Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes (2022)

conversations with a killer the jeffrey dahmer tapes poster 2022 documentary netflix
7.5 Overall Score

One of the most disturbing killers

Same as other killer documentaries

conversations with a killer the jeffrey dahmer tapes title card review episode guide list

Cool, calm, and terrifying

Jeffrey Dahmer is captured on July 22, 1991.  In jail, Dahmer begins to talk about his crimes and the horror he committed.  Dahmer’s story of his early kills and how he continued to murder as he cruised the gay bars and haunts of Minnesota grows as the terror grows.  Dahmer is headed to trial…but is he sane?

Directed by Joe Berlinger, Conversations with a Killer:  The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes is a Netflix true-crime series.  The three part series premiered on October 7, 2022 following the release of Dahmer—Monster:  The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes are truly horrendous.  While the Dahmer TV series played like a TV series, this plays out as a documentary and that adds weight to the subject.  You know you are hearing from the people involved and hearing their perspective on events…even the killer Dahmer himself.  It is an interesting companion piece if you have seen the Dahmer series, but it also works as a stand-alone documentary.

conversations with a killer the jeffrey dahmer tapes episode 1 sympathy for the devil first victim steven hicks

The first victim: Steven Hicks

The documentary is pretty standard.  It follows a rather typical path of outlining Dahmer’s life through photographs and interviews with people who knew him.  This is interspersed with jail house recorded interviews with Dahmer about his crimes.  Both with the recordings and testimonials, a rather solid portrait of Dahmer is revealed.

Like many serial killers, Dahmer doesn’t seem to shy away from talking about his crimes.  Despite being caught, there is a boastful or if nothing else remorseless reporting of what he did and how he did it.  His unwavering voice while describing his crimes is chilling and shows how unbalanced he is.

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A killer in court

The question in the final episode that is of course asked is “Is Jeffrey Dahmer insane?”  He explains what he did in such cool and calm descriptions, but the fact that he thought of it and acted on his thoughts could be argued that it is the definition of insanity.  A sane person wouldn’t kill and eat other people regardless if they are introspective and thoughtful…does simply having no empathy mean that a person insane and should be treated that way?  It is a tough question.  I doubt Jeffrey Dahmer sat down and said “when I grow up, I want to be a serial killer”…there is some choice but there is some uncontrollable drive involved as well.

Following in the footsteps of Conversations with a Killer:  The Ted Bundy Tapes and Conversations with a Killer:  The John Wayne Gacy Tapes, this entry in the series doesn’t do much to deviate from other serial killer documentaries…but it doesn’t need to.  Serial killers are the worst of humanity and understanding them can demonstrate how it happens and how to stop it from happening again.  It would be good if Dahmer was a special case, but unfortunately, there are many more like them…some of which no one knows about.

Conversations with a Killer:  The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes Complete Episode Guide:

conversations with a killer the jeffrey dahmer tapes episode 1 sympathy for the devil gay bath houses milwaukee

“Sympathy for the Devil”

Episode 1        Sympathy for the Devil Release Date:  10/07/22

On July 22, 1991, a man named Tracy Edwards approached the police and led police back to the apartment of Jeffrey Dahmer.  Dahmer’s crimes are revealed as he explains his actions to his attorneys and the police.  Jeffrey commits his first murders…and the horror begins.

conversations with a killer the jeffrey dahmer tapes episode 2 can i take your picture apartment

“Can I Take Your PIcture?”

Episode 2        Can I Take Your Picture? Release Date:  10/07/22

Jeffrey’s crimes continue to grow as he cruises the gay bars in the area.  Living with his grandmother, Dahmer continues to kill, and from his cell, he tries to explain why.  Jeffrey moves into his own apartment and the fears of killing at his grandmother’s is eliminated but living in an apartment causes new problems.

conversations with a killer the jeffrey dahmer tapes episode 3 evil or insane court trial

“Evil or Insane?”

Episode 3        Evil or Insane Release Date:  10/07/22

The discovery of Konerak Sinthasomphone outside of Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment naked and incoherent has police facing criticism for returning Sinthasomphone to Dahmer’s care.  Dahmer goes on trial…is he insane or is he in his right mind?

Related Links:

Dahmer—Monster:  The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022) Review and Complete Episode Guide

Conversations with a Killer:  The Ted Bundy Tapes (2019) Review and Complete Episode Guide

Conversations with a Killer:  The John Wayne Gacy Tapes (2022) Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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