“There was something missing in Jeff… We call it a conscience”
One of America’s most notorious homicidal cannibals, Jeffrey Dahmer was born on 21 May 1960 in West Allis, Wisconsin and grew up in a middle-class family. From an early age, he had an interest in cutting up animals and also knew that he was homosexual. He was bullied at school and took to drinking as solace. His father, Lionel, said, “There was something missing in Jeff… We call it a conscience.”
His first victim was 19-year-old hitchhiker Stephen Hicks on 6 June 1978 near Akron, Ohio. They drank together, but when Hicks wanted to leave Dahmer smashed his head in with a barbell. He cut the body up and put it into five bin bags. As Dahmer was disposing of them a policeman stopped his car for a traffic violation. Dahmer would not kill again for nine years. He moved to Milwaukee to live with his grandmother.
Then in 1985 Dahmer began hanging out in bathhouses where he would take lovers to private cubicles and drug them. Dahmer wanted to be the active participant in sodomy, not the recipient. When his behaviour was discovered he was barred from gay hangouts and moved onto hotels.
One day Dahmer took a lover to the Ambassador Hotel and, when he awoke, the man lying next to him was dead. Dahmer claimed to have no recollection of what he had done. It was the first of 16 murders. On 25 September 1988 his fifth victim escaped and Dahmer was sent to prison for molesting and taking photographs of a 13-year-old boy. On 30 May 1991 Konerak Sinthasomphone (the younger brother of the boy Dahmer had molested) was found on the street naked, bleeding from the anus and having taken drugs.
Dahmer told the police that Konerak was his boyfriend and that they had had an argument. The police returned the boy to Dahmer who that night murdered him, keeping his skull as a souvenir. In that summer of 1991 Dahmer murdered almost one man a week. Dahmer’s reign of terror ended on 22 July 1991 when his final victim, Tracy Edwards, escaped and ran handcuffed into the arms of police. Edwards told them Jeffrey Dahmer had imprisoned him and threatened to eat his heart.
Apartment 213, Oxford Apartments, 924 North 25th Street; Ambassador Hotel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
June 1978-Monday 22 July 1991
In February 1992 Dahmer was sentenced to 957 years in prison. On 28 November 1994, at the Columbia Correctional Facility at Portage, Wisconsin, Christopher Scarver, a black, delusional schizophrenic who believed he was the son of God, caved in the heads of Dahmer and Jesse Anderson in the prison gym. Dahmer was pronounced dead at 9.11am.
Ironically, Dahmer was killed with the same type of weapon he had used on his first victim. His body was cremated but his mother asked that his brain be studied. It was found to be normal. The home where Dahmer committed many of his murders has since been demolished.