He wasn’t just one of the worst serial killers to ever live, but also one of the most terrifying ones.
In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of facts about Jeffrey Dahmer.
1. Who was Jeffrey Dahmer?
Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer who was convicted of murdering 17 people between June 18, 1978, and July 19, 1991. Many serial killers killed even more people such as Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy, but Jeffrey Dahmer stands out for multiple reasons.
Apart from dismembering his victims, keeping parts of their bodies for months or even years, and necrophilia, which means having sexual intercourse with dead bodies, he will always be remembered for his cannibalism.
For this, he was given the fitting nicknames the “Milwaukee Monster” or the “Milwaukee Cannibal.”
2. He was diagnosed with multiple disorders
Just like George Carlin once commented on necrophiliacs as being “special kind of guys,” it doesn’t take much to conclude that something was severely wrong with Jeffrey Dahmer.
When he was put on trial for his horrendous crimes, he was given multiple psychiatric evaluations and it was concluded that he suffered from borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and multiple psychotic disorders.
3. It’s believed that he lacked some attention during childhood
The age-old question remains: Is somebody born a serial killer or psychopath, or do they become one during their lifetime?
The correct answer is probably a combination of the two. This means that there needs to be a character deficiency to turn some form of trauma during one’s life into destructive behavior.
The first thing experts look at in their quest to find answers is a person’s childhood. Traumas experienced as a child can potentially become triggers later on in life.
With Dahmer, it appears that his parents didn’t get along too well, which is putting it euphemistically. Because of the constant quarreling between the two, he felt neglected as a child as he lacked attention, especially from his mother, who had mental issues herself as well.
4. An operation changed his personality
One of the most interesting facts about Jeffrey Dahmer is that he didn’t appear to have any character deficiencies during his early childhood. He appeared to be a jovial and happy child.
This all changed when he had a double hernia operation just before his fourth birthday. The seemingly happy and enthusiastic child became quiet and timid, something which was noticeable when he attended first grade.
5. He could have become a successful surgeon
One of his peculiar character traits, which developed during his childhood, was his interest in animals. And no, he didn’t like to cuddle a little kitten, he actually liked to dissect them!
His hobby became to collect animals that were killed in accidents on the road and dismember them completely. A pretty weird hobby to have as a kid unless your ambition is to become a surgeon!
6. His fascination with dead animals was quite extreme
It all started a little innocent. Together with some friends he would collect large insects or butterflies and put them in a jar. That didn’t satisfy the young Jeffrey anymore and it turned into collecting road kills and dismembering the dead animals.
In one rather terrifying instance, he found himself a dead dog, decapitated the dog, nailed his body to a tree, and put the dog’s head on a stick in his backyard.
He was just curious about how animals “fitted together.”
Things like that should have given the parents a clue that something was seriously wrong, don’t you think?
7. His father unwillingly helped him with his future crimes
His father wasn’t around too much during Dahmer’s childhood. He was still studying at the university when he was born.
In one of the rare family dinners that they actually talked about stuff, his father mistakenly took his son’s interest in something he was familiar with as a token of interest in scientific knowledge, an area he was knowledgable about himself.
Jeffrey’s father, being a chemist, asked him what would happen if the bones of the chicken they were eating were being put into a bleach solution.
His father was so excited by the curiosity and initiative showed by his lethargic son that he explained in full detail how the chicken bones could be preserved for an extended period of time, unknowing that his son would, later on, use this very method to preserve human beings that he killed in his apartment.
8. Jeffrey Dahmer started drinking from a very early age
Ever since Dahmer attended high school, he was considered to be a weird guy without any friends. It’s true that he was a loner and acted strangely, and to compensate for his inability to have normal social interactions, he became sort of the “class clown.”
He also became a heavy drinker, and his drinking started at the age of 14. In one instance, when he was drinking a glass of gin in class and was seen by another student, he said it was his “medicine.”
Obviously, his academic results, even though he was considered highly intelligent, suffered severely from his bad habit of drinking all day long during schooldays.
9. He almost executed a gruesome plan at the age of 16
Dahmer discovered in his puberty that he was gay, which was about the period he started drinking heavily. He did everything to hide it from his parents and classmates though.
