Category Archives: Murder

A Killing Binge

After ten months, the judge granted him early release, despite a letter from Dahmer’s father urging him not to release him until he received treatment. He went to stay with his grandmother in early March of 1990, but his stay there was conditional upon him finding his own place to live.

On May 14, 1990, Dahmer moved to 924 North 25th Street, Apartment 213, and the killing began in earnest.

During the following fifteen months, Dahmer went on a killing binge that cost twelve men their lives. The pace of Dahmer’s murders accelerated to a frenzy in May-July of 1991 when he was killing almost at a rate of one man a week. All but three were black; one was white, one was Laotian and one was Hispanic. Most, but not all, were homosexual or bisexual. The youngest was Konerak, age fourteen, and the oldest was thirty-one. Many of the victims lived what police call “high-risk” lifestyles. Most of the men had arrest records, often for very serious crimes, like arson, sexual assault, rape, and battery. The listing below appears in Anne Schwartz’s The Man Who Could Not Kill Enough:

  • Edward Smith June, 1990
  • Ricky Lee Beeks July, 1990
  • Ernest Miller Sept., 1990
  • David Thomas Sept., 1990
  • Curtis Straughter Feb., 1991
  • Errol Lindsey April, 1991
  • Anthony Hughes May 24, 1991
  • Konerak Sinthasomphone May 27, 1991
  • Matt Turner June 30, 1991
  • Jeremiah Weinberger July 5, 1991
  • Oliver Lacey July 12, 1991
  • Joseph Bradehoft July 19, 1991

A True Psychopath

On May 23, 1989, Dahmer’s lawyer Gerald Boyle and Assistant D.A. Gale Shelton presented their arguments to Judge William Gardner. Shelton wanted a prison sentence of at least five years. “In my judgment it is absolutely crystal clear that the prognosis for treatment of Mr. Dahmer within the community is extremely bleak… His perception that what he did wrong here was choosing too young a victim, — and that that’s all he did wrong, — is a part of the problem… He appeared to be cooperative and receptive, but anything that goes below the surface indicates that the deep-seated anger and deep-seated psychological problems that he is unwilling or incapable of dealing with.”

Three psychologists examined him and concurred that Dahmer was manipulative, resistant and evasive. Hospitalization and intensive treatment was recommended.

Boyle, the defense attorney argued that Dahmer was sick and needed treatment, not prison. He praised the fact that he had held a job. “We don’t have a multiple offender here. I believe that he was caught before it got to the point where it would have gotten worse, which means that it is a blessing in disguise.”

Dahmer himself spoke in his own defense, blaming his behavior on alcoholism. He was articulate and convincing, for someone who had secretly murdered several men by that time. “What I have done is very serious. I’ve never been in this position before. Nothing this awful. This is a nightmare come true for me. If anything would shock me out of my past behavior patterns, it’s this.

“The one thing I have in my mind that is stable and that gives me some source of pride is my job. I’ve come very close to losing it because of my actions, which I take full responsibility for… All I can do is beg you, please spare my job. Please give me a chance to show that I can, that I can tread the straight and narrow and not get involved in any situation like this ever again… This enticing a child was the climax of my idiocy… I do want help. I do want to turn my life around.”

A marvelous performance by a true psychopath! The judge fell for it, stayed his sentence, and put Dahmer on probation for five years. He was ordered to spend one year in the House of Correction under “work release,” which allowed him to go to work during the day and return to the jail at night.

More Murders, More Arrests

He practiced this ritual on Richard Guerrero, a handsome young man of Mexican origin, in late March of 1988. Dahmer said he met him a gay bar in Milwaukee, but the young man’s family disputed that their son was anything but heterosexual. By the summer of that year, Dahmer had killed four men. While Dahmer’s grandmother was completely ignorant of the awful things that were happening in her basement, she was fully aware of the noise and drunkenness of Jeff and his male friends. Something had to be done.

So, on September 25, 1988, Jeffrey moved into an apartment on North 24th Street in Milwaukee. The very next day, he got into serious trouble. He offered a thirteen-year-old Laotian boy $50 to pose for some pictures. He drugged the boy and fondled him, but did not get violent or have intercourse with him. By incredible coincidence, the boy’s last name was Sinthasomphone; he was the older brother of the boy that Dahmer would kill in May of 1991.

The boy’s parents realized there was something wrong with their child and took him to the hospital, where it was confirmed that he had been drugged. The police picked up Dahmer at his job at the mixer of Ambrosia Chocolate. He was arrested for sexual exploitation of a child and second-degree sexual assault. On January 30, 1989, he pleaded guilty, although he claimed that he thought that the boy was much older than he was.

While Dahmer awaited sentencing and was living again at his grandmother’s house, he met a black homosexual named Anthony Sears, 24, at a gay bar. Like the others, he offered the aspiring black model some money to pose for photos. When they reached Dahmer’s grandmother’s house, Sears was drugged and strangled. Dahmer had sex with his corpse and then dismembered it.

