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How Much Money Did Jeffrey Dahmer Make In Prison?

Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Many of his later murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of body parts. He was finally arrested in 1991 and subsequently convicted of 15 of the 17 murders he had committed.

Dahmer’s killing spree has remained infamous over the decades due to the particularly gruesome nature of his crimes. His story illustrates how even in recent history, serial killers have managed to operate undetected for years at a time. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of Jeffrey Dahmer’s life, detailing his crimes, convictions, time in prison, and eventual death.

Jeffrey Dahmer’s Early Life and First Murder

Jeffrey Dahmer was born in 1960 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Joyce Annette and Lionel Herbert Dahmer. He was described as an energetic and happy child until around the age of 4, when surgery to correct a double hernia seemed to change his demeanor. He became increasingly withdrawn and subdued.

Dahmer displayed an early fascination with dead animals; he would dismember and preserve animal carcasses he found near his house. He committed his first murder in 1978 at age 18, just weeks after his high school graduation. Dahmer picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Mark Hicks, eventually striking him with a dumbbell and strangling him. He dismembered Hicks’ body in his basement before disposing of the remains in a shallow grave.

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Dahmer’s First Arrests and Time in the Army

In 1981, Dahmer was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct; he had consumed 6 beers and a cocktail prior to being detained. He was discharged from the Army 2 years later due to alcohol abuse. Although he did not commit any murders during his time in the Army, several witnesses later reported unsettling instances of Dahmer’s behavior while stationed in Germany.

The Milwaukee Murders Begin

After being discharged from the Army, Dahmer moved back home with his grandmother in Wisconsin. He killed his second victim, Steven Tuomi, in 1987. He continued to murder young men sporadically over the next few years. His usual tactics involved picking up men at gay bars, incapacitating them with drugs or alcohol, then strangling or stabbing them to death. Dahmer would engage in sex acts with the corpses before dismembering them. He kept victims’ skulls and genitals as souvenirs.

His killing accelerated in the early 1990s; between 1990 and 1991, Dahmer murdered 12 more men. Neighbors complained of foul smells coming from his apartment, where Dahmer dissolved some bodies in acid and stored body parts in his refrigerator.

Arrest, Trial, and Conviction

Dahmer was finally arrested in 1991 after one of his intended victims, Tracy Edwards, escaped and alerted police. When authorities searched Dahmer’s apartment, they found photos of dismembered bodies, several human heads and other body parts, and a human torso in his freezer.

Dahmer readily confessed to having murdered 16 young men and boys over the previous 13 years. He was indicted on 17 murder charges, later reduced to 15. Dahmer pleaded guilty by reason of insanity to the charges.

The trial began in January 1992. The court found Dahmer sane and guilty on 15 counts of murder in February. That May, he was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms, totalling 957 years in prison.

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Imprisonment and Death

Dahmer adjusted well to prison life initially, although he was kept apart from the general population for his own safety. After a few months, he requested to become an active member of the prison population.

In 1994, Dahmer and another inmate, Jesse Anderson, were attacked by fellow prisoner Christopher Scarver with a metal bar. Dahmer died from severe head trauma; Anderson also succumbed to his injuries.

Some praise Scarver for giving Dahmer a taste of his own medicine. Others argue that despite Dahmer’s heinous crimes, he still deserved basic rights and safety as a prisoner.

List of Jeffrey Dahmer’s Crimes and Convictions

Here is a comprehensive list of Jeffrey Dahmer’s known murders, including conviction details:

VictimDate of MurderLocationConvicted?Sentence
Steven Mark HicksJune 1978Bath, OHNo
Steven TuomiNov 1987Milwaukee, WINo
James DoxtatorJan 1988Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Richard GuerreroMar 1988Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Anthony SearsMar 1989Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Raymond SmithMay 1990Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Edward SmithJun 1990Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Ernest MillerSep 1990Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
David ThomasSep 1990Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Curtis StraughterFeb 1991Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Errol LindseyApr 1991Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Tony HughesMay 1991Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Konerak SinthasomphoneMay 1991Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Matt TurnerJun 1991Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Jeremiah WeinbergerJul 1991Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Oliver LacyJul 1991Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment
Joseph BradehoftJul 1991Milwaukee, WIYesLife imprisonment

Quotes from Dahmer’s Trial

Here are some notable quotes from Jeffrey Dahmer’s trial for murder in 1992:

“I wanted to keep them with me. I didn’t want them to abandon me. I have abandonment issues.” – Jeffrey Dahmer, when asked why he murdered his victims

“I should have gone to college. I could have become a lawyer.” – Jeffrey Dahmer, on regrets about his life choices

“The killing was just a means to an end. That was the least satisfactory part. I didn’t enjoy doing that. That’s why I tried to create living zombies with acid and the drill.” – Jeffrey Dahmer, on his motives

“I’ve always wondered why people do the things they do, just out of curiosity.” – Jeffrey Dahmer, when asked if he felt remorse for the killings

“This has never been a case of trying to get free. I didn’t ever want freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself.” – Jeffrey Dahmer, in his final statement to the court

Here are 5 common questions people have about Jeffrey Dahmer:

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How did Jeffrey Dahmer lure his victims?

Dahmer typically lured victims by approaching young men at gay bars, malls, and bus stops. He would offer them money to accompany him home, where he would drug, murder, and dismember them.

What did Jeffrey Dahmer do with the bodies?

Dahmer engaged in extensive necrophilia with the corpses. He also preserved and collected body parts as souvenirs. He dissolved some bodies in acid and stored others in his freezer.

Was Jeffrey Dahmer sexually abused as a child?

While no evidence conclusively points to childhood sexual abuse, some experts believe Dahmer may have been molested around age 8 by a neighborhood youth. His personality changed after that age.

Did Jeffrey Dahmer eat his victims?

Yes, Dahmer practiced cannibalism with several of his victims. He cooked and ate various organs and flesh from the bodies.

How did Jeffrey Dahmer finally get caught?

In 1991, one intended victim (Tracy Edwards) escaped and alerted police. When authorities investigated Dahmer’s apartment, they found extensive evidence of his murders. He subsequently confessed to 17 killings.


Jeffrey Dahmer committed horrific, gruesome crimes that shocked America and the world. His murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism, and permanent preservation of victims’ bodies. After a killing spree lasting over a decade, Dahmer was brought to justice in 1992. He was declared sane and guilty, receiving multiple life sentences.

Dahmer’s case disturbed the nation not only because of his evil acts, but because of the length of time he was able to operate undetected. His ability to evade notice and capture for so many years underscores the need for greater awareness of serial killers and their tactics. While nothing can undo the pain Dahmer inflicted, hopefully lessons have been learned that can prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Prison Inside Team

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Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

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