The Milwaukee Monster: Jeffrey Dahmer
A detailed account of the crimes committed by the infamous Jeffrey Dahmer.
"It's hard for me to believe that a human being could have done what I've done, but I know that I did it." - Jeffrey Dahmer.
Jeffrey Dahmer is one of the most infamous names you'll ever hear as his name has been used in film, books and everywhere online. Many people know Dahmer's story as how he lived with his grandma, killed and ate people in their home and got caught one day when one of the men escaped; but it didn't go exactly like that.
From 1978 to 1991, the Milwaukee Monster (also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal), Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer committed the murder, rape and dismemberment of 17 men and boys. He was an American serial killer and sex offender, who would later take part in necrophilia, cannibalism and mummification of body parts, mainly some or all of his victim's skeleton.
Dahmer, although diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal disorder and psychotic disorder, was stated as legally sane during his trial.
After being convicted of 15 of the 16 murders he committed in Wisconsin, Dahmer was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment on February 15th in 1992. Later, he was sentenced to a 16th term of life for a homicide he committed in Ohio in 1978.
Dahmer was to be pronounced dead late in 1994 after being beaten to death by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution.
"When I was a little kid, I was just like anybody else." - Jeffrey Dahmer
On May 21st, 1960, Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was born at the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the first of two sons born to Joyce Annette Flint and Lionel Herbert Dahmer. Joyce worked as a teletype machine instructor and Lionel was a student at Marquette University, working for a degree in chemistry.
Joyce was known to be greedy for attention and pity, tense and very argumentative with Lionel and their neighbours. However, some sources claim that both parents gave unconditional attention and a lot of their time to Dahmer, but others disagree with these claims.
Joyce spent a lot of time in bed while Dahmer was entering first grade as she was recovering from weakness. Lionel wasn't at home much as his studies kept him away but when he was home, his wife would constantly demand attention. She had worked herself into a state of severe anxiety over small matters just to appease her husband.
She became addicted to Equanil pills and attempted suicide by overdose with said pills. As a result, neither parent would spend that much time with Dahmer.
As a child, Dahmer was described as energetic and overall very happy. This would end when he underwent a double hernia surgery, which he had preformed after his fourth birthday. Dahmer would observe his parents to be constantly arguing and so he felt a lot of tension in his home.
Dahmer's first grade teacher described him on his report card as reserved and that she felt as if he were being neglected. She made a note of how it must have stemmed from his mother's illness. This didn't stop him, although he was uncommunicative and reserved, he had a small number of friends.
When he was young, Dahmer developed a fascination in dead animals. He watched his father remove some animal bones left under their home. Lionel stated that he was oddly thrilled by the sound the bones made. From here, he would search underneath and around the home for more bones he could collect and play with.
Friends recalled that when he was young, Dahmer would collect large insects like butterflies and dragonflies, which he'd place in jars. It would develop into him collecting animal carcasses from the roadside, usually with another one of his friends. Either at home or the woodland area behind the home, Dahmer would go off and dismember the animals. He'd explain how he was curious about how the animals' bodies worked and fit together, so he would keep dismembered parts in jars in his family's tool shed.
One time, he beheaded the corpse of a dog, which he'd later impale the skull of on a stake next to a wooden cross in the woodland area. After, he nailed the dog's body to a tree.
October 1966, the family moved to Doylestown in Ohio. Joyce was pregnant at this time and gave birth to Dahmer's brother on the 18th of December, that same year. Dahmer was allowed to choose his brother's name, so he named him David. In that same year, Lionel got his degree and became an employee as an analytical chemist in Akron, Ohio.
In 1968, they family moved to Bath, Ohio. Two years later, Lionel was worried about Dahmer's lethargic attitude, so, when Dahmer asked what would happen when animal bones were placed in bleach, he was happy to answer as he though this was just Dahmer being scientifically curious.
Lionel demonstrated how to bleach animal bones safely and how to preserve them later on. Dahmer would then go on to use this knowledge when he collected animal remains.
"I think in some way I wanted it to end, even if it meant my own destruction." - Jeffrey Dahmer
At Revere High School, Dahmer's peers saw him as an outcast with only a few friends. Many of his classmates were disturbed by him and how he would drink beer and hard alcohol, most of which he smuggled into school and would hide in his locker.
He would drink before, during and after school and was first seen when Dahmer was 14. During one class, Dahmer was questioned by a classmate as to why he was drinking in class, he replied, "It's my medicine." In his freshman year, Dahmer was observed by staff and said to be highly intelligent and polite. Staff also attributed his apathy to his average grades. Dahmer also played tennis and briefly was part of the high school band.
Soon enough, Dahmer realised he was gay. When he was a young teen, he was in a brief relationship with another youth. Later on, he began to sexually fantasise about dominating and controlling a completely submissive man. It gradually became intertwined with dissection. Once, when Dahmer was about 16 years old, he developed a rape fantasy of rendering a male jogger he found attractive unconscious and then he'd rape him.
He decided to carry out his plan. Dahmer hid in some bushes on the route the man took with a baseball bat and waited for him to run by. On that day, the man didn't show and Dahmer never attempted to do that plan again.
