A Look Into the Mind of Jeffrey Dahmer

I am unabashedly fascinated by Jeffrey Dahmer. No, I don’t think what he did was ok. Nor do I idolize him in any morbid way. More, I find the psychology of his crimes and his state of mind quite interesting. While most believe that he was nothing more than a blood thirsty cannibal, the truth is that once you look further into his crimes and his words it’s so much more than that.

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Known by some as the “Milwaukee Monster”, Jeffrey Dahmer spent the years of the 1980’s and early 1990’s commiting a number of murders, engage in rape, necrophilia, corpse mutilation, and yes.. cannibalism.

Jeffrey Dahmer

The Early Years

The first of two sons to parents Joyce and Lionell Dahmer, Jeffrey was born on May 21st, 1960 in West Allis, Wisconsin. After growing out of his toddler years reports say that he was largely ignored by his parents as his mother had become a pill addict and his father was a busy chemistry student at nearby Marquette University. In one interview he described his family life as “extreme tension”, due to the fact that his parents were frequently arguing.

From an early age he was considered a loner and thought to be “odd” by other children. This would amplify in his teenage years. As early as age 4 he was noted to have a strange obsession with bones and collected the carcasses of various animals to study the anatomy of various animals. Following the family’s move to Ohio in 1968 Jeffrey’s father taught him how to bleach and preserve bones. This would come into play later in life when he would use these skills to preserve the skulls of his victims.

In high school Jeffrey was an average student, although still considered an outcast. By 14 he had developed a drinking problem, and even drank in class. One redeeming factor for his high school years were extravagant pranks that came to be known as “doing a Dahmer” in which included fake seizures, loud noises, and knocking over things in the school and local stores. It was around this time that he first knew he was homosexual, although he largely kept this fact to himself. He also first began to fantasize over dominance and sexual interaction with an unconscious partner, a scene he would later play out several times in his adult life. In what he called his “first attempt to attack another individual” he planned to knock out a male jogger with a baseball bat and have sex with him. However, he never carried out the attack.

The first act of violence he would commit took place in 1978, 3 weeks after his high school graduation. He picked up a hitch-hiker by the name of Steven Mark Hicks. His parents had recently divorced, leaving him alone in the family home where he would bring the young man, bludgeon him with a 10lb barbell, and strangle him. Jeffrey masturbated over the man’s naked corpse before dissecting him in the crawl space of the home, and burying his remains in a shallow grave. A few weeks later, however, he dug the man up to carve the flesh off of his bones to dissolve in acid and flush down the toilet. He crushed the bones with a sledgehammer and scattered the splintered remains throughout the woods behind his home.

Jeffrey Dahmer

The following August Jeffrey would enroll at The Ohio State University to major in business but ended up only spending one horribly unproductive term there due to his extreme alcoholism before enlisting in the Army as a combat medic. During his time in the Army one fellow soldier accused him of raping him repeatedly. However, their commander ignored the claim. The alcohol troubles remained even while he was stationed in Germany. Many reported that he worked, drank, slept, and repeated.

Following his time in the Army he would move to Miami briefly where he worked in a sandwich shop before returning to Ohio. After only a short time, he was sent to live with his grandmother in West Allis where he was arrested for indecent exposure in 1982. After a string of incidents of drugging and raping men in bath houses in Wisconsin he was arrested again for indecent exposure in 1986 after reportedly masturbating in front of 2 boys at a state park. The incident was later reduced to disorderly conduct after he argued that he was merely urinating.

The Murders

Jeffrey Dahmer

November 1987 – Steven Tuomi 24 years old

Dahmer got drunk with Tuomi at the Ambassador Hotel. He brought the young man to hotel room, and drugged him to have sex with him. Reportedly Dahmer does not remember killing Tuomi although he states he woke to found his chest bashed in and that he had bruises on his hands and forearms from attacking the man.

Dahmer removed the body from the hotel with a large suitcase and transported him to his grandmother’s basement. Flesh was removed from the body and bones were smashed into small fragments before being placed in plastic bags and thrown away. The head was kept in a blanket for 2 weeks before boiling in Soilex/bleach mixture. Dahmer kept the skull from this victim for several weeks and masturbated with it occasionally before ultimately destroying it.

Jeffrey Dahmer

January 1988 – James Doxtator 14 years old

Dahmer lured the young Native American male prostitute to his grandmother’s house with the offer of $50 to take nude photographs. According to reports the pair engaged in sexual activity before he drugged the boy and strangled him in the cellar. The victim’s body was left in the cellar for one week before disposing of it much like that of Tumomi, and again keeping the skull for sexual stimulation for a brief time before crushing it.

