Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as Milwaukee cannibal and monster, was a serial killer who terrorized the town of Wisconsin from 1978-1990 with his killings. Jeffrey was not only a serial killer but also a sex offender as well as a cannibal who took pleasure in eating parts of his victim’s body all in the name of “being close to them”. Let’s find out more about who he was and also learn seven lesser-known facts about him.
Who is Jeffrey Dahmer?
Jeffrey Dahmer became a household name in the catalog of serial killers as he murdered and dismembered 17 men (including boys). He was born Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States of America on May 21, 1960, to Lionel Herbert and Joyce Annette Dahmer. His father was of German and Walsh descent, while his mother was of Norwegian and Irish ancestry.
He was the first of two children; he had a younger sibling, David. His family moved a few times before finally settling in Bath, Ohio in 1968. As a child, Jeffrey attended the Revere High School where he was at best, an average student. He made average grades until his excess drinking caused his grades to sink. He was said to be involved in some sports like tennis and clarinet. He was described by his teachers as polite and calm, although quite reserved.
However, he was also the class clown, as he was popular for amusing his classmates by staging pranks, such as acting out seizures, knocking things over, and making clamorous and unsavory noises. In high school, Jeffrey was notorious for his heavy drinking habits as observed by teachers and students.
After graduation in 1978, he enrolled in the Ohio State University after much persuasion from his father. His stay in college wasn’t long, as three months later, he dropped out. He later joined the army but was honorably discharged soon after for his unacceptable conduct. Jeffrey Dahmer later worked in a chocolate factory by day and perpetuated his dastardly acts by night.
Lesser Known Facts About Jeffrey Dahmer
1. Neglected Child from a “Tensed” Home
It was claimed that as a child, Jeffrey suffered neglect from both parents. His mother, Joyce, found the routine of repeated breastfeeding as tiring and irritating, consequently, she seldom breastfed her infant. She was also lazy and often complained of weakness.
However, some sources suggested that Jeffrey was adored by both parents although his mother made their home unpleasant with her tensed attitude, greed for attention and pity, and repeated arguments with her husband and their neighbors. On one occasion, Joyce attempted to take her life by taking excess pills. Later, Jeffrey would describe his parents’ constant arguments and quarrels and the conditions at home as ‘excessively tensed’.
Lionel also had a part to play, as he was consistently away from his home because of his studies as a student of Marquette University. As a result, both parents never dedicated much of their time to their son.
2. Excessive Drinking
Jeffrey began drinking at the young age of 14. He drank heavily and was reported to take both beer and liquor. He drank before, during, and after classes. He would smuggle the drinks into school in his army jacket and would drink to stupor. On one occasion, his teacher recounted seeing him with a mug of beer on his desk.
He stated that he drank so much to suppress his sexual “compulsions”, however, the alcohol had a reverse effect as some of his victims stated that it was when he was drunk that he became a monster; brutalizing and sexualizing violently. His excess drinking affected his education, as his grades sunk in high school. It also affected his social life, as most students and children saw him as an outcast.
Even while with the army, his drinking lifestyle put him in a lot of trouble. He reportedly brutalized and sexually abused fellow soldiers when he was drunk. Also, his performance as a combat medic began to deteriorate, hence, his dismissal in 1981.
3. Fascination With Bones
At the age of four, Jeffrey became intrigued by bones especially animal bones, and how they “fit together”. Once, while helping his father clear the remains of dead rodents out from under their house, Jeffrey played with the bones, running his hands through the bones, and became excited and oddly thrilled by the clattering sounds of the bones, when they were thrown into the metal buckets.
Jeffrey took his fascination to another level when he picked up a hobby of collecting roadkilled animals along streets and in ditches. He would dismember the bodies behind the house in a patch of wooded area and store the parts in jars in his family woodshed. His friends at that time admitted that he appeared obsessed with what went on underneath the skin and on one occasion decapitated the corpse of a dog before nailing the body on a tree.
His father recalled that at age 10, Jeffrey asked him a question about what would happen if a chicken’s bones were dropped in bleach. Lionel, who was in chemistry academia saw this question as an intellectual curiosity on the part of his young son and seized the opportunity to explain to his son how he could properly clean and preserve his collections.
At school, Jeffrey was observed to be overly excited and studious whenever the subject of his Biology class involved dissecting an animal.
4. He Made His First Kill Weeks After High School
Jeffrey Dahmer, who later became one of American’s most dreaded serial killers made his first kill at the age of 18, although he had once fantasized and imagined killing someone earlier but never pulled through with it until a particular night when he lured and killed a hitchhiker. His victim was 18-year old Steven Mark Hicks, who was on his way to a rock concert when Jeffrey invited him to his house for a few beers before the party. Steven obliged and they both drank and listened to music. Soon it was time for Steven to go, but Jeffrey didn’t want him to, so he struck him with a 10lb dumbbell and strangled him to death.
After killing Steven, he raped the dead body and took it under the house where he dissected and buried it in a shallow grave. Several weeks later, he unearthed the body, cleaned the flesh from the bones, and dissolved the flesh in acid. He also crushed the bones and scattered them in the woodlot behind his house. At this time Jeffrey lived alone in his parents’ house.
5. Macabre Murders in His Grandmother’s Basement
Jeffrey’s first murder led to several others, three of which he committed in his grandmother’s basement. Due to his disorderly behavior during and after the army, his father sent him to stay with his grandmother in Wisconsin. There, he took his second victim, Steven Tuomi. When he was later interrogated about the murder, he stated that he had no memories of killing Tuomi, only that they drank together after he invited him to a hotel room and when he woke up in the morning found Tuomi dead with blood on his own hands.
He took the body to his grandmother’s basement, raped the corpse, dismembered its parts, and disposed of the remains. He committed two more similar murders at the basement before his grandmother forced him to leave in 1988, although it was particularly because she was disturbed by his excessive drinking and late nights.
6. Necrophiliac and Cannibalistic Killer
Jeffrey Dahmer who was a homosexual serial killer didn’t not only kill his victims but also engaged in sexual activities with them and eventually ate them. He reportedly raped all his victims. After drugging, hitting, and strangling them or drilling a hole in their heads, he would take pictures of their naked dead bodies and have sexual intercourse with them.
Cannibalism was also a part of Jeffrey’s murder ritual, as he admitted to storing and eating part of his victims such as their biceps, a bit of the heart, lungs among other choice parts. The investigation that led to his arrest showed that he stored various parts of his victims’ bodies alongside other regular beverages and groceries in his refrigerator.
7. Killed By A Fellow Murderer
Dahmer was apprehended on the 22nd of July 1990 and was charged with a 16 murder count and sentenced to 940 years imprisonment. He was incarcerated at the Columbia Correctional Institution, Wisconsin. In prison, Jeffrey was initially isolated but was later kept with the other prisoners.
However, he could only serve only three years of his sentence as he was killed by a fellow inmate, Christopher Scarver, on November 28, 1994. It occurred when he (Jeffrey Dahmer) and two other inmates, including Scarver, were asked to clean a gymnasium bathroom. Soon after they began cleaning, Scarver picked an iron rod and began hitting Jeffrey and the other inmate named Jesse Anderson. Before the guards could come back, Jeffrey was already dead and the other inmate was terribly injured and died a few days later.
When asked about his motive, Scarver alleged that he was disturbed by Dahmer’s crimes and his habit of making several limbs from prison food to antagonize the other inmates. Based on his request, Jeffrey Dahmer’s body was cremated.