How Did Jeffrey Dahmer Get Caught? Explained

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With the new Netflix TV show Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story now streaming, a lot of questions arose once again about this notorious serial killer. Jeffrey Dahmer, a.k.a the Milwaukee Monster, was a serial killer who committed many crimes such as murders and rapes. After killing 17 men and boys among them, he was finally caught and apprehended by the police. But, how did Jeffrey Dahmer get caught?

Jeffrey Dahmer got caught on July 22, 1991, when one of his victims, Tracy Edwards escaped from Jeffrey’s home and when police found him on the street. Tracy was found with handcuffs hanging from his wrist and eventually accompanied police to Jeffrey’s home where they found incriminating and disturbing photographs that Jeffrey took.

Even before Tracy escaped, Jeffery’s neighbor, Glenda Cleveland filed multiple reports against Jeffrey about his suspicious behavior and was actually one of the first persons that exposed Jeffrey as a serial killer. However, Tracy’s escape was crucial in capturing Jeffery once and for good. Let’s see how exactly Jeffrey got caught.

The events in the bar that led to Dahmer being caught

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Jeffrey Dahmer entered a bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 22, 1991. There he noticed a couple of guys hanging out and drinking beer. One of them was Tracy Edwards. Dahmer decided to approach the group and started talking to them. He explained to the guys that he is a professional photographer and it is in town because he takes care of his sick grandmother. Eventually, he stated how he, being a photographer and all, pays people for their photos and offered 100$ to Tracy if he were to pose for him nude.

This was Dahmer’s usual way of luring his victims as he was often targeting gay men in bars, malls, etc. He offered his victims money or drinks in exchange for their photographs. The same thing happened with Tracy Edwards when Dahmer lured him into his apartment. Tracy had no idea what he was getting himself into, and neither did Jeffrey Dahmer know that Edwards will be the cause of his downfall.

The events in Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment

When Dahmer lured Tracy into his apartment the first thing Tracy noticed was a disgusting odor coming from the apartment which Dahmer addressed as a sewer pipe broken. In the Netflix series, we can see how Dahmer tries to drug Tracy but Tracy noticed that something is in his glass so he didn’t drink it. In the real life, Dahmer offered Tracy a beer, and a rum and coke. He also offered him 100$ for his photos. Dahmer’s attention was to handcuff Tracy, and in doing so he tried to trick Tracy to look the other way into his fish tank in order to put the cuffs on him.

However, he only managed to put handcuffs onto one of Tracy Edward’s wrists. Tracy was shocked and scared and eventually accompanied Dahmer into his bedroom where he was to pose for nude photographs. There he noticed a lot of strange things. There was an oil drum from which an odor was coming, a tape of The Exorcist III, and posters of nude men on the wall. Dahmer then pulled a knife on Tracy and said to him that he is to start taking his clothes off.


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Dahmer tried to handcuff both of Tracy’s hands but Tracy lay on his side so he couldn’t do so. Dahmer put his head on Tracy’s chest and listened to his heartbeat and made a comment about how he was going to eat his heart. Tracy started to make plans about how he is going to escape. He thought of jumping out of the window or escaping through the door.

Tracy eventually asked Dahmer to use a bathroom and Dahmer agrees. At that moment, as he got up, Tracy punched Dahmer and ran out of the apartment through the door. After that, he was found by two police officers as he was roaming the streets with handcuffs hanging from his wrist. He explained to the cops that he was kidnapped. When the officer could not remove handcuffs from Tracy’s wrist, he returned to Dahmer’s place with the police alongside him.

When police officers arrived at Dahmer’s apartment, Dahmer was there and they arrested him.

To summarize

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Jeffrey Dahmer got caught on July 22, 1991, when one of his victims, 32-year-old Tracy Edwards managed to escape his apartment and led police officers back to Dahmer’s apartment. Dahmer lured Tracy into his apartment and offered 100$ to Tracy if he were to pose for him nude. He also threatened him with a knife and said that he was going to eat his heart.


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Tracy eventually asked Dahmer to use a bathroom and Dahmer agreed to it. Edwards used this opportunity to escape from the apartment and was eventually found on the streets by two police officers who went into Dahmer’s apartment and found much incriminating evidence that pointed out that Jeffrey Dahmer is a serial killer. He was then arrested.

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