Jeffery Dahmer, Sentenced

On February 17, 1992, Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to fifteen terms of life imprisonment.

Since as early as 1978, Jeffrey Dahmer had been murdering people and pulverizing their bodies. Three weeks after graduating in 1978, he picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Mark Hicks. He asked Hicks over to his place for a drink. According to Dahmer, when he saw Hicks bare-chested, it stirred feelings within him. However, Hicks spent time talking about girls, which made Dahmer feel rejected. Dahmer later said that after a few hours, Hicks “wanted to leave and I didn’t want him to leave.” Instead of letting the young nineteen-year-old man go, Dahmen bludgeoned him with a ten-pound (four-and-a-half kg) dumbbell. When Hicks fell unconscious, Dahmer strangled him to death.

Eventually, Dahmer dragged the body to the basement, where he would dissect Hick’s body. The remains would be buried in a shallow grave in the backyard. However, several weeks later, Dahmer unearthed the remains and pared the flesh from the bones. He then dissolved the flesh in acid and crushed the bones with a sledgehammer.

At one point, Dahmer read in the newspaper that an eighteen-year-old man had passed away. He attempted to dig up the grave and steal the corpse. However, he found that the soil was too hard and abandoned the plan.

On November 20, 1987, Dahmer met twenty-five-year-old Steven Tuomi. He would later say that he had no initial intention of killing the young man. Nevertheless, the following day he woke up to find Tuomi lying beneath him with a crushed chest and blood seeping from the corner of his mouth.

Dahmer would eventually admit to murdering seventeen men. On January 16, 1988, he met fourteen-year-old Jamie Doxtator, a Native American male prostitute. Dommer left the body in the cellar for a week before dismantling it. He put most of the remeans in the trash but kept the skull and boiled and cleaned it. He would pulverize the skull two weeks later.

On March 24, 1988, he met twenty-two-year-old Richard Guerrero, who would be strangled with a leather strap after being drugged. On April 23, he lured Ronald Flowers Jr. to his house. Dahmer drugged Flowers’s coffee but was caught by his grandmother, who did not believe that her grandson was alone. Not able to kill him, he waited until Flowers was unconscious before taking him to the hospital.

On January 30, 1989, Dahmer pled guilty to second-degree sexual assault and enticing a child for immoral purposes. Two months later, Dahmer, who was still waiting for his sentencing, murdered the twenty-four-year-old mixed-race aspiring model named Anthony Sears. Sears was the first victim of whom Dahmer kept a body part as a souvenir. He preserved Sears’s head and genitalia in acetone and stored them in a wooden box.

On May 23, 1989, Dahmer was sentenced to five years probation and one year in the house of correction. He was also required to register as a sex offender.

About a year later, in May 1990, Dahmer met Raymond Smith, a thirty-two-year-old male prostitute. Dahmer gave Smith a drink laced with sleeping pills and then proceeded to strangle him. The next day, he purchased a Polaroid camera and took several pictures of Smith’s body before dismembering him. Dahmer boiled the legs, arms, and pelvis. He dissolved the remainder of the skeleton in a container filled with acid. He took Smith’s skull, spraypainted it, and put it next to Sears’s skull.

One week later, Dahmer leered another potential victim to his apartment. However, he accidentally drank the sleeping pills and woke up the next day having been robbed.

In June 1990, Dahmer lured twenty-seven-year-old Edward Smith to his apartment. Once there, he proceeded to drug and strangle Smith. In an attempt to preserve the skull, Dahmer put Smith’s skeleton in his freezer for several months, hoping that it would not retain moisture. However, when he later put the skull in the oven to dry, it exploded.

Less than three months later, he met twenty-two-year-old Ernest Miller outside a bookstore. Dahmer promised to pay Miller fifty dollars if he allowed him to listen to his heart and stomach. When Dahmer attempted to push the situation further, Miller informed him that it would cost him extra. In response, Dahmer laced Miller’s drink with sleeping pills. At that point, Dahmer had only two sleeping pills to give his victim. Since it did not entirely knock his victim out, he killed Miller by slashing his carotid artery with a knife.

Three weeks later, he met twenty-two-year-old David Thomas. He persuaded the father of two to have a few drinks with him at his apartment. Dahmer drugged Thomas but would later say he felt no attraction to him after having already drugged him. He said he was not attracted to him but was afraid that Thomas would be mad about having been drugged. Therefore, Dahmer strangled and dismembered the body. He retained no parts of Thomas.

