Jeffrey Dahmer is perhaps the most remarkable and high-profile serial killers in US historical record, to the extent that if you reckon of the term “serial killer”, he’s certainly among the first you would mention.
Throughout 1978 and 1991, Dahmer killed at least 17 men around Milwaukee, Wisconsin — the majority of whom were gay and/or of color – to allegedly gratify his own sexual needs.
The Birth of a Serial Killer: Jeffrey Dahmer's Childhood and Adolescent Life
On May 21, 1960, Dahmer was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to parents Lionel and Joyce Dahmer. Up until the age of 4, when surgery to treat a double hernia seemed to affect a change in the boy, he was described as an active and cheerful child.
Following the birth of his younger brother and the family's repeated movements, he grew noticeably more reclusive. According to most accounts, Dahmer had a typical upbringing; nevertheless, as he grew older, he withdrew and stopped communicating.
As he neared puberty, he started to show little to no interest in hobbies or social interaction, instead turning to exploring animal carcasses and binge drinking. He continued to drink throughout high school, but it did not prevent him from earning his 1978 diploma.
Jeffrey Dahmer's Victims: His Motives and Killing Spree
The 18-year-old committed his first murder just three weeks later his 1978 graduation. That summer, as his parents' divorce proceeded, Jeffrey was left alone in the home. He took the chance to put the sinister ideas that had been developing in his head into action. He volunteered to take Steven Hicks, a hitchhiker he had picked up, back to his father's place so he could drink beer.
But when Hicks made the decision to go, Dahmer struck him with a 10-pound weight (dumbbell) in the back of the skull. Dahmer eventually admitted to killing Hicks only because he wanted Hicks to stay after dissecting, dissolving, pulverizing, and scattering the now indiscernible remains over his backyard. Before he killed again, it would be nine years.
That September, Dahmer enrolled in college, but his drunkenness caused him to leave early. After that, his father coerced him into joining the military, and from 1979 to 1981, he worked as a combat doctor in Germany. But he never managed to break the habit, and after being released that spring, he returned to Ohio.
His father transferred him to live with his grandmother in West Allis, Wisconsin, as his drinking continued to cause issues. By 1985, he was a regular at gay bathhouses, where he would take drugs to knock men out so he could rape them while they were asleep. Despite having been detained twice for indecent exposure in 1982 and 1986, he was simply given probation and not charged with the rapes.
His second victim, Steven Tuomi, died in September 1987. He was picked up by Dahmer from a pub, driven back to a motel, and found there the next morning was Tuomi's battered corpse. Later, he claimed that he didn't remember killing Tuomi, suggesting that he had done it on the spur of the moment while unconscious.
After Tuomi, the killings continued infrequently, with four victims in 1990 and two each in 1988, 1989, and. He kept luring unwary men from bars or asking for prostitutes, who he would then drug, rape, and strangle.
However, at this point, Dahmer also started doing particularly gruesome acts with their corpses, continuing to use them for sex, documenting the process with photographs, meticulously preserving the skulls and genitalia of his victims for exhibition, and even keeping pieces for consumption.
Dahmer enticed Tracy Edwards into his house on July 22, 1991, with the promise of money in exchange for his services. Dahmer then used a butcher knife to force Edwards into the bedroom within. Edwards managed to break free during the battle and make his way outside, where he flagged down a passing police vehicle.
Edwards informed the police that there was a knife in Dahmer's bedroom when they arrived at the residence. The officers finally managed to take Dahmer into custody after discovering the images of severed limbs and dead victims in the bedroom.
By the time Jeffrey was apprehended, he had murdered 17 men and boys, including Joseph Bradehoft, 25, of Milwaukee; Jamie Doxtator, 14; Richard Guerrero, 25; Anthony Hughes, 31; Oliver Lacy, 23; and many others.
How did Jeffrey Dahmer Die?
On November 28, 1994, his cellmate Christopher Scarver killed Jeffrey Dahmer.
Dahmer was put to work with Jesse Anderson and Scarver, two other convicted killers, as part of his inclusion in regular work details.
Guards found that Scarver had violently beaten both men with a metal bar from the prison weight room after they had been left alone to finish their jobs. After almost an hour, Dahmer was declared dead. Days later, Anderson passed away from his injuries.
In 2015, Scarver discussed his motives for killing Dahmer in an interview with the New York Post. Scarver claimed that in addition to being troubled by Dahmer's atrocities, he was also bothered by his practice of creating severed limbs out of prison food in an effort to provoke other prisoners.
Scarver claimed that after being made fun of by Dahmer and Anderson while on duty, he questioned Dahmer about his misdeeds before killing the two men. He added that by leaving the murders unattended, jail guards contributed to their commission.