Few serial killers fascinate and repulse as much as Jeffrey Dahmer. A serial murderer, the grotesque extent of his horrific crimes include rape, necrophilia, cannibalism, and the obsessive collecting and preserving of body parts from his victims. When Dahmer was finally apprehended by the authorities, he said, "For what I did, I deserve death."
The new Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was released on September 21, 2022. It stars Evan Peters as Dahmer and includes a star-studded cast of Richard Jenkins, Niecy Nash, and Molly Ringwald, just to name a few. The show provides a fascinating glimpse into Dahmer's life and crimes and is already receiving widespread public and critical acclaim.
But what really happened?
If you've watched the show and you want more, or if you're just becoming curious about Dahmer for the first time, Grilling Dahmer: The Interrogation of "The Milwaukee Cannibal" is an in-depth look inside the mind of this insidious serial killer.
Written by Detective Patrick "Pat" Kennedy (along with Robyn Maharaj), Grilling Dahmer provides inside information into his case that's not available anywhere else. Kennedy was the investigator on Dahmer's case, and after Dahmer's apprehension, spent sixteen hours a day for six weeks locked with him in an interrogation room. During this time, Dahmer—who was thirty-one at the time—described his lurid crimes to Kennedy in detail.
This book is an inside look at that interrogation. And today we are bringing you an exclusive excerpt. Go ahead and read it—but we guarantee you won't be able to look away.
Read on for an excerpt of Grilling Dahmer, and then purchase the book.
Monday, July 22, 1991
Tracy Edwards knew he was in trouble. A young man who could usually talk his way out of a lot of jams, he was running out of ideas about how to keep the blond man he had befriended several hours earlier from attacking him with a knife.
In the twinkling, summery sunshine of a lazy, late afternoon, Edwards had been out with friends hanging around the Grand Avenue Mall when a good-looking man approached them. He was soft-spoken but direct, and although he appeared to be addressing the small group of Edwards’s friends, he kept staring specifically at Edwards. Edwards was appreciative of the attention and interested in what the man said. The blond man complimented Edwards’s appearance, his toned physique, and the lean angles of his jaw and neck, stating that Edwards was the kind of male subject he sought out for photos he liked to take. He motioned for Edwards to step aside, mentioning that he would be willing to pay up to a hundred dollars if Edwards was willing to pose for photos. Edwards recognized what was going on, and perhaps was a little intrigued and enticed—there was the lure of money, alcohol—maybe some level of mutual seduction would develop. Edwards’s friends balked when he told them he was taking off with his new friend, encouraging him to stay and hang out with them, but he decided to leave.
The man, who introduced himself as Jeff, led the way out of the mall and into the sunshine. Edwards could eye the man who now walked purposefully beside him as they traveled to an apartment not too far away. They stopped at a beer store where Jeff bought a six-pack, and Edwards was able to size him up more closely. He was over six feet tall and looked to be in pretty good shape. He was blond and fair and decently dressed. As they walked and talked, Edwards began to sense that Jeff was shy and lonely and maybe didn’t have a lot of friends. He talked a little about movies and even suggested that they could watch one once they got back to his place.
The building was fairly mundane—a three-story walk-up box—and the apartment much what one would expect from a one-bedroom efficiency apartment in this part of the city. The apartment was hot and smelled terrible. Edwards complained, and Jeff nodded that his landlord kept promising to fix the problem. Edwards sat down, taking in the surroundings, while Jeff fixed him a drink. Not offering him a beer or asking what he might like, Jeff simply handed Edwards a glass full of a dark liquid that smelled and tasted odd. Edwards sipped at it, disliking the taste; he noticed that Jeff took a beer for himself right from the can. Jeff put in a movie and Edwards realized that he hadn’t said much to him since locking them inside the apartment. Jeff had a serious look on his face as the start of The Exorcist III flickered on the screen of his television. Edwards started to ask him about what work he did, but Jeff brushed off the conversation. He noticed an element of darkness in Jeff’s face, and the smell of the place was making him nauseated. He didn’t like the drink and didn’t think he’d be able to sit through an entire movie in this horribly smelling place. He
had changed his mind about all of it—the photos, the drinks, and the man beside him, who was starting to act stranger by the moment.
Jeff got up abruptly and left the room. Edwards thought about just taking off, but Jeff was back seconds later. He had his camera and a pair of handcuffs, and he asked Edwards to remove his shirt. Jeff was smiling now, but there was an edge to his voice that made Edwards feel as though he
should comply. He hesitated but decided to play along. Jeff asked if he could attach a handcuff, but before Edwards could respond or resist, Jeff snapped the cuff on his wrist. He had him sit down, and encouraged him to loosen up and drink more of the strong liquid. They sat together and
watched the movie, Edwards strategizing his next move while Jeff moaned under his breath and rocked back and forth. Edwards sensed that Jeff was a ticking bomb and wanted to keep him as calm as possible so he could leave without upsetting him.
The movie continued to play. When it finished, Jeff picked up the remote, rewound the movie, and started it again. Jeff switched his focus from rocking back and forth and watching the movie to looking at Edwards, who desperately tried to look calm and comfortable to keep Jeff at bay as the hours ticked by. They moved to the bedroom. Jeff pulled out a knife and pushed Edwards to the bed.
“I’m going to cut out your heart and eat it,” Jeff said to him in a low, deep voice. He held the knife to Edwards’s chest.
Edwards heard him but pretended he didn’t. He tried to lighten the conversation by suggesting Jeff remove his shirt and perhaps they could fool around. Edwards desperately wanted him to put the knife down, but Jeff resisted every suggestion. Edwards asked if they could move back to the living room where the window air conditioner helped alleviate the heat and smell, but Jeff didn’t respond. Jeff wasn’t focused on the knife, but he also wasn’t putting it down—all the while moaning, rocking back and forth, and slurring incoherently from several hours of near constant beer drinking.
Edwards leapt suddenly and punched Jeff full in the face. Not expecting it, Jeff fell to the ground and Edwards ran to the bedroom door and then the locked apartment door. He grabbed at the locks, feeling that Jeff was right behind him. He knew that if he didn’t escape at that moment, he would likely never leave that place alive.
Edwards managed to get the door open and ran down the hallway, not looking back. He raced down the stairs and out the door into the night.
It must have been a strange sight if you happened to be on the darkened street that blistering hot night. A few city residents may have been out taking whatever relief possible from the night air and seen a young man with glazed eyes running down a Milwaukee street, a pair of handcuffs
dangling from one wrist.
After what Edwards had experienced in the several hours before his escape, he was just thankful to be out and on the street, though frightened his attacker might have followed and would catch up to him.
Edwards flagged down the first police cruiser that he saw. The two officers recognized immediately that their keys would not remove his cuffs, as the handcuffs were not Milwaukee Police Department-issued, and it was someone other than a fellow officer who had attached them. Edwards desperately wanted the cuffs removed and for this reason alone he finally agreed, after much persuasion on the part of the police, to accompany the officers back to Oxford Apartments #213, a couple short blocks away.
The apartment threshold, unbeknownst to Officers Robert Rauth and Rolf Mueller, and Tracy Edwards, was a doorway that when crossed, usually proved fatal to most of the people who had visited in the time its sole resident lived there. That imminent moment eventually became the beginning of the Jeffrey Dahmer story—once the world learned his name.