Sep 21, 2010
Milwaukee's Monster: Jeffrey Dahmer
"I couldn’t find any meaning in my life when I was out there. I'm sure as hell not going to find it in here. This is the grand finale of a life poorly spent and the end result is just overwhelmingly depressing … it's just a sick, pathetic, wretched, miserable life story, that's all it is. How it can help anyone, I've no idea."
Milwaukee has a long history of murders, but none are as gruesome or as unforgettable as the 16 murders that happened between 1978 and 1991. America was about to learn of “Milwaukee’s Monster”- Jeffrey Dahmer- the notorious serial killer who’s murders were particularly gruesome, involving rape, torture, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism. Milwaukee would be forever changed by his horrific crimes and the trial would be one of the most followed up stories across America of that time.
"When I was a little kid I was just like anybody else."
Jeffrey Dahmer was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin On May 21st 1960. It is said by Dahmer himself that his interest in the macabre started at a very young age when his father swept the remains of a small animal out from underneath the house. Dahmer would have been the age of 4 at this time and he was thrilled by the sounds they made. His father noticed his excitement over these clacking of animal bones as well he told a reporter in an interview with his son.
Later at the age of 8, Dahmer received a chemistry set which he used to experiment with animals. He would preserve insects in jars and later impaled cats and frogs on sticks.
Then 2 years later a young Dahmer, at the age of 10, started to collect road kill and would bleach the bones of chickens. He then started to decapitate small rodents and learned how to use acid to strip meat off the bones of the dead animals.
He was starting to experiment and find ways to take part in his dark desires. At the age of 14, Dahmer confessed that he began to regularly fantasize about having sex with a corpse and it was also around this time he began to drink more heavily.
At the age of 15 up until he was 18 he would drive around with plastic garbage bags collecting the remains of animals, he would ritualistically then strip the flesh from the bodies and at one point he mounted a dogs head on a stake.
"I was in college that day, thinking about Hicks. I was drinking and in a weepy sort of mood, and I cried about that."
It was on June 18th 1978, shortly after his 18th birthday, that Dahmer committed his first murder. Steven Hicks, 18, was hitchhiking when Dahmer drove by and picked the boy up. He took him back home where the boys got drunk and had sex. After Hicks tried to leave, Dahmer got upset and hit Hicks in the back of the head with a barbell that killed him. He dragged the body underneath the house where he dismembered it with a kitchen knife. The parts were placed in plastic bags and buried behind the house.
A year after the Hicks murder he enrolled in the army and it would be January 12th 1979when the US Army discharged Dahmer. Coincidently, 5 unsolved murders involving mutilation of the victims occurred during Dahmer’s stay there. One year later in January 1982, Jeffrey would move in with his grandmother in West Allis Wisconsin. Another year had passed before he got a job with the Ambrosia Chocolate Co.
At the age of 26 Dahmer was living with his grandmother and had a decent job in Milwaukee. He told his parents that he had been saving his money and planned to find an apartment soon. Everything seemed normal to the outside parties, but inside he was losing his fight against continuing his depraved acts. On September 6th 1986 he would get arrested for masturbating in front of two 12 year old boys on the banks of the Kinnickinnic River on Milwaukee’s east side. He was sentence to only one year probation.
"One thing I know for sure. It was a definite compulsion because I couldn't quit. I tried, but after the Ambassador, I couldn't quit. It would be nice if someone could give the answer on a silver platter as to why I did all this and what caused it, because I can't come up with an answer."
On September 15th 1987 Dahmer would murder his first Milwaukee victim at The Ambassador Hotel, though he claims that he has no memory of doing so. This would be his second murder, Steven Hicks being his first, from what we know however.
Dahmer picked up 25 year old Steven Tourmi at a gay bar called Club 219. This would be one of 4 victims that he would pick up from the Club 219. According to Dahmer, the two of them went to the Ambassador Hotel, got drunk and passed out. The next morning when Dahmer awoke, he said that Tourmi was dead and blood was coming out of is mouth. He claims he can not remember the previous nights events. Later that morning he brought a suitcase and put the corpse in it to then returned to his grandmothers house where he brought it down into the basement and had sex with the corpse, masturbated on it and sliced the flesh off if it. He then proceeded to dismember the remains, put them in plastic bags and throw them away. The remains have never been found.
