Let’s get physical!

This is part two to a three part series

Let’s get physical!

Katie Gary

Jeffery Dahmer murdered 17 men between 1978 and 1991. He was careful to select victims that did not contribute much to society. Some of his victims were borderline criminals, So their disappearance was less noticeable and reduced the chances of him getting arrested. He lured the criminals to his home with different promises and engaged sex acts with their dead bodies and kept body parts and photos as souvenirs. 

Dahmer’s first murder occurred just after graduating high school in June 1978. He picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks and took him home to his parents’ house. Dahmer proceeded to get the young man drunk; when Hicks tried to leave, Dahmer killed him by striking him in the head and strangling him with a barbell. Dahmer dismembered the corpse of Hicks, packed the body parts in plastic bags, and buried them behind his parents’ home. He later exhumed the remains, crushed the bones with a sledgehammer and scattered them across a wooden ravine. 

It wasn’t until September 1987 that Dahmer took his second victim, Steven Tuomi. They checked into a hotel room, drank, and Dahmer eventually awoke to find Tuomi, dead with no memory of  the previous night activities. He bought a large suitcase to transport Tuomi’s body to his grandmother’s basement, where he dismembered and masturbated on the corpse before disposing of the remains.   

After Dahmer killed another two victims at his grandmother’s home, his grandmother got tired of her grandson’s late nights and drunken behavior and forced him to move out in 1988. In September 1989, Dahmer had an extremely lucky escape; an encounter with a 13-year -old Laotian boy resulted in charges of sexual exploiting and second- degree sexual assault. He pleaded guilty, claiming that the boy had appeared to be much older. 


While awaiting sentence for his sexual assault case, Dahmer again put his grandmother’s basement to gruesome use. In March 1989, he lured, drugged, strangled, sodomized, photographed, dismembered and disposed of Anthony Sears, an aspiring model. At his trial for child molestation in May 1989, Dahmer was arguing in his own defense. He told the jury that he had seen the error of his ways, that his arrest marked a turning point in his life. His defense council argued that he needed treatment, not incarceration, and the judge agreed, handing down a one-year prison sentence on “day release” — allowing Dahmer to work at his job during the day and return to the prison at night– as well as a five- year probationary sentence. 


Over the following two years, Dahmer’s victim count accelerated after his release, bringing his total from four to seventeen. He developed rituals as he progressed, experimenting with chemical means of disposal and often consuming the flesh of his victims, Dahmer also attempted crude lobotomies, drilling into victims’ skulls while they are still alive and injecting them with muriatic acid. 


In May, 1991, Dahmer’s neighbor Sandra Smith called the police to report that an Asian boy was running naked in the street. When the police arrived, the boy was incoherent, and they accepted the word of Dahmer, a white man in a largely poor African American community, that the boy was his 19-year old lover. Sadly, the boy was 14 years old and the brother of the Laotian teen Dahmer had molested three year prior.  


The police escorted Dahmer and the boy home. Clearly not trying to get involved with homosexual domestic disturbance, they took only a cursory look around before leaving. Once the police left the scene, Dahmer killed the boy and proceeded with his usual rituals. Had they conducted even a basic search, police officers would have found the body of Dahmer’s 12th victim, Tony Hughes. Before he was finally arrested, he killed four more men, causing the people to investigate his house and what the police found inside his basement and the pictures on the refrigerator spoke a thousand words.