The Northeast Ohio story behind 'My Friend Dahmer'

Northeast Ohio Dahmer connection

AKRON - The backstory behind one of America's most notorious serial killers is finally out.

New York and Los Angels are getting the first glimpse of the new movie, My Friend Dahmer.

It tells the story of Jeffrey Dahmer's, and his life growing up in Northeast Ohio.

In the film, 21-year-old Cameron McKendry, who grew up here in Hinkley, plays Moose, a bully who torments Dahmer, struggling with his sexuality among other things.

McKendry now lives in LA. 

He and the crew who filmed in Northeast Ohio last summer, watched “My Friend Dahmer” on the big screen in LA Friday night.

The movie asks and then answers the question who was Jeffrey Dahmer, before he was “serial killer cannibal Jeffry Dahmer ?"

Cameron McKendry's take on the man dubbed a monster might surprise you.

"People thought he was weird.  He was quiet and he was actually struggling with alcoholism in high school. So everyone knew he was not necessarily normal," says McKendry.

When the world learned of Jeffrey Dahmer, it was 1991.

Nirvana was topping the charts.

George HW Bush was in the white house, and Dahmer had been doing the unthinkable in his Milwaukee apartment.

Police pulled boxes of body parts from a refrigerator, found acid and a large cooking pot.

The "Milwaulkee Cannibal" had raped, murdered and dismembered at least 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.

But before the world knew a monster, Dahmer was known here as a teenager at Revere High School in Bath,Ohio.

"My Friend Dahmer" was filmed in several Northeast Ohio spots including the former Euclid Square Mall where 1977 came to life, Dahmer's actual boyhood home, and Bob’s Hamburg in Akron.

McKendry says he was on cloud nine to have been filming here last summer.

"Because I'm a big Cleveland fan.  I'm a huge Clevelander so it was cool to be back home and on set filming and doing what I love there," says McKendry.

"My Friend Dahmer" McKendry says, is "unsettling” but not gruesome or graphic as the story ends before Dahmer's first murder

“You almost want to sympathize with him.  This kid was screaming for help.  You can see it in the film.  But he wasn't getting it. No one was listening,” says McKendry.

The movie is based off a book by Clevelander John Backderf, an award-winning cartoonist who was Dahmer's high school classmate.

My Friend Dahmer opens in Cleveland November 10th at the Capitol Theater and opens in Solon, Mentor and Akron on November 17th.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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