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Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson 'cautious' about memorial for Jeffrey Dahmer victims

Since the premiere of a new Jeffrey Dahmer series on Netflix, conversations on how the City of Milwaukee handled the murders resurfaced.
Jeffrey Dahmer
Posted at 11:39 PM, Sep 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-27 23:39:09-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson says he is "cautious" about a potential memorial in the city for the victims of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Netflix released a series about the "Milwaukee Cannibal" last week. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story tells the story of Dahmer, who was convicted of murdering and dismembering 16 men and boys in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Since the show premiered, conversations surrounding how the City of Milwaukee handled the murders resurfaced.

Jeffrey L. Dahmer makes his initial appearance at the Milwaukee County Circuit Court where he was charged with four counts of first-degree intentional homicide, July 26, 1991. Dahmer was arrested after police found the body parts of 11 men in his Milwaukee apartment. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett)

Part of these conversations flooding social media included support for a memorial or tribute for Dahmer's victims in Milwaukee.

In a statement shared with TMJ4 News on Tuesday, Mayor Johnson said a memorial could attract the wrong people.

“It is entirely appropriate to remember the victims of this horrific episode in Milwaukee’s history," Mayor Johnson said. "They deserve our respect. I am cautious, however, about a physical memorial. That would have an unfortunate potential to attract people who have a morbid fascination with the killer. That is something I would prefer to avoid.”

Exterior view of the apartment building of Jeffrey Dahmer in January 1992 (left). On the right, the site which once held the apartment building of Dahmer now sits vacant in Milwaukee in November 1994.

The empty site where Dahmer used to live is one possible location for a memorial that people discussed online. Dahmer used to live in the Oxford Apartments and carried out most of his murders there. The 49-unit building was demolished in 1992, not long after his 1991 arrest. The plot now sits vacant near 25th and State.

Conversations about a memorial widely stem from public social media posts and not the victims' families.

Dahmer died in prison two years into his sentence after being beaten by another inmate.