Religion: Christianity Age: 34 Years Marital Status: Unmarried
|Real name/Full name||Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer Google Books- A Father’s Story|
|Nickname||Jeff Google Books- A Father’s Story|
|Other name(s)||Milwaukee Cannibal, Milwaukee Monster Amazon|
|Known for||Being one of the most notorious American serial killers|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height||in centimeters– 185 cm
in meters– 1.85 m
in feet & inches– 6’ 1”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms– kg
in pounds– lbs
|Hair Colour||Medium Blonde|
|Number of Killings||17
Note: He committed 16 homicides in Wisconsin and 1 in Ohio, US between 1978 and 1991.
|Psychiatric disease at the time of killings||Cannibalism, Necrophilia|
|Date of Birth||21 May 1960 (Saturday)|
|Birthplace||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US|
|Date of Death||28 November 1994|
|Place of Death||Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, US|
|Age (at the time of death)||34 Years|
|Death Cause||Severe head injuries after being hit with a 20-inch (51-centimetre) metal bar by his fellow inmate Christopher Scarver|
|Hometown||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US|
|School||• Hazel Harvey Elementary School, Doylestown, Ohio, US
• Revere High School, Bath Township, Ohio, US
|College/University||Ohio State University (OSU)|
|Educational Qualification||He dropped out from Ohio State University (OSU), where he was majoring in business.|
|Religion||Christianity The New York Times
Note: He adopted Christianity during his sentence at Columbia Correctional Institution and became a born-again Christian. In May 1994, Dahmer was baptized by Roy Ratcliff, a minister in the Church of Christ.
|Ethnicity||Jeffrey Dahmer had of German and Welsh ancestry from his father’s side and Norwegian and Irish ancestry from his mother’s side.|
|Address||Apartment 213, Oxford Apartments, 924 N. 25th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US|
|Relationships & More|
|Sexual Orientation||Gay The Washington Post|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Unmarried|
|Parents||Father– Lionel Herbert Dahmer (research chemist)
Mother– Joyce Dahmer (deceased) (a teletype machine instructor)
Stepmother Shari Dahmer
|Siblings||Brother– David Dahmer (image in parents section)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Jeffrey Dahmer
- Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who murdered seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Many of his murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of various body parts of the victims. Dahmer was arrested in 1991 and sentenced to life imprisonment. On 28 November 1994, while Dahmer was imprisoned in Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate named Christopher Scarver.
- The book A Father’s Story by Lionel Dahmer states that Jeffrey was a happy and cheerful child. However, his mother, Joyce, was hypochondriac and irritable and frequently engaged in quarrels with Lionel and their neighbours.
Jeffrey Dahmer as an infant with his father, Lionel Dahmer, in 1960
- Jeffrey was diagnosed with a double hernia shortly before his fourth birthday. According to Lionel, Jeffrey became strangely subdued after his double hernia surgery.
- One day, when Jeffrey was four, Lionel noticed a foul smell coming from beneath their house at Pammel Court. When Lionel searched for the source of the unbearable odour he discovered a large pile of bones accumulated under the house. This was the first instance where Lionel noticed Dahmer was “oddly thrilled” by the dead animals and the sound of the bones. Jeffrey became preoccupied with playing with the bones, which he referred to as “like fiddlesticks.” Thereafter, Jeffrey occasionally started searching for bones beneath and around the family home. He would also explore the bodies of live animals to discover where their bones were located.
- Soon, he entered first grade, and Lionel became busy with his university studies. Meanwhile, Jeffrey’s hypochondriac mother, Joyce, started suffering from depression. She demanded constant attention from Lionel and spent an increasing amount of time in bed. Once, Joyce attempted suicide using Equanil, a medication to reduce anxiety. Therefore, neither Lionel nor Joyce devoted much time to their son. Years later, in his confession, Jeffrey recalled the feeling of being “unsure of the solidity of the family” when he was young. He witnessed extreme tension and countless arguments between his parents.
