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.
Milwaukee police took a picture of Dahmer's apartment from the entrance to show that it had the appearance of normalcy. Although the apartment was cluttered and dirty, Dahmer displayed live plants, a fish tank, and hung art.
In addition to blaming the foul odor emanating from his apartment on an unplugged freezer, Dahmer also told his neighbors the fish tank caused the unpleasant smell.
This was another corner of Dahmer's living room that appeared ordinary at first glance. The art hung on the walls - featuring nude men in suggestive poses - only hints at the darkness hidden in this picture. Dahmer predominantly lured and attacked male victims. Investigators later discovered Polaroids Dahmer took as he subdued and killed his victims.
The Polaroids also depict Dahmer engaging in sex acts with the bodies. Although the courts later deemed Dahmer a necrophiliac, he was found to be legally sane because he also had intercourse with living men.
Police found hand-drawn plans for the shrine Dahmer planned to build with human remains, including notes for design colors and a wall plaque with fluorescent eyes. He wanted to include of a lot of black objects, such as a "black and white carpet," a "black plush chair," a "window covered with black shower curtains," and a "black table." He even scrawled notes of placing "painted skulls" along the table.
Dahmer confessed that he made his victims pose for his Polaroids on the black table, which he had been planning to use to construct an altar.
Historically, ether and chloroform have been used to anesthetize patients. In addition to chemicals used for preserving remains - such as formaldehyde - investigators found this chemical combo Dahmer used to subdue his victims openly displayed in the bathroom.
Dahmer also drugged his guests' drinks with sleeping pills. Sometimes Dahmer would wait until after a consenting sexual exchange before dosing his lovers.