The journalist responsible for interviewing depraved serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in prison claims a new show depicting his life and crimes is not factually accurate.
Dahmer, who was beaten to death by a fellow inmate at Portland’s Columbia Correctional Institution in 1994, is portrayed with chilling accuracy by Evan Peters in eight-part Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
But Emmy winning producer Nancy Glass, who was given a rare opportunity to interview the killer for CNN show Inside Edition in 1993, says a degree of poetic licence has been afforded its writers in order to bring his gruesome story to the screen.
Speaking to Australian radio show Kyle and Jackie O on Wednesday, she detailed each of its perceived inaccuracies – with many focusing on Dahmer’s strained relationship with his father, Lionel.
However she maintains the grim aspects of his killing spree, during which he murdered, dismembered and in some cases attempted to cannibalise 17 young men between 1978 and 1991, are largely accurate.
Netflix’s hit series Monster follows the depraved life and crimes of infamous American serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer – but how much of it is accurate? (Pictured left: Dahmer in court in August 1991, and right: actor Evan Peters as Dahmer in the Netflix show Monster)
Jeffrey’s father never noticed his son was troubled
Glass, who spoke to Dahmer’s family ‘for years’ before meeting the killer behind bars, said the series’ portrayal of the murderer’s childhood isn’t entirely accurate.
While Monster depicts Dahmer’s father Lionel as a concerned dad who believed his son was an alcoholic loser, Glass said this simply wasn’t true.
‘The father never thought anything was wrong,’ said Glass, adding that Lionel was an ‘odd’ man who perhaps wouldn’t have noticed red flags in Jeffrey’s behaviour.
‘So I do want to say that while the Netflix show is fantastic, it’s a scripted show. It’s not meant to be a documentary,’ she added.
Emmy-winning producer Nancy Glass (pictured), who interviewed the ‘Milwaukee Monster’ in 1993 for CNN’s Inside Edition, spoke to radio show Kyle and Jackie O on Wednesday about her time with the murderer, and how his fictionalised portrayal stands up against the facts
Dahmer (pictured) was convicted of 16 murders in 1992, and sentenced to 16 life sentences in prison. He was bludgeoned to death with a metal bar in November 1994 by Christopher Scarver, another inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin
While the details of Dahmer’s sickening crimes between 1978 and 1991 and subsequent arrest are portrayed accurately, Ms Glass (pictured in 2014) says aspects of his formative years were completely fabricated
Glenda Cleveland wasn’t Jeffrey’s neighbour
Glass revealed the show’s storyline about Dahmer’s neighbour Glenda Cleveland was also fictional.
In the series, Cleveland is portrayed as Dahmer’s next-door neighbour in the Oxford apartments and has several troubling encounters with him.
Cleveland makes multiple complaints to the police about a foul smell emanating from Dahmer’s apartment, but her calls go ignored because she is black.
In reality, Cleveland lived in a different building and never met Dahmer.
‘That didn’t happen,’ Glass said of Cleveland’s portrayal, adding: ‘There was a neighbour who noticed a smell, but didn’t complain.’
Cleveland did, however, make several attempts to alert local police and the FBI about Dahmer’s behaviour after her niece ran into one of his victims, Konerak Sinthasomphone, trying to escape his apartment building.
Ms Glass revealed the show’s storyline about Dahmer’s neighbour Glenda Cleveland (played by Niecy Nash in Monster) was also fictiona
‘That didn’t happen,’ Ms Glass said of Cleveland’s portrayal, adding: ‘There was a neighbour who noticed a smell, but didn’t complain.’ (Pictured: Evan Peters in Monster)
Jeffrey’s father never taught him to dissect animals
Glass also said the detail about Dahmer’s father Lionel teaching him how to dissect animals as a child was unlikely to have happened.
‘I’m not sure that’s true,’ said Ms Glass, who developed a friendship with Dahmer’s parents in the ’90s.
In the series, Lionel and his son are seen driving around looking for roadkill to dissect in their garage.
Lionel, who worked as a research chemist, is seen teaching his son how to slice up the dead animals as a demented form of fatherly bonding.
In reality, Lionel never taught his son about dissecting, discarding and preserving animal parts, and only found out his son performed these grotesque acts on humans after he was arrested.
Ms Glass also said the detail about Dahmer’s father Lionel teaching him how to dissect animals as a child was unlikely to have happened. (Pictured: actor Dallas Roberts as Lionel Dahmer and Molly Ringwald as Shari Dahmer, the killer’s stepmother, in the Netflix show Monster)
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has become Netflix’s ninth most-popular English-language TV series of all time in the span of just two weeks. (Pictured: Evan Peters as Dahmer)
Dahmer, who was sentenced to 16 life imprisonment terms for his crimes, would write to Ms Glass from prison about God and apparently contemplated whether he would go to heaven despite his sickening crimes. (Pictured: a scene from Monster)
Who is Jeffrey Dahmer?
Dahmer was convicted of 17 murders in 1992, and sentenced to 17 life sentences in prison.
He was bludgeoned to death with a metal bar in November of 1994 by Christopher Scarver, another inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin.
The gruesome story of Dahmer has past been chronicled in the 2002 movie Dahmer, in which Jeremy Renner played the titular role; as well as 2017’s My Friend Dahmer, in which Ross Lynch played a teen version of the nascent serial killer.
Glass’ interview comes as Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has broken streaming records.
Created by Ryan Murphy, the show has become Netflix’s ninth most-popular English-language TV series of all time, in the span of just two weeks.
Monster has been viewed for 496.1 million hours thus far, with at least 56 million households who have watched all 10 episodes of the series, reports Variety.
The streamer measures the popularity of their shows by counting hours viewed in the first 28 days, meaning the show still has 16 days to gain an even higher spot on the chart.
Starring Evan Peters as the serial killer known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, the show has held the number one spot on the English-language TV chart since its release, and is also the second most watched English-language series in a week ever, only beat out by season 4 of Stranger Things.
It retells the story of Dahmer from the perspective of his victims, and explores major mistakes Wisconsin police made in handling the probe of the notorious mass murderer, who made national headlines for acts of cannibalism and necrophilia.
The show features at least 10 incidents in which authorities nearly took Dahmer into custody, but didn’t, extending the twisted crime spree.
Dahmer is pictured in court during his trial