- The family moved to Doylestown, Ohio in October 1966. In December 1966, Joyce gave birth to her second son. In May 1968, the family moved to Bath Township, Summit County, Ohio. The home stood in one and a half acres of woodland, with a small hut only a short walk from the house. Dahmer, who had become low-spirited after his double hernia surgery, became withdrawn after the birth of his younger brother and the family’s frequent relocations.
- Growing up in his Bath Township home, Jeffrey spent his leisure time collecting large insects such as dragonflies and moths and the skeletons of small animals like chipmunks and squirrels. He would preserve animal remains in jars of formaldehyde. Lionel believed that Dahmer’s strange activities were attributed to scientific curiosity, and he taught his son how to safely bleach and preserve animal bones. Soon he also started collecting dead animals—including roadkill, which he would dissect and bury beside the hut, with the skulls occasionally placed atop makeshift crosses.
- Dahmer realized that he was gay when he reached puberty
- By the age of 14, he had not only begun drinking beer but hard alcohol in broad daylight. He would conceal his liquor inside the jacket he wore to school.
- He began fantasizing about domination and controlling a completely submissive male partner during his mid-teens. These fantasies slowly developed and became intertwined with his leisure for dissection.
- Although Dahmer was largely uncommunicative in his freshman year, he later became something of a class clown, who often staged pranks which became known as “Doing a Dahmer.” These pranks included imitating epileptic seizures or cerebral palsy at school and local stores for money which he used to purchase alcohol.
Jeffrey Dahmer (left) and an unknown classmate in Revere High School, Ohio in 1978
- 1978 was an eventful year for Dahmer, with his high school graduation in May, his first murder in June, and his parents’ divorce in July.
- Three weeks after his graduation, Dahmer committed his first murder. On 18 June 1978, Dahmer picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Mark Hicks and lured him to his house upon the promise of a few beers.
A picture of Steven Hicks, the first victim of Jeffrey Dahmer
They spent the next several hours talking, drinking, and listening to music. When Hicks expressed his desire to leave, Dahmer hit him with a dumbbell, which weighed 10-pound (4.5 kg). Dahmer strangled him to death with the bar of the dumbbell. Then, Dahmer stripped the clothes from Hicks’ body and masturbated standing above the corpse. The following day, he dissected Hicks’ body in the basement and buried the remains in his backyard. Several weeks later, he dug up the remains and peeled the flesh from the bones. He dissolved the flesh in acid and flushed the solution down the toilet and crushed the bones with a sledgehammer.
- Lionel discovered that Joyce had engaged in a brief affair in September 1977 following which they decided to file for a divorce. Lionel moved out of the house in early 1978. In the spring of 1978, Joyce and David moved out of the family home to live with relatives in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, meanwhile, Dahmer, who had just turned 18, remained in the family home.
- The divorce was finalized on 24 July 1978 and Joyce was given custody of Jeffrey’s younger brother, David. In the same year, Lionel got married to Shari.
- Six weeks after the murder of Hicks, Dahmer’s father and his fiancée returned home and enrolled Dahmer at Ohio State University (OSU), hoping that he would major in business. However, his persistent alcohol abuse and failing grades led him to drop out of OSU.
- In January 1979, on his father’s urging, Dahmer joined the United States Army. After receiving his basic training at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama he was trained as a medical specialist at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He was deployed to Baumholder in West Germany on 13 July 1979, where he served as a combat medic in the 2nd Battalion, 68th Armored Regiment, 8th Infantry Division. Throughout his service, he was frequently found to be intoxicated. One day, an instance of insubordination resulted in his entire platoon being punished for which Dahmer was severely beaten by his fellow recruits. Finally, in March 1981, he was deemed unsuitable for military service and was discharged from it receiving an honourable discharge. His debriefing took place at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and he was provided with a plane ticket to travel anywhere in the country.
- After his debriefing, he went to Miami Beach, Florida as he felt he could not return home to face his father. There, he rented a room in a motel and started working at a deli. After a while, he was kicked out of the motel for non-payment of rent. Apparently, he used of spend all of his income on alcohol.
