|Image attribution: author unknown [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons|
On July 22, 1991, two police officers came across a man wandering nervously in the street, wearing a handcuff on one wrist. He claimed that it was put there by a highly disturbed individual who had proceeded to threaten him with a large knife. The police officers quickly found that their handcuff keys did not fit the handcuffs around the man's wrist. So they escorted him back to the house where he had been held hostage. Nothing could prepare them for what they were about to uncover.
They arrived at the house and the front door was opened by 31-year-old Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer. He was polite and courteous to start with, but when the officers found a large knife in his bedroom, as well as a large collection of sexually explicit and incriminating photos, Dahmer became aggressive. He was quickly subdued, and the house was searched more thoroughly. Human skulls and heads were found, as well as human hearts, skeletons, and male genitalia. Under questioning, Jeffrey Dahmer admitted to being one of the most gruesome serial killers of the 20th Century.
Dahmer's disturbing behaviour began in childhood, when he would search for dead animals on the side of the road which he would then take home and dissect. He also began drinking heavily at the age of 14. He had little interest in schoolwork or, apparently, in life in general. He began to realize that he was gay and would often fantasize about dominating males in a sexual manner. One day, whilst still a teenager, he hid in some bushes with a baseball bat, awaiting the arrival of an attractive male who often jogged in the area. He planned to hit the man over the head and make sexual use of his unconscious body. But the man never showed.
Dahmer graduated high school in 1978. But although he was bright, his apathy towards his schoolwork and his persistent alcohol abuse caused his grades to suffer noticeably. Three weeks after graduation, he committed his first murder.
Steven Mark Hicks was hitchhiking his way to a rock concert when he came across Dahmer, who invited Hicks up for a drink. Hicks said yes, and the two men went to Dahmer's residence, where they drank alcohol and engaged in consensual sex. But then Hicks said that he had better be on his way. Not wanting him to leave, Dahmer bludgeoned Hicks to death with a 10 pound dumbbell. He buried the body in a shallow grave.
Hicks was to remain Dahmer's only victim for another 9 years. During this time, Dahmer spent an unproductive term at Ohio State University before enlisting in the army as a medical specialist. He was discharged after 2 years due to his alcohol abuse, and took a job in a sandwich shop to pay the bills (though he spent a large percentage of his earnings on alcohol).
It was only in November of 1987 that he claimed his 2nd victim. He cut up the flesh and pulverized the skeleton with a sledgehammer, disposing of it in the trash. He kept the head for a while, as a souvenir.
Over the next 4 years, Dahmer killed another 15 boys and young men, carrying out his attacks in increasingly gruesome ways. Some of them had acid or boiling water injected into their skulls whilst they were still alive, apparently in an attempt to create living creatures that would be fully under Dahmer's control. Many of the victims had sexual acts performed upon their corpses. Dahmer also consumed the flesh of some of the corpses.
Jeffrey Dahmer was eventually given 16 life sentences (he was never charged with his second murder as there was insufficient evidence). He was sent to the Columbia Correctional Institute, where he became a born-again Christian. He was bludgeoned to death by a fellow inmate on November 28, 1994.
You might also be interested in:
Richard Trenton Chase - The Vampire of Sacramento, Edmund Kemper - The Co-ed Killer, Ted Bundy - The Charismatic Killer