The Soft-Spoken Monster of Jeffery Dahmer
To hear Jeffrey Dahmer speak is to hear a polite, intelligent, well-mannered blond man with a wholesome-sounding Midwestern accent. It is only after you realize he is one of the most infamous serial killers in American history—a repressed homosexual who took out his frustrations by drugging, strangling, raping (after death), dismembering, and sometimes eating his victims’ body parts—that you realize under this flat and harmless-seeming demeanor lurked one of the grisliest monsters in world history.
The world was rocked in the summer of 1991 when footage showed investigators removing a vat of acid and a refrigerator from Dahmer’s Milwaukee apartment, both of which contained parts of his 17 victims. To this day his House of Horrors defies comprehension—how can someone reasonably intelligent and decent-looking, with very little in the way of head trauma or childhood emotional trauma, turn out this way?
I don’t have an answer for that. I think Jeffrey Dahmer might have been born that way.
A Young Bone Collector
In early childhood, Jeffrey Dahmer was described as friendly, lovable, and outgoing. But after receiving a double hernia surgery around age four, he gradually withdrew into himself, never to return. He later would refer to “extreme tension” between his family members, but never anything in the way of torture or beatings that scar the youths of so many killers.
Very early on, he displayed an intense fascination with animals’ bodies. He started by capturing insects and keeping them trapped in jars but later graduated to picking up pieces of roadkill and dismembering them out behind the family house. Thinking his son was genuinely curious rather than developing a psychosis, his father taught him how to strip a carcass and preserve the bones. Little did his father know that a couple decades later, Jeffrey would be taking this knowledge and applying it to human corpses.
As his parents’ quarreling increased and they drifted toward divorce, the adolescent Dahmer took to drinking heavily, a habit which he would never overcome. Upon his arrest, Dahmer cursed his luck and swore that if he hadn’t been drinking so much, he never would have been caught.
Around age 14, Jeffrey realized he was gay, which he said was “extremely taboo” in the small Ohio town where he grew up. He also began developing fantasies of total control over his sex partners, especially if they were unconscious. This paraphilia would prove to be his undoing.
He once waited in the bushes of a nearby park hoping to club a local jogger who caught his fancy unconscious with a baseball bat. He says he waited in the bushes all day, but the jogger never arrived.
An alcoholic drifter with few friends, Jeffrey was arrested in 1982 for exposing his genitals to children. He served some time, was released, and drifted between odd jobs, never fitting in and feeling an intense, gaping loneliness that consumed him.
He committed his first murder in 1987. It would be nine years until his next, and at that point his inner monster was unleashed.
Dahmer’s 17 Confirmed Murder Victims
All of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims were male. Fourteen came from ethnic minorities, with nine of them being black. Despite copping to murder and rape and torture and necrophilia and cannibalism, later in life Dahmer wanted it to be known that race was not a motivating factor in his crimes—he claims he merely plucked what was available from his low-income urban neighborhood. Pictures of Dahmer’s dismembered victims can be seen HERE, HERE, and HERE. (Warning—EXTREMELY graphic!)
1. Steven Hicks …. September 15, 1987: Blunt force trauma to the head, strangulation … dismembered and stuffed in garbage bags.
Dahmer picked him up the shirtless Hicks while Hicks was hitchhiking to a rock concert and offered to bring him back home to smoke pot. They partied and drank for hours, but when Hicks wanted to leave, Dahmer slammed him in the head with a ten-pound barbell, then strangled him to death. He dismembered him, placed his body parts in trash bags, and headed to a dump. Police noticed Dahmer’s car wavering and stopped him. Despite the smell of blood and death, Dahmer was able to convince them that he was upset about his parents’ divorce and was merely taking some used items to the dump to take his mind off his troubles. The police believed him. Dahmer returned home with the body parts, which he eventually pulverized and sprinkled in the woods behind his Ohio home.
2. Steven Tuomi … Sep 15, 1987: Blunt force trauma to the chest … stuffed in a suitcase, then dismembered, placed in bags, and pounded into bits with hammers.