- Soon, he returned to Ohio, where he resided at his father’s place, running household errands to pass his time while looking for a job. On 7 October 1981, Dahmer was arrested for intoxication and disorderly conduct in public; he dropped his pants in front of a crowd in Wisconsin. In December 1981, his father and stepmother sent Jeffrey to live with his grandmother in West Allis, Wisconsin. She was the only family member to whom Dahmer displayed any affection.
From left to right, David Dahmer (blurred face), Jeffrey Dahmer’s grandmother, Lionel Dahmer, and Jeffrey Dahmer
They believed that her influence, plus the change of location, might persuade Dahmer to quit drinking, find a job, and live responsibly. However, he continued to drink and smoke at his grandmother’s house. In early 1982, he secured a job as a phlebotomist at the Milwaukee Blood Plasma Center. He was terminated from the job after 10 months after which he remained unemployed for over two years.
- On 8 August 1982, shortly before losing his job, Dahmer was arrested for indecent exposure before a crowd on the south side of the Coliseum at Wisconsin State Fair Park.
- After his termination from Milwaukee Blood Plasma Center, he lived on whatever money his grandmother gave him. In January 1985, Dahmer secured a job as a mixer at the Milwaukee Ambrosia Chocolate Factory’s night shift.
- One day, Dahmer was propositioned by a man while sitting in the West Allis Public Library. Dahmer did not respond to the suggestive gestures, but the incident reminded him of the fantasies of control and dominance he had as a teenager.
- Soon, he started visiting nearby gay bars and gay bathhouses, where he administered sleeping pills to his partners before performing various sexual acts. In his confession following his arrest, he said that he became irritable when his partner moved during sexual encounters. He said,
I trained myself to view people as objects of pleasure instead of [as] people.”
Therefore, he gave them liquor laced with sedatives and waited for them to fall asleep. Approximately after 12 such incidents, the bathhouses’ administration revoked Dahmer’s membership.
- Then, he began to use hotel rooms for the same. He maintained an adequate supply of sleeping pills by swaying doctors into believing that he required the tablets to adjust to his night shift at the chocolate factory.
- On 8 September 1986, Dahmer was arrested for lewd and lascivious behaviour as he masturbated in the presence of two 12-year-old boys near Kinnickinnic River. On 10 March 1987, he was sentenced to one year of probation with instructions to undergo counselling.
- Dahmer was residing with his grandmother in West Allis when he killed his second victim. He met a 25-year-old man named Steven Tuomi at a bar and persuaded him to return to the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee, where the two spent the night. The following morning Dahmer awoke to find that Tuomi was dead. Tuomi’s chest was “crushed in” and “black and blue” with bruises. In his confession, Dahmer revealed that He had no intention of killing Tuomi. He simply intended to drug Tuomi and lie beside him to explore his body. Dahmer purchased a large suitcase to transport the body to his grandmother’s residence. There, he dismembered Tuomi’s body to easily dispose it of while keeping his severed head. Dahmer boiled the head in a mixture of Soilax to retain the skull. For a while, he used it as a stimulus for masturbation. However, when the skull was rendered too brittle by the bleaching process, he disposed of it.
- After Tuomi’s killing, Dahmer stopped controlling his murderous compulsions. Two months after the Tuomi killing, Dahmer picked his next victim, a 14-year-old Native American male prostitute named James Doxtator. Dahmer lured him to his home with an offer of $50 to pose for nude pictures.
- After Doxtator, Dahmer killed a 22-year-old bisexual man named Richard Guerrero outside a gay bar called The Phoenix.
- In September 1988, he moved out of his grandmother’s home into a one-bedroom apartment at 808 North 24th Street.
- Two days later, he was arrested for drugging and sexually fondling a 13-year-old boy whom he had lured to his home on the pretext of posing nude for photographs.
- Dahmer’s fifth victim, Anthony Sears, was a mixed-race 24-year-old model. Dahmer met him at a gay bar on 25 March 1989. Sears was the first victim whose body parts Jeffrey permanently retained; he preserved Sears’ head and genitalia in acetone.
- On 23 May 1989, Dahmer was sentenced to probation for five years and one year in the House of Correction, with permissible work release. He was also required to register as a sex offender.
