Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare” as Want to Read:
The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,832 ratings  ·  104 reviews
They smelled the foul odors. They heard the power saw buzzing in the dead of night but neighbors never imagined the horrors happening right next door.

The hot sultry night of July 22, 1991 was one the tenants of the Oxford Apartments would never forget. A panic stcricken young man--a pair of handcuffs still dangling from his wrists--ran out of Apartment 213 and
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 15th 1991 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1991)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
True Crime
620 books — 582 voters
In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonColumbine by Dave Cullen
Best True Crime
1,006 books — 1,474 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,832 ratings  ·  104 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare
✨The Reading
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredible book that goes through the life of Jeffrey Dahmer and his victims. This is not a play by play of police procedures. This book tells a definitive story with lots of background information. Well researched and easy to follow.
I would recommend this book to those interested in true crime/serial killers.
May 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
The original title, The Milwaukee Murders, fit this book better than the more generic, more ubiquitous The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare. This is because writer Don Davis goes into great unnecessarily graphic detail about the geography of Wisconsin. The reader is, in fact, given an impromptu history lesson regarding the German origins of Milwaukee, placing emphasis on the beer-based economy thereof.

While it can be said that Jeffrey Dahmer was an alcoholic, having been discharged from the army for
Dec 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: true-crime
This book was horrible (in my opinion of course). It had a multitude of grammar errors and typos. It also left out a ton of details about the case. Some of the murders were summed up in a paragraph or two that basically said "he did this just like he did the other ones." He uses very unscientific and sometimes plain-out biased language. He keeps calling the mixture that Dahmer gives to his victims a "sleeping potion" and never says what is in the concoction. He talks about rock and metal music a ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty disturbing, but it was detailed, accurate and gripping at the same time and a very suspenseful true crime novel.
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
If you're looking for something that contains the straight facts with the occasional pointless history lesson on areas in which Dahmer lived, then this book is for you. Quite frankly, for something that claims to be a "New York Times Bestseller" it leaves a lot to be desired.

It was interesting in the way a news report about the subject matter would be, but there was no real insight. No hypothesis or attempts to understand the case by Davis.

To me it seemed to be nothing more than a c
Medhat The Book Fanatic
4.5 stars.

This book, which exposed the facts behind the Jeffrey Dahmer murders back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, fascinated me.

It was a terrifying book that would mess-up with your mind. I would have never expected or anticipated that a human being can do all these kinds of unspoken atrocities to another human being, which include murdering young men and adolescents in horrible ways, dismembering their bodies, necrophilia, and even, the most shocking of all, CANNIBALISM.

I w
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
After reading a graphic novel about Dahmer, I was intrigued and wanted to know more about him so I picked this book up at the library.

It started off strong and read like a fiction novel which really captivated me because I knew it was all true, but a third of the way in, it lost that element. The last two thirds felt rushed and disorganized. It felt more like a textbook. 3/5
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Well I haven't had a book rated less than 3 stars all year so I guess I was due for a stinker.

I started a book club last month for fans of the new podcast My Favorite Murder. If you're a fan of true crime, I highly recommend it. This book was the first selection and it was not good. It reminded me of a few papers I wrote in college (thankfully just a few) where I procrastinated like hell and when I finally sat down to write, I realized I did not have enough information gathered and I
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book was mostly filler based on lazy research. I've handed in many a last minute paper in college that was filled with quotes and pedestrian research and perhaps this is why I was able to see through it! There is no information in this book that one could not have gathered by watching news coverage of these crimes, except maybe the pages long histories of several midwest towns that took place generations before Jeffery Dahmer was born.

My issue with all of the filler is this:
This guy
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 7/8
He was one sick person and I think he got what he deserved when that black man killed him in jail.
Benjamin Barnes
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This book goes into far to much detail. It was so disturbing I had to stop reading 75% in !
Brandon Wayne
May 21, 2014 is currently reading it
I left the star "rating" blank, because I still have hopes that this book will improve. I am a little more than halfway through reading it and I am yet to be impressed. Don Davis writing is that of a pretentious high school jack ass. One of the things I love most about true crime books is that they read like fiction. One can get lost in the content of a true crime book, and once the realization of its 'based on a true story' stance comes back to the mind, it becomes more terrifying. However, Don ...more
Taylor Schmac
Mar 09, 2014 rated it liked it
This book approaches a topic in which can only be successfully carried out with a lot of research. It is quite apparent that the author did his research in order to write this book, but one of the many things it lacks is detail. Each topic that is brought up is briefly viewed except for Dahmer's childhood, which is not the main focus of the book. Another thing I disliked about the book is a lack of organization. It jumps from his childhood to Dahmer's first victim and then to his high school lif ...more
Kimberly Hicks
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kimberly by: Goodreads
Shelves: read-on-kindle
Jeffrey Dahmer certainly was a serial killer that will forever be etched in America's history--not the sort of notariety one might seek, but so goes it for the tragic life of Dahmer.

