The first walking tour of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer haunts met with protest this weekend, but will likely go on.
Up to 20 protestors followed the small tour group through the Walker’s Point neighborhood, carrying signs and shouting, reports Fox 6 Milwaukee. They criticized the new tour as an attempt to make money off of the macabre murders of Dahmer's 17 victims.
Tour guide Nicholas Vollmann led a small group Saturday up and down Milwaukee streets for about an hour, stopping at buildings that used to house the gay bars where Dahmer cruised for his victims. Reading from notecards, he named the victims whom Dahmer met at each place, detailed their sexual activity and described how Dahmer killed and disposed of the victims.
Afterward he said sympathized with the protesters, but believed the tours would go on.
"The protests are not likely to continue," he said.
The sister of one of Jeffrey Dahmer's 17 victims joined others in protesting a Milwaukee walking tour, calling out to tour organizers that they were "just as evil" as Dahmer himself.
Janie Hagen's brother, 25-year-old Richard Guerrero, disappeared in 1988 and was one of the first young men Dahmer is known to have murdered.
"This whole thing opens up a lot of old wounds, a lot of painful memories," Hagen said while holding a sign calling tour-organizer Bam Media and Marketing heartless. "It's that same hurt all over again."
Only five people showed up for the first Dahmer Tour at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Protesters approached the group about 15 minutes into the tour, and followed them until the tour ended about 30 minutes later. The tour’s website says the tour should have lasted 90 minutes.
The new walking tour prompted online deal-maker Groupon to take down a promotion for discounted tickets. But Bam Media said it would not cancel what it calls a legitimate exploration of criminal history.
Dahmer, a chocolate factory worker, spent years frequenting Milwaukee-area gay bars. He was arrested in 1991 and admitted killing 17 young men, some of whom he mutilated and cannibalized. He was serving life prison sentences when a fellow inmate beat him to death in 1994.
The apartment building where Dahmer stored body parts eventually was razed. The area now sits in the middle of a revitalized section of Milwaukee, with new restaurants and bars in remodeled buildings that once housed the bars where Dahmer went.
Several tour participants said they found the experience interesting and educational. One sightseer who identified himself as Paul Smith, 26, of Waukesha, said there's a difference between hearing about a serial killer and seeing firsthand where he actually stalked his victims.
"You look at it now and it's all these nice buildings," he said. "You really wouldn't think all these horrific things happened here."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.