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Jeffrey Dahmer

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Real World Bio
Jeffrey Dahmer
Name Jeffrey Dahmer
Alias The Milwaukee Cannibal
The Milwaukee Monster
Gender Male
Birth Date May 21, 1960
Place of Birth West Allis, Wisconsin
Date of Death November 28, 1994
Place of Death Portage, Wisconsin
Job Chocolate factory worker
Pathology Serial Killer
Serial Rapist
Modus Operandi Bludgeoning (first murder)
Strangulation (later)
Post-mortem dismemberment
Type Organized lust
No. of Victims 17 killed
1 molested
1 attempted
Status Deceased

"After the fear and terror of what I'd done had left, which took about a month or two, I started it all over again. From then on it was a craving, a hunger, I don't know how to describe it, a compulsion, and I just kept doing it, doing it and doing it, whenever the opportunity presented itself."

Jeffrey Dahmer, sometimes nicknamed "The Milwaukee Cannibal", was an American cannibalistic, necrophilic serial killer and rapist.


Infant Dahmer

An infant Dahmer with his parents.

Dahmer was born in West Allis, Wisconsin on May 21, 1960. His parents were Lionel Herbert Dahmer, a chemical analyst, and Joyce Dahmer. Seven years later, his brother, David, was born. Jeffrey had a normal childhood, but became very mellowed after he was operated on for a double hernia when he was six years old. It has been claimed that he was also molested by a neighbor. He grew increasingly introverted and began spending time at a secret animal cemetery he had built himself and filled with roadkill, the centerpiece of which was a dog's head he had placed on a stake. He began drinking in his teens, being an alcoholic by high school. In 1977, his parents divorced and he very briefly attended Ohio State University before dropping out due to his drinking. On June 6, 1978, Jeffrey, living with his father, committed his first murder, killing a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks because Steven wanted to leave and Jeff did not want him to leave. When he tried to leave the house (the rest of the family were not home), Jeffrey bludgeoned him to death with a barbell and buried the body near his pet cemetery. Sometime after that, Jeffrey's father forced him to join the Army, where he did well for two years before being discharged in 1981 due to his alcoholism. When this happened, he was provided by the Army an airplane ticket to anywhere in the country, which he used to go to Miami Beach, Florida. He spent most of his time there at a hospital but was eventually kicked out because of his drinking. He continued doing so when he came home, eventually being arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct later in 1981.

Apartment 213

Dahmer's apartment sealed off by police

In 1982, Dahmer moved in with his grandmother in West Allis. While he lived there, she found, on different occasions, a fully dressed male mannequin stolen from a store and a .357 Magnum gun in his room. She also felt terrible smells from the basement, to which Dahmer had brought a dead squirrel and tried to dissolve it in chemicals. He was also arrested for indecent exposure in 1982 and 1986. The second time he masturbated in front of two boys. In the summer of 1988, Dahmer's grandmother asked him to move out because of his strange behavior and the smell coming from the basement, prompting him to move into an apartment in Milwaukee, closer to his job at the Ambrose Chocolate Factory. The same year he was arrested for drugging and sexually fondling a 13-year old boy. He was sentenced to five years' probation and one year in a work release camp, moving out of his apartment. He was paroled two months early and moved into another Milwaukee apartment, Apartment 213 of the Oxford Apartments complex. On May 27, an intended victim, Konerak Sinthasomphone (by coincidence the younger brother of the boy he drugged and molested years earlier), escaped after having been drugged and raped by him. Dahmer later claimed that he had also drilled into his head. When the police arrived, he claimed Konerak to be his 19-year old lover and that he had left after they had drunk and argued. Since he was so charming and articulate, the police believed him and didn't look into the boy's real age or the fact that Dahmer was a registered sex offender on probation. He was arrested for the last time on July 22, 1991 when an intended victim, Tracy Edwards, managed to escape and call for police. When he led two officers to the apartment, they arrested Dahmer and uncovered several grisly items in the apartment, such as:
  • Photographs of mangled bodies
  • Four skulls in the refrigerator
  • Several dismembered organs and bodies
  • Blue barrel vats containing whole bodies
  • Neatly wrapped strips of human flesh in the refrigerator
  • A barrel containing three human torsos
HazMat team at Dahmer's apartment

HazMat technicians removing an acid vat from Dahmer's apartment

Dahmer was charged with 15 of the murders and sentenced to 957 years in prison and served this time at the Colombia Correctional Facility in Portage, Wisconsin where he eventually declared himself a born-again Christian. On November 28, 1994, he was beaten to death in the prison gym with a dumbbell[1] by Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate, and died on his way to the hospital. His brain was retained for study and the apartment complex where he had lived has been demolished and is now a vacant lot. In January 2007, evidence potentially linking Dahmer to the 1981 murder of Adam Walsh, who was asphyxiated somehow and his head severed, emerged. The murder took place in Hollywood, Florida at the time Dahmer lived in Miami Beach, two eyewitnesses could place Dahmer in the mall where Walsh was last seen on the day of the abduction, and Dahmer later made a habit of cutting off the heads of his victims. In the end, the late serial killer Ottis Toole, who confessed to the murder but was never convicted for it, was officially named the killer.

