Jeffrey Dahmer was serial killer in Milwaukee, WI whose killing spree lasted from 1987 to 1991 (Giannetakis). He killed seventeen young men; he would cut them up and used their heads as trophies around his apartment. When the police arrived at Dahmer’s apartment they saw some gruesome things (Thompson). Dahmer kept body parts in boxes and stored the heads in his refrigerator along with his food (Thompson). He also ate the human flesh, thinking it would bring his victims back to life; eating his victims also gave him an erection (Giannetakis). Dahmer was very messed up in the head. His neighbors thought Dahmer was a very kind and giving man (Thompson). They called the cops on Dahmer several times due to various suspicious smells and noises but the cops didn’t do anything. When Dahmer was taken into custody he was brought to the detective on the case, Pat Kennedy for questioning, Dahmer was calm and never asked for a lawyer during the interrogation (Thompson). After three hours of talking with Kennedy, Dahmer told him about the eleven other men he killed. I would like my readers, students at Eau Claire to know Dahmer had several different disorders the he couldn’t control. I encourage my readers to feel pity for Dahmer, because he couldn’t help what he did, the disorders took over his life.
Dahmer’s childhood was like a rollercoaster, in the first few years of his parent’s marriage they moved six times. (Giannetakis). Dahmer’s father uprooted the family for his career in chemistry. After the move to Iowa, Dahmer got really sick with infections, which required treatment (Giannetakis). Dahmer started preschool shorty after, he was one of the shy kids in his class, at this period in time he became interested in bugs and little animals (Giannetakis). His father would find piles of little bones in the woods. Dahmer would kill animals for the thrill and then play with their bones (Giannetakis). Dahmer’s parents were not involved with his childhood, his father was busy with his career and his mother was juggling her drug issues (Giannetakis). Dahmer was never involved in sports or childhood games; he kept to himself and played with animal bones (Giannetakis). When Dahmer was six he had a double hernia, which he had to undergo surgery. He experienced extreme pain near his genitals; the pain was so excruciating Dahmer thought that his genitals had gotten cut off (Giannetakis). The surgery made Dahmer seem more shy and reserved, which seems very odd (Giannetakis). A while after Dahmer’s surgery, his father found another job in Ohio, which made the family move again (Giannetakis). His parents’ marriage started to go down the drain, and the fighting between the two increased (Giannetakis). Dahmer’s parents did not give him much attention at home; he was the strange boy at school, the kids in his class avoided him (Giannetakis). Dahmer was not good at communicating his feelings, which he turned to killing animals as an alternate (Giannetakis).
Dahmer’s mother was domineering and controlling, when Dahmer’s mother got sick he thought he was the cause of it and turned to drinking as a cure for his depression (Giannetakis). Dahmer would come to school drunk and hung over on the daily. Teachers became worried that he had an issue but his parents did not do anything about it (Giannetakis). After high school Dahmer went to Ohio State University for a short period of time, and then in listed in the Army. Dahmer signed for six years but only lasted two, he got kicked out for drunkenness (Giannetakis). Giannetakis claims, “To his comrades he seemed like a normal boy until he began to drink, showing a very different mood, aggressive and arrogant” (Giannetakis). After getting kicked out of the Army, Dahmer went to live with his grandmother in Milwaukee (Giannetakis). The alcoholism never stopped, he continued to drink on the daily, and juggle a job as a laborer (Giannetakis). Just imagine, if your or a friends parents were having marriage problems, your mother was an alcoholic, your father was never home and you had no friends at school or anyone to talk to. This would make you change as a person too; Dahmer had a hard time to cope with all of his family problems. I’m sure if you were put in this position your emotions and thoughts towards people would change. We know that Dahmer was a severe case of this but he was a person too. I consider you to think this through and realize how difficult his life was.
Giannetakis writes, “according to defense expert, Wahlstrom, Dahmer had to drink to murder his victims, since he did not like to kill” (Giannetakis). The killings my not have happened if Dahmer’s parents would have opened their eyes and noticed Dahmer had a problem. Giannetakis explains, “Dahmer seemed a depressed individual since his childhood; his brother reported he never smiled” (Giannetakis). Depression may lead to the abuse of alcoholism, which took place in Dahmer’s situation. Dahmer was depressed most of his life, his parents a banded him as a young boy and he had to watch his mother suffer from depression (Giannetakis). The author explains that, “Some studies show that depression is more common in people whose biological family members also have the condition” (“Alcohol and Depression”). Dahmer’s depression lead to his alcoholism, which made him feel even more lonely and helpless. The author writes, “Alcohol use and its association with violence has been reported in many studies” (“Alcohol and Depression”). The alcohol made Dahmer become a different person. Dahmer turned to random victims to make him feel loved and comfortable then once they weren’t interested anymore he would kill them. Dahmer would masturbate over the dead bodies then dismantle them and eat the meat.
