Konerak Sinthasomphone was a Jeffrey Dahmer victim who almost got away. The heavily drugged Sinthasomphone escaped from Dahmer’s apartment, alerting neighbors Sandra Smith and Nicole Childress. Incoherent and with blood seeping out of his rectum, Sintasomphone looked like someone in dire need of medical attention.
Sandra and Nicole called 911 – the dispatcher sent two police officers, John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish, to investigate. Bizarrely, Balcerzak and Gabrish handed the boy back to Dahmer, persuaded by Jeffrey’s assertion that Konerak was his drunk 19-year-old boyfriend.
“At the time, with the information we had – to this day, I think we did the appropriate thing, the best we could,” Balcerzak said after Dahmer’s arrest, per AP News. Jeffrey Dahmer killed Konerak Sinthasomphone shortly after the officers left.
Konerak died after Dahmer injected his brain with diluted acid
Jeffrey Dahmer lured Konerak into his apartment by offering money for nude photographs. As he often did with his victims, Dahmer drugged Konerak by spiking his drink. Usually, after rendering his victims unconscious, Dahmer killed and raped them.
However, in Konerak’s case, Dahmer drilled a hole in his head and injected his brain with diluted acid in a bizarre attempt to mummify Konerak. Dahmer said he injected Sinthasomphone’s brain with acid to induce a ‘zombie-like state.’
Konerak escaped after Dahmer left the apartment to buy more alcohol. He was too disoriented to speak, but it was as clear as day that Sinthasomphone was in distress.
Konerak wasn’t the first Sinthasomphone to fall victim to Dahmer. Somsack, Konerak’s brother, was lured into Dahmer’s apartment with the promise of money. The Sinthasomphones were immigrants from Laos and faced many financial challenges.
Therefore, the vulnerable brothers accepted Dahmer’s offer. Dahmer drugged Somsack and sexually abused him; he escaped and reported Dahmer. A court sentenced Dahmer to one year in prison with work release and five years of probation.
Jeffrey told the police that Konerak was a drunk lover. The cops escorted Konerak to Dahmer’s apartment, and one of them noticed the smell of rotting flesh. However, the police didn’t investigate further. “The story I used was he was a house guest,” Dahmer testified, “a friend who sometimes drinks too much and runs out in the street naked.”
Dahmer said that after the police left, he injected Konerak with another dose of diluted acid, which killed him. “I listened for a heartbeat right after I injected him and there was none,” Jeffrey said. “I wasn’t trying to kill him but that’s what happened.”
Court documents read: “Concluding that Dahmer and Sinthasomphone were adult homosexual lovers, the officers ultimately left Sinthasomphone with Dahmer. Thirty minutes later, he became Dahmer’s thirteenth victim.”
Konerak’s family obtained an $850,000 settlement from the city of Milwaukee
Konerak’s family filed a lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee and the police department claiming the officers discriminated against Konerak due to his race and sexual orientation. The chief justice’s decision to send the case to trial reads:
“Rather, they allege, among other things, that the officers actively prevented private citizens from helping Sinthasomphone and, in fact, delivered Sinthasomphone, who was a minor, not to his parents, but into Dahmer’s custody.”
“The allegations are not just of police inaction, but of police action, action which violated Konerak Sinthasomphone’s substantive due process rights.”
The case went to trial in March 1995, and a month later, the city and the Sinthasomphones reached an $850,000 settlement.