Dahmer Essay, Research Paper
“When I was a little kid I was just like anybody else.”
Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer came into the world at 4.34pm on the 21st of May at the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital in Milwaukee 1960.
Little did his parents know at the time of his birth that there son would become one of America’s most famous serial killers not only for the amount of victims which he had killed but also for dismembering them and his necrophilic tendencies.
Jeffrey’s childhood started like any other he had two parents who loved and adored there son dearly giving him what ever his heart desired. Joyce Dahmer started a scrap book on her son recording events that happened in his life, his first step, his first accident, his first tooth, his first haircut and even his first scolding.
While Jeffrey was still very young his father worked long hours in his laboratory and his mother worked as a Teletype machine instructor.
But the carrying of Jeffrey had been hard on Joyce Dahmer and every little thing seemed to annoy her. So Lionel being the husband that he was and wanting the best for his wife they moved to his mothers house in West Allis, but the crack’s in the marriage started to show early. There were constant fights between Joyce and Lionel Dahmer and Jeffrey took each of these fights to heart.
Little did they realize that there constant fighting would be the one of the reasons for Jeffrey’s downfall.
“I decided I wasn’t ever going to get married because I never wanted to go through anything like that”
A short time before Jeffrey’s fourth birthday, Jeffrey was diagnosed with a double hernia that needed to be operated on. This operation left Jeffrey feeling open and exposed nobody explained to Dahmer what was going on. He felt scared by the operation, complete strangers coming up to him and exploring his body. This experience is said to have marked his subconscious forever.
But like every little boy of Jeffrey’s age he was just like anybody else climbing apple trees, riding his bike and playing in coal dust and coming home dirty.
Though he was painfully shy while growing up he over came this in time.
By the time Jeffrey turned six his mother gave birth to a second son who she called David. Though this did not have a dramatic effect on Dahmer’s life he stayed pretty much neutral to his brothers existence and they never became close.
By the time of his second son’s birth Lionel Dahmer and his family moved into there own house at 4480 West Bath Road, surrounded by open forest where Jeffrey could lose himself in a world of make believe.
As Jeffrey grew towards puberty, his sinking isolation and shyness was confirmed once again. An early sexual experiment with another boy proved to be disappointing and joyless.
Jeffery should have come to a time in his life where he wanted to experience the joys of life and the companionship of friends, but Jeffrey withdrew into himself and kept his life somewhat of a secret.
Jeffrey’s Dahmer’s life conditioned him for the hard struggle that lay ahead. Little did he know that in just over 16 years he would become one of America’s most famous serial killers having murdered 17 people, dismembering them and sleeping with their corpses and keeping parts of his victims for trophy’s.
” This is the grand finale of a life poorly spent and the end result is just overwhelmingly depressing….. a sick pathetic, miserable life story, that’s all it is”
The first person to plumb into the depths of Jeffrey Dahmer s depravity was Detective Patrick Kennedy. A huge bear of a man with dramatic handlebar mustache, he engaged Dahmer s confidence and was the person to whom he confessed the details of his thirteen-year killing spree.
While Dahmer had fantasies about killing men and having sex with their corpses as early as age fourteen, he didn t do anything about it until just after he graduated high school in June of 1978. He picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks when he was living with his parents in the upscale of Community of Bath, Ohio. They had sex and drank beer, but then Hicks wasnted to leave. Dahmer couldn t stand the idea of Hicks leaving so he struck him in the head with a barbell and killed him.
He needed to get rid of the body so he cut it up, packaged it up in a plastic garbage bag and buried the bags in the woods behind his house. That fall, he attended Ohio State University for a semester but flunked out. At the end of 1978, he left to join the Army and was stationed in Germany. Apparently he didn t kill anyone when he was in the Army which was corrobotrated by an exhaustive investigation by the German police. After a couple of years, the Army discharged him for alcoholism and he went to live in Florida before returning to Ohio. Once back home, he dug up Hicks body, pounded the decomposing corpse with a sledgehammer and scattered the remains in the woods.
