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Author Topic: Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer  (Read 4489 times)

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Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer
« on: January 23, 2009, 10:19:06 PM »

Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (May 21, 1960 ? November 28, 1994) was an American serial killer and sex offender. Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys ? most of whom were of African or Asian descent ? between 1978 and 1991, with the majority of the murders occurring between 1987 and 1991. His murders were particularly gruesome, involving rape, torture, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism. On November 28, 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death by fellow Columbia Correctional Institution inmate Christopher Scarver with a bar from a weight machine while on work detail in the prison gym.

Early life

Dahmer was born in West Allis, Wisconsin, to Lionel, an analytical chemist, and Joyce Dahmer. At age 8 his family moved to Bath, Ohio, where he attended Revere High School. Dahmer dissected dead animals as a child, and by his teenage years was an alcoholic loner.[1]

Dahmer attended Ohio State University, but dropped out after two terms. Dahmer's father then forced him to enlist in the Army, where he was to serve for a six-year enlistment; he was discharged after two, due to his excessive drinking. When the Army discharged Dahmer in 1981, it provided him with a plane ticket to anywhere in the country. Dahmer told police he couldn't go home to face his father, so he headed to Miami Beach, Florida, because he was "tired of the cold".[2] He spent most of his time there at a hospital but was kicked out shortly after for drinking.[2]

In 1982 Dahmer moved in with his grandmother in West Allis, Wisconsin, where he lived for six years. In August of that year he was arrested for exposing himself at a state fair. In September 1986 he was charged again with public exposure after two boys accused him of masturbating in public. This time he was sentenced to a year in prison, of which he served 10 months. In the summer of 1988 Dahmer's grandmother asked him to move out because of his late nights and the foul smells from the basement. He then found an apartment on Milwaukee's West side. On September 25, 1988 he was arrested for sexually fondling a 13-year-old boy in Milwaukee, for which he served 10 months of a one-year sentence in a work release camp. He was required to register as a sex offender. He convinced the judge that he needed therapy, and he was released with a five-year probation on good behavior. Shortly thereafter he began a string of murders that would end with his arrest in 1991.


In the early morning hours of May 30, 1991, 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone (the younger brother of the boy whom Dahmer had molested) was discovered on the street, wandering naked, heavily under the influence of drugs and bleeding from his rectum. Reports of the boy's injuries varied. Dahmer told police that Sinthasomphone was his 19-year-old boyfriend, and that they had an argument while drinking. Against the teenager's protests, police turned him over to Dahmer. They later reported smelling a strange scent but did not investigate it. It was later found to be bodies in the back of his room. Later that night, Dahmer killed and dismembered Sinthasomphone, keeping his skull as a souvenir.

John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish, the two police officers who returned Sinthasomphone to Dahmer, were fired from the Milwaukee Police Department after their actions were widely publicized, including an audiotape of the officers making homophobic statements to their dispatcher and cracking jokes about having reunited the "lovers". The two officers appealed their termination and were reinstated with back pay. They were named officers of the year by the police union. Balcerzak would go on to be elected president of the Milwaukee Police Association in May 2005.[3][4]

By the summer of 1991, Dahmer was murdering approximately one person each week. He killed Matt Turner on June 30, Jeremiah Weinberger on July 5, Oliver Lacy on July 12, and finally Joseph Brandehoft on July 18.


On July 22, 1991 Dahmer lured another man, Tracy (Traci) Edwards, into his home. According to the would-be victim, Dahmer struggled with Edwards in order to handcuff him. Edwards escaped and alerted a police car, with the handcuffs still hanging from one hand. Edwards led police back to Dahmer's apartment, where Dahmer at first acted friendly to the officers, only to turn on them when he realized that they suspected something was wrong. As one officer subdued Dahmer the other searched the house and uncovered multiple photographs of murdered victims and human remains, including three severed heads and penises. A further search of the apartment revealed more evidence, including photographs of victims and human remains in his refrigerator.[6]

The story of Dahmer's arrest and the inventory in his apartment, which was apartment number 213, quickly gained notoriety: several corpses were stored in acid-filled vats, severed heads were found in his refrigerator, and implements for the construction of an altar of candles and human skulls were found in his closet. Accusations soon surfaced that Dahmer had practiced necrophilia and cannibalism. In trial he confessed to attempting a form of trepanation in order to create so-called "zombies".


Jeffrey Dahmer was officially indicted on 17 murder charges, which were reduced to 15. The murder cases were already so notorious that the authorities never bothered to charge him in the attempted murder of Edwards. His trial began in January 1992. With evidence overwhelmingly against him, Dahmer pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The court found Dahmer sane and guilty on 15 counts of murder and sentenced him to 15 life terms, totaling 957 years in prison. At his sentencing hearing Dahmer expressed remorse for his actions, also saying that he wished for his own death.

Imprisonment and death

Dahmer served his time at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, where he ultimately declared himself a born-again Christian. This conversion occurred after viewing evangelical material sent to him by his father.[7] A local preacher, Roy Ratcliff, met with Dahmer and agreed to baptize him.

After attending a church service in the prison chapel an inmate tried to slash Dahmer's throat with a razor blade. Dahmer escaped the incident with superficial wounds.

On November 28, 1994, Dahmer and another inmate named Jesse Anderson were beaten to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver with a bar from a weight machine while on work detail in the prison gym. Dahmer died from severe head trauma in the ambulance while en route to the hospital.


After the murders the Oxford Apartments at 924 North 25th Street were demolished; the site is now a vacant lot. Plans to convert the site into a memorial garden failed to materialize.

In 1994, Lionel Dahmer published a book, A Father's Story, and donated a portion of the proceeds from his book to the victims and their families. Most of the families showed support for Lionel Dahmer and his wife, Shari. He has retired and resides with his wife in Medina County, Ohio. He consults on the creation-evolution controversy occasionally, and his wife was a member of the board of the Medina County Ohio Horseman's Council.[8] Both continue to carry the name Dahmer and say they love Jeffrey despite his crimes. Lionel Dahmer's first wife, Joyce (Flint), died of cancer in 2000 at the age of 64. She was later buried in Atlanta, Georgia. Dahmer's younger brother David changed his last name and lives in anonymity.

Dahmer's estate was awarded to the families of 11 of Dahmer's victims who had sued for damages. In 1996 Thomas Jacobson, the lawyer representing eight of the families, announced a planned auction of Dahmer's estate to raise up to $1 million, sparking controversy.[9][10] A civic group, Milwaukee Civic Pride, was quickly established in an effort to raise the funds to purchase and destroy Dahmer's possessions. The group pledged $407,225 including a $100,000 gift by Milwaukee real estate developer Joseph Zilber for purchase of Dahmer's estate; five of the eight families represented by Jacobson agreed to the terms and Dahmer's possessions were destroyed.[11][12]

In January 2007, evidence surfaced potentially linking Dahmer to Adam Walsh's 1981 abduction and murder in Florida.[2] However Adam's father, John Walsh, believed that another serial killer, Ottis Toole, committed the crime.[13] When interviewed about Adam Walsh in the early 1990s Dahmer repeatedly denied involvement in the crime.[2] In 2008 Florida police declared the Walsh case closed, naming Toole, who died in prison in 1996, as the killer.[14]

Known victims
   Name  ↓      Age     ↓ Date of death  ↓
Stephen Hicks    19    1978-06-18June 6, 1978
Steven Tuomi    26    1987-09-15Sept. 15, 1987
James "Jamie" Doxtator    14    1988-01Jan. 1988
Richard Guerrero    25    1988-03-24March 24, 1988
Anthony Sears    24    1989-03-25March 25, 1989
Eddie Smith    36    1990-06June 1990
Ricky Beeks    27    1990-7-15July 1990
Ernest Miller    22    1990-09September 1990
David Thomas    23    1990-09September 1990
Curtis Straughter    19    1991-02February 1991
Errol Lindsey    19    1991-04April 1991
Tony Hughes    31    1991-05-24May 24, 1991
Konerak Sinthasomphone    14    1991-05-27May 27, 1991
Matt Turner    20    1991-06-30June 30, 1991
Jeremiah Weinberger    23    1991-07-05July 5, 1991
Oliver Lacy    23    1991-07-12July 12, 1991
Joseph Bradehoft    25    1991-07-18July 19, 1991

Media portrayals

    * The movie Jeffrey Dahmer: The Secret Life was released in 1993, starring Carl Crew as Dahmer.
    * In 2002, the biopic Dahmer, starring Jeremy Renner in the title role, premiered in Dahmer's hometown. The film, which portrayed Dahmer in a somewhat sympathetic light, met with protest from the victims' families and quickly went to video.[citation needed]
    * Joyce Carol Oates' novel Zombie was based on Dahmer's life.[15]


   1. ^ A&E Biography: Jeffery Dahmer
   2. ^ a b c d "Did Dahmer Have One More Victim?". The Milwaukee Channel (February 1, 2007.). Retrieved on 2007-02-05.
   3. ^ "Cop union and cop image." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. May 13, 2005
   4. ^ "Jeff Dahmer, a notorious serial killer and cannibal". The Crime Library.
   5. ^ a b BBC - Jeffrey Dahmer, the Milwaukee Cannibal
   6. ^ Bardsley, Marilyn. "Jeffrey Dahmer". TruTV Crime Library. Retrieved on 2008-09-05.
   7. ^ "'Creation Science' Makes a Difference." CSE Ministry. October 18, 2007.
   8. ^ "Some modern scientists who have accepted the biblical account of creation". Answers in Genesis.
   9. ^ Serial killer's property set to go on the auction block." May 8, 1996.
  10. ^ Johnson, Dirk. "Bid to Auction Killer's Tools Provokes Disgust." New York Times. May 20, 1996.
  11. ^ "Auction of Dahmer Items Is Apparently Off." New York Times. May 29, 1996.
  12. ^ O'Flaherty, Sean. "Joseph Zilber - A Gift To Milwaukee." Today's TMJ4. December 15, 2007.
  13. ^ "'America's Most Wanted' Host Believes Dahmer is Not Son's Killer." February 7, 2007.
  14. ^ Almanzar, Yolanne. "Police Expected to Close Adam Walsh Case." New York Times. December 17, 2008.
  15. ^ Johnson, Greg. Invisible Writer: A Biography of Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Dutton, 1998, p. Ύ201

Further reading

    * Dahmer, Lionel. A Father's Story. William Morrow & Company, New York 1994 (Paperback 1994)
    * Mann, Robert & Williamson, Miryam. Forensic Detective - How I Cracked The World's Toughest Cases. Ballantine Books (March 28, 2006)
    * Masters, Brian. The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer. Hodder and Stroughton Limited, London 1993 (Paperback Coronet 1993)
    * Pincus, Jonathan H. Base Instincts - What Makes Killers kill?. W.W. Norton & Company, New York 2001 (Paperback 2002)
    * Ratcliff, Roy with Lindy Adams. Dark Journey, Deep Grace: The Story Behind a Serial Killer's Journey to Faith. Leafwood Publishers, (2006).

"I've seen now what I have to become to stop men like him."


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