Tracy Edwards, the man who escaped from Jeffrey Dahmer

Tracy Edwards, the man who escaped from Jeffrey Dahmer
Tracy Edwards, the man who escaped from Jeffrey Dahmer

police photo

Tracy Edwards and Jeffrey Dahmer

Netflix’s new series about Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer opens with a dramatic encounter between Dahmer and a man named Tracy Edwards.

Stop reading if you don’t want spoilers for the series!

Where is Edwards now? What is he doing today? His life was never the same after he escaped from Dahmer and, in 2012, he was charged with a felony in Milwaukee. “He’s like Humpty Dumpty,” Edwards’ defense attorney, Paul Ksicinski, told ABC News, referring to Edwards’ life after Dahmer. “It’s like he was never able to put the pieces back together.”

In episode one of the Netflix series, Dahmer meets Edwards at a gay bar and convinces Edwards to come back to his apartment for $50 and asks him to take a picture of him. However, when they get there, Edwards is immediately startled by the smell in Dahmer’s apartment.

Dahmer tries to drug him, but Edwards notices something in the glass and doesn’t take the drink, which probably saved his life. Dahmer tries to get him to watch “The Exorcist III,” his favorite movie, and a frightened Edwards notices blood on his mattress and a suspicious blue barrel in the corner. Dahmer attacks him with a knife and manages to handcuff Edwards. Edwards bides his time, fights Dahmer and manages to escape, running down the street with a single handcuff hanging from her arm and waving to the police.

At the apartment, an officer discovers photographs of mutilated bodies on Dahmer’s bedroom dresser. And that marked the end of Dahmer’s serial killers.

But is it a true story? Did a man named Tracy Edwards really escape the clutches of Jeffrey Dahmer?

This is what you need to know:

In real life, Dahmer threatened to kill Edwards and eat his heart.

Jeffrey Dahmer Trial: Tracy Edwards testifies in a legal proceeding/Трейси Эдвардс о Джеффри ДамереDonate: Tracy Edwards testifies in a legal proceeding. Трейси Эдвардс даёт показания против Джеффри Дамера на суде. +РУССКИЕ СУБТИТРЫ+ 2020-03-14T09:00:10Z

In his testimony at trial, Edwards said the following:

He said he was 32 years old and lived in Louisiana. On July 20, 1991, he was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and he saw a person named Jeffrey Dahmer.

Edwards was drinking beer, talking and hanging out with friends around 6:15 p.m. “He came over to us eventually and started talking to us.”

Dahmer said she was in the city of Chicago taking care of a sick grandmother in West Allis, Wisconsin. He “he said he was a professional photographer”, and he usually paid people for the photos.

He wanted Edwards to pose for “nude” photos.

In the apartment, at first it seemed normal. Dahmer turned off the burglar alarms. But Edwards smelled a “foul smell. He didn’t quite know what he was. He told me that a sewer pipe had burst and management would take care of it.”

Dahmer offered him $100. He brought Edwards a beer and then a rum and coke. He took fish out of his fish tank. Edwards turned to the right to look at the fish tank. “Suddenly they put handcuffs and a knife on me.” Dahmer put the handcuff on his left wrist.

He asked what was going on and said it wasn’t necessary. He was afraid.

Edwards testified that there was a television in the bedroom and that the movie Exorcist III was currently playing on a VCR in the back bedroom.

They were both sitting on the bed. Dahmer was holding the handcuffs and had the knife pointed at his side.

He said he wanted to escape and thought about jumping out the window. She talked to him, trying to let Dahmer know that “I was her friend.”

Edwards said that one minute Dahmer was nice. He then said that he didn’t want people to leave or abandon him. “Sometimes, he wasn’t himself. Sometimes he was like a nice guy. He would come and go at different times.” He was silent and watched the movie sometimes.

He started rocking back and forth during certain parts of the movie and was “singing”.

Edwards couldn’t understand what he was saying. He sang “on and off throughout the test.”

Dahmer was most interested in the scene in the film about the preacher being possessed, said Edwards, who testified that it seemed the serial killer was “interested in that part.” That part drew his attention more than anything.”

That kind of movie, certain parts”, he was interested. It was like she switched with him sometimes. He would become more aggressive.” He would try to put both handcuffs on Edwards because he wanted to feel dominant. He wanted Edwards to lie on his stomach.

“I lay on my side. God told me not to lie down and let this person handcuff me, so I didn’t.”

He put his head on Edwards’s chest. “As if he was listening to my heart because at that moment he told me that he was going to eat my heart.”

Edwards unbuttoned his shirt to make Dahmer more comfortable and sat down on the couch.

Dahmer started singing again and Edwards said that he needed to go to the bathroom. He hit him and ran away. “Take the chance. At least I’m going to die trying. I’m not going to sit here. I hit him and ran… I managed to get out.”

All of this closely mirrors the scenes on Netflix. In real life, Edwards was trapped in Dahmer’s apartment for four hours, trying to escape the clutches of the serial killer.

He told a Milwaukee police officer that “this monster, this crazy guy was trying to hurt me.” Agents entered the apartment and arrested Dahmer.

A 2001 Associated Press article, accessed via, reported that Edwards escaped Dahmer’s lair when the serial killer wasn’t looking. A handcuff was “still hanging from her wrist” when she called police.

An Associated Press story from 1992 said that Edwards testified that he ran from Dahmer’s apartment “after seeing a head in the refrigerator and a hand that Dahmer had taken from a filing cabinet.”

He said Dahmer began to sing as they watched “The Exorcist” and “rested his head on Edwards’ chest to listen to his heartbeat.”

“He made me look in the refrigerator,” Edwards testified, according to AP.

Edwards was accused of helping throw a man off a Milwaukee bridge.

Edwards went on to get into trouble with the law. In 2012, according to Fox 6 Milwaukee, Edwards was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for another crime.

He pleaded guilty to “assisting a felon in a plea deal with Milwaukee County prosecutors,” the television reported.

Then, 52, Edwards and another man were accused of throwing a homeless man into a river from a downtown bridge during an argument. The man, Johnny Jordan, drowned, the newspaper reported.

According to ABC News, Edwards was initially charged with manslaughter in that case.

According to ABC News, at the time of his arrest, Edwards was “homeless and had been moving from shelter to shelter since at least 2002.”

In 2018, he was convicted of domestic violence assault in Kenosha, Wisconsin, court records show. After that point, Edwards dropped off the public radar.

Online Wisconsin court records show Edwards’ prior convictions for things like drug dealing and robbery.

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READ MORE: Who is David Dahmer, the brother of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer?

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