The tragic life of Tracy Edwards: The spiral of man who escaped killer Jeffrey Dahmer and exposed him

While now 63-year-old Edwards' whereabouts are unknown, he had said in his testimony in 1991 that Dahmer wanted to eat his heart

The tragic life of Tracy Edwards: The spiral of man who escaped killer Jeffrey Dahmer and exposed him
Tracy Edwards (L), who escaped Jeffrey Dahmer (R), led the police to him and became a hero, was arrested for homicide 20 years later (Milwaukee Police Department)
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: Netflix mini-series 'Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story' is currently streaming and has brought back trauma for many people who were involved with it. Dahmer was a notorious serial killer and a sex offender who went on to kill and dismember at least 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. His original number would have been 18 but his last would-be victim Tracy Edwards escaped his killer's clutches and led the police to Dahmer. But the victim has not been able to live a normal life since then.

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Tracy Edwards, 32 at the time, led the police to Jeffrey Dahmer's horrific belongings such as human remains, mutilated body parts, and more, on July 22, 1991, ending the decade-long killing spree. What happened to Edwards after that? Well, he somewhat suffered the same fate. Two decades after he helped catch a serial killer, Edwards, along with Timothy Carr, were accused of killing a man by throwing him off a Milwaukee bridge. Edwards' defense attorney Paul Ksicinski told ABC News in 2011, "It’s like Humpty Dumpty. It’s like he was never able to put the pieces back together again." The victim, Jonny Jordan, died before first responders arrived at the scene. Ultimately, Edwards was charged with homicide. He pleaded guilty to aiding a felon which gave him a reduced sentence of one and a half years. 

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Now 63-year-old, Edwards is a mystery to many as his whereabouts are unknown. The Netflix series has Shaun Brown playing the vital role of Edwards. 'The Dropout' actor had some kind words to say for the man who got saved, writing, "I have so much love for Tracy Edwards and I hope that through my portrayal you will also. I hope you have love for all the victims and maybe in time you will have more love for one another. Empathy and awareness can create heaven on Earth if we allow it. We are one. We are all beings made of stardust. Much love to you all." As per ABC, after Edwards came to Milwaukee, he got in trouble with the law often and racked up arrests for drug possession, theft, property damage, failure to pay child support, and bail jumping.

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Tracy Edwards' mug shot. (Milwaukee Police Department)
Tracy Edwards' mug shot. (Milwaukee Police Department)
Jeffrey Dahmer's mugshot taken on July 23, 1991. (Milwaukee Police Department)
Jeffrey Dahmer's mugshot was taken on July 23, 1991. (Milwaukee Police Department)

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Tracy Edwards' real-life story is as disturbing as the Netflix series

The Netflix series reiterates the daring escape. On the night of July 22, 1991, Dahmer approached three men and offered $100 to accompany him to his apartment, an offer Edwards happily took unaware of the circumstances. As per The Teal Mango, Edwards soon noticed foul odor and bottles of hydrochloric acid. A few moments after questioning Dahmer, Edwards was handcuffed and ready to meet the same fate as seventeen others. The real-life character played by Brown saw his opportunity, overpowered Dahmer, and ran outside on the street.

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He was noticed by the police on the streets with handcuffs and he quickly escorted two officers - Robert Rauth and Rolf Mueller - to Dahmer’s apartment. Upon confrontation, the serial killer agreed to handcuff Edwards but provided no further information. The police found a large knife hidden behind his bed and polaroid photos shows stages of dismembering. Even though Dahmer resisted the arrest, he was apprehended by the police and taken into custody. Edwards became a key witness in Jeffrey Dahmer’s case and testified against him in 1992. His chilling testimony broadcasted by Court TV also revealed how Dahmer told Edwards about eating his heart. Edwards said, "He was listening to my heart [at knifepoint] because at that point he told me he was going to eat my heart."

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