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Breaking Down Dahmer: What Made Him a Beast? Part One

Updated on December 29, 2020
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Kadee Grace is a ghostwriter/freelancer and author. She has written hundreds of novels and novellas for clients in many genres.

What was Jeffrey Dahmer? Was he beast or man?

How do feel that Dahmer came to be?

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Breaking Down Dahmer

In some of us, lives curiosity and wonderment. In some of us we have the question “why” haunting us and leading us to analyze, break down and to try and understand things in life. Some of us just accept happenings as being something done by someone sick or insane. But, are they insane? I guess we must turn to the professionals who have went through many hours of study, to find that answer. Others like me, we don’t stop there. We use our own experiences, do our own studies and sometimes we have discernment to see with our eyes


Jeffrey Dahmer - Serial killer documentary 2018

Compare Dahmer to Serial Killer Aileen Wuornos

Dahmer is one to study and if I ever felt empathy for a serial killer; there would be two that comes to mind. Aileen Wuornos and Jeffrey Dahmer. Those are two that I find to be at least, deserving of trying to sort through the horrors they placed on their victims and the horror that swept through their young lives.

Although the two are so very different, they still are much alike. Jeffrey didn’t blame anyone but himself. He had a very sad and broken-down childhood and yet he blamed no one. Many of his statements claim that. Aileen was raging most of the time, but do we really know why? There are theories of what might have happened to her in prison, but we will never know. At one point, Aileen did take responsibility and in the beginning of her capture and trial, I believe she thought that the court and the world would at least try to understand why she did the things she did.

Coming from the childhood she had, one can wonder how else would we expect her turn out? A child is like a piece of clay and they begin to form their minds according to what they experience. There is a lot of research done about Aileen and it is no secret that she was very abused, physically, mentally and emotionally. What is even worse is that the whole town surrounding her and her life, knew of this childhood she lived. This is a classic case of people turning their heads when they should have looked closer and stood up to the wrongs done to a young girl. Even Aileen knew this, and she carried that hurt in her heart for so long, that it eventually turned into hate. The shock of people not caring is a heavy burden for anyone. No one knows what that kind of pain is until they live it themselves. She had to come to a grisly fact in her life … no one gave a damn. Maybe we can say that we understand how her peers, other children couldn’t do anything. But, is that true?


The Raging Shame in Aileen Wuornos

A child born into nothing but abuse and chaos.

Aileen "Lee" Carol Wuornos was born on February 29, 1956 in Rochester, Michigan. Parents were Diane And Leo Dale Pittman. Diane was only fifteen years old when she became pregnant with her first child, Keith. Eloping, the couple joined together in a very violent marriage. Aileen grew up in Troy, Michigan and lived through a horrifying childhood. Her father; whom she never met had been charged with sexual child molestation and sent to prison. He later committed suicide while in prison. Her mother, Diane could not handle the burden of having children, moved back home with her parents and deserted both children. The grandparents, Lowery and Britta Wuornos adopted the two children and raised both Aileen and Keith to believe that they were their birth parents. Aileen never knew the truth until she was around age twelve. This was a seed planted inside of her that would fester with time.

Her grandfather was reported to be an a very terrifying man and was known to beat the children. Making Aileen lay naked, spread eagle on a bed, he would whip her with belts. Her grandmother was reported to be an alcoholic, never stopping her husband from the violent beatings.

Aileen began her life in chaos and things got no better in time. Living with her grandparents was about as bad as a life for a child can be. Aileen claimed that she was sexually abused by her grandfather and she even claimed that she had been sexual with her own brother, Keith. A neighbor has admitted to witnessing this and at the time and the young age that he was, he thought it was normal.

Aileen's life with other children was no comfort to her either. She was different and she scared other children with her tempers and she was mocked and made fun of. She was abused and she was taken advantage of by other boys her age and older, who would have sex with her and then mock her in public for it. They would give her loose change and cigarettes to make sure that she would learn how to sell her body and to guarantee that would keep allowing them to have their way with her.

Aileen got pregnant when she was in her early teens and her grandparents forced her to go to an unwed mother's home and to give the baby up for adoption. She was never even allowed to hold the baby; her only child. Aileen claimed later that the child's father was an older man who was friends with her grandfather. That is something that is not known for sure.

