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Was Glenda Cleveland, Who Tries To Stop Jeffrey Dahmer In Netflix's ‘Monster,’ A Real Person?
Niecy Nash plays Glenda Cleveland, a neighbor of the serial killer who called police several times, in Netflix's "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story." But was Cleveland a real person?
In “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” now streaming on Netflix, the serial killer’s neighbor reported him to police multiple times, but was often ignored.
Glenda Cleveland, played by Niecy Nash, made repeated phone calls to the police regarding Jeffrey Dahmer, played by Evan Peters, in the dramatized 10-episode series. Most notably, in the show, Cleveland calls the police after her daughter and niece found a 14-year-old boy in the street after he had fled Dahmer's apartment. The child was naked and incoherent because he had been drugged by Dahmer, and the police did show up. But Dahmer claimed the child was his intoxicated boyfriend, and police returned the kid — who Dahmer later killed — to his custody.
Cleveland indeed is a real person and a Good Samaritan who tried to help the victim, 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone. Cleveland called the police repeatedly about the child on May 27, 1991, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
"Are you sure?" she kept asking while on the phone with police after Dahmer managed to convince them that the child was his boyfriend.
She called back days later after seeing Sinthasomphone was reported missing and his photo was in the newspaper. She also called the FBI.
She was apparently ignored.
Dahmer wasn’t arrested until two months later when another victim escaped and managed to convince police that Dahmer was dangerous.
"I don't see any excuse for people not caring for other people," she told a reporter in 1991, according to the Sentinel.
Cleveland died in 201l at the age of 56. She was remembered as “a symbol of good at a time of so much bad in our city,” the Sentinel reported after her death.
“She got involved. She tried to help. She spoke a life-or-death truth and was ignored,” the publication wrote.
Dahmer killed 17 men and boys over the course of 13 years, many of whom were Black and gay. “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” however, has received criticism on social media for romanticizing the serial killer, Newsweek reports.
There have been several movies based on his life and crimes already, including the 2002 film, “Dahmer,” starring Jeremy Renner. “My Friend Dahmer” was released in 2017 and it depicts the killer’s high school years and the events leading up to his first murder.