In the new Netflix series on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, viewers are told that Dahmer was obsessed with the movie “Exorcist III.”
In fact, in the show, Dahmer plays the movie for Tracy Edwards, a man he has lured back to his apartment. But Edwards escapes, and he leads Milwaukee police back to Dahmer’s lair.
Is this true, though? Was “Exorcist III” really Dahmer’s favorite movie?
The answer is yes. That scene in the Netflix show comes straight out of Edwards’ trial testimony.
What is the movie about? According to Rotten Tomatoes:
Police Lt. Kinderman (George C. Scott) notices similarities between his current murder investigation and the methods used by the “Gemini” killer (Brad Dourif) who was executed 15 years before. He soon discovers a hospitalized mental patient (Jason Miller) claiming to be the dead serial killer, but who looks uncannily like a priest Kinderman knew who died during an exorcism. As more bodies are found, Kinderman looks for connections between the two supposedly dead men.
Here’s what you need to know:
In Real Life, Dahmer Did Watch the ‘Exorcist III’ & Started Chanting During It
In his trial testimony, Edwards revealed that Dahmer chanted while watching “Exorcist III,” and he was obsessed with one specific scene in it.
Edwards went into his real-life encounter with Dahmer in great detail.
He testified that he and friends met Dahmer while they were out drinking beers. He began talking to them and said he was a professional photographer, eventually offering Edwards $100 to let him take pictures of him back at his apartment.
He wanted Edwards to pose for “nude” photos.
Dahmer’s apartment was somewhat normal seeming at first but contained a “foul odor.”
“I didn’t quite know what it was. He told me a sewer pipe had broken and management would take care of it,” Edwards testified.
Dahmer brought Edwards a beer and then a rum and coke. He brought up fish in his tank. Edwards turned to the right to look at the fish tank. “All of a sudden a handcuff and a knife is pulled on me.” Dahmer put the handcuff on his left wrist.
That’s where the movie comes in.
Edwards testified that there was a television set in the room and the Exorcist III movie was playing at the time on a VCR in the back bedroom.
They were both sitting on the bed. Dahmer was holding the handcuff and had the knife pointed at his side.
He said he wanted to get away and thought about jumping out the window. He talked to him, trying to let Dahmer know “I was his friend.”
Edwards said one minute Dahmer was nice. Then he said he didn’t want people to leave him or abandon him. “At times, he wasn’t his self. At times, he was like a nice guy. He would come and go at different times.” He was silent and watched the movie at times.
He started rocking back and forth during certain parts of the movie and was “chanting.”
Edwards couldn’t understand what he was saying. He chanted “off and on throughout the ordeal.”
Dahmer was most interested in the scene in the movie about the preacher who got possessed, said Edwards, who testified it seemed like the serial killer was “interested in that part. That part had his attention more than anything.”
That type of movie, certain parts, “interested him. It was like he changed with it at times. He would get more aggressive.” He would try to get both handcuffs on Edwards because he wanted to feel dominant. He wanted Edwards to lie face down.
“I laid on my side. God told me not to lay flat down and let this person hand cuff me, so I didn’t.”
He put his head across Edwards’ chest. “Like he was listening to my heart because at that point, he told me he was going to eat my heart.”
Edwards unbuttoned his shirt to make Dahmer feel more at ease and sat on the couch.
Dahmer started chanting again and so Edwards said he needed to go to the bathroom. He hit him, and he ran. “I seized the opportunity. At least I’m going to die trying. I’m not going to just sit here. I hit him and I ran…I made it outside.”
This all closely mirrors the Netflix scenes. In real life, Edwards was stuck in Dahmer’s apartment for four hour.
He told a Milwaukee police officer that “this freak, this crazy guy was trying to hurt me.” The officers went into the apartment and arrested Dahmer.
A 2001 article by the Associated Press, accessed via Newspapers.com, reported that Edwards escaped Dahmer’s lair when the serial killer wasn’t looking. A handcuff “was still dangling from his wrist” when he flagged down police.
An Associated Press story from 1992 said that Edwards testified that he escaped from Dahmer’s apartment “after seeing a head in the refrigerator and a hand Dahmer had taken from a filing cabinet.”
He said Dahmer started chanting as they watched the “Exorcist” and “laid his head on Edwards’ chest to listen to his heartbeat.”
“He made me look in the refrigerator,” Edwards testified, according to AP.
Dahmer Told Edwards Exorcist III Was His ‘Favorite Film’
In 1994, Reuters reported that Dahmer’s lawyer said Dahmer was “enamored” by the “Exorcist III.”
“He became enamored, overwhelmed, caught up in the character in the Exorcist III,” attorney Gerald Boyle said. “The character was Satan because he was the personification of evil.”
A Wisconsin State Journal article from 1999 said that Edwards also testified that Dahmer told him Exorcist III was his “favorite film.”
He added, “But I could only see the pictures on the walls. Naked men, completely mutilated, horrible. Some looked as if they were completely eaten up by acid. And there was a huge barrel that stank worse than everything else in the apartment.”
READ NEXT: Jeffrey Dahmer’s Cause of Death.