Seventeen men and boys fell victim to Jeffrey Dahmer’s horrific crimes. This is a full timeline of his murders, and the reasons why he took Polaroids of his victims.
On July 22, 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested for the murders of eleven men and boys. The victims were all white males between the ages of fourteen and thirty-one, with an average age of twenty-five. The first victim on Dahmer’s list was Steven Hicks, who was only eighteen when he was killed.
Dahmer met Hicks hitchhiking to a rock concert in Chippewa Lake Park, Ohio and invited him back to his apartment, where he drugged and strangled him. Hicks was the only victim that Dahmer did not dismember; instead, he buried the body in a shallow grave near his home. The next victim was nineteen-year-old Anthony Sears, whom Dahmer met at a gay club. Sears was also drugged and strangled before being dismembered and placed in trash bags, which were then stored in a crawl space under Dahmer’s house.
The next few victims were all killed in similar fashion: they were lured back to Dahmer’s apartment, drugged, strangled, dismembered, and then stored in garbage bags or cemented under his floorboards. But there are some notable exceptions. For example, twenty-seven-year-old Ernest Miller was kept alive for several days so that Dahmer could perform involuntary experiments on him; twenty-six-year-old Raymond Smith was cooked and eaten; and fourteen-year-old Jamie Doxtator was sodomized before being killed.
Dahmer also began taking Polaroids of his victims at some point during this killing spree. It is believed that he did this for two reasons: first, to keep track of how many people he had killed; and second, to relive the experience of murdering them.
On July 19, 1991, fourteen-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone wandered into a neighborhood where Dahmer lived. Dahmer lured him back to his apartment, drugged him, and molested him—but the young boy managed to escape. He ran naked into the street, where he was found by two women who took him to the police station. When the police arrived at Dahmer’s apartment to return Konerak to his family, they saw evidence of foul play—but they chose to believe Dahmer’s story that Konerak was his adult lover and returned him to Dahmer’s custody. Konerak would be dead within hours.
The final victim on Jeffrey Dahmer’s list was twenty-three-year-old Tracy Edwards. Edwards managed to escape from Dahmer’s apartment after being drugged and restrained—but instead of going to the police, he went to a nearby convenience store for help. The store clerk contacted the police, who found Edwards covered in blood with handcuff marks on his wrists. When they went back to Dahmer’s apartment to investigate further, they found evidence of multiple murders—and when they finally apprehended Dahmer, he confessed to all seventeen killings.
Dahmer was sentenced to fifteen life terms in prison—but he would not live long enough to serve them all. On November 28th 1994, he was beaten to death by another inmate while taking a shower in prison.
Jeffrey Dahmer is one of America’s most prolific serial killers—17 men and boys fell victim to his horrific crimes. This is a full timeline of his murders, from Steven Hicks (the first victim) to Tracy Edwards (the last), as well as an exploration of why he took Polaroids of his victims’ bodies . . .