Dahmer's peers would regard him as somewhat of a class clown. Many saw him as a loner, but he'd play pranks during classes, these would include him making sheep noises, faking seizures knocking over items at school and faking cerebral palsy. His pranks became known as "Doing a Dahmer."
In 1977, Dahmer's alcohol abuse and apathy towards his learning made his grades decline quickly. That year, his parents hired a private tutor for him, but they had barely any success. They also attended couple's counselling to try and resolve their personal differences and save their marriage, but it failed and they ended up divorcing.
They began to argue frequently at home, when both Dahmer and David were present. In early 1978, Lionel moved out.
A few weeks before Dahmer's graduation, a teacher saw him close to the school parking lot, drinking beer. He approached Dahmer and threatened to report the matter, Dahmer told the teacher that he had issues at home and the school's guidance counsellor was aware of them.
In May 1978, Dahmer graduated. After this, Joyce had custody of David and moved in with some of her own family members. Dahmer had turned 18 and was legally an adult, so he wasn't subject to court custodial considerations.
Dahmer's Late Teens to Early 20s
"I don't even know if I have the capacity for normal emotions or not because I haven't cried for a long time. You just stifle them for so long that maybe you lose them, partially at least. I don't know." - Jeffrey Dahmer
Just three weeks after his graduation, when Dahmer was 18, he committed his first murder. As a result of their divorce, Dahmer's father lived in a nearby motel for a while and his mother left to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin with David, so Dahmer was alone.
Steven Mark Hicks, four days shy of his 19th birthday was hitchhiking to a rock concert in Lockwood Corners when he was unlucky enough to be offered a ride by Dahmer. Dahmer lured Hicks to his home and told him that they would drink together.
After a few hours of drinking and listening to music, Hicks wanted to leave, but Dahmer wanted him to stay. In response to this, Dahmer grabbed a 10 lb. dumbbell and bludgeoned him. Dahmer stated that Hicks was sitting on a chair and Dahmer hit him over the head twice from behind. When Hicks was unconscious, Dahmer strangled him to death with the bar of the dumbbell.
Dahmer took Hicks' clothes and masturbated over the corpse. The next day, in the basement, Dahmer dissected the body and buried the remains. Later, he dug up the remains and pared Hicks' flesh from his bones and dissolved the flesh in acid and dumped the remains down the toilet. Dahmer would also go on to crush the bones with a sledgehammer and then scatter them around the woodland area behind the home.
"Looking back on my life, I know I have made others suffer as much as I have suffered." - Jeffrey Dahmer
Lionel and his fiancé returned to the home six weeks after Hicks' murder and found Dahmer living there alone. Later that August, Dahmer hoped to major in business at Ohio State University. His term there was unproductive as Dahmer was still an alcoholic.
He failed in Introduction to Anthropology, Classical Civilisations and Administrative science; Dahmer was only able to achieve a B in Riflery. His GPA ended up at 0.45. One time, when Lionel paid Dahmer a surprise visit, he found his room filled with empty bottles. Dahmer, after three months, dropped out.
As his father was constantly urging him, Dahmer enlisted in the US Army in January 1979. He trained as a medical specialist at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Dahmer was then stationed on July 13th, 1979 in Baumholder, West Germany, where he served as a combat medic. While stationed there, two soldiers accused Dahmer of raping them. They believed that Dahmer would drug them and then rape them inside an armoured personnel carrier that year.
His performance began to fall as Dahmer succumbed to his alcohol addiction and in March 1981, he was deemed unsuitable for the army. He received an honourable discharge since his superiors didn't believe any of the problems he encountered while enlisted would be applicable to his civilian life.
Dahmer didn't want to go home and face his father, so he left for Miami Beach, Florida, he stated that he was sick of the cold and wanted to live by his own means. While in Florida, Dahmer worked at a delicatessen and rented a room in a motel. Most of Dahmer's salary was spent on alcohol and he was evicted from the motel for non-payment. He'd spend most of his evenings on the beach until he called his father and asked to go back to Ohio in September, that year.
Ohio and Wisconsin
"Yes, I always had that sense it was wrong. I don’t think anybody can kill somebody and think that it’s right." - Jeffrey Dahmer.
In Ohio, Dahmer first lived with his father and stepmother and insisted that he was given chores to occupy his time whilst looking for work. Dahmer's alcohol abuse continued and two weeks after he returned to Ohio, Dahmer was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct. He was fined $60 and given a suspended 10-day-jail sentence. Lionel tried to get Dahmer off the alcohol but was unsuccessful.
Then, in the December of 1981, Dahmer was sent to go and live with his grandmother in Wisconsin, West Allis. She was the only family member he showed affection to and they hoped her influence and change of scenery would get Dahmer to stop drinking.
At first, Dahmer would go to church with his grandmother, do chores, looked for work and went by most of her house rules. In early 1982, he found work as a phlebotomist at the Milwaukee Blood Plasma Centre. He worked there for 10 months before he was laid off. For two years, he was jobless and lived on whatever money his grandmother gave him.
Before he lost his job, Dahmer was arrested for indecent exposure. At Wisconsin State Fair Park, August 7th, 1982, Dahmer flashed a crowd of 25 women and children. He was later convicted and fined $50 with court costs.
