Jeffrey Dahmer’s dad Lionel did write a book about his son, and you can still buy it now
It doesn’t appear the profits from the book were donated to the victim’s families, as the Netflix show suggests
By now, you’ve probably watched Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix. At the end of the series we see Dahmer’s father, Lionel Dahmer, talking about how he has plans to make money from everything his son did – and he mentions selling the rights to his story for things like TV shows and films. It’s also mentioned that Lionel Dahmer planned on writing a book – something which did in fact happen in real life.
Lionel Dahmer did write a book detailing his son’s crimes, and it’s still available to buy now. Here’s what we know about it.
Lionel Dahmer wrote a book called A Father’s Story and it’s available to buy right now
The book written by Lionel Dahmer is called A Father’s Story, and was published in March 1994 – a year before Jeffrey Dahmer died. It focuses on his son’s horrific crimes, telling the case from Lionel’s point of view. Whilst he struggled to come to terms with what his son did, Lionel did always say that he still loved his son, and Lionel and his wife Shari visited Jeffrey Dahmer in prison.
In the book, Lionel expresses his confusion as to what could have “caused” his son to kill 17 people and describes how he blamed himself for Jeffrey’s flaws. The Amazon description for the book says how inside it, Lionel describes his “shock at hearing the news of his son’s crimes” and how he then “entered into a world of complete denial”. The book goes on to say how, during Jeffrey’s trial, Lionel placed himself in his son’s shoes.
The Goodreads description adds: “On July 23, 1991, Milwaukee chemist Lionel Dahmer discovered – along with the rest of the world – that his son was a murderer who, over a period of many years, had carried out some of the most ghastly crimes ever committed in the United States.
“A Father’s Story cannot claim to have discovered the ultimate solution to the enigma of either the criminal or his deeds. It is, in fact, not the story of Jeffrey Dahmer at all, but of a father who, by slow, incremental degrees, came to realise the saddest truth that any parent may ever know: that following some unknowable process, his child had somewhere crossed the line that divides the human from the monstrous.
“This memoir is not a refutation of charges, an attempt to change the record. It is both a touching family memoir and a haunting confession – the searing account of a man who never relented in his effort to fathom the deepest quarters of his son’s affliction, even as they pointed to his own.”
The book is available to buy, and costs £17.95 for a paperback version on Amazon.
Did Lionel Dahmer donate the profits from his book to the families of his son’s victims?
In the Netflix show it is said all 17 of the families of Dahmer’s victims planned to sue for the profits from A Father’s Story. However, according to reports, only two families did in real life. They are reported to have sued Lionel for portraying their lives in the book without permission. It appears the book made very little money, and wasn’t enough to be a contribution to the families of the victims.
What do reviews of the book say?
The book has a score of 3.94 stars out of five on Goodreads. One review says: “This book presents a rare opportunity to see an evil man, whom most of us dismiss as an abomination, through the eyes of a loving parent.” Another adds that it is the “most interesting and emotionally challenging book” the reader has ever read. Other reviews comment that it is difficult to like Lionel Dahmer as an author, which makes the book difficult to enjoy.
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.