Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes Review 2022 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew
Most of the docuseries is built around conversations Patrickus had with Dahmer after he was arrested in Milwaukee in July, 1991. As most people know, his apartment was full of body parts in various states of decay, plus a massive pot which he may have used to cook the remains of the men he murdered. His first murder took place in Ohio, where he murdered and dismembered Steven Hicks in 1978. He moved to Milwaukee to live with his grandmother and even entered the Army, but started killing again in 1987; his second victim was Steven Tuomi.
Around these conversations, we hear from local reporters, from Patrickus and Boyle, from E. Michael McCann, the Milwaukee County DA who prosecuted Dahmer, along with one or two of his childhood friends.
The conversations paint the picture of a man whose family’s religious background had him fighting the fact that he was gay. But beyond that, he always wanted control in whatever sexual encounters he had, and he had control fantasies that involved having sex with unconscious and dead men.
For those of you who are completely turned off by Netflix’s hit scripted series Dahmer — and there are plenty that are — they may get a more satisfying view of Dahmer via The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes. You get to hear from Dahmer himself, and despite knowing that everything he’s saying is from his twisted perspective, it’s still the best way to even inch your way into the mind of someone who was so sick.
As with most serial killers, Dahmer sounds absolutely normal, even contrite about the thoughts that led him to murder his victims, many of which were men he picked up from gay bars in Milwaukee. There was shame about his sexuality, shame about his desire to control his victims and shame about the impulses that led him to kill and dismember.
What we don’t hear yet in the first episode is what impulse drove him to then go the extra step of cooking and eating the parts of his victims, and the desire to keep those parts in his Milwaukee apartment rather than get rid of them like he did with the remains of some of his early victims.
It’s also fascinatingly disconcerting to hear his defense attorneys, especially Patrickus, talk about Dahmer like he was just a guy they knew. “He called me Wendy and I called him Jeff,” Patrickus said about the relationship they built as she interviewed him for his defense. It takes a hell of a lot of personal integrity to look at Dahmer and see him as a person and not just a depraved murderer; it was a skill Patrickus needed to have in order to get the information out of him that he did. But it’s still discomfiting to hear him referred to as “Jeff” throughout the episode.