Jeffrey Dahmer committed horrendous crimes, including the rape and murder of at least 17 individuals between 1978 and 1991.
His upbringing has been closely examined to understand what might have led to his descent into barbarity.
Before becoming a notorious serial killer, Jeffrey had what seemed like an ordinary family life.
His immediate family included his parents, Lionel and Shari Dahmer, and his brother.
Lionel and Joyce Dahmer, his biological parents, were open about their son’s upbringing and didn’t know about his mental state or homicidal tendencies during his early years.
Despite their divorce, they believe they provided a normal home environment without mistreatment.
Lionel Dahmer, pursuing a chemistry Ph.D., was largely absent during Jeffrey’s formative years.
He didn’t think his absence negatively affected Jeffrey then but now wonders if it influenced his actions.
Between ages 12 and 14, Jeffrey had an unusual fascination with collecting roadkill and preserving animal carcasses.
This aspect of his early life wasn’t discovered until later.
Forensic psychiatrist Carl Wahlstrom noted that Jeffrey and his father, as a father-son activity, would bleach the bodies of dead rodents they found, leaving only bones.
Initially, this was driven by scientific curiosity, not a propensity for murder or cannibalism, given Lionel’s background as a research chemist.
Jeffrey Dahmer had a troubled childhood.
His mother, Joyce, struggled with depression and attempted suicide.
His father was often absent.
The arrival of his brother, David, created rivalry for their parents’ attention.
The family moved frequently until settling in Bath, Ohio.
Joyce and Lionel had a contentious divorce marked by accusations.
Lionel described Jeffrey as quiet and introverted.
Dahmer could hide secrets due to his introverted nature.
Psychiatrist Wahlstrom noted Dahmer’s isolation.
Dahmer stated he was not subjected to abuse.
He believed his parents were not to blame for his actions.
Are Jeffrey Dahmer’s Parents Still Alive?
At 86 years old today, Lionel remains married to his second wife, Shari Dahmer, and resides in Ohio, where he has lived for most of his adult life.
Jeffrey’s mother, Joyce, passed away in November 2000 due to breast cancer.
At the time of her passing, she worked as a case manager at the Central Valley AIDS Team and was also known as one of the founders of ‘The Living Room,’ a support center for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
“Joyce was greatly loved. She dedicated herself to her clients and anyone in need.
She was a truly wonderful person,” said Julio Mastro, the executive director of The Living Room, in a statement to Reuters.”