Jeffrey Dahmer was born May 21st, 1960, the first child for Lionel and Joyce Dahmer, after a difficult pregnancy that had Joyce on various prescription drugs.
Jeff and his little brother David were raised in Bath Township, Ohio.
Unlike many other killers, Jeffreys parents were not abusive. Joyce had some relatively mild psychological problems, but Lionel tried to be as loving a father as possible, struggling to reach his quiet and isolated son.
As a small child, Jeff seemed happy enough, playing with his dog or riding his bike, but was fascinated with death. When Lionel removed some animal bones from under the porch, the remains of small creatures killed by small local predators, Jeff seemed quite pleased by the sound they made dropping back into the bucket. His father dismissed it as childhood curiosity.
Jeff was the class clown, known for doing things as ridiculous as faking seizures for laughs. In fact, he was lonely and isolated in school, with few friends.
By high school, he was a full-blown alcoholic, drinking before, after, and even during class.
When his parents divorced, his father was the one to move out of the house. When Jeff was 18, Joyce took David and left. Jeffrey was alone in the house with little food and a broken refrigerator until his father and his new wife found out about the situation and moved into the house.
Trying to help his son, Lionel assisted Jeffrey get into the University of Ohio. But it was already too lateJeff Dahmer made his first killing at age 17, when he picked up a hitchhiker , brought him home, murdered him, and scattered the bone fragments in the woods behind the Dahmer home.
When Jeff flunked out of college, a desperate Lionel took him to enlist in the army. The ever docile Jeffrey went along with his fathers wishes as if he had no opinion of his own.
Alcohol got the young Dahmer discharged from the army while he was stationed in Germany. He went to Florida, and tried to get a job. When his money ran out, and he had nothing to fall back on, Jeff called his father. Jeffrey was told that, no, he couldnt have any money, but he could have a plane ticket home.
Jeffrey was sent to Wisconsin to stay with his grandmother. Things went well for a while, until Lionel got a call from his mother reporting a strange smell coming from the garage. Jeff explained it as chemistry experiments on road kill. Later, when Jeff had a gun, his father listened to his story about target shooting, but took the gun away. A semi-lifeless Jeff gave it up with no fight.
When Jeff moved into his own apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his family saw it as a step towards independence.
Jeff began frequenting bath houses, slipping his companions sleeping pills so as to lie next to their unconscious bodies. When he accidentally caused one man to overdose, putting him in the hospital for a week, Jeff was asked not to return.
Finally, victims who woke up again were not enough for Jeff. His killing continued, this time drugging his victims with sleeping pills and strangling them before they woke up. He tried not to cause unnecessary pain.The police had their first real chance to catch him when they got a call from a confused young African American woman, reporting a young, naked, bleeding boy.