Jeffrey Dahmer PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 October 2008 12:22

Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer

Born: May 21, 1960, West Allis, Wisconsin

Died: November 28, 1994, Columbia Correctional Institution, Portage, Wisconsin

Age: 34

Cause of death: Beaten to death with metal bar.

Notable because: Plumbed levels of human degradation not commonly seen and was brutally killed by another prison inmate.


Dahmer 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.

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.

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." He spent most of his time there at a hospital but was kicked out shortly after for drinking.

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 due to his late nights and 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, under heavy 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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

Lionel Dahmer published a book in 1994, 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. 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. 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.

In January 2007, evidence surfaced potentially linking Dahmer to Adam Walsh's 1981 abduction and murder in Florida. Freelance writer Arthur Jay Harris began to investigate the case in 2002, finding evidence that suggested Dahmer was in the same mall where Adam was killed and may have had access to a blue van. His findings were supported by New Times columnist Bob Norman, who checked out the Harris investigation and also came to believe that Dahmer was the chief suspect. Most recently, ABC's Primetime featured the theory in a half-hour segment, airing Harris' findings to a national audience. However, Adam's father, John Walsh, believes that another serial killer, Ottis Toole, committed the crime. When interviewed about Adam Walsh in the early 1990s, Dahmer repeatedly denied involvement in the crime.

Known victims

Name  ↓ Age  ↓ Date of death  ↓
Stephen Hicks 19 1978-06-18June 6, 1978
Steven Tuomi 26 1987-09-15Sept. 15, 1987
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


The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare

Author: Donald A. Davis
Manufacturer: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Amazon Price: $8.99
Offers - Buy New From: $4.44 Used From: $0.47
Buy Now
Editorial Review:

They smelled the foul odors. They heard the power saw buzzing in the dead of night but neighbors never imagined the horrors happening right next door.

The hot sultry night of July 22, 1991 was one the tenants of the Oxford Apartments would never forget. A panic stcricken young man--a pair of handcuffs still dangling from his wrists--ran out of Apartment 213 and told police an incredible tale of terror.

Shaking with fear, he led officers back to his captor's lair, where they made the gruesome discovery. Inside were the body parts of at least fifteen men--including torsos stuffed into a barrel, severed heads in a refrigerator, and skulls boiled clean and stashed in a filing cabinet. Tacked to the freezer were Poloroid photographs of mutilated corpses.

When investigators arrested 31-year-old Jeffrey Dahmer, they realized they had stumbled onto a "real-life Hannibal Lecter"--a sadistic murderer who told them he had saved a human heart "to eat later". What could turn a handsome, former tennis player, the son of middle-class parents, into a perverse serial killer whose unthinkable acts shocked the nation?

The Jeffrey Dahmer Story takes you into Jeffrey Dahmer's twisted world of bizarre sexual encounters, mutilation and cannibalism--in one of history's most appalling true crime cases.

With 8 pages of chilling photographs.


Colombian Killers: The True Stories of the Three Most Prolific Serial Killers on Earth (True Crime, Serial Killers, Murderers)

Author: Ryan Green
Manufacturer: Ryan Green Publishing

Buy Now
Editorial Review:

Colombian Killers - The True Stories of the Three Most Prolific Serial Killers on Earth

Luis Alfredo Garavito

Pedro Alonzo Lopez

Daniel Camargo Barbosa

Colombian Killers explores the stories of three men who have forever tainted the lush fields of Latin America. This book narrates the sadistic acts of serial killers Luis Alfredo Garavito, Pedro Alonzo Lopez, and Daniel Camargo Barbosa.

For these men, rape, and murder were but the beginning of the horrors they inflicted upon the world. The fear their crimes inspire is not about their nature, the methodology, or even the victims. It is about who the killers themselves are.

These men were motivated by perhaps the most chilling trifecta--Sex, Power and Revenge.

This book begins with three parts, each dedicated to one of these three monsters of modern-day Colombia. Once you’ve been edified with the general knowledge of the atrocities, we will delve further into the tiny details, the forgotten horrors, the thousands of ways that we as a society failed these men and, in so doing, shaped them into be the monsters they are known as today.

Luis Alfredo Garavito, Pedro Alonzo Lopez, and Daniel Camargo Barbosa are among the most prolific serial killers in the world. Between them, they were convicted of 329 murders, but it’s believed that the number they committed is over 750.

Colombian Killers is not for the faint of heart, nor for the feeble of spirit. Be very sure you want to know what you are about to read, because if you can be sure of nothing else, be sure of this: You will never forget what you are about to read.

Scroll up and click on the Buy Now button at the top of this page, and begin to look into the life and minds of the Three Most Prolific Serial Killers on Earth.


Serial Killers: An In-Depth Look into the Minds of History's Most Sinister Criminals

Author: Rupert Frost
Manufacturer: Go Entertain

Buy Now
Editorial Review: *Includes pictures

Charles Manson, the Yorkshire Ripper, Aileen Wuornos: take a closer look at some of the world’s most prolific serial killers with in-depth profiles of history’s most evil men and women. Explore their early lives, their twisted predilections, their horrifying crimes and the chase to bring them to justice, and marvel at how so many of these brutal murderers were, until their crimes came to light, seemingly just another face in the crowd.


The All American Serial Killers

Author: Denton Dalton
Manufacturer: Denton Dalton

Buy Now
Editorial Review: The All American Serial Killers detail the most depraved, evil and twisted crimes of serial killers to come from the United States. Each killer discussed in this book has a known kill total of more than 15 victims making them the most extreme of all the serial killers known to have operated in America within the last 100 years. Not only did they restlessly hunt and murder their prey but for some of these evil killers that was not enough and they engaged in the most brutal acts of torture, rape cannibalism and necrophilia. Each of the killers in this book are either dead or behind bars but according to the FBI it is estimated between 35 to 50 serial killers are operational at any one time in United States so ultimately no one can too far away from a yet undiscovered serial killer at work.


Of Men and Monsters: Jeffrey Dahmer and the Construction of the Serial Killer

Author: Richard Tithecott
Manufacturer: University of Wisconsin Press
Amazon Price: $14.95
Offers - Buy New From: $38.14 Used From: $6.00
Buy Now
Editorial Review:

Of Men and Monsters examines the serial killer as an American cultural icon, one that both attracts and repels. Richard Tithecott suggests that the stories we tell and the images we conjure of serial killers—real and fictional—reveal as much about mainstream culture and its values, desires, and anxieties as they do about the killers themselves.


Last Updated on Thursday, 05 March 2009 18:21

Add comment

Security code

Who's Online

We have 29 guests online