Jeffrey Dahmer chose his victims according to their physical type: he liked them slim fit to slightly muscular with smooth skin (non hairy). He even referred to his ideal victim as the “Chip and Dale” type.
His preference were adult males, approximately the same age, without any racial preference. There are two remarks to be done:
- His victims were age 14 to 31, but even though Konerak Sinthasomphone looked young, Jeffrey thought his would be much older than he looked (as is the major image about Asian people).
- Most of his victims were African American, not because of his tastes, but simply because they represented the predominant race in the bars Jeffrey would go to.
In his interview with Robert Ressler, he described his ideal partner as being a totally submissive man, who would be willing everything Jeffrey would ask him to do. But he was aware that there were not many people like this. Had he found a partner who would have accepted these conditions, he may have not ended up killing. He did not have a lot of time to hunt, as he worked 6 days a week and he did not have the patience to wait. He wanted to satisfy his impulses as quick as possible.
« I would have liked to have, like on the videotape, a well developed white guy, compliant to my wishes. I would have preferred to have him alive and permanently staying with me. » Jeffrey Dahmer
Most, but not all of his victims, were homosexuals or bisexuals. Some were heterosexuals. If we have a close look at Jeffrey Dahmer’s practices, it seems clear that the sexual preference of the victim does not matter much at the end of the day.
On the other hand, his victims all shared an essential characteristic: they were available and willing to go back to his place. Indeed, although he chose his victims on physical criteria, but also on their availability and the opportunity the victim represented. More than the sexuality of the victim, it was their willingness to follow him voluntarily, spontaneously and quickly that would arouse Jeffrey Dahmer most.
He would often meet his victims in gay places, as gay people represent a part of the population that can be considered “high risk” of victimization. Whether in saunas, where men go for quick and anonymous sex, or in bars and discos, or even in public meeting places (parks, public toilets), many of the gay people meet in the hopes of finding company and not having to go back home alone. The gay scene is very much based on sexual encounters and fighting loneliness, and it is not unusual that two men who just met end up spending the night together, in one of their homes or in a hotel.
Furthermore, it is not uncommon to meet men (homosexual or heterosexual) having a difficult financial time in their lives who are ready to sell their bodies or favors to other men for money.
It is clear by looking at the pictures of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims that he was looking for manly looking men, men who would look like straight men. He chose them because they looked like men. This might explain why some of his victims were actually heterosexual. Besides, as already said, the sexual preference of his victims did not matter much to him: he was after a body type, and anyway, his sex acts were performed on unwilling and unconscious victims.
He did not try to get to know his victims, and so kept their conversations to a minimum. But he was still looking for some crucial information, being careful not to, as he himself confessed, bring back a man driving a car or anything that would draw attention to him.
Finally, he did not hate his victims (unlike most serial killers). At the contrary, he chose them because he liked them, because they attracted him.