Who is John Balcerzak the officer who arrested Jeffrey Dahmer, and where is he now?

He was fired for allowing Jeffrey Dahmer to take a 14-year-old victim back up to his apartment

Following the release of Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix, the chilling case has been back in the limelight. One of the people from the show who stands out is John Balcerzak, mainly because we see him as the officer who had the chance to help one of Dahmer’s victims, who was just 14-years-old, but he actually placed him back with Dahmer, who later murdered him.

Jeffrey Dahmer killed 17 young men and boys between 1978 and 1991, making him one of the most notorious serial killers in history. He would often lure his victims back to his apartment, drug them and murder them. He was a cannibal, and ate a number of body parts from his victims.

In 1991, Balcerzak arrested Dahmer – so where is he now?

John Balcerzak in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix

via Netflix

John Balcerzak was the arresting officer in the Jeffrey Dahmer case

John A Balcerzak was born on April 13th 1957 and is a former police officer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the officer who arrested serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. He came to Dahmer’s apartment after Tracy Edwards told authorities Dahmer had attempted to kill him. Balcerzak, alongside his partner Joseph Gabrish, became known as the “Dahmer cops”.

He was fired shortly after Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested and now he owns a pub

John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix

via Netflix

But, Dahmer’s arrest wasn’t the first run-in he’d had with John Balcerzak. After Dahmer was arrested in 1991, John Balcerzak was let go by the police force. This came when it was revealed Dahmer’s neighbour Glenda Cleveland had called police multiple times about her concerns over Jeffrey Dahmer and what he was getting up to in his home.

One particular incident, which we see play out in the Netflix series, was when Glenda rang police after seeing 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone escaping Dahmer’s apartment covered in blood, and after he’d been drugged. John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish, arrived on the scene, and Dahmer told them the boy was his boyfriend, was an adult, and was just drunk. The two officers allowed Dahmer to take Konerak back up to his apartment, and Dahmer killed him.

According to reports, in May 1991, both officers were fired after being found guilty of gross negligence. Balcerzak still believed he did what he had to do in the situation, given the evidence in front of him at the time. Speaking to AP News in his first interview following Dahmer’s arrest, he said: “At the time, with the information we had—to this day, I think we did the appropriate thing, the best that we could.”

In 1994, a judge ruled that the firing of John Balcerzak had been too harsh, and he was reinstated. Both Balcerzak and Gabrish got their jobs back, plus $55k in back-pay.

John Balcerzak is reported to have retired in 2017. He is now said to still live in Milwaukee, and he owns a pub! He is 65-years-old.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is available now on Netflix. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

‘I wanted to control them’: Chilling interview with Dahmer resurfaces after Netflix series

• All the previous convictions Jeffrey Dahmer had before he was arrested for his murders

• Inside the real life apartment once owned by Jeffrey Dahmer – and if it’s still there now