Modus OperandiEdit

Dahmer would usually visit gay bars looking for victims and invite them to his apartment or lure them by offering them money to pose for some photos. The majority of the victims were bi- or homosexual, of African or Asian descent and lived "high-risk" lifestyles. A lot of them also had criminal records, often for serious crimes such as arson, rape, battery, and sexual assault. After picking them up, usually on Friday nights so he could spend the weekend with them, he would bring them home, drug them by crushing prescription drugs and blending it with their drinks, usually rape them, murder them by strangling them with his bare hands or with a leather strap, and eviscerate the remains, documenting the processes with a Polaroid camera. During his later murders, he experimented with handcuffing them and revealing his intentions before the drugs completely kicked in in order to torture them.

He would also engage in sexual acts with the bodies, eventually disposing of them by dissolving them in chemicals to the point that they were completely liquefied and could be poured down a toilet or a sink. He would also keep several body parts in his apartment, usually the heads and genitals, even preserving whole bodies in large, chemical-filled vats. He eventually attempted to turn some of them into "zombies" by drilling holes in their skulls and injecting hydrochloric acid or boiling hot water into their temporal lobes using large syringes. The heads, with which he had a particular fascination, were often boiled until the flesh came off and then painted to make them look like they were made of plastic. He would also consume many victims.


At the core of Dahmer's murders were powerful abandonment issues rooted in his fear of rejection and loss and a need for control. The murder of his first victim, Steven Hicks, is very exemplary of this: he was killed because he wanted to leave, causing Dahmer to snap and kill him in order to keep him from abandoning him. He took a kind of sadistic delight in luring them. The cannibalism he practiced, consuming his victims to make them a part of himself, was an extension of his need for power.


Dahmer's victims

Dahmer's victims

  • June 18, 1978: Steven Hicks, 19 (bludgeoned with a dumbbell)
  • November 20-21, 1987: Steven Tuomi, 26 (the remains were never found)
  • 1988:
    • January 16: James Doxtator, 14
    • March 24: Richard Guerrero, 22
    • September 26: Somsack Sinthasomphone, 13 (drugged and molested only)
  • March 25, 1989: Anthony Sears, 26
  • 1990:
    • June 14: Eddie Smith, 36
    • July: Ricky Beeks, 27
    • September 2: Ernest Miller, 22
    • September 24: David Thomas, 23
  • 1991:
    • February 18: Curtis Straughter, 19
    • April 7: Errol Lindsey, 19
    • May 24: Tony Hughes, 31
    • May 27: Konerak Sinthasomphone, 14
    • June 30: Matt Turner, 20 (body was placed in a vat)
    • July 5: Jeremiah Weinberger, 23 (body was placed in a vat)
    • July 12: Oliver Lacy, 23 (body was placed in a vat)
    • July 19: Joseph Bradehoft, 25 (body was placed in a vat)
    • July 21: Tracy Edwards (attempted; he escaped)

On Criminal MindsEdit


Dahmer, as depicted in a flashback sequence in "Fear and Loathing".

Dahmer has been mentioned or referenced a number of times in Criminal Minds. Copycat serial killer Daniel Dryden copied one of his murders, picking a man up at a gay bar, strangling him to death, and then placing the body in a blue plastic barrel; the address of the abandoned apartment where the barrel was left (25th Street, on block 213) also coincided with the location of Dahmer's residence (North 25th Street, Apartment 213). Dahmer was mentioned by Reid in The Boogeyman as an example of serial killers who carry out fantasies of revenge upon their victims; Reid also explains how childhood harassment led him to kill. Dahmer was also used in Fear and Loathing as an example of how charming serial killers can be, with a flashback accompanying the reference. Milwaukee detective Vic Wolynski from In Name and Blood also worked on the Dahmer case, and, at one point, voices his disgust at people's morbid fascination with the subject, and claims to have personally seen the horrors in Dahmer's apartment.

In Remembrance of Things Past, Rossi names the fact that Dahmer didn't consume all of his victims as an example of cases in which a serial killer deviates from his original signature. In There's No Place Like Home, Reid describes that Dahmer was under a delusion in which he was using his victims' corpses to create young male "sex zombies" that wouldn't resist his advances and mentions how he would keep his victims' skulls, hearts, and genitalia as souvenirs after killing them, in comparison to how the unsub kept the limbs of his victims. In Closing Time, Reid mentioned how Dahmer would put the genitals of his victims on display, wondering if the current unsub was doing the same thing. In Profiling 101, Dahmer's mugshot was among those that appeared in a montage of mugshots of real-life criminals shown by the BAU to a Criminology class. In To Bear Witness, Dahmer was brought up when the BAU compared his fantasy of teenage boys and his habit of pouring acid into his victims' brains to the unsub's usage of lobotomy on his victim. In X, Dahmer was mentioned again as an example of deranged killers.



  1. Ironically, the same weapon he used to kill Steven Hicks, his first victim.

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