Why did Jeffrey Dahmer eat people? Cannibalism, how many did he eat?

Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, is by far one of the most disturbing murderers in the history of the United States, if not the world, having confessed to the rape and murder of 17 youths and children between 1978 and 1991. Some of which he consumed. Forensic psychologists and true crime fans are intrigued by what motivates a man like him and we have to wonder why Jeffrey Dahmer wanted to eat his victims.

Unlike many other killers, Jeffrey says he did not have a “deeply unhappy” childhood. He said NBC in 1994 that his childhood was “pretty normal”, although his parents Lionel and Joyce are said to have been neglectful. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1994, Lionel admitted to being absent for most of his son’s formative years, that he was an “emotionally distant” father, but that working hard and providing for the family was his way of showing love. At age four, Jeffrey had a double hernia removed, and Lionel says his little boy was never the same. Apparently, Jeffrey became withdrawn and developed an interest in animal carcasses, which his father initially encouraged because, as a scientist, he thought it showed that his son had a scientific mind. So how did Jeffrey Dahmer go from a seemingly normal kid to someone obsessed with the idea of ​​killing, dismembering and eating some of his victim’s body parts?

Jeffrey Dahmer

Image: Ralf-Finn Hestoft/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images.

Why did Jeffrey Dahmer eat people?

Why did Jeffrey Dahmer eat people? He is reduced to having total dominance and ownership of his victims. After taking their lives, Jeffrey said that he “had these obsessive desires and thoughts that wanted to control them, to, I don’t know how to put it, permanently possess them,” during an episode of indoor edition in 1993. “And that’s why you killed them,” the reporter asked. “Right, not because he was mad at them, not because he hated them, but because he wanted to keep them with me. And as my obsession grew, I was saving body parts like skulls and skeletons.” But eventually, killing his victims would not be enough. When Jeffrey was arrested, investigators found a myriad of gruesome evidence in his apartment, including severed heads in the freezer, human hearts, a full torso, and human skulls on top of his computer. There were Polaroids of his deceased victims, which he said during indoor edition that it was her way of “remembering her appearance and her physical beauty”. A kind of trophy. Then there was evidence that parts of Jeffrey’s victim’s body had been consumed. During his sanity trial, detectives relayed information provided by the killer during his confession. Police recorded more than 60 hours of audio in which Jeffrey described some of his crimes in gruesome detail. Once he fried a man’s biceps in oil, he used a meat tenderizer and ate the muscle because “he was big and wanted to try it,” police detective Dennis Murphy said, according to the report. Associated Press. “He said it tasted like beef.”

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Cannibalism is extremely rare in the world of serial killers. of some 2,000 serial killers– that is, murderers defined by their multiple victims over a period of time – it is estimated that only between five and 10 are cannibals. Dr. Eric Hickey, professor of forensic psychology at Walden University, said emergencies that cannibals are different from psychopathic killers. While psychopaths (and a note here that not all psychopaths possess violent tendencies) tend to have difficulty making meaningful connections with others, those with cannibalistic impulses develop extreme attachments. “Cannibals tend to feel really insecure and can’t have normal relationships,” Hickey said. “Eating their victims gives them a sense of power because their victims can never leave.” That certainly seems to line up with the theory that Jeffrey was dealing with abandonment issues stemming from early childhood. When Lionel and Joyce divorced in 1978, both accused the other of “extreme cruelty and gross dereliction of duty,” according to a statement. Los Angeles Times 1991 article, and others who knew Jeffrey from a young age painted a much darker picture than his parents’ anecdotes. “He was tortured and lost at a very young age,” Martha Schmidt, a sociology professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who knew Jeffrey in high school. “His behavior of his was always borderline. He seemed to be screaming for help, but no one paid any attention to him at all.”

Jeffrey Dahmer

Image: Curt Borgwardt/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Extreme attachment is or is often sexual in nature, Hickey continued, and its desire to consume its victims occurs gradually through experimentation and fantasy. “Every time killers eat other people, they are enacting a fantasy about relationships and intimacy. They start experimenting with sexual fantasies about voyeurism and necrophilia, and as they fantasize they explore that behavior,” she said. “Normally you don’t see people go from killing to eating. It starts with watching people sleep, then drugging victims, then you want to be with someone who’s buried or unconscious, and progress from there.” In fact, Jeffrey explained in the 1994 interview with NBC that throughout his crimes, his desire to possess his victims involved more “deviant type behavior to satisfy my urges”, explaining that cannibalism made his victims “feel like they were a permanent part of me”.

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What other killers are cannibals?

As mentioned, killers who resort to consuming their victims are quite rare and are almost always sexually motivated. The most recent example is one from Germany in September 2020, where a math and chemistry teacher known only as Stefan R. was found guilty of murdering and then eating Stefan Trogisch, a man he had met online. “The defendant killed the victim because he sought sexual satisfaction through the killing and wanted to eat parts of the corpse,” the prosecution alleged on the first day of the trial, according to the indictment. New York Post. Stefan R.’s horrific crime echoes an earlier one from 2001, where Armin Meiwes invited Bernd-Jurgen Brandes to his apartment. It was a particularly unusual case because Brandes had agreed to be killed and eaten. The court heard how Brandes had originally responded to a March 2001 Internet posting by Meiwes seeking a “well-built male” for “slaughter and consumption,” according to The Guardian. Meiwes had eaten more than 44 pounds of Brandes’ meat before he was caught in December 2002.

Andrei Chikatilo received the nickname “Butcher of Rostov” as one of Ukraine’s most prolific murderers, confessing to 56 murders (although he was charged with 53) over the course of 12 years. He lured young women into the woods to rape, dismember and eat their sexual organs. “He was like a crazed wolf,” Chikatilo told the court in his 1992 deposition, reports the Los Angeles Times, who observed: “There was no remorse in his voice; if anything, he sounded proud that he ‘just became a beast, a wild animal.'” Chikatilo was executed four years later.

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Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is available to stream on Netflix. Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes premieres on Netflix on October 7, 2022.

Jeffrey Dahmer

Image: CreateSpace standalone release.

For more information on Jeffrey Dahmer, see Jack Rosewood’s article. Jeffrey Dahmer: A Terrifying True Story of Rape, Murder, and Cannibalism. The biography, part of Rosewood’s biography serial killer books Serial: Tells the true story of Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, a serial killer who terrorized Milwaukee, Wisconsin and murdered over a dozen people (not to mention acts of necrophilia and cannibalism) throughout the 1980s until his death. eventual arrest in 1991. The book explains how Dahmer, who had an above-average intellect and is described as “conventionally handsome,” was able to fool everyone around him, including his family, neighbors, and the police, into avoiding be captured for so many years. Jeffrey Dahmer: A Terrifying True Story of Rape, Murder, and Cannibalism also takes readers through Dahmer’s murder trial, his death at the hands of his fellow inmates, and how his crimes rocked Milwaukee in the coming decades. decades.

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