Her Body Became an Object

To Aileen, survival meant doing what had to be done. When she was a teen, she was kicked out of home and her new home became the woods in the area. From summer to winter; she could be found trying to survive alone. No one to care for her and no one to provide for her. Her food came from any person that might decide to show an act of kindness or an act of buying what they wanted. She did have a couple friends that at one time tried to help her. One friend had taken her home and tried to hide her so she would have shelter, but when the parents found out, she was kicked out. A society; a neighborhood that turned their heads to the condition of a young girl has to be one of the most horrible things to think about. Grown adults, not caring enough to do something; anything.

Boys would come to Aileen; to the woods to fill their own lusting desires and of course, what else could she do? If they were to promise a cigarette or possibly something to eat, it would be an acceptable trade for what they were after. We all have to eat to live.

My mind wanders about the young Aileen and I can picture her, even today as a young teen; out there in the woods. I can also picture her being beaten by a violent grandfather, while a passive grandmother just turned her head. This is a real case and this happens somewhere every day to some young child. The first ones to forget you and to betray you are family and they should have been the ones who would fight for you.

How else could a young girl turn out when she had no one? She had no one. Try to picture that. You are cold and hungry, yet no one comes to feed you or keep you warm and dry from the outside elements. You are hurt by someone and yet, no one loves you enough to care. This was what her life was like. It is no surprise that Aileen continued on as a sex-worker after she left home. What else could you do when you have no one or nothing? Your next meal has to come from somewhere; somehow. She was taught an a young age that her body could feed her stomach.

Society Failed A Little Girl

Aileen was a victim and as the courts proved to handle the case with a lack of empathy for her past; they decided that Eileen was just a vicious killer. I believe that Eileen deserved more than just a death sentence. We forget how a person becomes what they have no choice to become. We all do have choices of course, but when you see a young girl that knew nothing except violence and deranged upbringings, what else can we expect? After reading much research on her case, I believe that Aileen grew tired of trying to fight for her life. The only love she ever felt was from her latest lover, Moore. And in the end, she was deserted and betrayed by the only love she knew. It is reported that Aileen (During her phone conversations with Moore) could sense that she was being recorded and she gave in and she confessed over the phone and spared Moore's life; claiming that Moore had nothing to do with any of it. What a gift! A gift of life when she had to have known that she would lose her own.

I also believe that through all her erratic behavior after her arrest, I think that Aileen believed deep in her heart that society would come around. That the courts would surely see that she had been violated for so long and that someone would try to understand and help her find her way.

Most of the evidence given was that Aileen had hunted down men in order to kill. That, I don't know. Possibly by that time, the rage inside that woman was exploding. Still, who can not understand that? I am not saying that she was right because she was totally wrong. But, I think all of us can paint the picture and see just how dangerous that lifestyle (prostitution) is and in that moment when no one else is around and when the men are at their worst … what can happen. No one knows what happened except the victims who did die at her hands and Aileen. I still say that Aileen herself was a victim as well.

Surely we can't ask why Aileen would grow up like she was an injured and caged animal. Her own mother deserted her and her grandmother said some pretty bad things that would shape that child's mind. It was reported that her grandmother had told her that she was evil, wicked, worthless and should never have been born. That is pretty damaging. Coming from an alcoholic woman that turned her head to abuse and sexual abuse to her own granddaughter...what does that say?

In the town of folks, why did no one get involved? Why did Children and Family services or schools not do something? Because it is easier to turn your head and to just blame the child. Still happens today. I am not saying that there are no good people that try to help. Many workers in different fields of care try to do their best, but all in all; it is a messed up world. This is exactly how killers are built. Fear, rage, lack of love can and will change a person into something they should never have been. Situations and living environments can lead to desperate acts.

Aileen Wuornos Serial Killer Documentary

Being used is something that trashes you to the core of your being.

From reading about Aileen’s childhood, she did have at least one or two friends that felt something for her and offered her things she needed. One tried to sneak her home, so she would have shelter. One gave her blankets to keep warm in the cold woods she lived in.

But, other children taunted her until there was nothing left to taunt. Some took advantage of the situation; knowing that she had no one to run to her aide and they swept in like vultures, raping and using her for their own dark desires. Who can we say is worse at that time? I believe the children that taunted Aileen were very guilty of how they treated her, and they must live the rest of their lives with those memories. I am sure that at least one has come to the point of terrifying regrets. Any regret is better than no regret at all.

The system and humanity let Aileen down.

Born into such a broken and dysfunctional family, the little girl had no one to comfort her or to protect her. We can’t imagine what that must have been like. We look at Aileen and we just say that she is a monster. Where do monsters come from? I believe they are built. Aileen was built. When love is taken away or not even given in the first place, the baby grows into an infant, not even recognizing or knowing what love and stability is. We can research all day long what happens to a body inside when it is constantly under trauma. We come up with some very ugly truths.

