Before the police found him, Jeffrey Dahmer appeared to be an ordinary man in his 30s who kept to himself. That image was shattered on July 22, 1991, when the victim he lured to his home escaped and sought help from police. To the shock of the Milwaukee community and local law enforcement, they had unexpectedly stumbled upon a killer who had kept himself under the radar with a normal job.
Inside Dahmer's apartment, the police discovered a box of Polaroids containing depictions of the infamous crimes Dahmer committed. In his fridge, they found a severed human head. Police arrested Dahmer on the spot and began searching his apartment. Forensic scientists and detectives uncovered ghastly evidence, like a drum that housed decomposing remains. Dahmer went on to confess to 17 murders. The remains of some of his victims, like his first, were never found - the only evidence of what happened to them are the photos Dahmer took as trophies and his 60-hour confession.
The Polaroid pictures and the crime scene photos that came out of apartment 213 at 924 North 25th Street in Milwaukee, WI, relay a grim scene of events that shook Wisconsin and placed Dahmer on the list of notorious American serial killers.
A Barrel Of Acid
Dahmer used a barrel of hydrochloric acid to dissolve his victims and preserve their skeletons. He also whitened the remains with bleach. During the investigation of his apartment, police found three torsos dissolving in the 57-gallon barrel.
Dahmer later relayed the occasion when his landlord was looking around the apartment and saw the vat, which Dahmer explained he used to dispose of old fish tank water.
Condiments Used For Cannibalism
In an interview, Dahmer confessed to eating two people and offered a reason for his actions: "At first it was just curiosity, then it became compulsive." He said he prepared them with salt and pepper and used condiments for flavor.
While Dahmer maintained that he did not commit these crimes because he liked torture, he did admit to police that his actions were extreme: "I carried it too far, that's for sure."
A Sparse Bedroom With A Bloodstained Wall And Mattress
Most of the young men Dahmer murdered were lured into his bedroom under the pretense of sexual activity. Based on the bloodstained wall, investigators determined Dahmer had committed crimes in the room. When investigators then pulled off the sheets on the bed, they found that it was soaked with blood.
Police later described Dahmer as emotionless when the perpetrator relayed the details of his crimes. According to a Milwaukee Deputy Chief, Dahmer "talks about killing people just as if it's like pouring a glass of water."
A Drill, A Hammer, And Saws
In his 60-hour confession, Dahmer revealed that his ultimate plan was to have a lover in a "zombie state." To achieve this, he drugged and mutilated his victims while they were still alive. Doctors corroborated his reasoning, stating that Dahmer's intent was "to satisfy his sexual need for a not fully cooperative partner."
Dahmer later rationalized that he had "time restrictions" with his six-day work week and wasn't able to search for a "totally compliant" lover, like the one he desired.