mystery history

Could Jeffrey Dahmer have murdered this famous adult film star?

Billy London. Screenshot.

The murder of adult film performer Billy London–real name William Newton–rocked the LA queer underground back in 1990. To date, his case remains unsolved.

Now, a new investigative documentary posits that London could have met with foul play at the hands of a notorious serial killer: Jeffrey Dahmer.

Director Rachel Mason, best known for her chronicle of growing up in an adult video store, Circus of Books, has begun working on a film based on new research linking Dahmer to the London murder. Pretty Boy Blue will recount the life and sudden death of Billy London, and examine the possible link between his death and Dahmer.

In an exclusive statement to Queerty, Mason detailed her attraction to the case.

“When I learned of the story of Bill Newton, aka Billy London, it was while I was doing research for Circus of Books,” she told us. “I wanted to find imagery of young gay adult film performers who had died of AIDS. I saw so many of them when they would come through my parents’ store and it pained me to learn of their deaths due to AIDS. I asked Mickey Skee, who was a well-known reviewer of gay porn, if he could lend me some photographs as he was friends with so many gay adult stars, and while pulling out photographs, this article about Billy’s murder fell out of his binder. I was stunned. The story of Billy’s death was so gruesome and mysterious. He said it had never been solved.”
“The gay men that I would meet growing up in West Hollywood formed a kind of diaspora of youth from all over the country,” Mason further explained. “As I have learned by diving into the story of Billy, just getting here was a challenge.  I’ve been really amazed by the courage that it took to come here from a place like Eau Claire Wisconsin in the 1980’s, and that’s what I am learning about Billy.”
“As far as his death, it is still unsolved,” she said. “But the investigation has been invigorated by the work of members of the community for three decades. Most recently two authors and podcasters, Eric Shaw Quinn and Chris Rice, reached out to the public for clues, and it yielded for the first time, an eye-witness who said he saw Billy leaving the bar Rage on the night of October 28, 1990 with Jeffrey Dahmer. If true, it changes the historical record on Dahmer, and could potentially help solve other crimes in the state of California.”

“Is there a trail of Dahmer to LA? Has it been exhaustively checked out? No,” Mason told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We have one person in L.A. saying he was here.”

Related: A gay man was stabbed and beaten by a Jeffrey Dahmer fan. Police say it’s not a hate crime.

Mason’s assertion takes a cue from the work of Los Angeles Police Department cold-case Detective John Lamberti. In 2020, he told the LA Podcast that he had received information that a witness named Ron Wheeler spotted London talking to a handsome stranger at Rage nightclub just before he disappeared. Later, when Dahmer became a household name, Wheeler says he recognized him as the man talking to London.

This isn’t the first time investigators have examined a possible link between the death of Billy London and Jeffrey Dahmer. When police finally nabbed Dahmer in 1991, they confronted him about his potential involvement in the murder. Investigators noted at the time that London’s body, which was found dismembered, fit with Dahmer’s modus operandi. Dahmer, for his part, denied killing London.

For Mason, even an outside chance of Dahmer’s involvement warrants further scrutiny. “There are guys in Milwaukee who know something and have never told anyone. I’ve talked to some,” she said. “Billy was LA’s gay Black Dahlia, and no one’s ever figured it out.”

Mason also asks that anyone with information or tips regarding the death of Billy London please contact the film’s creative team at [email protected]. All tips will go directly to the homicide detective at LAPD. Pretty Boy Blue is currently in development. Patrons can donate to the project on the film’s website.

Jeffrey Dahmer remains a figure of infamy in and outside the gay community. Police arrested him in 1991 and have linked him to the murders of at least 17 men whom he dismembered. Dahmer also confessed to acts of necrophilia with his victims, and to cannibalizing their bodies. He was murdered in prison in 1994.