- On 14 May 1990, Dahmer moved into Apartment 213, 924 North 25th Street. He took Sears’ mummified head and genitals with him.
- One week after moving into his new apartment, Dahmer targeted his next victim, a 32-year-old male prostitute named Raymond Smith. In the same year, he also murdered Edward Smith, Ernest Miller, and David Thomas.
- After Thomas’ killing, Dahmer did not murder anyone for almost five months. Although between October 1990 and February 1991, he had almost five unsuccessful attempts to lure men to his apartment.
- Dahmer met his next victim, a 17-year-old named Curtis Straughter, at a bus stop near Marquette University in February 1991.
- On 7 April 1991, he killed a 19-year-old heterosexual boy named Errol Lindsey.
- With Lindsey, Dahmer started a new experiment on his victims. Dahmer would drill a hole in his victim’s skulls and inject hydrochloric acid through it hoping to induce a permanent, unresistant, submissive state in them. Although it proved fatal, he continued to practice it.
- Fellow residents of the Oxford Apartments repeatedly began to complain to the building’s manager, Sopa Princewill, about the unbearable odours originating from Dahmer’s apartment. The residents also highlighted the frequent sounds of falling objects and chainsaws. At first, he said that the foul smells originated from his broken freezer, as the contents became spoiled. Later, he said that the odour was coming from his dead tropical fish and that he would take care of the matter.
- He almost got caught for killing a 14-year-old teenager named Konerak Sinthasomphone, who he picked up on 26 May 1991 from Wisconsin Avenue. The youth belonged to the Lao community. After luring him into the apartment for money and nude polaroid pictures, Dahmer drugged him into unconsciousness. Dahmer drilled a hole into his skull and injected hydrochloric acid into the frontal lobe. Then, he drank several beers lying alongside Sinthasomphone and fell asleep. Then, he left his apartment to drink at a bar and purchase more alcohol. While returning to his apartment in the early morning hours on 27 May, Dahmer found Sinthasomphone sitting naked on the corner of 25th and State with three distressed young women standing near him. He was babbling in Lao. Dahmer unsuccessfully attempted to walk Sinthasomphone to his apartment. He tried to convince the women that he was Sinthasomphone’s friend, but they refused to believe Dahmer. The women called 9-1-1 and accompanied Sinthasomphone until the police arrived. Dahmer tricked the police into believing that Sinthasomphone was his 19-year-old boyfriend and that he had drunk too much following a dispute. The women tried to show the police that Sinthasomphone had blood on his testicles and that he was also bleeding from his rectum. They highlighted that previously Sinthasomphone seemingly struggled against Dahmer’s attempts to walk him to his apartment. Regardless, the police told the women to “butt out” and dropped Sinthasomphone at Dahmer’s apartment. There, Dahmer proved that Sinthasomphone was his boyfriend by showing them two semi-nude Polaroid pictures he had taken of Sinthasomphone the previous evening. When the police left, Dahmer again injected hydrochloric acid into Sinthasomphone’s brain, which proved fatal.
- Apart from the above-mentioned victims, the list also includes Tony Anthony Hughes, Jeremiah Benjamin Weinberger, Matt Turner, Oliver Lacy, and Joseph Bradehoft.
- Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer killed seventeen young men. Twelve of the total victims were killed at his North 25th Street apartment, while three of them were killed and dismembered at his grandmother’s West Allis residence, while the first and the second victim were murdered at his parents’ home in Ohio and at the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee respectively.
A collage of pictures of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims
- It was the 32-year-old man Tracy Edwards, who led to the arrest of Dahmer. On 22 July 1991, Dahmer offered $100 to a trio of men to accompany him to his apartment and pose for nude pictures. One of them was Tracy Edwards, who agreed to accompany Dahmer.