January 1985, Dahmer was hired as a mixer at the Milwaukee Ambrosia Chocolate Factory, there, he worked from 11 PM to 7 AM for six days a week. While Dahmer was reading in the West Allis Public Library, a stranger gave him a note in which he offered to preform fellatio upon him. Dahmer didn't respond, but he said that it stirred in his mind his newfound fantasies of control and dominance. He familiarised himself with gay bathhouses and bars and stole a male mannequin.
He'd become a regular at the bathhouses in late 1985, he described them as relaxing places. However, during his sexual encounters, Dahmer became frustrated that the other person would move.
"I trained myself to view people as objects of pleasure instead of [as] people." - Dahmer, shortly after his arrest.
In June 1986, Dahmer would give his partners liquor laced with sedatives and would then rape the unconscious bodies. After about 12 reported incidences, Dahmer's membership was revoked. It was around this time, Dahmer read a newspaper report that an 18-year-old man's funeral was soon and he planned to steal the corpse and take it home. He tried this plan, but he found that the soil was too hard and so he abandoned the plan.
Dahmer was arrested in August 1986 for masturbating in front of two 12-year-old boys near the Kinnickinnic River. Initially, he admitted to this but changed his story and that he was urinating and he didn't know there were any witnesses. The charge was to disorderly conduct and he was sentenced to one year of probation on March 10th, 1987. With this, he was to undergo counselling.
Dahmer's Late 20s and Early 30s
November 20th 1987, Dahmer was living with his grandmother still in West Allis. He met 25-year-old Steven Tuomi at a bar and convinced Tuomi to accompany him to the Ambassador Hotel, where he had rented a room for the night. Dahmer's intention was to drug and rape him but this didn't happen.
The next morning, Dahmer woke up and found Tuomi lying underneath him on the bed. His chest was "crushed in" and black and blue with bruises. Blood was coming out from the corner of his mouth and Dahmer's fists and one forearm were covered in bruises. Despite this, Dahmer had no memory of killing Tuomi.
In a slight panic, Dahmer bought a large suitcase and transported the body back to his grandmother's home. One week later, he dismembered the corpse, filleted the bones and cut the flesh into small enough pieces to handle. Dahmer put the flesh in plastic garbage bags and broke the bones down with a sledgehammer.
This process took Dahmer about two hours and he threw out all of Tuomi's remains in the trash, except for his head.
For two weeks, Dahmer kept the head in a blanket. After another two weeks, Dahmer boiled the head in a mixture of Soilex and bleach with hopes to retain the skull. However, the skull was left brittle by the bleaching process, so, Dahmer destroyed and disposed of it.
Following Tuomi's murder, Dahmer would hunt for victims. He met most of them near or in gay bars.
Two months after Tuomi, Dahmer met a 14-year-old male prostitute named James Doxtator. Doxtator was lured by Dahmer to his home with a promise of $50 to pose for nude pictures. Back in West Allis, the two engaged in sexual activity before Dahmer drugged him and strangled Doxtator on his cellar floor.
For a week, Doxtator's corpse was left in the cellar before being dismembered in the same way Dahmer had dismembered Tuomi. Dahmer got rid of the remains in the trash, all except the skull. He boiled Doxtator's skull and retained it before he destroyed it.
Dahmer met 22-year-old Richard Guerrero outside a gay bar, The Phoenix. Guerrero was lured to Dahmer's residence as he offered to pay him $50 just to stay the night with him. Guerrero was drugged with sleeping pills and strangled with a leather strap, Dahmer would also go onto perform oral sex on the corpse.
Within 24 hours of his murder, Dahmer dismembered the corpse and got rid of most of the remains in the trash, except for the skull. He retained it before it was pulverised a few months later.
Dahmer lured another victim to his house on April 23rd but after he gave him drugged coffee, Dahmer and the victim heard Dahmer's grandmother ask, "Is that you, Jeff?" She noticed that he wasn't alone, so Dahmer didn't kill him but waited until he became unconscious and took him to the County General Hospital.
In late 1988, Dahmer's grandmother asked him to move out because of his habit of bringing men home late at night and that there were horrible smells coming from the basement and garage. On September 25th, Dahmer moved out into a one-bedroom apartment on North 25th Street. The day after, Dahmer was arrested for drugging and fondling a 13-year-old boy that he lured to his home on the pretext of posing for nude pictures.
Then in the beginning on 1989, Dahmer as convicted of second-degree sexual assault and of enticing a child for immoral purposes. The sentencing was suspended until May 1989. March 20th, Dahmer commenced a 10 day Easter absence from work and moved back into his grandmother's home.
Dahmer went on to murder his fifth victim, two months after his conviction and two months before his sentencing for sexual assault. On March 25th, he met his fifth victim, Anthony Sears at a gay bar. According to Dahmer, he wasn't planning on committing a crime and that Sears started talking to him before the bar closed. Sears was invited to Dahmer's grandmother's house where he was drugged and strangled.
Sears' flesh was ripped from his body and his bones were pulverised. Dahmer stated that he found Sears "exceptionally attractive," so, Sears was the first victim Dahmer permanently kept remains of. He preserved Sears' head and genitalia in acetone and stored them in his work locker. When Dahmer moved later, he made sure to take the remains with him.
