The Horrifying Case Of The Jeffrey Dahmer Victim That Police Ignored

The following article contains graphic descriptions of murder.

In the wake of Netflix's new limited series, "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story," the world has elicited a renewed interest in the notorious murder case that commandeered headlines in the early 1990s. The project stars Evan Peters as the infamous "Wisconsin Cannibal," who maimed, drugged, murdered, and dismembered 17 young men between 1978 and 1991, often performing maniacal and cruel experiments on them before and after they died (via Biography). Seemingly a quiet, agreeable young man who mostly kept to himself, few people suspected anything about Jeffrey Dahmer or his diabolical disposition, and those who did were blatantly ignored by local police. Ultimately, he was brought to justice after one Tracy Edwards miraculously escaped his apartment and brought authorities back to the place that almost became his final resting spot. It was there that they discovered a sadistic crime scene that crippled the nation with fear and disgust.

Severed heads, decomposing body parts, bleached bones, and a stack of polaroid photos displaying his victims' corpses in contorted positions were exhumed (among other unspeakable horrors). Dahmer was ultimately convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was slain by a fellow inmate in November 1994, though the remonstrative aftershock of his brutal crimes could never be forgotten. Shockingly, one of his most inhuman acts of torture and malice — one that would have otherwise spelled out the end of his killing spree — wouldn't have happened without help from police, as The Sun reports. 

Konerak Sinthasomphone escaped Dahmer's apartment

The tragic story of 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone is one that's hard to forgive and hard to forget. According to The Tab, Sinthasomphone's parents immigrated to the United States from Laos. Though the couple faced significant financial barriers, they did their best to give their children the best life they could. The children were wont to help out in any way, and when Sinthasomphone encountered Dahmer in the streets of Milwaukee one night, he found an opportunity to make some money. Dahmer reportedly offered him a sum of cash if he were willing to pose for a few nude photographs. Sadly, Sinthasomphone didn't know what the man's true plans were until it was already too late.

After he arrived at the killer's apartment, Dahmer drugged and molested Sinthasomphone. He then drilled a hole into his head and injected his brain with a dose of hydrochloric acid, as The Tab reports. Just when it seemed that all hope was lost, the boy managed to escape after Dahmer left the residence to purchase more alcohol, though he soon found himself back in the clutches of death.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Police brought Sinthasomphone back to Dahmer's apartment

Upon exiting the building, Konerak Sinthasomphone was observed by three other residents — Sandra Smith, Tina Spivey, and Nicole Childress — stumbling through the streets naked, bruised, and covered in blood (via The Sun). The boy was heavily inebriated and virtually incoherent, though the three women didn't notice the hole beneath his bloody mass of hair that Dahmer had put there less than an hour earlier. They promptly called 911, and shortly after, officers John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish arrived and started questioning the boy to no avail.

Not expecting the scene that was waiting for him back at his apartment, Dahmer returned home to find three of his neighbors and two police officers surrounding his escaped captive on the sidewalk. According to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, the killer told Balcerzak and Gabrish that Sinthasomophone was his 19-year-old lover and that he was heavily drunk, requesting that they allow him to take him back upstairs and put him to bed. Not only did the officers agree to his terms without question, but they even walked the boy up to the residence themselves. It was there that they left Konarek in Dahmer's care, and shortly after they left, he injected another dose of hydrochloric acid into the boy's brain and killed him. 

What happened to Balcerzak and Gabrish?

″At the time, with the information we had — to this day, I think we did the appropriate thing, the best that we could,″ John Balcerzak told AP News when asked why he and his partner escorted a 14-year-old boy back to Dahmer's apartment that night. According to Heavy, the two officers were met with extreme backlash from the Milwaukee community and certain entities in the police force and were suspended by then police chief Philip Arreola. However, they were reinstated after a court of appeals deemed their expulsion unwarranted, and they received thousands of dollars in backpay on account of their extended absence. 

In years to come, both Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish would entertain long-lasting careers in the Wisconsin law enforcement community. Showbiz CheatSheet reports that Gabrish became a captain in the city of Grafton, and Balcerzak was promoted to chief of police in Trenton, Wisconsin. He also went on to become president of the Milwaukee Police Association before retiring in 2017.