Hearing the name Jeffrey Dahmer is enough to send chills up anyone’s spine. So it’s no surprise that former Disney star Ross Lynch, who takes on the role of the Milwaukee cannibal in the new movie “My Friend Dahmer”, struggled mentally when he tried to get inside the mindset of the serial killer.
Dahmer murdered and dismembered seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He would strip the bodies of flesh and store these parts in his fridge at home so he could consume them later. During his trial, the public was so outraged, he was made to stand behind a sheet of bullet-proof glass.
“My Friend Dahmer” is adapted from the graphic novel by the killer’s real-life acquaintance Derf Backderf. Lynch told Newsweek, “I’m not adult Dahmer going to gay bars and looking for victims. This is the story before that story.” He added, “I play Jeffrey Dahmer around his high school years. (The film is about) how he became the serial killer that we know him to be.”
Inside The Mind of a Serial Killer
During the trial, Dahmer pleaded guilty but insane; if found guilty by insanity he would have been sent to a mental institution instead of prison where he could have petitioned for release just six months later.
The jurors were then asked to consider these following questions: “Did Jeffrey Dahmer suffer from mental illness?” And if so, did he have “the capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness” of his conduct or “the ability to conform” to the law? Only two of the twelve jurors considered Dahmer insane and he was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences. On November 28th, 1994, a fellow inmate at Columbia Correctional Institution beat him to death.
Fridge containing body parts being removed from Dahmer’s house
Lynch told New York Daily News, “The research of everything (Dahmer) did, and how he did it, and being at his house and being in that environment, and also essentially being him every day, there’s not really a lot you have to do because you’re already exposed to it all day, every day.”
He added, “Really the challenge was not to get in (his head) but to get out of it. My coping mechanism was taking long showers. That was how I shed him every night.”
The creepiness continued…
When the cast was shooting scenes at the home which was the site of Dahmer’s first murder – something truly terrifying occurred.
Co-star Alex Wolff who plays John “Derf” Backderf in the movie, revealed, “We were feeling very sick to our stomachs, nauseous. I was feeling angry because I was feeling so bad, and I got out of the car and I said, ‘You know what? Fuck Jeffrey Dahmer. What just a piece of shit. Just fuck him. This whole movie I’ve tried empathize, tried to be there for him, but fuck Jeffrey Dahmer.'”
Dahmer’s apartment where he would lure his victims
Wolff then recalled that every light in the house they were filming in instantly went out just seconds after he shouted those words. Lynch added, “It was one of those scenarios where you’re like, ‘Was this just a coincidence, or is something weird going on?'”
Wolff said, “The whole night I was waking up in sweats, feeling like I was being haunted. I don’t know what it was. I was feeling really weird.”
My Friend Dahmer is in theaters now. Watch the trailer here: