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What happened to Glenda Cleveland? The woman who tried desperately to stop Jeffrey Dahmer

Gregory Robinson

| Last updated 

What happened to Glenda Cleveland? The woman who tried desperately to stop Jeffrey Dahmer

Featured Image Credit: Netflix/REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

The new Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has enlightened viewers to the horrific and brutal crimes committed by one of America's most prolific serial killers.


Netflix viewers have also been left wondering what happened to the real people who tried to put a stop to Dahmer's crimes, particularly Glenda Cleveland.

The character who is portrayed by Niecy Nash in the series was inspired by a real woman who desperately called the police to report Dahmer’s unusual behaviour. 

However her pleas with law enforcement fell on deaf ears.

Niecy Nash portrays Glenda Cleveland. Credit: Netflix
Niecy Nash portrays Glenda Cleveland. Credit: Netflix

Inspired by real events, series creators Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan show Dahmer’s neighbour Cleveland expressing her concern about his behaviour and the strange smells coming from his apartment.

She overheard the sound of men screaming and a drill during the night, which raised alarm bells. 

Cleveland contacted authorities on 27 May 1991 after her daughter, Sandra Smith, and her niece, Nicole Childress, found a bleeding boy wandering the streets. 

Police attended the scene however Dahmer convinced them the boy was 19 years old and was his boyfriend, who had too much to drink.

The police believed the situation to be a 'domestic argument'.

The boy was 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone. Hydrochloric acid was injected into his brain by Dahmer after the police departed, which ultimately led to his death.

The real Glenda Cleveland contacted the police about her concerns. Credit: Netflix
The real Glenda Cleveland contacted the police about her concerns. Credit: Netflix

Cleveland identified Sinthasomphone’s picture in a missing person alert in the newspaper and later realised the missing boy was the same person Dahmer claimed was his drunk boyfriend.

She notified the FBI once again but nobody responded.

Sinthasomphone became Dahmer’s 13th victim. Had Cleveland’s pleas been taken seriously, five of Dahmer’s victims could have been saved.

Hearing the real phone call between Cleveland and a police officer is one of the most heart wrenching and infuriating moments in the 10-episode series.

Viewers have also wondered what happened to Cleveland and where she is now.

Glenda died in 2010. Credit: TMJ4
Glenda died in 2010. Credit: TMJ4

Cleveland died 12 years ago on 24 December 2010 at the age of 56, after spending her life fighting for justice for Dahmer’s victims.

Dahmer was eventually caught on 22 July 1991, when Tracy Edwards escaped his apartment, in which detectives later found body parts and bones.

After Dahmer's arrest, Cleveland continued living in her apartment. 

She was honoured by the Common Council and the County Board, and was called a model citizen by Mayor of Milwaukee, John Norquist.

However, many were outraged that Cleveland was ignored, including political activist Reverend Jesse Jackson, who berated police for believing Dahmer over Cleveland.

“Police chose the word of a killer over an innocent woman," Jackson said.

Cleveland continued to live in the apartment near Dahmer's former residence until 2009.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is available to watch now

Topics: Netflix, True Crime

Gregory Robinson
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