Killer cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer is a name synonymous with some of the vilest crimes in living memory. But what motive could he have had?


PA Photos

It was just before 2am on 27 May 1991, and the 14-year-old boy was running for his life.

He was stark naked, battered and bleeding. In his drugged state, he collapsed on the pavement.

Concerned neighbours called the police.

By the time officers came, a calm, softly spoken man had arrived and explained that this was his foreign boyfriend, and he was drunk after a tiff.

The man showed his ID – Jeffrey Dahmer, 31.

Jeffrey Daher was softly spoken and appeared to be chillingly normal (Photo: PA Photos)

Jeffrey Dahmer was softly spoken and appeared to be chillingly normal (Photo: PA Photos)

Dahmer insisted the boy was 19 years old and was his boyfriend. Said he could prove it. The officers went to Dahmer’s flat, and he showed them photos of the boy in his pants.

The flat had a strange smell, but the officers didn’t see anything suspicious. So they left the boy there.

And Dahmer strangled him.

If police had only looked in the bedroom, they would have found something plenty suspicious – a mutilated corpse.

It was the height of serial killer Jeffery Dahmer’s murder spree. He’d killed 13 men now – 11 in the past three years – and had a new obsession. He’d drill into his victims’ skulls and inject acid or boiling water into the hole to turn them into living zombies.

Then, he would have sex with the corpses. As if that weren’t sickening enough, he also ate parts of his victims’ bodies, and kept their skulls as souvenirs.

Dahmer couldn’t control his sick urges.

Just one month later, he lured a 20-year-old man to his flat, drugged and strangled him. A week later, another. He stored this body in a vat of acid.

Over the next fortnight, Dahmer drugged and strangled a further two victims – taking his total to 17.

Police carry away the dismembered remains of Dahmer's victims (Photo: PA Photos)

Police carry away the dismembered remains of Dahmer’s victims (Photo: PA Photos)

On 22 July 1991, Dahmer invited a 32-year-old man to his flat. When the man realised he’d been drugged, Dahmer forced him into the bedroom. There the terrified man saw photos of mangled bodies. He punched Dahmer, made a run for it.

When he led police to Dahmer’s flat, this time they found a head in the fridge.

Jeffrey Dahmer in a 1982 mugshot (Photo: PA Photos)

Jeffrey Dahmer in a 1982 mugshot (Photo: PA Photos)

Dahmer made a full confession and pleaded insanity. But on 17 February 1992, a court rejected his plea. He was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences.

He apologised to relatives of his victims. ‘I knew I was sick or evil or both,’ he said.

In prison he tried to help psychologists understand what motivated him.

The son of a scientist, Dahmer spent most of his childhood in rural Bath, Ohio. As a teen he enjoyed dissecting the bodies of animals and was often drunk.

He tried to suppress his gay sexuality, but his desires soon took over…

In June 1978, 18-year-old Dahmer picked up his first victim – Steven Hicks, 19. The two had sex then Dahmer bludgeoned him to death. With that, Dahmer got a taste for murder.

In September 1987 he picked up his second victim, Steven Tuomi. After killing him, Dahmer dismembered him.

In 1988, his killing spree went up a gear. His murders involved rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism.

But what was his motive? A desire to control a man’s body.

‘The only motive was to completely control a person and to keep them with me as long as possible,’ Dahmer said.

In prison, on 28 November 1994, another inmate killed Dahmer with a broom handle. Finally, he was no longer ‘in control’.