Shari Dahmer and Theresa Smith in Jeffrey Dahmer’s memorial service.
Both had formed a strong bond and often contacted each other by phone regardless of Theresa’s overwhelming frustration over Jeff’s actions, she also felt deeply bad for him only later confronting Lionel how she forgave him. (Shari in the left wearing dark blue and Theresa on the right wearing black)
Each day of his trial, Jeffrey Dahmer was wheeled into court wearing handcuffs and iron cuffs.
Lionel drove Jeffrey to the army recruiting office on December 29, 1978, where Jeffrey completed the necessary forms “as if on automatic pilot”. On January 12, 1979, he reported for duty in the US Army at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama, hoping to be trained as a military policeman.
He was reassigned to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where he was trained as a medical specialist instead. Ironically, the six week course to be a medic would be the only sustained course of study that he completed – and which he was able to put to deadly use.
When Jeffrey returned home for furlough, he was in good physical shape and seemed more disciplined, helpful and self-confident. After a pleasant two weeks, on 13 July, 1979, Jeffrey shipped out to Baumholder, West Germany, where he served as a medic. In Baumholder, Jeffrey’s alcohol abuse steadily escalated, but for the most part he was able to avoid severe difficulties.
Army colleagues described Jeffrey as a regular, extremely intelligent individual who was able to joke around. However, he was a loner who spoke little about his life at home. As ever, no one truly knew Jeffrey Dahmer. Jeffrey remained a mystery “who wore the uniform with pride, who had all these brains, was a good medic and was going nowhere fast”.
Eventually, Private First Class Dahmer’s hangovers and missed duty days resulted in his discharge under an army regulation concerning alcohol and drug abuse. On his discharge, Jeffrey told the squad leader, “Someday you’ll hear about me again”.
Interview with Robert Ressler, criminal profiler, and Jeffrey Dahmer (excerpt)
RESSLER: This goes back to Bath, Ohio, with your first human offense, of taking a life. Prior to that time… ?
DAHMER: There was nothing.
RESSLER: No assaults, anything like that?
DAHMER: No. Violence against me. I was attacked for no reason.
RESSLER: Give me a short rundown on that.
DAHMER: I was up visiting a friend’s, and was walking back home in the evening, and saw these three seniors, seniors in high school approaching. I just had a feeling that something was going to happen, and sure enough, one of them just took out a billy club and whacked me on the back of the neck. For no reason. Didn’t say anything, just hit somebody. And I ran.
RESSLER: I imagine that was pretty frightening to you.
RESSLER: Did that stick in your mind for a long time?
DAHMER: Not until… Yeah, it did, for about a year.
RESSLER: So this was the first time that you were involved in any kind of violence, and you were the recipient. Let’s go back and discuss your family, the breakup of your family. It’s hurtful to a lot of people, to people that have done what you have done, and that becomes an element in your life, as well. So let me ask you: Was there ever a sexual assault against you by any member of your family at any time?
RESSLER: Inside or outside of the family?
RESSLER: So that was not a factor in your case. Now, I’ve read about your interest along the lines of dissecting animals and things of that nature. When did that start?
DAHMER: About fifteen or sixteen. It was off and on.
RESSLER: That was after you had been hit by those guys, right?
RESSLER: Did it start with a biology class in school?
DAHMER: I think it did. We had to do we were dissecting a baby pig.
RESSLER: And how would you describe your fascination with, uh, dismemberment [Dahmer chortles], with the animals, y’know?
DAHMER: It just was… Well, one of them was a large dog found by along the side of the road, and I was going to strip the flesh off, bleach the bones, and reconstruct it, and sell it. But I never got that far with it. I don’t know what started me on this; it’s a strange thing to be interested in.
RESSLER: Yeah, it is.
DAHMER: It is.
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Jeffrey – as prisoner 177252 – spent much of the first year at the Columbia Correctional Institute in an isolated 96 cell section of the prison where his freedom was severely limited.
He sat alone and bored in protective isolation, because prison officials feared that another violent inmate might kill him.
In March 1992, a prison psychiatrist prescribed Prozac and Jeffrey was placed on suicide watch after a razor blade was found in an envelope in the trash, which he took “in case it got too bad in the future”.
Jeffrey received an enormous volume of letters after his incarceration. The contents of the letters ranged between sexually explicit love letters, autograph requests, hate mail and religious attempts to save his soul.
Though a few were from the more disturbed individuals, a majority of the letters reflected the vast sadness of the world. The letters were more often sympathetic than threatening and would bear out that he was not alone in his alienation.
However, Jeffrey was kept isolated and soon he wanted more human contact – even if he had to put up with the taunts of other convicts, who he either invited to a ‘Cannibals Anonymous’ meeting or jokingly warned to leave him alone, because “I bite”.
One day Jeffrey had not bothered to shave and while being wheeled down the corridor a woman screamed when she recognized him. Jeffrey, unperturbed, merely told the guard, “I guess I should have shaved”.
What was found in Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment by police
• Many photos of of victims and their dismembered body parts
• A severed head lying on the floor
• 3 bags containing a heart, flesh and muscle in the fridge
• 3 heads, a human torso, a bag containing flesh and some internal organs in the freezer
• Various chemicals and 2 bleached skulls in a cupboard
• A large kettle holding 2 hands, a penis and testicles
• 3 more skulls found in a filing cabinet
• A complete skeleton, dried human scalp and more genitals in a wardrobe
• 2 more skulls in a box
• 3 human torso’s in various stages of decomposition in a large tank containing acid
"I couldn’t stop crying when I heard the news [of Dahmer’s death]" says Theresa Smith, who had visited Dahmer in prison to learn just how her brother Eddie, slain by Dahmer in 1990 at age 28, had died. "I was crying for his parents. For him, because he was murdered. He shouldn’t have been murdered like that."
-Theresa Smith on Jeffrey Dahmer's death.