While Netflix’s ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story‘ takes the audience through Jeffrey Dahmer’s killing spree, the show narrates that the serial killer could have been apprehended much earlier if the police had been a little more vigilant. One night in May 1991, the police were called to Jeffrey’s apartment by his neighbor, Glenda Cleveland, who claimed a boy in his early teens had stumbled out of the serial killer’s apartment in a seemingly drugged state.
However, despite her protests, the officers, Joseph Gabrish and John Balcerzak, claimed they saw nothing wrong. Well, let’s delve into the details surrounding the incident and find out where Joseph Gabrish and John Balcerzak are at present, shall we?
Who Are Joseph Gabrish and John Balcerzak?
Joseph Gabrish and John Balcerzak were police officers in the Milwaukee Police Department when they got a routine call on May 27, 1991, about a teenage boy who was found without a guardian. Upon arriving at the scene, Joseph and John found Glenda Cleveland as well as Sandra Smith, Tina Spivey, and Nicole Childress surrounding a naked and bleeding individual who sat motionless on the stairs outside the apartment. Incidentally, Sandra, Tina, and Nicole were the ones who initially noticed the Laotian boy and informed the police about his presence.
Once Joseph and John began asking around, they learned that the individual, who still hadn’t disclosed his name, was seen leaving Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment in a delirious state. Moreover, he seemed to have been drugged and was unable to respond to the cops and the women around him. Jeffrey’s neighbor, Glenda Cleveland, insisted that the person looked to be in his early teens and was in need of help. She kept asking the officers to take him to a safe place and help return him to his home.
However, at that time, Jeffrey Dahmer arrived on the scene and claimed that the person in question was his 19-year-old boyfriend. According to Jeffrey, the two had argued until his supposed boyfriend asked him to get some alcohol from the store. Glenda and the other women present on the scene vehemently refuted this claim and kept asking the officers to take the boy to safety. However, Joseph and John said they noticed nothing out of the ordinary, so they allowed Jeffrey to take him up to his apartment.
Afterward, it was revealed that the individual was 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone, who was killed later that night. Incidentally, Jeffrey had drilled a hole into his head and poured hydrochloric acid inside, following which the victim woke up and tried to escape. Once the officers allowed Jeffrey to take him back up to the apartment, the serial killer attempted to pour more hydrochloric acid inside, which led to Konerak’s death. However, a New York Times report mentioned that upon his arrest, Jeffrey said he strangled the teen right after the police left.
Where Are Joseph Gabrish and John Balcerzak Now?
Once the police found enough evidence to arrest and charge Jeffrey Dahmer, Police Chief Philip Arreola attempted to do some damage control and subsequently suspended Joseph Gabrish and John Balcerzak with pay while their actions were investigated. Incidentally, John even testified at Jeffrey Dahmer’s trial and helped send him to prison. Eventually, the officers were found guilty of gross negligence and pled no contest to unfamiliarity with police department responsibilities which led to them getting fired from the police force in 1991.
Although Joseph and John protested the decision, The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission upheld the sackings in 1992. However, in 1994, a judge ultimately ordered Joseph and John reinstated with back pay of about $55,000 each. Following their reinstation, Joseph and John went on to enjoy long careers in law enforcement. John Balcerzak remained in Milwaukee and was elected the President of the Milwaukee Police Association in 2005.
John served in the position until 2009 before stepping down and enjoying a career as a high-ranking police officer. However, reports state that John retired in 2017 and still seems to be residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On the other hand, Joseph joined the Grafton Police Department in 1993, and by 2016, he was awarded the rank of Captain. Moreover, according to sources, Joseph was the Chief of Police in Trenton, Wisconsin, and is still enjoying a career in law enforcement.