Skip to main content

Niecy Nash on honoring the legacy of Glenda Cleveland in Dahmer

Ask any American about Jeffrey Dahmer, and the vast majority would be able to mention something about the infamous serial killer. Could the same be said about Glenda Cleveland? The unsung hero in the Dahmer case is getting the attention she deserves in Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Portrayed by Emmy winner Niecy Nash, Glenda was the persistent neighbor who continuously alerted police about Dahmer’s mysterious actions in his apartment. Despite playing such a pivotal role in bringing down Dahmer (Evan Peters), Glenda’s story took a backseat until now, and Nash understood the gravity of bringing her story to life.

“When you hear the different things that happened with regards to Jeffrey Dahmer and his victims, Glenda was one of his victims, too, and her story has been told the least,” said Nash in an interview with Netflix. “Heavy is the head that wears the crown to tell this story, specifically through Glenda’s lens as it had never been done before. So that comes with a lot of responsibility because you want to make sure you get it right.”

DAHMER - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story | Niecy Nash On The Untold Story Of Glenda Cleveland

Throughout the series, Glenda suspects foul play from her neighbor, confronting Dahmer about a horrific smell coming from his apartment. When Glenda alerts the authorities about her suspicions in regards to Dahmer, the police ignore her warnings, allowing a sick individual to continue murdering innocent young men. Glenda’s continued efforts to warn the authorities about Dahmer fall by the wayside as racism and homophobia surround the entire situation.

In a particularly moving scene, Glenda attends the wake of a victim she tried to help. Despite Glenda’s pleas, the police allowed Dahmer to walk the young boy back into his apartment, where he would die shortly after. Glenda’s guilt swallows her up, and she lets the family know about her regrets, wishing she could have done more. It’s this level of compassion that makes Glenda an exceptional human, something that Nash hopes will stick with viewers.

“I want people to know that Glenda Cleveland was special. That was a special woman,” said Nash. “To continue on and on and on in an effort to get someone to do something, she deserved way more than a little cheesy plaque in the bottom of a social hall somewhere. She deserved way more than the police to step in front of her and say, ‘Look what we did. Look what we tried to do.'”

Niecy Nash staring up in a scene from Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
Dahmer. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Niecy Nash as Glenda Cleveland in episode 107 of Dahmer. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022

Created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story chronicles Dahmer’s murders through the eyes of the victims. Alongside Peters and Nash, Richard Jenkins, Molly Ringwald, and Michael Learned co-star. Dahmer is one of Netflix’s most-watched series of 2022, with 196.2 million people tuning in since its debut on September 21.

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is now streaming on Netflix.

Editors' Recommendations

Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
Our 2023 Golden Globes predictions
Paul Dano and Michelle Williams watch The Greatest Show on Earth.

The Hollywood Foreign Press is at a strange time. Infamous for being the Oscars' more chaotic and embarrassing younger sibling, the HFPA has faced a myriad of controversies throughout its 80-year-old history. From ethical dilemmas, bribery scandals, accusations of lack of Black representation in its voting body, and sexual harassment claims, the HFPA is no stranger to scandal.

But 2021 was a year of reckoning for the HFPA, and the Golden Globes suffered because of it. After much uncertainty regarding the 2023 Golden Globes, NBC announced it would indeed air them again. The Golden Globes will likely play a role in this year's Oscar race and will lay a path for some of the season's strongest contenders. But who will win? Who will go empty-handed? We break it all down for you with our predictions and slightly cranky commentary.
Golden Globe movie predictions

Read more
5 shows to stream if you liked Netflix’s The Watcher
Two women sit at a table talking in The Watcher.

True crime's popularity continues to soar in 2022. One of the latest dramas to dominate pop culture is The Watcher, Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan's enigmatic series about a couple who move to a new home in New Jersey with their two children. The couple's life is turned upside down upon receiving threatening letters from a stalker known as "The Watcher." Based on the 2018 article in The New Yorker, the quest to reveal the identity of the stalker is interrupted by nosy neighbors with ulterior motives.

The ensemble cast includes Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Coolidge, Margo Martindale, Mia Farrow, Richard Kind, Christopher McDonald, and Noma Dumezweni. The series debuted at number one on the Netflix weekly Top 10. With The Watcher at the center of the streaming world, we explored five similar shows to watch if you're in the mood for more mystery and thrills.
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022)

Read more
Unsolved Mysteries Volume 3 trailer heralds the show’s return to Netflix
The spookiest Sesame Street doll ever on Unsolved Mysteries.

The original Unsolved Mysteries series had a famous tagline in which the host, the late Robert Stack, would invite viewers to "join the search and perhaps you may be able to help solve a mystery." That might be a tall order if you're looking to find Bigfoot or trying to prove the existence of extraterrestrials, but it's easy to forget that some of the cases featured on Unsolved Mysteries were all too real. For the families of the missing or the deceased, it's no laughing matter. Later this month, Netflix is bringing back its Unsolved Mysteries revival series for nine new episodes, with a different mystery in each one.

Unsolved Mysteries Volume 3 | Official Trailer | Netflix

Read more