A man who lived in Jeffrey Dahmer’s building has described the shock he and other residents felt when they learned their neighbor was a serial killer.
Vernell Bass is a participant in Conversations With A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, a new documentary coming to Netflix on 7 October in the US and in the UK.
”I had no idea that this is what was occurring right across the hall from where we lived,” Bass says in the documentary about Dahmer’s crimes.
“Everyone in the building felt suckered. We all felt that Jeffrey Dahmer had played us. It’s really hard to become fond of someone, to find out that actually that person had a dagger in your back. I thought this guy was my friend.”
Dahmer was arrested in July of 1991 and confessed to having killed 17 boys and men between 1978 and 199. He lived in the Oxford Apartments, an apartment building in Milwaukee, at the time of his arrest.
Earlier in the documentary, Bass recounts attempting to check on Dahmer after noticing that Dahmer had “started drinking more and spiraling down.”
“I would actually go to knock on his door to check on him, and I would notice the peep hole would go dark,” Bass says in the program. “Then it would go back light, and I knew that he came to the door, and that he saw me. He knew that it was me knocking on the door, and he didn’t open the door for me. So I took it upon myself to think that he wanted me to go away, which I did.”
Bass says that one night, he was woken up by a “horrible smell” around 2:30am. He says he covered the bottom of his door with a towel and went back to bed. According to Bass, his wife Pamela Bass went to investigate the smell and detemined it was coming from Dahmer’s apartment, where Dahmer was later discovered to have been storing the remains of some of his victims.
“She took a lawn chair and she sat in our apartment with our door open, waiting for Jeff to come home,” Bass says of his wife. “When he came home, she confronted him about the smell.”
Bass says Dahmer tried to explain away the smell by claiming his freezer had stopped working.
Dahmer is heard recounting the same episode on an audio tape of a conversation between himseld and his defense attorney Wendy Patrickus.
“I told them it was just the freezer that went on the blink,” Dahmer says in the tape.
The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes is the third installment in Netflix’s Conversations With A Killer series, which previously focused on Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy. It’s being released a bit more than two weeks after Ryan Murphy’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, a dramatization of the case, which also aired on Netflix.