What Happened To Jeffrey Dahmer's Body After He Was Killed?

Jeffrey Dahmer may not have been America's worst serial killer; with 17 confirmed victims (per Women's Health), he's eclipsed by the likes of Ted Bundy (as many as 35) and Gerald Stano (as many as 41), per CBS News. However, what he lacks in the number of murders, he makes up for in the gruesomeness. As Marie Claire reports, Dahmer sexually assaulted at least some of his victims before murdering them, as well as afterward. He also mutilated some of his victims and then later ate the parts or kept them for display. He even drilled holes in living victims' skulls and poured acid inside in order to create "sex zombies," as he called them.

Dahmer's case also shone a light on the incompetence within the Milwaukee Police Department and Wisconsin's criminal justice system, both of which had opportunities to stop Dahmer before he murdered more. For example, according to The Milwaukee Sentinel (via Marquette University), neighbors tried valiantly to get the police to intervene in the case of a boy who was kidnapped by Dahmer and trying to escape, only to be rebuffed and told to stay out of it.

Dahmer's story didn't end when he was finally convicted and sent to prison, however. A few years later, he became not the perpetrator of a murder but the victim of one after he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate. And afterward, his parents were left to decide what to do with his remains.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

In prison

Following his conviction on multiple criminal accounts and being sentenced to 16 consecutive life sentences, Jeffrey Dahmer arrived at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin (via Biography). Initially, his jailers kept him in solitary confinement out of fear that other inmates might wish him harm or want to make a name for themselves by killing America's most infamous serial killer. After a few months in solitary, Dahmer asked to be moved to a less-restrictive environment, and since he'd been a model prisoner up until that point, jailers granted his request. He was moved into a unit for prisoners with "emotional problems" and was able to attend classes, eat meals with other inmates, and perform work duties.

However, once he was among other inmates, he decided to engage in comedic schtick that was, apparently, only funny to him. He would joke to guards and other prisoners that he bites and delight in their nervous reactions. He would also shape bits of food into body parts, using ketchup to represent blood. In July 1994, another prisoner tried to murder Dahmer but was unsuccessful. Still not wanting to go back into solitary, Dahmer remained in the general population. A few months later, a different inmate would be successful at killing Dahmer.

Jeffrey Dahmer's Murder

Where one inmate imprisoned with Jeffrey Dahmer failed in his attempts to kill him, another succeeded. Specifically, according to the New York Post, Dahmer was murdered by Christopher Scarver, who entered the facility around the same time but kept his distance from the notorious serial killer. In fact, Scarver said that he "never interacted" with Dahmer up until the day that he killed him.

On the morning of November 28, 1994, Scarver, Dahmer, and another inmate were on cleaning detail in a bathroom and had been left unsupervised. At some point, another inmate — it's not clear if it was Dahmer or the other man — playfully poked Scarver in the back and heard them laughing. When he had a chance, Scarver followed Dahmer, retrieved a piece of weight equipment, and bludgeoned the convicted murderer in the head, killing him.

Scarver would later say that he killed Dahmer because he (Dahmer) would joke about his crimes and taunt the other inmates. He also said that prison officials may have played a role in Dahmer's death, in knowing full well that they were leaving him unsupervised with a man who wanted to kill him. "They had something to do with what took place. Yes," Scarver told the New York Post.

His Cremains Were Split Between His Parents

Jeffrey Dahmer's parents, identified by Encyclopedia.com as Lionel Herbert Dahmer and Joyce Annette Flint, divorced after a "troubled" marriage when he was 18. He was effectively alone at this time, and he began using alcohol heavily.

When he died years later, his parents were still estranged, and they even quarreled over the disposition of his remains. Specifically, the murderer was cremated at a Madison, Wisconsin crematory. Each of his parents was to receive half, but there was a problem: Flint had asked that her son's brain be donated to a university to be studied to see if there was a physiological problem that contributed to his issues, while his father wanted it cremated along with the rest of his body (via Your Central Valley).

Ultimately, his body was cremated without the brain, but following a court decision, his brain, too, was cremated without it having been donated to any research facilities.