Jeffrey Dahmer’s life of crime turned him into one of the serial killers who took the longest to be caught, since he started his life as a criminal in 1978 and almost thirteen years went by before he was finally arrested and taken to trial for the death of 17 people, mainly young men belonging to minority groups.
Jeffrey Dahmer lived in his native Milwaukee during the first six years of his life, surrounded by his parents and brother. According to what investigators found out and from Dahmer’s own testimony, his mother was hypochondriac and paid little attention to her children, which turned Jeffrey into a shy and reserved young boy.
In 1966, after his mother tried to kill herself, Jeffrey Dahmer moved for the first time with his family to Doylestown, Ohio, where he started showing a growing interest in dead animals and the sound their bones made. The family moved on more than six occasions, and in each city, Jeffrey Dahmer added to his collection of dead animals and perfected his techniques to kill them.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s murderous tendencies
As a teenager, Jeffrey Dahmer discovered he was homosexual and started to have fantasies where he abused an unconscious man; These fantasies soon became more intense until he started harboring the desire to dismember a man he had seen in a park and whom he had found to be extremely attractive, so much so, that he hid among the bushes to try and see him.
This became the first manifestation of what would later become his attacks. When he was only 16 years old, Jeffrey was already a consecrated animal killer and he was about to become a serial killer, as well as a sexual abuser of young men from minorities.
The first murders Jeffrey Dahmer committed
The first murder committed by Jeffrey Dahmer took place in 1978, when he met Steven Mark Hicks, a 19-year-old man that he invited over with the promise of sharing some drinks with him. When Dahmer realized Hicks was not homosexual and wanted to leave, he made the decision to attack him both physically and sexually until leaving him unconscious. That would be the first time he’d kill a person and get rid of the body by dismembering it.
Nine years had to go by before Jeffrey Dahmer found a new victim; This time, in Milwaukee, where his family sent him to live after a period of drinking problems and being arrested several times due to improper behavior. In 1985, Dahmer had made it a habit to get his partners drunk and drug them in order to abuse them around several Milwaukee hotels, which would finally lead to more murders two years later.
His first victim in nine years was Steven Tuomi, although back then Jeffrey Dahmer assured he didn’t remember killing him. This murder made his desire to kill more men grow, and he started a search for more victims, among which there was a 14-year-old boy, a 22-year-old man and a 24-year-old model.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes extended over a period of four more years, where he both pulverized bones and dismembered bodies in order to get rid of the evidence. However, he was arrested in 1991, when Tracy Edwards realized what Dahmer’s intentions towards him were and managed to escape and call the police. Finally, after an exhaustive search, authorities found the remains of his more than 15 victims.
Trial and sentence
After his arrest, Jeffrey Dahmer refused his right to find a lawyer that would defend him, claiming that he wanted to put an end to all the horror he had unleashed, saying that he “deserved to die.” As evidence was being collected, Dahmer explained that he had allowed himself to be consumed by the need to find attractive men, no matter the price, in order to murder them, usually by stabbing them in the heart.
On January 13, 1992, Jeffrey Dahmer pleaded guilty to 15 murders, but in an attempt to reduce his sentence his defense lawyers tried to get authorities to declare him mentally unstable; However, this didn’t happen, and although he was diagnosed with antisocial behavior, obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as sadist, fetishist and necrophiliac tendencies, these didn’t hinder his ability to distinguish between good and evil. He was condemned to 16 life-sentences on May 1, 1992.