Jeffrey Dahmer reign of terror spanned thirteen years and would take the lives of seventeen young men. According to crime reports Jeffrey Dahmer picked up a hitchhiker and would murder him in 1978 and would not kill anyone else until 1987 when his true murder spree began targeting gay men. Jeffrey Dahmer began collecting his victims body parts in a series of gallon barrels in his apartment. When one of his potential victims was able to escape and bring back the police the grisly discovery made headlines across the Globe. Jeffrey Dahmer would make a full confession and would take a plea deal in order to escaped the death penalty. This serial killer would be murdered in prison in 1994
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Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer who took the lives of 17 males between 1978 and 1991. Over the course of more than 13 years, Dahmer sought out men, mostly African-American, at gay bars, malls and bus stops, lured them home with promises of money or sex, and gave them alcohol laced with drugs before strangling them to death. He would then engage in sex acts with the corpses before dismembering them and disposing of them, often keeping their skulls or genitals as souvenirs. He frequently took photos of his victims at various stages of the murder process, so he could recollect each act afterward and relive the experience.
Dahmer was captured in 1991 and sentenced to 16 life terms. He was killed by fellow prison inmate Christopher Scarver in 1994.
Dahmer was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on May 21, 1960, to Lionel and Joyce Dahmer. He was described as an energetic and happy child until the age of 4, when surgery to correct a double hernia seemed to effect a change in the boy. Noticeably subdued, he became increasingly withdrawn following the birth of his younger brother and the family’s frequent moves. By his early teens, he was disengaged, tense and largely friendless.
Dahmer claims that his compulsions toward necrophilia and murder began around the age of 14, but it appears that the breakdown of his parents’ marriage and their acrimonious divorce a few years later may have been the catalyst for turning these thoughts into actions.
By the time of his first killing, Dahmer’s alcohol consumption had spun out of control. He dropped out of Ohio State University after one quarter term, and his recently remarried father insisted that he join the Army. Dahmer enlisted in late December 1978, and was posted to Germany shortly thereafter.
His drinking problem persisted, and in early 1981, the Army discharged him. Although German authorities would later investigate possible connections between Dahmer and murders that took place in the area during that time, it is not believed that he took any more victims while serving in the Armed Forces.
Following his discharge, Dahmer returned home to Ohio. An arrest later that year for disorderly conduct prompted his father to send Dahmer to live with his grandmother in Wisconsin, but his alcohol problem continued and he was arrested the following summer for indecent exposure. He was arrested once again in 1986, when two boys accused him of masturbating in front of them. He received a one-year probationary sentence.
Dahmer murdered 17 men between 1978 and 1991. He was careful to select victims on the fringes of society, who were often itinerant or borderline criminal, making their disappearances less noticeable and reducing the likelihood of his capture. He lured them to his home with promises of money or sex, then strangled them to death. He engaged in sex acts with their bodies and kept body parts and photos as souvenirs.
First Four Victims
Dahmer’s first murder occurred just after graduating high school, in June 1978, when he picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks and took him home to his parents’ house. Dahmer proceeded to get the young man drunk; when Hicks tried to leave, Dahmer killed him by striking him in the head and strangling him with a barbell.
Dahmer dismembered the corpse of his first victim, packed the body parts in plastic bags and buried them behind his parents’ home. He later exhumed the remains, crushed the bones with a sledgehammer and scattered them across a wooded ravine.
It wasn’t until September 1987 that Dahmer took his second victim, Steven Tuomi. They checked into a hotel room and drank, and Dahmer eventually awoke to find Tuomi dead, with no memory of the previous night’s activities. He bought a large suitcase to transport Tuomi’s body to his grandmother’s basement, where he dismembered and masturbated on the corpse before disposing of the remains.
Only after Dahmer killed another two victims at his grandmother’s home did she tire of her grandson’s late nights and drunkenness — although she had no knowledge of his other activities — and she forced him to move out of the premises in 1988.
That September 1989, Dahmer had an extremely lucky escape: An encounter with a 13-year-old Laotian boy resulted in charges of sexual exploitation and second-degree sexual assault for Dahmer. He pleaded guilty, claiming that the boy had appeared much older.
While awaiting sentencing for his sexual assault case, Dahmer again put his grandmother’s basement to gruesome use: In March 1989, he lured, drugged, strangled, sodomized, photographed, dismembered and disposed of Anthony Sears, an aspiring model.
At his trial for child molestation in May 1989, Dahmer was the model of contrition, arguing eloquently, in his own defense, about how he had seen the error of his ways, and that his arrest marked a turning point in his life. His defense counsel argued that he needed treatment, not incarceration, and the judge agreed, handing down a one-year prison sentence on “day release” — allowing Dahmer to work at his job during the day and return to the prison at night — as well as a five-year probationary sentence.
Years later, in an interview with CNN, Lionel Dahmer stated that he wrote a letter to the court that issued the sentence, requesting psychological help before his son’s parole. However, Dahmer was granted an early release by the judge, after serving only 10 months of his sentence. He briefly lived with his grandmother following his release, during which time he does not appear to have added to his body count, before moving back into his own apartment.
Last 13 Victims
Over the following two years, Dahmer’s victim count accelerated, bringing his total from four to 17. He developed rituals as he progressed, experimenting with chemical means of disposal and often consuming the flesh of his victims. Dahmer also attempted crude lobotomies, drilling into victims’ skulls while they were still alive and injecting them with muriatic acid.
On May 27, 1991, Dahmer’s neighbor Sandra Smith called the police to report that an Asian boy was running naked in the street. When the police arrived, the boy was incoherent, and they accepted the word of Dahmer — a white man in a largely poor African-American community — that the boy was his 19-year-old lover. In fact, the boy was 14 years old and a brother of the Laotian teen Dahmer had molested three years earlier.
The police escorted Dahmer and the boy home. Clearly not wishing to become embroiled in a homosexual domestic disturbance, they took only a cursory look around before leaving.
Once the police left the scene, Dahmer killed the boy and proceeded with his usual rituals. Had they conducted even a basic search, police officers would have found the body of Dahmer’s 12th victim, Tony Hughes.
Before he was finally arrested, Dahmer killed four more men.