Jeffrey Dahmer (May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994)
Born Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dahmer first displayed troubling behavior after a childhood surgery at age 4 to correct a double hernia. He committed his first murder in 1978. He would then kill, dismember and sexually assault 16 more teens and men that he would lure back to his apartment between 1978 and 1991. Dahmer kept body parts as mementos of his crimes.
Dahmer could have been stopped in May 1991. Dahmer’s neighbor Sandra Smith was forced to call police after she witnessed a 14-year-old boy running naked in the street. Police came and took Dahmer’s word that the boy was his lover (and incidentally the brother of a boy he had assaulted three years earlier). They escorted the “couple” home and took a cursory look around, but quickly left, not wanting to become involved in a homosexual domestic disturbance. After they left, the boy was killed and if the police had taken a proper look around they would have found the body of his 12th victim, Tony Hughes and could have saved 4 lives.
Finally in July 1991, Dahmer’s 13-year reign of terror ended. Police spotted 32-year-old Tracy Edwards wandering the streets with a handcuff dangling from his wrist. He claimed a “weird” dude had drugged him and restrained him. The police arrived at Dahmer’s apartment — again. The knife that Dahmer threatened Edwards with was in the bedroom. So were many photographs of dismembered bodies. Dahmer was subdued and taken into custody. More searches revealed dismembered body parts in the fridge, freezer and in preserves jars. In 1992, he was sentenced to 16 life terms.
Initially in prison, he was kept out of the general population. He eventually convinced authorities to let him integrate. While on work detail with Jesse Anderson and Christopher Scarver, two other convicted murderers, Scarver brutally beat both Anderson and Dahmer with a metal bar from the weight room. Dahmer was pronounced dead after an hour, Anderson died a few days later.