How did Jeffrey Dahmer die? Why America’s Worst Serial Killer Only Served 3 Years in Prison

Trigger Warning: This story is creepy, so read at your own discretion. Jeffrey Dahmer is considered one of America’s most horrific serial killers. He eventually pleaded guilty to the rape, murder, mutilation and consumption of multiple victims. In 1996, he was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences, but he only lived three years. Since he was not sentenced to death for his heinous crimes, you are probably wondering how Jeffrey Dahmer died.

His story is the basis of the Netflix documentary series Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapesand Netflix’s scripted drama series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story with Evan Peters (American horror story) as Dahmer. The latter seems to examine this monstrous individual from the perspective of the people who victimized him and the racist, systemic failures “that allowed one of America’s most notorious serial killers to continue his murderous spree in plain sight for over a decade.” put”, per the summary. Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, managed to escape capture 13 years later his first victimSteven Hicks, in 1978. Back to how Jeffrey Dahmer died and whether his victims’ families felt justice had been served.

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How did Jeffrey Dahmer die?

How did Jeffey Dahmer die? Dahmer was beaten to death on November 28, 1994 by a fellow inmate, Christopher Scarver. Both men were housed at the Columbia Correctional Facility in Wisconsin. Wisconsin was the first to abolish the death penalty in 1853 and so, despite his horrific crimes, Dahmer did not receive the death penalty (although he wished his death. More on that later). Scarver, who was himself serving a 25-year sentence for armed robbery that turned into murder, arrived in prison around the same time as Dahmer in 1992. The serial killer’s safety was a major concern for prison staff. The New York Times reported at the time that Dahmer had spent his first year in protective isolation. As the state’s most notorious killers, authorities believed killing him would earn a convict an “honorable place in the prison world.” Subsequent authorities deemed it safe for him to be integrated into the population of 622 inmates. In July 1992, an attempt was made on Dahmer’s life. A prisoner grabbed a homemade plastic knife and tried in vain to slit Dahmer’s throat. No one was injured and prison staff believed it would be an isolated incident.

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Jeffrey Dahmer.  Steve Kagan/Getty Images

Jeffrey Dahmer. Steve Kagan/Getty Images

Dahmer was known to upset his fellow inmates. According to Scarver, the serial killer would taunt other inmates with prison food he made to look like severed limbs, drizzle on packets of ketchup to look like blood. “He would put them in places where people would be,” Scarver told the… New York Post in 2015. “He crossed the line with some people – inmates, prison staff. Some people who are in prison repent, but he was not one of them.”

Because of Dahmer’s behavior, Scarver tried to stay away from him, but he always kept a news clipping in his pocket detailing the cannibal’s crimes. When Scarver suspected Dahmer had poked him in the back, Scarver snapped. He grabbed a metal bar from the gym and confronted Dahmer about his crimes. “I asked him if he did those things because I was so disgusted. He was shocked. Yes, he was,” Scarver told the… After. “He started looking for the door pretty quickly. I blocked him.” Two swings from the bar to Dahmer’s head were enough. His skull was crushed and Dahmer was pronounced dead an hour after arriving at the hospital. He was 34. “He ended up dead. I put his head down,” said Scarver about the murder.

Rita Isbell, sister of Errol Lindsey, one of Dahmer’s last victims, said she had expected Dahmer’s murder in prison. The New York Times reported that she had received calls for two years from men claiming to be prison inmates who promised that Dahmer would “be taken care of.” She said the callers had told her, “You don’t know me. I’m here with Jeffrey Dahmer. Do not worry. We’ll take care of it.” She continued, “I wouldn’t say I wanted it to happen that way, but Jeffrey tore up my family.”

Jeffrey Dahmer.  Curt Borgwardt/Sygma via Getty Images

Jeffrey Dahmer. Curt Borgwardt/Sygma via Getty Images

How was Jeffrey Dahmer caught?

Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested on September 8, 1996 after approaching three men with $100 for them to pose for nude photos. Tracy Edwards, 32, agreed, and when he reached Dahmer’s apartment, he noticed a foul odor and a box of hydrochloric acid that Dahmer said was for cleaning. Dahmer tried to cuff Edwards’ wrists together, but only managed to secure one and brandished a knife to tell him to pose naked. After five terrifying hours, Edwards managed to escape by pretending to go to the bathroom and when Dahmer’s guard was knocked down, he punched him causing the serial killer to lose his balance. Edwards flagged two police officers and told them that a “freak” had pulled a knife on him. Edwards accompanied the officers back to Dahmer’s apartment, where they discovered Polaroids of human bodies in the bedroom and severed heads in the refrigerator. “These are real,” said one officer, showing the photos to the other. When Dahmer saw what the officer was holding, he attacked them and tried… resistance to arrest, but Dahmer was overpowered. When pinned to the floor, he is said to have uttered the words, “For what I did, I should have been dead.”

In a more thorough search of Dahmer’s apartment, a team from Milwaukee’s Criminal Investigation Bureau discovered four severed heads in the kitchen, seven skulls in Dahmer’s bedroom, drops of blood in the refrigerator and two human hearts. There was also a whole torso in his freezer and countless other horrific discoveries. “It was more like dismantling someone’s museum than a real crime scene,” the chief physician said observed at the time.

Jeffrey Dahmer’s Confession

Jeffrey Dahmer confessed to seducing, murdering and dismembering 17 young men and boys. There are more than 60 hours of police interrogations with Dahmer after his arrest, and the serial killer waived his right to have a lawyer present during the interrogations. In an interview with Inside edition in 1993, Dahmer did not hesitate to explain why he did what he did. “I had these obsessive desires and thoughts that I wanted to control” [my victims]until, I don’t know how to say it, possess them permanently,” he said. “And that’s why you killed them,” the reporter asked. “Right, not because I was mad at them, not because I hated them, but because I wanted to keep them with me. And as my obsession grew, I conserved body parts like skulls and skeletons.” He went on to say that his desire to kill and maim did not “happen overnight,” but that his transition to dehumanizing others and seeing them as objects is something that happened gradually. Dahmer was eventually diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder, psychotic disorder, and borderline personality disorder, but was deemed legally sane to face charges.

Jeffrey Dahmer.  Curt Borgwardt/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Jeffrey Dahmer. Curt Borgwardt/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Dahmer had initially pleaded innocent for 15 counts of murder on September 10, 1991, but changed his plea to guilty but insane in January 1992, eliminating the need for a criminal trial, but the proceedings would instead focus on his sanity. Unlike other criminal cases, a decision did not have to be unanimous. 10 of the 12 jurors would have to agree on the defendant’s mental state to maintain a guilty verdict. “In Dahmer’s case, he admitted that he knew his actions were wrong, so the question became whether he could control himself,” psychologist Dr. Holly Schiff. A&E True Crime. By choosing to plead insanity, “Dahmer had the burden of proving to the jurors” [since 10 out of 12 must agree] that he was insane at the time of the murders.” For three weeks, jurors heard details of Dahmer’s depraved crimes and relatives of his victims described their loss. After 15 consecutive life sentences, the maximum sentence that Judge Laurence C. Gram Jr. of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Dahmer told the court he wished he would be put to death for the “holocaust” for which he was responsible, the New York Times reported at the time. Thanks to Christopher Scarver, it seems like he got his wish.

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 by Jack Rosewood.  Amazon

Jeffrey Dahmer by Jack Rosewood. Amazon

Buy: Jack Rosewood’s ‘Jeffrey Dahmer’ $11.95

"View this space"  - Amazon Prime video

“Watch This Space” – Amazon Prime Video

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