The Life & Gruesome Crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer (& Other Details You May Not Know) | Serial Killer Series | Part One


(Jeffrey Dahmer. Picture credit: Milwaukee Police Department

As mentioned in my last post, I am now on to my new series which is focused solely on serial killers. If you are a regular reader of my work, you will know that I have covered a vast number of serial killers in my previous posts. I would list them here but it would be too many to mention, so please check out my 
Archives page where you will find individuals such as Levi BellfieldBobby Joe Long and Richard Trenton Chase amongst others. 

It's also important to mention a reminder that in my previous posts as well as this one and the upcoming posts, to bare in mind that I will be sharing some disturbing details, some things might be quite graphic but I will try as always to be as sensitive as I can without shying away from the facts. 

So my serial killer series starts with the infamous Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer. Some may think that he or Ted Bundy would have been obvious choices and the truth is, that I have had those individuals requested many times but I've refused to write about them because (in my opinion) there is a numerous amount of books, documentaries and films about them that I couldn't see myself bringing anything new to the table that people hadn't read or heard of before. 

What I found however is that my readers love my style of writing and my ability to go down the 'rabbit hole' and really delve into these cases bringing details that they may have not heard of before. I was persuaded to write about Jeffrey Dahmer by my fabulous subscriber and incredibly talented musician Shilo who wanted to hear my take on the case and in my style, so here we are. Thank you Shilo for the request and for the amazing support (be sure to check out his music on social media)

You may or may not know that my style of research is very old-school, like the fact that I write a blog instead of having just a podcast or YouTube channel. I'm currently working on my first true crime book as I continue with my blog. I don't listen to other true crime podcasts, on a very rare occasion I will listen to one if I haven't heard about a particular case but I never listen for research purposes. Everything I do is very retro, such as the endless stack of true crime books, encyclopedias of crime and serial killers, law books etc that I have. I read A LOT! I I use the books, newspaper articles, court documents and trial footage as my references in doing my research on a case. I know my blog is referenced many times in podcasts, YouTube channels and other blogs. I also know there is times when my work has been stolen. 

But anyway, that's just a little bit about the background of my research and work leading into this. I went down a very dark hole with Jeffrey Dahmer (it was to be expected if you know anything about his crimes, it's not at all pretty or pleasant in the slightest) and because of how highly publicised (and some would say, as in the case of Ted Bundy, over-glamourised) basically half the books in my bookcase featured him in one way or another so I had a lot of material to work with. 

I will list the books I have been reading and my sources at the end of the post if you are interested in delving even more deeply into the crimes and life of Jeffrey Dahmer but let's begin...

Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer came into the world on the 21st of May 1960 to parents Annette Joyce Flint (known as 'Joyce' but she preferred to be called 'Rocky') and Lionel Herbert Dahmer. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA and both of his parents were said to have been quite a good looking couple. The couple had a combined mix of German, Welsh, Norwegian and Irish ancestry so that did a lot to explain Jeffrey's striking looks of auburn hair and blue eyes when he was younger. 

It wasn't just the looks that Jeffrey inherited from his parents, he was very intelligent too (experts would later say that he was somewhat on a 'genius' level). His father had a brilliant mind and studied chemistry and his mother was a teletype machine instructor. So in terms of looks, intelligence and a financial foundation, Jeffrey looked all set but unfortunately, he inherited some of their bad traits too. 

The question of nature or nurture often comes up in the discussion of serial killers, were they born to kill? or was it their upbringing that made them that way? I will leave you to be the judge. All I know is that in my research into his background I found that his parents were reportedly very self-centred. I'm not saying they are responsible for the monster he was to become or for what he did but everyone's brains are wired differently and I think (in my opinion) his childhood relationships with his parents may have played a small part and also with the psychological history of his mother. 

His parents were focused on themselves, his father was 100% dedicated to his career and was often away from home studying. His mother was very over-emotional and suffered mood swings. Even before Jeffrey was born and she was carrying him in pregnancy she went out of her way to manipulate and play emotional games with Lionel to get his attention. His mother wanted to be the sole focus of everything and would play games such as stomping out of the house (fully pregnant with Jeffrey at the time) in the middle of an argument with no boots on in the snow. She walked a few blocks putting her health and that of her unborn child, at risk whilst Lionel frantically searched and finally found her. It seemed she enjoyed the attention, taking Lionel away from his work and making him worry and fuss over her. Both of them displayed narcissistic traits. 

Things weren't any better when Jeffrey was born, Lionel was still busy and his mother often complained of feeling ill and depressed, she spent a lot of time in bed and reportedly had a breakdown. In the beginning she was breast feeding Jeffrey but she felt very uncomfortable doing it so she taped up her breasts and bottle fed him. Experts would later say that this could have played a small factor in his abandonment issues, the child being denied the mother's milk from the breast, breaking that bond. When Lionel argued with her over not breast feeding Jeffrey, she left the house in a bad mood wearing her night dress and laid down in a field. Lionel had to go looking for her again, found her and brought her home.  Young Jeffrey was witness to his father's absence and his mother's strange behaviour and began to believe that he was the sole cause of it all.

Jeffrey had his own problems too, as well as witnessing the constant arguments between his parents when his father was at home, he had to wear braces on his legs until he was four years old and had developed a hernia which he had to have surgery for. The trauma of having to undergo a medial procedure at such a young age had a profound affect on Jeffrey which he would talk about many years later. he spoke of the tremendous pain and as a child believing that someone had taken his penis away because of how painful certain areas of his body was. 

Despite the problems at home and the constant upheaval (Lionel moved around due to studies) Joyce fell pregnant again and soon another baby boy was born. Jeffrey was given the honour of naming his baby brother and he called him 'David'. 

At school Jeffrey was said to be quiet but he did have his own group of friends. He did grow to be more private as time went on and nobody really knew what he was feeling or thinking. A trait which he would go on to carry for the rest of his life, his poker face, no expression. He felt more and more abandoned by his parents and rejected. Joyce seemed to be more focused on David and his father was always busy as usual so Jeffrey wasn't quite sure where he fitted in, he felt lonely and did spend a considerable amount of time alone. 

 At school he became fond of a teacher and as a gift he brought her a box full of tadpoles which she put next to the window in the classroom. Seeing the gift he gave her displayed for all to see made him feel wanted, appreciated and special. One day he went into the class and noticed the box of tadpoles had gone. 

He was confused wondering where they were, maybe she took them home? He finally got his answer when he went to visit one of his school friends and noticed the exact same box with tadpoles in his bedroom. Jeffrey was hurt. In his mind she had rejected him and given his gift away to someone else. He felt abandoned again and in a horrible and cruel manner, he poured motor oil into the box, killing the tadpoles.

The incident with the tadpoles was a huge sign of things to come, his complete disregard for life and the attitude of 'If I don't get my way or what I want, then someone is going to pay' and the fact he did this as a child speaks volumes. 

More red flags in his childhood were present especially when he became fixated with animal bones that he found. He asked Lionel how to go about bleaching animal bones and Lionel, thinking his son was taking an interest in Chemistry and Biology was only too happy to show him. 

(Jeffrey Dahmer as a child and into his teenage years. Picture credits: Wikipedia

As Jeffrey grew up, he found himself more and more alone at home. He was pretty much left to his own devices. Some young people would enjoy having time to themselves but Jeffrey struggled, he felt out of place and not wanted. When looking into his mother's background, her father was an alcoholic who neglected her and had some strange behaviour and thoughts of his own. The man reportedly drank heavily due to not being able to cope with the thoughts that were in his head. His mother grew up feeling lonely and abandoned and once she got into a relationship with Lionel it seemed as if she was looking for a father figure with the immature behaviour of mood swings and running off for attention. 

Again it brings one back to the thought of there being some sort of genetic factor with Jeffrey's behaviour. 

By the time Jeffrey was 18 he had a full blown 'hobby' of collecting dead animals off the road that had been hit by cars and random deceased ones that he had found in the woods. He was fascinated with how they were put together but this wasn't in some sort of educational manner, he wanted to cut them open and take out their insides, examine them, play with them, bleach their bones and keep them in jars. Apart from the incident I mentioned earlier with the tadpoles, there's no record of Jeffrey being cruel towards animals, he was only interested in animals who had already been killed so that he could examine them. 

Jeffery claimed that he had known since he was a child that he was homosexual as he never really had an interest in girls. As well as his 'hobby' of collecting dead animal remains, he was still able to have his friends although he was growing more and more apart from them. He kept his strange thoughts and activities out of school, private. He also began drinking heavily at a young age in an attempt to help with the loneliness, depression and the fantasies that he was having. He always had strange, macabre thoughts since about the age of 15 but he was able to control them to some extent and using the dead animals helped curb this for a while but what he really hungered for was a human body, a male human body. 

His fantasies revolved around men who were either unconscious or deceased. He imagined himself having complete control over their bodies in a sexual manner. He was particularly fixated on the male torso. He wanted to be able to do what he wanted with the men, lay with them, sleep with them and use them for his own sexual gratification for a long as he wanted. He could only maintain an erection at the thought of these men being 'human zombies', he was never turned on by the thought of an active sexual partner. He had to be in complete control at all times. 

He began to fantasise about a male jogger he would see running near his home every day. He would think about having complete control over this man in a sexual manner. His obsession got to the point where he planned to 'knock-out' this man somehow with a use of a weapon so that the man would be unconscious and he could have sex with him for as long as he wanted. 

He put this horrible plan to action and hid in the bushes with a weapon waiting for the man to run by so that he could attack him and satisfy his sexual perversions. Fortunately the man didn't run past that day and Jeffrey didn't see him again so gave up his plan. One wonders what this poor jogger must have thought, years later, hearing that he could have become a victim of Jeffrey Dahmer. 

Jeffrey's thirst for his fantasy to come to life didn't leave him. He tried his best to control it by drinking. 

It was 1978 and Jeffrey's horrific fantasy was to come to life when he, at the age of just 18, picked up a hitchhiker by the name of Steven Hicks. Steven was on his way to see his girlfriend but agreed to go back to Jeffrey's house for a few drinks and to smoke some weed. At the house the boys talked, smoked and drank but Jeffrey soon realised that Steven wasn't homosexual which disappointed him as he found the 18 year old attractive and enjoyed his company. He didn't feel alone with Steven being there but soon began to fear that it would be time for him to leave and he didn't want to let him go. As Steven was sitting on the bed with his back towards him, Jeffrey picked up a barbell and struck him violently over the head and proceeded to strangle the boy with it. There was a struggle but Jeffrey managed to overpower Steven. 

He then dragged Steven's lifeless body to a crawlspace and the next morning purchased a hunting knife. When he came home he retrieved Steven's body and began to cut it open and examined the remains, cutting off the arms, legs and head. He wrapped the remains in bags and planned to take them to a garbage disposal. On his journey there he was stopped by a police car and questioned, the policeman shone a torch to the backseat and saw the bags, noticed a foul odour but let Jeffrey carry on about his business. That same police officer actually interviewed Jeffrey many years later and the man carried around an enormous amount of guilt at the thought that he was responsible for letting Jeffrey go that night.

Jeffrey passed on the idea of going to the garbage disposal and went straight back home (probably realising what a lucky escape he had but in some ways it must have given him some sort of thrill, to have almost been caught). He went back to the crawlspace with the bags but took out the decapitated, decomposing head and took it to his bedroom where he masturbated in front of it. After he was finished with the remains he dumped them in a wooded area behind his house and got rid of Steven's belongings and the knife by disposing of them in a river and burning his clothes. 

After he had carried out this gruesome murder, he later said that the whole experience was quite traumatic and out of all the names of the people he would go on to drug, rape, torture, dismember and eat, he never forgot about Steven Hicks because he said ''You always remember your first one''. 

The murder of Steven Hicks was the only murder that troubled Jeffrey, years later he would have moments where he would cry when memories of the killing would come flooding back. 

This was a horrifying murder of a young man of 18 by a boy of the same age. Looking back on Jeffrey's past it is as if everything was building up to that point, like the strange and gruesome hobby of collecting dead animal remains, it was like that was just practice for what he really wanted to do to a human being. 

If things weren't already utterly sick and twisted in Jeffrey Dahmer's world, they were about to get much worse, much, much worse...

Continued in part two

(Further reading & sources are shared in my concluding post) 

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