“It is absolutely normal to have aggressive thoughts that we don’t transform into aggressive, bad, dangerous or murderous behaviors. But serial killers try to enter life with many fantasies, a mix of sex and violence, and because they cannot share these fantasies with others, they end up alone pondering their fantasies for a long time, increasing in complexity and frequency. When they start killing they are in reality pursuing their dream, they try to perfect what they fantasized about their whole life. And because it is impossible, because this perfection is out of reach, they continue killing, hoping to do better the next time, achieving the perfect kill.” Jack Levin, Phd Criminology
All Jeffrey Dahmer wanted, was to have someone to hold in his arms, next to whom he could spend time, caressing him, without any request being made for sodomy that he did not like. His fantasy consisted in having total control over another man. He confessed that the simple fact of having total control would give him as much pleasure as the sex acts he practiced on his victims.
At age 13 and 14, he started fantasizing having sex with a corpse and this thought would push him to masturbate very often (three to four times a day). He started drinking at the same time to repress his fantasies. At age 16, his fantasies shifted more towards having total control. At this age, it is very normal for a young man to get spontaneous erections, without having any apparent motive. It is very probable that Jeffrey could have conditioned himself by associating these spontaneous erections with violent thoughts of mutilation and control.
He also had fantasies and thoughts for what he called the entrails. Indeed, when he started dismembering animals, he realized it would turn him on. His sexual fantasy would start mixing with violent thoughts.
But he had already developed a big part of his fantasies before turning to pornography and masturbation, and tried to satisfy them. At age 16, he starts fantasizing hitting man in the back of the neck to render him unconscious and have sex with him. As he was in High School, he was himself victim of a group assault from his peers who hit him in the back of the neck with a black jack. He started after that fantasizing on revenge, which would excite him.
His desire was present with him all the time and he could only more or less control it between two victims thanks to the photographs he had taken and his « mementos » (he kept body parts of his victims as « mementos »). He would have a cooling down period (cooling down refers at the time between two murders where he is in control of the fantasy) of two months. But the more time went by, the more his impulses would grow and it would be more and more difficult to get satisfaction from the picture or the “mementos”. He had to find a new victim.
Hunting was part of his fantasy: not to know who he would meet, or how the victim would look like, or even the level of pleasure his next victim would give him, all this would excite him. He would spend time before going out fantasizing on how the evening would unfold, on the type of man he would want to meet that evening.
We can also notice an evolution in his fantasy: at the beginning, he had a lot of pleasure eviscerating his victims, but it became a routine. Sex with corpses was nice… but that was not as satisfying as keeping having them whole and alive. The problem is that reality never comes close to the fantasy. The fantasy always gives more pleasure that is why it has to be refined and perfected. He would try many new strategies: the mannequin, drug men in the sauna… but at the end, he will develop a new idea: create an army of “sexual slaves” or zombies. To do this, he started by drilling a hole in the frontal lobe of his victims to pour muriatic acid. But all his victims died. So he tried freezing the body of a victim so he could profit from it longer. This did not work either. Finally, he tried his experiment creating zombies again, but replacing the acid by boiling water, but still no results. His goal was to take away his victims free will so that they would end up in his control and would never leave him.
He also developed the idea of a shrine made with his victims’ bones (entire skeletons, skulls…) and two griffin statues. This shrine’s purpose was to give him special powers and to encourage energies to help him socially and financially. He was also hoping that the shrine would give him superpowers like his heroes in “The Return of the Jedi” or “The Exorcist III” that would enable him to control his victims’ spirit.
During an interview with R. Ressler (former FBI agent who developed criminal profiling), he gave a list of preference:
- The man he described (white, Chip and Dale type) and who would have only lived to satisfy Dahmer’s desires
- Less preferable, but still desirable, was to transform a man into a zombie
- Lower on the scale, what he did: hunt men in bars, take them back home to drug and kill them
- Even lower on his scale of desirability: “nothing” Jeffrey Dahmer
- No ordinary gay sex, no heterosexual sex, just no partner. Or maybe pornography
- Finally, celibacy and abstinence