Is everything true in Dahmer? 5 major differences between the Netflix series and the real…

While “Dahmer: Monster – The Story of Jefrrey Dahmer” respects much of the facts that unfolded during the case, the creators took some liberties for the series. Back to five of them.

Poignant and terrifying, the series Dahmer: Monster – The Story of Jeffrey Dahmer is the center of attention. Carried by a Evan Peters inhabited, the fiction returns to the life and crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer. From 1978 to 1991, this man from Wisconsin, USA, killed and dismembered 17 men.

The 10 episodes retrace this affair through the point of view of the murderer, but also of his father, the victims and their relatives. If the adaptations of news items are not always faithful to reality, Dahmer transposes the events with great accuracy. However, some changes have been made. A look back at five liberties taken by the series.


Jeffrey Dahmer’s neighbor, Glenda Cleveland, is one of the story’s key protagonists. It is interpreted with great sensitivity by Niecy Nash. Glenda Cleveland did exist, but she didn’t live in the same building as the serial killer.

Her character is also inspired by another neighbor, Pamela Bass. She was the one who lived on the same floor as Jeffrey Dahmer. Glenda Cleveland lived in the apartment across the street.

Therefore, the sandwich scene actually happened with Pamela Bass. In a documentary, she explains that she ate it unsuspectingly. “I definitely ate someone“, she says during the interview.

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The sandwich scene between Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters) and Glenda Cleveland (Niecy Nash).

For her part, Glenda Cleveland really witnessed this surreal moment during which the young Konerak Sinthasomphone is abandoned by the police to end up in the hands of the killer. The telephone conversation at the end of episode 2, between her and the agent, is authentic.


John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish, the two police officers who left the 14-year-old victim in front of the building, obviously existed. The series features them several times. In one of the last episodes, they are elected officers of the year and applauded by their peers.

In reality, they have never been rewarded in this way for their work. After being fired in 1992, they still returned to their unit two years later. John Balcerzak became president of the Milwaukee City Police Union.

Glenda Cleveland, meanwhile, received a plaque from then-mayor John Norquist to honor her courage and involvement in the case.


The series tells us that Jeffrey Dahmer has landed a job in a laboratory. He does blood tests. In a disturbing scene, he brings bags of blood back to his home to drink.

The criminal really worked in this medical center for ten months, but he did not drink the blood of his patients. He admitted to having tasted blood in a vial on the roof of the laboratory, before spitting it all out.

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Jeffrey Dahmer succumbs to his cannibal impulses.


In episode 9, Sandra Smith, Glenda Cleveland’s daughter, is arrested by the police for assaulting a malicious young man and breaking his camera. Accompanied by two friends, the stranger took disrespectful shots in front of the apartment.

No press article or official document proves that Sarah Smith was arrested for a similar incident in 1991. This sequence is a choice of the creators to highlight, once again, the difference in treatment between blacks and whites by Milwaukee Police.


The sixth episode of the series sheds light on the fate of Tony Hughes, the deaf victim of Jeffrey Dahmer. His journey and the life of his family are faithful to reality. The creators even recreated, word for word, his mother’s speech during the trial.

However, contrary to what the series suggests, Jeffrey Dahmer and Tony Hughes had been dating for much longer, 1989 to be exact – two years before the tragedy. During his confessions, the serial killer explained that he had never met Tony Hughes before the night of the murder.

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Tony Hughes (Rodney Burford) against Jeffrey Dahmer.

A friend of the victim revealed to the police that the killer had already come to her house six times, from October 1989 to December 1990, to find out where Tony Hughes was.

Dahmer: Monster – The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is available on Netflix.