Jeffrey Dahmer's Chilling Motivation To Kill - Grunge (2024)

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Crime Serial Killers

ByLuke Holden/

Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer savagely murdered and mutilated 17 males in a flurry of insatiable, ruthless bloodshed that shocked and appalled the world. He was sentenced to 16 life sentences and sent to Columbia Correctional Institution, only to later be murdered by a fellow inmate in 1994 (via Biography). In the wake of his chilling legacy, true crime aficionados and psychological experts alike have pondered over the ominous internal catalyst that drove Dahmer to carry out crimes that seemed equal parts impulse and calculation.

Prior to his grisly demise, Jeffrey Dahmer performed numerous interviews with inquirers who couldn't help but wonder why he did what he did. In a strange manner of humble composure, he delivered explanations that chilled people to their pallid bones. "The killing was just a means to an end," Dahmer shared with Stone Phillips on "Dateline NBC" shortly after his conviction (per Oxygen). According to the infamous killer, his primary goal's origins were of a far more sinister, sad*stic nature.

Stories of the victims

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Jeffrey Dahmer's slew of murders began in 1978 when he was a mere teenager (via Biography). Shortly after graduating high school, he was driving down a road near his house when he noticed a young man hitchhiking. Steven Hicks was only 18 years old when he stepped into Dahmer's car and followed the would-be killer into his house for a few drinks. Upon entering, Hicks was struck over the head and strangled with a barbell. Dahmer later admitted to dismembering the body and hiding the separate parts in the woodland surrounding his home. Nine years would pass before he took his second victim, Steven Tuomi.

Perhaps the most infamous and shocking tale of Dahmer's insatiable killing spree took place in September of 1991 when a naked 14-year-old boy managed to escape his apartment, only to be returned by police officers after Dahmer convinced them that the hysterical individual was his intoxicated boyfriend. He also told the authorities that the boy was 19 years old, which they accepted as truth. The boy, who happened to be the brother of a teenager Dahmer had molested years earlier, was killed upon his return to the residence. Dahmer would go on to murder four more men before his arrest.

His arrest

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On July 22, 1991, Tracy Edwards miraculously escaped Dahmer's apartment and flagged down police still wearing the handcuffs that the killer had applied to his wrist (via History of Yesterday). Exhilarated and terrified, he explained to the two officers that a "freak" had captured him and that he'd spent the better part of five hours trying to escape. According to Edwards, Dahmer overpowered him and put him in handcuffs while he was admiring the host's fish tank. He had a mind to jump from a nearby window or run to the front door as soon as the opportunity presented itself, but his captor was vigilant not to allow such a chance. He managed to appease Dahmer by repeatedly assuring him that he wasn't going to run away, and after convincing him to let him use the bathroom, he struck the killer in the head and bolted for the door. Reluctantly, he followed the authorities back to Dahmer's apartment to retrieve the key for the handcuffs.

When they arrived, they encountered a museum of horrors that was torturous to behold. Boiled heads, dismembered body parts, and the foul stench of decaying corpses adorned the entire homestead. Exhumation of the victims' bodies and Polaroid photos that Dahmer had taken before and after he'd killed them led to his arrest and ultimate conviction (via Newsweek). But what drove his twisted crimes?

Having total control

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During his interview with Stone Phillips on "Dateline NBC," Jeffrey Dahmer revealed his reasons for killing (via Oxygen). "I just wanted to have the person under my complete control," he said. "Not having to consider their wishes. Being able to keep them there as long as I wanted."Dahmer was driven by a primordial and sexual craving to keep his unfortunate subjects captive, satisfying his erotic pleasures whenever he wanted. Unfortunately, it rarely worked out for him— or them, for that matter. In one instance, he drilled a hole into the victim's skull and injected acid directly into their brain, inevitably resulting in their death (per Associated Press). In a sense, murder was merely an occupational hazard in his quest for total submission.

Dahmer admitted to consuming parts of his victims' bodies later on in his spree. By doing so, he claimed (via Internet Archive), "It made them feel that they were a part of me, and it gave a sexual satisfaction to do that. ... I ended up doing what I did as my way of feeling in complete control. ... Creating my own little world where I had the final say."

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Jeffrey Dahmer's Chilling Motivation To Kill - Grunge (2024)

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