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Meet Jeffrey Dahmer’s Neighbor Glenda Cleveland, Whose Cry To The Police Left Unheard

Glenda Cleveland was one of the first people who became aware of America’s most notorious serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer. The new Netflix series, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” provides a closer look at his heinous crimes. The first episode starts with Glenda Cleveland, who came across Jeffrey’s strange behavior and later took a major role in the proceedings. Read on to know more about her.

Glenda Cleveland Remains Unheard…

Glenda Cleveland, Jeffrey’s next-door neighbor became a victim of the “Milwaukee Monster”, and was the first person to expose him as a serial killer. In Netflix’s new series, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”, Glenda Cleveland hears some weird noises from the vent and asks Jeffrey, “I saw you go out in the dumpster and dump a whole bunch of bad meat, so the smell should be gone by now.”

Jeffrey responds, “Mm. Oh. I forgot, my tropical fish died, they get this disease, its called ich.” At that moment, Glenda knew something was wrong. Later, Glenda becomes the first person to report to the police countless times what had occurred in the flat, but her calls to the authorities went in vain.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Glenda made the first call on May 27th, 1991, when her daughter and niece were walking down the street. She narrated that they saw one kid, named Konerak Sinthasonphone (14) running away from Jeffrey while he was bleeding profusely. After several calls to the police, they responded to the situation.

However, Jeffrey stated to the authorities that the two were in a relationship and the police viewed it as a “domestic dispute”. He also revealed that Konerak was his 19-year-old boyfriend, but the police didn’t feel the need to cross-check his identity. As the police left, Dahmer injected hydrochloric acid into Konerak’s brain, and it finally proved fatal. The next day he dismembered his body and retained his skull. He did the same to another victim, Hughes on the same day. 

If the police had taken, Glenda’s words seriously, many innocent lives could have been saved. Dahmer was arrested in 1992 and was sentenced to a sixteenth term of life imprisonment. By then, the sex offender and cannibal had dismembered and murdered 17 men and boys.

However, Jeffrey Dahmer was killed in the prison by a fellow inmate, Christopher Scarver on November 28, 1994. On the said morning, he was found on the bathroom floor with extreme head wounds after being hit by a heavy metal bar. Many people viewed this as real justice as Jeffrey escaped the death penalty for his heinous crimes. FYI, Wisconsin abolished the death penalty in 1853.

Where Is Glenda Cleveland Now?

Glenda Cleveland, viewed as one of the heroines in Jeffrey Dahmer’s case, played a major role in Jeffrey’s case, by making numerous calls to the police. If her voice would have been heard, 5 of the 17 victims of Jeffrey could have been saved. In the new series, “Monster”, Glenda’s role is played by Niecy Nash, and the series has given due credit to her efforts, something that wasn’t done before.

In an interview, Nash revealed how Cleveland deserves more respect for bringing him down. “She deserved way more than a little cheesy plaque in the bottom of a social hall somewhere. She deserved way more than the police to step in front of her and say, ‘Look what we did. Look what we tried to do,” Nash added.

As for Glenda, she passed away on December 24th, 2010 at 56. It has been reported that she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and heart disease. Glenda’s actions have been long forgotten by many, but this new series brings her name back into the light. What do you think about this brave lady? Some people really don’t need a uniform to be heroes, isn’t it?

Mallika
I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.
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20 COMMENTS

  1. She was a HERO! I am so sorry that she was unheard and that she lost her job for having a voice for the slain souls and the one she tried to save targeted young black and brown men!
    She should have been recognized way before NOW! I never knew about her.

    • She was hailed by the city as an example of citizen action, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson came to Milwaukee to highlight the double standard in how law enforcement looked at Black and white citizens, where Glenda did get to meet him, as she did in the show.So she did get the recognition she deserved.As far as losing her job it seems like that was something that was added by the shows writers for dramatization.Was never mentioned by her or anyone else as far as I know.

      • She didn’t get what she deserved because so many ppl never even knew about her. A hand shake and a award is not enough. We know of dahmer and his victims because they continuously talk about them but nothing has never been said about this brave lady you comment is ignorant.

    • She was hailed by the city as an example of citizen action, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson came to Milwaukee to highlight the double standard in how law enforcement looked at Black and white citizens, where Glenda did get to meet him, as she did in the show.So she did get the recognition she deserved.

  2. One of the biggest changes to real events is the character of Glenda Cleveland (Niecy Nash). In the show, she lives adjacent to Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters), who resides in apartment 213 in the Oxford Apartments on 25th Street in Milwaukee.

    The real-life Cleveland lived in a building next door. It seems likely that the show attempted to amalgamate Cleveland and neighbor Pamela Bass into one character. She said that he made sandwiches for others in the building, which becomes the subject of an unsettling exchange between the Dahmer and Cleveland later in the show.However Glenda Cleveland did call the police several times regarding Konerak Sinthasomphone. She called again after she saw a story in the newspaper about him going missing, recognizing him from that night.
    Police did not act on her suspicions, and she called the FBI, which decided it did not have jurisdiction.Seven weeks went by before Dahmer was arrested.She was eventually hailed by the city as an example of citizen action, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson came to Milwaukee to highlight the double standard in how law enforcement looked at Black and white citizens, where Glenda did get to meet him, as she did in the show.

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2022/09/23/whats-real-fiction-monster-jeffrey-dahmer-story-netflix/8083469001/

  3. This was a very brave lady…she should have been recognised for her effort in bringing this monster to justice….how many more times must we beg police to listen!!!

  4. She should have been awarded a million dollars . They killed that lady, it’s NO coincidence died of High Blood pressure and heart failure. Her family should be awarded the $ She deserved. All His neighbors who had to deal with that after it being reported should get @ least $160k ea and any of the families of victims after the reports better had been awarded financially. Doesn’t change things or bring them back but they should be given some kind of financial recognition.

  5. Did you guys do any research before writing this article or did you simply watch the Netflix series? Pamela Bass was Jeffrey Dahmer’s next door neighbor, not Glenda Cleveland. The only thing that Glenda did that the show got correct was call the police when she saw the 14 yo boy wondering on the street. She literally didn’t do anything else.

    • You need to get your facts right. Here is some enlightenment.
      “According to the paper, some aspects of Cleveland’s story may have been merged with that of Pamela Bass, a neighbor who did live in Dahmer’s building, not a “next-door-neighbor”. That includes the scene where Dahmer visits Cleveland and offers her a suspicious sandwich. Bass said in the 2013 documentary The Jeffrey Dahmer Files that he would make his neighbors sandwiches.” But it was Glenda, who reported him to the police.

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