This is a sign of psychological disorders; doctors have tried to prove Dahmer had Asperger’s disorder. I have found a psychological evaluation of Jeffrey Dahmer, it is written by three very well educated doctors. Silva, Ferrari, Leong were the doctors that wrote the psychological evaluation. Silva is a psychiatrist at Palo Alto Veterans care system in California. Ferrari is a Behavioral Science professor at the University of Stanford, California. Leong is a Behavioral Science Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle Washington. The evaluation is a speculation not a diagnostic; it links Dahmer’s issues to the Asperger disorder criteria chart. It gives specific reasons Dahmer’s behaviors are linked to the disorder. It also explains the relation of Asperger’s syndrome to sexual psychopathology. The first criteria Dahmer met was the social disability; this is the main aspect of the Asperger’s disorder. Dahmer mainly kept to himself, he like to play with insects and animal bones. Not all children with Asperger’s or those that are Autistic act violent (Giannetakis). Dahmer had many different disorders on top of Asperger’s. Dahmer also met the criteria for having developmental disorders, like reading and comprehension. Dahmer had a hard time making friends at school, he was known as the loner (Giannetakis). This issue was also on the Asperger’s criteria list. Dahmer was never diagnosed with Asperger’s but ninety percent of the techniques doctors use to diagnose children and young adults, applied to Dahmer. The evaluation links Dahmer’s suspicious Asperger’s disorder to his sexual psychopathology.
The sexual psychopathology aspect of the evaluation is a huge aspect in Dahmer’s case. Silva, Ferrari, and Leong claim, “ Jeffrey Dahmer’s homicidal and/or necrophilia behaviors may be related to psychological, neuropsychiatric, and developmental abnormalities. Necrophilia, which involves various degrees of sexual activities and/or interests associated with decreased bodies, may in Jeffrey Dahmer’s case be causally related to Asperger’s, because necrophilia often constitutes a repetitive and stereotype pattern of behaviors, interests, and a persistent sexual preoccupation with human bodies and their component parts” (Silva, Ferrari, Leong 4). This also links Dahmer and his obsession to animal body parts. Like I’ve said before Dahmer would kill small animals and dissect them, this made him feel powerful (Silva, Ferrari, Leong 4). Dahmer would get a sexual drive when he would kill animals but then he took it to the next level and killed a dog then started killing boys and young adults (Giannetakis). The reason Dahmer chose men is because he was homosexual but did not tell anyone. Dahmer didn’t know how to express his feelings towards people so he would get strangers drunk and have sex with them, and when they wanted to leave he would kill them. This is where the psychopathology and his sexual disorders come together (Silva, Ferrari, Leong 4). Children that have high functioning autism, which is a form of Asperger’s, act more violent toward strangers (Silva, Ferrari, Leong 4-5). Silva, Ferrari, and Leong are trying to say, all of Dahmer’s victims were strangers, and that’s why he acted violent towards strangers and not people he knew. Dahmer chose strangers because he thought they would accept him for who he was and not for the person everyone knew he as, all he wanted was for someone to love him. People see Dahmer as a horrible person but like his neighbor said Dahmer was a caring and generous person, he was always willing to help someone out (Thompson).
Dahmer had many different disorders that were unknown. Dahmer had a messed up childhood and messed up parents (Giannetakis). His childhood played a huge factor on the rest of his life, just like ours does for us. His father was shy and social awkward, and his mother had psychological disorders and was an alcoholic (Giannetakis). I think Dahmer learned those traits from his parents, because he thought it was normal to act that way. Dahmer would use alcohol to ignore the issue he had to deal with at home; his parents would fight all the time (Giannetakis). That’s why he would run to the woods, and play with animal bones; he didn’t know how to deal with his emotions. He couldn’t help that he had all of these disorders, and his parents didn’t do anything to help him. Children that have Asperger’s start getting help at the age of three, Dahmer never got help for his disorders (“An Autism Spectrum Disorder”). May be if he would have gotten help, he wouldn’t have killed seventeen men.
We see Dahmer as inhuman but he is actually a kindhearted man. When Dahmer was killed in prison in 1994. Dahmer and two other inmates were assigned to clean the bathrooms near the gym (Terry). The inmates were unguarded for no less then twenty minutes, when another inmate killed Dahmer (Terry). Dahmer suffered from intensive head trauma and died minutes later (Terry). When the news got out, people around the country were cheering. Dahmer was a human being just like you and I. I know what Dahmer did was unacceptable and not human like, he is still a human being. People shouldn’t have been cheering about his death. What if you or a family member did something inhuman and was killed for it, I’m sure you wouldn’t agree with the situation either. No matter how serious the crime is no one should be murdered for it, especially if they are mentally ill like Dahmer. Overall, Dahmer was not in the right mind state during the murders he couldn’t control his actions, the disorders took over. Dahmer was a human being just like you and I, people make mistakes and depending on how serious the actions are you have to pay the consequences, which Dahmer did.
“Alcohol and Depression.” Depression Health Center. webmd.com. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
“An Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Asperger Syndrome. kidshealth.org. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
Giannetakis Paola, “Jeffrey Dahmer.” Criminal Psychology and Criminal Investigations. 16 Nov. criminal-psychology.net. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
Silva, Arturo; Ferrari, Michelle; Leong, Gregory. “The Case of Jeffrey Dahmer: Sexual Serial Homicide from a Neuropsychiatric Developmental Perspective.” Journal of Forensic Science 46.6 (2002): 1-13 Web. 29 Oct. 2013.
Terry, Don. “Jeffrey Dahmer, Multiple Killer, Is Bludgeoned to Death in Prison” Archives. 29 Nov. 1994. Nytimes.com. Web. 6 Dec. 2013
Thompson, Chris. “The Jeffrey Dahmer Files” IFC Films Netflix.com. March. 2012. Netflix.com. Web. Nov. 14. 2013.
“What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Depression?” Depression Symptoms and Effects. timberlineknolls.com. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.