Jeffrey Dahmer

March 1988 – Richard Guerrero 23 years old

Dahmer met bisexual Richard Guerrero outside of the Phoenix Bar where he lured him home again to his grandmother’s house. He drugged and strangled Guerrero like the previous victims. Following the murder this time he preformed oral sex on the victim’s body before disposing of it the same as he did the others, this time in a mere 24 hours. This skull he also kept briefly.

Jeffrey Dahmer

March 1988 – Anthony Sears 26 years old

Dahmer picked up Sears at a gay bar and brought him back to his grandmother’s house where he proceeded to drug and strangle him. He decapitated the corpse and skinned it in his grandmother’s bathtub.Although he disposed of the body much in the same way as the others he retained the young man’s head and genitals in acetone, storing them in his work locker, as he found him “exceptionally attractive”.

Jeffrey Dahmer

May 1990 – Raymond Smith 33 years old

Dahmer lured male prostitute Raymond Smith to his apartment with a promise of $50 for sex. He gave the man a sleeping pill laced drink and manually strangled him. He left the body for one day before purchasing a polaroid camera to take pictures of the corpse posed in various provocative poses before dismembering it in the bathtub. The man’s legs, arms, and pelvis were boiled in a steel kettle of Soilex and the bones were preserved. The skull was stripped and spray painted grey and put with the skull of Anthony Sears. The remainder of the body was boiled in acid and destroyed.

Jeffrey Dahmer

June 1990 – Edward Smith 27 years old

Much like all of the other victims Smith was drugged and strangled in Dahmer’s apartment. This time, however, rather than boiling the remains he placed them in his freezer for several months in hopes of drying out the moisture in them.Eventually, he would return to the acid idea and strip the bones that way. The skull of this victim was accidentally destroyed in an attempt to dry it out in the oven.

August 1990 – Ernest Miller 22 years old

Dahmer met Chicago native Miller on a street corner and lured him back to his apartment with the promise of $50 for sex. While he drugged him with sleeping pills much like the other victims, this time he cut the victim’s carotid artery which caused him to bleed to death due to the fact that he only had 2 sleeping pills (whereas he usually used around 7 to render victims unconscious). Dahmer posed the nude corpse for polaroids before dismembering it in the bathtub. While preforming the act he is reported to have kissed and talked to the victim’s severed head. Dahmer boiled the flesh off of the bones to retain them, and placed the victim’s heart, biceps, and portions of his thigh in the freezer to consume at a later time. He also painted this skull after preserving it in the freezer for several weeks.

Jeffrey Dahmer

September 1990 – David Thomas 22 years old

Dahmer met Thomas at the Grand Avenue Mall. Although he lured him to his apartment with the offer of $50 to pose nude for photographs he admitted in a later interview that once he had drugged him he had not found him attractive.To avoid him being angry upon waking he strangled and dismembered him but did not retain any body parts or bones from this victim. He did take polaroids of the dismemberment process though.

Jeffrey Dahmer

February 1991 – Curtis Straughter 17 years old

Dahmer met the young man near a bus stop at Marquette University. He again offered him $50 to pose for nude photographs. After drugging Straughter he strangled him with a leather strap and dismembered the body much like the others. He again photographed several steps in the dismemberment process and retained the skull, hands, and genitals of this victim

jeffrey Dahmer

April 1991 – Errol Linsey 19 years old

This young man was also lured back to the apartment with the promise of $50 for nude photographs. In an attempt to try something new to obtain a victim in a preserved submissive state, but not dead, he drilled a hole into the young man’s skull and injected muriatic acid into it. Several hours later the man awoke complaining of a headache so he was again drugged and then strangled. He decapitated the corpse to retain the skull and let the rest of the body cure in a bath of cold water and salt. However, he disposed of the corpse several weeks later after the skin had become too brittle.

jeffrey dahmer

May 1991 – Tony Hughs 31 years old

Dahmer led the deaf/mute Hughs into his apartment with the offer of money for nude photographs. He was drugged and strangled and the body was left to rot in the apartment for over 3 days before dismembering. Once disassembled the body was placed in a container of acid to be stripped and the skull was kept as per the others.

jeffrey dahmer

Although originally reluctant, Sinthasomphone agreed to accompany Dahmer back to his apartment to pose for photographs. Multiple photos of him in his underwear were taken before he was drugged. Again trying to create a permanently submissive victim Dahmer drilled a hole into the skull of the boy. This time he injected the acid into the boy’s frontal lobe.

