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When Did Jeffrey Dahmer Go to Prison?

Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Dahmer was eventually caught and convicted for his gruesome crimes that involved rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism. This article will provide a timeline of when Dahmer went to prison and the crimes he was convicted for.

Background on Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer was born on May 21, 1960 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had a difficult family life and was described as a loner in high school. Dahmer committed his first murder in 1978 at age 18, just three weeks after graduating high school.

In the 13 years between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer murdered 17 victims. His crimes went undetected for so long because he targeted young men on the fringes of society – runaways, sex workers, other gay men, and those from minority backgrounds. Dahmer evaded capture by convincing police that his victims were lovers or willing partners in his disturbing fantasies.

Dahmer’s Modus Operandi

Dahmer lured most of his victims back to his house under the pretense of drinking alcohol or engaging in sex. Once he had them alone, Dahmer would drug, strangle and kill them.

After murdering them, Dahmer would perform rituals with the corpses including:

  • Having sex with them
  • Dismembering them
  • Eating parts of the bodies (cannibalism)
  • Preserving body parts like skulls and genitalia
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Dahmer attempted crude lobotomies on some victims while they were sedated in order to try to create compliant “zombies”. He was fascinated with the internal organs and collected them in jars. Dahmer accompanied his rituals with photos taken at various stages to document each act.

By 1991 when he was finally captured, Dahmer had killed 17 men and amassed a gruesome collection of preserved corpses and body parts in his small apartment.

Timeline of Dahmer’s Convictions and Prison Time

Here is a timeline of the key dates showing when Jeffrey Dahmer went to prison:

July 22, 1991Dahmer lures 32-year-old Tracy Edwards to his apartment. Edwards escapes and contacts police after seeing Dahmer’s collection of corpses and body parts. Dahmer arrested.
July 23, 1991Dahmer confesses to 16 murders since 1987. More evidence is found in his apartment.
September 14, 1991Dahmer indicted by a grand jury on 17 murder charges.
January 13, 1992Trial begins in Milwaukee where Dahmer pleads guilty by reason of insanity.
February 15, 1992Jury rules Dahmer was sane at time of murders. Convicted on 15 murder charges.
February 17, 1992Sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms (937 years) in prison.
May 1992Sent to Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.
July 1994Transferred to Dodge Correctional Institution after being beaten by a fellow inmate at Columbia.
November 28, 1994Dahmer and another inmate are beaten to death by a fellow prisoner at Dodge Correctional Institution, aged 34 years.

So in summary, Jeffrey Dahmer was convicted for 15 murders in Milwaukee on February 15, 1992. He was 34 years old when he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate after spending just over 2.5 years in prison.

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Dahmer’s Conviction Quotes

Here are some key quotes related to Dahmer’s conviction and sentencing:

“I take all the blame for what I did.” – Jeffrey Dahmer at his 1992 trial when pleading guilty by reason of insanity.

“I don’t know if he will ever be able to be released, but I don’t want to be the one to make that decision.” – Fred Berlin, psychiatrist testifying at Dahmer’s 1992 trial.

“We believe that you have no soul.” – Glenda Cleveland, mother of one of Dahmer’s victims speaking at his 1992 sentencing.

“Mr. Dahmer, this is a situation where the sentences must be semantically correct and punishments must be imposed for protection of the public.” – Judge Laurence Gram handing down Dahmer’s sentence in 1992.

“I feel so bad for what I did to those poor families, and I understand their rightful hate.” – Jeffrey Dahmer in 1994 prison interview.

These quotes capture Dahmer’s twisted psyche as well as the grief and anger felt by the victim’s families. His severe crimes and lack of remorse left the judge with no choice but to impose consecutive life sentences.

Dahmer’s Prison Life and Death

Jeffrey Dahmer was imprisoned at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin after his 1992 conviction. In July 1994 he was transferred to the Dodge Correctional Institution after being attacked and beaten by a fellow inmate who attempted to slash his throat.

On the morning of November 28, 1994, Dahmer left his cell to conduct his assigned janitorial work. Another inmate, 25-year-old Christopher Scarver, brutally attacked Dahmer and another inmate named Jesse Anderson with a metal bar from the prison’s weight room. They both died from their severe head wounds.

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Scarver later revealed he found Dahmer creepy with his unnatural fixation on body parts. He also felt Dahmer was unrepentant for his crimes. Scarver ultimately took justice into his own hands and delivered the death penalty that had eluded Dahmer.

Dahmer served just over 2 years of his 937 year prison sentence before being killed at age 34. His death marked the end of one of America’s most notorious serial killer cases.


Jeffrey Dahmer’s gruesome killing spree lasted 13 years between 1978 and 1991 during which he murdered 17 young men and boys. His crimes involved rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism – some of the most disturbing the world has ever seen.

Dahmer was convicted of 15 murders in Milwaukee in February 1992. Despite trying to plead insanity, the jury found him sane and the judge sentenced him to 15 consecutive life terms totaling 937 years in prison.

After only two years behind bars, Dahmer was beaten to death by a fellow inmate in November 1994. His short time in prison was likely a relief to victim’s families and even Dahmer himself, who reportedly struggled with remorse over his actions.

Jeffrey Dahmer remains one of the most infamous serial killers in history whose name will be forever associated with the horrific nature of his acts. While behind bars he was unable to inflict more harm on the outside world. Ultimately the harshest penalty was paid as vengeance was taken by a fellow prisoner during Dahmer’s 34th year of life.

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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