Dahmer met Tuomi in a Milwaukee gay bar and convinced him to come back to a hotel room with him. He says that the next morning he woke up with his fist and forearm covered in bruises, only to discover that Tuomi was dead, his chest caved in. This is the only one of Dahmer’s murders that he does not recall.
3. James Doxtator … Jan, 1988: Strangulation … dismembered, head boiled, then pulverized.
Doxtator was a 14-year-old Native American male hustler Dahmer enticed back to his apartment in exchange for $50 to pose for nudes. At Dahmer’s place, they had sex, then Dahmer drugged him and strangled him to death.
4. Richard Guerrero … Mar 24, 1988: Strangulation with leather strap … dismembered, body placed in trash, head retained and then pulverized.
Guerrero was a 22-year-old bisexual Dahmer met at a gay bar then lured back to his grandmother’s home on an offer of $50 to spend the night with him. Dahmer drugged him with sleeping pills, strangled him to death with a strap, and performed fellatio upon the corpse.
5. Anthony Sears … Mar 25, 1989: Strangulation … dismembered, head and genitals kept as trophies.
Sears was an aspiring model in his early 20s and the last of Dahmer’s three murder victims at his grandmother’s house. He met him at a gay bar and they went to Grandma’s, where they performed oral sex on one another. Dahmer then drugged and choked Sears. He placed his cadaver in his grandmother’s tub the next morning, decapitating the head and stripping the flesh. He preserved Sears’s head and genitals in acetone and stored them in his work locker. When he moved into his “Apartment of Death” at 924 N. 25th Street, Apt. 213, he brought Sears’s remains with him.
6. Raymond Smith … Jun 1990: Strangulation … dismembered.
Smith was a male hooker in his early 30s who came to Dahmer’s apartment on an offer of $50 in exchange for sex. Dahmer served him a drink spiked with seven sleeping pills; after Smith became drowsy, Dahmer strangled him to death on the kitchen floor with his hands. He used a Polaroid camera to take pictures of Smith’s naked corpse in different poses. He dismembered the body in the bathroom, boiling the legs, arms, and pelvis. He dissolved the skeleton, except for the skull, in a vat of acid. he then spray-painted Smith’s skull and put it next to the skull of Anthony Sears. Dahmer had begun the process of erecting a death altar.
7. Eddie Smith … Jul 1990: Strangulation … dismembered, head and bones used as ornaments.
One of Dahmer’s few real-life friends. At the trial, one of Smith’s relatives said that “All Edward Smith wanted was to be Dahmer’s friend.” Dahmer invited him back to his apartment and served him a drink, which quickly knocked him unconscious. Dahmer then choked his friend to death.
8. Ernest Miller … Sep 1990: Throat slit. Flesh removed with acid, skeleton bleached and kept in bedroom. Biceps saved in refrigerator and later eaten.
A dance student in his early twenties that Dahmer met outside a bookstore, Dahmer would later comment that he was extremely attracted to Miller’s body. Dahmer slit his carotid artery and dismembered him in the bathtub.
9. David Thomas … Sep 1990: Strangulation. Dismembered while Polaroids were being taken.
They met near a mall and the 22-year-old Thomas accepted cash to return to Dahmer’s apartment and pose nude. After Thomas was knocked out by a laced drink, Dahmer suddenly decided that Thomas “wasn’t my type.” He strangled him to death anyway.
10. Curtis Straughter … Feb 1991: Strangulation with a leather strap. Dismembered while Polaroids were being taken. Dahmer kept the hands, skull, and genitals.
Dahmer met the teenage college student at a bus stop and convinced him to return with him to his apartment. He drugged him, handcuffed him, and then strangled him to death.
11. Errol Lindsey … Apr 1991: Holes drilled into skull, hydrochloric acid injected into brain in an attempt to turn him into a “zombie.” Killed by strangulation. Body flayed, skin and skull kept as trophies.
