Infamous Criminals: Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer was an infamous serial killer who raped, murdered, and dismembered seventeen boys and men. The murders occurred between 1978 and 1991. Dahmer was also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal as many of his later crimes included cannibalism.

At trial, Jeffrey Dahmer was found to be legally sane however psychiatrists did diagnose him with a borderline personality disorder. Dahmer was eventually arrested and tried for the murders he committed. He was found guilty and sentenced to fifteen terms of life in prison. Dahmer was killed in prison in 1994 by a fellow inmate.

Dahmer’s Crimes

Jeffrey committed his first murder in 1978 when he was only eighteen years old. After picking up a hitchhiker, Dahmer bludgeoned him to death, after which he was strangled and dismembered. Dahmer’s next murder did not occur until 1987, at the Ambassador Hotel. Following the murder at the Ambassador Hotel, Dahmer began to seek out his victims actively. He encountered most victims at gay bars and would then lure them to his grandmother’s home, where they were eventually murdered. Dahmer continued luring victims and committing murders until his arrest in 1991.

Arrest of Jeffrey Dahmer

Dahmer’s arrest finally occurred in 1991, on July 22. After luring a man by the name of Tracy Edwards to his apartment, Edwards began to suspect that something was amiss. Dahmer eventually attempted to handcuff Edwards but was unsuccessful. In an attempt to keep Dahmer calm, Edwards kept assuring him that they were friends and he was not going to leave. During a moment of distraction, Edwards was able to run out the front door of the Dahmer residence and flag down the police. Edwards agreed to accompany the police back to the apartment where Dahmer invited the police inside. While police were looking around in Dahmer’s apartment, they discovered pictures of human bodies. When Dahmer realized that officers had the pictures, he attempted to resist arrest but was quickly overpowered. Police officers searching the apartment found several severed heads, skulls, blood drippings, human hearts, arm muscles, and other human organs.

After his arrest, Dahmer waived his right to an attorney and confessed to having murdered multiple boys and men starting in 1978. He spent the two weeks following his arrest confessing to the murders in interviews with detectives lasting more than sixty hours.

Indictment and Trial of Jeffrey Dahmer

Initially, on July 25, 1991, Dahmer was charged with only four counts of murder but by the end of August, eleven more murder charges were added to his indictment. The Milkwaukee County District Attorney chose to only bring charges in which the murders could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The trial began in 1992, on January 30th before judge Laurence Gram, with lawyer Gerald Boyle representing Dahmer. Dahmer had actually plead guilty to the charges against him on January 13th, thus waving is rights to a trial to establish guilt. The trial that took place was to determine whether or not Dahmer suffered from a personality or mental disorder. It was during this time that Dahmer was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. The trial lasted two weeks and at the conclusion, Dahmer was ruled sane and it was also concluded that he was not suffering from a mental illness during the time of his crimes.

In the months after his initial conviction, Dahmer was extradited to Ohio to be tried for his first murder. Again, he plead guilty to the murder and a 16th term of life imprisonment was added onto his sentence. After his sentencing, Dahmer was transferred to Portage, Wisconsin to serve his sentence at the Columbia Correctional Institution. In November of 1994, Dahmer was attacked by a fellow inmate, and was bludgeoned. He was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Following Dahmer’s death, his estate was auctioned off to a group to raise money for the victim’s families. The group raised funds in order to purchase the entire estate so that they could destroy all of Dahmer’s possessions, which wound up destroyed and buried in an undisclosed landfill. The Milwaukee community where Dahmer committed his crimes also held a candlelight vigil after his death in an attempt to begin healing. Several books have been written on Dahmer, including one authored by his own father, in addition to several movies and documentaries being made. Jeffrey Dahmer continues to this day to be an infamous figure known for his horrific violence he inflicted on others.

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