Jeffrey Dahmer raped, murdered, and otherwise dismembered 17 men and boys beginning in 1978--the same year he graduated high school--and ending with his arrest in 1991. What could have happened in Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood to create such a serial killer? Dahmer's crimes were particularly heinous, as he would drug and rape men before killing them. He even poured acid or boiling water into holes he drilled in their brains. After murdering his victims, Dahmer would often preserve their bones or genitalia. He even used skulls to masturbate.
The remains of his victims that Dahmer kept, as well as Polaroid photos he took, made his eventual arrest an easy one--when his last intended victim escaped and ran into the street, police found plenty of evidence of Dahmer's crimes.
As crazy as his crimes may sound, there are also plenty of crazy Dahmer stories from his childhood. The troubled young man had exhibited strange behavior for years before eventually killing
Dahmer ended up being ultimately sentenced to 16 terms of life in prison; however, he was murdered in prison after only three years. His insanity plea did not work, as Dahmer was deemed to be sane while committing his crimes. If only someone could have realized that the strange, young Jeffrey Dahmer needed help.
A Neighbor Molested Dahmer When He Was 8
When the Dahmer family moved to Ohio, Dahmer's father said that eight-year-old Jeffrey was molested by another boy in the neighborhood. This claim apparently originated from a statement that Lionel Dahmer gave to Jeffrey's probation officer, but then both Jeffrey and Lionel denied that he was molested. Strange stuff. If it is true, it certainly makes sense that it would have negatively affected the young boy, who was already lonely, troubled, and struggling with his parents' increasingly tumultuous relationship.
He Started Drinking At Age 13
Perhaps not surprisingly, Dahmer wasn't the most popular kid in school--he was the weird kid. But when he began drinking heavily, he figured out that it was a lot easier to fit in with his peers. A peer of Jeffrey's in seventh grade recalled a young Dahmer drinking gin out of his locker. The classmate said that he didn't remember much of Dahmer, only that he came to school trashed. Derf Backderf, who wrote and illustrated the graphic novel My Friend Dahmer, recalled that Dahmer, "walked around school with a styrofoam cup of booze."
The problem got continuously worse; years later, he had to drop out of college thanks to his drinking issue (he even sold his blood to pay for his drinking habit). And alcoholism continued to plague Dahmer; it also led to his discharge from the military as a young adult.
His Mother Took Several Drugs While Pregnant
Was Dahmer cursed from birth? Maybe. His mother, Joyce, reportedly took up to 27 medications a day during her pregnancy. Antidepressants, growth hormones, and progesterone were all in the mix, as Joyce suffered from mental illness. Dahmer's stepmother, Shari, says that doctors told her that Joyce's medication could have affected Jeffrey while he was in the womb. Later, Dahmer told a friend that he felt that he was at fault for his parents' marital problems since his mother suffered from postpartum depression after his birth.
No One Touched Dahmer When He Was A Baby
If you want to give your kid a bad start in life, you can start off by never touching them and refusing to let other people hold them. That's exactly how life began for Jeffrey Dahmer when he was born. Joyce Dahmer, Jeffrey's mother, was a germophobe. She didn't even allow the child's grandparents to hold him. Joyce herself only touched Jeffrey to change his diaper or pose for a picture. Jeffrey was a sickly baby despite his mother's germaphobia, and suffered from many ear and throat infections.