Jeffrey Dahmer was born on May 21st, 1960 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. He died on November 28th, 1994 in Portage, Wisconsin. He was a serial killer, a necrophile and cannibal, who is believed to have murdered 17 victims (men and boys) between 1978 and 1991. In 1992 he confessed to killing and dismembering his Milwaukee home, in a killing spree that started in 1978, when he murdered a young hitchhiker. The grim details, including his freezer packed with human body parts, made global news. His insanity plea was rejected by a jury, and he was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms in 1992 (a 16th was later added for the 16th murder). He was murdered by a fellow inmate in 1994.
Dahmer was born in Milwaukee to Christian fundamentalist parents. At age eight, his family moved to Bath Township, Summit County, Ohio, near Akron. From his earliest youth he was extremely shy. He did not commit acts of cruelty to animals but reportedly dissected already dead animals. He struggled with substance abuse and suffered from extremely low self-esteem. His parents underwent a divorce when Jeffrey was 18 (1978). In fact, Dahmer committed his first murder at the age of 18, killing Steven Hicks. Dahmer had invited Hicks over to his house after picking up the 19 year-old hitchhiker, and after drinks, he killed him because he "didn't want him to leave".
Dahmer attended Ohio State University, but dropped out after one term. Dahmer's father then made him sign up with the Army. He signed up for a six-year stint in the Army, he was released after only two years because of his excessive drinking. In 1982, he moved in with his grandmother in West Allis, Wisconsin where he would live for six years.
There were many signs of Dahmer's increasingly unhinged frame of mind, however. The August that he moved in with his grandmother, 1982, he was arrested for exposing himself at a state fair. Four years later, he was charged again with public exposure after two boys accused him of masturbating in public. This time he was sentenced to a year in prison, of which he served 10 months.
In 1988 he was arrested for sexually fondling a 13-year-old boy, for which he served one year in a work release camp and was required to registeras a sex offender. He convinced the judge that he only needed psychological help, and he was released with a 5 year probation on good behavior. Shortly thereafter, he began the string of murders that would end with his arrest in 1991.
Most of his victims were gay black men. He achieved notoriety after his arrest following the discovery of several decaying bodies in acid vats in his apartment. Severed heads were found in his refrigerator and plans for an altar of candles and human skulls were found in his closet. Accusations soon surfaced that Dahmer had practiced necrophilia and cannibalism. Dahmer admitted to eating the biceps of his eighth victim, Ernest Miller, whose skeleton he also kept, noting that human flesh "tasted like beef" to him.
Many people were outraged to learn that Milwaukee police returned Laotian teenager Konerak Sinthasomphone, 14, to Dahmer after he (Dahmer) convinced police that Sinthasomphone was his 19 year-old lover. This happened shortly after Konerak had escaped from Dahmer during the early morning hours of May 27, 1991. He was discovered on the street bleeding from the anus and with a hole drilled in the back of his head wandering around nude . Dahmer claimed they had an argument. After being returned against his will by the Police, later that night Dahmer dismembered Sinthasomphone and would keep his skull as a souvenir. Konerak Sinthasomphone was the younger brother of the boy Dahmer was convicted of molesting in 1988.
John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish, the two police officers who returned Sinthasomphone to Dahmer, were terminated from the Milwaukee Police Department after their actions were widely publicized. The two officers appealed this termination and were reinstated with back pay. They were named officers of the year by the police union for fighting a "righteous" battleto regain their jobs.
By summer 1991, Dahmer was murdering around one person every week. Matt Turner was killed on June 30th, Jeremiah Weinberger on July 5th, Oliver Lacyon July 12th, and finally Joseph Brandehoft on July 19th, just three days before Dahmer was finally arrested.
| June 30, 1991
Dahmer served his time at the Columbia Correctional Institute in Portage, Wisconsin. On November 28th, 1994, Dahmer (who himself had murdered 10 African African American males) and another inmate were brutally beaten and killed by African American inmate Christopher Scarver. After Dahmer's death and subsequent legal proceedings regarding the study of his brain were over, his remains were cremated and divided in half between his birth mother Joyce and his father Lionel and stepmother Shari.
After the murders, the Oxford Apartments were razed and the site is now a vacant lot. At the time the apartments were demolished there were plans to turn the site into a memorial garden, but no garden exists on the site today. The site is mostly overgrown with grass and a tall chain link fence surrounding the perimeter of the property and is generally considered to be in a poor neighborhood of Milwaukee. The families are continuing to struggle with their grief, but after Lionel Dahmer published his book A Father's Story, the majority of the family members reached out to him and his wife Shari. He donated a portion of the proceeds from his book to the victims and their families, but used the rest to pay legal fees by the person who sued him for being an irresponsible father. He has retired from his career as an analytical chemist and resides with his wife today in Medina, Ohio. He consults on the evolution versus creationism topic occasionally, and his wife is a member of the board of the Medina County Ohio Horseman's Council. Both of them continue to carry the name Dahmer and still love their son despite his crimes. Lionel Dahmer's first wife, Joyce, died of cancer some years after the trial. His younger brother David changed his last name and lives in anonymity.
"So I'm a pull a fuckin Jeffrey Dahmer..." Is a lyric in the song "Natural Born Killaz" by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.