I have always been intrigued as to what made this man do the heinous acts in which he committed upon seventeen unsuspecting victims. Most of what is reported in this book was just a small fraction of what most of us heard or read about in the news, at the time Dahmer was arrested. In fact, I learned a gre
♥ Marlene♥
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
on Sunday, November 13, 2005 I wrote about this book:

I did read just a bit. I had to stop cause when I read about the 14 year old boy Konerak, who ran away with Dahmer following him, and the police believing Dahmer'who said the boy was a gay drunk, the boy still had a pair of handcuff's on his wrist!!! and bringing the boy back to Dahmers apartment where he was slaughtered....
No this was to emotional for me.

on Saturday, September 22, 2007 I wrote further:

Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was an ok book. If you go into it knowing next to nothing about the Dahmer case you'll probably enjoy it. But I went in with a pretty good understanding of the case already and this book just seemed to gloss over a lot of details. Random tidbits seemed to tossed in at the end, that were actually pretty important. Dahmer's attempt at creating zombies? The contents of his 'sleeping potion'? These were significant details that were just paid so little attention. A lot of the victims were gloss ...more
Molly Gothic
Nov 03, 2010 rated it liked it
In general the book was pretty good. I just did not understand why the author kept getting into the history of all the places where Dahmer lived from childhood on up? I don't know if he was trying to fill pages up (?) or perhaps thought Dahmer's residence and enviroment influenced his lifestyle, but it would have been more interesting if he would have deducted all the tire companies, breweries, what happened way back when in Wisconsin or Ohio, etc. and filled those pages with interviews/quotes f ...more
Emily Stites
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was not what I expected. There were loads of useless information throughout the entire book. Halfway through I felt I was reading the history of Wisconsin. I wanted to read this book mainly because I was interested in the Jeffrey Dahmer story, but was thoroughly disappointed. I felt the author, Don Davis, just touched on Dahmer's story and added useless fluff to thicken up the pages. I would not recommend this book to anyone interested in Dahmer. Unless they were Wisconsin history fana ...more
I went through a literary phase when I was younger of reading true-life crime stories and biographies on mass murderers. I'm not quite sure why I went through this phase save for curiosity on how people could inflict such pain and damage on their fellow man.

This was a harrowing account on the crimes committed by Jeffrey Dahmer. Not easy reading and certainly not for the faint of heart.
This was obviously published in a hurry to capitalize on the still-fresh Dahmer trial, so very little research was done. There are errors all throughout, and it's written in a very sensationalist style. It's not very objective, either. My copy also has a very lurid bright-orange cover, which just further adds to its pulpy feel.
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
This book was interesting and there were parts that I enjoyed but the author rambled in parts and gave a lot of useless information on topics which were not really relevant.He glossed over the crimes for the most part and it left me feeling that the whole picture was incomplete.
Nicole (Diary of a Bibliophile)
I'm quite annoyed with this book. If you want a history lesson on Milwaukee, definitely read this. Way too much unnecessary info. Not enough of the info I was interested in. It jumps around. Not worth reading.
Carrie Mammay
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not very well written. And jumped around a lot. Would have liked some organization of thoughts and chronology. Also very random history lessons of city's where Jeffery Dahmer was or has been was kind of weird. Seems like book was written in a night. Very rushed
LaDene Mayville
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not very well written at all. The author oftentimes leaves the reader hanging with some of the victims' stories/cases. It was quite frustrating. I would like to read another J. Dahmer book that is better written than this one.
Kelli Robertson
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
*sigh* this book was soooo boring. It felt like i was reading a bad school report. I gave this 2 stars only because it had a few gruesome details but damn, ive never been so happy to be finished with a book....
Contradicting information from everything else I've read on the subject. Long winded and unnecessary back stories on state history and victims. random tangents into completely unrelated killers and beer tax prices in 1983... this book is a mess
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. The author didn't get the details that I wanted and some were incorrect. He had a tendency to slip into the history of beer and the towns Dahmer occupied. Interesting story because of the actual case, however the author left much to be desired.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Crap. Total crap. Waste of my time.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Read for the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge. Prompt: True Crime.

This book was all right. From a biographical standpoint it was as bland as unseasoned, boiled chicken. It was impersonal and un-involved but it managed to put all the pieces of this horrific story together in a concise manner. I've read a lot of negative reviews of this book and most complaints tend to be saying roughly the same thing: That the text was more focused on the history of Milwaukee, Bath, and Chicago than it
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult to give an "I Liked It" rating to a book like this. Certainly it's not the topic of the book that is likeable. I was raised in Milwaukee and I was in my early 20s when this whole nightmare went down. But being young and self-involved with newly found adult freedoms (as many young people can be) I didn't really pay that close attention to how this story played out in the media. I didn't notice the bubbling racial tension that came quickly to the surface because of the police depart ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, by Don Davis 1 8 Sep 22, 2017 11:40AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Killer Clown: The John Wayne Gacy Murders
  • The Night Stalker
  • Deviant: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original "Psycho"
  • The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy
  • Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters
  • Deadly Innocence
  • The Hillside Stranglers
  • The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
  • The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer
  • The Search for the Green River Killer
  • Small Sacrifices
  • I Know My First Name Is Steven
  • Cruel Sacrifice
  • The Family
  • Signature Killers
  • House Of Secrets
  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders
  • Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer - America's Deadliest Serial Murderer
See similar books…
“At such times as that, when the TV cameras begin creeping up on a mother weeping at her son's coffin, journalists should wonder where the profession is heading.” 0 likes
More quotes…