Top 10 Reveals in The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Cassondra Feltus
These shocking reveals will send shivers down your spine. For this list, we'll be looking at the most interesting and surprising revelations from Netflix's latest Dahmer docuseries. Our countdown includes Dahmer's First Two Murders Were Unintentional, Professionals Didn't Agree on Dahmer's Sanity, Dahmer Asked to Be Moved to General Population, and more!
Top 10 Reveals in Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reveals in Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the most interesting and surprising revelations from Netflix’s latest Dahmer docuseries.
What reveal shocked you the most? Let us know in the comments.
#10: Jeffrey Dahmer Was Wendy Patrickus’ First Job
“Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes” features previously unreleased audio recordings with hours of Dahmer speaking with one of his attorneys, Wendy Patrickus. The twenty-something lawyer first met her client after his arrest in July 1991, at the request of his lead defense attorney Gerald Boyle. Unbelievably, this was the young lawyer’s first case. Patrickus says she became close with Dahmer during all their time together. She earned his trust, but then she had to listen to all the disturbing, grisly details of his crimes. That’s a lot to ask of any seasoned professional, let alone a rookie.
#9: Dahmer’s First Two Murders Were Unintentional
Dahmer told Patrickus that he didn’t intend to kill Steven Hicks in 1978. He panicked and at one point, considered confessing to the police. Despite the immense guilt he felt, he still did disturbing things to the body and the remains. And though he didn’t want to kill again, Dahmer would commit another unplanned murder nine years later. After a night of drinking with Steven Tuomi, Dahmer convinced his fellow bar patron to accompany him to Milwaukee’s Ambassador Hotel, where Dahmer became blackout drunk. When he woke up, Tuomi was dead and visibly beaten. Dahmer didn’t remember harming the young man but evidence said otherwise. He disposed of Tuomi similarly to Hicks, but this time, he kept some of the remains.
#8: Discovering His Sexuality
During puberty, Jeffrey Dahmer realized that he was attracted to men. He didn’t tell his parents, or anyone, about these feelings, fearing that they’d react negatively and judge him. While he was closeted throughout his teen years, he did have a consensual experience with another boy in his neighborhood early on. According to Dahmer, it never escalated beyond kissing, and there wasn’t a romantic relationship. He continued to repress his sexual identity into adulthood, and while he was staying with his grandmother in the early 1980s, he would even pray for these feelings to go away.
#7: Professionals Didn’t Agree on Dahmer’s Sanity
In January 1992, Jeffrey Dahmer pleaded guilty but insane. Since he’d already confessed, an insanity defense was the way his team of attorneys decided to go. But was Dahmer insane? A number of expert witnesses spoke on behalf of the prosecution, the defense, and independently for the court. And though the doctors had similar findings on other aspects of Dahmer, they did not agree on whether he was sane while committing the murders or not. Dr. Fred Berlin, for the defense, evaluated Dahmer and diagnosed him with necrophilia, and believed he was in fact insane. However, Dr Park Dietz, for the prosecution, believed him to be sane based on his tactics for disposal and covering his tracks.
#6: The Wrong Suspect
In the docuseries, Jeff Connor recalls the last night he saw his friend Anthony “Tony” Sears. He’d gone out to La Cage nightclub, where Sears seemingly met Jeffrey Dahmer. At the end of the night, Connor dropped the two off near Dahmer’s home. As the last known person to see him alive, Connor was questioned by Tony Sears’ family, friends, and eventually the police. While no charges were filed, the accusations led Jeff Connor to leave Milwaukee. He later testified at Dahmer’s trial. Sadly, he still feels some guilt about his friend’s tragic death.
#5: Dr. Norman Goldfarb’s Recommendation
One of the most upsetting things about the Jeffrey Dahmer case is that he could’ve been caught on several occasions. After his arrest in 1988, he spoke to psychologist Dr. Norman Goldfarb. In his evaluation, Dr. Goldfarb stated that he was likely to reoffend. However, the judge disregarded the doctor’s warning and gave Dahmer a rather lenient sentence. In January 1989, he was convicted of enticing a child for immoral purposes and second-degree sexual assault. But it wasn’t until May that he was sentenced to five years’ probation. He also received one year in the House of Correction where he was allowed work-release. During the time between his conviction and sentencing, he killed his fifth victim, Anthony Sears.
#4: Connection to John Wayne Gacy
While John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer never met, the two serial killers knew of each other since their crimes were constantly being compared in the media. However, they did have one strange connection. In the docuseries, Minister Roy Ratcliff recounts when he baptized Dahmer on May 10, 1994. That same day, over in Illinois, Gacy, who was convicted of killing over 33 young men, was executed by lethal injection. Whether there’s some mystical reason why these two things happened on the day of a partial solar eclipse has never been explained.
#3: Dahmer’s Relationship with Tony Hughes
While the majority of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims only knew him for a short time, Tony Hughes reportedly had a longer relationship with him prior to his death in May 1991. A former friend of Hughes, Michael Ross, confirms their history in the docuseries. An entire episode of “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is dedicated to Hughes, who was deaf and speech impaired, including his time spent with Dahmer. In his interviews, Dahmer doesn’t go into detail about his relations with Hughes. However, he does describe how this victim was also one of his experiments.
#2: Dahmer Asked to Be Moved to General Population
When Jeffrey Dahmer began serving his multiple consecutive life sentences at Columbia Correctional Institution, he was put into a solitary cell to protect him from other prisoners. After a year, Dahmer requested to be put into the general population among fellow inmates. Patrickus tried to persuade him to stay in solitary, but he told her he needed some “mental stimulation.” Going into gen pop effectively put himself at risk, and one day, his neck was attacked by a razor. He survived that incident, but would later succumb to head trauma caused by Christopher Scarver in November 1994.
#1: Tried to Resist His Compulsions for Years
As a last effort to save his son from his reckless behavior, Lionel decided that Jeff needed to move in with his grandmother in West Allis, Wisconsin in the early 1980s. His father hoped that his son would get his act together while in a more structured environment, and he did for a while. Dahmer went to church on Sundays, read the Bible, and spent time with his grandmother, helping out around the house. At one point, he stole a store mannequin as a replacement for a human companion. But one day at the West Allis library, an anonymous note offering sexual services fell into his lap. Though he didn’t engage, this encounter triggered his dark desires and set him back on his murderous path.