Tracy Edwards, a survivor of Jeffrey Dahmer
After a brief conversation, Dahmer requested Edwards to turn his head and view his tropical fish, whereupon Dahmer placed a handcuff upon his wrist. Then, he took Edwards into the bedroom to pose for nude pictures. In the bedroom, Dahmer brandished a knife to intimidate Edwards, while The Exorcist III played on TV. In an attempt to appease Dahmer, Edwards unbuttoned his shirt meanwhile convincing him to remove the handcuffs and put the knife away. Dahmer flirtingly placed his head on Edwards’ chest, listened to his heartbeat while pressing the knife against him, and said that he wanted to eat his heart. For the following few hours, Edwards continuously prevented Dahmer from attacking. Edwards comforted Dahmer saying that he was his friend and that he was not going to escape. Simultaneously, Edwards made up his mind to escape the apartment by either jumping off the window or running through the unlocked front door upon the next available opportunity. He persuaded Dahmer to hang out in the living room as there was air conditioning there. After spending five hours in the apartment, Edwards stumbled upon the opportunity to escape when he observed that Dahmer had a momentary lapse of concentration. When Edwards rose from the couch to use the bathroom, he noted that Dahmer was not holding his handcuffs, whereupon he punched Dahmer in the face, knocking him off balance, and ran out the front door. Edwards flagged down two Milwaukee police officers, Robert Rauth and Rolf Mueller, at the corner of North 25th Street at 11:30 pm. He narrated the incident to them and requested them to remove the handcuff. However, the officers’ keys failed to unlock the handcuffs, hence, Edwards had to go back to Dahmer’s apartment along with the police. Dahmer invited the police and Edwards inside and gave them the key to the handcuffs, retrieving it from a dresser in his bedroom. There, officer Mueller discovered Polaroid pictures of human bodies in various stages of dismemberment in a drawer. When Dahmer noticed that Mueller was holding several of his Polaroids, he fought the officers trying to resist the arrest, but the officers quickly overpowered him.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s mugshot photos
- A detailed search of the apartment led to the disclosure of a freshly severed head of a black male on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, a total of seven skulls (some painted, some bleached) inside a closet in Dahmer’s bedroom, two human hearts, a pair of severed hands, two severed and preserved penises, a mummified scalp, etc. Apart from his stocked-up freezer, he also stored in a 57-gallon drum in which three dismembered torsos were found dissolving in the acid solution. A total of 74 Polaroid pictures detailing the dismemberment of Dahmer’s victims were also discovered.
Officials carrying down Dahmer’s 57-gallon drum from his apartment in July 1991
- Detective Patrick Kennedy and Detective Dennis Murphy interrogated Dahmer, who waived off his right to have a lawyer present throughout his interrogations. Apparently, Dahmer wished to confess it all. He admitted murdering sixteen young men, most of whom he strangled to death. Rest had died as a result of having acid or boiling water injected into their brains. He made a confession about engaging in necrophilia with the corpse and revealed that he dismembered the victims’ bodies in his bathtub. The bones he wished to dispose of were pulverized or acidified. The skeletons and skulls he wished to keep were preserved with Soilax and bleach solutions. Dahmer also confessed that he practised cannibalism and had consumed the hearts, liver, biceps, and portions of the thigh of three victims. He explained the reason behind his cannibal instincts and said,
I suppose, in an odd way, it made me feel they were even more a permanent part of me.”
- He was also questioned regarding the preservation of seven skulls and the entire skeletons of two victims, to which he answered that he wanted to construct a private altar of victims’ skulls. Additionally, he revealed that he intended to display it on the black table located in his living room. When asked to whom was the altar dedicated, Dahmer replied,
Myself … It was a place where I could feel at home.”
An illustration by Jeffrey Dahmer depicting the private altar he had been planning to create using the preserved seven skulls at the time of his July 1991 arrest
- Dahmer was charged with 15 counts of first-degree murders of the sixteen homicides he had committed in Wisconsin. Although Dahmer was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and psychotic disorder, he was considered to be legally sane during his trial. He pleaded guilty but insane and was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment on 17 February 1992; Wisconsin abolished the death penalty in 1853. Later, he was sentenced to a sixteenth term of life imprisonment for his first homicide, which he committed in Ohio in 1978. He was imprisoned in the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage.
