What comes to mind when hearing the infamous name Jeffrey Dahmer? Murderer and serial killer are perhaps some of the most common terms. However, when delving deeper into the depths of Dahmer’s crimes, several other heinous titles become apparent. Cannibal, necrophile, pedophile and failed mad scientist to name a few. Dahmer is referred to as the “Milwaukee Monster,” and for good reason. The circumstances surrounding his seventeen murders epitomize the most extreme forms of both cultural and societal taboos.
Dahmer, born on May 21st, 1960 to an average middle-class family, was described as a typical, albeit overly curious child. From an early age, Jeffrey acquired an interest in nature and animals which had been passed down to him through his father, a chemist. Unlike many serial killers, Jeffrey never expressed a desire to inflict harm upon any of the animals that he admired. However, at the commencement of puberty, Jeffrey’s fascination quickly transformed into a morbid curiosity. Dahmer was interested in the insides of these animals. He resorted to collecting road kill in garbage bags and would also dissect the specimens in the woods area behind his family’s home.
In an interview with Lionel Dahmer, Jeffrey’s father, Lionel theorizes that it was the unfortunate combination of time and action that contributed to the development of his son’s perversions. In other words, the sexual development that is attributed to puberty had been fused with the action of dissection and thus ultimately merged into an insatiable lust for death. The penetration of the knife, the oozing of blood and the complete lifeless and submissive state of his specimens were now the basis of his sexual desires.
The Crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer
His first murder occurred at the age of eighteen in 1978. Dahmer had been living alone at his family home for a few months. This isolation would serve as the perfect opportunity to finally fulfill his repressed urges. Dahmer’s first victim was a hitchhiker by the name of Steven Hicks. Dahmer lured the young man back to his home but when Hicks wanted to leave, Dahmer bludgeoned him with a ten-pound dumbbell and ended his life by means of strangulation. Dahmer then stripped Hicks’s body and masturbated over his corpse. The proceeding day, Dahmer dismembered the body and buried the remains in his backyard.
Nearly 8 years passed before Dahmer would commit his second murder. In the meantime, he tried many ways to satisfy his sexual urges. Some of which included masturbating in front of prepubescent boys and attempting to dig up a grave of a freshly interred 18-year-old male. The latter instance was not successful because the digging proved too strenuous of a task.
His second murder took place in 1987. Dahmer drugged his victim and then raped him. He strangled the man and dissected him, skinning the flesh and muscle off the bones. He disposed of the entire body except for the head. For a total of two weeks, Dahmer preserved the head by means of boiling it in a homemade chemical preservation solution. His third victim was a 14- year-old boy that he lured and murdered in his usual fashion. Some other notable murders included Dahmer’s fourth murder, which marked the first incident where he performed sexual acts upon the corpse and his eighth murder, which marked his first act of cannibalism. Sources indicate that Dahmer murdered 17 people from 1978 to 1991 (not all of which could be proved).
As the murders continued, Dahmer became exceedingly creative with his methods of disposing and preserving body parts. On one occasion, instead of strangulation, Dahmer rendered his victim unconscious and drilled a hole into his head, in order to pour hydrochloric acid in the wound. This was a failed attempt to keep the body in a permanent state of submission. Dahmer yearned for his very own sexual zombie.
Dahmer’s thirteen-year-long sexual killing spree finally ended abruptly by accident. He had decided to go out on a beer run while one of his victims was drugged and asleep in his bed. While Dahmer was away, the victim woke up and, in a confused stupor, ran out of the apartment. He was spotted naked by a passerby who immediately notified the authorities.
Dahmer was convicted of crimes for 15 murders to 15 life imprisonment terms. On November 28, 1994, while incarcerated, an inmate by the name of Christopher Scarver, was left in the men’s shower room alone with Dahmer and one other inmate, Jesse Anderson. Dahmer was later seen brutally beaten on the floor of the shower room having severe injuries to the head and face. Scarver would later confess that he beat Dahmer with a metal pipe along with Anderson. Sources indicate that Dahmer was extremely unliked by both the guards and the other inmates for continuously taunting them by means of imitating severed limbs and creating blood splatter out of his food. The Crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer proves that the compulsion and gratification of our own sexual desires often overpower morality. But sometimes morality will end one’s sexual desires.
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