In July 1991, Milwaukee Police Officers made a gruesome discovery when they entered Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment — and found body parts cooking on the stove and human heads in the refrigerator.
The case of Dahmer, who raped, killed, and dismembered 17 boys and men, remains one of the strangest and most notorious serial killer stories of our time.
Dahmer was killed by another inmate in prison in 1994. But what happened to the other key players in the case?
In 1991, police found Tracy Edwards partially handcuffed in the street after he escaped from Dahmer’s house of horrors. He told officers that Dahmer tried to cuff his wrists and forced him into the bedroom while holding a large butcher knife.
Dahmer told Edwards that he planned to eat his heart — but Edwards managed to wait until his attacker was distracted, punch him in the face and run for the door.
He told police that he noticed a strong smell coming from a blue barrel. Investigators later determined that the substance in the barrel was acid, which Dahmer had used to dissolve his victims’ remains.
Police arrested Dahmer that evening after finding body parts in his refrigerator and human remains throughout his apartment.
But 20 years later, Edwards was arrested and charged with homicide for allegedly throwing a man off a bridge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Edwards, who was homeless at the time of his arrest in July 2011, continued to be haunted by his encounter with Dahmer, and plagued by drug and alcohol addiction.
The incident began when a fight broke out between several homeless men, and in the struggle a man named Johnny Jordan plunged from a bridge into the Milwaukee River to his death. Edwards was sentenced to a year and a half behind bars for his role in the drowning death.
Defense attorney Boyle, who gained fame representing clients including Dahmer and former Green Bay Packers star Mark Chmura, made headlines for the wrong reasons in 2015.
The Office of Lawyer Regulation charged Boyle with violations that included putting tens of thousands of dollars from clients into improper accounts and providing inadequate representation. Most of the violations occurred when Boyle attempted to help a client recover money spent on fake John Lennon memorabilia.
Boyle was suspended for 60 days by the state Supreme Court. He was also ordered to take courses in law office management and to pay $24,900 to cover the costs of the disciplinary proceedings against him.
Boyle had been publicly reprimanded several times before — in 2002, 2009, and 2012.
Joyce Flint moved to California after her divorce from Jeffrey Dahmer’s father, Lionel, in the late 1980s. She first managed a retirement residence before becoming a case manager for the Central Valley AIDS Team in 1991. She lived in the Fresno area until her death from breast cancer in November 2000.
Lionel Dahmer retired from his career as a chemist, remarried, and and now lives with his wife Shari in Ohio. Lionel has become an advocate for creationism, and publicly declared his love for his son in spite of his horrific crimes. He wrote a book about his experience finding out that he had raised a serial killer entitled A Father’s Story.
Lionel told Larry King in an interview that he had racked his brain to attempt to determine what, if any, clues he had missed that his son was a budding serial killer.
He said he noticed that Jeffrey was “shy” and later learned that he collected “roadkill” as a young man, but had had no idea of his son’s dark desires.
The Oxford Apartments at 924 North 25th Street, where Dahmer had killed 12 of his victims, were demolished in November 1992, and the site is now a vacant lot.
There have been plans proposed to turn the site into a memorial garden or playground — but so far, they have failed to come to fruition.
David, Jeffrey Dahmer’s younger brother, reportedly changed his name and lives in anonymity.
Officers John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish
The two police officers who returned 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone to Dahmer’s apartment — where he was later killed and dismembered — two months before Dahmer’s crimes were discovered were fired in September 1991. The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission upheld the firings in November 1992, finding that the officers were guilty of gross negligence.
But following an appeal, the officers were reinstated to the Milwaukee Police Department with back pay in 1994 by a judge who stated that it was “unfair” to judge them in hindsight.
Balcerzak continues to serve as a Milwaukee Police Officer, while Gabrish was hired by the village of Grafton, Wisconsin, as a police officer in 1993.
In a 1991 interview with the Milwaukee Journal, Gabrish said:
“We’re trained to be observant and spot things. There was just nothing that stood out, or we would have seen it. I’ve been doing this for a while, and usually if something stands out, you’ll spot it. There just wasn’t anything there.”
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Main photos: Jeffrey Dahmer [Milwaukee Police Department]