Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes Review – Horrifying, Gruesome, Shocking

Conversations With a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, a three-part series from Netflix and Director Joe Berlinger, presents an intimate portrayal of an American serial killer, his victims, and the police ineptitude that enabled him.

Each of these three episodes begin with shocking revelations, which, for many will simply cause the mind to remember with exactness where they were when the shocking news broke. However, as the layers are pulled back, the stories which are told by Dahmer, through hours of taped interviews by his lawyer, Wendy Patrickus, are chilling accounts of personified evil.

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We learn that Dahmer had an uneventful childhood, seemed to have a good relationship with his dad, who along with his stepmother attended every day of the gruesome trial, and had a grandmother he loved, and who loved him.

He seemed to have been attracted to men early and while we don't hear the usual self-chastisements of immoral, dirty, or other adjectives to describe his sexual orientation, he is vocal about not understanding his attraction to men and explains his attraction was specific, he was attracted to the muscular male physique.

He explains his first murder was in June 1978, three weeks after he graduated from High School. He picked up a hitchhiker at Chippewa Lake Park, in Ohio. His last victim was murdered July 1991, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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An unfortunate takeaway from these tapes, and as with others in these series, are the lack of police intervention and possibly saving lives along the way. With Dahmer, more than one occasion, Milwaukee police failed to actively question or even be persuaded by obvious clues of something more sinister at play, or at minimum run a check on him.

This crystallizes with the death of 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone, a handsome Laotian youth, whom Dahmer offered $50 to pose nude for him. In May 1991, Dahmer took him back to his apartment and was so enamored with the boy, that after drugging him, all he could think of was keeping him alive, in a zombie state, forever.

Dahmer speaks freely about "lobotomizing" his victims. With Konerak, he drilled a hole in his skull, and during the tapes, Dahmer explains, his methods and injects him with acid. This works for awhile and renders the boy mute. He is repeatedly sexually assaulted and even in this lobotomized state he understood escaping was his only hope of survival.

One night, while Dahmer was out drinking, Konerak managed to escape from the apartment, and was found by three women, Sandra Smith, Tina Spivey, and Nicole Childress. He was naked, bruised, bleeding from his anus and the police believed was under the influence of drugs.

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At this point, people will believe that this is how the case broke, unfortunately the Milwaukee police that showed up spoke with Dahmer, who was calm, rational, even allowed them into his apartment, where his last victim was still in his bedroom on the bed and body parts were in the freezer, and by the time they completed their conversation with him, the returned Konerak to Dahmer. And he killed him.

What is clear is that a calm, rational, white man will be believed over clear facts and evidence, without fail. It isn't that they thought of him as upstanding or without fault, they joke about the walking into Dahmer's apartment and the need to be "deloused." Even with the nude body of his last victim which had been killed three days earlier rotting on the floor, the police did nothing.

After Konerak, Dahmer accelerated his killing spree and the tapes present the horror of his once organized killings becoming disorganized, rash, and uncontrollable. He explains he was showering with two bodies in the tub waiting to be dismembered and by his own admission he was losing his grip on disposal so he bought a 53-gallon drum where he would dissolve the parts of each victim he did not want to keep.

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Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, the third in a series, are shocking, horrifying, and gruesome. However, with each of these Conversation with a Killer installments, it is clear from the beginning what will be presented.

Dahmer never presented himself as a tortured soul, his lack of humanity, of evil incarnate is the picture he paints of himself. He had no remorse over his actions and seemed to welcome the ideation of death, as he requested being placed in general population against his attorney's advice. Death at the hands of another, a suicide wish fulfilled.

Other experts, lawyers, local Milwaukee reporters, detectives and even clergy are weaved into the series offering their opinions and reflections.

Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, a grisly account of a serial killer, premieres on Netflix, Friday, October 7, 2022. See it.


Country: USA.

Release Date: October 7, 2022.

Runtime: Three episodes/60minutes.

Director: Joe Berlinger.

Executive Producer: Joe Berlinger, Catharine Park, Jon Doran, Jen Isaacson, Jon Kamen, Rusty Lemorande, Josh Modell, Jamie Fleischel, Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor.

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