Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Tracy Edwards - The Man Who Led the World to Jeffrey Dahmer's Doorstep - Another Victim Allowed to Slip Through the Cracks of Wisconsin's Broken System!

Okay so y'all probably know about my slight little thing with Jeffrey Dahmer.  Just the other week, on the 20th anniversary of his capture did I write this blog about him and the fact that I thought it was tragic that he had on so many occasions slipped through the system, something which had people actually paid attention to him, he might not have committed the amount of atrocities that he actually did.  It was with great shock then when I read just a week ago, exactly 20 years and one week since Tracy Edwards, the man who was to be Dahmer's 18th victim however had escaped and led the police to Dahmer's apartment leading to his arrest, was himself arrested on a murder charge.  Edwards, living homeless on the streets, had got into a fight with two other homeless men on a bridge and 43 year old Johnny Jordan plunged from the bridge to his death.  Edwards was arrested and is being held.

It has been reported that Edwards has been in trouble with the police a number of times over the years, mostly with relation to drugs.  What shocked me most about this recent tragedy and the fact that Edwards has once again been thrust into the spotlight, is the fact that after the Dahmer trial, he never received counselling or anything to help him deal with his ordeal.  I mean the man had not only come close to death himself at the hands of Dahmer, he was the man who was single handedly responsible for leading the police to one of the most notorious serial killers that not only America, but the world had ever seen.  As I mentioned in my Dahmer blog, it was Edwards accounts of his encounter with Dahmer that inspired Chris Carter to write one of my favourite X Files episodes, Irresistible...an episode that would go on to inspire another of my favourite Chris Carter shows, the Lance Henriksen/Terry O'Quinn led Millenium!

Getting off track though, my point is...after what Tracy Edwards went through from the 22nd July 1991 and onwards with the trial and the mass amount of press and personal invasion, I find it absolutely shocking that there was nobody to actually look out for him!  The state of Wisconsin, and indeed the USA owed him a debt of gratitude and what did he get...left to his own devices!  I don't know what person wouldn't have resorted to at least drinking in Edwards situation.  The thing is, drugs were readily available in the area he lived and easy to get hold of so he ended up with drug problems as well.  When Dr Emily John hired Edwards to feed the homeless at a shelter in 2004 she was shocked to find out that he had never received counselling following the Dahmer trial.  WISN reports. “It did stun me, which is why I hauled him to the Red Cross immediately,” John said.  The nurse who worked with him offered him free sessions and asked him to come back the next week but he never showed.  The thing is, if you ask me, this was already too late for Edwards and it is easier for one to drown out their demons with drink and drugs than to sometimes face up to the problem at hand.  "I don't think a lot of people want to go to therapy to deal with pain. They'd rather self-medicate, and that's what Tracy does, and it leaves him in the street over and over again," John further stated.

At the end of the day, this is a tragedy on top of a whole mound of tragedies, and one that the state of Wisconsin shouldn't look lightly upon.  This is THEIR FAULT!!!  Not giving counselling to a man who had been in Edwards state is fucked up, like beyond fucked up!  Any normal place would have thought that to be the first thing for any victim, let alone the one that led to the capture of one of the most notorious serial killers of all time!  Dahmer slipped through the cracks and looked what happened to him...and all of his victims.  And then Edwards, the one who gets away and leads the police to Dahmer (a man who FYI, the police were completely clueless about his existence in the first place!), ends up leading a miserable life, fueled by drugs and alcohol to help dull out notoriety of being the one that got away...and now he too is facing a murder charge of his own.  It is a sick and twisted world we live in and this is further proof that when victims of crimes are left to slip though the gaping cracks of a fucked up system, they end up on the wrong side of the law themselves...and more people potentially suffer!

I hope that this is not only a wake up call for Tracy Edwards, but more importantly, a wake up call for the state of Wisconsin as to how it fucked up first time round...here's hoping they won't make the same mistake again!

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