How Reverend Jesse Jackson fits into Jeffrey Dahmer's real life story

Ella Kipling September 23, 2022
How Reverend Jesse Jackson fits into Jeffrey Dahmer's real life story
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Netflix‘s new series on Jeffrey Dahmer, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, tells of the horrific crimes committed by the serial killer known as the ‘Milwaukee Monster.’

WARNING: Events of a disturbing nature ahead and spoilers for Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

The ten-episode series looks at the young men and boys who became Dahmer’s victims, as well as the lives of those around Dahmer such as his father and grandmother.

The series also looks at the heavily criticized handling of Dahmer’s case. One woman, Glenda Cleveland, called the police multiple times after seeing Dahmer with a young boy who had been reported missing. Despite this, nothing was done.

Cleveland was dismissed and Dahmer went on to kill five more people. Following his arrest, Reverend Jesse Jackson spoke out against the police who ignored Cleveland and demanded accountability.

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Who is Glenda Cleveland?

On May 27th, 1991, Cleveland’s daughter, Sandra Smith, and niece, Nicole Childress, spotted a young boy fleeing from Dahmer in an alley. Police at the scene were convinced by Dahmer that the boy was his adult lover and that they were just in the midst of a domestic dispute.

The boy was 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone. After seeing the child’s picture in the newspaper a few days later, Cleveland called the police again, but no one got back to her. She tried again and again and even called the FBI but was repeatedly ignored, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Five more murders took place at the hands of Dahmer after Cleveland tried to alert the police.

After Dahmer was arrested, Cleveland was honored formally by the Common Council and the County Board and received several awards from local women’s groups and the Milwaukee Police Department.

She passed away in December 2010 at the age of 56.

What did Jesse Jackson say about Dahmer?

In episode eight of Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Reverend Jesse Jackson travels to Milwaukee to address the local community following the arrest of Dahmer. He says:

“Today the city of Milwaukee is hurting. Jeffrey Dahmer’s heinous crimes have not only shocked the nation, they’ve inflicted a painful, devastating wound on this community. Now, some folks have asked me ‘Reverend why you going out to Milwaukee? Dahmer’s been caught aren’t you just stirring up more division?’ to those folks I say I come here today not to sow division but to call for accountability.”

Jackson continues on to say to the congregation: “Dahmer’s crimes weren’t committed in a vacuum, many people including officers of the law turned a blind eye which is why he was able to do what he did for so long.”

In real life, after Dahmer’s arrest, Jackson met with Cleveland and said: “Police chose the word of a killer over an innocent woman.”

Who is Jesse Jackson?

Reverend Jesse Jackson is an American civil rights leader, Baptist minister, and politician born in 1941.

In the 1970s, Jackson began traveling to spotlight problems, which included visiting South Africa where he spoke out against apartheid.

In the next decade, Jackson became a leading national spokesman and advocate for African Americans, and in 1983 he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Jackson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000 after being awarded one by Bill Clinton. The same year, he received a Master of Divinity degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary. He has written several books including Straight from the Heart, and Legal Lynching: Racism, Injustice, and the Death Penalty.

Who plays Jesse Jackson in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story?

Nigel Gibbs plays Jesse Jackson in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Gibbs is known for his roles in The Truth About Cats & Dogs, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, and Eagle Eye.

Also starring in Monster are Evan Peters as Dahmer, Niecy Nash as Cleveland, and Michael Learned as Catherine Hughes.

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Ella Kipling is a freelance reporter at GRV Media. She regularly writes a mixture of news and features for HITC, Reality Titbit, and The Focus, and she has been part of the team since 2020. Ella also helped launch GRV’s student-centered website Freshered in January 2021 and continues to contribute to the site with pieces on current affairs, sports, and student advice. After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) in English Literature, Ella is currently studying for an MA in Magazine Journalism at City University. Ella has a keen interest in current affairs and can usually be found reading the news, with her nose in a book (and updating her Goodreads), talking about women’s rights, or listening to showtunes.