CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER: THE JEFFREY DAHMER TAPES on Netflix is the third season of the true-crime documentary anthology. This has a solid focus on the victims and police work as well. Read our full The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes review here!
CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER: THE JEFFREY DAHMER TAPES is a new true crime documentary series on Netflix. Over three hour-long episodes, we get yet another look at the serial killer and his victims. This is the third season of the true-crime documentary anthology which is also called CWAK: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes for short.
Fortunately, this latest season has a very solid focus on the victims and their loved ones. And also, the extremely shoddy police work (to say the least) as is also covered in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story which is out now. Read our review of Ryan Murphy’s Monster series here >
Continue reading our CWAK: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes review below. Watch all three episodes on October 7, 2022.
The horror of real life
When Milwaukee police finally arrested the then 31-year-old Jeffrey Dahmer in July of 1991, they did so after witnessing pure horror in his Milwaukee apartment. There, they uncovered the personal museum of a serial killer.
This included a freezer full of human heads and other body parts. Many were in various states of decomposition and display. Also, they discovered several skulls and bones of all kinds. In other words, there could be no doubt that something grotesque and sinister had taken place there.
Jeffrey Dahmer was quick to confess to sixteen murders. The 16 murders happened in Wisconsin over the previous four years, plus one more in Ohio back in 1978. On top of the actual murders, he admitted to acts of necrophilia and cannibalism.
The power of white male privilege
But how in the world could such a depraved killer go unnoticed for so long? Jeffrey Dahmer, who had already been convicted of sexual assault of a minor in 1988, was able to avoid suspicion and detection by the police. All while he stalked Milwaukee’s gay scene for victims.
One glaring answer comes from the fact that most of his victims were men of color, while Dahmer himself was a white man. Just a normal, average Joe, who was white and living in a neighborhood where most were people of color. A fact that probably played a much bigger part than most people imagined.
Well, most white people anyway, because people of color could easily connect the dots. Not much has changed in the decades since Jeffrey Dahmer enjoyed white male privilege while people of color paid the price.
Interviews with the right people
This isn’t just my theory, but one that is clearly presented as facts in CWAK: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes. In this docu-series, we hear never-before-heard audio interviews between Dahmer and his defense team. Specifically with the young woman, who interviewed him as part of her very first case.
Talk about trial by fire. That’s certainly one way to begin your career as a defense attorney. And yes, we do also hear from her. She is very honest about how difficult it was to listen to this. All while also being honest about the fact that she needed to get as much information out of him as possible.
Alongside the tapes and interviews with her, we also get interviews with investigative journalists, prosecutors, psychologists, and victims’ friends and families.
Watch CWAK: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes on Netflix now!
This is the third season of the Conversations with a Killer true-crime documentary anthology from director Joe Berlinger. In my opinion, this is perhaps the most accomplished as it focuses on answering questions of police accountability through a modern-day lens.
While plenty of people living near Jeffrey Dahmer as he was killing (and keeping the bodies of) young gay men, were trying to get the police involved, they just didn’t seem to see the point. Surely, such as nice young white man, living in such a neighborhood, was not the problem.
Also, the police didn’t seem to mind that young gay men (both those of color and the white ones) went missing. And yes, the AIDS epidemic did also play a part in this. People were losing their friends left and right while the police couldn’t much be bothered. With anything that didn’t feel important to them, it would appear.
You can watch this just to hear more from Jeffrey Dahmer. However, to me, this three-part documentary is more important due to the look at those who enabled him. Especially the police. And also, it is creepy as all hell to realize that he could have a victim in his bedroom and go enjoy breakfast with his grandma before disposing of the body.
Was he insane? Or just an ice-cold killer? Watch the documentary and make up your own mind. Those working on the case did.
Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes are out on Netflix from October 7, 2022.
When Milwaukee police entered the apartment of 31-year-old Jeffrey Dahmer in July of 1991, they uncovered the grisly personal museum of a serial killer: a freezer full of human heads, skulls, bones andother remains in various states of decomposition and display.
Dahmer quickly confessed to sixteen murders in Wisconsin over the previous four years, plus one more in Ohio in 1978, as well as unimaginable acts ofnecrophilia and cannibalism. The discovery shocked the nation and stunned the local community, who were incensed that such a depraved killer had been allowed to operate within their city for so long. Why was Dahmer, who had been convicted of sexual assault of a minor in 1988, able to avoid suspicion anddetection from police as he stalked Milwaukee’s gay scene for victims, many of whom were people of color?
The third in a series from director Joe Berlinger (CWAK: The Ted Bundy Tapes, CWAK: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes), this three-part documentary features never-before-heard audio interviews between Dahmer and his defense team, delving into his warped psyche while answering these open questions of police accountability through a modern-day lens. Featuring fresh interviews with investigative journalists, prosecutors, psychologists, and victims’ friends and families, Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes shines new light on the intersection of race, class, sexuality, and policing that gave rise toone of the most notorious murderers of the 20th century.