‘DAHMER — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’: What Happened to Glenda Cleveland?

When people think of Jeffrey Dahmer, they often think of the gruesome way he murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Many people neglect to think about the victims themselves, including Dahmer’s neighbor Glenda Cleveland. Thanks to the Netflix series DAHMER — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, viewers finally get to hear more about Cleveland’s side of the story. Learn more about Dahmer’s former neighbor, including where Cleveland is in 2022. 

Glenda Cleveland (Niecy Nash), Jeffrey Dahmer's neighbor, in the Netflix series 'Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story'
Niecy Nash as Glenda Cleveland | Netflix

Glenda Cleveland was a victim of Jeffrey Dahmer

In all of the documentaries, movies, and TV shows that discuss Dahmer’s murders, Cleveland’s story rarely comes up. “Glenda was one of his victims too,” Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change, a nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization, told Netflix Queue. “Her story has been told the least.”

Cleveland lived in the same apartment complex as Dahmer — the Oxford Apartments in Milwaukee. Suspicious of her neighbor, Cleveland made multiple complaints to their landlord about a foul odor coming from Dahmer’s residence. When the landlord did nothing, Cleveland tried to get the police involved. However, authorities didn’t take her seriously because she was a Black woman living in an underserved community. 

Cleveland was there the night Officers John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish responded to the call about 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone. After Dahmer lied to them about Sinthasomphone being a 19-year-old house guest who had too much to drink, the cops escorted them back into Dahmer’s apartment. Sinthasomphone died the same night. 

Glenda Cleveland died in her apartment in December 2010 

After Dahmer was arrested in July 1991, Cleveland remained in her apartment at 25th and Kilbourn (via Milwaukee News archives). According to the outlet, she kept in touch with the Sinthasomphone family after Dahmer went to prison. In 2009, she moved to another apartment less than a mile away at 32nd and Wisconsin. 

Cleveland died of natural causes on Dec. 24, 2010. She was 56 years old. After not seeing her for a few days, neighbors alerted the Milwaukee police, who found her body on the floor of her apartment. 

Niecy Nash portrays Glenda in Netflix’s ‘DAHMER — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ 

The 10-episode limited series stars Emmy Award-winning actor Evan Peters as Dahmer. Fellow Emmy winner Niecy Nash plays Cleveland. Nash was anxious to tell Cleveland’s story right and do her justice in the Netflix series, which premiered on Sept. 21, 2022.

“Heavy is the head that wears the crown to tell this story as it had never been done before,” Nash told Queue. “That comes with a lot of responsibility because you want to make sure you get it right.” 

Nash continued: “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.'”

Learn more about Cleveland’s side of the story in Ryan Murphy’s latest project. Stream DAHMER — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story exclusively on Netflix

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