Glenda Cleveland tried to stop Jeffrey Dahmer’s killing spree, but police didn’t believe her. Subsequently, he was able to kill four more victims.
Ryan Murphy’s 10-episode Netflix series about Jeffery Dahmer, starring Evan Peters, is about to hit the streamer on September 21. It’s called Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and it tells the story of the disturbed young man, including the neighbor who tried to stop him.
Played by Niecy Nash in the upcoming series, Cleveland lived next to Dahmer. In 1991 her daughter and niece spotted a male teenager fleeing from the killer in an alleyway. Reportedly, the women talked to the police but were ignored. After going home and telling Cleveland, she also tried contacting law enforcement.
But as before, the police didn’t do anything. Instead, they responded that the intoxicated boy was having a domestic dispute with Dahmer and dropped it.
The Phone Call
Here is the conversation taken from phone records, between Milwaukee police and Cleveland:
Cleveland: “Yeah, uh, what happened? I mean my daughter and my niece witnessed what was going on. Was anything done about the situation? Do you need their names or information or anything from them?”
Officer: “No, not at all.”
Cleveland: “You don’t?”
Officer: “Nope. It was an intoxicated boyfriend of another boyfriend.”
Cleveland: “Well, how old was this child?”
Officer: “It wasn’t a child. It was an adult.”
Cleveland: “Are you sure?”
Cleveland: “Are you positive? Because this child doesn’t even speak English.† My daughter had, you know, dealt with him before, seeing him on the street. You know, catching earthworms.”
Officer: Ma’am. Ma’am. I can’t make it any more clear. It’s all taken care of. He is with his boyfriend, in his boyfriend’s apartment, where he has his belongings also.”
Cleveland: “But what if he’s a child? Are you positive he is an adult?”
Officer: “Ma’am, like I explained to you, it’s all taken care of. It’s as positive as I can be. I can’t do anything about somebody’s sexual preference in life.”
Cleveland: “Well, no, I am not saying anything about that, but it appeared to have been a child. This is my concern.”
Officer: “No. No. He’s not.”
Cleveland: “He’s not a child?
Officer: “No, he’s not. OK? And it’s a boyfriend-boyfriend thing. And he’s got belongings at the house where he came from. He has very nice pictures of himself and his boyfriend and so forth.”
Cleveland: “OK, I am just, you know. It appeared to have been a child. That was my concern.”
Officer: “I understand. No, he is not. Nope.”
Cleveland: “Oh, OK. Thank you. Bye.”
That boy turned out to be 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone who became the 13th documented victim in Dahmer’s reign of terror. There would be four others Dahmer confessed to killing after him.
Cleveland became sort of a hero after Dahmer was caught. The press wouldn’t leave her alone. Even after Dahmer’s conviction, Cleveland continued to live in the neighborhood next to the Oxford Apartments where he did his killing, even after his conviction. The apartment building was eventually torn down in November of 1992
Her brother always asked, “Why don’t you move away from that house on haunted hill?”
Her reply? “I’m not going anywhere!”
Cleveland passed away on December 24, 2011, two decades after the gruesome discovery in Dahmer’s apartments. Her daughter Sandra says she and her mother never really talked about Dahmer and their encounter with him.
“I try not to think about it because it should have been different,” Smith said. “A lot of things could have been prevented. I try not to dwell on that.”
Nash’s role will be much bigger than that of other series on the subject. She and Murphy have worked together before on the series Scream Queens.
“My first introduction to Jeffrey Dahmer and his story was hearing something on the news and then hearing my parents talk,” says Nash. “Glenda was one of his victims too. And her story has been told the least.”