Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jeffrey Dahmer: Modus Operandi

It is important to notice that he had a tendency to drink alcohol during the whole process. He started at home, before going out, then in the bar, back home with his victim, after the killing, and even during dismemberment. Through the years, he developed a good resistance to alcohol, and to make sure he would not lose control, he would drink bier, one of the lightest alcoholic beverages.

 Before the crimes.

 Before even going out to hunt for a prey, Jeffrey would take some time to meditate and fantasize on the possible scenarios for the evening: the approach, but most and for all, he would fantasize on the man he would like to meet and what he would like to do with him.

His favorite hunting ground were gay bars, gay libraries and in the street or at the shopping mall.

Most of the time, he would go to gay places, but would not spend all his time hunting. At the contrary, he would enjoy the evening, drink beers, doing small talk with other people (he had no problem to fit in the groups), and would patiently wait that an opportunity would present itself to him. He would usually go out on Friday nights, because that would give him the rest of the week end to get rid of his victim.

Once a potential victim spotted (preferably at the bar’s exit), he would go and propose the man to come home with him, either for sex, or to have a drink while watching porn, or by offering money in exchange for favors or to pose for photographs. This is called the “con approach” method: he is initially nice, friendly and even charming and seducing. His objective was to gain the victim’s trust to diminish his victim’s possible mistrust and resistance. This technique worked pretty well because, according to his own sayings, one person on three he approached at the shopping mall accepted to go home with him to be photographed, whereas in the gay bars, the ratio was two on three.

He liked going out wearing yellow contact lenses. This eye color reminded him the main characters of his two favorite movies: the Emperor in “The Return of the Jedi” and “The Exorcist III”. They both had yellow eyes that would irradiate their power. People would notice his eyes and apparently appreciated. He would not feel more powerful, but it was just part of his fantasy.

Once the proposal accepted, they would both go to Jeffrey’s apartment, where he would offer a drink to his victim, who would accept. He would mix sleeping pills to the drink (5 or 6 pills of halcium 125mg).

Within half an hour, the victim was unconscious. Sometimes, he would already at this point start having sex with the victim. He liked a lot to lie down next to the unconscious body and listen to the sounds coming from the victim’s body.

 During the crime.

 Once drugged, Jeffrey would usually strangle the victim, either with his hands, or with a leather strap. He strangled them while they were drugged because he did not want to hurt them. He did not want to inflict any suffering. He just wanted to have the ultimate control over their body.

The death of the victim had no importance for Jeffrey, it was a means to an end, and so Jeffrey did everything he could to kill them quickly. He had no pleasure in the killing, and had he found a way to avoid killing them, he would certainly have avoided it. But it was required transition to achieve his goal.

 After the crimes.

 Very often, once the victim dead, and having total control on the victim’s body, he would start having sex with the victim: penis to anus, fellatio, and often he would open the body just above the pubic area and would penetrate the body there. Sometimes, he would cut open the body and masturbate on the entrails. He was fascinated by the color of the entrails, and was turned on by the heat emanating from the fresh corpse.

Before cleaning up, he had to take pictures so he would be able to remember each moment and each sensation he had during every murder. Then, he would start dismembering the victim, still photographing every step of the process. He would dismember his victims by cutting them from the sternum to the pubic area, to empty them of their internal organs. He would cut the meat, starting with the calves, and the thighs. Then he would cut the head and place it in the freezer until he would boil it to take out the meat. He would add some soilex (cleaning powder) mixed with the water to clean the skull from meat and hair. This would take approximately an hour.

The bodies had to disappear totally. So he used and tested many chemical products and acids to dissolve the dismembered parts, leaving only a black and smelly residue that he could finally flush down the toilets. Everything took place in his apartment, and at the end, no part of the victims’ bodies ever left the apartment. Generally, he liked dismembering his victims naked, as it made it more intimate.

With Ernest Miller, he started keeping trophies. He would generally keep the skull and genitals. He would keep the latter in formaldehyde. The skulls, once skinned, were painted in a grey color that would remind to plastic, to give them an artificial look. He kept three in total.

He would often pose the victims’ bodies to take pictures, to emphasize some parts of their body, before or after their death. He would then keep the pictures as keepsake and would masturbate while reminiscing.


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  2. This was really helpful for my class(criminal justice).

  3. One thing that was not mentioned here is that Dahmer was saving the skulls and other bones of victims in order to build a shrine for himself in his home. They found the plans for it when they investigated his apartment.

    1. Actually he drew the plans while being interrogated by the police.

  4. hmm... i guess he used actual head and shoulders