He started fantasizing about raping a jogger that passed by frequently, which formed part of his general fantasy of completely controlling a male subject.
He was hiding in the bushes, baseball bat in hand to knock his victim out, but luckily for him, the jogger didn’t pass that particular day and Dahmer went home without being able to execute his devious plan.
Jeffrey Dahmer nearly committed his first serious offense at the age of 16!
10. He as only 18 when committing his first murder
The next time that he came up with a plan, the victim wasn’t so lucky. After his parents had divorced, Jeffrey found himself home alone and came up with a similar plan. This time, a random hitchhiker named Steven Mark Hicks was his victim.
He managed to lure Hicks to his house and they spent several hours drinking together, just like two drinking buddies would.
When Hicks insisted on leaving the house, Jeffrey didn’t allow him and ended up beating him to death with a 10-pound dumbbell.
Just as he did with the animals he found dead on the roads near his house, he dissected Hicks the following day. A few weeks later he used his father’s tricks to dissolve his victim’s flesh in acid and crushed the bones to bits with a sledgehammer.
Jeffrey Dahmer had committed his first terrifying crime at the age of 18!
11. His honorable discharge from the army was a travesty
Jeffrey’s father noticed that his lazy and useless son was wasting his time after dropping out of the university, so he demanded that he would join the army.
During his period in the army, he was considered to be an “average soldier.” Things got out of hand though when 2 soldiers accused him of rape after he drugged them.
Without any hard evidence, the army couldn’t do more than give him an “honorable discharge” related to his alcohol abuse which made him unfit for the army.
12. He found himself another horrible hobby
After 2 years of unemployment, he finally found himself a job working the night shift in a chocolate factory, 6 days a week with Saturdays off.
One must have a hobby on his day off, so he started visiting gay clubs and bathhouses where he frequently found sexual partners.
There was just one problem. During sexual intercourse, Dahmer couldn’t stand the fact that they were moving around too much!
He sedated them with sleeping pills and raped them while they were unconscious. he was able to pull of his horrible crime 12 times before finally being caught and banned from the bathhouses he frequently visited.
13. He claimed that he didn’t intend to kill next victim
It’s clear that at this point, Dahmer was addicted to his new hobby. Because he got kicked out of the spot he was able to pursue his fantasy at least 12 times, he changed the location of his modus operandi to hotel rooms.
On November 20, 1987, he met 25-year old Steven Tuomi and was able to lure him to his hotel room in the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee.
He claims that he didn’t plan to kill Tuomi and “only” intended to sedate and rape him. He did, however, woke up covered in blood with Tuomi lying dead next to him.
Either way, it made Dahmer change his mindset because, after this murder, he actively sought after young men not just to rape, but to kill as well.
14. Jeffrey Dahmer became a terrifying murdered
After he was able to smuggle Tuomi’s body out of the Ambassador Hotel, he dismembered him at home and this gave him the ultimate feeling of superiority. This led him on a path of murder that couldn’t be stopped and would continue until his arrest.
He killed a total of 15 young men and two 14-year-old boys in a murder spree that lasted nearly 4 and a half years.
Below are the names of his victims, their age, and the dates they were brutally murdered:
- Steven Hicks, 18 years old, June 18, 1978.
- Steven Tuomi, 25 years old, Nov 20, 1987.
- James Doxtator, 14 years old, Jan 16, 1988.
- Richard Guerrero, 22 years old, March 24, 1988.
- Anthony Sears, 24 years old, March 25, 1989.
- Raymond Smith, 32 years old, May 20, 1990.
- Edward Smith, 27 years old, June 1990.
- Ernest Miller, 22 years old, Sep 1990.
- David Thomas, 22 years old, Sep 24, 1990.
- Curtis Straughter, 17 years old, Feb 1991.
- Errol Lindsey, 19 years old, April 7, 1991.
- Tony Hughes, 31 years old, May 24, 1991.
- Konerak Sinthasomphone, 14 years old, May 26, 1991.
- Matt Turner, 20 years old, June 30, 1991.
- Jeremiah Weinberger, 23 years old, July 5, 1991.
- Oliver Lacy, 24 years old, July 15, 1991.
