My interest in certain cases continues long after the headlines cease. Such is the case surrounding Jeffrey Dahmer. His name is no doubt familiar to everyone reading this. His despicable mass murders, depraved mind, and his subsequent death at the hands of another prisoner, are general knowledge. However, there is something else about the case that stays with me, and it has to do with how his youngest victim met his death because of the homophobic and national origin bigotry of two Milwaukee Police Department officers.
Fourteen year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone did not have to die.
Konerak Sinthasomphone’s family left the Nonkai refugee resettlement camp in Thailand, and came to Milwaukee, Wisconsin when Konerak was 3-years old. On May 26, 1991 when he was 14-years old, Konerak was playing soccer when Jeffrey Dahmer approached him. Dahmer offered him money to come to his apartment to pose for Polaroid pictures. Konerak was reluctant, but changed his mind.
According to Konerak’s family, Konerak would not have recognized Dahmer as the man who, in 1988, was convicted of drugging and sexually fondling his then 13-year old brother.
“We never saw him. Police officers told us they were going to put him away for good,“ said Anoukone Sinthasomphone. “We never thought he was going to be out.“
The family was so convinced of what they were told by the police that they never went to court when Dahmer was tried and sentenced to 1 year of work release and 5 years of probation.
Three years later, and while on probation, Dahmer would visit grief upon the Sinthasomphone family again. Read the rest of this entry