A Milwaukee marketing group wants to provide a walking tour to places Jeffrey Dahmer met and stalked some of his victims.
Bam Marketing spokeswoman Amanda Morden says the first two tours scheduled for Saturday are almost fully booked, according to The Associated Press. The 20-person capacity walking tours would be through a revitalized area of Walkers Point that once housed bars frequented by Dahmer. The apartment building where Dahmer lived at the time is no longer standing.
Dahmer confessed to killing 17 young men. He mutilated, cannibalized them and stored some of their body parts in his Milwaukee apartment. Dahmer was arrested in July of 1991. He was sentenced to 15 life terms. Inmate Christopher Scarver attacked Dahmer and inmate Jesse Anderson with a broomstick handle while Anderson and Dahmer were doing janitorial work in the gym of Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wis., on Nov. 28, 1994. Dahmer died of head trauma on his way to the hospital. Anderson died two days later.
Tickets for the walking tour were being offered two for $25, instead of the normal $60, by Groupon earlier in the week. The site described the 1-mile, 90-minute tour as a “spine-chilling glimpse” into Dahmer’s life. The popular daily-deals website removed the offer with only 15 tickets sold and spokesman Nicholas Halliwell said in an emailed statement that Groupon never intended to offend anyone, according to the AP.
Local tourism group Visit Milwaukee has no plans to promote the tour. Spokeswoman Jeannine Sherman said, “We don’t need to give notoriety to an individual like Jeffrey Dahmer who did painful and hurtful things and did nothing to further the community’s image,”
Sara Drescher, who manages a pub in the neighborhood, doesn’t expect there to be much interest in the tour. She supports people starting a business but not at the expense of victims’ families. Drescher says, “It’s a difficult thing, and I don’t know the right way for it to be handled,” City Alderman James Witkowiak says tour organizers are protected by free speech laws.
Morden responds to criticism by saying, “We are not being evasive in any way, If there is a concern we would be happy to address it.” Morden said they have a legitimate, viable product for people interested in the history of the crimes, rather than the sensational nature of them. She goes on to say that two schools have expressed interest in the tours and she plans to meet with them next week, according to the AP.
Morden says, “Whether we like it or not it’s part of our city’s history, It’s part of our nation’s history.”