- Joseph Bradehaft, 25 years old, July 19, 1991.
15. Most of his victims wouldn’t have felt much while being killed
Obviously, there is very little positive about this horrific way to lose your life. Being in the wrong place, meeting the wrong guy, and taking a very wrong decision ended up being fatal for these 17 people.
Dahmer’s method of killing his victims remained pretty much the same though. He first gave them alcohol which was laced with sleeping pills and he would then strangle them to death when they were unconscious.
Most of his victims wouldn’t have known what was going on when they were killed as they were already unconscious at the time.
16. He could have been arrested way earlier
In the last week of May, Dahmer found himself another victim, the 14-year old boy Konerak Sinthasomphone of Laotian origin. He actually drilled a hole in his skull and injected him with a substance called hydrochloric acid in an attempt to create a permanent subdued slave.
The plan backfired as the boy woke up after Dahmer went outside to get some beers and managed to get out of the door. 3 women who were taking care of the boy just outside of Dahmer’s apartment called the police as well.
In just about any circumstance, you would assume that this would have meant the end of Dahmer’s killing spree and his ultimate arrest.
Nothing like that happened!
He was able to convince the police that the boy was his 19-year old lover, showed them some pictures of him and the boy the night before, and they actually allowed Dahmer to bring the boy back to his apartment.
He ended up injecting the boy with another dose of hydrochloric acid which ended up killing the boy. The two negligent cops ended up being fired.
17. His final victim got him arrested
Dahmer finally made his crucial mistake when he was able to bribe 32-year-old Tracy Edwards to his apartment by offering him $100 in return for allowing Dahmer to take nude pictures of him. This happened on July 22, 1991.
It turned out to be that Tracy Edwards was a street-smart guy who understood the situation and was able to stall Dahmer long enough to find a moment he could escape, which he eventually did.
With his handcuff still attached to his hands, he was able to notify two police officers who followed Edwards to Dahmer’s apartment.
He wasn’t able to talk himself out of this one, and after a short struggle, he got subdued himself, handcuffed, and taken to the police station.
This marked the end of a terrifying killing spree!
17. His apartment came straight out of a horror movie
We can only imagine the shock that the police officers must have felt when they started to search Dahmer’s apartment. They found a total of 4 severed heads in his refrigerator, several skulls, severed hands, and two preserved penises.
A total of 11 different people’s remains were found in his apartment, including two complete skeletons.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment was literally a house of horror!
18. Dahmer was a cannibal
One of the most terrifying facts about Jeffrey Dahmer is that he apparently enjoyed eating parts of his victims. This makes him a true cannibal.
With his last victim, Tracy Edwards, he actually placed his head on his chest and mentioned to Edwards that he wanted to eat his heart.
Absolutely horrific stuff!
19. He instantly confessed all of his crimes
The first thing most serial killers or other accused would do in a situation like this is to ask for the presence of an attorney.
Dahmer didn’t care about that, waived his legal rights, and instantly went on to confess all of his horrific crimes. In the 60 hours of recorded confessions, he confessed to all 17 murders he committed.
He eventually ended up being sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences on February 15, 1992, and an additional 16th life sentence on May 1, 1992, for the first murder of Steven Hicks.
20. Did Jeffrey Dahmer feel any remorse for his crimes?
When his murder trial began on January 30, 1992, there was just one question to be asked. It wasn’t related to his guilt, because he had confessed to all of his crimes at great length.
The question was simple: Is this man sane enough to stand trial? The decision was clear, Dahmer was indeed sane enough to be convicted as a murderer.
One thing that really sets him apart from other serial killers, is that he doesn’t blame anybody else but himself. he admitted that something’s wrong with him, but he didn’t blame it on anything external.
The fact that he also made full confessions in an attempt to provide his victim’s families with the questions they have makes him different than the Ted Bundy’s or John Wayne Gacy’s with similar horrific track records.
Did he feel true remorse though?
Most probably not…There is nothing in his soft voice or apparent kind demeanor that comes across as convincing or with any level of depth.
Just check the video below and you’ll understand what we mean:
21. He got beaten to death in prison
Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t serve a lot of his 16 life sentences. He was brutally beaten to death by a fellow inmate named Christopher Scarver on November 28, 1994.
