The Serial Offender's Profile of Jeffrey Dahmer

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Jeffrey Dahmer is one of the most well-known serial killers in America. As a boy, Dahmer struggled growing up, but his family was unaware of what was happening at the time. Growing up Jeffrey was a loner and a poor student; in his adolescent years he grew into abusing alcohol, was captivated with scientific interest in dissecting road kills, and had a fascination for young men. His first murder was committed while he was a teenager, but this was just the beginning of a tortuous occurrence with numerous assassinations, sexual depravity, and cannibalism.

Just three weeks after graduating from high school, Jeffrey murdered his first victim, Steven Hicks, a 17-year-old male. Jeffrey's alcohol consumption was speeding out of control by the time of his first killing. His father encouraged him to join the military, and he was discharged for alcohol abuse by the army in 1981. Jeffrey returned to Ohio following his discharge. Dahmer received a one-year probationary sentence after a few arrests for indecent exposure.

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Jeffrey Dahmer lived in an apartment alone, many said he appeared to be an average sociable person. He often visited bars in search of victims, some of them gay. With promises of cash or sex, he would attract his victims to his apartment and then give them tainted alcohol. He would handcuff them later and take them to the bedroom. Most of his victims were strangled to death, and this is where he kept and disposed of his victims. While some of his victims lay unconscious, Dahmer would drill holes into their skulls, he also cannibalized several of his victims. Dahmer raped, murdered, and dismembered seventeen young men between 1978 to 1991.

The last victim he tried to lure into his apartment was able to escape and warn two police officers about what had just happened to him. The police decided to go to Dahmer’s apartment and check out the scene. They were welcomed by Dahmer and appeared to be very cooperative. The officers noticed a severe stench as they walked into the apartment. The police officer asked if they could have the keys of the man's handcuffs, and Dahmer insisted on getting them himself. It wasn’t until this moment, that the police officer moved past him and entered the bedroom. The officer saw human body parts dismantled in the room, skulls, alongside polaroid pictures of dead men, and chemicals.

There is a variation of typologies of serial murder discussed in the text. However, Dahmer mostly falls under the Hedonistic type. An offender under this category gets thrilled by some sort of satisfaction from the murder performed. According to the text, Holmes and DeBurger also identify this type of typology as individuals who kill for “creature comforts” or “pleasure of life” (Hickey, 2013). These types of offenders that fall under this category also become sexually involved with the victims and often perform post-mutilations. Jeffrey Dahmer did exactly that. Dahmer would lure his victims to have sex with him and then murder them through a variation of methods, which ended with mutilations of the brain and other body parts. Furthermore, Dahmer could be described as a sadistic serial murder. These are offenders derive sexual gratification from killing, just like the Hedonistic type, and often established a pattern in the way they kill and select their victims. Dahmer was motivated by fantasies and would get pleasure from dehumanizing his victims.

After being caught by the police the following day; Dahmer confessed that 15 to 17 young men and boys were murdered and dismembered. Jeffrey Dahmer was imprisoned at the Columbia Correctional Facility in Portage, Wisconsin, and sentenced to 15 life sentences, a total of 957 years in prison. Although he was initially held apart from the general population, Dahmer eventually adapted well to prison life. Finally, he persuaded authorities to allow him to be more fully integrated with other prisoners. On 28 November 1994, his fellow prisoner Christopher Scarver killed Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer was assigned to work alongside two other convicted murderers, Scarver and Jesse Anderson, in keeping with his inclusion in regular work descriptions. The guards returned to find that Scarver had brutally beaten both men with a metal bar from the prison weight room after they had been left alone to complete their tasks. After about an hour, Dahmer was pronounced dead.


  1. Davies, K. (2008). The murder book: examining homicide. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
  2. Hickey, E. W. (2013). Serial murderers and their victims(sixth). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
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