Where are they now? The real life people from Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer series
A few of those closest to the case have passed away since Dahmer was sentenced
Since it was released, the Netflix true crime drama about Jeffrey Dahmer hasn’t left the top spot as the most watched show on Netflix. It tells the story of the horrendous crimes the serial killer committed, from various points of view of those closest to the case. So after watching the series, you’re probably wondering what happened to a lot of people who were involved in the Jeffrey Dahmer case, and what they’re up to now.
Many of the people in the series were extremely close to what happened. They are the family of Dahmer, his neighbours, people who escaped him, and family members of the victims. So, here’s a look at where the people who are mentioned and featured in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix are now.
The character we see as Glenda Cleveland in the Netflix show isn’t exactly what Glenda was like in real life. The show based Glenda’s experiences on those of two people – the real Glenda Cleveland and another neighbour of Jeffrey Dahmer’s, Pamela Bass.
Glenda is shown as living next door to Jeffrey Dahmer, when she actually lived in a completely different building to him. Glenda lived in the building next door, whereas Pamela Bass was his actual next door neighbour. Despite living in the adjacent building, it’s true that Glenda was the person who got in contact with police a lot regarding her concerns with Dahmer’s behaviour. She struggled to get anyone to take her seriously. The phone call we see between Glenda and the police in the show is true – it was her who called police after seeing Dahmer with 14-year-old victim, Konerak Sinthasomphone.
After Jeffrey Dahmer was imprisoned, Glenda continued to live in the area and was labelled a heroine in her local community. She received multiple awards from women’s groups and the Milwaukee Police Department for her role in the Dahmer case. Glenda Cleveland passed away on December 24th 2010, at 56-years-old.
Lionel and Shari Dahmer
86-year-old Lionel, the father of Jeffrey Dahmer, is still alive now and lives with his wife, Shari Dahmer. Shari and Lionel have done interviews together and visited Jeffrey in prison. In 2004 they spoke with Larry King about how they have always believed Dahmer was mentally ill. They currently live together in Ohio.
Joyce was the birth mother of Jeffrey Dahmer. During the show we see her struggling with her mental health and coming to terms with what her son did. It is true that at one point she tried to end her own life. At the age of 64, Joyce Dahmer passed away from breast cancer. Joyce had been working at a HIV community centre and was described as “enthusiastic” and “compassionate”.
Catherine Dahmer was the grandmother of Jeffrey Dahmer, and he committed a number of murders at her home whilst they lived together. Catherine never had any idea of what her grandson was doing. She reportedly died on Christmas Day in 1992, at the age of 88. Her cause of death is unknown.
Jeffrey Dahmer had a brother called David, who isn’t really shown much in the Netflix series. David doesn’t like to talk about his older brother, and Jeffrey reportedly resented him when he was alive. Jeffrey and David lived apart when their parents separated – David went to live with Joyce, and Jeffrey stayed in the family home with Lionel.
In a 2004 interview, Lionel Dahmer said his son David had since changed his name, and moved away from the family name. Not a lot is known about what he’s up to, but it has been reported he’s got two children, a stable job and a happy marriage now.
Ronald Flowers is one of the few people who managed to escape Jeffrey Dahmer, after he had been taken back to Dahmer’s grandmother’s house. To this day, he says he believed he wouldn’t have survived without Dahmer’s grandmother. In 2020, Flowers appeared in the documentary Jeffrey Dahmer: Mind of a Monster, and spoke of his experiences. Other than that, Flowers has kept a private life.
Tracy Edwards was key to Dahmer being caught. Edwards had been lured back to Dahmer’s apartment, but escaped, and told police what had happened. He took the police to Dahmer’s apartment and here they found the evidence to arrest him over the murders.
After escaping, Tracy Edwards ended up getting into trouble with the law himself. According to reports, he faced several charges including drug possession, property damage, theft and failure to pay child support. Since 2002 Tracy has been homeless and moving from shelter to shelter, therefore it’s currently unknown what the real Tracy Edwards is doing now.
Rita Isbell is the sister of Errol Lindsey, one of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims. Rita famously gave an emotional victim impact speech in court when she was face-to-face with Dahmer. In an interview with Insider, Rita called Netflix “money-hungry” for making another series about Dahmer. She claimed she didn’t give permission for her breakdown to be portrayed by an actor, and she didn’t find out until she saw the clip online.
Isbell also appeared in Serial Killers: The Real Life Hannibal Lecters, in 2001, which depicted Dahmer’s life. Other than speaking online about her brother and Jeffrey Dahmer, Isbell has kept her life pretty private.
John Balcerzak was the arresting officer in the Dahmer case. He and his parter Joseph Gabrish became known as the “Dahmer cops” after the case. They are the two police officers who allowed 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone back into the care of Dahmer, after he had escaped his flat. Konerak was later murdered by Dahmer.
In May 1991, both officers were fired after being found guilty of gross negligence. 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.
In 1994, Christopher Scarver murdered Jeffrey Dahmer and one other prisoner whilst they were in prison. Dahmer was on cleaning duty in the prison’s gym bathrooms when he was murdered. The three were left alone for around 20 minutes, and Scarver killed both other men.
Scarver had been sentenced to life in prison in 1990 for the murder of Steven Lohman, a worker at Wisconsin Conservation Corps. After killing Dahmer and a fellow prisoner, Scarver is still in prison serving multiple life sentences.
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.