Jeffrey Dahmer was a convicted serial killer who had seventeen male victims between the years of 1978 to 1991. In 1994, he was killed while in prison. This truly disturbed man has a story that is important to learn if only as a cautionary tale on how monsters can hide in plain sight. Below we look at details of Jeffrey Dahmer’s life of crime and murder and how he finally ended up dead.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s Biography
Jeffrey Dahmer was given birth to in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the 21st of May 1960. His parents were Lionel and Joyce Dahmer and the young Jeffrey Dahmer was actually considered a pretty happy child in his earlier days on earth. When he was only 4 years old, he underwent a surgery to correct a double hernia and this surgery was supposedly said to have caused a change in the young child. Following the surgery, he was more subdued and when the family welcomed another child – his younger brother – he became even more withdrawn.
The family also moved around pretty frequently and this was said to add to the reasons that made Jeffrey Dahmer tense, disengaged and lacking friends as a teenager. He had claimed that his tendencies towards necrophilia and murder started when he was fourteen. It has also been said that it was his parent’s separation and divorce a few years later that truly turned these tendencies towards actions where they had before stayed at the level of thoughts.
Jeffrey Dahmer went to Ohio State University but dropped out after only one-quarter of a term. His alcohol consumption at the time was out of control and his father had insisted that he join the army. He, therefore, enlisted in December 1978 and was posted to Germany. The army did not help his drinking problem and he was discharged in early 1981. A couple of murders did take place in the area while he was serving in the army but despite investigations by German authorities, the murders were never tied to him.
After he was discharged, he returned to Ohio and was arrested that year for disorderly conduct. This prompted his father to send him to his grandmother in Wisconsin. He never shook off his alcohol problem while there and got arrested again for indecent exposure yet again when two boys alleged that he had masturbated in front of them which landed him a one-year probationary sentence. His grandmother forced him to move out of her house in 1988 because she was tired of his drunkenness and late nights. She had had no idea that her grandson had been involved in much deadlier activities.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s first murder happened right after he graduated from high school in June of 1978. His victim was a man named Stephen Hicks whom he had picked up while Hick’s was hitchhiking. He had carried Hick’s to his parent’s house where he had gotten him drunk and when he tried to leave, Jeffrey Dahmer struck him over the head and strangled him with a barbell. He then dismembered the corpse, packed his body parts inside plastic bags and then buried the parts at the back of his parents’ home. He would later exhume Hick’s remains, crush his bones with a sledgehammer and scattered them in a wooden ravine.
His second victim was Steven Tuomi whom he killed in September 1987. The two had checked into a hotel room and started drinking. In this case, there was no way to know how Tuomi died because Jeffrey Dahmer said he had woken up with no memory of the previous night’s activities although Tuomi lay dead beside him. He transported his victim’s body to his grandmother’s basement in a large suitcase and then dismembered and masturbated on the corpse before finally disposing of the remains.
In September 1989, Jeffrey Dahmer almost struck again got booked on charges of sexual exploitation and second-degree sexual assault after an encounter with a thirteen-year-old. He had claimed to have thought the boy was much older while pleading guilty. While waiting for his sentence to come down, he killed, photographed and dismembered an aspiring model named Anthony Sears in his grandmother’s basement. His defense in the child molestation case ended in a “day release” one-year prison sentence that allowed him to work in the day and return to prison at night, along with a five-year probationary sentence.
In the two years after, Jeffrey Dahmer continued to kill, wracking up a victim count of seventeen. He was experimenting while killing and started to develop rituals, sometimes even eating the flesh of his victims or lobotomizing them. He went unnoticed for so long because he selected victims that were practically criminals themselves or did not have much family to look for them.
Jeffrey Dahmer was eventually arrested on the 22nd of July 1991 after police officers picked up a 32-year-old man who was wandering around with a handcuff dangling from his wrists. They investigated the man’s claims that he had been drugged and restrained by a “weird dude”. They went to Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment and he had willingly offered to get the keys for the handcuffs. The victim had also pointed the police in the direction of Jeffrey Dahmer’s room where he claimed that the knife Dahmer had used to threaten his life was. In Dahmer’s bedroom, the officers had found Jeffrey Dahmer’s collection of photographs of dismembered bodies. They would also find four heads in total in his freezer and refrigerator and a lot of other horrific things around the house.
On the 15th of February 1992, the jury found Jeffrey Dahmer guilty but sane on all counts and sentenced him to 15 consecutive life terms.
Death and Cause of Death
Jeffrey Dahmer was initially kept well apart from the general population in prison but he soon convinced the authorities to let him mix with the other inmates. He was also included in regular work details. On the 28th of November 1994, Jeffrey Dahmer was assigned to work with Jesse Anderson and Christopher Scarver, two other convicted murderers. They were left alone by a guard to complete their tasks and the guard came back to find that Christopher Scarver had beaten both men working with him with a metal bar that had been in the prison weight room.
The beating had been rather lethal and Jeffrey Dahmer was dead after about an hour. When Scarver later told the New York Post about his reason for killing Jeffrey Dahmer he pointed to a habit that Dahmer had developed on the inside of making severed limbs using his food in order to annoy other inmates. Scarver also claimed to have been disturbed by his crimes and to have confronted him about them before beating the two men to near death. He also made the claim that the prison guards had been in on the murders by leaving them alone.