Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, born May 21, 1960 was a serial killer and sex offender. Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys, between 1978 and 1991 whom mostly were of African or Asian descent.
His murders involved necrophilia, dismemberment, rape, and cannibalism. He died on November 28, 1994 in the Colombia Correctional Institution, where he was jailed, by a fellow inmate.
He was beaten while on work duty in the prison gym. He died in the ambulance.
His earlier life
Dahmer was born in Allis, Wisconsin. His parents were Joyce Annette and his father Lionel Herbert Dahmer. He also had a brother who was seven years older than him, named, David.
Dahmer's early childhood would be considered a very normal one, but over time, around the age of 10 to 15 he slowly became more withdrawn and uncamunitive with very little interest in
hobbies and having friends. His past time was to ride his bike around the neighborhood looking for dead animals which he would bring home to dissect, or just do so in the woods. He then
began drinking and by the time of his high school graduation had became an alcoholic.
In 1977 his parents got a divorce and he started attending The Ohio State University, but then dropped out after one quarter. After dropping out his father then forced him to join the Army.
hospital, but was once again kicked out for drinking. He then moved back home and continued to drink heavily. In 1981 he was arrested for drunk driving and disorderly conduct.
In 1982, Dahmer lived with his grandmother in West Allis for 6 years. Over the six years his behavior grew more and more odd. One time his grandmother found a male mannequin in his
closet and a .357 Magnum under his bed. Terrible smells were coming from the basement, which he explained as a dead squirrel he had brought home and dissolved it with chemicals. Two
times he was arrested for indecent exposure, his second offense, he masturbated in front of two boys.
In summer 1988, Dahmer's grandmother asked him to move out because of him always being out so late, his weird behavior, and the bad smells from the basement. He then moved into an
apartment on Milwaukee's West side, which was closer to his job at the Ambrosia Chocolate Factory. After only one day of being in his apartment, September 26, 1988, he was arrested for
drugging and sexually fondling a 13-year-old boy named Somsack Sinthasomphone. He had to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to one year at a work release camp and five
years probation. He then moved into a different apartment, Apartment 213, 924 North Street, Milwaukee, and that is when his killing began, until he was arrested in 1991.
Jeffrey Dahmer first murder was at the age of 18 in 1978. Dahmer picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks and went back to his parents house, planning on
have sex with him. When Hicks tried to leave, Dahmer beat Hicks to death with a dumbbell, later on he said he committed the crime because "the guy wanted
to leave, and I didn't want him to". Dahmer then buried the body in the backyard. Nine years passed before he killed again; in September 1987, Dahmer
picked up 26-year-old Steven Tuomi at a bar and murdered him; he later said he had no memory of committing the crime. After that murder, Dahmer continued
to killing: two more murders in 1988, and another in 1989, usually picking up his victims in gay bars and having sex with them before killing them. He kept the
skull of one of his victims, Anthony Sears, until he was arrested.
Dahmer started killing more frequently: four more murders in 1990, three more in 1991. In the early morning hours of May 27, 1991, 14-year-old boy, Konerak
Sinthasomphone (by coincidence, the younger brother of the boy whom Dahmer had molested) was discovered walking naked on the street, heavily druged
and bleeding from his rectum. Two women from the neighborhood found the confused boy and called police. Dahmer chased his victim down and tried to take
him away, but the women stopped him. Dahmer told police that Sinthasomphone was his 19-year-old boyfriend, and that they had an argument while
drinking. Against the protests of the two women who had called 911, police turned him over to Dahmer. The later reported smelling a strange scent while at
the door of Dahmer's apartment, but did not investigate it. The smell was the decomposing body, in the bedroom, of Tony Hughes, Dahmer's previous victim.
The two policemen did not make any attempt to verify Sinthasomphone's age and didn't run a background check on Dahmer that would have shown he was a
convicted child molester still under probation. Later that night, Dahmer killed and dismembered Sinthasomphone, keeping his skull as a souvenir.
