Notorious serial killer profiled on ID in Jeffrey Dahmer: Mind of a Monster

Mugshot of Jeffrey Dahmer
Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 young men before being incarcerated. He was killed by a fellow inmate in 1994. Pic credit: Milwaukee Police Dept.

This week, Investigation Discovery looks at one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer, aka The Milwaukee Cannibal. Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer murdered and dismembered at least seventeen young men.

Dahmer selected his victims carefully; he always chose young men who were on the fringes of society, such as drifters and borderline criminals. He lured his victims with promises of money or sex before strangling them to death.

He would have sex with his victim’s corpses and kept body parts as souvenirs.

His first victim was in June 1978 when he brought a hitchhiker back to his parents’ house. After strangling him with a barbell, he dismembered the body and buried it in plastic bags behind the family home.

At his father’s insistence, he joined the army after he left school in 1978. He posted to Germany where he remained until the military discharged him in 1981 because of his alcoholism.

The German authorities would later investigate if he was connected to several murders on their territory at that time but concluded that he hadn’t killed anybody while in the military.


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His next known murder was in September 1987. At this stage, he was living with his grandma in Milwaukee, WI., and he used her basement to dismember and have sex with the corpses of three more victims.

Dahmer’s killing increased from 1990

After his grandmother threw him out due to becoming fed up with his alcoholism, his killing significantly accelerated until he had amassed 17 victims by 1991.

Dahmer was finally arrested in July 1991 after one of his victims, Tracy Edwards, managed to escape his apartment. Edwards flagged down two police officers who decided to check out Dahmer’s residence.

When the officers searched Dahmer’s home, they found polaroids of body parts in his bedroom. After handcuffing the killer, they then discovered a severed head in his refrigerator.

At his trial, he pleaded not guilty by way of insanity. The jury found him guilty of murder in 15 cases.

In court, he read out a statement: “I never wanted freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself. I knew I was sick or evil or both.”

He was sentenced to 15 life terms with a 16th added later, this translated into a 941-year sentence.

He had only served three of those years when fellow inmate and convicted murderer Christopher Scarver bludgeoned him to death with an iron bar in November 1994. He was 34-years-old at his death.

More serial killers on Investigation Discovery

Follow the links to read about more serial killers profiled on ID.

Keith Jesperson became known as the Happy Face Killer because of the smiley faces that he drew on his letters to the media where he bragged about his murders. He is known to have killed at least eight women between 1990 and 1995 in six states.

Ted Bundy murdered somewhere between 30 and 100 people in multiple states across the country. He would use his charm and charisma to lure young women to their deaths. Just like Dahmer, he would also keep body parts as souvenirs and liked to have sex with his victim’s corpses.

Jeffrey Dahmer: Mind of a Monster airs Monday at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

This special is a part of ID PRESENTS: NINE AT 9, with new premieres running nightly at 9 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.

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