Jeffrey Dahmer: America's Most Famous Cannibal

Anita T By Anita T, 7th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Celebrities>Scandals

Read about Jeffrey Dahmer, one of America's most famous serial killers and certainly one of the most famous cannibals.

He Killed and Ate His Victims

Jeffrey Dahmer is one of America's most notorious serial killers. This physically attractive young man is proof that "it's the quiet ones you have to look out for." Though Dahmer has reportedly confessed to 17 murders, he was only charged with 15. Most of the young men he killed were Asian-American, or black. Most serial killers kill within their own race, but this was not the only trait that distinguished Dahmer. Despite his death, there may be much we can learn from this unusual killer.

Well Spoken, Intelligent, and Good Looking

Though it is easy to think that serial killers must have some sort of physical deformity that would give a clue to the evil they carry inside, Dahmer was by all accounts a pleasant, smart, handsome man. Police officers and prosecutors alike commented that Dahmer's appearance and demeanor gave no clues to the horrible crimes he had committed. The comment was repeatedly made that almost anyone might have been deceived by his good looks and pleasant manners.

Dahmer had been arrested and found guilty of child molestation at an earlier point in his life. He got counseling and served time on house arrest. Still, it was not particularly good police work that caused Dahmer to come to the attention of authorities after he had killed 17 people. Instead, a young black man wearing handcuffs flagged down a police car to complain about a weirdo who had assaulted him sexually. In the process of determining whether the young man was telling the truth or whether this was just a sex game, officers who followed the complainant realized that the stench in Apartment 213 was caused by decomposing and dismembered bodies and boiled heads. Dahmer was immediately taken into custody and an investigation began.

Family Background and a Chaotic Life

Dahmer's family has repeatedly insisted that Dahmer had a normal upbringing and that any pathology he suffered must have been genetic or caused by biology, perhaps mutation. Yet if one looks at Dahmer's life closely, there were signs of problems that are hard to ignore. When Dahmer was 8, he was sexually molested by a neighborhood teen. Dahmer began to dismember and gut dead animals around the neighborhood. Despite the fact that Dahmer has admitted he committed these acts and that he put the body of his first victim in the animal graveyard he constructed (where they were found by investigators), Dahmer's family has always insisted that the acts never occurred. His parents fought continuously, and lived on opposite sides of the family home. Jeffrey developed an alcohol problem, and when he was nearing 18, his parents divorced. His dad moved out of the home, and his mother simply moved away, leaving the young man with no money, no food, and no utilities. It is difficult to see how Dahmer could have been considered to have had a "normal upbringing." Dahmer's first victim was a young hitchhiker, roughly his own age, who he picked up within six months of his parents' leaving. He had sex with the boy, and then killed him. Dahmer reported that he just didn't want the fellow to leave him.

Dahmer's Victims

Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer killed at least seventeen young males. Dahmer is nearly an encyclopedia of perversity. It was not enough to kill the victims; he had to rape them (both before and after death), torture them, dismember them, and eat them. He even devised a series of experiments to see if he could turn his victims into walking zombies. Dahmer's depravity was so deep that he was making notes on what the best ways to cook and season the victims were.

In interviews with psychiatrists and police, Dahmer stated that each of the victims was killed so that they wouldn't leave him, he didn't want to be alone. By having sex with his victims after death, he could feel like he was still close to them. By eating them, he could keep them with him always.

A Plea for Insanity

Though Dahmer insisted on pleading guilty by reason of insanity, the courts found him competent to stand trial. There is a difference between legal insanity, and being what most people consider "crazy." From a legal standpoint, Dahmer was not insane; he knew what he was doing was wrong, and did it anyway. The insanity defense failed, and Dahmer received a sentence of 957 years, or 15 consecutive life sentences.

Lessons for the Future

Though there was no one overwhelming sign that the young Dahmer was on his way to becoming a killer, the building blocks appear to have been in place. In cases like Dahmer's, families have a vested interest in stating later that they had "no idea" there were issues. Yet in Dahmer's case, from his mid teens on there were odd, stinking smells around the home, and he was frequently drunk. And, once again, it is clear that a normal family doesn't move away and leave their teenager. The drive to avoid being abandoned seems to have overwhelmed the young Jeffrey Dahmer's humanity.

In the end, Dahmer died the way of many of victims. He was violently attacked and killed by a schizophrenic inmate who bashed in the heads of Dahmer and another inmate. Dahmer's mother tried to have her son's brain donated to science as part of an effort to determine what causes serial killers, but her effort was unsuccessful.


Crime, Gay Killers, Murder, Serial Killer

Meet the author

author avatar Anita T
Anita T is a writer/researcher who is fascinated by alternatives to organized medicine and by the reasons for crime and criminality. Just about any topic can catch her attention!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
7th Jul 2014 (#)

Cannot imagine that so many lives were violated and lost due to one pervert - siva

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author avatar WOGIAM
7th Jul 2014 (#)

The man had issues which no one will ever be able to understand. Such a tragic story.

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