He killed his second victim Steven Toumi a hotel room in September of 1987. The two of them had been drinking heavily in one of the popular gay bars. Dahmer didn’t know how he killed him, but when he awoke, Toumi was dead and blood was on his mouth. He bought a large suitcase and stuffed the body inside. After he took Toumi’s corpse to his grandmother’s basement, he had sex with it, masturbated on it, dismembered it and threw it in the garbage.
Several months later, he selected his third victim, a fourteen-year-old Native American boy named Jamie Doxtator who hung around outside the gay bars, looking for relationships. Dahmer’s methods became established by that time. Normally, he would meet and select his prey at gay bars or bathhouses. He would lure his victims by offering them money for posing for photographs or simply to enjoy some beer and videos. Then he would drug them, strangle them, masturbate on the body or have sex with the corpse, dismember the body and dispose of it. Sometimes he would keep the skull or other body parts as souvenirs.
So, on September 25, 1988, Jeffrey moved into an apartment on North 24th Street in Milwaukee. The very next day, he got into serious trouble. He offered a thirteen-year-old Laotian boy $50 to pose for some pictures. He drugged the boy and fondled him, but did not get violent or have intercourse with him. By incredible coincidence, the boy’s name was Sinthasomphone, the older brother of the boy that Dahmer would kill in May of 1991.
The boy’s parents realized there was something wrong with their child and took him to the hospital where it was confirmed that he had been drugged. The police picked up Dahmer at his job at the mixer of Ambrosia Chocolate. He was arrested for sexual exploitation of a child and second-degree sexual assault. On January 30, 1989, he pleaded guilty, although he claimed that he thought that the boy was much older than he was.
While Dahmer awaited sentencing and was living again at his grandmother’s house, he met a black homosexual named Anthony Sears at a gay bar. Like the others, he offered the twenty-four-year-old aspiring black model some money to pose for photos. When they reached Dahmer’s grandmother’s house, Sears was drugged and strangled. Dahmer had sex with his corpse and dismembered it.
Anne Schwartz describes what happened next: “…he kept the head and boiled it to remove the skin, later painting it gray, so that in case of discovery, the skull would look like a plastic model used by medical students. Dahmer saved the trophy for two years, until it was recovered from Apartment 213 on July 23, 1991. Later he explained that he masturbated in front of the skulls for gratification.”
On May 23, 1989, Dahmer’s lawyer Gerald Boyle and Assistant D.A. Gale Shelton presented their arguments to Judge William Gardner. Shelton wanted a prison sentence of at least five years. “In my judgment it is absolutely crystal clear that the prognosis for treatment of Mr. Dahmer within the community is extremely bleak… His perception that what he did wrong here was choosing too young a victim, — and that that’s all he did wrong, — is a part of the problem… He appeared to be cooperative and receptive, but anything that goes below the surface indicates that the deep-seated anger and deep-seated psychological problems that he is unwilling or incapable of dealing with.”
Three psychologists examined him and concurred that Dahmer was manipulative, resistant and evasive. Hospitalization and intensive treatment was recommended.
Boyle, the defense attorney argued that Dahmer was sick and needed treatment, not prison. He praised the fact that he had held a job. “We don’t have a multiple offender here. I believe that he was caught before it got to the point where it would have gotten worse, which means that it is a blessing in disguise.”
Dahmer himself spoke in his own defense, blaming his behavior on alcoholism. He was articulate and convincing, for someone who had secretly murdered several men by that time. “What I have done is very serious. I’ve never been in this position before, nothing this awful. This is a nightmare come true for me. If anything would shock me out of my past behavior patterns it’s this. The one thing I have in my mind that is stable and that gives me some source of pride is my job. I’ve come very close to losing it because of my actions, which I take full responsibility for… All I can do is beg you, please spare my job. Please give me a chance to show that I can, that I can tread the straight and narrow and not get involved in any situation like this ever again… This enticing a child was the climax of my idiocy… I do want help. I do want to turn my life around.”
A marvelous performance by a true psychopath! The judge fell for it, stayed his sentence, and put Dahmer on probation for five years. He was ordered to spend one year in the House of Correction under “work release,” which allowed him to go to work during the day and return to the jail at night.
After ten months, the judge granted him early release despite a letter from Dahmer’s father urging him not to release him until he received treatment. He went to stay with his grandmother in early March of 1990, but his stay there was conditional upon him finding his own place to live.
On May 14, 1990, Dahmer moved to 924 North 25th Street, Apartment 213 and the killing began in earnest.
During the following fifteen months, Dahmer went on a killing binge that cost twelve men their lives. The pace of Dahmer’s murders accelerated to a frenzy in May-July of 1991 when he was killing almost at a rate of one man a week. All but three were black; one was white, one was Laotian and one was Hispanic. Most, but not all, were homosexual or bisexual. The youngest was Konerak, age fourteen, and the oldest was thirty-one. Many of the victims lived what police call “high-risk” lifestyles. Most of the men had arrest records, often for very serious crimes, like arson, sexual assault, rape, battery, etc. The listing below appears in Anne Schwartz’s The Man Who Could Not Kill Enough:
h Edward Smith June, 1990
h Ricky Lee Beeks July, 1990
h Ernest Miller Sept., 1990
h David Thomas Sept., 1990
h Curtis Straughter Feb., 1991
h Errol Lindsey April, 1991
h Anthony Hughes May 24, 1991
h Konerak Sinthasomphone May 27, 1991
h Matt Turner June 30, 1991
h Jeremiah Weinberger July 5, 1991
h Oliver Lacey July 12, 1991
h Joseph Bradehoft July 19, 1991
Before any clean up began, Dahmer reached for his Polaroid to capture the entire experience so that he could remember each and every murder. Then he cut open their torsos. He was fascinated by the color of the viscera and sexually aroused by the heat that the freshly-killed body would give off. Finally, he would dismember the man, photographing each stage of the process for future viewing pleasure.
He disposed of most of the bodies, experimenting with various chemicals and acids that would reduce the flesh and bone to a black, evil-smelling sludge, which could be poured down a drain or toilet.
Not unusual with necrophiliacs is cannibalism. Dahmer claimed that he ate the flesh of his victims because he believed that the people would come alive again in him. He tried various seasonings and meat tenderizers to make the human flesh more tasty. Eating human flesh gave him an erection. His famous freezer contained strips of frozen human flesh. He had tried human blood too, but it did not appeal to his taste buds.
On July 1992, Dahmer ignored his lawyer s advice, and changed his plea to guilty, but that he was insane. According to The Milwaukee Murders, The declaration turned this case on it s head. Now, instead of having to prove his man didn not commit the murders, defense attorney Gerald Boyle would unroll one of the goriest taperstries ever seen in an American courtroom. His task was to convince the jury that Dahmer was crazy, because only an insane person would do the things that he did.
The pool of prospective jurors were warned, You re going to hear about things you probably didn t know existed in the real world. In this case, Boyle told them, you re going to hear about sexual conduct before death, during death, and after death. Will you be so disgusted by thtat you won t be able to listen?
Two detectives took turns reading the 160 page confession. It was a catalog of sexual perversion. Detective Dennis stated that Dahmer felt a tremendous amount of guilt because of his actions. He felt thoroughly evil.
His apology, covering a thirteen year old bloodbath, ran four typewritten pages:
It is now over, this has never been a case of trying to get free. I didn t ever want freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself. This was not a case to tell the world that I did what I did, but not for reasons of hate. I hated no one. I knew I was sick or evil, or both. Now I believe I was sick. The doctors have told me about my sickness, and now I have some peace. I know how many harms I have caused KThank God there will be no more harming that I can do. I believe that only the Lord Jesus Christ can save me from my sins KI ask for no consideration.
He was sentenced for 15 consecutive life terms or a total of 957 years in prison.
For some incredible reason, he was paired up with two highly dangerous men on a work detail. Jesse Anderson, a white man who had murdered his wife and blamed it on a black man, and Christopher Scarver, a black delusional schizophrenic who thought he was the son of God, who was in for first-degree murder. It’s not difficult to imagine how Scarver viewed Jeff Dahmer, who had butchered so many black men, and Anderson. It was a disastrous combination.
The morning of November 28, 1994, the guard left these three men alone to do their work. Twenty minutes later, the guards came back to find Dahmer’s head crushed and Anderson’s fatally injured body nearby. A bloody broom handle seemed to represent Scarver’s statement on the subject. Jeffrey Dahmer was pronounced dead at 9:11 A.M.