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S01.E10: God of Forgiveness, God of Vengeance

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In prison, Jeff's newfound fame makes him a target. His parents seek closure and Glenda pushes for a memorial on familiar grounds to honor the victims.

Original streaming date 2022.09.21

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They never built the park 😭

I wish there were updates on what happened to some of the family member of the victims, and to Jeff Dahmer's parents. I guess Google will have to help me there. This series was so well-done. I like that the injustices and botched police work were all shown. 

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You may not like it but just like with the Andrew Cunanan case, which was also a Ryan Murphy thing done on American Crime Story (which this would have got into really well) most of the documentaries and true crime stories I have seen about Jeffrey Dahmer  have been about the great police work done to catch a monster.   Most focus on his childhood and try to point at Lionel and Joyce.   Yes they were in a terrible marriage and were likely bad parents leaving a kid still in high school alone for an entire summer with no food or money. I am not sure I buy blaming the father for the taxidermy hobby.   I thought this series went a long way to show that the case isn’t as simple as we want it to be.   There was a lot of institutional failure pretty much from the start and it is sad to see how a couple of bad cops could have stopped Jeffrey pretty early if they had just done their jobs.   It was also sad to see a judge cut a father off during an impact statement because he didn’t speak English.   That all being said I am not one who thinks shanking a guy in prison is ever the answer and the dude who did it is still a murderer even if he murdered a monster.   

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Just curious why JD was in gen pop?  I thought someone who had committed such horrible violent crimes and with a huge presence all over the news would be confined solitarily.  How could they even trust him around the other prisoners?  

For instance, If I recall correctly, BTK isn't in gen pop, and neither was Aileen Wournos.

Edited by Joan van Snark
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On 9/22/2022 at 9:58 PM, Zima said:

They never built the park 😭

I wish there were updates on what happened to some of the family member of the victims, and to Jeff Dahmer's parents. I guess Google will have to help me there. This series was so well-done. I like that the injustices and botched police work were all shown. 

I don't know a whole lot, but I do recall reading that Glenda and the family of the 14yo boy she and her daughters tried to save are still in regular contact.

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I don't know why Dahmer was in general population either. I'm not weeping that he is gone but it was odd that he was. Again while he deserved his fate the guy who killed him was in jail for murder so I don't care much for him either.  I knew the park was never build but still reading it was like a gut punch. I am glad they showed the names and pictures of all the victims at the end. 

Great acting from everyone. Honestly I thought this show was going to be a bit of a mess but I thought it was well done. 

Now on a regular note I am getting tired of seeing Evan get killed in most of the shows he does. I'd like to see him do something light and silly let him get the girl and ride off into the sunset. I know he has the Superhero stuff but take that away and most of his characters meet bad ends. I'd even take a crappy Netflix Christmas movie lol. Just give me something just once lol.

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I thought this series was well done. Ryan Murphy does do a good job with these crime stories. I know some things were fictionized, I don’t think one of his victims was his across the hall neighbor.  Great acting by everyone. I did not pay attention to the cast until I was done watching, I didn’t realize Shari was Molly Ringwald and the Grandmother was Mama Walton (Michael Learned). 

Edited by Straycat80
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The behavior of the police as appalling.  I know the two cops who handed the kid back over to Dahmer were terminated and later reinstated with back pay.  The one guy went on to become president of his police union.  And them calling the father to harass him.  I'm not sure if that really happened or dramatic license, but it wouldn't have surprised me if they had done that.

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I’m not into serial killer stuff. I’ll take a peak every once in a while. I can’t fathom how someone could do things like that.

The most interesting part of this for me was watching the families; getting to see the victims with their families and living their lives; watching how the families went through their grief; how the neighbors processed their trauma; and how these events and the people most affected were treated by the broader society.

Watching the police do nothing but collect a paycheck for sitting on their asses and harassing the Laotian family was disheartening, but unsurprising, to watch.

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Richard Jenkins was really phenomenal in this.

On 9/25/2022 at 5:27 PM, Joan van Snark said:

Just curious why JD was in gen pop?  I thought someone who had committed such horrible violent crimes and with a huge presence all over the news would be confined solitarily.  How could they even trust him around the other prisoners?  

For instance, If I recall correctly, BTK isn't in gen pop, and neither was Aileen Wournos.

I think it just depends on what kind of facilities the state has. Kansas technically still has capital punishment even though they haven't executed anyone in decades, so they have a physical AdSeg unit, which is where I think BTK is. Aileen Wuornos was on death row. Wisconsin hadn't had the death penalty in well over a century prior to Dahmer's incarceration so they placed him according to his sentence.

