First Blood

The first person to plumb the depths of Jeffrey Dahmer’s depravity was Detective Patrick Kennedy. A huge bear of a man with dramatic handlebar mustache, he engaged Dahmer’s confidence and was the person to whom Dahmer confessed the details of his thirteen-year killing spree.

While Dahmer had fantasies about killing men and having sex with their corpses as early as age fourteen, he didn’t do anything about it until just after he graduated high school in June of 1978. He picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks when Dahmer was living with his parents in the upscale community of Bath, Ohio. They had sex and drank beer, but then Hicks wanted to leave. Dahmer couldn’t stand the idea of Hicks leaving, so he struck him in the head with a barbell and killed him.

He needed to get rid of the body, so he cut it up, packaged it up in plastic garbage bags, and buried the bags in the woods behind his house. That fall, he attended Ohio State University for a semester but flunked out. At the end of 1978, he left to join the Army and was stationed in Germany. Apparently, he didn’t kill anyone when he was in the Army and this was corroborated by an exhaustive investigation by the German police. After a couple of years, the Army discharged him for alcoholism and he went to live in Florida before returning to Ohio. Once back home, he dug up Hicks’s body, pounded the decomposing corpse with a sledgehammer, and scattered the remains in the woods.

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