Dahmer Did It

Page 3 of 3

He gave his findings to the Hollywood Police Department in late 2002. After a delayed and scattershot probe of the findings, the department called the theory bunk. Harris continued on his book project and kept adding to his manuscript until he finally broke the story in the Daily Business Review.

John Walsh reacted to news of Harris' work by first complaining about the shoddy police investigation. Then, after apparently getting more information from the Hollywood police, he issued a statement saying that he didn't believe there was any "credible" evidence linking Dahmer to the murder of his son. His spokesman, Avery Mann, didn't respond to my phone messages for comment.

The official line of the Hollywood police in regard to Dahmer has basically been a version of, "Move on, there's nothing to see here."

It's a ridiculous stance but one that is predictable from a department that has notoriously lost evidence and bungled the case to the point that it seems more intent on covering its own hide than in finding the killer.

The cannibal caught in Wisconsin is undoubtedly a viable suspect. It's easy to surmise that when Dahmer — who was known to glare at his victims in an attempt to hypnotize them — failed to get Morgan, he took his frustration out on the weakest link he could find in the uncrowded mall, a 6-year-old boy whom he threw into a blue van.

Of course, there are some details that don't match. For instance, Bowen remembers Dahmer wearing a green Army jacket, not a yellow T-shirt. The killer could have put on the jacket before abducting Adam, or one of the men might have just flubbed a detail.

Yes, but what about Dahmer never killing kids? Well, during his career as a serial killer, which began well before 1981, he killed a 14-year-old boy and was convicted in sex crimes involving a 13-year-old and two 12-year-old boys. And if you want to talk about M.O., then what about the fact that Adam was decapitated and the body essentially disappeared? It fits Dahmer's style in chilling fashion.

At the very least, Arthur Jay Harris' case should be deeply investigated by trained investigators who share at least one very important qualification: That they have never, ever been employed by the Hollywood P.D.

"Let's look at the information that Harris has, unbiased," Purtell says. "Wouldn't it be nice if you could get some retired officers, detectives, who are well-respected to look into this and tell us what they find?"

Before that can happen, though, somebody is going to have to take the lid off that box.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman