Jeffrey Dahmer: Biography, Net Worth, Age,& More, First Four Victims, Arrest, Trial and Imprisonment, Brief Intro

Who Was Jeffrey Dahmer?

Between 1978 and 1991, American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys. Over the course of more than 13 years, Dahmer stalked his prey, who were primarily Black males, in gay bars, shopping centers, and bus stops. He then lured them home with offers of money or sex, gave them booze that was drugged, and strangled them. He would perform sexual actions on the corpses after which he would dismember them and dispose of them, frequently saving the skulls or genitalia as mementos. He routinely captured his victims in various phases of the murder process on camera, allowing him to later recall and relive each crime. In 1994, fellow prisoner Christopher Scarver killed him.

Quick Facts

FULL NAME: Jeffrey Dahmer
BORN: May 21, 1960
DIED: November 28, 1994
BIRTHPLACE: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Childhood and Family

On May 21, 1960, Jeffrey Dahmer was born in Milwaukee to parents Lionel and Joyce Dahmer. Up to the age of 4, when a severe and painful recovery from surgery to treat a double hernia seemed to affect a shift in the boy, he was described as an active and happy child. Following the birth of his younger brother and the family’s frequent moves, he became noticeably more reclusive. The family had relocated to Ohio by the time Dahmer was old enough to attend school.


Dahmer became fascinated with animal bones at a young age and researched how to clean and preserve them. According to Brian Masters’ book The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer, he used to collect huge insects and small animal skulls preserved in formaldehyde.

He was uptight, disengaged, and mostly friendless by the time he was in his early teens. However, it seems that the dissolution of his parents’ marriage and their contentious divorce a few years later may have been the catalyst for turning these thoughts into deeds. Dahmer claims that his compulsions toward necrophilia and murder began around the age of 14. According to Masters, Dahmer began to doubt the stability of his family and existence as a result of his parents’ frequent disagreements and the ongoing stress in the home.


A photograph from 1994 shows Jeffrey Dahmer’s biological father, Lionel Dahmer, and stepmother Shari posing in front of Columbia Correctional Institute.

Dahmer also began drinking at the age of 14, and by the time he committed his first murder at the age of 18, his alcohol use had become out of hand. His recently remarried father suggested that he join the Army, so he left Ohio State University after just one quarter. Late in December 1978, Dahmer enrolled, and shortly after, he was assigned to Germany.

His drinking issue persisted, and the Army discharged him in the beginning of 1981. Although Dahmer would later be investigated by German authorities for potential ties to murders that occurred nearby at the time, it is not thought that he committed any murders while serving in the military.

Dahmer went back to his Ohio home after receiving his discharge. Dahmer was sent to live with his grandmother Catherine Dahmer in Wisconsin by his father when he was arrested for disorderly conduct later that year. However, Dahmer’s drinking problem persisted, and the following summer he was charged with indecent exposure. When two youngsters accused him of masturbating in front of them in 1986, he was jailed once more. He was sentenced to a year of probation.

First Four Victims

17 men were killed by Dahmer between 1978 and 1991. He took care to choose outcast victims who were frequently vagabonds or borderline criminals so that their disappearances would go unnoticed and lessen the chance that he would be apprehended. He used promises of money or sex to entice them to his house, where he strangled them to death. He performed sex acts on their bodies and kept images and body pieces as mementos. His horrible crimes are reflected in his most well-known nick names, the Milwaukee Cannibal and the Milwaukee Monster.

Just a few months after graduating from Revere High School, in June 1978, Dahmer committed his first murder when he picked up Steven Hicks, an 18-year-old hitchhiker, and drove him to his parents’ house. When Hicks attempted to leave, Dahmer remarked, “I didn’t want him to leave.” He then went on to get the young man drunk. He was slain by Dahmer by being hit in the head and then strangled with a barbell. Hicks’ body was dismembered by Dahmer, who then buried the fragments behind his parents’ house after placing them in plastic bags. Later, he exhumed the corpse, used a sledgehammer to break up the bones, and dispersed them across a wooded ravine.

Dahmer didn’t murder Steven Tuomi, his second victim, until September 1987. After checking into a hotel room and having a few drinks, Dahmer ultimately woke up to discover Tuomi dead and without any memory of what had happened the night before. He later admitted to police that his original plan had been to drug Tuomi rather than kill him and that he “could not believe this had happened.” To get Tuomi’s body to his grandmother’s basement, Dahmer purchased a sizable suitcase. There, he dismembered the body and masturbated on it before discarding the remnants. After the murder, he kept Tuomi’s wrapped-in-a-blanket head for several weeks.

After killing Tuomi, Dahmer subsequently said that his “obsession [with killing] went into full swing” and that he “didn’t even try to stop it after that.” Before his grandmother ordered him to leave her home in 1988, he murdered two more people there. According to Masters, she was tired of his drinking, his propensity to invite young guys over, and the occasionally offensive smells emanating from her basement even if she was unaware of his crimes.

Sexual Assault Charges and Sentence

About a year after relocating to his new apartment, in September 1989, Dahmer enticed a 13-year-old Laotian boy to his home by telling him he wanted to take nude pictures of him. As a result, Dahmer was accused of second-degree sexual assault and sexual exploitation. He admitted wrongdoing and said the youngster had seemed much older.

Dahmer once more used his grandmother’s cellar for grisly purposes while he awaited sentence in his sexual assault case. An aspiring model named Anthony Sears was lured, drugged, murdered, sodomized, photographed, dissected, and then disposed of by him in March 1989. According to Masters, Dahmer mummified Sears’ head and genitalia because he thought Sears was exceptionally lovely and later said he did not want to “lose” him. Sears was the first victim from whom Dahmer stored preserved body parts for a long time.

Dahmer was the epitome of repentance at his child molestation trial in May 1989, eloquently speaking in his own defense about how he had realized his error in judgment and that his arrest had been a turning point in his life. The judge gave Dahmer a one-year jail sentence on “day release”—allowing him to work at his job during the day and return to the prison at night—as well as a five-year probationary sentence after hearing his defense attorney’s argument that he needed therapy, not incarceration.

Years later, Lionel Dahmer said in a CNN interview that he contacted the court that handed down the punishment a letter asking for counseling before to his son’s parole. Dahmer served only 10 months of his sentence before the judge decided to let him go early. Following his release, he briefly resided with his grandmother, during which time it appears he did not add to his body count, before returning to his own apartment.

Last 13 Victims

Dahmer would kill 12 more individuals over the course of the following two years, bringing his total number of victims to 17. Raymond Smith, a prostitute who Dahmer had lured to his apartment for sex before giving her a drink spiked with sleeping pills, became his first victim during this time. Before dismembering him, Dahmer snapped pictures of his body in seductive poses. Edward Smith was Dahmer’s next victim, and when attempting to dry it in the oven, he accidently caused his skull to explode. According to Masters, he later admitted to authorities that he felt “rotten” about killing Smith because nothing could be kept from his body, making it seem like a complete waste.

As he carried out more murders, Dahmer began to establish rituals, experimenting with chemical methods of disposal and frequently eating the flesh of his victims. Dahmer also tried performing crude lobotomies; while his 11th victim, Errol Lindsey, was still alive, he was given a muriatic acid injection and had a hole drilled into his skull. During the procedure, Lindsey awoke and asked, “I have a headache; what time is it?” Dahmer then strangled him in the hopes that this would put Lindsey in a permanent state of submission.

An Asian youngster was running naked down the street on May 27, 1991, when Dahmer’s neighbor Sandra Smith phoned the police. The youngster was disoriented when the police came, so they relied on Dahmer’s testimony that the boy was his 19-year-old boyfriend. Dahmer was a white man living in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Unbeknownst to Dahmer, the boy, who was 14 years old, was the younger sibling of the Laotian teen who had been sexually assaulted by Dahmer three years prior.

Dahmer and the boy were taken home by the police. They clearly didn’t want to get involved in a gay domestic dispute because they merely gave the area a quick glance before leaving. According to Dahmer, an officer “peeked his head around in the bedroom but didn’t really take a good look,” then left after urging Dahmer to “take care” of the youngster, according to Masters. After they left, Dahmer killed the boy by injecting hydrochloric acid into the boy’s brain. The body of Tony Hughes, Dahmer’s 12th victim, would have been discovered if the police had even performed a minimal search.

Before being apprehended, Dahmer killed four more men. Oliver Lacy, 24, was one of his final victims. Before dismembering the body, Dahmer had sex with Oliver Lacy’s body. He stored Lacy’s head, heart, and skeleton in his refrigerator and freezer, respectively.

Dahmer’s Arrest

After being apprehended on July 22, 1991, Dahmer’s murdering rampage came to a halt. Inextricably linked to Dahmer’s infamous killing spree were the body parts discovered in his refrigerator and the Polaroid pictures of his victims.

When Tracy Edwards, a 32-year-old Black man, who was walking the streets with shackles dangling from his wrist, was picked up by two Milwaukee police officers, they were taken to Dahmer. They made the decision to look into the man’s allegations that a “weird dude” drugged and restrained him. When they got to Dahmer’s apartment, he politely offered to get the handcuffs’ keys.

The knife that Dahmer allegedly threatened Edwards with was allegedly in the bedroom. Polaroid pictures of severed victims were lying around as the officer entered to verify the story. According to Masters, Dahmer mumbled, “For what I did, I should be dead,” after the officers had subdued him.

Later investigations turned up a head in the fridge, three more in the freezer, along with a long list of other horrifying items like preserved skulls, jars of genitalia, and a large collection of macabre Polaroid pictures of his victims. Later, Dahmer said he had intended to construct a personal altar out of the skulls of his victims, complete with votive candles and globe lights. According to Masters, he hoped the altar to be “A place where I could feel at home.”

Trial and Imprisonment

Since the majority of Dahmer’s victims were Black, there were significant racial tensions, so strict security measures were implemented, including an eight-foot bulletproof glass barrier that separated him from the gallery. The jury’s selection of the sole Black member also led to additional unrest, but it was quickly contained and short-lived. Lionel Dahmer and his second wife were present throughout the trial.

Dahmer initially entered a not guilty plea to all charges despite having admitted to the murders while being questioned by police. In the end, he decided to plead guilty due to insanity. The horrifying details of his actions were subsequently used in his defense as evidence that only a madman could have committed such heinous deeds.

The prosecution’s claim that Dahmer was fully aware of the evilness of his deeds yet nevertheless decided to carry them out was accepted by the jury. After deliberating for about 10 hours, they came back on February 15, 1992, and found him guilty but sane on all charges. He was given a 15-life sentence, with the option of an additional 16-life sentence added in May.

Despite initially being segregated from the rest of the prisoners at the Columbia Correctional Institution in south-central Wisconsin, Dahmer is said to have adapted well to prison life. He eventually persuaded the guards to let him interact with the other prisoners more. He discovered religion through literature and pictures that his father had forwarded to him, and the Columbia Correctional Institution gave him permission to be baptized by a local preacher.

Jeffrey Dahmer’s House

Following Dahmer’s passing in 1996, a group of Milwaukee businessmen raised more than $400,000 to buy the tools of his trade, such as blades, saws, handcuffs, and a refrigerator to keep body parts, from his criminal arsenal. In an effort to separate the city from the atrocities of Dahmer’s deeds and the accompanying media circus around his trial, they swiftly destroyed them.

Nearly two decades after his passing, in August 2012, it was revealed that Dahmer was selling his childhood home in Bath, Ohio, where he had committed his first murder in 1978 and buried the body of his victim. The home would make a wonderful residence, according to its owner, musician Chris Butler, provided the buyer could “get past the horror factor.” Butler is thought to still be the owner of the home as of 2022, despite it having been taken off the market.

Pop Culture Depictions

The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare (1991) by Donald A. Davis and The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer (1993) by Brian Masters are only two of the well-known books about Dahmer that have been written. In the 2002 movie Dahmer, Jeremy Renner played the role of Dahmer; Bruce Davison played his father, Lionel. Ross Lynch played the title character in the 2017 movie My buddy Dahmer, which was based on a graphic novel by artist John “Derf” Backderf, a buddy of Dahmer’s from high school.
In addition to actual interviews with those connected to Dahmer’s cases, the documentary The Jeffery Dahmer Files (2012) featured dramatized reenactments of Dahmer’s life (with Andrew Swant playing him). Several other documentaries about Dahmer have also been made. Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, a ten-part anthology series, was made available on Netflix in September 2022. The show, which was co-created by Ryan Murphy, the creator of American Horror Story, featured Evan Peters as Dahmer and focused on instances in which Dahmer was almost arrested before his arrest, with a particular emphasis on how police negligence allowed him to continue his killing rampage.

What was Jeffrey Dahmer’s cause of death?

Christopher Scarver, a fellow prisoner at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, beat Dahmer to death on November 28, 1994.

What did Jeffrey Dahmer suffer from?

Forensic psychiatrists concluded that Dahmer had psychopathy or an antisocial personality disorder based on the facts of the murders.

How old was Jeffrey Dahmer when he died and what year?

According to the New York Times, on November 29, 1994, Dahmer, who was 34 at the time of his murder, was attacked and killed at a Wisconsin jail.

How long did Jeffrey Dahmer’s kills last?

In 1978, Dahmer killed his first person in Bath Township, Ohio. He committed a second murder in 1987, and over the next five years, he killed another 15 adolescents and young men, most of whom were impoverished and of African American, Asian, or Latino descent, predominantly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

What was Jeffrey Dahmer’s Nationality and Ethnicity?

The serial killer was of White origin and American nationality.

What was Jeffrey Dahmer’s profession?

People are curious as to how the young man turned into a serial killer. He was born and reared in Wisconsin by his parents, who have chosen to keep the identity of his siblings a secret. He had intellectual talent throughout high school but underwent a rapid, significant transformation. In addition to frequenting graveyards, Jeffery started drinking, dissecting animal corpses, and photographing motorcyclists who had perished in accidents.

As a result of his intoxication, he was ejected from the University of Ohio, the Army, and his job as a factory janitor. He was out of control since he was staying in his grandmother’s basement after his parents divorced. The juvenile serial murderer began to cut up victims like real people, which was untraveled by his grandma, who expelled him from his home.

His techniques included luring them home from the pub, providing them coffee spiked with sleeping drugs, filming repulsive sexual postures, killing them, raping the corpse, and then slicing them up for convenience, dissolving them in chemicals, and saving them as memories. Stephen Hicks was the victim of his final murder case before his death, which occurred in 1991. Numerous indicators pointed to maniacal characters, but she was always able to hide them. One of his victims was able to flee, but Dahmer’s word prevailed.

He relocated to North 24th Street in Milwaukee, where, according to his unremorseful confession, he kept the body parts of his victims and practiced cannibalism by consuming one of their hearts, “Ernest Miller.


What was the cause of Jeffrey Dahmer’s death?

On November 28, 1994, while incarcerated, the serial killer was killed and brutally beaten to death by Christopher Scarver, another inmate in Columbia Correctional Facility in Wisconsin.

Who was Jeffrey Dahmer’s wife?

To keep his deceitful behavior hidden, the dead, Jeffrey Dahmer, never got engaged or married and lived alone. The material acquired indicates that the serial killer was sexually gratified by his crimes.

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