A Near EscapeHis murdering activity continued uninterrupted until an incident in May 27, 1991. His 13th victim was 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone, who was also the younger brother of the boy Dahmer was convicted of molesting in 1989.
Early in the morning the young Sinthasomphone was seen wondering the street nude and disoriented. When police arrived on the scene there were paramedics, two women who were standing close to the confused Sinthasomphone and Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer told police that Sinthasomphone was his 19-year-old lover who had become drunk and the two had quarreled.
The police escorted Dahmer and the boy back to Dahmer's apartment, much against the protest of the women who had witnessed Sinthasomphone fighting off Dahmer before the police had arrived.
The police found Dahmer's apartment neat and other than noticing an unpleasant smell nothing seemed amiss. They left Sinthasomphone under Dahmer's care.
Later the police, John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish, joked with their dispatcher about reuniting the lovers. Within hours Dahmer killed Sinthasomphone and performed his usual ritual on the body.
The Killing EscalatesIn June and July 1991, Dahmer's killing had escalated to one a week until July 22, when Dahmer was unable to hold captive his 18th victim, Tracy Edwards.
According to Edwards, Dahmer tried to handcuff him and the two struggled. Edwards escaped and was spotted at around midnight by police, with the handcuff dangling from his wrist. Assuming he had somehow escaped from the authorities the police stopped him. Edwards immediately told them about his encounter with Dahmer and led them to his apartment.
Dahmer opened his door to the officers and answered their questions calmly. He agreed to turn over the key to unlock Edwards's handcuffs and moved to the bedroom to get it. One of the officers went with him and as he glanced around the room he noticed photographs of what appeared to be parts of bodies and a refrigerator full of human skulls.
They decided to place Dahmer under arrest and attempted to handcuff him, but his calm demeanor changed and he began to fight and struggle unsuccessfully to get away. With Dahmer under control the police then began their initial search of the apartment and quickly discovered skulls and other various body parts, along with an extensive photo collection Dahmer had taken documenting his crimes.
The Crime SceneThe details of what was found in Dahmer's apartment were horrific, matching only to his confessions as to what he did to his victims.
Items found in Dahmer's apartment included:
- A human head and three bags of organs, which included two hearts, were found in the refrigerator.
- Three heads, a torso and various internal organs were inside a free-standing freezer.
- Chemicals, formaldehyde, ether, and chloroform plus two skulls, two hands and male genitalia were found in the closet.
- A filing cabinet which contained three painted skulls, a skeleton, a dried scalp, male genitalia, and various photographs of his victims.
- A box with two skulls inside.
- A 57-gallon vat filled with acid and three torsos.
- Victims' identification.
- Bleach used to bleach the skulls and bones.
- Incense sticks. Neighbors often complained to Dahmer about the smell coming from his apartment.
- Tools - Claw hammer, handsaw, 3/8" drill, 1/16" drill, drill bits.
- A hypodermic needle.
- Various videos, some pornographic.
- Blood soaked mattress and blood splatters.
- King James Bible.
The TrialJeffrey Dahmer was indicted on 17 murder charges, which were later reduced to 15. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Much of the testimony was based on Dahmer's 160-page confession and from various witnesses who testified that Dahmer's necrophilia urges were so strong that he was not in control of his actions. The defense sought to prove that he was in control and capable of planning, manipulating, then covering up his crimes.
The jury deliberated for five hours and returned a verdict of guilty on 15 counts of murder. Dahmer was sentenced to 15 life terms, a total of 937 years in prison. At his sentencing Dahmer calmly read his four page statement to the court.
He apologized for his crimes and ended with, "I hated no one. I knew I was sick or evil or both. Now I believe I was sick. The doctors have told me about my sickness, and now I have some peace. I know how much harm I have caused... Thank God there will be no more harm that I can do. I believe that only the Lord Jesus Christ can save me from my sins... I ask for no consideration."
Life SentenceDahmer was sent to the Columbia Correctional Institute in Portage, Wisconsin. At first he was separated from the general prison population for his own safety. But by all reports he was considered a model prisoner who had adjusted well to prison life and was a self-proclaimed born-again Christian. Gradually he was permitted to have some contact with other inmates.
MurderedOn November 28, 1994, Dahmer and inmate Jesse Anderson were beaten to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver while on work detail in the prison gym. Anderson was in prison for killing his wife and Scarver was a schizophrenic convicted of first-degree murder. The guards for unknown reasons left the three alone only to return 20 minutes later to find Anderson dead and Dahmer dying from severe head trauma. Dahmer died in the ambulance before reaching the hospital.
Fighting Over Dahmer's BrainIn Dahmer's will he had requested upon his death that his body be cremated as soon as possible, but some medical researches wanted his brain preserved so it could be studied. Lionel Dahmer wanted to respect his son's wishes and cremate all remains of his son. His mother felt his brain should go to research. The two parents went to court and a judge sided with Lionel. After over a year Dahmer's body was released from being held as evidence and the remains were cremated as he had requested.
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