Glenda Cleveland becomes Milwaukee’s hero after release of Dahmer documentary

Glenda Cleveland watches the news with her daughter and grandson in 1992. Throughout the years, Cleveland stayed up-to-date on Dahmers case and fought for justice in the legal system.

Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal.

Glenda Cleveland watches the news with her daughter and grandson in 1992. Throughout the years, Cleveland stayed up-to-date on Dahmer’s case and fought for justice in the legal system.

On July 22, 1991, a man by the name of Jeffery Dahmer was arrested on seventeen counts of homicide. The case that followed became very publicized and caught the eyes of curious people all over the world.

Countless articles and series have dissected this case over the years, all focused on Dahmer. However, Netflix’s newest true crime series highlights parts of this story that have been neglected over the years. Released on September 21, 2022, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” shines a new light on Glenda Cleveland, the neighbor of the infamous killer. 

Cleveland lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in an apartment building on 924 North 25th Street at the same time as Dahmer. From the beginning, Cleveland was suspicious of Dahmer and the activities happening in apartment 213. 

The neighborhood they lived in was underfunded and rarely patrolled by police, which made crime common and easy to get away with. Cleveland encountered this broken system when she called the police several times about suspicious activity surrounding Dahmer and was ignored time and time again.

One time in particular, she called about a fourteen-year-old boy that she saw running from Dahmer’s apartment. She noticed that the boy was not in a clear state of mind, and it seemed as if he was drugged. When the police arrived at the scene, they ignored Cleveland and escorted the boy back to the apartment where he would later be killed.

This was not the last time Cleveland fought against the killer. She called the police on several other occasions complaining about the noises and smells coming from his apartment. She also tried to get him evicted a few weeks before he was caught. She had a one-on-one confrontation with Dahmer when he approached her about the eviction, yet she stood her ground against the killer, telling him that she knew something wasn’t right and that she wasn’t going to stop.

After Dahmer was caught, Cleveland was outraged with the police, believing that they let this happen. She thought that if the police would have listened to her, several lives could have been saved. Cleveland never lived in fear and always stood her ground. Several other renters fled the apartments once case details were released, but Cleveland stayed until the building was torn down in 1992.   

Once the building was torn down, she fought for a memorial to be made on the apartment grounds for the victims and their families.                             

The new Netflix show has brought her story to life like no other. 

After watching the series, Senior Marley Webster said, “I think her role in the show is very important. It shows a different perspective. It was important to hear her story.” 

Webster also explained that the show captures the flaws in the legal system and the injustice Cleveland faced.

Glenda Cleveland, an inspiration to many, died at the age of 54 on December 24, 2011. She never stopped fighting for her community, the victims or the memorial that was never built.