Jeffrey Dahmer Was Erased From His High School Yearbook, but Not Because of His Crimes
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer wasn’t a National Honor Society member at his high school, but he still managed to be photographed with the group.
A brief scene in the new Netflix drama Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has viewers wondering about the real-life serial killer’s interactions with the National Honor Society during high school.
In case you’re not up to speed, Monster dramatizes the life story of Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 individuals between 1978 and 1991.
In a synopsis, Netflix says that Monster “exposes these unconscionable crimes, centered around the underserved victims and their communities impacted by the systemic racism and institutional failures of the police that allowed one of America’s most notorious serial killers to continue his murderous spree in plain sight for over a decade.”
But the show also depicts Dahmer’s turbulent childhood and adolescence — and includes his now-famous honor society stunt.
Dahmer crashed his high school’s National Honor Society group portrait as a prank.
In one episode of Monster, viewers see Dahmer, played by Evan Peters, sneak into a National Honor Society yearbook photo at Revere High School in Richfield, Ohio.
That scene is based on reality. The real-life Dahmer “unceremoniously inserted himself” into the school’s NHS photo session, and yearbook editors “blacked out his face before the photograph was printed in the school yearbook,” as Catherine Purcell and Bruce A. Arrigo report in the book The Psychology of Lust Murder: Paraphila, Sexual Killing, and Serial Homicide.
The authors also write that Dahmer had a reputation as a prankster during his high school years — drawing chalk outlines of bodies around school, for example, and pretending to have epileptic seizures at the local mall.
Sneaking into the portrait “was a very Jeff thing to do,” a former classmate said.
Mike Krukal, who went to Revere with Dahmer, said in the recent Investigation Discovery documentary Jeffrey Dahmer: Mind of a Monster (via LADbible) that the Honor Society portrait was “the most famous photograph in our yearbook” — and one of a few group photos Dahmer crashed.
“Jeff Dahmer got in group photos that he was not a member of,” Krukal said. “I think the funniest one is the National Honor Society, which is supposed to be the brightest kids, right? And, definitely in our senior year, Jeff Dahmer was not in that group, academically, but he’s in this photograph, and I believe it’s the president of the group had him blacked out. So in all the yearbooks, there’s a body without a head.”
Krukal continued, “It’s one of the first things I thought about when I heard he was arrested for some reason. I just remembered this strange photograph that is so haunting today to look at and know that this person, right dead center in the middle, is Jeffrey Dahmer.”
Martha Schmidt, another Rever classmate, told The New York Times in 1991 that Dahmer snuck into the National Honor Society portrait in his junior year and his senior year at the school. “It was a very Jeff thing to do,” she added. “It was part of his trying to be unconventional and to mock everything around him. I think he very consciously chose the honor society because I think in some ways he was laughing at himself and us.”