Jeffrey Dahmer

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Jeffrey Dahmer is among the most notorious serial killers in the American history. Additionally, he is also a sex offender who murdered 17 males between 1978 and 1991 (Masters, 2007). Other criminal cases related to him include necrophilia, dismemberment, cannibalism and rape. He was killed by a fellow inmate while in prison in 1994 (Ratcliff et al, 2006). This essay generally analyzes Dahmer’s life to discover some of the reasons that might have made him become a serial killer.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Jeffrey started abusing alcohol during his high school years. He drank spirits and beer even when in school. He later dropped out due to his drinking spree (Ratcliff et al, 2006). His father urged him to join the army but was later kicked out considering his drinking habit.

Psychiatric history

At the age of four, Jeffrey underwent a double hernia surgery which marked the beginning of the change in his personality (Masters, 2007). Initially, he was described as a happy and energetic child. However, after the operation, he started changing to a loner who was often withdrawn and uncommunicative. This change in personality might have facilitated his unbecoming behavior (Harris, 2009).

Criminal history

Dahmer moved to West Allis where he lived with his grandmother. He continued with his drinking habit and would frequently get in trouble with the cops. He was apprehended for exposing himself publicly in 1982. In 1986, he was again arrested for masturbating in public (Masters, 2007). Jeffrey was imprisoned for ten months and was again arrested after sexually fondling Milwaukee, a 13-year old boy. His killing habit started at the age of 18 in 1978. He lured 18-year-old Hicks to his father’s house where they drank beer and later killed him when he was about to leave.

Sexual problems

At puberty, Dahmer realized that he was homosexual (Harris, 2009). He started having sexual fantasies where he imagined having intercourse with a subservient partner. The thoughts slowly became mixed with dissection. For instance, at the age of 16, he had a rape fantasy with a male jogger whom he found to be attractive and unconscious. Issues of attacking unconscious male partners began at this point and he implemented them later in his life (Harris, 2009).

Physical abuse

For the better part of his life, Dahmer had a normal childhood with no physical abuse. The only instance recorded of him suffering physical abuse was when he was in prison (Ratcliff et al, 2006). He was attacked by his fellow inmates two times and died.

Psychological abuse

Jeffrey underwent psychological abuse to some extent in his life. For instance, it is recorded that his family was always filled with “extreme tension.” His parents were constantly arguing even in his presence (Harris, 2009). This to some extent might have affected him negatively. However, there is no serious psychological abuse that he underwent that might have made him a serial killer.

Dominant father figure aligned with a negative relationship with male caretaker figures

There is no negative relation portrayed between Jeffrey and his father. His father divorced his mother and found a new wife (Harris, 2009). The father struggled to build his relationship with his new wife and ignored his son. Again, he was always away for business and hence did not give much attention to Jeffrey. His father stood by his son even when was accused of the numerous criminal cases(Harris, 2009).

Negative relationships with both natural mother and or adoptive mother

Dahmer’s mother was always tense and wanted much attention from her husband. She was always argumentative and never devoted much time to Jeffrey (Ratcliff et al, 2006). After the divorce, she went away with her younger son leaving Jeffrey under the care of his ever-absent father.

Treated unfairly

Dahmer was regarded as timid and quiet by his mates. His first-grade teacher noted that Jeffrey felt neglected. This feeling mainly emanated from his mom’s illness.

Head trauma

At some point in his life, Jeffry was diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder, psychotic disorder and borderline personality disorder (Masters, 2007). However, during his trial, he was found to be sane. Again, he was attacked twice by his inmates and died on the second attack after suffering a severe head trauma (Harris, 2009).

Demon seed

Dahmer’s killing habit was strange and inhumane. He would drug his gay victims, torture them and kill them through strangulation (Masters, 2007). Jeffrey would then masturbate over the dead bodies after which he would dismember them (Harris, 2009).  He would them preserve some parts of the organs which he would refrigerate and eat them later. Looking at these behaviors, it can be concluded that indeed Dahmer was a demon seed (Ratcliff et al, 2006).

The Trilogy

Throughout his biography, Dahmer has not been outlined to display arson or bedwetting in his childhood. However, he showed cruelty to animals when he was young (Ratcliff et al, 2006). He could collect dead animals and dissect them and would later preserve some parts by dissolving them in chemicals. His grandmother could find some disturbing objects in his room (Masters, 2007).


In conclusion, indeed Jeffrey Dahmer was a strange and notorious serial killer. The main factor which might have led him to be so was due to his sexual problems (Masters, 2007). He fantasized that having sex with unconscious male partners was interesting and so he would kill his victims and have sex with their bodies (Harris, 2009). His fascination with dead animals also greatly contributed to his delinquent behavior. His childhood generally was not that bad to make him be who he turned out to be.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Harris, A. J. (2009). Jeffrey Dahmer’s dirty secret: The unsolved murder of Adam Walsh. S.I.: Booksurge.
  2. Masters, B. (2007). The shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer. London: Hodder.
  3. Ratcliff, R., & Adams, L. (2006). Dark journey deep grace: Jeffrey Dahmer’s story of faith. Abilene, Tex: Leafwood.
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