It was odd to me that the man who killed Dahmer had to get special research permission to find out what he'd done, seems like something that's a hot news story like that wouldn't much of a secret inside. I'm guessing that part was pure fiction.

On 9/22/2022 at 9:58 PM, Zima said:

They never built the park 😭

I wish there were updates on what happened to some of the family member of the victims, and to Jeff Dahmer's parents. I guess Google will have to help me there. This series was so well-done. I like that the injustices and botched police work were all shown. 

Yes, I needed a lot more pre-closing-credits updates! It's not a google rabbit hole I want to have to go down!

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On 10/1/2022 at 8:03 PM, gesundheit said:

Richard Jenkins was really phenomenal in this.

He really was. I know it's not meant to be funny but I did chuckle at one part when he and Joyce were speaking to the Dr about Jeff's brain. At one point the Dr said his brain was in Madison and Lionel was silent for a beat while looking at him. He had a "are you freaking kidding me" expression on his face that made me laugh.

I liked that one guy buying all of Dahmer's belongings, destroying them and then splitting the money between the families.

I had completely forgotten that Dahmer was killed in prison so that scene between him and Scarver was tense. 

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19 minutes ago, MaggieG said:

I liked that one guy buying all of Dahmer's belongings, destroying them and then splitting the money between the families.

Interestingly, they squeezed in an extra Exorcist III reference here by casting Ken Lerner (Dr. Freedman in Exorcist III) as Zilber (the man who bought all the belongings).

Complicated feelings on Zilber's move there -- the items probably would've garnered a lot more money for the victims' families if the auction had gone forward. But of course the idea of people owning his fridge or knives as keepsakes is revolting. These days some industrious person probably could've auctioned off a video of each item getting destroyed or something. (I don't know, just trying to find a compromise!)

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On 9/27/2022 at 9:01 AM, monakane said:

The behavior of the police as appalling.  I know the two cops who handed the kid back over to Dahmer were terminated and later reinstated with back pay.  The one guy went on to become president of his police union.  And them calling the father to harass him.  I'm not sure if that really happened or dramatic license, but it wouldn't have surprised me if they had done that.

This is what I posted over on another episode thread: 

After each episode I've followed up with the link someone supplied that succinctly covers what's real or not in the series, and am relieved that those policemen did not actually receive any Officer of the Year awards. I audibly gasped when it was revealed that officers were the ones making the threatening calls! The police chief said that while it was indeed done by officers (and a spouse), there was no indication that those two officers had taken part in it.

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Finally finished this and thought they did a good job and Evan Peters was excellent as usual. I am originally from Milwaukee and lived there during the Dahmer years. I remember how terribly shocked the whole city was under for a long time as well as all of the residents having to hear things from other towns saying "People from Wisconsin have always been weird etc". When I moved to Chicago people asked me endless questions about whether I knew Dahmer and I got so frustrated I told some people he was my prom date! I do have a couple of weak connections; a friend of my family's son worked with Dahmer at the chocolate factory and said he was quiet and didn't talk to anyone and always ate lunch alone. Also one of my uncles who was a bit down on his luck at the time lived a block away from Dahmer but never met him. I do think whenever something comers up on TV or the movies about a serial killer, people are concerned about the victims not being portrayed right but I think Murphy did a good job here and we never felt anything but sympathy. I think the series was a little long and they could have cut out an episode. They showed too much of the Glenda character and perhaps they could have cut a bit of the flashbacks. 

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I'm about to pick a pretty silly little nit, but it does sort of reflect the way this series has modified facts for dramatic license:  There was not a total eclipse of the sun the day Gacy was executed.  In the Midwest (and I was in Kohler, Wisconsin, that day), it was a very partial one -- no more than a third was covered by the moon.  Also, Gacy was executed the night before the eclipse happened, which I remember because we all did celebratory shots at the time of said execution.

I have no idea if Dahmer was Baptist-baptized on the same day as that eclipse, and I have no desire to look it up, but yeah:  This show has fudged a lot of the facts.

By the way, does anyone else think that opening sequence means that Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan are doing a series about Gacy next?

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On 10/3/2022 at 10:19 PM, Demian said:

By the way, does anyone else think that opening sequence means that Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan are doing a series about Gacy next?

Gacy seems to intrigue Ryan Murphy. There’s a serial killer in Freak Show/American Horror Story who dresses up as a clown.

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On 9/27/2022 at 11:10 AM, Straycat80 said:

I thought this series was well done. Ryan Murphy does do a good job with these crime stories. I know some things were fictionized, I don’t think one of his victims was his across the hall neighbor.  Great acting by everyone. I did not pay attention to the cast until I was done watching, I didn’t realize Shari was Molly Ringwald and the Grandmother was Mama Walton (Michael Learned). 

She still looks like Molly Ringwald!