By summer 1991, Dahmer was murdering one person a week. He killed Matt Turner on June 30, Jeremiah Weinberger on July 5, Oliver Lacy on July 12, and
finally Joseph Brandehoft on July 19. Dahmer was trying to turn his victims into "zombies" — completely submissive, eternally youthful sexual partners. The
way he tried to do this was by drilling holes into their skulls and injecting hydrochloric acid or boiling water into the frontal lobe area of their brains with a
large syringe, while the victim was still alive. Other residents of the apartments complex noticed terrible smells coming from Apartment 213, as well as the
thumps of falling objects and the occasional buzzing of a power saw.
On July 22, 1991, Dahmer approached three men with an offer of $100 to accompany him to his apartment, drink beer and simply keep him company. One of the
trio, 32-year-old Tracy Edwards, agreed to accompany him to his apartment. Upon entering Dahmer's apartment, Edwards noted a foul odor and several boxes of
muriatic acid on the floor, which Dahmer claimed to use for cleaning bricks. After some minor conversation, Edwards responded to Dahmer's request to turn his
head and view his tropical fish, whereupon Dahmer placed a handcuff upon his wrist. When Edwards asked, "What's happening?" Dahmer unsuccessfully
attempted to cuff his wrists together, then informed Edwards to accompany him to the bedroom to pose for nude pictures.
Inside the bedroom, Edwards noted nude male posters on the wall and that a videotape of The Exorcist III was playing; he also noted a blue 57-gallon drum in
the corner, from which a strong odor emanated.
Dahmer then brandished a knife and informed Edwards he intended to take nude pictures of him. In an attempt to appease Dahmer, Edwards unbuttoned his
shirt, saying he would allow him to do so if he would remove the handcuffs and put the knife away. In response to this promise, Dahmer simply turned his
attentions towards the TV; Edwards observed Dahmer rocking back and forth and chanting before turning his attentions back to him: he placed his head on
Edwards' chest, listened to his heartbeat and, with the knife pressed against his intended victim, informed Edwards he intended to eat his heart.
Jeffrey Dahmer was indicted on 17 charges of murder, which were reduced to 15. The murder cases were already of insanity. The trial lasted two weeks. The court found Dahmer sane and
guilty on 15 counts of murder. His trial sentenced him to 15 life terms, totaling 957 years in prison. At his sentencing hearing, Dahmer expressed remorse for his actions, and said that he
wished for his own death. In May of that year, Dahmer was transferred to Ohio, where he entered a plea of guilty for the murder of his first victim, Steven Hicks.
Imprisonment and death
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At 11:30 p.m. on July 22, two Milwaukee police officers were flagged down by Tracy Edwards at the corner of North 25th Street. The officers noted Edwards had a handcuff attached to his
wrist, whereupon Edwards explained to the officers that a "freak" had placed the handcuffs upon him and asked if the police could remove them. When the officers' own handcuff keys failed
to fit the brand of handcuffs, Edwards agreed to accompany the officers to the apartment where, Edwards stated, he had spent the previous five hours before escaping.
When the officers and Edwards arrived at Apartment 213, Dahmer invited the trio inside and acknowledged he had indeed placed the handcuffs upon Edwards, although he offered no
explanation as to why he had done so. At this point, Edwards divulged to the officers that Dahmer had also brandished a large knife upon him and that this had happened in the bedroom.
Dahmer made no comment to this revelation; indicating to one of the officers, Rolf Mueller, that the key to the handcuffs was in his bedside dresser in the bedroom. As Mueller entered the
bedroom, Dahmer attempted to pass Mueller to himself retrieve the key, whereupon the second officer present, Robert Rauth, informed him to "back off."
In the bedroom, Mueller noted there was indeed a large knife beneath the bed; he also saw an open drawer which, upon closer inspection, contained scores of Polaroid pictures—many of
which were of human bodies in various stages of dismemberment. Mueller noted the decor indicated they had been taken in the very apartment in which they were standing. He walked into
the living room to show them to his partner, uttering the words, "These are for real."