May 23rd, Dahmer was required to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to five years probation and one year in the House of Correction. On his release, Dahmer temporarily lived with his grandmother but moved to Milwaukee in May 1990. He was located in a high crime area, but the apartment was close to his workplace and furnishes.
By May 14th, 1990, Dahmer was in Milwaukee and took Sears' mummified remains with him. In just a week, Dahmer killed 23-year-old Raymond Smith, a male prostitute. He lured Smith back to his home, drugged him and strangled him. That day after, Dahmer bought a Polaroid camera and took several pictures of Smith's body before he dismembered him in the bathroom.
Smith's legs, arms and pelvis were boiled in a steel kettle with Soilex. Dahmer rinsed the bones in his skin and dissolved all of his skeleton except the skull. Dahmer spray painted the skull and put it on a black towel inside a metal filing-cabinet next to Sears' skull.
On or around May 27th (one week after Smith's murder), Dahmer lured another man home. This time, however, he accidentally drunk the drugged concoction meant for his guest and passed out. When he awoke, Dahmer found some of his clothes, a watch and $300 missing. Although he never reported this to the police, he did complain to his probation officer on May 29th that he'd been robbed.
27-year-old Edward Smith was to be Dahmer's next victim. The two were acquainted and in June 1990, he lured Smith to his apartment, drugged and strangled him. Dahmer, in an attempt to find a new way of preserving body parts, froze Smith's skeleton for several months. Freezing the skeleton didn't remove moisture and it was to be acidified a few months later.
He had also placed Smith's skull in his oven as he thought it would dry. The intense heat caused the skull to explode. Dahmer felt "rotten" about the murder as he failed to retain any body parts.
Less than three months after Smith's death, Dahmer met 22-year-old Chicago man Ernest Miller. He agreed to accompany Dahmer back to his apartment for $50 and agreed to let him listen to his heart and stomach. Miller was given a drugged drink, however it was only laced with two sleeping pills, so Dahmer killed Miller by slashing the carotid artery in his neck. Miller bled to death within minutes.
Miller's body was then used to pose nude for Dahmer's Polaroid photographs before it was placed in Dahmer's bathtub for dismemberment. After decapitating the body, Dahmer talked to and kissed the severed head while he dismembered what was left of Miller. Dahmer then wrapped Miller's biceps, heart and parts of flesh from his legs in plastic bags and were left in the fridge to be eaten later.
The remaining pieces of flesh and organs were boiled by Dahmer in Soilex, which created a "jelly-like substance." This enabled him to rinse the flesh off Miller's skeleton. In hopes of retaining it, Dahmer placed the skeleton in a light bleach solution for a day before leaving it to dry on a cloth for a week. Miller's head was left in Dahmer's fridge but was soon taken out and had it stripped of flesh and then coated with enamel.
On September 24th, three weeks after Miller's murder, Dahmer met 22-year-old David Thomas at the Grand Avenue Mall. He lead Thomas to his apartment on the proposition that he'd pay Thomas to pose for photographs. After Dahmer drugged Thomas, he didn't feel attracted to him and was afraid that if he woke up, he'd be angry that he had been drugged.
Dahmer strangled him and dismembered the body and in the process made no efforts to retain any body parts. Nonetheless, Dahmer did take pictures of Thomas' body and the dismemberment process. He kept these pictures but no body parts.
After Thomas' murder, Dahmer was unable to kill anyone for almost five months. On a minimum of five occasions, between October 1990 and February 1991, he attempted to lure men to his apartment but failed. At this time, Dahmer complained to his probation officer about feelings of depression, anxiety, references to his sexuality, his lonely lifestyle and his financial difficulties. On a few occasions, he was noted to have suicidal thoughts.
Near Marquette University, in February 1991, Dahmer saw 17-year-old Curtis Straughter standing at a bus stop. Dahmer offered Straughter money for posing for nude photos and sexual intercourse. Then, he drugged and strangled Straughter. Dahmer, while dismembering him, took pictures of the process and preserved Straughter's skull, genitals and hands.
Almost two months later, Dahmer encountered 19-year-old Errol Lindsey, who was walking to get a key cut. Although Lindsey was straight, Dahmer lured him to his apartment, drugged him and drilled a hole in his skull. Dahmer poured hydrochloric acid into the hole and did this in hopes that he'd be alive but permanently unresistant and submissive.
Lindsey woke up, dazed and said, "I have a headache. What time is it?" Dahmer drugged him and strangled him as a result of his failed experiment. He decapitated him and retained Lindsey's skull. Dahmer flayed Lindsey's body and placed the skin in a cold water and salt solution for a few weeks with the hopes of permanently retaining it. Later, Dahmer was forced to dispose of the skin as it became too frayed and brittle.
In this year, residents of the Oxford Apartments repeatedly complained to the manager Sopa Princewill about foul smells, falling objects and the occasional chainsaw coming from Dahmer's apartment. Princewill conversed with Dahmer on several occasions regarding these complaints, at first he excused the smells as his freezer breaking, which caused the contents to become spoiled.
Later, he told Princewill that the smells were that several of the tropical fish he had owned recently died and he would make sure the matter was taken care of.
