Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer who gained the nickname “Milwaukee Cannibal” because he mutilated and ate his victims. He was born on May 21, 1960, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Lionel and Joyce Dahmer. Growing up, Dahmer had a troubled childhood because his father was often away on business and his mother was a depressed hypochondriac. Even though he had a younger brother, Dahmer became a timid and lonely child and made little friends in school.
As a child, Dahmer had shown interest in mutilating animals and preserving their bones. At one of their homes, he kept a collection of animal bones from roadkills or dead animals found in the woods. During high school, Dahmer was an outcast and class clown, picking up the habit of drinking and playing pranks. By the time he graduated, his parents divorced and his mother left their home with his brother without informing the rest of the family.
For a brief time, Dahmer was enrolled at Ohio State University but dropped out after three months due to poor grades. His father then made him enlist in the United States Army where Dahmer had an average performance. After training, he was deployed to Baumholder in West Germany where he served as a combat medic. Unfortunately, Dahmer’s alcohol issues worsened and he was given an honorable discharge. He lived briefly with his father until he was sent to live with his grandmother in West Allis, Wisconsin, where his killing spree began.
Dahmer reportedly killed at least 17 people from 1978 to 1991 until he was finally caught. He was found guilty on all charges except for one homicide and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Two years later, Dahmer was killed in prison by a fellow inmate. Up until today, people want to know the motive behind his heinous acts. Was it pent-up sexual frustration? Was Jeffrey Dahmer gay? Or was he simply just evil? Read on below to find out the inner workings of this serial killer’s mind.
VOTE: What was Jeffrey Dahmer’s Sexuality?
Jeffrey Dahmer’s Horrifying Killing Spree
According to official reports, Dahmer killed 17 young men from 1978 to 1992. It’s important to note that most of his victims were often gay, impoverished, and came from ethnic minority communities. When questioned whether this was deliberate, Dahmer insisted that the racial aspect was pure coincidence.
On June 18, 1978, Dahmer killed his first victim, 18-year-old Steven Hicks who was on his way to see a concert in Chippewa Lake Park. Dahmer persuaded Hicks to have a couple of beers at his house. But when Dahmer made sexual advances, Hicks rejected him and tried to get away. Unfortunately, Dahmer hit him with a dumbbell and strangled him to death. Hicks’ bones were then pulverized and scattered in Dahmer’s backyard.
It would take almost a decade before Dahmer claimed his second victim. This time, it was 25-year-old Steven Tuomi who was renting a room at the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee. When confronted with the murder years later, Dahmer would insist that he had no memory of killing Tuomi. However, he relented that it might have been possible that he had murdered him while drunk. Based on Dahmer’s testimony, Tuomi’s body was dismembered in his grandmother’s house but no remains were ever found.
The following year, Dahmer killed his third and fourth victims: James Doxtator and Richard Guerrero between January and March. Dahmer met Doxtator outside a gay bar and offered him money in exchange for nude photos. Meanwhile, he drugged and strangled Guerrero in his bedroom and kept his skull for months. The remains of either victim were never recovered.
On March 25, 1989, Dahmer met Anthony Lee Sears and lured him to his grandmother’s home. He was the last victim to be killed on the property and the first victim in which Dahmer kept permanent souvenirs. Sears’ skull and genitals were later found in Dahmer’s apartment after his arrest.
In 1990, Dahmer moved to an apartment on North 25th Street and met 32-year-old sex worker, Raymond Lamont Smith. After lacing his drink with sleeping pills, Dahmer strangled Smith to death and kept his skull which he spray-painted. The next month, he killed Edward Warren Smith, one of his known friends and acidified his skeleton.
Before the year was over, Dahmer would claim two more victims: Ernest Marquez Miller and David Courtney Thomas. Dahmer was especially attracted to Miller who was a dancer. He eventually dismembered his body and kept his entire skeleton in a filing cabinet. Dahmer also ate Miller’s heart, liver, biceps, and parts of his thighs. On the other hand, Thomas wasn’t “his type” but he still killed him and documented the process with a Polaroid camera.
In the months following his arrest, Dahmer would kill eight more people, making 1991 his most active year. He drugged 17-year-old Curtis Durrell Straughter and kept his skull, hands, and genitals. Two months later, he met Errol Lindsey and lured him into his apartment. Dahmer also drilled holes into Lindsey’s skull and retained his skin for weeks.
In May, Dahmer met Tony Anthony Hughes who was deaf and communicated using handwritten notes. He used his drilling technique on Hughes and left him on the floor for three days before he disposed of his body. It didn’t take long for Dahmer to prey on his next victim: 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone. The latter escaped and asked the police for help, but Dahmer managed to convince them that Sinthasomphone was his lover. He was taken back to the apartment where he was killed.
On June 30, Dahmer attended the Chicago Pride Parade and met 20-year-old Matt Turner. After killing Turner, he kept his torso in a 57-gallon drum along with the bodies of his subsequent victims, Jeremiah Benjamin Weinberger and Oliver Joseph Lacy. By mid-July, Dahmer claimed his last victim, Joseph Bradehoft, a father of three, who was in the area looking for work.
Dahmer was actually in the middle of luring his next victim, 32-year-old Tracy Edwards when he was finally caught. Edwards managed to escape his clutches and convinced two police officers to go back to the apartment so that he could get the handcuffs removed. This act of bravery put a permanent end to Dahmer’s horrifying killing spree.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s Sexual Frustration
The public was shocked when the details of Dahmer’s crimes came to light. Many people couldn’t comprehend the type of motivation that would convince a person to commit such acts. Some experts assumed Dahmer’s actions came from extreme sexual frustration, intense hatred for the world that rejected him, or both.
During high school, Dahmer discovered that he was gay but didn’t share this revelation with anyone. His sexual frustration intensified within his fantasies until it merged with his interest in dissecting animals. Apparently, Dahmer wanted someone who would be incredibly submissive to his wants and needs.
Was Jeffrey Dahmer Gay?
Yes, Jeffrey Dahmer was gay. He also mostly targeted young, poor, and gay men as his victims. This was probably because they were the people who were near his vicinity and could be lured with the promise of cash.