Lindsay was the first victim of Dahmer’s who was put through what Dahmer later called his “drilling technique,” wherein he’d drill holes into his prey’s skull and inject acid into the brain in an attempt to render them a mindless zombie sex slave. Dahmer says Lindsey awoke after the injection, whereupon he gave him a sedative-laden drink and strangled him to death after he lost consciousness.
12. Tony Hughes … May 24, 1991: Strangulation. Body left on Dahmer’s bedroom floor for three days before being dismembered. Skull kept as trophy.
A deaf mute who communicated with Dahmer through written notes. They allegedly dated for a few days before the murder. This was a rare case where Dahmer played the submissive role with Hughes, allegedly because he liked him and wanted to please him. But as Hughes was leaving Dahmer’s apartment one evening to go to work, Dahmer slew him.
13. Konerk Sinthasomphone … May 27, 1991: Hydrochloric acid injected into brain in an attempt to render him a “zombie.” Body dismembered, head kept in freezer.
Dahmer lured the young teen back to his apartment on the premise of taking naked pictures. He drugged him and got him drunk, then injected hydrochloric acid into Sinthasomphone’s skull. Dahmer left his apartment on a beer run, a naked, 14-year-old Sinthasomphone ran into the street and sought help. Three women tried helping him. When police arrived, Dahmer was able to convince them it was a gay lovers’ quarrel and they returned him to Dahmer’s custody. He once again had hydrochloric acid injected into his brain, which killed him.
14. Matt Turner … Jun 30, 1991: Strangulation … dismembered, head and internal organs placed in freezer, torso dissolved in a drum of acid.
Dahmer met the 20-year-old Turner at the Chicago Pride Parade and convinced him to return to Milwaukee with him to take nude photos.
15. Jeremiah Weinberger … Jul 5, 1991: Boiling water injected into drilled hole in skull … decapitated, dismembered, and his torso dissolved in a vat of acid.
The pair met in a Chicago gay bar, and like Matt Turner, Weinberger agreed to return to Milwaukee with him. After drugging him, Dahmer injected two shots of boiling water into his skull, which sent him into a coma. He died two days later. Dahmer says this is his only victim to die with his eyes open.
16. Oliver Lacy … Jul 12, 1991: Strangulation with a leather strap … Decpitated, with his head and heart placed in the refrigerator. Skeleton used as decoration as part of Dahmer’s death altar.
The pair met on a Milwaukee street corner. Lacy agreed to pose for nude Polaroids in exchange for cash. They had sex, then Dahmer attempted to knock Lacy unconscious with chloroform. This didn’t work, so Dahmer strangled him to death and had sex with his corpse.
17. Joseph Bradehoft … Jul 19, 1991: Strangulation … Dismembered, head and torso kept in freezer, torso dissolved in acid drum.
Dahmer met him at a bus stop near Marquette University. They returned to his apartment and had sex before Dahmer drugged him and strangled him to death.
The Slaughterhouse In Apartment 213
When police arrested Dahmer in his small apartment in a seedy North Milwaukee neighborhood, they discovered a scene that continues to fascinate and repel the world more than a quarter-century later.
Among their gruesome discoveries:
• A 57-gallon barrel filled with hydrochloric acid and the dissolving torsos of three murder victims.
• A drawer filled with Polaroids Dahmer had taken of his victims both alive and dead, intact and dismembered.
• Elaborate, hand-drawn plans for his death altar that included design specifications such as “black plush chair,” “window covered with black shower curtains,” and instructions for where to place the “painted skulls.”
• A mattress that, when the sheets were removed, was almost entirely coated in the blood of Dahmer’s victims.
• A set of saws and tools that Dahmer had used to dismember his prey.
• According to homicide detective Patrick Kennedy, “When I looked into the refrigerator it was a clean and empty refrigerator except for an open box of Arm & Hammer soda in the back and this box in the middle containing this freshly severed, bloodless, human head. It was a black male with his eyes and mouth open with an expression of almost excitement or surprise.”