In January 1988 a 27 year old Dahmer picks up James Doxtator at the Club 219. He invited him back to his grandmothers house where they have sex and he drugs the boy with sleeping pills and strangles him when he is asleep. He then dismembers the corpse with a knife. Brakes the bones with a sludge hammer and threw the remains in the trash.
Another victim would be picked up at Club 219 later that year, Richard Guerrero, 25. He also invited him to his grandmothers house and after sex, he drugs him and strangles him to death. He has sex with the corpse, dismembers it and throws it away.
On September 30th 1988, he approaches a 13 year old boy and offers him $50 to take photos of him. He gives the boy Irish Crème Liqueur laced with crushed tablets of Halcion. The boy did not fall asleep, so he returned home and his family took him to the hospital. The family presses charges on Dahmer and he is arrested at the Ambrosia Chocolate Co. He is charged with exploitation of a child and second degree assault. He is freed on $2500 cash bail and the trial is set to take place in May of 1989.
"I took the knife and the scalp part off and peeled the flesh off the bone and kept the skull and the scalp… If I could have kept him longer, all of him, I would have"
Three months later he picks up a 24 year old black male at another Milwaukee gay club called La Cage, Anthony Sears. Again he offers him money to come back home with him to take some photos. They go back to his grandmothers house where his ritual of sex, drugging and strangulation continues. He has sex with the corpse and dismembers the body. After decapitating the corpse he boiled the head, removed the skin and painted the skull gray. Not wanting to part with the skull the next morning he places it in a brown paper lunch bag and brings it to work with him. He leaves the skull in his locker and frequently takes breaks to go and look at it.
After being found guilty for the 2nd degree assault of the boy back in September, Dahmer writes a letter pleading for leniency and only served 10 months.
"I knew my grandma would be waking up and I still wanted him to stay with me so I strangled him… I brought him up to the bedroom and pretended he was still alive."
After he is released from prison his grandmother does not welcome him back into her home. She does not like the noises that come from the basement, his late night guests and his strange behavior. Dahmer finds an apartment in Milwaukee called The Oxford Apartments on 25th street. His freedom from prison and being out of his grandmothers house fuels his desire immensely and he goes on a killing spree from June 1990, till July 1991, killing 11 men at The Oxford Apartments with only one mishap that could have lead to his conviction in May of 1991, and would have saved 4 men.
His killing started in June of 1990, only a month after he moved into The Oxford Apartments, Edward Smith, 28. Just weeks later, Dahmer meets Raymond Smith at his common hang out, Club 219. He would become his seventh victim and Dahmer keeps his skull.
"I separated the joints, the arm joints, the leg joints, and had to do two boilings. I think I used four boxes of Soilex for each one, put in the upper portion of the body and boiled that for about two hours and then the lower portion for another two hours. The Soilex removes all the flesh, turns it into a jelly like-like substance and it just rinses off. Then I laid the clean bones in a light bleach solution, left them there for a day and spread them out on either newspaper or cloth and let them dry for about a week in the bedroom."
In September Dahmer murders his eighth victim, 24 year old Earnest Miller. This time he keeps the entire skeleton as a souvenir. He also keeps Miller’s Biceps and later eats them. He attempts to drink his blood, but never does again.
In many interviews Dahmer has explained that he wanted to keep apart of his victims with him always, and that by keeping parts of his victims and even eating them he felt he had succeed in doing so.
Later, that same month, he murders and dismembers David Thomas, Dahmer takes photographs while the murder & dismemberment is in progress.
5 months after Thomas he murders 19 year old Curtis Strughter and keeps his skull. He then murders and once again dismembers 19 year old Errol Lindsy and keeps his skull as a souvenir also. He takes the skull with him to work that next day like he had with Anthony Sears, only this time he leaves it there for a week. On May 24th 1991, 4 days after his 31st birthday, he meets Tony Hughs a deaf and mute man outside a club. Routinely he invites Hughs back to his apartment for drinks and pornography. He murders him, dismembers him and keeps the skull.
