Dahmer's been the subject of numerous films and TV shows—and even name-dropped in a Kesha song. While his actions were the stuff true crime junkie dreams are made of, the atrocities Dahmer committed were some of the most gruesome and horrific in American history.
Get to know the man behind Monster: Dahmer, but beware: What you're about to read may be extremely triggering.
What was Jeffrey Dahmer known for?
Dahmer was a prolific and particularly brutal serial killer and sexual predator who preyed on young men. In addition to murder and rape—which, obviously, are horrific enough—Dahmer also engaged in necrophilia, dismemberment, cannibalism, and even attempted reanimation of his victims.
Why did Jeffrey Dahmer eat people?
No one can ever really understand why Dahmer resorted to cannibalism, but theories abound. Forensic psychologist Dr. Eric Hickley explained to A&E, “Cannibals tend to feel really insecure and can’t have normal relationships. Eating their victims gives them a sense of power because their victims can never leave.”
Dr. Hickley says that cannibals tend to make their victims' deaths relatively quick and painless.
“They’re not interested in their victim suffering, like Ted Bundy was. They’re not looking for sadism," Dr. Hickley said. "They simply want access to the body."
According to Dr. Hickley, cannibalism is a sexual and intimate act for those who partake in it.
“Whenever killers eat other people, they’re acting out a fantasy about relationships and intimacy,” he noted. “They start experimenting with sexual fantasies about voyeurism and necrophilia, and as they’re fantasizing they explore that behavior. You don’t usually see people jump from killing to eating. It starts with watching people sleep, then drugging victims, then you want to be with someone who’s buried or unconscious—and it progresses from there.”
How many people did Jeffrey Dahmer eat?
The precise number of victims Dahmer ate isn't known. There were remains of 17 victims in his freezer at the time of his apprehension, and he admitted to eating many of his victims' organs (especially their hearts) and thighs, and confessing to consuming at least one victim's bicep.
How was Dahmer caught?
Dahmer was finally caught after he brought a man named Tracy Edwards home to his apartment, allegedly offering him cash to stay. When Edwards tried to leave, Dahmer chased him into a bedroom with a butcher knife. Edwards managed to escape and flagged down a police car and told the responding officers about the incident and the knife in Dahmer's bedroom.
Officers who entered the bedroom found photographs Dahmer kept of his victims' corpses and dismembered remains. They arrested Dahmer on the spot—after a previously devastating pattern of letting him skate by.
Where is Jeffrey Dahmer today?
Dahmer died in prison on Nov. 28, 1994. He was cremated and his ashes were given to his family.
What did Jeffrey Dahmer do for a living?
Dahmer had a variety of jobs throughout his life. He joined the Army in 1979, but was discharged in 1981 when his alcoholism hindered his work as a medic. He worked at a sandwich shop, then as a phlebotomist. After two years of unemployment, he began working in a chocolate factory.
What did Jeffrey Dahmer's dad say about him?
Dahmer's father Lionel Dahmer told Larry King Live that growing up, he assumed Jeffrey was a normal, if rather shy, young man—but that he now believed the adage "watch out for the quiet ones" is valid. The only red flag, Lionel recalled, that Jeffrey may not have been psychologically sound was his fixation with roadkill and harming animals.
"If I had known about the roadkill ... I would have done something immediately. Intervened," Lionel said, adding, "Don't disregard shyness. Things can be fermenting in that young mind. Dig. ... I wasn't tuned to that ... in the '50s and '60s, especially with men, you weren't really taught to be a psychologist."
How old was Jeffrey Dahmer?
Dahmer was 18 years old when he committed his first murder: He took a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks back to his father's home; when Hicks tried to leave Dahmer bludgeoned him in the back of the head with a 10-lb. dumbbell.
Dahmer was 34 years old when he died.
Is Dahmer still alive?
Dahmer died in prison on Nov. 28, 1994.
What was Dahmer convicted of?
Dahmer was convicted of 15 counts of murder over a period of 13 years, with most occurring between 1990 and 1991. These included:
Steven Hicks, 18 (1978)
James Edward Doxtator, 14 (1988)
Richard Guerrerro, 22 (1988)
Anthony Lee Sears, 25 (1989)
Raymond Lamont "Ricky Beeks" Smith, 32 (1990)
Edward Warren Smith, 27 (1990)
Ernest Marquez Miller, 22 (1990)
David Courtney Thomas, 22 (1990)
Curtis Durrell Straughter, 17 (1991)
Errol Lindsey, 19 (1991)
Tony Anthony Hughes, 31 (1991)
Konerak Sinthasomphone, 14 (1991)
Matt Cleveland Turner, 20 (1991)
Jeremiah Benjamin Weinberger, 23 (1991)
Oliver Joseph Lacy, 24 (1991)
Joseph Arthur Bradehoft, 25 (1991)
Dahmer killed 17 young men throughout his spree, but was only convicted of those that prosecutors felt could be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
When was Dahmer caught?
Dahmer was caught on July 22, 1991, when a man he tried to subdue with a butcher knife escaped his apartment and flagged down police.
Police had ample opportunities to apprehend Dahmer for years.
In one incident in May 1991, a 14-year-old boy that Dahmer lobotomized escaped his apartment; three young women approached police to help the boy. Dahmer told the police that the boy, Konerak Sinthasomphone, was his adult lover and that the boy was drunk, and police returned the boy to Dahmer and left without investigating. Dahmer strangled the boy soon after he re-entered the apartment.
Dahmer's neighbors had also repeatedly complained about the smells and sounds coming from his apartment to no avail.
Because the majority of Dahmer's victims were Black, many speculated that Milwaukee police turned a blind eye to the murders because of racism—also pointing to the police's returning of Sinthasomphone, who is Laotian, to Dahmer as evidence.
What did Jeffrey Dahmer's mom have?
Dahmer's mother, Joyce Flint, died from breast cancer on Nov. 27, 2000. She worked in HIV and AIDS treatment in Fresno, Calif., before her passing, according to The Los Angeles Times. She suffered from depression during Dahmer's childhood.
Where was Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home?
Dahmer's childhood homes are in the Akron, Ohio, area. He lived in Doylestown, Ohio, followed by Bath Township in Summit County, Ohio.
Related: Is The Thing About Pam a True Story?
What was Jeffrey Dahmer's yearbook prank?
Dahmer attended Revere High School in Bath, Ohio, and snuck into yearbook photos for clubs and activities in which he wasn't a member and didn't take part, including the group photo for the National Honor Society chapter. "It was a very Jeff thing to do," one of his former classmates told The New York Times. "It was part of his trying to be unconventional and to mock everything around him. I think he very consciously chose the honor society because I think in some ways he was laughing at himself and us."
Where did Jeffrey Dahmer work?
Dahmer served in the Army in what was then Baumholder, West Germany; then at a sandwich shop in Florida. He then got a job as a phlebotomist at the Milwaukee Blood Plasma Center, then at the Milwaukee Ambrosia Chocolate Factory.
How did Jeffrey Dahmer die in jail?
Dahmer was murdered by an inmate in jail. Christopher Scarver, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and serving a life sentence of his own for a 1990 murder, bludgeoned Dahmer and another, inmate, Jesse Anderson, with a metal bar, ultimately killing them both. He reportedly claimed that God told him to do it.
When is Jeffrey Dahmer's death date?
Dahmer died on Nov. 28, 1994.