Did Jeffrey Dahmer Really Take Polaroids of His Victims? Here's What We Know

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Content warning: This article contains references of murder and sexual assault some may find upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.

Since Netflix released its dramatized retelling of Jeffrey Dahmer's notorious murders, DAHMER - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, the internet is in a frenzy as viewers try to figure out the true stories behind the real-life victims and Dahmer's family members. Between 1978 and 1991, the infamous serial killer would prey on Black, Latino, and Asian men in public spaces before killing and dismembering them in his Milwaukee apartment. According to the Crime Museum, "Rape, dismemberment, necrophilia, and cannibalism" were all parts of Dahmer's disturbing murders.

His terrifying killing spree may have gone under the radar for nearly a decade, but one piece of evidence eventually led to his arrest: Polaroid pictures. Ahead, find everything we know about Jeffrey Dahmer taking Polaroid pictures of his victims.

Did Jeffrey Dahmer really keep polaroids of his victims in his apartment?

Dahmer would lure victims back to his apartment to give them drug-laced drinks and sexually assault them once they died. He would also dismember their bodies and keep "souvenirs" like body parts, skulls, and genitals. Per Biography, "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."

Why did Jeffrey Dahmer take Polaroids of his victims?

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

In 1994, The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology explained that Dahmer often felt lonely and wanted "mementos to keep him company." Upon investigation, police also found drawings that exposed the serial killer's plans to make an altar in his apartment using the photos, painted skeletons, and skulls, per ELLE Australia.

How did Jeffrey Dahmer's Polaroids lead to his arrest?

On July 22, 1991, Dahmer's final victim Tracy Edwards escaped his apartment and made it out alive. According to ABC News, Tracy led Milwaukee police to discover 84 Polaroid pictures in a bedside drawer. This ultimately ended Dahmer's cannibalistic killing spree.

Per ELLE Australia, the gruesome photos included "his victim's corpses posed in suggestive positions with their backs arched, documentation of the dismemberment process and Dahmer engaging in necrophilia." The outlet also described that Officer Rolf Mueller was in a state of shock as he told his partner, "these [photos] are real."

Dahmer was convicted of 15 murder charges and sentenced to 957 years in prison and died after an inmate attacked him in 1994.

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