Shortly after Hughs on May 26th he offers money to 14 year old Konerak Sinthasomphone. He drugs the child as he did almost all his victims and performs oral sex while he is unconscious. The child stumbles naked out of Dahmer’s Apartment bleeding from the anus and is spotted by two girls who call the police. The police investigate, as a calm Dahmer explains that Konerak is his 19 year old lover. The police leave, and Konerak is later murdered and dismembered, his skull another kept souvenir for Dahmer. This will be the closest Dahmer would have been to being found out for his grotesque crimes until his last attempt at another murder in May 1991.
"He was exceptionally affectionate. He was nice to be with."
It only takes less than a week for Dahmer to seek out his next victim, 23 year old Jeremiah Weinberger. Dahmer meets him at La Cage Nightclub and stays the night with Dahmer at his apartment. When Jeremiah requests to leave the next morning an angry Dahmer murders him and places his head in the freezer. It is within this week Dahmer starts to plan another method of disposing of the bodies. He purchases a fifty-seven gallon barrel of hydrochloric acid which he plans to use as a method for disposing of his victims.
"If I'd been thinking rationally I would have stopped. I wasn't thinking rationally because it just increased and increased. It was almost like I wanted to get to a point where it was out of my control and there was no return. I mean, I was very careful for years and years, you know. Very careful, very careful about making sure that nothing incriminating remained, but these last few months, they just went nuts… It just seemed like it went into a frenzy this last month. Everything really came crashing down. The whole thing started falling down around my head… That was the last week I was going to be in that apartment building. I was going to have to move out and find somewhere to put all my possessions. Should I get a chest and put what I wanted to keep in that, and get rid of the rest? Or should I put an end to this, try to stop this and find a better direction for my life? That's what was going through my mind that last week."
On July 19th 1991 Dahmer murders 23 year old Oliver Lacy. He keeps the heart and head in the refrigerator. Joeseph Bradehoft is Dahmer’s last victim. He picks him up on may 24th outside La Cage Nightclub. After he is drugged, Dahmer, murders him and dismembers him. His head is placed in his freezer while the other remains are stuffed in the barrel of acid.
"I think in some way I wanted it to end, even if it meant my own destruction."
Tracy Edwards will be the end of these horrors. Dahmer meets him and they go back to his apartment to have drinks. Dahmer slaps a handcuff around Edwards wrist and the victim quickly escapes. Edwards notifies the police, who visit an angry and resisting Dahmer. Further investigation leads to the frozen organs and the barrel of dissolved human remains. Dahmer is finally arrested.
" … If I was killed in prison. That would be a blessing right now."
Jeffrey Dahmer, now 32, is charged with four counts of homicide as a result of the police search through his apartment. Dahmer admits to the crimes and his bail is set to one million dollars. On September 15th 1992, in court, he is charged and guilty of 15 murders. He is sentenced to 941 days in jail. On November 28th 1994, 34 year old Dahmer is sexually assaulted and murdered in jail while cleaning a restroom by convicted African-American murderer Christopher Scarver.
"I should have gone to college and gone into real estate and got myself an aquarium, that's what I should have done."
These are the photos I took:
The apartment building formally known as The Oxford Apartments, which Jeffrey Dahmer brutally took the lives of 11 young men in 1990 and 1991 was razed in 1992 and remains a vacant lot. "I've heard that people still walk across the street to avoid walking next to the lot," Now it is nothing more than a wasteland behind an old chain link fence, the memory will always haunt us however of the horror's that happened here.
Jeffrey Dahmer claimed his first victim in Milwaukee, Steven Tourmi, at the Ambassador Hotel on the night of September 15th, 1987.
Club 219, that once was Jeffrey Dahmer's frequent hang out and where he claimed several of his victims now stands empty and abandoned.
Milwaukee's Nightclub, LaCage was another popular spot of Jeffrey Dahmer and where he claimed some of his last few victims.
For more information on Jeffrey Dahmer, please visit the links in the side bar.