May 26th, 1991, Dahmer encountered 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone, the younger brother of the boy he molested in 1988. Dahmer approached him and offered money if he accompanied Dahmer to his apartment to pose for pictures. Sinthasomphone was reluctant but went with Dahmer and posed for two pictures in his underwear. Dahmer drugged him and drilled a hole into his skull where he injected hydrochloric acid into the frontal lobe.
Before Sinthasomphone was unconscious, Dahmer led him into his bedroom. There, the bloated and three-day-old corpse of Tony Hughes was laying naked on the floor. Dahmer believed Sinthasomphone saw the body, but was too dazed from the sleeping pills and hydrochloric acid that he didn't react to it. Dahmer laid beside the unconscious body and drunk a few beers before he left to drink some more at a bar and then to buy more alcohol.
In the early hours on May 27th, Dahmer walked to his apartment and found Sinthasomphone sitting naked on the street with three very distressed women trying to help him. Dahmer attempted to convince the women that Sinthasomphone (referred to by an alias) was his friend. Dahmer tried to lead him back to his apartment but the women stopped him and told him that they phoned 911.
Officers John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish arrived on the scene and Dahmer seemed calm. He told the officers that Sinthasomphone was 19 years old, they were dating and he was drunk after an argument. One of the three women pointed out that Sinthasomphone was bleeding from his buttocks and struggled when Dahmer tried to lead him to his apartment. One officer was harsh and told her to "butt out," "shut the hell up," and to not interfere as the incident was domestic.
The three women protested but the officers covered Sinthasomphone in a towel and walked him to Dahmer's apartment. There was a strange scent coming from the apartment, which was coming from Hughes that the officers reported but never looked into.
The officers left, they didn't ask for any ID or conduct a background check on Dahmer. If they did, they would've found that he was a convicted child molester under probation. When the officers left, Dahmer injected more hydrochloric acid into Sinthasomphone's brain and it was fatal. The following day, Dahmer took the day off work to spend his time dismembering both bodies. He retained both of his victims' skulls.
On June 30th, Dahmer was in Chicago and met 20-year-old Matt Turner at a bus station. Dahmer offered Turner to travel to Milwaukee for a professional photo shoot, which Turner accepted. At his apartment, Turner drugged, strangled and dismembered Turner. He placed the head and organs in different plastic bags in his freezer. Turner was never reported missing.
On July 5th, five days after Turner's death, Dahmer lured 23-year-old Jeremiah Weinberger, who he had met in a bar in Chicago, back to his apartment. Weinberger was drugged and Dahmer injected boiling water through his skull twice, which sent him into a coma for two days before he died.
Ten days later, on July 15th, Dahmer met 24-year-old man Oliver Lacy. Lacy agreed to pose for nude pictures at Dahmer's apartment. There the two engaged in tentative sexual activity and Dahmer unsuccessfully tried to render Lacy unconscious with chloroform. He drugged Lacy and phoned his workplace to request a day's absence. It was granted, however, the next day he was suspended.
Dahmer strangled Lacy, had sex with the corpse and then dismembered it. He took Lacy's heart and head and put them in the fridge while his skeleton was stowed in the freezer. July 19th, Dahmer was fired. On the same day he received the news, Dahmer lured Joseph Bradehoft, 25 to his apartment.
Bradehoft was strangled and his corpse was left to lay on Dahmer's bed covered with a sheet for two days. When Dahmer finally removed the sheet, he found the head was covered in maggots. As a result, Dahmer decapitated the corpse, cleaned the head and put it in his fridge. Bradehoft's corpse was to later be acidified.
Dahmer approached three men on July 22nd , 1991 with an offer of $100 to go with him to his apartment to keep him company and drink some beer. 32-year-old Tracy Edwards, one member of the trio agreed to Dahmer's offer. When they got into Dahmer's apartment, Edwards noted that there was a foul smell and that there were several boxes of hydrochloric acid left on the floor. Dahmer dismissed these and said that he used them to clean bricks.
Edwards and Dahmer had a short conversation and Edwards had looked at Dahmer's tropical fish. Dahmer then placed a handcuff on Edwards' wrist and failed at cuffing both of them. Dahmer told Edwards to accompany him to his bedroom to pose for nude pictures.
While they were inside the bedroom, Edwards noted that there were nude male posters on the wall and that a tape of The Exorcist III was playing. He also saw a blue 57 gallon drum in the corner of the room, where a strong scent was coming from.
Dahmer took out a knife and told Edwards he intended to take nude pictures of him. Edwards, in an attempt to appease Dahmer, unbuttoned his shirt and told Dahmer that he'd allow him to do so if he removed the handcuffs and put away the knife. Dahmer, seemingly dazed turned toward the TV, he began rocking back and forth and was chanting before he turned his attention back to Edwards. He put his head on Edwards' chest, listened to his heartbeat, put the knife against him and told Edwards that his only intention was to eat his heart.
Edwards was cautious and desperate to prevent Dahmer from attacking him, so he told Dahmer that he was his friend and promised not to run away. Here, Edwards decided he was going to either jump through a window or run through the unlocked front door whenever he had the opportunity.
Dahmer let Edwards use the bathroom and Edwards asked him if they could sit and drink beer in the living room, with the excuse that he was hot and there was air conditioning there. Edwards left the bathroom and accompanied Dahmer to the living room. There, he waited and saw Dahmer have a moment's lapse of concentration and asked to use the bathroom again. When Edwards got up, he noticed that Dahmer wasn't holding his handcuffs, so he punched Dahmer in the face and ran out of the front door.