When Dahmer saw that Mueller was holding several of his Polaroids, he fought with the officers in an effort to resist arrest. The officers quickly overpowered him, cuffed his hands behind his
back and called a second squad car for backup. At this point, Mueller opened the refrigerator to reveal the freshly severed head of a black male placed upon the bottom shelf.
As Dahmer lay pinned on the floor beneath Rauth, he turned his head towards the officers and muttered the words: "For what I did I should be dead."
A more detailed search of the apartment, conducted by the Criminal Investigation Bureau, revealed a total of four severed heads in Dahmer's kitchen. A total of seven skulls—some painted;
some bleached—were found in Dahmer's bedroom and inside a closet. In addition, investigators discovered collected blood drippings upon a tray at the bottom of Dahmer's refrigerator, plus
two human hearts and a portion of arm muscle each wrapped inside plastic bags upon the shelves. In Dahmer's freezer, investigators discovered an entire torso, plus a bag of human organs
and flesh stuck to the ice at the bottom. Elsewhere in Apartment 213, investigators discovered two entire skeletons, a pair of severed hands, two severed and preserved penises, a
mummified scalp and, in the 57-gallon drum, three further dismembered torsos dissolving in the acid solution. A total of 74 Polaroid pictures detailing the dismemberment of Dahmer's victims
would also be found.
In reference to the recovery of body parts and artifacts at 924 North 25th Street, the chief medical examiner later stated: "It was more like dismantling someone's museum than an actual
Beginning in the early hours of July 23, 1991, Dahmer was questioned by Detective Patrick Kennedy as to the murders he had committed and the evidence found at his apartment. Over the
following two weeks, Detective Kennedy and, later, Detective Patrick Murphy would conduct numerous interviews with Dahmer which, when combined, would total over sixty hours.
Dahmer waived his right to have a lawyer present throughout his interrogations, adding he wished to confess all as he had "created this horror and it only makes sense I do everything
to put an end to it."He readily admitted to having murdered sixteen young men in Wisconsin since 1987, with one further victim—Steven Hicks—killed in Ohio back in 1978.
Most of the victims had been rendered unconscious prior to their murder, although some had died as a result of having acid or boiling water injected into their brain. (As he had no memory of
the murder of Tuomi, he was unsure whether he was unconscious when beaten to death.) He readily admitted to performing necrophilia with several of his victims' bodies, this included
performing sexual acts with their viscera as he dismembered their bodies in his bathtub. The bones he wished to dispose of would be pulverized or acidified, with Soilex and bleach solutions
used to aid in the preservation of the skeletons and skulls he wished to keep. In addition, he confessed to having consumed the hearts, livers, biceps and portions of thighs of several
victims killed within the previous year.
Describing the increase in his rate of killing in the two months prior to his arrest, he stated he had been "completely swept along"with his compulsion to kill, adding: "It was an incessant and
never-ending desire to be with someone at whatever cost. Someone good looking, really nice looking. It just filled my thoughts all day long."
When asked as to why he had preserved a total of 7 skulls and the entire skeletons of two victims, Dahmer stated he had been in the process of constructing a private altar of victims' skulls
which he had intended to adorn upon the black table located in his living room and upon which he had photographed the bodies of many of his victims. This display of skulls was to be
adorned at each side with the complete skeletons of Ernest Miller and Oliver Lacy. The four severed heads found in his kitchen were to be removed of all flesh and used in this altar, as was
the skull of at least one future victim. Incense sticks were to be placed at each end of the black table, above which Dahmer intended to place a large blue lamp with extending blue globe
lights. The entire construction was to be placed before a window covered with a black, opaque shower curtain, in front of which Dahmer intended to sit in a black leather chair.
When asked in a November 18, 1991 interview who the altar was dedicated to, Dahmer replied, "Myself ... It was a place where I could feel at home." He further described his intended altar
as a "place for meditation," from where he believed he could draw a sense of power.
On July 25, 1991, Dahmer was charged with four counts of murder. By August 22, he would be charged with a further eleven murders committed in the state of Wisconsin and on September
17, would be charged by authorities in Ohio with the murder of Steven Hicks.
