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Essay/Term paper: Jeffery dahmer

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Psychology

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The serial killer that I chose to profile is Jeffery Dahmer. Dahmer brings both horrifying, yet amazing qualities to the table in the
respect that he terrorized people, not only those that were his victims, but also people that lived both near and those around the
country.



Section I: Overview

- Jeffery Dahmer

- Born on May 21, 1960, at Evangelical Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

- Jeffery Dahmer was found beaten by fellow inmates on the morning of November 28, 1994, as was pronounced dead at
9:11 a.m.

- Was given life imprisonment on 15 counts of murder committed in Wisconsin and one committed in Ohio, for which he was
tried separately. He was sentenced to fifteen consecutive life terms for a total of 957 years in prison.

- Jeffery Dahmer was always seen as very shy and isolated at an early age. Dahmer had fantasies about killing men and having
sex with the corpses. Despite the early tendencies of his childhood, Dahmer didn"t act on any of these sexual fantasies until
after he had graduated from highschool in June of 1978. Dahmer picked up a hitchhiker by the name of Steven Hicks, and
eventually Hicks would be the first victim of Dahmer. Dahmer then enrolled at Ohio State University, only to flunk out within
one semester. Next, Dahmer joined the army at the end of 1978, but was discharged for alcoholism and went to live in Florida
before returning to Ohio. Dahmer was then arrested in October of 1981 for drunken and disorderly conduct, so his father sent
him to live with his grandmother in West Allis, Wisconsin. Dahmer had a couple of sexual legal incidents, then kept cool for
about four years. In 1987, Dahmer killed his second victim, Steven Toumi, and would go on a ravenous murder spree after
that.

- Victims were mainly homosexual men, mostly African-American

- Dahmer was active from June 1978 to July 22, 1991



Section II: Childhood

Dahmer was born on May 21, 1960, to Lionel and Joyce Dahmer. Dahmer was wanted and loved despite Joyce"s problems
in pregnancy. Dahmer was a normal, healthy child that showed no signs of mental problems. When Dahmer was four, Lionel
was sweeping under the house for small animals that had been killed by civets. As Lionel gathered the bones Dahmer was
fascinated with the bones of the dead animals. When Dahmer was six, he suffered from a double hernia and needed surgery to
correct the problem. After the surgery, Dahmer seemed to be emotionally scarred by it. It seemed as if he had been exposed
by this surgery and couldn"t recover from it. By the time that Dahmer was in first grade, Lionel started to notice a change in the
personality of the young boy. Dahmer had become very shy and showed a general lack of self-confidence. Jeff had become
distant, whereas he use to be a very outgoing and friendly boy. By the age of fifteen, Jeff would ride around with plastic bags
and collect the remains of animals for his own personal cemetery. He would strip the flesh from the bodies of dead animals that
he had found. There is argument that he loved to torture animals, but that is unlikely because of the love of his own pets. The
stripping of the dead animal"s flesh, but not any sort of harming his own animals showed Dahmer"s fascination with dead
creatures. Dahmer became more introverted and isolated himself from the outside world. He was overcome with fantasies that
would result in the emphasis of dead people and creatures as his main sexual desire.

Dahmer"s parents always had trouble in their marriage, stemming mainly from Dahmer"s mother"s various physical ailments and
her ability to be high strung, which were likely to come from a background in which her father"s alcoholism affected her greatly.
Finally, these troubles in the marriage ended with divorce when Dahmer was eighteen.



Section III: The Crimes and the Victims

In my opinion, Dahmer was a disorganized killer because he was guilty of having most of the distinguishing qualities of that
particular killer, rather than that of an organized serial killer. Dahmer was below average intelligence, low or average birth
status, socially immature, and he seldom dated. The victims were usually chosen because of their sexuality. Dahmer would hang
out in gay bars and just pick up on the homosexuals that would inhabit them. It seems that Dahmer was particular to the
African-American race, but that did not hold true for all the cases. At the crime scene, there were parts of bodies that were
dismembered. Dahmer would lead the victims back to his house, drug them, sexually assault the victims, and then dismember
them. Dahmer would use acid to take away the skin from the skulls of the victims and then keep these skulls as trophies for his
fantasies. Dahmer would also dismember the bodies of the victims and keep them in his apartment for safekeeping. When the
police discovered Dahmer"s apartment, they found, not only skulls kept as trophies, but also an entire industrial size bin full of
human bodies. They also found a human head in the refrigerator of his apartment. When the police arrived at the scene of the
crime they smelled a very foul smell, which would be later learned to be the stench of the dead bodies that had been decaying
in his apartment. Dahmer had built a shrine to himself to remind him of all the victims that he had killed.



