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What Was Christopher Scarver In Prison For?

Christopher Scarver is an American convicted murderer who is infamously known for killing serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in 1994 while they were incarcerated at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin. Scarver used a metal bar to beat Dahmer and another inmate to death. This brutal act has led many to wonder – what was Christopher Scarver originally in prison for that put him behind bars with Dahmer in the first place?

Christopher Scarver’s Background

Christopher Scarver was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1969. He came from a troubled home environment and struggled academically in school. As a teenager, Scarver began to get involved in petty crimes like theft and burglary.

In 1990, at the age of 20, Scarver murdered Steven Lohman in Milwaukee in a dispute over a stolen watch. Lohman was shot in the head with a shotgun. Scarver was arrested and convicted of murder. In 1992, he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving 20 years.

So the first major crime that landed Christopher Scarver behind bars was the murder of Steven Lohman in 1990. This set off a chain of events that ultimately led to Scarver being incarcerated at the same facility as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer just a few years later.

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Scarver’s Time at Columbia Correctional Institution

In 1994, Christopher Scarver was serving his life sentence at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin. This maximum security prison also housed notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was serving 15 consecutive life sentences for the rape, murder, and dismemberment of 17 young men and boys between 1978 and 1991.

On November 28, 1994, Scarver was assigned to work with Dahmer and another inmate, Jesse Anderson, on a bathroom cleanup detail. Armed with a 20-inch metal bar, Scarver attacked both men, beating them to death.

Scarver later claimed he had been disturbed by Dahmer’s crimes and said God told him to kill Dahmer. He also stated he murdered Anderson because he didn’t like his attitude.

This brutal double murder put even more focus on why Scarver had initially been put in prison. Many wondered if prison officials had made a mistake placing a convicted murderer like Scarver in proximity to Wisconsin’s most notorious serial killer.

Scarver’s Subsequent Convictions

In addition to his 1990 murder conviction, Christopher Scarver was convicted of several other crimes throughout the 1990s:

  • 1994: Sentenced to an additional 20 years for the murder of Jesse Anderson
  • 1995: Convicted of attempted murder of another inmate and sentenced to an additional 35 years
  • 1997: Convicted of attempted battery and sentenced to 3 more years

Scarver continued to rack up more convictions and sentences even after killing Dahmer, showing a pattern of violence while incarcerated.

Scarver’s List of Convictions:

Here is a summary table of Christopher Scarver’s convictions and sentences:

1990Murder of Steven LohmanLife in prison with parole eligibility after 20 years
1994Murder of Jeffrey DahmerAdditional 20 years
1994Murder of Jesse AndersonAdditional 20 years
1995Attempted murder of inmateAdditional 35 years
1997Attempted batteryAdditional 3 years

Questions Related to Scarver’s Crimes

Here are some common questions that arise when examining what Christopher Scarver was originally incarcerated for and his subsequent convictions:

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Why was a convicted murderer like Scarver placed in the same prison as Jeffrey Dahmer?

This is a frequent point of criticism regarding the decision to house Scarver and Dahmer at the same facility. Some argue prison officials should have known better than to put a notoriously violent criminal like Scarver in proximity to Wisconsin’s most famous serial killer.

Was Scarver’s murder of Dahmer and Anderson premeditated?

Scarver claims he attacked Dahmer and Anderson spontaneously when he was on a work detail with them. But some suspect he may have planned to kill them given his violent track record. This question remains debated.

Did Scarver continue to display violent behavior after killing Dahmer?

Yes, records show that even after the murders of Dahmer and Anderson, Scarver continued to rack up more convictions for attempted murder, attempted battery, and other crimes while in prison. He demonstrated an ongoing pattern of violence.

Has Scarver ever shown remorse for his crimes?

Scarver has stated on occasion that he regrets his actions and the pain he caused victims’ families. However, he has never made an outright public apology or strongly voiced remorse for his many convictions.

When will Scarver be eligible for parole?

Due to his multiple life sentences, Christopher Scarver remains incarcerated at Centennial Correctional Facility in Colorado. His first possibility of parole is in 2035.

Reactions to Scarver’s Crimes

Christopher Scarver’s initial conviction for murder in 1990 received little public attention at the time. But after he murdered one of America’s most notorious serial killers in 1994, Scarver’s name became well-known. Reactions to his crimes have been mixed:

  • Some expressed dismay that prison officials did not take better precautions to separate Scarver and Dahmer.
  • Victims advocates argued that whatever Scarver’s motives, killing Dahmer deprived the families of justice and closure.
  • Others felt Scarver had meted out a kind of extrajudicial justice by killing Dahmer.
  • Scarver’s own book, “God Told Me to Do It,” remains controversial for attempting to profit from the killings.
  • On the whole, mental health experts do not consider Scarver a hero or noble figure. They view him as a violent offender who continued breaking laws even once incarcerated.
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In summary, Christopher Scarver had an extensive history of violence and crime that first put him behind bars. His initial conviction for murder in 1990 landed Scarver a life sentence and set in motion the events leading to his encounter with Jeffrey Dahmer. Though Scarver remains a controversial figure, most experts agree that he displayed a clear pattern of criminality both before and after killing Dahmer. Despite any perceptions that he was doing society a favor, the facts show Scarver was a convicted felon prone to continued violent acts while incarcerated. His legacy will be defined by brutality, not heroism.

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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