• A freezer that Dahmer had packed with pieces of human flesh he had wrapped and saved, presumably to be eaten later.
After Dahmer’s arrest, the apartment building where he lived was completely bulldozed and it no longer exists.
The Killer In His Own Words
Upon his arrest, Jeffrey Dahmer willingly spoke with investigators for over 60 hours. He also conducted a few high-profile interviews on TV shows such as Dateline and Inside Edition. These and several other Jeffrey Dahmer quotes are at Quote Catalog.
It all revolved around having complete control.
Why or where it came from, I don’t know.
It was a way of making me feel that they were a part of me.
As the years went by, and the compulsion became stronger and the obsession more intense, it became the main focus of my life.
I even went so far as planning on setting up an altar with 10 different skulls and skeletons. It was my way of remembering their appearance, their physical beauty. I also wanted to keep…if I couldn’t keep them there with me whole, I at least could keep their skeletons.
It’s a process, it doesn’t happen overnight, when you depersonalize another person and view them as just an object. An object for pleasure and not a living breathing human being. It seems to make it easier to do things you shouldn’t do.
For what I did I should be dead.
Arrest, Imprisonment, and Death
Having come extremely close to arrest concerning the murders of Steven Hicks and Konerk Sinthasomphone, Dahmer’s luck finally ran out on July 21, when a 32-year-old black man named Tracy Edwards, who’d noticed a foul smell in Dahmer’s apartment, was able to persuade him to remove the handcuffs he’d placed on him. During a split-second when Dahmer wasn’t paying attention, Edwards punched him in the face and escaped, whereupon he notified police.
When cops pinned Dahmer to the floor of his apartment, he said, “For what I did I should be dead.”
Dahmer never denied the murders and spoke eagerly and in great detail about them with police. He also told his parents that he expected to be murdered in prison.
He was originally placed in solitary confinement but pled to be released into the general population, which occurred after about a year. In July 1994 he survived an attempt on his life when another inmate slashed his throat with a razor but only left superficial wounds.
In November of that year, he left his cell to perform cleaning duties with two other inmates. Christopher Scarver, who was serving time for murder, claims that at one point before the fateful day, he had showed Dahmer newspaper accounts of his crimes—which had repulsed him—and asked if it was true. He also says that Dahmer was intensely disliked by other inmates for not only being remorseless, but for joking around and sculpting his meat loaf with ketchup to look like a severed limb.
But Scarver says that on the day in question, the murder had nothing to do with Dahmer’s reputation. He says he became angered when one of the inmates poked him from behind and when he turned around, both inmates walked away laughing. He beat both Dahmer and inmate Jesse Anderson to death with a 20-inch iron bar, claiming he had been divinely instructed to do so: “God told me to do it. Jesse Anderson and Jeffrey Dahmer are dead.”
Jeffrey Dahmer Documentary
Jeffrey Dahmer Facts
1. Looking for the Jeffery Dahmer gravesite? It doesn’t exist. Before Jeffery Dahmer died, he setup his will so that his body would be cremated and then his ashes were sent to both of his parents.
2. Jeffery Dahmer was a serious alcoholic, and started drinking heavily in the morning even while he in high school. A classmate once asked in what was in his styrofoam cup in the morning during class, and he said “his medicine.”
3. Dahmer lived with his grandmother for several years, until she kicked him out for coming home at strange hours and increasingly bizarre behavior.
4. Jeffery Dahmer’s height: 6′ 1.
5. Jeffery Dahmer had one sibling, a younger brother name David Dahmer. People magazine reports, however, that David Dahmer has changed his name to avoid any association with his brother.
6. In prison, Jeffery Dahmer reportedly would play with his prison food, putting ketchup on the food to make it look like blood.
7. It would appear Jeffery Dahmer never in his life had consensual sex with anyone that he wasn’t paying.
8. Jeffery Dahmer was almost arrested, having been questioned twice by the police, but he talked his way out of getting in trouble.
9. At one point in his life, Jeffery Dahmer was homeless and living outside on a beach in Miami.