That is my ambition, to have killed more people-more helpless people-than any man or woman who has ever lived.

— Jane Toppan
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Jeffrey Dahmer’s Murders


In June, days after his graduation from high school, Dahmer crossed the line from morbid “experimentation” to murder. He was living alone at the time, his parents having separated and fled, neither one thinking to take Jeff along. His victim was hitchhiker Steven Hicks, whom Dahmer took home for a drink and some laughs. But then, Steven made the worst mistake of his life, the one that ended his life. He told Jeffrey that he had to be leaving soon. After Jeffrey was arrested he told authorities that he would kill only the people that tried to leave him. All his life he was kind of the outcast that no one wanted around. Even the people he loved would leave him in the end. As far as he was concerned nobody else was going to abandon him if he could help it. To stop Steven from leaving, Dahmer crushed his skull with a barbell, strangled him to death, then dismembered – storing the pieces in plastic bags – and buried his corpse. Later, he buried the bones-only to dig them up, pulverize them with a sledgehammer, and scatter the fragments in a wooded ravine behind the house.

That first slaying shocked Jeffrey back to a semblance of normality. He took a brief shot at college, then signed up for a six-year term of military service, but the army discharged him after barely two years, fed up with his heavy drinking. After moving to Wisconsin, things began to look better for a little while, only till he got arrested for indecent exposure and a year later for urinating in public.

In 1989, he began hanging out at a local gay bar. One night, he and a pickup took a room at the Ambassador Hotel. The two men got drunk, had sex, passed out. When Dahmer awoke the next morning, the other man was dead, blood dripping from his mouth. Dahmer went to a nearby shopping mall and purchased a suitcase, which he took back to the hotel room. After stuffing the corpse inside, he called a cab and transported the body back to his grandmother’s house, where he dismembered and disposed of it.

A year later, Dahmer killed his next victim: another gay man he had picked up at the club and taken to his grandmother’s house. Dahmer kept the victim’s skull as a ghoulish souvenir after scraping it clean of flesh. Another victim followed soon afterward. In the next year or so, Jeffrey went on a major killing spree, taking the lives of more than twelve innocent men.

In 1991, he came close to being caught. Shortly after midnight, two women spotted Dahmer chasing a naked and bleeding teenage boy down an alley. The cops were called. But when they arrived to question Dahmer, his powers of persuasion saved his skin once again. He managed to convince the cops that he and the boy Konerak were gay lovers engaged in a harmless spat. The police left the dazed fourteen-year-old boy in Dahmer’s clutches.

During this time Jeffrey’s grandmother was getting tired of Jeffrey’s strange behavior and she told him he had to move out. She later to the police that he would stay in the basement for hours at a time and there was always a nauseating smell coming from down there. She would hear him banging on things at all hours of the night. She told him she was getting to old to be his babysitter. Once again Jeffrey felt rejected and unwanted. What made it so bad for him was that it was his own grandmother pushing him away.

On July 22, 1991, Jeffrey’s luck turned bad. It started out as all the other murders. Jeffrey met Tracey Edwards and they decided to go back to his apartment and drink some beers for a while. Jeffrey really liked Tracey so he decided he would let him live a little longer then the rest of his victims. But, when Dahmer tried to handcuff him, Tracey fought back. He managed to punch him in the face. Jeffrey fell to the side and Tracey got up and kicked him in the stomach doubling him over. After clawing at the locks, finally the door opened and he was free; however, Jeffrey was not far behind him. Shortly after Tracey was outside, he saw a police car patrolling the streets. He ran to them and they all went up to Jeffrey’s apartment to find out what was going on.

They told Jeffrey to give them the key to the handcuffs, which were dangling around Tracey’s left wrist. Jeffrey refused to get it. Within a few seconds it was like a wrestling match between the two police and Jeffrey. A match Jeffrey was sure to lose. After they had him in custody, they found the remains to eleven bodies in his apartment.