Section IV: The Killer

Jeffery Dahmer was a local killer because all the murders that he committed were in Milwaukee, and just one fell in the state of
Ohio. As far as being place-specific though, Dahmer seemed to feed on nightclubs, especially the homosexual ones. Dahmer
was a below average college student, failing out his first semester as Ohio State University, and was also incompetent in his
military duties, being discharged for alcoholism. Dahmer had a very distinct way of killing his victims as far as the overall setup
goes. Dahmer would usually go out to the night clubs in Milwaukee, bring a young man home with him, and drug the man up so
that he didn"t know what was going on. Next, Dahmer would sexually assault the victim and dismember the victim to either
keep in a barrel, or acitize and put up on a shelf as a trophy. It is rumored that Dahmer used a chainsaw to dismember his
victims, but more valid arguments claim that he used a knife in his bathtub.



Section V: Apprehension and Disposition

A couple of months after Dahmer had killed the fourteen year-old boy, Konerak, two Milwaukee police officers were
patrolling a very high crime scene near Marquette University and they would be blown away at their findings. At about
midnight, the two officers sat in their squad car and observed an African-American male with handcuffs on one of his wrists.
The two police officers, thinking that this man had more than likely escaped from another police officer, approached the man
for questioning. The man questioned, Tracy Edwards, told of a "weird" man who had put cuffs on him and acted in a very
bizarre manner. The two police officers hesitated, wanting to stay away from this homosexual affair, but proceeded to check
out the situation. Edwards led the officers to the Oxford apartments where a very calm and rational Dahmer would answer the
door. The officers questioned Dahmer about the handcuffs, and he gladly went towards the bedroom to retrieve the key.
Edwards, remembering the knife in the bedroom that Dahmer had threatened him with, alerted the officers and they proceeded
into the bedroom before Dahmer. The officers were shocked when they found not only photographs of dead men, but also
dismembered bodies, skulls, and a human head in the refrigerator. Dahmer suddenly turned on one of the officers, but was
taken down by the other. Dahmer went to court and entered a plea of insanity which was prompted by his lawyer, but the
court was not in favor of this plea. Rather, Dahmer was convicted and was sentenced to fifteen consecutive life terms for a total
of 957 years in prison. Dahmer was paired up with two highly dangerous men on a work detail and on the morning of
November 28, 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death by these two men, when left alone to do their work.



Section VI: Assessment and Discussion



I think that Jeffery Dahmer best fits under the labeling theory. His actions were warranted under the pretense that he committed
the killings because of a preexisting fault that he had committed. Dahmer was attracted to the bones of dead animals at a very
early age, and acted upon these feelings in the violent fantasies that he committed. Dahmer was affected by the divorce of his
parents, his moving around, and the operation that he received at an early age. Dahmer graduated from being fascinated by the
decaying bones of animals to the sexual, as well as violent fantasies, that led to the spree of killings that he committed. I think
that Dahmer had a very big problem with the isolation that he faced at an early age in life. Dahmer saw that his parents were
never happy, and maybe that"s why he had homosexual tendencies. Dahmer was continuously consumed with necrophilia,
which is the fetish with the dead. He not only collected the bodies of dead animals at an early age, but also he had fantasies
about killing people and then having sex with the corpses. I think that you have to put Jeffery Dahmer in a class all his own,
because of the fascination that he had with the corpses, and the power that they gave him once he had killed them. A lot of
serial killers were more worried about what would happen to them, and they would get rid of the bodies of the people that they
had just killed. Dahmer used his own body as a temple to take control of the lives of the victims that he had. Dahmer was very
remorseful for the crimes that he had committed, and was very cooperative with the authorities and with the families of his
victims. This is not usually seen as a common attribute among serial killers today.
 

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