Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer killed 17 boys and men, often torturing them and keeping their body parts in his freezer. Not until July 22, 1991, when Tracy Edwards managed to escape Dahmer’s apartment and alert police, was the 31-year-old killer brought to justice.
In the list below, we’ll explore some of the more gruesome details of Dahmer’s crimes and the people whose lives he cut tragically short.
• Dahmer Buried The Remains Of His First Victim, Steven Hicks, Behind His Parents’ House
On June 18, 1978, 18-year-old Steven Hicks had been hitchhiking when he encountered Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer, who had just finished high school, took Hicks to his home, where he got him drunk and then struck Hicks with a barbell before fatally strangling him. Hicks was the first person Dahmer ever killed.
Dahmer buried Hicks’s dismembered remains in the backyard of Dahmer’s childhood home, then later exhumed them and used a sledgehammer to break the bones into fragments. Afterwards, Dahmer discarded the fragments in a nearby ravine.
• • Dahmer Hid His Second Victim, Steven Tuomi, In A Suitcase
On November 20, 1987, 25-year-old Steven Tuomi became Jeffrey Dahmer’s second victim. Dahmer killed Tuomi at the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee, WI, by severely beating him. Dahmer later claimed he had no memory of this murder, though he later confessed that he had crushed Tuomi’s chest in, and both he and Tuomi were heavily bruised.
Dahmer purchased a large suitcase that he used to remove Tuomi’s body from the hotel. He then went to his grandmother’s house, where he dismembered the body over the course of two hours.
Unlike Dahmer’s other victims, Tuomi’s remains have never been found.
• • Dahmer Used Acid To Destroy Evidence After Killing James Doxater
Jeffrey Dahmer’s third murder victim was 14-year-old James Doxater. Dahmer offered the boy money to pose for nude photos after spotting the teen outside a Wisconsin gay bar on January 16, 1988. Dahmer drugged, then strangled Doxater.
This would be the first time Dahmer used acid to melt a victim’s flesh. As in his previous two murders, Dahmer pulverized Doxater’s bones before scattering them.
• • Dahmer Stored Raymond Smith’s Skull In A Refrigerator
On May 20, 1990, Raymond Lamont Smith became Dahmer’s seventh victim. Smith was a sex worker whom Dahmer picked up in a bar called Club 219 after offering Smith cash to pose for nude photos.
After Smith arrived at Dahmer’s apartment, Dahmer drugged, strangled, and dismembered him. When police searched the apartment 14 months later, they found Smith’s skull, which had been spray-painted gray, in Dahmer’s refrigerator.
• • Dahmer Stored The Skeleton Of Ernest Miller In A Filing Cabinet
Ernest Miller was a 22-year-old dance student when he met Jeffrey Dahmer outside a bookstore on September 2, 1990. After offering Miller money in exchange for sex, Dahmer slit Miller’s throat and photographed his body before dismembering him.
Police eventually found Miller’s biceps, heart, and legs in Dahmer’s refrigerator, while the remainder of his skeleton was hidden in a filing cabinet. As with Raymond Smith, Dahmer painted Miller’s skull.
• • Dahmer Took Photographs While Dismembering Jeremiah Weinberger, One Of His Final Victims
Dahmer met Jeremiah Weinberger at a gay bar on July 5, 1991. He lured Weinberger home, spent an entire day with him, and then drugged him. Dahmer fatally strangled the man who became his 15th victim, then photographed the dismemberment process. Dahmer also confessed to injecting boiling water into Weinberger’s skull while he was still alive.
As with Dahmer’s other victims, Weinberger’s skull was found in the killer’s freezer. Dahmer later noted that Weinberger was the only one of his victims to die with his eyes open.
• • Dahmer Murdered A Longtime Friend, Tony Hughes, Then Kept The Remains
According to reports, Tony Hughes and Jeffrey Dahmer had been friends for about two years before Hughes’s murder. Dahmer lured the 31-year-old Hughes, who was deaf, to his house on May 24, 1991, by writing him a note offering him $50 in exchange for nude pictures.
Dahmer reportedly left Hughes’s body on the bedroom floor for three days before dismembering him, a process Dahmer documented in photographs. Dahmer kept Hughes’s skull but did not paint it, as he often did with other victims.
• • Dahmer Experimented On Konerak Sinthasomphone While He Was Still Alive
Konerak Sinthasomphone was a 14-year-old boy whom Dahmer drugged at his apartment on May 27, 1991. Dahmer reportedly drilled a hole in the back of Sinthasomphone’s head, injected hydrochloric acid into the front sections of the boy’s brain, and performed other inhumane experiments.
Dahmer later claimed he was attempting to create a “sex zombie.” Sinthasomphone eventually died from the experiments, after which Dahmer dismembered him.
• • Dahmer Kept Oliver Lacy’s Heart In His Refrigerator
Oliver Lacy was Dahmer’s second-to-last victim. As with his previous victims, Dahmer drugged and strangled the 24-year-old Lacy, then dismembered his remains and placed them in a vat of acid. Dahmer did, however, keep his heart and place it on a shelf in his refrigerator.
Dahmer murdered Lacy on July 15, 1991. Only a week later, Dahmer was taken into police custody. During his confession, Dahmer told police he kept Lacy’s heart “to eat later.”
• • Dahmer Kept The Head Of His Last Victim, Joseph Bradehoft, In The Refrigerator
Joseph Bradehoft was Jeffrey Dahmer’s final victim. Dahmer picked up Bradehoft at a bus stop on July 19, 1991, only four days after he killed Oliver Lacy. Bradehoft was a 25-year-old father of three who had come to Milwaukee, WI, to find a new job. Dahmer made his usual offer of money for nude photos before drugging and killing Bradehoft.
Dahmer did not dismember Bradehoft’s body until two days afterwards. After separating Bradehoft’s head from his body, he placed the head in his refrigerator. When police searched Dahmer’s apartment the following day, July 22, they found Bradehoft’s torso in a 57-gallon drum.