Jeffrey Dahmer

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Jeffrey Dahmer

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 understand 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 a 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, 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 recognising 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, etc.

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, wooden blocks, etc. 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

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that things didn't get better with time, according to his father.
  • Describes how the man looked tense, his body was straight, and he became shy when approached by others. he remained at home, alone in his room or staring at television.
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