In February 1991, he met seventeen-year-old Curtis Straughter, whom he lured back to his apartment. Curtis Straughter was drugged and strangled with a leather strap. In April, he met nineteen-year-old Errol Lindsey. Jeffrey Dahmer lured Lindsay to his apartment. There, Lindsay was drugged. Instead of strangling his victim, this time, Dahmer drilled a hole through the skull and injected hydrochloric acid. During this, Lindsey woke up and said he had a headache. In response, Dahmer again drugged him and then strangled him. Dahmer would later say that he was attempting to induce a permanent unresistant, submissive state.

On May 24, 1991, Dahmer met a thirty-one-year-old aspiring model named Tony Hughes. Hughes was lured back to Dahmer’s apartment and drugged till he was unconscious. Dahmer then injected hydrochloric acid into his skull, but the drilling and injection proved fatal. Two days later, on May 26, Dahmer met fourteen-year-old Konerak Sinthasonphone. Sinthasonphone may have seen the body of Tony Hughes, although Dahmer would later say that he was probably too drugged to do anything about it. A narrow hole was drilled into Sinthasonphone’s skull before hydrochloric acid was injected into the frontal lobe. Dahmer left his apartment to drink and returned in the early hours to find his victim sitting naked on the corner of the street, speaking in Lao. Three distressed young women were with him, and although Dahmer attempted to dispel them, they had already called the cops.

When the cops arrived, Dahmer told them that Sinthasonphone was his nineteen-year-old boyfriend who was simply drunk. The three women attempted to convince the cops that something was wrong. However, they told them to “butt out” and “shut the hell up.”[1] The cops led the two men back to Dahmer’s apartment and even looked into the bedroom, supposedly finding nothing suspicious. The incident was classified as a domestic dispute.

Not laying low, on June 30, Dahmer went to Chicago and met twenty-year-old Matt Turner. He invited Turner back to his apartment, where he drugged, strangled, and dismembered him.

Five days later, Dahmer met and lured twenty-three-year-old Jeremiah Weinberger back to his apartment. Weinberger was drugged, and his skull was also drilled into. Dahmer injected boiling water into the skull twice, putting Turner into a coma. He died two days later.

On July 15, Dahmer met twenty-four-year-old Oliver Lacey. The pair engaged in tentative sexual activity before Lacey was drugged. This time, Dahmer unsuccessfully attempted to drug his victim with chloroform. He eventually strangled him and placed the head and heart in the refrigerator while putting the skeleton in the freezer.

Four days later, Dahmer was fired from his job for taking too many days off, time he was using to dismember his victims. In response, he lured twenty-five-year-old Joseph Brandehof to his apartment, where he strangled the young man.

On July 22, 1991, Dahmer lured thirty-two-year-old Tracy Edwards to his apartment. Edwards figured out pretty quickly that something was not right within the apartment. Dahmer handcuffed him, but Edward was able to distract him until he found an opportunity to escape. At 11:30 p.m., he flagged down two Milwaukee police officers who followed him back to the apartment. Their search found numerous body parts from corpses. Over the next few weeks, Dahmer was questioned for over sixty hours. Eventually, he admitted to killing sixteen young men since 1987 and one victim before that. Dahmer even confessed to consuming three victims’ hearts, livers, biceps, and thighs.

Dahmer’s trial lasted two weeks. On February 15, the court reconvened to hear the verdict. It was decided that Dahmer was sane and not suffering from any mental disorders at the time of each of the fifteen murders he was being tried for. On February 17, Dahmer spoke to the court for the first time. He said: “I didn’t ever want freedom, frankly, I wanted death for myself. This was a case to tell the world that I did what I did. Not for reasons of hate. I hated no one. I knew I was sick or evil, or both. Now I believe I was sick.” He closed by saying, “My time in prison will be terrible, but I deserve whatever I get because of what I have done. Thank you, your honor, and I am prepared for your sentence, which I know will be the maximum. I asked for no consideration.”[2] He was sentenced to life and prison plus ten years added to the first two counts. He received a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment plus seventy years for the other thirteen counts.

Three months later, he was extradited to Ohio and tried for the murder of his first victim, Steven Hicks. The hearing lasted 45 minutes. He played guilty and was sentenced to a 16th term of life imprisonment on May 1, 1992.

Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in prison on November 28, 1994.

[1] James Barron, “Milwaukee Police Once Queried Suspect,” The New York Times, July 27, 1991.
[2] “Dahmer Tells Judge he Blames Nobody But Himself: Dahmer Sentencing”. Associated Press. February 17, 1992.


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