July 22nd, at 11:30 PM, Edwards flagged down two Milwaukee police officers, Rolf Mueller and Robert Rauth once he escaped. Edwards explained to them that some "freak" had put the handcuffs on him and asked if they could be removed. The officers' keys failed to fit the brand, so Edwards agreed to lead the officers to Dahmer's apartment.
Whilst in the apartment, the officers questioned Dahmer as to why he put the handcuffs on Edwards but he had no explanation why.
It was only then, Edwards told the officers that Dahmer brandished a knife and put it against him in the bedroom. Dahmer didn't respond to this but he told officer Mueller that the handcuff key was in his dresser next to his bed. Dahmer attempted to retrieve the key himself, but Rauth told him to back off.
Mueller noticed there was a large knife beneath Dahmer's bed and in an open drawer, there were Dahmer's Polaroids of his victims on full display. He noticed that these pictures were taken in the apartment they were standing in and uttered to Rauth, "These are for real." Once Dahmer noticed Mueller was holding his Polaroids, he resisted arrest and tried to fight off the two officers.
Both officers quickly overpowered him and handcuffed him. They called for a second squad car for backup. Mueller begin to search the apartment including the fridge. When he opened it, he saw a severed head. Dahmer was pinned on the floor beneath Rauth and told the officers, "For what I did I should be dead."
The Criminal Investigation Bureau conducted a more detailed search of the apartment. It revealed that there were four severed heads in Dahmer's kitchen. There were also seven painted or bleached skulls in a closet in the bedroom. Their search also uncovered drops of blood in Dahmer's fridge alongside two human hearts and part of an arm muscle, each individually wrapped inside plastic bags and placed on the shelves.
In Dahmer's freezer the investigators found a bag of human organs and flesh stuck to the ice at the bottom and an entire torso. Investigators also found two full skeletons, a pair of hands, two mummified penises and a scalp. In the 57 gallon drum, three dismembered torsos were uncovered dissolving in the acid and 74 Polaroids, detailing Dahmer's crimes were found.
The chief medical examiner later stated: "It was more like dismantling someone's museum than an actual crime scene."
July 23rd, 1991, early in the morning, Dahmer was questioned by Detective Patrick Kennedy. For two weeks, Kennedy, later accompanied by Detective Patrick Murphy had numerous interviews with Dahmer, which overall lasted over 60 hours. Throughout his interrogations, Dahmer waived his right to have a lawyer present. He wanted to confess as he had, "Created this horror and it only makes sense I do everything to put an end to it." He admitted to the murders of 16 men in Wisconsin since 1987 and to Steven Hicks' murder in Ohio in 1978.
Dahmer detailed his murders to police, where he told them that most of his victims were unconscious before they were murdered with some exceptions. As Dahmer had no memory of killing Tuomi, he wasn't able to tell if he was unconscious or not before his murder. However, Dahmer stated that it was possible that after seeing his chest, Dahmer, while drunk may have attempted to rip his chest open to take his heart.
Dahmer admitted to preforming necrophilia with many on his victims' corpses, including their organs while the victim was in the dismemberment process. He also confessed to having eaten some of his victims' hearts, biceps, livers and portions of the thighs the previous year.
When asked about the sudden increase in killings which happened two months before his arrest, Dahmer stated, "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."
He also told police that his reason for keeping seven of his victims' skulls was that he was beginning to construct an altar. The skulls would be accompanied by Miller's and Lacy's skeletons. The four heads found in his kitchen were to have their flesh removed and skulls used for the altar along with a further victim's.
He planned to place his altar before a window, which would be covered with a black, opaque shower curtain. Dahmer planned to sit in front of it in a black leather chair with incense burning on the altar. When he was interviewed on November 18th, 1991, he was asked who the altar would've been dedicated to. He replied:
"Myself... It was a place where I could feel at home... [it would be] a place for meditation."
The trial began on January 30th, 1992, he was tried before Judge Laurence Gram in Milwaukee for 15 counts of first-degree murder. As Dahmer pleaded guilty on January 13th to the charges, he waived his rights to an initial trial to establish guilt as defined in Wisconsin law. The issue debated at Dahmer's trial was whether he suffered from a personality or mental disorder. The prosecution claimed that any disorders if he was suffering didn't deprive him of the ability to resist his impulses.
Dahmer's defence team argued that Dahmer was suffering from some sort of mental illness and it was driving him to have obsessions and impulses he couldn't control or overcome.
Dr. Fred Berlin testified that Dahmer was suffering from a necrophiliac drive; defence experts related this and argued he was insane due to this drive and he couldn't be charged as legally sane. Dr. Judith Becker, a professor in psychology backed up Berlin's claims and also diagnosed Dahmer with necrophilia. The last defence expert that served as a witness testified and diagnosed Dahmer with necrophilia, a psychotic disorder, alcohol dependence, borderline personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.
The prosecution rejected the defence's argument that Dahmer was insane. Dr. Phillip Resnick, a Forensic psychiatrist testified that Dahmer didn't suffer from necrophilia as he preferred live sexual partners as shown by his efforts to create permanent submissive and unresistant sexual partner. Dr. Fred Fosdel testified that he believed Dahmer had no mental disease or defect at the time of the murders. Fosdel described Dahmer as a cunning individual who had the mental capacity to differentiate between right and wrong. He didn't state his belief that Dahmer suffered from paraphilia, his conclusion was that Dahmer wasn't a sadist.
Another forensic psychiatrist, Park Dietz stated: "Dahmer went to great lengths to be alone with his victim and to have no witness." He supported Fosdel's claim that Dahmer was sane and calculated. Dietz explained that how Dahmer got rid of evidence and how he prepared showed he wasn't impulsive. He also said that Dahmer's habit of getting drunk before committing a murder was significant, stating:
"If he had a compulsion to kill, he would not have to drink alcohol. He had to drink alcohol to overcome his inhibition, to do the crime which he would rather not do."
It was also noted by Dietz that Dahmer strongly identified with the evil and corrupt characters from Return of the Jedi and The Exorcist III. The level of power held by these characters was prominent to Dahmer. Dietz also explained that Dahmer would watch parts of these films before he went on the hunt for a new victim. Dietz would go on to diagnose Dahmer with substance use disorder, paraphilia and schizotypal personality disorder.
Clinical psychologist Samuel Friedman and forensic psychiatrist George Palermo were the two court-appointed mental health professionals and the two testified independently on either prosecution or defence. Palermo stated:
"[The murders] were a result of a pent-up aggression within himself. He killed those men because he wanted to kill the source of his homosexual attraction to them. In killing them, he killed what he hated in himself."
Palermo concluded that Dahmer was a sexual sadist who suffered antisocial personality disorder but was legally sane. Friedman argued that Dahmer's longing for companionship caused Dahmer to kill. He stated, "Dahmer is not psychotic," Friedman spoke kindly of Dahmer and described him as, "amiable, pleasant to be with, courteous with a sense of humour, conventionally handsome and charming in manner. He was and still is a bright young man."
He diagnosed Dahmer with a personality disorder not specified, obsessive compulsive and with sadistic traits.
Dahmer's trial lasted two week. On February 14th, both counsels delivered their closing arguments to the jury. Each counsel was allowed to speak for two hours and defence attorney Gerald Boyle argued first. Boyle leaned on the words and diagnoses of the mental health professionals and his killings were a result of "a sickness he discovered, not chose."
Boyle portrayed Dahmer as a sick and desperately lonely individual and he was so out of control he couldn't conform to his conduct anymore. Michael McCann delivered his closing argument after Boyle.
McCann argued that Dahmer was sane, in full control of his actions and strove to avoid detection. He went onto say Dahmer's murders that were committed in hostility, frustration, anger, resentment or hatred and the 15 victims "died merely to afford Dahmer a period of sexual pleasure." He also said Dahmer pleading guilty but insane to his charges was a way of him attempting to escape responsibility for his crimes.
February 15th, the court reconvened to hear the verdict: Dahmer was sane and not suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the 15 murders for which he was being tried for. In each court, two of the 12 jurors signified their dissent. Dahmer was sentenced to life imprisonment on the first two counts plus 10 years. The remaining 13 counts carried a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment plus 70 years. The Sate of Wisconsin abolished capital punishment in 1853 so this wasn't an option for Judge Gram.
Lionel and Dahmer's stepmother Shari requested a ten-minute private meeting with Dahmer before he was transferred to the Columbia Correctional Institution. The request was granted and while alone, the three exchanged hugs and wished each other well before Dahmer was escorted out to begin his sentence.
Three months after Dahmer's conviction for the Milwaukee murders, Dahmer was extradited to Ohio to be tried for Steven Hicks' murder. The court hearing lasted 45 minutes, Dahmer pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentence to a 16th term of life on May 1st, 1992.
So, Dahmer was charged with four counts of first-degree murder back in 1991 on July 25th. He had been charged with 11 more murders by August 22nd for the Wisconsin murders. On September 14th investigators in Ohio uncovered hundreds of bone fragments in the woodland area behind the place Dahmer confessed to killing Hicks. Three days later, he was charged by Ohio authorities for Steven Hicks' murder.
Dahmer was never charged for the attempted murder of Tracy Edwards and the murder of Steven Tuomi. He wasn't charged with the murder of Tuomi because he had no memory of the murder. With no physical evidence of the crime, the murder couldn't bring the charges on reasonable doubt.
At a scheduled preliminary hearing on January 13th, 19992, Dahmer pleaded guilty but insane to 15 counts of murder before he was tried as legally sane.
Dahmer's Prison Time
Upon his sentencing, Dahmer was transferred to Portage, Wisconsin to the Columbia Correctional Institution. For a year, Dahmer was in solitary confinement as many were concerned for his safety if he came in contact with other inmates. After that year, with Dahmer's consent, he was moved to a less secure unit in which he was assigned to do a two-hour daily work detail cleaning the toilet block.
Dahmer completed a series of confessions in 1991 and shortly after made a request to Detective Patrick Murphy that he wanted a copy of the bible. Once he was given one, Dahmer devoted himself to Christianity and read creationist books on his father's urging. In May 1994, Roy Ratcliff, a minister in the Church of Christ baptised Dahmer in the prison whirlpool.
