Jeffrey Dahmer’s final would-be victim, who escaped and led police to the twisted serial killer’s lair, has been thrust back into the spotlight following Netflix’s widely-watched mini-series “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” — but despite ending the sicko’s spree, the man hailed a hero lived a tragic life.
Tracy Edwards became a national name in 1991 after he led Milwaukee cops to the remains of Dahmer’s 17 dismembered victims, ending a decade-long spree of cannibalistic homicides that shocked the country.
But Edwards’ life quickly spiraled out of control and he was accused of killing a man almost two decades to the day after he survived the tragic fate himself.
“It’s like Humpty Dumpty,” his defense attorney Paul Ksicinski told ABC News in 2011. “It’s like he was never able to put the pieces back together again.”
The Netflix retelling of the horrific Dahmer crimes begins with a dramatized version of Edwards’ escape from the cannibal killer’s apartment on the night of July 22, 1991, after he was lured over with the promise of beer and money.
After bolting from the house of horrors, a handcuffed Edwards flags down a passing patrol car on the street and tells officers that Dahmer had tried to kill him.
He then led police to the apartment, where investigators discovered preserved human heads, mutilated body parts and photographs of mutilated men.
The reenactment drew heavily from Edwards’ testimony, which was broadcast by Court TV during Dahmer’s closely-watched 1992 trial.
“He was listening to my heart [at knifepoint] because at that point he told me he was going to eat my heart,” Edwards chillingly told the court.
However, the brave survivor’s newfound publicity attracted the attention of police in his native home of Tupelo Mississippi, where he had been indicted for sexual battery of a 14-year-old girl.
The then 32-year-old was extradited down south to face the charges.
When he returned to Milwaukee, Edwards racked up arrests for drug possession, theft, property damage, failure to pay child support, and bail jumping — as he lived in and out of homeless shelters, ABC reported.
On July 26, 2011, nearly twenty years to the day that he was lauded as a hero for escaping Dahmer and leading cops to his victims, Edwards was accused of murder himself.
He and another homeless man were accused of pushing a third man that was living on the streets off a bridge into the Milwaukee River. The victim, Jonny Jordan, died before first responders arrived, the network reported in 2011.
Edwards was charged with homicide and pleaded guilty to aiding a felon — a deal which got him a reduced sentence of one and a half years, according to WITI-TV.
The whereabouts of the now 63-year-old man are unknown, despite a recent renewal of interest in his life.
Still, Shaun Brown, who portrayed Edwards in the Netflix hit, took to Twitter to share his feelings about the man he played — insisting he has “so much love” for him and the other victims.
“I have so much love for Tracy Edwards and I hope that through my portrayal you will also,” Brown wrote.
“I hope you have love for all the victims and maybe in time you will have more love for one another. Empathy and awareness can create heaven on Earth if we allow it. We are one. We are all beings made of stardust. Much love to you all.”
Dahmer — who confessed to killing 17 men and boys since 1978 and was convicted in 1992 — was beaten to death by a fellow prison inmate in 1994.