But, I've come to realize I don't have trouble identifying faces.

On 10/3/2022 at 10:19 PM, Demian said:

I'm about to pick a pretty silly little nit, but it does sort of reflect the way this series has modified facts for dramatic license:  There was not a total eclipse of the sun the day Gacy was executed.  In the Midwest (and I was in Kohler, Wisconsin, that day), it was a very partial one -- no more than a third was covered by the moon.  Also, Gacy was executed the night before the eclipse happened, which I remember because we all did celebratory shots at the time of said execution.

I know you said this was silly nit but come on. They were trying to set a mood. It also really really doesn't matter.

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On 9/25/2022 at 5:27 PM, Joan van Snark said:

Just curious why JD was in gen pop?  I thought someone who had committed such horrible violent crimes and with a huge presence all over the news would be confined solitarily.  How could they even trust him around the other prisoners?  

For instance, If I recall correctly, BTK isn't in gen pop, and neither was Aileen Wournos.

Via wiki

Upon sentencing, Dahmer was transferred to the Columbia Correctional Institution.[276] For the first year of his incarceration, Dahmer was placed in solitary confinement due to concerns for his physical safety should he come into contact with fellow inmates. With Dahmer's consent, after one year in solitary confinement, he was transferred to a less secure unit, where he was assigned a two-hour daily work detail cleaning the toilet block.

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On 10/5/2022 at 2:46 AM, Racj82 said:

I know you said this was silly nit but come on. They were trying to set a mood. It also really really doesn't matter.

I know, I know. It's just one of those little things that bug, and there are always -- always -- some things, little or big, that bug in a Ryan Murphy series.  Especially in a Ryan Murphy series.

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11 hours ago, Demian said:

I know, I know. It's just one of those little things that bug, and there are always -- always -- some things, little or big, that bug in a Ryan Murphy series.  Especially in a Ryan Murphy series.

Understood.

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On 9/25/2022 at 2:38 PM, Chaos Theory said:

Yes they were in a terrible marriage and were likely bad parents leaving a kid still in high school alone for an entire summer with no food or money. I am not sure I buy blaming the father for the taxidermy hobby.   I thought this series went a long way to show that the case isn’t as simple as we want it to be.   There was a lot of institutional failure pretty much from the start and it is sad to see how a couple of bad cops could have stopped Jeffrey pretty early if they had just done their jobs.   It was also sad to see a judge cut a father off during an impact statement because he didn’t speak English.   That all being said I am not one who thinks shanking a guy in prison is ever the answer and the dude who did it is still a murderer even if he murdered a monster.   

Only quoting a portion of your post but yes. However I don’t think they left Jeffrey with no food or money- likely Lionel left some cash and money in the checking account after Joyce left for Jeffrey to buy food/send checks for the utilities. I would expect a typical 18yrs old to be able to fend for themselves without guardians (we say people are legally emancipated at that age).
 

I think that Joyce wasn’t interested in parenting Jeff (perhaps because she was so sick when he was small, and she may have sensed something “off” about him)- David was her second chance. Lionel did care about him, but wasn’t interested in being a primary caregiver nor did he arrange for a better one (paying a nanny since Joyce couldn’t do it, enlisting a family member while he was working etc- probably because he was angry that Joyce wasn’t doing “her job” but what Joyce was doing didn’t matter, it should’ve been what was best for Jeff). I’ve noticed that people who grow up with absent parents (either due to choice or a parent illness) tend to end up okay if their primary caregiver (even if it’s not a parent) is loving and stable. (Like a grandparent, long term nanny etc)

But with someone like Jeffrey Dahmer- I don’t think anything could’ve stopped him from developing those tendencies. I do think he could’ve been stopped sooner, but he could’ve had the best parents in the world and the most stable home and ended up that way. Ted Bundy said he had a wonderful childhood. 

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It made no sense to me that the inmate who killed Dahmer needed to do research to figure out what he'd done. I would think that as soon as a new inmate came in, they would tell all of the other prisoners about how one of their fellow inmates was an infamous cannibal serial killer.

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On 11/2/2022 at 2:56 PM, Blakeston said:

It made no sense to me that the inmate who killed Dahmer needed to do research to figure out what he'd done. I would think that as soon as a new inmate came in, they would tell all of the other prisoners about how one of their fellow inmates was an infamous cannibal serial killer.

It didn’t make sense. My vote is bad writing. 

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Who would tell them?  The inmate that killed him was psychotic (thought he was the son of God and a million years old). I don't think guards are allowed to tell inmates about other inmates.  The bit about the killer researching Dahmer was likely creative license to try to give the audience a rational reason for the attack when really the man likely couldn't explain his reasoning due to his mental illness.

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