Anne Schwartz describes what happened next: “…he kept the head and boiled it to remove the skin, later painting it gray, so that in case of discovery, the skull would look like a plastic model used by medical students. Dahmer saved the trophy for two years, until it was recovered from Apartment 213 on July 23, 1991. Later he explained that he masturbated in front of the skulls for gratification.”

Lust, Booze & Murder

A few months after his arrest in October of 1981 for drunken and disorderly conduct, his father thought it best that Jeffrey go live with his grandmother in West Allis, Wisconsin. Things were calm for a few months, until he dropped his trousers in the company of a group of people. He had apparently had a bit to drink. He kept things under control for another four years until he was again arrested in September of 1986 for masturbating in front of two boys. He was put on probation for a year.

He killed his second victim, Steven Toumi, in a hotel room in September of 1987. The two of them had been drinking heavily in one of the popular gay bars. Dahmer didn’t know how he killed him, but when he awoke, Toumi was dead and blood was on his mouth. He bought a large suitcase and stuffed the body inside. After he took Toumi’s corpse to his grandmother’s basement, he had sex with it, masturbated on it, dismembered it and threw it in the garbage.

Several months later, he selected his third victim, a fourteen-year-old Native American boy named Jamie Doxtator, who hung around outside the gay bars, looking for relationships. Dahmer’s methods had become established by that time. Normally, he would meet and select his prey at gay bars or bathhouses. He would lure his victims by offering them money for posing for photographs or simply to enjoy some beer and videos. Then he would drug them, strangle them, masturbate on the bodies or have sex with the corpses, dismember the bodies and dispose of them. Sometimes he would keep the skulls or other body parts as souvenirs.

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.

The Head in the Fridge

The placid, rational blond man suddenly turned on them and fought as the other cop tried to cuff him. While the one officer subdued Dahmer, the other one went to the refrigerator and opened it. He shrieked loudly at the face that stared out at him and slammed the door. “There’s a f—king head in the refrigerator!”

A closer examination of the apartment revealed an intimate juxtaposition of the tidy and the unspeakable. While the small one-bedroom flat was neat and clean, especially for a bachelor, and his pet fish well cared for, the smell of decomposition was overwhelming.

The box of baking soda in the refrigerator hardly absorbed the odors of a decomposing severed head. The freezer had three more heads, stored neatly in plastic bags and tied with plastic twisties.

There was a door that led to the bedroom, bedroom closet and bath, which had been outfitted with a dead-bolt lock. Anne E. Schwartz, the reporter who was first on the scene, describes what she saw in her book The Man Who Could Not Kill Enough: “…in the back of the closet was a metal stockpot that contained decomposed hands and a penis. On the shelf above the kettle were 2 skulls.

Also in the closet were containers of ethyl alcohol, chloroform, and formaldehyde, along with some glass jars holding male genitalia preserved in formaldehyde…Polaroid photos taken by Dahmer at various stages of his victims’ deaths. One showed a man’s head, with the flesh still intact, lying in a sink. Another displayed a victim cut open from the neck to the groin, like a deer gutted after the kill, the cuts so clean I could see the pelvic bone clearly.” Some of the photos were his victims before he murdered them in various erotic and bondage poses.

The police, the county medical examiner, the media, families of missing young men, Jeff Dahmer’s family, the entire city of Milwaukee, and the whole world tried to understand what had really happened in Apartment 213. Eventually the story began to tumble out.

Exposed!!!

A couple of months later on July 22, 1991, two Milwaukee police officers were driving around in the very high-crime area around Marquette University. The heat was oppressive and the humidity almost unbearable. The smell of the neighborhood was all the more pungent in the heat: the garbage on the streets, the urine and feces left by the homeless, the rancid stink of cooked grease.

Around midnight, as the two officers sat in their car, they saw a short, wiry black man with a handcuff dangling from his wrist. Assuming that this man had escaped from another policeman, they asked him what he was doing. The man started to pour out a tale about this “weird dude” who put the cuffs on him in his apartment. The man was Tracy Edwards.

Edwards’ story smacked of some homosexual encounter that normally the police would avoid, but the two policemen thought they ought to check out this man that had cuffed Edwards who lived at the Oxford Apartments at 924 North 25th Street. The door to Apartment 213 was opened by a nice looking thirty-one-year-old blond man.

Dahmer was very calm and rational. He offered to get the key to the handcuffs in the bedroom. Edwards remembered that the knife that Dahmer had threatened him with was also in the bedroom.

Once of the officers decided to go into the bedroom himself and take a look. He noticed photographs lying around that shocked him: dismembered human bodies, skulls in the refrigerator. When he collected his wits, he yelled to his partner to cuff Dahmer and place him under arrest.