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The Life of a Serial Killer- Jeffrey Dahmer

Updated on December 16, 2011

Jeffrey Dahmer was a happy child until his father and mother divorced. His mother had many physical ailments and took Jeff’s brother David with her and left Jeffrey with his father, Lionel. Because of this he had growing feelings of loss and rejection. His father remarried and it was a growing struggle with Jeffrey. His behavior grew increasingly odd through his teenage years and led up to Jeffrey killing 17 men between 1978 and 1991. (Sable)

After the divorce of his parents, it was discovered that Jeffrey had been molested by his father’s neighbor. After this trauma, his behavior grew odder. He used to find and kill animals, and then he would cut off their heads and impale them on stakes in the front yard. One incident during his childhood that his father recalls is where his father discovered an odor coming from the basement. When he went to investigate, he discovered bones and residue in jars. He told his father he used acid to remove the flesh off the animals. It wasn’t hard to obtain the acids since Lionel; Jeffrey’s father was a chemist. (Sable)

As a teen, he had fantasies of killing and mutilating men. After he graduated high school at age 17, he started having necrophilia fantasies. At this time, his parents left him alone with no money, food and a broken refrigerator. It is believed that the abandonment and his mental illness gave him the justification to commit the crimes. (Sable)

The first person to fall victim to Dahmer’s sick fantasies was Steven Hicks. Jeffrey picked Steven up as he was hitchhiking. Dahmer just graduated from High School and was still living with his parents in upscale neighborhood of Bath, Ohio in 1978. Hicks and Dahmer had sexual relations and drank alcohol. Hicks wanted to leave but Dahmer didn’t allow it. He struck Hicks in the head with a barbell and killed him. He got rid of the body by cutting it into pieces, putting them in plastic bags and buried them in the woods behind his house. After a couple of years, when he got discharged from the Army for alcoholism, he returned to Ohio. He dug up Hicks body, pounded the corpse with a sledgehammer and scattered the remains throughout the woods. (Bardsley)

Dahmer was arrested in 1981 for drunken and disorderly conduct. A few months after his arrest, his father decided it would be best for Jeffrey to go live with his grandmother in Wisconsin. He stayed out of trouble for a few months when he got there until he got drunk and dropped his pants in front of a group of people. After this incident, he kept himself under control for four years. He was arrested again in 1986 for masturbating in front of two boys. He was put on probation for one year. (Bardsley)

In September of 1987, Dahmer killed his second victim, Steven Toumi. The two had been drinking rather heavy in one of the local popular gay bars. Dahmer said when he awoke; Toumi was dead with blood on his mouth in the hotel room. He bought a large suitcase and stuffed Toumi’s body inside. He took the corpse to his grandmother’s basement. He then had sex with it, masturbated on it, dismembered it and threw it in the trash. (Bardsley)

Several months later, Dahmer selected his third victim. He was a 14 year old Native American boy by the name of Jamie Doxtator. Doxtator hung out in front of the gay bars looking for relationships. By this time Dahmer had his methods established. Dahmer would lure his victims by offering them money to pose for photographs or just to watch movies and drink beer with him. He would then drug them, strangle them, masturbate and have sex with the corpses, dismember the bodies and dispose of them. But sometimes he would keep the skulls or other body parts as souvenirs. (Bardsley)

By the summer of 1988, Dahmer had killed four men. In September of 1988, Dahmer moved out of his grandmother’s house into his own apartment in Milwaukee. The day after he moved in, he got into serious trouble. He offered a 13 year old Laotian boy $50 to pose for some pictures. He drugged him and fondled him. He didn’t get violent or have intercourse with the boy. The parents of the boy took him to the hospital where it was confirmed he was drugged. The police arrested Dahmer at his job and was charged with sexual exploitation of a child and second degree sexual assault. On January 30, 1989 he pleaded guilty. He claimed he thought the boy was older. (Bardsley)

While he was waiting for his sentencing in this case, he met a black homosexual named Anthony Sears at a gay bar. He offered Sears some money to pose for some photos. He drugged him, strangled him, had sex with his corpse and dismembered it. But he did something with this body he hadn't done to the others. He kept the head, boiled the flesh off and painted the skull gray so it would look like the plastic models the medical students used. (Bardsley)

On May 23, 1989, Dahmer went to find out his fate on his sexual exploitation case. He was going to be sentenced to five years in prison but he spoke in his own defense. He told the judge that his job meant to him more than anything in the world pleaded with the judge to not let him lose it. The judge decided to stay his sentence and gave him 5 year’s probation with one year in the House of Corrections on work release. Dahmer blamed his behavior on continuing alcoholism. After ten months, the judge granted him an early release. He went back to stay with his grandmother, but that was conditional upon him finding his own place. (Bardsley)

For the next fifteen months, Dahmer went on a killing binge that had 12 men who lost their lives. The pace of the murders accelerated between May-July of 1991, when he was averaging one man a week. Most of his victims were homosexual or bisexual and led high risk lifestyles. Most had arrest records like arson, sexual assault, rape and battery.