Scarver had hidden an iron bar in his cell and attacked Dahmer and another inmate in the gym’s showers while they were cleaning it. Both Dahmer and the other inmate were killed in the assault and Scarver was given 2 additional life sentences.
Scarver later reported that he hated Dahmer for what he had done, and instigated those guards left the three men unsupervised on purpose. None of these claims have ever been confirmed.
Quick facts about Jeffrey Dahmer
22. Jeffrey Dahmer was born on May 21, 1960, at the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.
23. His father, Lionel Dahmer was a chemist and of German and Welsh descent. His mother, Joyce Annette Flint, was a teletype machine instructor, and of Norwegian and Irish descent.
24. His mother had serious mental problems as a child and once attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on her addiction, Equanil pills.
25. He wasn’t really outgoing at school, but regardless, he had a few close friends in his childhood.
26. Dahmer has one little brother and he was allowed to give his younger sibling a name. He chose to give him the name “David.”
27. It’s believed that he got his fascination for dead animals at the age of 4 when he saw his father removing bones of dead animals and became excited with the noise that the bones were making.
28. After his father had taught him how to clean and preserve dead animals, he tested this out frequently with the animals he collected from the road.
29. A study conducted in 2002 by Silva, Ferrari, and Leong, suggested that Dahmer might have suffered from Asperger syndrome, which would explain his oddball behavior in high school.
30. Because of his heavy drinking habit, even at an early age, he became more outgoing and started pulling pranks, which was referred to by his peers as “Doing a Dahmer.”
31. Jeffrey Dahmer’s parents finally divorced after nearly 2 decades of quarreling, and Lionel moved out of the house in 1978, the year Jeffrey graduated from high school.
32. His mother was given custody over Jeffrey, but since he was over 18, he was not subject to court custodial considerations.
33. After his failed stint in the army and a brief period in Miami, Dahmer returned home, only to be arrested just two weeks later for drunk and disorderly conduct.
34. He lived with his grandmother for an extended period of time, one of the few people in the world he showed affection for. It didn’t really help as he was arrested on August 7, 1982, for exposing himself to a group of women and children in a park near his grandmother’s house.
35. he once came up with the idea of digging up a recently deceased 18-year old. He only stopped digging because the soil where he was buried was too hard.
36. In the period he lived with his grandmother, Dahmer stole a male mannequin from a local store and used it to satisfy his sexual urges. His grandmother found it in his closet and demanded that he removed it.
37. He got arrested several times for indecent exposure and ended up being sentenced to one-year probation and forced to undergo counseling when he was accused of exposing himself to two 12-year old boys.
38. His grandmother finally kicked Jeffrey out of her house in September 1988 because she was tired of him bringing young men to her house, and because of the horrible smell that came from his room. It didn’t last long before he was back living with her.
39. In May 1990, Dahmer’s plan backfired when he accidentally drank the wrong glass of alcohol, the one laced with sleeping pills. He was knocked unconscious and when his victim noticed what had happened, he robbed him of $300 and a watch.
40. By 1991, Dahmer had killed so many people in his apartment and kept so many body parts, that the smell became horrendous for his neighbors. They complained to the police because of the smell and weird noises coming from his apartment. He was able to talk himself out of it by saying his tropical fish had died.
41. Tracy Edwards, the hero who ended Dahmer’s killing spree suffered the consequences of his ordeal ever since. His life has been plagued with alcohol and drug abuse ever since and he even ended up in prison himself back in 2012 for his part in the death of a homeless man.
42. His mother died of cancer in the year 2000. His brother changed his last name and lives in anonymity and his father is now retired and lives with his second wife Shari.
43. Both Lionel and his second wife Shari have refused to change their names and openly expressed their love for Jeffrey. Lionel wrote a book about his son called “A Father’s Story,” and donated part of its earnings to the family’s of the victims. This ended up in the mother of the first victim, Steven Hicks, suing the Dahmers for $50 million.
44. His last wish was not to be buried but to be cremated. He was indeed cremated and his ashes were split among his parents.
45. A movie came out on April 25, 2017, about Dahmer’s high school years and the events leading up to his first murder called “My Friend Dahmer.”