Jeffrey Dahmer, an American serial killer and sex offender, was born on May 21, 1960. Between the years of 1978 and 1991, Dahmer murdered 17 males. Rape, dismemberment, necrophilia, and cannibalism were involved in his murders. He was beaten to death on November 28, 1994 by an inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution, where he had been incarcerated.
By most accounts Dahmer had a normal childhood; however he became withdrawn and uncommunicative as he got older. He began showing little to no interest in hobbies or social interaction around the ages of 10 to 15. Dead animals became an interest of his and he also started drinking heavily during his high school years. His drinking escalated and was a huge issue following high school. His father made him enlist in the army, but he was kicked out due to alcoholism.
Dahmer then traveled to Florida, spending most of his time in the hospital, but was eventually kicked out for his drinking. His behavior became increasingly strange once he moved in with his grandmother. She began finding disturbing things in her home, including a .357 magnum under his bed and a male mannequin in his closet. He continued his fascination with dead animals, dissecting dead squirrels in the basement and dissolving them with chemicals. In both 1982 and 1986, he was arrested for indecent exposure. The strange behaviors led his grandmother to ask him to move out in the summer of 1988.
Once he moved out of his grandmother’s, he found an apartment close to his job at the Ambrosia Chocolate Factory. Only one day after moving into his new apartment, he was arrested for drugging and sexually fondling a 13-year-old boy. He was given a sentence of five years of probation, one year at a work release camp, and required to register as a sex offender. He was released two months early from the work release camp and soon moved into a new apartment. Shortly following, the string of murders began and ended with his arrest in 1991.
His first murder was in the summer of 1978. Dahmer was 18-years-old. After being left alone by his father who was away on business, he picked up a hitch hiker named Steven Hicks and offered to take him back to his father’s house to drink beer. When Hicks decided to leave, Dahmer hit him in the back of the head with a 10 lb dumbbell. He then buried the body in the back yard, and admitted to killing him because he didn’t want him to leave. Nine years passed before he killed again. Steven Tuomi was the second victim, killed in September of 1987. Dahmer picked him up from a bar and later killed him on impulse. He stated that he had no memory of committing that crime. The killings occurred sporadically after Tuomi, with two in 1988 and one in 1989. He usually picked up his victims at gay bars and had sex with them before killing them. Until he was caught, he even kept the skull of one of his victims, Anthony Sears. In May of 1990, he once again moved out of his grandmother’s house into an apartment that would later be the location of four more murders in 1990 and three in 1991.
In 1991, a boy was discovered wandering the streets drugged and confused, he was 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone. The two women that found him called 911; however Dahmer chased after his victim and stated to the police that he was his 19-year-old boyfriend. Without a sex offender background check or age verification, the police handed Sinthasomphone back over to Dahmer. Later that same night, Dahmer killed and dismembered Sinthasomphone and kept his skull as a souvenir.
He began killing around one person each week by the summer of 1991. Dahmer was using the idea that he could turn his victims into “zombies” to have youthful submissive sexual partners. He used many different techniques, such as drilling holes into their skull and injecting hydrochloric acid or boiling water into their brains. Soon, residents of Oxford Apartments complex began noticing awful smells coming from Dahmer’s apartment, as well as loud noises from falling objects. Although most serial killers stick with one racial background, Dahmer killed a variety of people from different racial backgrounds.
On the day of his arrest, Dahmer attempted to lure Tracy Edwards into his home. While inside the home, Edwards was forced into the bedroom by Dahmer with a butcher knife. During the struggle, Edwards was able to get free and escape out into the streets where he flagged down a police car. When the police arrived at Dahmer’s apartment, Edwards alerted them to the knife that was in the bedroom. Upon entering the bedroom pictures of dead bodies and dismembered limbs allowed the officers to arrest Dahmer. Further investigation of the home lead to a severed head in the refrigerator, three more severed heads in the apartment, multiple photographs of victims and human remains and more human remains in his refrigerator. It was later assumed that he practiced necrophilia and cannibalism. A total of seven skulls were found in his apartment as well as a human heart in the freezer. An attempted alter was also constructed with candles and human skulls in his closet.
After being indicted on 17 murder charges, the trial began on January 30, 1992. Even though the evidence against him was overwhelming, Dahmer pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Following two weeks of trial, the court declared him sane and guilty on 15 counts of murder. He was sentenced to 15 life terms, for a total of 957 years in prison. Following sentencing, Dahmer expressed remorse for his actions and wished for his own death. In May of the same year, he entered a guilty plea for the murder of his first victim, Stephen Hicks.
During his time in prison, Dahmer declared himself a born-again Christian. He served his time at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin. He was attacked twice during that time. The first attempt, to slice his neck with a razor, left him with only superficial wounds. However, the second attack ended up killing him, and he died on the way to the hospital from severe head trauma.