“On July 22, 1991, I called Jeff’s apartment several times. My mother had called to tell me that she has been unable to reach him, and that he had missed a promised visit to her house. The next morning, July 23, 1991, I called Jeff’s apartment at about nine in the morning. The phone rang several times before someone finally answered it. At the other end I heard a man’s voice, but it wasn’t Jeff’s.
“Is Jeff there?” I asked.
“Jeffrey Dahmer?” the man asked.
“No, he’s not here right now,” the man said in a guarded voice, as if he was being cautious about something.
“Where is Jeff?” I asked.
“He’s not here,” the man repeated, still speaking very guardedly. “Who is this?”
“I’m Jeff’s father.”
I could hear something catch in his breath.
“You’re Jeffrey Dahmer’s father?”
“Yes,” I told him. “Where is Jeff?”
“Well, your son’s not here right now.”
“Where is he?”
“Someone will call you, Mr. Dahmer.”
“Call me? What about?”
“A detective will call you.”
“A detective?” I repeated, thinking that Jeff had probably gotten into trouble again, perhaps because he was drunk, or worse, that he had molested yet another child.
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
It was then that the man on the other end of the line finally told me who he was, that he was a member of the Milwaukee Police Department. He hesitated just an instant, then let the hammer fall. “We’re investigating a homicide, Mr. Dahmer,” he said.
“A homicide?” I asked, and suddenly I thought that I was about to receive what I felt at that time must surely be the worst news a parent could ever receive, that someone had murdered his child.
“Homicide?” I repeated. “You mean Jeff’s been—“
“No, not Jeff,” the man told me quickly, my son’s name sounding like something dirty he did not want on his tongue. “Jeff is alive and well.”
Lionel Dahmer, A Father’s story