Was Jeffrey Dahmer inspired by the Butcher of Plainfield’s (Ed Gein) crimes?


Evan Peters stars as notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably quickly making your way through the 10-episode season. However, another infamous serial killer is mentioned once you make it to episode 8. We’re talking about Ed Gein, also known as the Butcher of Plainfield.

Spoilers from Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story ahead!

Lionel Dahmer visits Jeffrey Dahmer in jail with a lawyer to discuss the next steps for his trial, and he brings up the idea of Jeffrey pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. Lionel explains to Jeffrey that if he pleads insanity, he wouldn’t have to spend the rest of his life in prison. Instead, he would be sent to a psychiatric hospital. Lionel continues on to discuss a similar case to Jeffrey’s that happened in 1957. This is when Ed Gein is mentioned.

Lionel tells the story of Ed Gein and the murders he committed. He explains how Ed kept the human remains of his victims as keepsakes and would often visit gravesites to exhume corpses.  After Ed was arrested, he was found legally insane, which got him sent straight to a psychiatric institution. Since Jeffrey and Ed’s cases were similar, Lionel believed Jeffrey would be considered unfit to be in prison and sent to a psychiatric hospital. But Jeffrey didn’t see himself as insane. Instead, he considered what he did a compulsion.

But was Jeffrey inspired by Ed’s crimes? Here’s what we know.

Did Ed Gein’s crimes inspire Jeffrey Dahmer?

It appears that Ed didn’t inspire Jeffrey. Although they both killed a lot of people, mutilated their bodies, and kept human remains, there isn’t any known information about Jeffrey being inspired by Ed. On the contrary, everything Jeffrey did to his victims was his own idea. Even the one time Jeffrey visited a gravesite to attempt to dig up a body was his idea.

However, according to the show, Jeffrey did know who Ed was. He tells Lionel and his lawyer that he read about him in a comic book. So, maybe Jeffrey was somewhat inspired by Ed’s crimes. But we’ll never truly know since Jeffrey is no longer alive.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is streaming now only on Netflix.



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