Jeffrey Dahmer took a shower while there were two dead bodies in the bathtub, and he was sane. He drilled holes in the heads of living people to make them his unresisting companions, and he was sane. He ate a bicep which he had fried in a skillet, tenderised and sprinkled with sauce, and he was sane. For hours he lay with corpses, hugging them, cherishing them, and he was sane. He kept eleven assorted heads and skulls, and two complete skeletons, for eventual use in a home-made temple, and he was sane.
“[Jeff] blamed himself for his mother’s illness. He had known for as long as he could remember that she had been depressed following his birth, and that he had therefore caused the illness. He also must have caused every relapse. He could not articulate his pain,for fear of tipping his mother over the edge again. He had to keep himself to himself, say little and do less, to protect her, to keep a little calm in the house. The more she saw of him the worse it would be for her.
His brother David said, ‘[Jeff] never learned to be open with his feelings of frustration… he went out to the forest by himself and cut down trees for firewood. […] It sounded like vented anger, but it was more likely the solace of utter isolation. Jeff quite simply felt he did not belong, and that if he were to belong he would only do harm”.
Excerpt from The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer by Brian Masters
After six months, Dahmer’s defending counsel, Wendy Patrickus and Ellen Ryan, conceded that he was a nice guy, a long way from the manipulative dissembler portrayed by Dr Palermo. He would pay gratuitous, slightly embarrassed compliments, such as (to Miss Patrickus) ‘You look nice today’, or (to Miss Ryan) ‘That’s a snappy necklace you’re wearing’. He was like a novice learning the social graces. Ellen and Wendy said it was ‘lovely to see him open out and relate’. For his part, Jeff Dahmer told them, ‘You know, you are the closest friends I have had in my entire life.’
Jeffrey Dahmer took a shower while there were two dead bodies in the bathtub, and he was sane. He drilled holes in the heads of living people to make them his unresisting companions, and he was sane. He ate a bicep which he had fried in skillet, tenderised and sprinkled with stars, and he was sane. For hours he lay with corpses, hugging them, cheerishing them, and he was sane. He kept eleven assorted heads and skulls and two complete skeletons for eventual use in home-made temple, and he was sane.
The trouble was, in addition to all this, he was polite, diffident, deferential, obliging, just the sort of young man one could imagine weeding his grandmother’s garden.
“As soon as they returned to West Allis, Mrs. Dahmer and her grandson began spending more time together. They went to church together and read the Bible. Jeff immersed himself in the Bible while he was alone, too, in a conscious attempt to wrestle with the blackness within him and purge it … ‘I was reading the Bible then, trying to get my life straightened around, and I’d give some money to the street people sometimes, or send it in to different missionaries.’ By being charitable and kind, he hoped to eradicate his sinfulness or at least smother it. The memory of Stephen Hicks faded and no longer lunged tormentingly at him in the middle of the day. He also managed to control his habits of masturbation and limit himself to one time per week. He felt it was wrong and had to be reduced; by rubbing himself against the bed instead of using his hand, he was able to convince himself that he was not really indulging in self-abuse. He also felt guilty about the imaginings in his head which accompanied this pseudo-masturbation, because they were always homosexual and the Bible taught that homosexuality was sinful. He succeeded in repressing them and was pleased with himself.”
You’ll find that much of this information incorporates Lionel and the divorce because so much of it is related to Jeff’s personal relationship with his mother. In Dahmer Detective it is speculated that Joyce also had Borderline personality disorder, (something I’ve personally believed for some time now) one of the psychiatric problems Jeff would later be diagnosed with. However, the content below is sourced from The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer and A Father’s Story. Because Joyce refused so often to share her side, there may be a bias in the information contained, although both Jeff and David Dahmer seem to agree on Lionel’s personal recollection of the marriage.
• Joyce became pregnant only two months after marriage. Pregnancy was very difficult for her, continued morning sickness throughout. Had to quit her job as a teletype instructor because she was so ill all the time. Noises and smells coming from neighbors apartments would send her into fits of nausea and she would complain incessantly about them and demand Lionel do something about them. This remained even as they eventually moved to Catherine’s, Lionel’s mother’s, house.
