While watching the show, you probably wondered why the neighbors didn’t do anything about the foul smell and yelling. Well, episode 7 of Dahmer goes into great detail about that question. So, let’s find out!
The episode opens with Jeff’s almost final victim fleeing; we get a glimpse of this in episode 1. The boy is seen running and yelling for his life. Jeff’s neighbour locks the door after entering her apartment right away. The neighbor appears terrified and unsure of what to do. She leaves her apartment and uses the peephole to look into Jeff’s apartment. When she notices that Jeff is watching her, she quickly rushes back in and locks the door.
Jeff is arrested when the almost-victim returns with the police. We witness the neighbor telling the police that they should have taken her advice and heeded her repeated warnings about Jeff. She yells at the cops, claiming that she had called them for months and that they only arrived after it was too late.
A reporter informs the audience that some neighbors had complained about an overpowering stench for almost a year but had never considered what might have been the source.
An officer knocks on Jeff’s neighbor’s apartment door and requests that she evacuate the building for safety reasons. She informs him that she has nowhere to go, but he shows no sign of concern. She asks him how many bodies they discovered in Jeff’s apartment, but he brushes it off and tells her to pack her bags and leave.
As per the news reporter, the cops discovered 15 human bodies in Jeff’s apartment, including three heads preserved in a refrigerator.
A man who appears to be an investigator informs another person under whom he allegedly works that they have identified 11 bodies out of around 17 people killed by Dahmer. We learn that Dahmer murdered his first victim in Ohio and that he kept more than just his victims’ bodies; he also kept their identification cards. We also discover that one of his victims was only 14 years old.
Furthermore, it has come to light that one of Dahmer’s victims did manage to flee (we saw a glimpse of this in one of the previous episodes), but two police officers escorted him back to Dahmer’s apartment, where he was ultimately murdered by Dahmer. Critical information also came to light that Glenda Cleveland, a concerned African American resident who lived next door to Dahmer, tried to step in and save the boy by calling the police, but she was simply ignored, and Dahmer ultimately killed the boy. They also took their time when asked to suspend the officers who took Glenda’s warnings lightly and allowed the murder to go on simply because she was African American.
The officers go to the victims’ homes to tell the families what happened to the victims. You can’t help but feel a great deal of sympathy for the victims’ families because it is obvious that they are devastated by what happened.
Glenda Cleveland, Jeff’s neighbor, is thoroughly assessed, and we gain insight into her point of view. We witness Glenda explaining how the police ignored her complaints about Jeff along with those of her daughter and niece simply because they were African Americans.
To experience it from her point of view, to see everything she endures just because she is a woman of color and how her voice is silenced, is incredibly upsetting. Because she had been suppressing her emotions for so long, her anger finally erupts when Jeff is exposed, and she uses the range of her voice to tell reporters and anyone else who would listen about what had happened.
We also get a brief glimpse into the emergence of insensitivity at the expense of delicate situations. For instance, Glenda’s superior is seen asking her about the zombies Jeff created.
Reverend Jackson and the man he is closely working with are introduced to us. By his close associate’s admission, we see how they are advancing the civil rights agenda. His associate questions him about why he’s fighting Jeffrey Dahmer when it doesn’t seem to fit within their agenda, given that Jeffrey’s victims were homosexuals and that it doesn’t feel like their fight.
Asserting that he is fighting the case because the victims were primarily African Americans, the Revered pushes for it.
When Reverend Jackson asks the Milwaukee authorities if they spoke to Glenda, they respond that they didn’t, which is upsetting because Glenda knew a lot about Jeff and had a lot to say, but her voice was silenced because she is African American.
Reverend Jackson pays a visit to Glenda and listens to what she has to say. Glenda appears to recognize Reverend Jackson and claims to have voted twice for him. He asks about her job and family, and they have a sentimental conversation.
The Reverend tells her that he heard her interview, and she tells him that the police in Milwaukee have still not called to speak to her, which upsets her immensely. He hears her plight, and she recounts everything she witnessed Jeff do.
