It is hard to believe that the sweet little face of a very young Jeffrey Dahmer would someday be the face of the Milwaukee Cannibal. His parents, Lionel and Joyce, seemed to be the typical American family of the 1960s; dad worked and mom stayed home to take care of the house and children. Lionel was a highly intelligent, driven, workaholic. As a child, Lionel had been obsessed with fire but he was able to harness his obsession into a love of chemistry. Joyce was the daughter of a violent alcoholic who seemingly suffered from a number of mental health issues including substance abuse. The couple married in 1959 and soon realized how little they had in common.
Jeffrey grew up in a volatile household under the care of a mother who was unable to emotionally bond with her son. As a young boy, Jeffrey underwent a double hernia surgery which, reportedly, changed the once exuberant boy into a shy and introverted one. Jeffrey likely had Asperger's Syndrome (one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders), a disorder that typically will manifest sometime between 2 and 4 years old.
Dahmer developed an obsession with the entrails of dead animals, an obsession that would become fused with his sexuality as he entered puberty. He had trouble fitting in with peers and eventually realized that he was homosexual (not an accepted "life-style" in the 1970s).
Above are photos of Jeffrey's high school graduation, a few photos with his father and brother, his army basic training portrait, and a photo of Jeffrey and Lionel after Jeffrey had been incarcerated.
Dahmer was arrested a couple of times prior to 1991. Once was for indecent exposure and another was for molesting a young Laotian boy. He went on to kill at least 17 boys and young men between the years of 1978-1991. Listen to my three part series to hear more about the Milwaukee Cannibal.
You will notice that there are 2 victims included in the above flyer that have not been 100% linked to Dahmer.