Dahmer had a deadly ritual. His ritual was about the same for every victim. He would lure these men to his apartment to watch pornography or pose for photos. He would crush up sedatives in their drinks. Once drugged he would strangle them with his bare hands or with a strap. He would frequently have sex with the corpses and masturbated on them. (Bardsley)

Before he could clean up, Dahmer would get out his Polaroid camera and take pictures of the entire experience so he can remember it. He would then cut open their torsos. He was fascinated by the color of the inside organs and was sexually aroused by the heat the freshly killed bodies gave off. Finally he would dismember the bodies, photographing each stage for future viewing. He disposed of most of the bodies, experimenting with different chemicals and acids that would reduce the bodies to a black, foul smelling sludge he could pour down a drain or toilet. Some parts of the bodies he chose to keep as trophies. This generally would be the genitals and head. The genitals were preserved in formaldehyde and the heads were boiled until the flesh came off.

Dahmer was also a cannibal. It’s not unusual for necrophilia’s to be cannibals too. Dahmer believed that when he was eating human flesh, the person would come alive again inside of him. Eating human flesh gave him an erection. His freezer was full of human flesh. He tried human blood too, but it didn’t appeal to his taste buds. (Bardsley)

Before Dahmer got caught, one of his victims almost escaped. A 14 year old boy by the name of Konerak came to from being drugged, when Dahmer left his apartment. He was disoriented and panicked. He didn’t care that he was nude. Neighbors called 911 to report the boy running down the street in the nude. Soon the police showed up along with Dahmer. Dahmer told the police the boy was his 19 year old lover who had been drinking too much. Konerak was so heavily drugged he couldn’t contradict Dahmer’s story. Dahmer gave the police a picture ID. To be on the safe side, the policemen went with Dahmer and the boy to the apartment. The apartment smelled bad, but was very tidy. The police didn’t see anything wrong, so they left the boy with Dahmer. Immediately after the police were gone, Dahmer strangled Konerak and had sex with his corpse. A couple of months later, on July 22, 1991, another incident happened that broke this wicked tale loose. (Bardsley)

Two Milwaukee police officers were sitting in their squad car about midnight when they seen a black man with a handcuff dangling from his wrist. The officers assumed he escaped from another officer, so they asked him what he was doing. The man blurted out a story that a weird dude put the cuffs on him in an apartment. The two officers decided they needed to check out the situation.

When the officers got to the apartment, Dahmer opened the door and was calm and rational. Dahmer offered to get the key to the handcuffs in the bedroom. But one of the officers went in to take a look and found pictures of dismembered bodies, skulls in the refrigerator. He went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator and found a human head. He yelled at his partner to cuff Dahmer and place him under arrest. Under closer inspection of the apartment, more body parts and pictures were found. (Bardsley)

At trial, Dahmer changed his plea from not guilty to guilty but insane, which was against the advice of his attorney. Now his attorney’s job was to prove that Dahmer must have been insane to do the gruesome things he’s done. It was the prosecutions job to prove that Dahmer was not legally insane; that Dahmer knew what he was doing was wrong but did it anyway. The jury deliberated for 5 hours and concluded that Jeffrey Dahmer belonged in a jail cell and not in a hospital. On all 15 counts, he was found guilty and sane. Dahmer was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences or a total of 957 years in prison. (Bardsley)

Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer. He murdered people of a course of a time and killed one person at a time. He also was a thrill killer. Most killers get the thrill of the kill before they kill. They hear the screams and the pleadings for their life before they take their victims lives. For most killers, that is where the thrill ends. For Jeffrey Dahmer, the thrill began after the victim was dead. He got sexually aroused from the kill.

His childhood is a great indicator of how Jeffrey Dahmer became this cannibal, necrophiliac murderer. His mother left him to be with his father while she took his baby brother. Right there, he felt rejected by his mother and also abandoned by her since he did not see much of her at all after the divorce. The molestation by his father’s neighbor probably had a long duration, so he sees it as okay to engage in homosexual activities with young boys. His father probably didn’t seek counseling for Jeffrey to air his frustrations and desires. If he would have done so, Jeffrey could have been caught earlier and not after years and years of a killing spree.


Works Cited

Bardsley, M. (n.d.). Jeffrey Dahmer. Retrieved August 17, 2010, from Trutv: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/notorious/dahmer.index.html

Sable, K. (n.d.). Jeffrey Dahmer. Retrieved August 17, 2010, from http://karisable.com/skazdahmer.htm

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    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 4 years ago from Mason City

      Hi, I remember when my mother and I were watching Jeffrey Dahmer's trial on Court TV years ago. His mother should have taken Jeffrey, too along with his younger brother, when she left. This was probably the worse case of murder and cannibalism in the United States that ever was. Its hard to believe that someone would be that depraved to commit such heiness acts. Interesting hub-I voted up.

    • Buzzbee profile image

      Buzzbee 4 years ago from The County of the Winkies in Oz

      Creepy to the core! Thanks for detailed Hub.

    • profile image

      Me 2 years ago

      Rip james doxtator! I love you

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