- Dahmer was placed in solitary confinement for the first year of his imprisonment. This was due to concerns for his physical safety should he come into contact with fellow inmates. After a year, he was transferred to a less secure unit, where he was assigned a two-hour daily work of cleaning the toilet block. Later he was also assigned to clean the prison gymnasium. Dahmer earned 24 cents an hour as a prison gymnasium janitor.
- Once he lost his job as a gymnasium janitor because he imitated a prison employee on the telephone after which he was again sent to solitary confinement for more than a month.
- Interestingly, the serial killer received ample correspondence from individuals across the world during his imprisonment. The prison records disclosed that he received more than $12,000 from his letter writers. One woman said she wanted to teach Jeffrey about Jesus, and sent him $350, along with some Bible literature. Another sent $50 to enable Dahmer to buy cigarettes, stamps, and envelopes.
- During an interview with Nancy Glass, while stating his motive behind the homicides, he said,
Not because I was angry with them, not because I hated them, but because I wanted to keep them with me.”
In another interview, he said,
I just wanted to have the person under my complete control, not having to consider their wishes, being able to keep them there as long as I wanted.”
- On 3 July 1994, a fellow inmate, Osvaldo Durruthy, attempted to cut Dahmer’s throat with a razor when Dahmer was sitting in the prison chapel after the weekly church service was concluded. The razor was concealed in a toothbrush. Dahmer received superficial wounds but wasn’t seriously injured.
- On 28 November 1994, Dahmer and his two fellow inmates, Jesse Anderson and Christopher Scarver, were left unsupervised in the showers of the prison gym for approximately 20 minutes in the morning. They were assigned the work detail of cleaning the prison gymnasium toilet. At approximately 8:10 am, Dahmer and Anderson were discovered on the floor of the bathrooms of the gym with severe head wounds. They were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. Dahmer was declared dead an hour after arriving at the hospital, and Anderson died two days later after doctors removed him from life support. Dahmer was severely hit on the head and face with a 20-inch (51-centimetre) metal bar by Christopher Scarver. Scarver also violently struck Anderson using the same instrument; Anderson died two days after Dahmer’s death. Immediately after attacking both men, Scarver, who was thought to be schizophrenic, returned to his cell to inform the prison guard about his deed. Scarver said,
God told me to do it. Jesse Anderson and Jeffrey Dahmer are dead.”
Christopher Scarver, the murderer of Jeffrey Dahmer
- Numerous literary works have been published on Dahmer’s life including the books Milwaukee Massacre: Jeffrey Dahmer and the Milwaukee Murders (1992), A Father’s Story by Lionel Dahmer (1994), Dark Journey, Deep Grace: Jeffrey Dahmer’s Story of Faith by Lindy Adams and Roy Ratcliff (2006), Jeffrey Dahmer: A Terrifying True Story of Rape, Murder and Cannibalism by Jack Rosewood (2017), and Inside the Mind of Jeffrey Dahmer: The Cannibal Killer by Christopher Berry-Dee (2022). Netflix released Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022) and Conversations With a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes (2022) which chronicled the serial killer’s life. His life also inspired the theatrical productions The Law of Remains (1992) by Reza Abdoh and Jeffrey Dahmer: Guilty but Insane (2013) written by Joshua Hitchens and directed by Ryan Walter.
- Oxford Apartments, where he had killed twelve of his victims, was demolished in November 1992.
Demolition continued on the Oxford Apartments, 924 N. 25th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, where Jeffrey Dahmer lived and committed many of his murders
- His estate in Ohio, where he committed his first murder, was granted to the families of eleven of his victims who had sued for damages.
Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s Ohio Home
- A civic group called Milwaukee Civic Pride raised funds in 1996 to purchase and destroy possessions of Dahmer. The group pledged $407,225 for the purchase of Dahmer’s estate. The amount included a $100,000 gift from Milwaukee real estate developer Joseph Zilber. Thereupon, Dahmer’s possessions were destroyed and buried in an undisclosed Illinois landfill.
|↑1, ↑2||Google Books- A Father’s Story|
|↑4||The New York Times|
|↑5||The Washington Post|