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Notorious sex offender and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer killed 17 men between from 1978 to 1991. He was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms, and then murdered by a fellow prison inmate in 1994.
Aileen Wuornos - Full Episode (43:53)
Richard Speck - Full Episode (44:27)
A short biography of Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the most infamous serial killers of the 20th century. His crimes included luring victims into his home and strangling them before dismembering their bodies.
The full episode of "Biography: Aileen Wuornos."
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A subsequent search revealed the head in the fridge, as well as three more in the freezer, and a catalogue of other horrors, including preserved skulls, jars containing genitalia, and an extensive gallery of macabre photographs.
Given that the majority of Dahmer's victims were African-American, there were considerable racial tensions, and his trial began on January 13, 1992 under the strictest of security, which included an eight-foot barrier of bullet-proof glass,
that separated him from the gallery. The inclusion of only one African-American on the jury provoked further unrest, but fortunately this was contained and short-lived. His father Lionel and his second wife attended the trial throughout.
Despite having confessed to the killings during police interrogation, Dahmer initially pleaded not guilty to all charges. However, against the advice of his legal counsel, he changed his plea to guilty by virtue of insanity. His defense then offered every gruesome detail of his behavior, as proof that only someone insane could commit such terrible acts, but the jury chose to believe the prosecutor's assertion that Dahmer was fully aware that his acts were evil, but that he chose to commit them anyway, returning after only five hours deliberation to find him guilty, but sane, on all counts, on February 17, 1992.
Dahmer was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms, or 957 years in prison.
Dahmer reportedly adjusted well to prison life, although he was initially kept apart from the general population. He convinced authorities to allow him to integrate more fully with other inmates. He found religion in the form of books and photos sent to him by his father, and he was granted permission by the Columbia Correctional Institution to be baptized by a local preacher.
On November 28, 1994, in accordance with his inclusion in regular work details, he was assigned to work with two other prisoners, one of whom was a white supremacist murderer, Jesse Anderson, and the other a delusional, schizophrenic African-American murderer, Christopher Scarver. Twenty minutes after they had been left alone to complete their tasks, guards returned to find that Scarver had crushed Dahmer's skull and fatally beaten Anderson with a blunt object (stories conflict as to whether the weapon was a broom handle or a weight bar from the prison gym).
Following his death, the city of Milwaukee was keen to distance itself from the horrors of Dahmer's actions, and the ensuing media circus surrounding his trial. In 1996, fearing that someone else might purchase Dahmer's fridge, photographs and killing tools collection and start a museum, they raised more than $400,000 to buy his effects, which they promptly incinerated.
Jeffrey Dahmer's name made headlines again in August 2012, nearly two decades after his death, when his childhood home in Akron, Ohio—where he committed his first murder in 1978, and buried his victim's remains—was newly listed for sale. According to an article in The Daily Beast, the owner of the home at the time, musician Chris Butler, stated that the property would make a great home, as long as the buyer could "get past the horror factor."
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Many of the most horrifying acts of violence are committed by serial killers. Always looking for next victim, these murderers kill again and again, never fully satisfied by their bloody deeds. Their twisted motivations—and even more twisted techniques—land the people in this group among the most frightening criminals in history.
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