Following this, Ratcliff regularly visited Dahmer every week until his death. They'd talk about death and Dahmer would ask if by continuing to live, he was sinning against God or not. In 1994, in an interview on Dateline NBC, Dahmer stated:
"If a person doesn't think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what's the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? That's how I thought anyway."
Considering this, Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate talked differently of Dahmer. He called Dahmer 'unrepentant' and despised by other inmates and guards. According to Scarver, Dahmer would taunt his fellow inmates by shaping his food to imitate severed limbs and used ketchup to act as blood. However, none of this was ever confirmed.
Later in July 1994, Osvaldo Durruthy, another inmate tried to slash Dahmer's throat with a razor he hid in a toothbrush. The attack happened when Dahmer was on his way back to his cell from Ratcliff's weekly church service conducted in the prison chapel. He left the attack with a few superficial wounds and wasn't seriously hurt. Dahmer's family said that he had long been ready to die and accepted any pain that would come his way.
Joyce kept in contact with Dahmer in weekly phone calls. In one of these calls, she expressed her concerns for Dahmer's safety but Dahmer replied very nonchalantly with, "it doesn't matter mum. I don't care if something happens to me."
The End of Jeffrey Dahmer
In the early hours of November 28th, 1994, Dahmer left his cell with two other convicted murderers, Jesse Anderson and Christopher Scarver to conduct his work detail. The three of them were left alone in the showers for about 20 minutes. At around 8:10 am, Dahmer was found almost dead on the bathroom floor. He had critical wounds on his face and head, blood was on the floor where he was laying and there was some on a nearby wall.
Dahmer was rushed to a nearby hospital as he was still alive when he was found. He was pronounced dead an hour later.
Anderson had also been attacked. Both he and Dahmer were struck with a 20-inch metal rod. Anderson was rushed to the hospital when he was found but died two days later from his wounds.
Scarver left the showers and went back to his cell. There, he told a guard, "God told me to do it. Jesse Anderson and Jeffrey Dahmer are dead." Scarver was serving a life sentence for a murder back in 1990 and told authorities he attacked Dahmer first with the metal bar while he was cleaning the staff locker room and then left to Anderson, who was cleaning an inmate locker room and attacked him there.
Scarver, although he hid the murder weapon and was careful that he attacked both men when they weren't looking, insisted that he didn't plan the attacks. The district attorney who prosecuted Dahmer was against turning Scarver into a folk hero as Dahmer's death was still a murder. On May 15, 1995, Scarver was given two more terms of life imprisonment for the murders of Jeffrey Dahmer and Jesse Anderson.
Joyce responded to the media angrily after she heard of Dahmer's death, she said, "now is everybody happy? Now that he's bludgeoned to death, is that good enough for everyone?" The victims' families responded with mixed feelings but many seemed pleased with his death.
In 2015, Scarver stated that he was sick of Dahmer and found his crimes disgusting and that he (Dahmer) and Anderson would make fun of Scarver, which pushed him over the edge.
In his will, Dahmer stated that he wished for no services and wanted to be cremated. In September 1995, that wish was fulfilled and his ashes were split between his parents.
The families of 11 victims sued for damages and were awarded Dahmer's estate. In 1996, Thomas Jacobson, a lawyer who represented eight of the families, planned to auction Dahmer's estate. The announcement sparked controversy and the victims' relatives stated the motivation wasn't greed.
Milwaukee Civic Pride, a civic group, was quickly established to raise funds to buy and destroy Dahmer's possessions. Joseph Zilber, a Milwaukee real estate developer pledged a $100,000 gift and the group pledged $407,225. Five of the eight families represented by Jacobson agreed to the terms and Dahmer's possessions were destroyed and buried in an undisclosed landfill in Illinois.
Back in 1991, on August 5th. a candlelight vigil was held to celebrate and heal the Milwaukee community. Organisers also stated the purpose was to allow the people to "share their feelings of pain and anger over what happened." It was attended by more than 400 people including community leaders, gay rights activists and family members of the victims.
In November 1992, the apartment buildings where Dahmer killed 12 of his victims were demolished. The site is now a vacant lot and plans to turn it to a new apartment site, a playground or a memorial garden have failed to become anything.
Lionel is now retired and lives with Shari. Both refused to change their last name and happily professed their love of Dahmer despite his crimes. In 1994, Lionel published, A Father's Story, he donated a portion of the proceeds to the victims' families. Most of the families showed their support for Lionel and Shari, however three sued Dahmer. Two sued for using their names in the book without gaining their consent and the third family, the one of Steven Hicks, filed a wrongful death suit against Lionel, Shari and Joyce and cited parental negligence as cause for the claim.
Joyce had attempted suicide at least once time before she lost her battle against cancer in November 2000. David changed his last name and now lives in anonymity.
Today, we hear the Dahmer name come up a lot as the severity of the case and intrigue by people interested in true crime have spread the story. With other murderers like Ted Bundy, Daniel Klebold and Eric Harris, Dahmer has 'fans' who glorify him and the murders. Along with this, movies like 'My Friend Dahmer' spark the conversation of these murders and memory of the victims.
However now, much of Dahmer's case has been laid to rest but will forever remain in history as a grim reminder of what disturbed actions people can really do.