With the release of Netflix’s wildly popular “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” in September 2022, there is perhaps no serial killer more famous right now.
The series brings to life the gruesome crimes committed by Jeffrey Dahmer before he was finally caught and sent to life in prison in 1991, where he was ultimately killed by a fellow inmate.
Although the series tries to balance Dahmer’s streak of cannibalistic, sex-driven murders with the lives of his victims, it has become a target for many critics who see it as painting this disturbed individual in an almost romantic way.
Yet for all of the criticism that it’s received, that hasn’t stopped some people from trying to profit off of Dahmer’s newfound fame. From furniture to Jeffrey Dahmer’s murder weapons, these cult items are selling for thousands of dollars.
But perhaps no other item has gotten quite as much attention as Jeffrey Dahmer’s glasses, which went up for sale for a whopping $150,000.
Jeffrey Dahmer Was an Antisocial Teenager
Jeffrey Dahmer seems to have had a relatively normal childhood, but he quickly began to exhibit strange and antisocial behavior.
As a teenager, he was withdrawn and drank excessively. He didn’t have hobbies and mostly kept to himself, preferring to remain at home dissecting animal carcasses rather than hang out with his classmates.
But it wasn’t long before he moved on from animals to humans. Just after he graduated high school in 1978, he killed his first victim.
That summer Dahmer had been left alone for much of the time since his parents were in the middle of a divorce. One day while home alone, he decided to pick up a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks. He brought Steven back to his parent’s house with the promise of beer and a good time.
The two hung out for a while, but when it came time for Steven to leave, Dahmer refused to let him go. Instead, he knocked him out with a 10-pound dumbbell. He then dissected Steven’s body in the backyard and destroyed any incriminating remains.
It would be nine years before Dahmer would kill again. But once he began, he wouldn’t stop until he claimed at least 17 victims. All of them, young men and boys.
Jeffrey Dahmer and His Heinous Tools
There is a reason why Netflix’s new documentary about Jeffrey Dahmer is titled “Monster.” Throughout Jeffrey Dahmer’s serial killings, he used a variety of gruesome methods to kill and torture his victims.
After drugging a victim, Dahmer would usually bring them back to his apartment to rape and strangle them to death. At a certain point, he began becoming obsessed with turning his victims into zombies.
He used a drill to bore a hole into their foreheads. Through these holes, he would inject hydrochloric acid or boiling water.
But the cruel acts wouldn’t end even after his victims’ deaths. At a certain point, Dahmer began to have sex with his victims’ corpses. He would also photograph the dismemberment process, during which he would preserve many of the body parts.
For all of these deeds, Dahmer used a variety of tools. From his drill and drill bits to hypodermic needles, the serial killer had quite an array of implements.
Now, many of the serial killer’s murder weapons could be owned by anyone willing to put up the cash. And as surprising as that may be, what is perhaps even more surprising is just how many people are willing to purchase these morbid items.
The Surprising Popularity of Murderabilia
Although most of Dahmer’s personal items had been originally slated for incineration, a court case in Portage, Wisconsin eventually ruled in favor of a particular lawyer who wanted to sell Dahmer’s items in order to raise money for the affected families.
Thus, rather than be burned as was originally planned, the collection of the serial killer’s hammers, saws, furniture, and even the refrigerator where he stored the body parts of his victims, all went up for auction.
As strange and morbid as an auction of this kind may sound, it has precedent. Items linked to other serial killers have fetched high prices over the years. For example, song lyrics written by Charles Manson sold for $1,500. Even the chest hairs of serial rapist Roy Norris were once sold.
However, these kinds of sales can also be seen as insensitive to the families of victims, even if they receive the proceeds from the sales. This controversy became particularly heated after the release of Netflix’s wildly popular series.
This re-opened old wounds for many of the relatives of Dahmer’s victims.
Relatives of Jeffrey Dahmer’s Victims Criticized Netflix
One thing that made the series highly controversial was due to the way that many critics said it glorified Dahmer’s actions.
There was also the fact that several relatives of the victims had never been consulted about Netflix making a series about the topic in the first place. Having already lived through the trauma of his actions once, they are now having to relive those experiences once again due to the Netflix series.
As one relative pointed out, having to watch an actor recreate the incredibly painful experience of having “an emotional breakdown in court” seemed to be an insensitive decision taken in the name of entertainment and profit.
But it is not just family members of the victims who are upset with the show. Even reviews on Variety and Vanity Fair pointed out that, for all of the show’s positives, it seems to paint Dahmer a little too sympathetically.
Many feel that the show invented a complex personality that he may or may not have possessed. They also chose the magnetic Evan Peters to play the part of the serial killer. As one critic pointed out, “It’s a mesmerizing performance, and yet we are perhaps too drawn to Dahmer.”
At the same time, that critic acknowledges that there is a very real morbid fascination with true crime right now. In a way, the show simply tapped into a natural impulse that we all seem to have.
And that brings us right back to the glasses themselves.
The $150,000 Glasses
Taylor James, who owns Cult Collectibles In Vancouver, Canada, claims that he gained possession of the glasses that Dahmer wore in prison through the housekeeper of Jeffrey Dahmer’s father.
According to James, the housekeeper handed over the glasses in exchange for a cut of the profits from the sale. And James has good reason to believe that he’ll be able to sell the glasses. After all, he previously sold another pair of Dahmer glasses for a hefty, undisclosed price tag.
As sensational as both the glasses and their price tag are, however, it is not the only item belonging to the serial killer that Cult Collectibles is putting up for sale. Among the other items, there is a bible ($10,000), a photo of Dahmer taken when he was in the fifth grade ($3,500), and the urn that held Dahmer’s ashes ($250,000).
A year after Jeffrey Dahmer’s glasses were put up for sale, it’s unclear if they were ever sold and, if so, for how much. But with a $150,000 price tag, there is little doubt that whoever ends up with this particularly macabre piece of memorabilia, probably won’t be wearing them to work.