Dahmer was not charged with the attempted murder of Tracy Edwards, nor with the murder of Steven Tuomi. He was not charged with Tuomi's murder because the Milwaukee County District
Attorney only brought charges where murder could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and Dahmer had no memory of actually committing this particular murder, for which no physical
evidence of the crime existed.
At a scheduled preliminary hearing on January 13, 1992, Dahmer pleaded guilty but insane to 15 counts of murder.
Upon sentencing, Dahmer was transferred to the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin.
For the first year of his incarceration, Dahmer was placed in solitary confinement due to concerns for his physical safety should he come into contact with fellow inmates. With Dahmer's
consent, after one year in solitary confinement, he was transferred to a less secure unit within the Columbia Correctional Institution, where he was assigned a two-hour daily work detail
cleaning the toilet block.
Shortly after completing his lengthy confessions in 1991, Dahmer had requested to Detective Patrick Murphy that he be given a copy of the Bible. This request was granted and Dahmer
gradually devoted himself to religion and became a born-again Christian. In May, 1994, Dahmer was baptized by Roy Ratcliff, a minister in the Church of Christ and a graduate of Oklahoma
Christian University, in the prison whirlpool. Following his baptism, Ratcliff visited Dahmer on a weekly basis up until November, 1994. Dahmer and Ratcliff regularly discussed the prospect of
death and Dahmer questioned whether he was sinning against God by continuing to live.
Jeffrey Dahmer in February, 1994. He is seen here in an interview granted to Stone Phillips of Dateline NBC.
In July, 1994, a fellow inmate, Osvoldo Durruthy, attempted to slash Dahmer's throat with a razor embedded in a toothbrush as Dahmer returned to his cell from Roy Ratcliff's weekly church
service conducted in the prison chapel. Dahmer received superficial wounds and was not seriously hurt in this incident.
According to Dahmer's family, he had long been ready to die, and accepted any punishment which he may endure in prison. In addition to his father and stepmother retaining regular
contact, Dahmer's mother, Joyce, retained regular contact with her son (although prior to his arrest, the two had not seen each other since Christmas, 1983). Joyce Dahmer related that in
her weekly phone calls, whenever she expressed concerns for her son's physical well-being, Dahmer would respond with comments to the effect of: "It doesn't matter, Mom. I don't care if
something happens to me."
On the morning of November 28, 1994, Dahmer left his cell to conduct his assigned work detail. Accompanying him were two fellow inmates: Jesse Anderson and Christopher Scarver. The
trio were left unsupervised in the showers of the prison gym for approximately 20 minutes. At approximately 8:10 a.m. Dahmer was discovered still alive on the floor of the bathrooms of
the gym suffering from extreme head wounds; he had been severely bludgeoned about the head with a 20-inch (51 cm) metal bar. His head had also been repeatedly struck against the
wall in the assault. Dahmer was rushed to a nearby hospital, but pronounced dead one hour later. Jesse Anderson had also been savagely attacked with the same instrument and died
two days later from his wounds. Their assailant, 25-year-old Christopher Scarver—serving a life sentence for a murder committed in 1990—informed authorities he had first attacked
Dahmer with the metal bar as he (Dahmer) was cleaning a staff locker room. According to Scarver, Dahmer did not yell or make any noise as he was attacked. Anderson was attacked as he
cleaned an inmate locker room. Scarver was adamant he had not planned the attacks in advance.
Upon learning of his death, Dahmer's mother, Joyce Flint, responded angrily to the media: "Now is everybody happy? Now that he's bludgeoned to death, is that good enough for
everyone?" The response of the families of Dahmer's victims was mixed, although it appears most were pleased with his death. The district attorney who prosecuted Dahmer cautioned
against turning Scarver into a folk hero, noting that Dahmer's death was still murder.
On May 15, 1995, Christopher Scarver was sentenced to two additional terms of life imprisonment for the murders of Dahmer and Anderson.
Dahmer had stated in his will he wished for no services to be conducted and that he wished to be cremated. In September 1995, Dahmer's body was cremated, and his ashes divided
between his parents.