Jeffrey DahmerWhat the fuck does a guy gotta do to get arrested in Milwaukee?
Around 2:00 AM on May 27, 1991 Milwaukee resident Sandra Smith called 911. She had encountered a young boy staggering around "butt naked" on the corner of 25th and State and bleeding out of his ass. Paramedics showed up and wrapped the incoherent 14-year-old in a blanket. Police arrived soon thereafter, as did Jeffrey Dahmer.
Jeffrey forked over his ID and told the cops that the kid was his 19-year-old gay lover. Dahmer said that his boyfriend had gotten hammered on booze and just wandered away. Despite the protestations of witnesses at the scene, the cops figured this was just a fag thing and escorted the kid back to Jeffrey's apartment.
Somehow the officers failed to notice any of the corpses and dismembered body parts stashed around the place, not even the one which had been decomposing for three days in the next room. Or, for that matter, the hole in the boy's skull Dahmer had made with an electric drill. The police chalked it up to "a homosexual lovers spat" and left. As soon as they were gone, Dahmer strangled the boy, raped his corpse, and ate some flesh from the carcass. It was his twelfth victim.
If only the cops had bothered to run Jeffrey's name through their database, they would have learned that he was on parole for sexual assault. Oh well. (Shrug.) They caught him the next time around anyway, meaning: two months and four victims later. At which point, Dahmer finally heard someone utter the magic words, "Vince, cuff the son of a bitch."
The case was a total slam-dunk for the prosecution. They just don't get any slam-dunkier. You have a convicted felon. On parole. With statements from the neighbors complaining about the stink of rotten meat emanating from the apartment, and running a circular saw at late hours. Not to mention a live witness who was just about to become the next victim (who flagged down the patrol car completely nude except for the handcuffs dangling from one wrist). And then -- as if you needed more -- there's the crime scene evidence.
The apartment reeked of decomposing meat. They found chloroform and formaldehyde. And dozens of Polaroids Jeffrey had taken of the victims while they were tied up and butchered. Plus the 55-gallon drums of muriatic acid and dissolving body parts. Plus the freezer full of heads, neatly packaged in plastic bags (to prevent freezer burn?).
The only possible snag facing prosecutors was the issue of whether Dahmer was too crazy to stand trial. Sometimes jurors don't believe that somebody comfortable with necrophilia or cannibalism can be considered sane. Which is how the defense attorney ultimately played it. Dahmer pleaded guilty to the crimes but claimed to have been legally insane.
The defense dragged up Jeffrey's childhood. Evidently he had enjoyed killing and torturing small animals as a kid, while jacking off at the same time. They pointed out Dahmer's persistent attempts to create a "zombie" sex slave by drilling into his (live) victim's head and pouring acid into the hole. Not exactly the work of a sane man, they argued. But the jury decided otherwise. Jeffrey received 15 consecutive life sentences, making him eligible for parole sometime in Hell.
He wound up serving time in a Wisconsin state penitentiary. For some reason, Dahmer requested to be put into general population. And, for some reason, the prison authorities granted it. While cleaning a bathroom on work detail, Dahmer got beaten to death by another inmate. Finally.
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