Star Wars and Satan: 15 Unsettling Facts About Jeffrey Dahmer
Jeffrey Dahmer was an abomination even among abominations, to the point that his name has become cultural shorthand for the worst stuff imaginable. After all, you don’t hear a lot of people threatening to “go Pedro Lopez” on anyone’s ass. As such, his life is a treasure trove of horrors to be held up to the light before being immediately dropped as we go, “Ew, ew, ew, ew.”
Dahmer was fascinated with death from a young age. As a child, he carried around a bucket full of bleached rodent bones because he liked the way they rattled. His family, who were apparently the first goths, affectionately referred to them as his “fiddlesticks.”
The Surgery That Changed Everything
Dahmer was described as a bright and happy child until he was around five years old, when he had hernia surgery. Plenty of people do that without becoming cannibal necrophiliacs, but a clue to his subsequent withdrawn state might lie in his stated belief immediately after surgery that the doctors had cut off his genitals. That, of course, became one of his favorite pastimes.
“Doing a Dahmer”
In school, Dahmer was widely regarded as a weird kid, but he was also well known for his sense of humor, to the point that pulling an outrageous stunt became known as “doing a Dahmer.” His best gag was doing an impression of a man with cerebral palsy, though, so none of these people knew what jokes actually were.
He Worked At a Chocolate Factory
Dahmer’s steadiest job was at the Ambrosia Chocolate Company, where he mixed chocolate from 1985 almost until he was caught in 1991. He even claimed to have kept a victim’s head in his locker at the factory. Not to paint them all with a gross brush, but the only other pop culture chocolate factory man is also a huge creep, so maybe stay away from them.
He Stole a Mannequin
Before his killing spree began in earnest, Dahmer tried to satisfy his desire for immobile sexual partners by stealing a mannequin, which he said “didn’t work” and his grandma, who he was living with, soon forced him to throw out anyway. She eventually kicked him out because she was tired of men coming over at all hours of the night and the weird smells that followed their visits, but she didn’t turn him in because she was either the world’s most trusting or loyal grandma.
He Explained the Weird Smells as Tropical Fish
Grandma wasn’t the only one to get olfactorily suspicious of Dahmer’s activities. The manager of the apartment building he moved into complained three times that Dahmer’s apartment stank, but he just explained it as rotting meat (showing him what “appeared to be steaks”), tropical fish that had died, and a vat of mystery chemicals. It was a lot easier to keep an apartment back then.
Some believe it was actually Dahmer who killed Adam Walsh, a six-year-old boy who was kidnapped from a mall in 1981, and not the man who confessed to the murder. There’s a lot of reasons to think otherwise -- Walsh was much younger than Dahmer’s victims, he’d only committed one completely unplanned murder by that time, and you know, another guy confessed -- but the fact that he was in the area at the time and witnesses later recalled seeing someone who looked like him was enough for police to question him about it.
He Loved Star Wars
Dahmer used to watch Return of the Jedi to hype himself up for murder. Palpatine was his hero, to the point that he’d wear yellow contact lenses to stake out his victims in the club, proving that people have been taking away the exact wrong message from those movies for decades.
And The Exorcist
Specifically, The Exorcist III, because he identified with the film’s depiction of Satan. Yeah, not even the good Exorcist.
He Tried to Create Sex Zombies
Eventually, Dahmer got tired of “the labors of body disposal” and “stepping over bodies in the bathtub as he showered,” so he experimented with injecting acid or otherwise drilling into the heads of his victims to create passive “zombies” he could keep alive. Clearly, that was one genre of horror film he hadn’t studied, or he’d know that never works out.
He Almost Got Caught
Months before Dahmer was caught, one of these prospective “zombies,” a 14-year-old boy, escaped naked, bleeding, and drugged from Dahmer’s apartment, but he convinced the police they’d just had a “lover’s quarrel.” They were standing in his apartment, surrounded by the smell of “dead tropical fish” while an injured child sat catatonic on a couch, but it was potentially gay, so they were outta there.
He Accidentally Drugged Himself
That wasn’t Dahmer’s only slip-up. Previously, a man he’d lured back to his apartment found himself with an unconscious Dahmer on his hands after he’d accidentally drunk the spiked drink intended for his would-be victim. Realizing what had happened, he said “Fuck this guy,” stole $300 and a watch from him, and noped out.
He Trusted His Final Victim Too Much
Dahmer finally got caught after luring his final victim to his apartment, but instead of drugging or killing him right away, he handcuffed him and forced him to watch The Exorcist III with him. At best, he was dealing with the worst kind of film nerd, so he appeased Dahmer to the point that he allowed him to use the bathroom, at which point he ran screaming into the night, because obviously.
He Was Killed For Being Annoying
Dahmer brought his famous (see: terrible) sense of humor to the clink, dressing up his food as corpses and telling guards “I bite,” until he targeted the wrong guy. He was beaten to death in 1994 by a fellow inmate who didn’t appreciate being the butt of such stupid jokes.
His Parents Fought Over His Brain
Dahmer was cremated in accordance with his wishes, except his brain, which his mother wanted scientists to study and his father wanted to be cremated as well. It sat around for a good four months before a judge ordered it to be destroyed, which seems hardly necessary. Dahmer’s brain had been destroyed a long time ago.
Top image: Revere Senior High School/Wikimedia Commons