A three-part episode of Dr. Phil featured an interview with the father of the notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
The special, “In The Presence of Evil: Face to Face with Jeffrey Dahmer,” focuses on the lives impacted by Dahmer, who was dubbed the “Milwaukee Cannibal.”
Netflix released a series based on Dahmer’s crimes and now Dr. Phil has aired an interview with the killer’s father, Lionel, and asked what he would say to those whose lives his son impacted.
Dahmer’s father said that he was “sorry” for what happened to the victims and “if I could have done anything to prevent it, I would have.” He went on to ask those impacted by his son to “forgive Jeff for what he did.”
During the taping, Dr. Phil asked his guests what they thought.
“That’s a very hard way to answer that,” Preston Davis, a man who says the killer drugged and assaulted him.
“Forgiveness to me has different levels.”
He added, “the stuff that he did consumed me, that probably fueled my alcohol – my drug abuse,” and later summarized, “no I don’t forgive him, but I don’t hate him if that makes any sense. I hate what he did, but it doesn’t consume my life anymore.”
Billy Capshaw also came forward and claimed Dahmer tortured and assaulted him too, “I can’t forgive him.” And said he blames Dahmer’s father for turning a blind eye to his son’s criminality, “I feel like that he knew something was wrong with Jeff and he tried to put him in the military even, to get rid of that problem.”
Lionel disclosed that when his son was very young, he would roam the local countryside and collect parts of dead animals and “felt them, explored them-their insides, their entrails and terrible things like that. Although I’ve had friends who have told me they’ve done the same sort of thing, that would have been a red flag.”
Davis also implied that Lionel turned a blind eye, “Dr. Phil, that’s a bunch of bull, okay? He knew, he chose to look the other way.”
Candice Delong, who is an FBI criminal profiler, also slammed the father’s commentary, saying, “ninety percent of what he just said was all these horrible things he was unaware of Jeffrey was doing but then he wipes it away by saying ‘but then my friends said they did it too.’”
Other footage showed Lionel explaining that when Dahmer was between 12-14 years old, he would “pick up roadkill,” adding that around that age was when Jeffrey began to have a strange association between “roadkill” and “his sexual urges.”
Dr Phil turned to viewers and said that while he has “talked about evil” and seen it “more than once,” he hopes viewers “consider” that “there are bad people in this world, we’ve been talking about one today, but I want you to have that concept in your mind.”