At Least Five Jeffrey Dahmer Victims Left Young Kids Behind

Photo credit: Curt Borgwardt - Getty Images
Photo credit: Curt Borgwardt - Getty Images

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Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer targeted and killed gay men, some as young as 14, according to Biography. He often kept gruesome souvenirs from his killings.

Netflix’s new limited series, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, details the chilling tale of Jeffrey Dahmer, one of America’s most notorious serial killers. While the series is a fictionalized account of Jeffrey's crimes, it’s based on the real-life, brutal murders he carried out for more than a decade without detection.

Dahmer's terrible crimes held the nation in thrall, so it’s understandable to have questions about all the people he killed. Here’s everything to know about Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims, who they were, and a timeline of when they were murdered.

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How many people did Jeffrey Dahmer kill?

Dahmer reportedly killed 17 men between 1978 and 1991, according to Biography. He preyed on mostly Black, Asian, or Latino men, per Encyclopedia Britannica.

How did he kill them?

Dahmer was methodical in the way he sought his victims out and killed them. He often picked the victims up at gay bars, malls, and bus stops, according to Biography, and lured them back to his home with promises of money or sex.

Dahmer would then provide his victims with alcohol he'd laced with drugs, and kill them. After the victims died, Dahmer would have sex with them and dismember their bodies, sometimes keeping body parts, like their skulls or genitals, as souvenirs, Biography reported. He'd discard their bones in a 57-gallon drum bought for the purpose of disposing of the evidence, the New York Times reported.

One victim—19-year-old Errol Lindsey—died after Dahmer drilled a hole into his head and poured hydrochloric acid into it, The Sun says.

Why did he take Polaroid photos of his victims?

Dahmer also took photos of his victims during the murder process, per The Sun.

He kept them mostly in his dresser and in his freezer and there were ″many Polaroid shot of males of different stages of dress, poses and surgical excisions,″ according to a report by Forensic Investigator Shirley Gaines, per AP News. The report also stated that he kept a photo diary.

Many people who are well aware of Dahmer's story and those who are just learning from the Netflix series question the purpose of the photographs. However, it's been reported that he would pose the bodies "in sexually suggestive positions" because he "wanted to keep them as mementos to keep him company," according to a study by The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology.

Who was his first victim?

Dahmer killed his first victim on June 18, 1978, soon after his high school graduation in Ohio. He killed this victim using a barbell.

Dahmer told the police he had picked up a hitchhiker named Steven Hicks, took him home for a beer, and then had sex with him, the New York Times reported.

"When Mr. Hicks wanted to leave, Mr. Dahmer smashed the back of his head with a barbell and then strangled him. He dragged the body into a crawlspace under the house, cut it into pieces and stored it in garbage bags," the paper said.

Hicks was last seen June 18, 1978, but his remains were not found until after Dahmer confessed to killing him in 1991, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Many more victims would follow after Hicks' death.

A timeline of Jeffrey Dahmer's other victims:

In total, Dahmer confessed to murdering 17 men, including Steven Hicks. The full list and timeline is below.

  • June 18, 1978: Steven Hicks, 18

  • November 20, 1987: Steven Tuomi, 24

  • January 16, 1988: Jamie Doxtator, 14

  • March 24, 1988: Richard Guerrero, 25

  • March 25, 1989: Anthony Sears, 26

  • May 20, 1990: Raymond Smith (also went by "Ricky Beeks"), 33

  • June 1990: Edward W. Smith, 28

  • September 1990: Ernest Miller, 22

  • September 24, 1990: David C. Thomas, 23

  • February 18, 1991: Curtis Straughter, 18

  • April 7, 1991: Errol Lindsey, 19

  • May 24, 1991: Anthony "Tony" Hughes, 31

  • May 27, 1991: Konerak Sinthasomphone, 14

  • June 30, 1991: Matt Turner, 20

  • July 5, 1991: Jeremiah Weinberger, 23

  • July 15, 1991: Oliver Lacy, 23

  • July 19, 1991: Joseph Bradehoft, 25

Hicks had recently graduated from high school and was hitchhiking to a rock concert when he was killed, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. His father described him as a “deeply caring person.”

Tuomi grew up in Milwaukee and was a short-order cook at a restaurant in the city, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says. He was creative but quiet.

Dahmer’s third victim, Jamie Doxtator, ran away from home to escape an abusive stepfather, according to The Tampa Bay Times. His mother described Doxtator as “misunderstood,” but she added, “he had a lot of love...I loved him,″ AP News reported.

Some of his victims, like Anthony Sears and Oliver Lacy, had big things planned. Sears’ family told the Sentinel that the model planned to get married to his girlfriend as soon as he had enough money. Lacy was engaged to be married.

Rita Isbell took the stand during Dahmer’s trial to discuss her brother, Errol Lindsey’s, death, and during her victim impact statement, she screamed and charged at Dahmer, calling him “Satan,” per AP News. Isbell recently published an essay with Insider where she explained that she didn’t plan her speech, and that Lindsey has a daughter and granddaughter who are still living.

He wasn’t the only one. The Sentinel said Ricky Beeks had a 10-year-old daughter that he left behind, and David Thomas and Oliver Lacy both had 2-year-old children. Dahmer’s final victim, Bradehoft left behind a wife and three children.

Anthony “Tony” Hughes was a deaf, mute Black man whose mother described him as "outgoing, jolly, happy," per The Associated Press. She added that he always had a skill for making friends.

Konerak Sinthasomphone was a 14-year-old high school freshman when he was murdered, per the Sentinel. At the time of his death, Dahmer was still on probation for molesting Konerak’s brother, Somsack, The Tab reported.

A final would-be victim, Tracy Edwards, was able to escape from Dahmer's clutches on July 22, 1991, just three days after he killed Joseph Bradehoft. Tracy led the police back to Dahmer's apartment, where they found evidence of his other murders and arrested him.

Jeffrey Dahmer was eventually sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences for his multiple murders in 1992, and was beaten to death two years later by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institute, where he was serving his sentence, according to History.

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