Trust is a rock for us to lean on. We take that for granted when we are brought up in a healthy environment. But what if our environment is even worse than what might be out there in the world, outside our home? What if the scariest things and people live within our walls where we eat, sleep and live? What if the boogie man is right there with us? That is how it must have been for her, even at a very young age. Being neglected and deserted would create the worst kind of fear in a child. She was deserted, even before she was discarded.

And, try to imagine what it must have been like for that young girl to constantly be hounded and hunted like prey by fellow classmates? What would it be like too, if your own family members just used you and your body for their fantasies? Eileen never stood a chance. All she knew to do was to take it over and over, possibly until she would die. She grew and decided to try and survive because that is all one can do. They do what they do so they can wake up the next morning.

Being used is something that trashes you to the core of your being.

You can’t even whisper the words for fear that your own ears may hear it.

After a while you, yourself cannot even breathe the words to tell on someone who is hurting you. You can’t even whisper the words for fear that your own ears may hear it. You find ways internally, to reject things, deny them if you must; even for a very short time. You are thrust in and out of reality; sometimes daily. And all the while, the shame is rotting your soul. It is a shameful thing to not feel love. We know that it is not the victim’s fault that they are not loved, but that victim does not know that. They are constantly trying to find the answer to why? Why are they treated so bad? Why are they not loved? Over and over, their mind thinks on this until one day, their mind gives in, shuts down and they began to just disconnect from all who should have loved them. We can’t blame the victim for disconnecting. They have been forced to separate themselves. One day a trap door closes, and they must live with a different kind of will.

Animals live to survive. They have families. All animals and their make-up are different. Some are very devoted to their family. Others even eat their young as soon as they are born for any small reason. But, they have one thing in common; they live to survive. I am not saying Aileen was animal.

She was a living and breathing human being. A small child that deserved love as much as you or me, or any other child. Sadly, she did not get to partake in what we take for granted. She was treated worse than animals treat their own and yet, she was expected to live. Does society really expect a child who is so abused to come out without horrible defects? Do we demand that they do? I think we do when we do not step in and provide that they need.

Aileen was cast into the animal world in a way.

Aileen was cast into the animal world in a way. Being kicked out of her home and forced to survive in the woods is just as bad as an animal who has no shelter. They sit, and they shiver for hours on end. They hunt for their food, so they won’t starve. They are alone, and they know they are alone. I cannot even imagine the buckets of tears that young girl must have shed in her life. It’s a sorrow that haunts my own soul. I didn’t know her and why would her life mean a thing to me? I guess it is because I can have empathy and sympathy for her. I guess because I can see. I can hear the dangerous winds in her life that left her shaking in the cold, paralyzed in fear. I can sense how badly something (every day) broke her heart. The let-downs that fell on her make my own mind shake and rattle. It is one of those moments where some reality hits you and you just must reject it, so you can breathe again.

Aileen was broken before she had any kind of chance to be something; to feel like she was somebody.

Every child deserves the chance to grow up to be what we would call normal. To grow up with nourishment.

I believe Jeffrey Dahmer shared many hurts just like Aileen. From doing research on his childhood, I again fell into a crying mess of a person. It is a shame that most of us look at a killer and all we see is the horrible things they have done. I understand that and have the same feelings. But, if we don’t try to break it all down and look deeper at causes and reasons; what are we? Nothing will bring back our loved ones after they have been destroyed by the hands of a killer. All we can do is hang onto the wonderful memories we have of them. We can hate the killer that took them from us. But, there needs to be people out there who can separate from all of that and still wonder; still try to dig deeper into a killer’s psyche so that we can provide answers to questions that haunt us into a paralyzing hate. I am not speaking for the families of the victims. We all can certainly understand their life-long hatred for the killers. I am speaking of the world in general, because I believe that unless we face the nightmares that are dumped in our society, how can we ever progress towards stopping these horrible childhoods for children. Every child deserves the chance to grow up to be what we would call normal. To grow up with nourishment.

Killing a Killer

Aileen was judged and condemned to death. The state found her competent to understand her deeds and her sentence and they took her life on October 9, 2002. Her life was over. Her pain was over. Her lack of love that she needed was stayed. From some of the videos I have watched and her statements, I believe that Aileen did want it all to end. She had nothing. She came into the world with nothing, gained nothing and left with nothing; except for her conviction.

It is my deepest hope that the woman/child was able to make peace with her Lord Christ and that she felt His forgiveness. It is clear that she never received anyone else's.


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