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A journalist tracks down the man who escaped being the twelfth victim of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

As a tabloid reporter in the early 1990’s, my father, Denny Johnson, covered stories that ranged the gamut from celebrities behaving badly to people claiming to have been captured by interstellar traveling space aliens. However, this story (concerning the man that successfully slipped away from death at the hands of Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer) was perhaps his most important and certainly most riveting.

With “The One that Got Away”, Denny Johnson, a man who was always a reporter with storyteller instincts and a storyteller with reporter’s instincts, is able to bring the finished story off of the tabloid page and give us the entire story- including the story of getting the story. No longer is he constricted to the demands of a newspaper's word count and brief story structure.

The result is a chilling true account that puts you in the room with one of the world's most feared serial killers.
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"The One That Got Away by Denny Johnson traces the steps of a journalist who is trying to get an exclusive interview with Traci Edwards, the man who escaped death by fighting his way out of Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment. The narrative begins with a collage of clichés and journalist jargon, but immediately after Part I, the narrative becomes so realistic, I can't get out of my bed because I'm...afraid. I can watch a horror movie like no other, but there is something about reading Traci Edwards’ details about Dahmer’s apartment and the movements and words the serial killer made that make me feel sick.

The author often made short breaks within his interview with Edwards that made me jolt back into reality. He would say comments like, “Two short rings on the hotel telephone shook everyone back to the present in the hotel suite” and “Denny let out a little yip which startled everyone.” I needed those breaks. I needed to actually breath.

However, the way in which Johnson treated Edwards left a bad taste in my mouth. He was too much of an unemotional journalist who would do anything to get his story. Which I suppose, if that’s the way it happened—then that’s that. I was just so emotionally petrified as Edwards told his journey in Dahmer’s house and how he remembered every little detail from the type of stench and the type of pornographic pictures plastered on Dahmer's wall, I felt like I was there with him, and I wanted to get out as much as he did. Conversely, Johnson was thinking about the title of his article—uncaring about the fact a serial killer was resting his head on the chest of his victim to listen to his heart beat and say that he wanted to see how his heart looked and then eat it.

Nonetheless, read this."

-Liz Long,
The Long Blog: Recommended Reading

jefferycjohn

About the Author

jefferycjohn
jefferycjohn Chicago

Jeffery C. Johnson is a 3rd generation photographer who has exhibited his work throughout Chicago and its suburbs, has had work published in many publications both in print and online, and has been selling his work in stores around the city to people from all over the world.

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