Glenda goes on to tell Reverend Jackson that Jeff’s situation worsened significantly following the Konerak incident. Glenda describes how she would notice an unpleasant smell coming from Jeff’s apartment through her vent, and when she inquired, he’d make excuses, telling her that some meat had gone bad.
Glenda also tells the Reverend about a new tenant who mysteriously vanished after she saw him have a conversation with Jeff in the hallway. She goes on to tell the Reverend that she never saw him again.
Glenda informs the Reverend that she heard screeches from Jeff’s apartment and called the police multiple times to inform them about the urgency of the situation, but they never took her seriously.
Glenda then goes on to tell the Reverend about the time she informed the building manager about the bad smell coming from Jeff’s apartment and convinced him to evict Jeff. Jeff goes to her house and asks, and then orders, her to take back her complaint.
Jeff compares Glenda to his mother and grandmother. He most likely said it to manipulate her, but it’s comprehensible why he compared her to his mother and grandmother. His mother thought his road kills were disgusting, and his grandmother disliked the stench of dead bodies emanating from her fruit cellar when he lived with her. It’s fascinating to see how the things he says have an underlying connection, even if he says them to manipulate someone.
Glenda questions Jeff about what he does in his apartment and addresses everything she observes, including the stench, his use of power tools all night, and the screaming coming from his apartment.
She also inquires about the little Asian boy and the neighbor he was conversing with, both of whom have vanished, but he has made up an excuse for everything. She tells him to tell her where the neighbor went and she’ll withdraw the complaint, but in return, he says he has no idea where the boy is. He then tries to force her to eat a sandwich that was most likely mixed with something, but she refuses and throws him out of her apartment.
Glenda notices Jeff bringing another boy to his apartment and she hears screams coming from there, implying that Jeff is attacking him. She immediately contacts the cops and notifies them of the situation, but the police ask her to go to Jeff’s apartment and investigate what is going on, and she refuses, claiming that someone is most likely being killed inside.
They don’t take her seriously, and they ignore everything she says because they don’t believe it’s true.
Glenda informs the Reverend that she knew Jeff was a monster and tried to alert the cops, but no one heard her. The Reverend consoles her and tells her that he hears her and that others have finally heard her as well. He tells her that the two cops who ignored her about Jeff will be suspended the following day.
What she’s done is the first step and it would not have been possible without her intervention. He tells her that her voice will make a difference, and she sobs.
The Episode Review
The episode gives us a thorough understanding of the neighbor’s point of view, which is quite insightful. We see everything she has experienced and how it has changed her. Additionally, it is upsetting to see how her voice is silenced solely due to her race.
Jeff takes advantage of the situation and continues his killing spree as we repeatedly witness the police dismissing her complaints. We also get a glimpse of the emotional toll the events had on her because it appears that she was dealing with PTSD after Jeff was arrested.
Racism is undoubtedly an essential factor in the case as African American citizens of Milwaukee were treated unfairly, which seemed to work in Jeff’s favor. However, in some cases, racism was used as an explanation for things that did not appear to be related. For instance, Jeff is accused of primarily targeting African American men because many of his victims were African Americans, but Jeff admits that he only targeted men he thought were “beautiful”.
Furthermore, he confessed his crimes after being caught, assisted the police in locating the bodies, and he didn’t put up much of a fight, so he had no reason to lie if he was only killing African Americans because their missing would not be taken seriously.
Another reason why Jeff did not purposely target African Americans in the context of racism and it being easier to get away with is that he appears to be a careless killer in general. He doesn’t appear to be concerned about the consequences of his actions. He even appears to consider disposing of the body after killing; it comes naturally to him.
He does not defend himself in court, does not pretend to be mentally ill in order to be placed in a hospital, and instead requests a death chair. All of these factors point out the fact that he did not target African Americans because it was easier for him to get away with it. Instead, it appears to be his preference.
The actors in the episode do an excellent job in their respective roles, especially Glenda. With her terrific performance, she brilliantly plays the role of the troubled neighbor.