• Other odd behaviors would include her jaw locking up and eyes would bulge, and she would salivate/foam at the mouth, suffering from muscle spasms. A doctor would sooth this affliction with a diet of barbiturates and morphine. She was also wildly irritable and defensive. There was no medical reason ever found for these fits. She took up to 26 pills a day at this time.
• Once Jeff was born, she gave up on breastfeeding almost immediately after some frustration.
• Joyce seemed to be happy, the first few years were a mix of good and bad times. Then, suddenly, she took a turn for the worse, having nightmares about a black bear chasing her, causing her to scream in her sleep. Arguments became heated again, and occasionally physical, more on Joyce’s behalf. Any attempt to restrain her would be met with her holding a knife. Lionel would simply leave at this point, unable to reason with her.
• Joyce’s father was an alcoholic and she had a troubled past that made her volatile and too emotionally complex for Lionel to comprehend, he admits. This inability to understand one another was the root problem in their marriage.
• March 1964, age 4, Jeff has a double hernia operation, the pain and confusion of which causes him to ask his mother if the doctors had removed his penis.
• 1966, Jeff was 6, Joyce was abusing laxatives, and sleeping pills, always tired and shaking uncontrollably. Her pregnancy with David was similar to Jeff’s, he was born December of that year.
• By the time Jeff was 7, Joyce had acute depression and Lionel began doing much of the parenting.
• Joyce suffered from insomnia, constipation, and what she called “fluttering”, exhaustive fits, leaving her bed ridden. There was no medical reason determined for these fits, either, it was dubbed simply an “anxiety state.”
•July 1970, when Jeff was 10, Joyce was admitted to Akron General Hospital for severe anxiety, she stayed for 3 days and left on her own accord, saying there was nothing wrong with her. Only a few months later she was readmitted for an entire month, this time joining group and making friends, building hobbies, learning to enjoy life. This would last a short while after she left the hospital, remaining friends with others she met there. Around this time, she started driving.
• Soon after, Joyce found she couldn’t lose weight and now had a thyroid problem, went to a hypnotist for help, she began withdrawing once again.
• When fights between Joyce and Lionel occurred, as they returned to their previously unhappy marriage, Jeff would go outside and hit trees with sticks, frustrated that he couldn’t do anything. He decided he wasn’t ever going to get married, he said never wanted to go through that.
• Jeff overhears a conversation his mother has with an aunt, noting her depression after his birth. Jeff did not express hurt or emotion, save for his mother’s fragility.
• August/September 1977 Joyce attended her father’s funeral out of town, where she had an affair. She said seeing her father’s dead body made her realize that her marriage with Lionel was also dead.
• 1977, right before Christmas, divorce precedings began. Lionel tries to get Joyce to leave the home but she refuses, playing mentally adept at court’s decision, winning the home and the children, until Lionel can afford to sell the home to her. Court does decide Joyce must undergo therapy.
• With Lionel out of the home, staying at a nearby hotel, Joyce begins making regular trips up to Wisconsin to visit family, taking only David with her.
• Divorce was finalized July following year, cited to gross neglect and extreme cruelty. Alimony was awarded to Joyce in the amount of $400/month, $23,500 owed to her for the family home (which Lionel would have to buy out from her), and Lionel’s second vehicle (Joyce obtained her driver’s license late in life), a 1968 Oldsmobile. Jeff’s future was not discussed, Lionel lost rights to David, although he would have joint custody, on weekends. Typical of such legal agreements, Joyce was ordered not to leave the state with David.
• Joyce moves David with her to Wisconsin on August 24th, 1978. She later claims she begs Jeff to come with, but told him not to tell Lionel where she had gone for “fear of what he might do.“Jeff was left with a half a gallon of milk.
• Lionel would return to the home in September ‘78 to discover Jeff alone, after a week of unreturned phone calls. When asked where Joyce and David were, Jeff simply says that they’re “gone”.
• A psych evaluation required after Jeff had been caught urinating/masturbating in public by two young boys in 1986, revealed some interesting things in response to these fill-in-the-blank questions:
My father always WORKED HARD. My earliest memory of my father is WHEN HE WENT TO WORK. When my father came home I WAS HAPPY. When my mother came home I WAS WATCHING TV.
• Joyce had been living in California for many years as an AIDS counselor by Jeff’s late twenties, living on his own, and she had allegedly attempted to make contact with Jeff over the years via phone, likely in some concern over his homosexuality and the rise AIDS awareness in the late 80s/early 90s, especially in the gay community - telling him to call her, and he would promise he would, and then he wouldn’t. She said she didn’t care if he was “an axe murderer”, just to please call.
• Upon hearing of Jeff’s crimes, Joyce refused any involvement in his defense. Only after his incarceration did she contact him again. They reportedly became closer once he was in prison.
• On The Stone Philips interview, Joyce repeatedly insisted that she had no knowledge of Jeff’s interest in bones as a child, his alcoholism, and denied any involvement as a mother to explain how he had turned out as an adult. She had started to write a book titled An Assault on Motherhood, in retort to Lionel’s A Father’s Story, prior to her death by breast cancer in 2000.
Since I’ve noticed there are many false information, photos and myths about Jeffrey Dahmer, I decided to make this post to say the truth about ALL these things. Write me if you want to add other myths or if you have any doubts!
Childhood and Adolescence
1. The “Child with a cat” photo
I think almost everyone has seen this picture of “Jeffrey Dahmer as a child” many times. As I’ve already said, the kid in the picture IS NOT him: taking a look at the pictures in Lionel Dahmer’s book, A father’s story, we can clearly see that the two children are very different!
So, who is the child with the cat? He’s Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer. The facial features are really similar.
2. Jeff liked torturing and killing animals
A huge number of famous murderers used to kill and torture animals as children, and then torture and kill people as adults. Jeff liked seeing what there was inside a body, but he never killed alive animals: he found dead racoons and squirrels on country roads, and he cut them to see their guts. In My friend Dahmer there’s a part when Derf talks about an episode who happened when Jeff was a teenager: he went fishing and when he captured a small fish he stabbed it to death to see his intestines. I think it is just a fictional episode, because Derf didn’t see it with his own eyes.
3. Jeff was abused by his neighbor/his own father
Child abuse is another thing which is really common in serial killers, such as Aileen Wuornos, and many sites/books report that a neighbor or Lionel abused Jeffrey when he was a child, but this isn’t true. In an interview Jeff said that he was never abused in his childhood.
4. The “snow bong” photo
“Ladies and gentlemen, Jeffrey Dahmer with a snow bong!”. Ah ah, this would be really funny if it was real. I don’t know who is the guy in the picture, and when this legend started, but he isn’t Jeff. He doesn’t even look like him!
Life and homicides
5. Jeff’s IQ
Many people here claim that Dahmer’s IQ was 145: an high intelligence quotient is a common trait in murderers. But Jeff wasn’t so smart: his IQ was 117 (source: The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer), the average number is 100-110.
The next morning, June 19, 1978, Jeff went out and bought a large hunting knife. In the crawl space underneath the house, he dismembered Steven’s body and placed the limbs in three triple-lined trash bags. He also slit open the torso, wanting to see what it looked like on the inside. One source claimed he also masturbated during the dismemberment process.
Steven’s clothes and identity card were burned in a trash barrel, but Jeff initially kept the retainer necklace he had been wearing.
He spent the rest of the day devising a plan to get rid of the remains, eventually deciding he would leave them at a ravine a few miles away. Depending on the source, he either drank a few beers to “work up the courage” or had none, as he didn’t need to dull his satiated lusts. This varies depending on the author’s opinion of why he was an alcoholic.
Jeff’s father was no doubt wondering why his son had not yet returned the car. His calls to the house would go unanswered for the next week.
It was late at night when Jeff put the bags in the backseat of the car. At 3 am a police car signaled him to stop; he had been driving left of center. He was given the sobriety test and passed. The officers asked him what he was doing out so late, and he told them he was on his way to the city dump to get rid of some garbage. His parents had just divorced and he couldn’t sleep, so he figured he might as well get it over with. (Alternatively, his folks were away and the garbage had been piling up. The dump is open twenty four hours…)
Though they noticed a foul odor coming from the bags, the cops assumed it was the smell of garbage. They ultimately let him go, giving him a ticket. He turned around and headed back home. Coincidentally, one of the officers would later be called to Milwaukee thirteen years later to investigate Steven’s murder after Jeff’s confession.