After putting the boy in the room where Hughs’ body lay, Dahmer left him alone to go drink at a bar and purchase more alcohol. When he returned to the apartment Sinthasomphone was outside on a street corner, naked and talking in Laotian to three women who had called 911. Dahmer convinved the woman and police that the young man was his 19 year old boyfriend and that he was simply intoxicated. Dahmer injected more acid into the boy’s brain which killed him. The next day he dismembered both Sinthasomphone and Hughs, and kept the skulls of both.

jeffrey dahmer

June 1991 – Matt Turner 20 years old

Dahmer met Turner at a Chicago bus station where he agreed to return to Milwaukee with him for a professional photo shoot. Once in the apartment he was drugged and strangled. Once the corpse was dismembered the head and internal organs were placed in plastic bags in the freezer.

jeffrey dahmer

July 1991 – Jeremiah Weinberger 23 years old

Another young man lured back to the apartment from Chicago, this time from a bar. In yet another attempt to render a victim unconcsious but alive Dahmer injected boiling water into the young man’s frontal lobe. This left him in a coma for 2 days before he died. The body was dismembered like the others and placed in acid.

jeffrey dahmer

July 1991 – Oliver Lacy 23 years old

Another young man brought back to the apartment with the lure of money to pose for nude photographs, Dahmer attempted to render Lacy unconscious with chloroform, which failed. He was strangled and after Dahmer had intercourse with the corpse he was dismembered. The man’s skeleton was placed in the freezer while his head and heart were put in the refrigerator.

jeffrey dahmer

July 1991 – Joseph Bradehoft 25 years old

Again lured back to the apartment and strangled, the corpse of Bradehoft was left lying in Dahmer’s bed covered by a sheet for two days before he decided to dismember it where it began to be covered by maggots. The head was finally removed and placed in the refrigerator, and the torso was placed in acid with those of Lacy and Weinberger.

jeffrey dahmer

Arrest, Trial and End of Life

Dahmer was arrested on July 22nd, 1991 after a failed attempt at another strangling. 32 year old Tracy Edwards had accompanied Dahmer back to the apartment on the offer of $100 to drink beer and hang out with him. Dahmer attempted to handcuff him, but failed. After luring him into the bedroom in an attempt to take nude photographs of him Dahmer drew a knife. While in the room Edwards noticed a large foul-smelling container. After stating that he needed to use the bathroom Edwards punched Dahmer and made his escape. He returned later with police who would find the multiple dismemberment polaroids in a drawer in the search for the handcuff key. Upon his arrest Dahmer was reported to have stated “For what I did I should be dead”

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jeffrey dahmer

Upon a full search of the apartment a grisly collection was found:

  • Four severed heads
  • Seven skulls (some painted)
  • Collected blood in a tray in the refrigerator
  • Two human hearts
  • An arm muscle in a plastic bag
  • A human torso in the freezer
  • A bag of human organs in the freezer
  • A bag of human flesh in the freezer
  • 2 full human skeletons
  • A pair of severed hands
  • A  mummified scalp
  • 2 severed penises
  • 3 dismembered torsos an acid solution in the large container in the bedroom
  • 74 Polaroid pictures of the dismemberment process of multiple victims

Dahmer readily admitted to not only the murders but also necrophilia with multiple corpses of his victims as well as preforming sex acts with the viscera of many of his victims throughout the dismemberment process. He also admitted to cannibalism of portions of the corpses of multiple victims.

Interestingly, although he was a sexual sadist he did not torture any of his victims, but rather took various steps to avoid suffering of any kind for them.

Although he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Substance Abuse Disorder, necrophilia, hebephilia, fetishism, pygmalionism, and erotophonophilia, anthropophagy, and a partialism which focused on the chest cavity he was deemed legally sane for his trial.

jeffrey dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer was incarcerated on 16 life terms at the Columbia Corrections Institute in Portage, Wisconsin where he served for a little over 2 years before being killed by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver. Dahmer suffered several head and facial wounds after being beaten to death in a communal shower. Scarver later stated that Dahmer made no sound during the attack or any attempts to fight back. When asked why he had attacked him Scarver stated that “God told [him] to do it”.

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Writer at Nurse Ghastly
Nurse Ghastly is a paranormal historian with a focus in urban legend. She believes in respecting the past and studying ghostly phenomenon through the history that created it. She is a firefighter and NREMT certified as well as a nursing student who provides study material for those starting their nursing journey.
Follow Me at

nurseghastly

Nurse Ghastly is a paranormal historian with a focus in urban legend. She believes in respecting the past and studying ghostly phenomenon through the history that created it. She is a firefighter and NREMT certified as well as a nursing student who provides study material for those starting their nursing journey.