Jeffrey Dahmer: Milwaukee's Own Murdering Monster

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Most 18 year old high school graduates have a plan in mind for their future. Jeffrey Dahmer, on the other hand, knew what he wanted to do, but it was not school or job related. Three weeks after graduating high school, Dahmer committed his first of seventeen murders. His plan, which was well executed, involved going to bars, picking up young men, and drugging them before returning back to his apartment. After thirteen years of eluding the police, he was finally caught in 1991. There are many possible factors that led Jeffrey Dahmer to kill. Due to a very unstable family life and his alcoholic tendencies, Jeffrey Dahmer went on to become one of America's most well known serial killers.

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Jeffrey Dahmer had an unstable family life. His father Lionel was largely absent because of work and his mother Joyce was very depressed and tried to kill herself. At age thirteen, Dahmer had lust for a male jogger in his neighborhood. One day he hid with a baseball bat planning to make his first kill, but luckily for the jogger he either took a different route or did not go for a run that day. Dahmer’s parents fought a lot and got a divorce when he was eighteen, neither of his parents wanted to take custody of him because of his age.

His cruelty to animals started at a young age with his interest in science. He learned how to bleach flesh and connective tissue off of dead rodents found under his house (Janos). He was taught this by his father, Lionel, a research chemist. Even though he learned these tactics at a young age he still remembered them well enough to use them on his victims. When he was in grade school he gave a tadpole to his teacher, she gave it to another student. He got upset, poured gasoline into the tank, and set it on fire. These actions continued as a teenager, when he impaled a dog’s head with a stick in the forest behind his house. Unfortunately, these actions were just the beginning of a long string of reckless behavior.

With no interests or hobbies Jeffrey Dahmer did not have much to do to occupy his time. Starting in high school he became an alcoholic; this did not stop him from graduating on time. He did attend college, but only for a short time because of how bad his drinking problem got. After dropping out of college, his father urged him to join the army, so he did. He was a medic from 1979 to 1981 but was discharged because of his alcoholic tendencies.

Three weeks after Jeffrey Dahmer graduated he committed his first of many kills which was a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks. Daher invited him to his house for a beer, but when Hicks tried to leave Dahmer hit him over the head with a dumbbell. He killed Hicks because he wanted him to stay longer. To cover up his actions Dahmer dissected, pulverized, dissolved and scattered the remains. In 1985, he would often go to gay bathouses and would drug men and then rape their uncncious bodies. He was arrested twice, but only was put on probation and was never charged for the rapes. The second victim of Jeffrey Dahmer was Steven Tuomi. He was picked up from a bar and taken back to Dahmer’s hotel room where he would be unknowingly murdered by drunk Dahmer. With no memory committing this crime from the night before Dahmer woke up next to Tuomi’s lifeless beaten body.

Jeffrey Dahmer was finally arrested after an incident at his place of work, which at the time was The Ambrosia Chocolate Factory. He drugged and fondled a thirteen year old boy. HE was put on probation for five years and was sent to a year long work release camp. Along with these punishments he also had to register himself as a sex offender. In later years Dahmer convinced police that a young man that escaped from his apartment was his very drunk boyfriend. The officers did not do a background check on him which would have shown them that he was dangerous and a registered sex offender.

In 1991 Tracy Edwards was at Jeffrey Dahmer’s house for cash in exchange for his company, but Dahmer forced him into his bedroom with a knife. Edwards escaped while handcuffed, chased down the police and led them back to the apartment. The police then searched the apartment and found the photographs he took of the dead bodies, human remains in the fridge, a human heart in the freezer, barrels of hydrochloric acid, and an altar in which he constructed of candles and multiple human skulls in his closet. He confessed to all of the murders plus one that there was no evidence to be convicted for.

As his defense he plead insanity because of his disturbing and uncontrollable impulses. He was sentenced to multiple life terms on February 17 by Milwaukee Circuit Judge Laurence C. Gram and would not be able to go on parole for 936 years. In his confession he says “I feel it’s wrong for people who commit crimes to try and shift the blame onto somebody else under their parents or onto their upbringing or certain living circumstances I think that’s just a cop-out and my parents my relatives had no knowledge of what I was doing.”  

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