Returning the bags to the crawlspace, Jeff opened one and removed the severed head of Steven Hicks. In his bedroom, he placed the head on the floor and masturbated while looking at it. I guess he needed to get rid of the tension after almost getting caught.
For thanksgiving he was allowed a ten-hour pass to spend with his family (since he was in the House of Correction). He could not face going to West Alles in view of his predicament and the embarrassment his conviction had caused, to himself as well as to the family, so he wandered the streets instead. None of the shopping malls were open, as would be expected, but the bars were. He drank first some beers, then went on to a very strong liquor called Yukon Jack, and ended up late at night talking to a white man, older than himself, at the 219 Club. The next thing he remembered was waking to find himself strung up above a bed in the stranger’s house, ‘hog-tied’ he called it, being spanked and violated with a candle. ‘I made enough noise, i was yelling loud enough, that he took me down.’ Dahmer for once the victimized, dressed and left as quickly as possible and was five hours’ late returning to the House of Correction. It was not until the next day that he was able to evacuate the candle.
When police officers arrested Jeffrey Dahmer on July 22, 1991, they discovered his apartment was a literal house of horrors; body parts were stacked in the fridge and freezer, painted skulls adorned the living room, and two giant drums contained human sludge waiting to be taken out with the trash.
One of the most bizarre discoveries in Dahmer’s apartment was a “shrine” - Dahmer had literally organized his victim’s bones into an altar, and declared that it “channeled’ supernatural powers to him. It’s more likely, however, that Dahmer exhibited his victim’s bones for sexual pleasure and to confirm his own control over life and death; when asked who the shrine was devoted to, Dahmer simply replied "myself”.
One lesser known aspect of Jeffrey Dahmer’s pathology is his exhibitionism. In the early to mid-eighties, he took to exposing himself quite a few times, getting caught only twice. The first incident occurred on August 7th, 1982 at the Wisconsin State Fair. An intoxicated Dahmer pulled his pants down and revealed his penis in the presence of 25 people, including women and children. He was convicted of Disorderly Conduct and fined. The second incident occurred on September 8th, 1986. Two twelve-year-old boys, Richard Kohn and John Ostland, were standing by the bridge on the Kinnickinnic River Parkway in Milwaukee when they caught sight of Dahmer by the river. He appeared to be masturbating. One of the boys, Richard, called out, “Are you having fun?” “Yeah, I’m having a great time,” Dahmer replied. The boys reported what they saw to police, who arrested Dahmer and charged him with Lewd and Lascivious Behavior and Indecent Exposure.
The conviction was notable in that it became the first time that Dahmer’s strange personality finally came under scrutiny. He was ordered to undergo psychological counseling for sexual deviance. His psychologist, Evelyn Rosen, found him an uncooperative, unnerving patient. As their sessions progressed, he shrank deeper and deeper into himself, volunteering less and less information and completely resisting any discussion about his family. On one occasion when Dr. Rosen attempted to talk about his offense, Dahmer flew into a rage, accusing her of colluding with the courts against him. “When angry he becomes almost delusional in his paranoid beliefs,” Rosen wrote, “These seemed genuine.” Eventually, relations between therapist and client deteriorated to the point that Dahmer would arrive at sessions only to turn his chair away from her and not speak for the entire time. In addition to therapy, Dahmer also had to undergo psychological evaluations by Dr. Kathy Boese at the University of Wisconsin. Boese noted that “his own goals for himself in this world, for what he hopes to achieve, are not congruent with reality.” In her report, she concluded that he “could become a psychopathic deviate with schizoid tendencies … he could gravitate toward further substance abuse with possible subsequent increased masochism or sadistic tendencies and behaviors.” Evelyn Rosen’s conclusion was more blunt, and also more chilling: “[There is] no doubt at this time that he is a Schizoid Personality Disorder who may show marked paranoid tendencies. He is definitely SPOOKY!”
