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Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer was an infamous American serial killer and cannibal sentenced to 16 consecutive life terms for 17 gruesome murders.

The grisly killings shocked and horrified the nation. The gory details of his crimes sparked a frenzy of worldwide media coverage.

Jeffrey Dahmer
Jeffrey Dahmer
Biographical fast facts

Full or original name at birth: Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer

Date and place of birth: May 21, 1960, Evangelical Deaconess Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. *

Date, time, place and cause of death: November 28, 1994, at 9:11 a.m., Columbia Correctional Institution, Portage, Wisconsin, U.S.A. (Murdered - Bludgeoned)

Father: Lionel Herbert Dahmer (a chemist)
Mother: Joyce Dahmer (later, Joyce "Rocky" Flint) (an AIDS counselor) (d. November 27, 2000, Fresno, California, of breast cancer)

Remains: He was cremated and the ashes divided between his parents.

Error corrections or clarifications

* Jeffrey Dahmer was most assuredly not born in March or November as some published sources erroneously report. His father, Lionel Dahmer, specifically addresses Jeff's birth in his 1994 book, A Father's Story: "My son Jeff was born in Milwaukee on May 21, 1960."


Jeffrey Dahmer butchered his way into history in a repellent orgy of murder, necrophilia, mutilation and cannibalism. His killing began in June of 1978, when he killed a 19 year-old hitchhiker he'd invited over to his house for drinks. His killing would continue until July of 1991. Over the years, Dahmer developed a routine that involved drugging his victims, killing them, having sex with the dead bodies, dismembering them, and in some cases, cannibalizing them. As the killing became more commonplace, he began photographing his victims at various stages of their dismemberment.

Most shocking of all, Jeffrey L. Dahmer began experimenting on his victims in an attempt to create a living zombie that he could control. In an interview Dahmer gave a year before his own murder, he explained that "Lust played a big part of it. Control and lust. Once it happened the first time, it just seemed like it had control of my life from there on in. The killing was just a means to an end. That was the least satisfactory part. I didn't enjoy doing that. That's why I tried to create living zombies with . . . acid and the -- the drill." Other interviews revealed that he simply did not want his victims to leave him. So he devised a plan whereby he would drill holes into the brain of his drugged victim and pour acid into the frontal lobes in hopes of creating a lobotomized zombie. He explained, "I wanted to see if it was possible to make -- again, it sounds really gross -- uh, zombies, people that would not have a will of their own, but would follow my instructions without resistance. So after that, I started using the drilling technique."

The grisly discovery police made in his apartment, July 22, 1991, has been described as a chamber of horrors. A refrigerator contained bags of human flesh and various body parts. Skulls of past victims were found hidden around the residence. Photos detailing the mutilation of his victims were found. Internal organs, a human torso, chemicals which he used to quickly decompose the remains so he could dispose of them, and body parts in various stages of decomposition, were all found. The discoveries shocked the nation.

Dahmer was dubbed "The Milwaukee Monster" and it seemed every day a new aspect of his savagery was discovered and reported around the globe. While his crimes horrified the world, there was a morbid fascination in the gory madness that led to countless articles, trading cards, books and movies detailing the lurid facets of the case.

Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested and confessed to killing 17 young men and boys. Thus there was never a question of guilt, only whether his insanity defense might lead to institutionalization rather than imprisonment. The jury was unmoved by his plea of insanity, meaning he would spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Following his conviction and sentencing, he commented, "I feel it's wrong for people who commit crimes to try to shift the blame onto somebody else, onto their parents, or onto their upbringing or living circumstances. I think that's just a cop-out. I take full responsibility."

November 28, 1994, while on cleaning detail at the Columbia Correctional Institution, in Portage, Wisconsin, he and fellow inmate Jesse Anderson were attacked. Dahmer died minutes later, while Anderson was hospitalized with serious head injuries, and died days later. The attacker was Christopher Scarver, a convicted murderer, who claimed he killed them on orders from God. Dahmer was pronounced dead en route to nearby Divine Savior Hospital. Prison officials initially speculated the murder weapon was either a broom or mop handle. This was also what many of his obituaries report. It turned out it was actually a bar from a piece of weightlifting equipment from the prison's weight room which had been used to kill one of the most notorious serial killers the world has ever known.


The most in-depth of more than three dozen sources consulted in preparing this profile:
A Father's Story, by Lionel Dahmer (1994)
Milwaukee Massacre: Jeffrey Dahmer and the Milwaukee Murders, by Robert J. Dvorchak and Lisa Holewa.

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