Jeffrey Dahmer really needs no introduction. One of the “heavyweights” of serial killers, Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys between the late seventies and early nineties. He enjoyed prowling for his victims in gay clubs, decapitating them and having sex with their corpses. While most of his chosen prey succumbed to his evil desires, there was one intended victim who escaped completely unharmed—and he probably had no idea he was ever a target.
Dahmer’s murder spree was eventually put to rest on July 22, 1991 when he brought home a man named Tracy Edwards. Edwards was offered money to pose nude for Dahmer, but when he arrived at Dahmer’s apartment he immediately felt unnerved. There was a strong odor wafting within the home, and boxes of acid on the floor. And oh yeah, there was a huge blue drum randomly placed in the corner. Totally normal.
To set the mood right, THE EXORCIST III was playing in the background as Dahmer guided Edwards throughout his living room. Dahmer casually placed handcuffs on Edwards, insisting it was a part of their shoot. Dahmer then flirted with Edwards, telling him he was going to eat his heart—because nothing is more romantic than cannibalizing someone.
Edwards wasn’t really into it, but he remained calm. He spent five hours with the cannibal killer, trying to “befriend” him and avoid a gruesome fate.
Luckily, Edwards was able to overpower Dahmer with a punch to the head, and he escaped. He found police and brought them back to Dahmer’s apartment, where they discovered four severed heads in his kitchen, skulls and various body parts strewn throughout his apartment, and grotesque Polaroids of dead bodies posed provocatively.
When Dahmer was arrested he confessed to his crimes, in great detail. Unlike many serial killers, Dahmer appeared to be remorseful for his crimes. He detailed drugging his victims before ending their lives, and even explained how he often injected their brains with acid in an effort to zombify them.
Along with confessing to the gruesome murders, Dahmer described parts of his earlier life leading up to his killing. While he explained his fascination with collecting animal carcasses and cleaning their bones, it was one earlier childhood memory that stood out. It was a story about a potential victim who essentially got away.
Dahmer’s urge to play with dead things intensified as he became a teen, and that obsession intertwined with his sexual desires. So, he decided that he would take control over a human being. He had an attraction to a particular jogger who ran by his area on a daily basis. Dahmer stalked him often, and he wanted to knock him out to have sex with him.
So, one day Dahmer finally decided to put his plan into motion. Armed with a baseball bat, he hid behind some bushes and waited for the jogger to pass. He waited. And waited. And waited. The jogger never came.
For whatever reason, on that day the jogger decided not to go for a run. It put a dent in Dahmer’s plans, and he wasn’t able to fulfill his urges. Thankfully, Dahmer never attempted to attack or harm that jogger ever again.
Unfortunately, two years later Dahmer murdered his first victim, Steven Hicks. And the rest is history. Luck was on the jogger’s side that one day, preventing him from becoming Dahmer’s very first victim. If Dahmer succeeded in capturing him, it could have set things off differently—and there probably would have been more victims.
Not only is the jogger story a great example of fate, it also affirms the importance of taking a rest day. Rest days are important in muscle recovery—and they can save your damn life.
This article was originally published on Blumhouse.com.