I have something in common with Jeffrey Dahmer. No, I am not a disturbed serial killer or monster, but we are both alums of Revere High School, an average rural/suburban high school in the middle of nowhere Ohio. Although I have known this for a long time, I never really gave it a second thought until I read Derf Backderf's graphic novel and true story, My Friend Dahmer. The 200 plus page graphic novel tells origin story of one of the world's most disturbing serial killers through the eyes of his high school buddies or as they call themselves, "The Dahmer Fan Club".
The fan club was not some weird cult they created for a murderer, but a group of ignorant high school guys who thought it was funny to watch a young Dahmer walk around their school and the Summit Mall pretending to have seizures and a speech impediment. This is what fascinated me, because I did the same stupid things with my high school friends. Page after page of the novel showed cartoon drawings of what was unmistakably my high school, my band room, and even the rock I spray painted with "Class of '04". It was an eerie feeling to read a book and realize I could have put my brown bag lunch into the same locker Jeffrey Dahmer stored who knows what. The scariest realization was that Revere had not changed much since I went there 25 years later. It made me think, "I wonder what my classmates are doing now?"
My Friend Dahmer is many things, but most of all it is a tragedy. Not because Dahmer is a tragic figure but because of a society, school, friends, and family that let him slowly slip into his putrid, evil desires. It is tragic and dark yet irresistible, like watching a car accident. It's just sad that he's Revere High School's most famous alum.
You can check out the book here if you're interested in reading more.