Friday, September 24, 2010

Jeffery Dahmer - Control

Not unusual with necrophiliacs is cannibalism. Dahmer claimed that he ate the flesh of his victims because he believed that the people would come alive again in him. He tried various seasonings and meat tenderizers to make the human flesh more tasty. Eating human flesh gave him an erection. His famous freezer contained strips of frozen human flesh. He had tried human blood too, but it did not appeal to his taste buds.
Like Ed Gein, he tried to perfect the art of preservation and taxidermy so that he could practice the state-of-the-art techniqiues on his victims.

Ed Gein
Ed Gein

Control was an all important issue for Dahmer. He could not tolerate rejection or abandonment. Even in his homosexual relationships, he did not want to please his sexual partner; he just wanted to have his own pleasures. Pleasure to Dahmer meant performing oral or anal sex on his partner, whether alive or dead.
This absolute need for control led him down some pretty weird roads. One of them was a kind of lobotomy that he performed on several of his victims. Once they were drugged, he drilled holes in their skulls and injected some muriatic acid into their brains. Needless to say, it caused death right away in a few victims, but one supposedly functioned minimally for a few days before dying.

Not surprisingly, his need for control led him to dabble with Satanism. In fact, just having the bodies of his victims around him made him feel "thoroughly evil." "I have to question whether or not there is an evil force in the world and whether or not I have been influenced by it. Although I am not sure if there is a God," Dahmer said," or if there is a devil, I know that as of lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about both." He had plans to create a shrine in his apartment, featuring all of his trophies, his statue of a griffin, and incense burned in the skulls of his victims, so that he could receive "special powers and energies to help him socially and financially."

Why does a Jeffrey Dahmer happen? How does a man become a serial killer, necrophiliac, cannibal and psychopath? Very few convincing answers are forthcoming, despite a spate of books that propose to explain the origins of the problem.

Many of the theories would have you believe that the answers can always be found in childhood abuse, bad parenting, head trauma, fetal alcoholism and drug addiction. Perhaps in some cases, these are contributing factors, but not for Jeffrey Dahmer.

His father, Lionel Dahmer, wrote a very sad and poignant book called A Father's Story, which explores the very common phenomenon of parents trying desperately to give their child a good upbringing, and discovering to their horror that their child has built a high wall around himself from which their influence is progressively shut out. While fortunately, most parents do not have a Jeffrey Dahmer to raise, too many have seen their children succumb to drugs, alcohol, and crime, despite their very best and often frantic efforts to intervene.
"It is a portrayal of parental dread... the terrible sense that your child has slipped beyond your grasp, that your little boy is spinning in the void, swirling in the maelstrom, lost, lost, lost."

Lionel seems to be fairly straightforward in recognizing the negative influences in Jeff's life. No family is perfect. Jeff's mother had various physical ailments and appeared to be high strung, coming from a background in which her father's alcoholism deeply affected her life.

Lionel, a chemist who went on to get his Ph.D., stayed at work more often than he should to avoid turmoil on the home front. Eventually, the marriage dissolved in divorce when Jeff was eighteen. However, none of this commonplace domestic discord accounts for serial murder, necrophilia, or Jeff's other bizarre behaviors.

Joyce Dahmer
 Joyce Dahmer
Jeff Dahmer was born in Milwaukee on May 21, 1960, to Lionel and Joyce Dahmer. He was a child who was wanted and adored, in spite of the difficulties of Joyce's pregnancy. He was a normal, healthy child whose birth was the occasion of great joy. As a tot, he was a happy, bubbly youngster who loved stuffed bunnies and wooden blocks. He also had a dog named Frisky, his much-loved childhood pet.

Despite a greater number than usual of ear and throat infections, Jeff developed into a happy little boy. His father recalled the day that they released back into the wild a bird that the three of them had nursed back to health from an injury: "I cradled the bird in my cupped hand, lifted it into the air, then opened my hand and let it go. All of us felt a wonderful delight. Jeff's eyes were wide and gleaming. It may have been the single, happiest moment of his life." The family had moved to Iowa, where Lionel was working on his Ph.D. at Iowa State University.

When Jeff was four, his father swept out from under their house the remains of some small animals that had been killed by civets. As his father gathered the tiny animal bones, Jeff seemed "oddly thrilled by the sound they made. His small hands dug deep into the pile of bones. I can no longer view it simply as a childish episode, a passing fascination. This same sense of something dark and shadowy, of a malicious force growing in my son, now colors almost every memory."

At the age of six, he was found to be suffering from a double hernia and needed surgery to correct the problem. He never seemed to recover his ebullience and buoyancy. "He seemed smaller, somehow more vulnerable... he grew more inward, sitting quietly for long periods, hardly stirring, his face oddly motionless."
In 1966, Lionel had completed his graduate work in Iowa and gotten a job as a research chemist in Akron, Ohio. Joyce was pregnant with their second son, David. By that time, Jeff was in the first grade and "a strange fear had begun to creep into his personality, a dread of others that was combined with a general lack of self-confidence. He was developing a reluctance to change, a need to feel the assurance of familiar places. The prospect of going to school frightened him. The little boy who'd once seemed so happy and self-assured had been replaced by a different person, now deeply shy, distant, nearly uncommunicative."

By Marilyn Badsley


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