Joseph Gabrish and John Balcerzak were the two Milwaukee police officers who turned an unclothed, bleeding 14-year-old boy into a serial killer and the cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer.
They did this despite the protests of Dahmer’s neighbour Glenda Cleveland and the other women who were present at the scene. It was the boy Konerak Sinthasomphone who was killed by Dahmer shortly afterwards.
Gabrish and Balcerzak were dubbed the “Dahmer police.”
What did happen to Gabrish or Balcerzak? Despite the controversy that brought headlines to Dahmer’s detention, each of them had long-lasting careers with the Wisconsin police.
Dahmer’s murders are receiving new attention because of the newly released Netflix series. “Monster Jeffrey Dahmer Story” Jeffrey Dahmer Story” started on September 21 2022. “Across more than ten years, 17 teenage youngsters and young men were killed by convicted criminal Jeffrey Dahmer. How could he have escaped arrest for the longest time?” the Netflix website for the show asks.
Here’s what you must be aware of:
The Milwaukee Police Chief Fired Gabrish & Balcerzak, But a Court Reinstated the Officers
Witnesses reported a naked Victim of Jeffrey Dahmer in the streetIn in the wee hours on May 27 1991, 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone (the younger brother of the boy Dahmer had molested back in 1988) was found in the street, walking naked, heavily under effects of drugs, as well as bleeding out of his rectum. Two young women from the neighbourhood found the dazed boy and called 911.
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As per the Advocate, the police chief Philip Arreola dismissed the two officers, but a court order restored the two officers. The Reserve judge Robert Parins made the ruling.
The 1994 Associated Press article reported that the Parins court ruled in favour of “the firings were not enough of punishment and that the former officers John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish were reappointed, with back pay in the range of 55,000 dollars each.”
Niecy Nash gives an impressive role as Glenda Cleveland, who is a vigilant neighbour seeking justice in DAHMER Monster the Jeffrey Dahmer Story. The film premieres at midnight! pic.twitter.com/Vu8zV9ddgz
— Netflix (@netflix) September 20 20, 2022
The Fire and Police Commission appealed without success. The chief had dismissed the police officers for “failing to adhere to police procedure,” AP reported.
The Washington Post reported that Arreola dismissed the officers for “acts of inaction”, which included “a refusal to call witnesses’ names on the scene, and failing to place the 14-year-old into custody.”
Cleveland Tried in Vain to Stop the Officers From Returning the Boy to Dahmer
According to OnMilwaukee.com, Two months before Dahmer’s arrest in 1991, the police agents “responded to a phone call in an alley next to Dahmer’s residence.” It was reported that the caller was a “man in a coma” and “badly beaten.” The phone was a Sinthasomphone 14.
The police “arrived on the spot and saw what was believed to be a young male naked and dazed, wrapped in a blanket and surrounded by Milwaukee Fire Department paramedics. Jeffrey Dahmer was standing at his side,” OnMilwaukee.com reported.
According to OnMilwaukee.com, Dahmer met Konerak in a shopping mall and requested photographs of him. He took him under the influence. However, Konerak fled when Dahmer left to purchase alcohol. Dahmer convinced both Gabrish Balcerzak to believe it was a “domestic situation”, and they handed Konerak to the killer, who then killed Konerak, according to OnMilwaukee.
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Based on WTMJ-TV, the officers were unable to ignore Cleveland’s strong protests.
The child appeared “naked with blood,” the TV station said. However, Dahmer “told the officers that the child was an adult, as well as his partner, was drunk and had been drinking.”
The Associated Press story from November 1992 was accessed via Newspapers.com and quoted by Cleveland.
Cleveland spoke to The AP Cleveland told the AP that she was “so concerned about the bare, confused young people” that she was considering protesting against the police department.
“I was thinking about some silly things, including handcuffing myself as well as sitting on the step but not getting up,” Cleveland told AP.
Cleveland and their niece Nicole Childress, neighbour Tina Spivey and Cleveland’s daughter Sandra Smith told police “they believed Sinthasomphone was trying escape Dahmer’s grasp,” the AP reported.
Balcerzak Became Head of the Milwaukee Police Association
Balcerzak was later appointed to the position of president of Balcerzak was later appointed the head of the Milwaukee Police Association, the union of police officers from the rank and file. Balcerzak resigned as a police officer in the year 2017, according to WTMJ-TV’s television station.
His term during his term as MPA president was not without controversy.
The year 2009 was the time Milwaukee Magazine wrote, “Longtime Milwaukee Police Union President Bradley DeBraska could be criticized for a myriad of reasons; however, the fact is that he was an extremely smart and proactive leader. The successor to him, John Balcerzak, is becoming a catastrophe. The union members will succeed him — and very soon.”
Based on UPI, Balcerzak testified in Dahmer’s trial. “Mr Dahmer was calm and straight throughout the whole investigation,” Balcerzak said. “He was clean-shaven and well-dressed, and his clothes weren’t messy.”
In the past, Balcerzak also owned a Tavern, according to the AP.
Gabrish Became a Captain & Interim Chief in a Suburban Police Department
Gabrish quit the Milwaukee police force. He was named interim police chief for the Grafton Police Department, where the position was chief, according to the Ozaukee Press.
“I’m excited to be working together with the Village Board and the people who live here to create an enjoyable and safe place to live,” Gabrish said in 2019 in a newspaper report.
“Gabrish was appointed an officer by the department in 1993 and was appointed the second in command in 2007. Before becoming a member of the department, Gabrish worked as an officer of the Milwaukee Police Department for nearly 11 years,” the Ozaukee Press stated, adding, “Gabrish serves as the police chief within Trenton, the Town of Trenton where he lives. He established his own department, the Trenton Police Department, in 1997.”
The paper said that Gabrish obtained an advanced master’s degree.
Gabrish has retired. As per UPI, Gabrish testified that Dahmer was “polite and did not give us any reason to believe anything about Dahmer in any way. Dahmer was extremely friendly and open with our investigators.” He did smell an odour inside Dahmer’s house, however.
“I thought (it) with a bowel movement or someone who had just used the toilet,” Gabrish testified