Serial Killers 101
Jeffrey Dahmer


Jeffrey Dahmer
Barbie and Ken: The Killers
New Page Title
Jamie Payne
Dr. Baird
14 February 2004
Composition II
The Need for Love
        So often we are neglected by the ones we love most of the ones we need love from the most. The need for love can push man to extremes that he would never reach except for the lack of something in his life. Often we feel an emptiness in our hearts that we try and try to fill and yet never can seem to figure out just what it is. We try to fill that void with alcohol, drugs, popularity, and even go to the extreme of physical pleasures, such as sex. Yet we eventually find that these are not the answers we are looking for.
        Jeffrey Dahmer was neglected as a child. His father, a Milwaukee chemist, worked long hours often leaving his mother to care for him and his younger brother. His mother and father separated when Dahmer was eighteen years of age (Dahmer 6). After the separation his father remarried and his mother left him, this devastated Dahmer. Dahmer was always very quiet and shy, even through his adult years (Bell). Dahmer was always looking for something, or someone, to fill the void that was never filled with quite enough love from his family. As a child Dahmer never became close to his brother and never had any close friends. As he got older, he continued to keep to himself (Dahmer 6).
        Dahmer always had an attraction for men, usually the ones in society who were in the minority, such as black men and young boys. He would lure the men in bars by asking if they would like to go back to his place for some drinks or to watch movies. After getting the men to go back with him to his apartment he would drug their drinks, then rape his victims and cannibalize their bodies(Dahmer 4; Sime Dahmer). There were even instances in which he would first kill them and then have intercourse with their corpses (Tithecott). His innocent profile helped him con them into his almost perfect murders (Sime Dahmer).
        Dahmer lived alone in Milwaukee apartment, the notorious apartment #213. His neighbors knew very little about him. They would just see him come and go day and night and smell the horrid odors from his apartment. When neighbors would ask about the odors, he would just reply that his refrigerator was broken and the meats had soiled (Dahmer 2). This was good enough for them so without other thought they went on with their business, only to find out later that the odor indeed was soiled meat, human meat.
        By the time Dahmer was caught in 1991 he had murdered seventeen men and boys (Sime Directors Childhood). Dahmer was finally caught after Tracy Edwards escaped his apartment. Dahmer had attempted handcuffing Edwards but Edwards escaped and confronted two Milwaukee police officers about his encounter with Dahmer. When police went with Edwards to Dahmers apartment, they found disturbing photographs of some of Dahmers victims (Dahmer 2). This began the investigation in the case of Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer was finally found guilty and sentenced to life in prison but was later beaten to death in 1994 by a fellow inmate (Dahmer 3; Sime Dahmer).
        Dahmers first victim was a hitchhiker that he picked up on the side of the road. Dahmer had spent the afternoon with the man and when he tried to leave Dahmer panicked and killed him. Writer-director David Jacobson once stated, He had this fantasy about this one jogger he always saw in the woods near his house. He thought about hitting him over the head so he could play with the body (Sime).
        Jeffrey Dahmer tried his whole life to find that one person to fill the emptiness in his life yet he realized that so many time in relationships spouses will just walk away because they are bored with the relationship. This scared Dahmer and he knew the only way he would ever be able to keep someone forever would be by killing them because in doing that they could never physically walk out of his life. He now had full control.
        But that missing piece in his life alone was not the only reason Jeffrey Dahmer became whom he did. He had no conscience. Lionel Dahmer recalls an instance in Jeffreys childhood when Lionel was cleaning out the remains of some dead animals and J. Dahmer was almost excited by the sound that their bones made. L. Dahmer remarked, His small hands dug deep into the pile of bones...This same sense of something dark and shadowy, of a malicious force growing in my son, now colors almost every memory. Dahmer had a fascination with the dead. It began with the dead animals and ended with the dead in their stillness [becoming] the primary objects of his growing sexual desire (Bell). When Dahmer was six he was diagnosed with a double hernia. When he went in for surgery the doctors never explained to him what they were going to be doing. This, for some reason, altered Dahmers character, the once cheerful little boy never seemed to recover (Dahmer 12; Bell). His father stated, He seemed smaller, somehow more vulnerable...he grew more inward, sitting quietly for long periods, hardly stirring, his face oddly motionless (Bell).
        At the trial Dahmer made two distinct statements that proves he was very confused. He stated,
                I have to question whether or not there is an evil force in the world and whether or not I have been influenced by it...Although I am not sure if there is a God, or if there is a devil, I know that as of lately Ive been doing a lot of thinking about both, and I have to wonder what has influenced me in my life (Tithecott as qtd in Shcwartz 200-1).
Dahmer then goes on to say,
                Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who wold believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever (Tithecott as qtd in Schwartz 219).
In the first statement he says that he does not even know if there is a God and the second statement he gives praises to Christ Jesus.
        Although Dahmer plead guilty by insanity, the judges found him just plain guilty and sentenced him to 957 years in prison. Dahmer spent only a short time in prison. November 28,1994, Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered by a fellow inmate, Christopher Scarver. Scarver and Dahmer were left alone along with a fellow inmate, Jesse Anderson, to do their duties but when the guards returned they found Dahmer dead along with Anderson lying close by with a bloody broom handle next to him (Bell).
        Between his lack of a conscience and the need for love Jeffrey Dahmer became one of the most notorious serial killers of all times. The desire for love is so powerful that it can cause man to do things he would not normally do. After so long of not having a partner to be close to and share every secret with, man becomes desperate, desperate to love and be loved and even desperate to feel wanted. Once man becomes desperate enough he will do anything to fill that void. Even though the hurt is enough to drive a person crazy, it is not enough to make a man kill. Any person with a conscience does not have the ability to kill a man and go on continuing to murder people. Dahmer thought that to fill that void he needed physical love (sex) and when he realized that his partner would just take that pleasure and leave, he killed them keeping their body parts as souvenirs. This was his way of never having to let go.

Works Cited
Bell. Rachel. Jeff Dahmer, A Notorious Serial Killer and Cannibal.Court T.V. n.d. 11 Feb. 2004.
Dahmer, Lionel. A Fathers Story. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc, 1994.
Sime, Tom. Dahmer. The Dallas Morning News on the web. 7 Aug. 2002. 2 Feb. 2004.
---. Directors childhood gave insight into Dahmers life. The Dallas Morning News on the web. 7 Aug. 2002. 2 Feb. 2004.
Tithecott, Richard. Of Men and Monsters. London: The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, 1997.