(Source: The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer, Brian Masters)
By the time Jeff was two years old he was talking. He called himself ‘Jeffy’ and held fingers up to indicate his age. He could also say ‘potty’, ‘Up pease’, and ‘TV’, and within a few more months had memorised his first prayer. The words of the prayer were. ‘Now lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. God bless everyone. Make Jeffy a good boy. Amen.’ - The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer, Brian Masters
‘‘A young man named William Blair came perilously close to Jeff Dahmer’s dream-world during the summer of 1986. They knew each other from the bathhouse, where they had had sex on three or four occasions. There had been no arrangement to meet, they had merely bumped into each other by chance and spent some time together. There was no affection between them - their tenderness was functional, invented for the occasion. One day Blair saw Dahmer on the corner of 7th and Wisconsin and they exchanged greetings. Jeff told him that he occasionally rented a room at the Ambassador for a night, and he was just going there now; would Blair join him? The young man accepted, and they went to the hotel together. Blair took a room himself, whether for propriety or comfort it is hard to say, but first went to Dahmer’s room for a drink. He has no memory of what happened next, for he woke up the following morning, lying naked on the bed in his own room, having lost several hours of his life. Jeff told him that he had carried him to his own room in the middle of the night, but he told him nothing more. How he might have used Blair’s sleeping body to furnish the decor of his own disturbed vision was not revealed. William Blair subsequently saw Dahmer a number of times at Milwaukee’s gay bars and saluted him in a friendly manner, but never spent time alone with him again.’‘
- Brian Masters, from The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer
Best true crime books? Im off to the library this week!
Hi! Here’s a large list of my favorite true crime books 🤗 I’ve tried to include something for everyone to enjoy
- ‘Mindhunter’ by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker
- 'The Stranger Beside Me’ by Ann Rule
- 'In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote
- 'Picture Perfect: The Jodi Arias Story’ by Shana Hogan
- 'My James’ by Ralph Bulger
- 'Cellar Girl’ by Josefina Riviera
- 'Urge To Kill’ by Martin Edwards
- 'Meredith’ by John Kercher
- 'The Boy In the Attic’ by John Malone
- 'Whoever Fights Monsters’ by Robert K. Ressler
- 'A Mother’s Reckoning’ by Sue Klebold
- 'Obsession’ by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker
- 'The Night Stalker’ by Philip Carlo
- 'The Crimes Of Josef Fritzl’ by Stefanie Marsh
- 'Green River, Running Red’ by Ann Rule
- 'Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives’ by Ann Burgess, John Douglas, and Mark Olshaker
- 'I Choose To Live’ by Sabine Dardenne
- 'So Brilliantly Clever’ by Peter Graham
- 'Columbine High School Shooting: Student Violence’ by Steven L. Jones
- 'The Shrine Of Jeffrey Dahmer’ by Brian Masters
- 'She Must Have Known’ by Brian Masters
- 'Zodiac’ by Robert Graysmith
- 'The Serial Killer Files’ by Harold Schecter
- 'Looking for Madeleine’ by Anthony Summers and Robyn Swann
- 'One Of Us’ by Asne Seierstad
- 'Criminal Profiling’ by Brent E. Turvey
- 'One Of Your Own: The Life and Times of Myra Hindley’ by Carol Ann Cooper
- 'The Forensic Casebook: The Science Of Crime’ by Ngaire Genge.
Hopefully you can find some of these at your library!
‘‘From now on, this would be a constant theme, the act of killing as a grotesque distortion of the act of love. He did not enjoy the killing, but had to kill in order to love, in order to indulge the hideous parody of intimacy and cherishing which was the only kind of ‘love’ he knew how to show.’’
- Brian Masters, from The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer
Shower while there were dead bodies in the bathub & he was sane. He drilled holes in the heads of living people to make them his unresisting companions, he was sane. He ate a bicep which he fried in a skillet , tenderised and sprinkled with sauce , he was sane. He hours he lay with corpses , hugging them , cherishing them and he was sane. He kept eleven assorted heads and skulls & two complete skeletons , for eventual use in a home-made temple ,and he was sane.
Brian Masters talking about Jeffrey Dahmer in his book “The shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer”