Born in 1957, Raymond Lamont Smith (who inexplicably also went by the moniker Ricky Beeks) was in and out of trouble all his life. Before meeting Dahmer in May, 1990, the thirty-three year old had been in prison for burglary charges.
They met at Club 219, one of Dahmer’s favorite stamping grounds, and Dahmer made his usual offer of I’ll-pay-you-money-and-make-you-look-like-a-prostitute-at-my-trial-in-exchange-for-sleazy-photographs. Raymond accepted and off they went back to Apartment #213. I’m going to presume you guys don’t need me painting pictures as to what happened next. Let’s just say that Jeff was a selfish, sordid asshole and leave it at that.
At the trial, it was said that when the murderer removed Ray’s shirt to begin dismembering him, he discovered a tattoo on his chest. It consisted of the name “Cash D.”, with demonesque pitchforks going out of the letter points on the word “Cash”. (All things considered, it sounds like a pretty cool tattoo.) The thing is, that’s what they called Ray at the trial. Cash D.
And that, really, is who he was to Jeff and the wider public community. A single tattoo, a minor criminal record, a set of sad, embarrassing Polaroids-that’s what Raymond Smith was reduced to by Dahmer, the infamous killer (who incidentially had at least five films, four graphic novels, and any number of books and articles produced about his life). It could be said that victims like Ray don’t recieve the attention they deserve because of shady pasts, because they weren’t polished, perfect and guiltless. But a burglary charge doesn’t really compare with multiple murders, child molestation, rape, and habitual criminality. I’m not condoning robbery or anything. I’m just saying that Raymond and his kin don’t deserve to be waltzed over by legions of groupies, authors, film directors and journalists for thoughtless actions committed in unknowable circumstances, that didn’t really matter in the long run anyway.
Rest in peace, Mr. Smith.