment and stuck my head in, because you’re a reporter, you want to know,” he said. The independent.

“I guess the strange thing was that it didn’t seem weird.”

He said officers slowly began to understand the extent of the crime scene as they discovered polaroids Dahmer had taken of his victims in various stages of dismemberment.

“They didn’t know what they were getting,” he said.

“I was a crime reporter for five years, so I know what it smells like when you walk into a building with a dead body or a decomposing body. This wasn’t it. That was a very chemical smell.”

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story trailer

Anne E. Schwartz broke the Jeffrey Dahmer story while working as a crime reporter in Milwaukee and has written two best-selling books about the murders

(Courtesy of Anne E. Schwartz)

Ms. Schwartz, who went on to work in communications for the Milwaukee Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, said the portrayal of the city’s police officers as racist and homophobic was wrong.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with them, interviewing the people who were at the scene. Again that’s a dramatization, but at a time when it’s not exactly easy for law enforcement to gain trust and buy-in from the community, it’s not a very helpful representation.”

In the Netflix series, Glenda Cleveland, who tried to alert the police to Dahmer’s killing spree, is depicted living in a neighboring apartment. In fact, Mrs. Cleveland, who died in 2011, lived in a separate building.

“In the first five minutes of the first episode you have Glenda Cleveland knocking on his door. None of that ever happened,” Ms. Schwartz says.

“I had a problem with the buy-in, because I knew it wasn’t accurate. But people don’t see it that way, they see it for entertainment.”

After publishing a bestseller on the case in 1991, The man who couldn’t kill enoughMs. Schwartz said she received a phone call from Dahmer to the newsroom of a television station she worked for to complain.

Several psychiatrists who had interviewed Dahmer told Ms. Schwartz that his behavior could be attributed to his parents.

“He hated that. For someone who showed no emotion or seemed to care about anything, he was very protective of his parents, especially his mother,” she said. The independent.

The phone call was “very quick and very timely.”

“He had no inflection in his voice. It was so vanilla, it was so flat. There was nothing. He just said that no one is responsible for what I did but me.”

Evan Peters plays Jeffrey Dahmer in new Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story


Monster: The True Story of Jeffrey Dahmer’s Murders is an updated version of Anne E. Schwartz’s 1991 best-selling book

(Union Square Publishing)

Ms Schwartz said Dahmer was very “cunning” in the way he chose his victims. He talked to them at length in bars and on the streets to prey on men who were on the fringes of society and whose disappearance would not raise any alarm bells.

This, along with his gruesome body disposal techniques, helped him get away with murdering 17 boys and men before his crimes were discovered.

Additionally, gay crime victims in Milwaukee in the 1980s and early 1990s rarely reported offenses to the police for fear of telling family or employers, he said.

After the murders attracted national and international attention, people regularly came to the Oxford Apartments in search of memorabilia.

When Dahmer’s apartment building was razed that year some tried to pick up bricks and pieces of dirt, and the lot remains empty and surrounded by a tall fence to this day.

While the Dahmer series has broken Netflix’s Week 1 record for the most viewing hours, Ms. Schwartz says Milwaukee is “absolutely ready to hear about the case.”

“People in Milwaukee think this is a horrible blemish on the city, they don’t want people to think about it.”

Last year, Ms. Schwartz wrote an updated version of the 1991 book and re-interviewed the main characters to gather their thoughts 30 years on.

Her new book, released last October, Monster: The True Story of the Jeffrey Dahmer Murders.

* Monster: The True Story of the Jeffrey Dahmer Murders released through Union Square Publishing and available on Amazon.

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