Christopher Scarver: The Truth About The Man Who Killed Jeffrey Dahmer

Christopher J. Scarver was awaiting trial in a Wisconsin jail, accused of shooting to death 27-year-old job trainer Steven Lohman in 1990, when news broke of the arrest of a 31-year-old Milwaukee man who police said had the remains of 11 men and boys in his apartment. That man later confessed to killing a total of 17 men and boys in Ohio and Wisconsin, who he would sometimes mutilate and cannibalize, per The Associated Press.

Scarver came to know of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer much like the rest of America, via the news. But Scarver, who said voices told him to kill Lohman, per The New York Times, got to see more of Dahmer after both men were convicted murderers serving out life sentences together in the Columbia Correctional Institution outside of Madison.

Though Scarver was a killer himself, he couldn't stomach the things he'd heard Dahmer had done. To make matters worse, he told the New York Post that Dahmer would antagonize inmates by making food look like severed body parts and leave them for people to find.

Scarver said he kept his distance from Dahmer, but claims that he finally beat the serial killer to death in 1994 by bludgeoning him in the head with a metal rod when the two, along with another inmate, Jesse Anderson, were left alone in the prison gym. According to what Scarver told the New York Post, Anderson and Dahmer antagonized him, so he killed them.

Scarver said voices told him, 'I'm the chosen one'

Scarver initially pleaded not guilty of the prison murders by reason of insanity, but later changed his plea to no contest in exchange for being moved to a federal prison instead of serving out his life sentences in a state penitentiary. According to The Associated Press, he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences on top of the first one.

The insanity plea wasn't out of the blue. According to The New York Times, when Scarver was awaiting trial for killing Lohman in 1992, he told a psychiatrist that voices had urged him to commit that murder. Specifically, he said it was the voices of a family — a mom and dad, a boy, and a little girl. 

Scarver shot Lohman in the head four times, then made a manager write him a check for $3,000. He also stole the manager's credit card. Scarver went to his girlfriend's house where hours later police found him sitting on the stoop of her apartment with the check, the credit card, and the gun used in the murder in his pocket, per The New York Times. 

Scarver told the psychologist he'd never been in trouble with the law or even been in a fight. He said the voices of the family told him, "Everything was going to be all right and it was meant to happen like this." 

He said that the voices told him, "I'm the chosen one," The New York Times reported.

Christopher Scarver is a published poet and a dad

Scarver has been in jail or prison since he was about 20 years old. According to Christopher Scarver's webpage, he was placed in solitary confinement for 18 years after killing Jeffrey Dahmer and Jesse Anderson, but he "earned his way out" and into a medium-security prison. 

When he was initially arrested for murder in 1990, his girlfriend had a baby on the way, per The New York Times. That child was born after Scarver was sentenced. The child was named Chris, after his father, and the two maintained a relationship through letters, according to what the son told CNN in 2014 (via YouTube).

During his time behind bars, Carver became a poet and wrote a book titled "The Child Left Behind: Poetry of Christopher J. Scarver." The book's description says the volume is a "poetic vision of the world as seen through prison walls. Christopher's poetry describes his journey from despair to hope, from mistrust to finding the good in others..."

According to the biographical information included at Google Books, Scarver also writes short stories, musical compositions and songs, and creates art. He is proactive in writing prison policy proposals and initiated The American Prisoner Repatriation Act, which seeks to redeem "America's unwanted citizens by helping these imprisoned poor to help themselves..."

Scarver also tries to encourage his son. In part of a letter the younger Chris shared on CNN, Scarver wrote, "Tough times don't last. Tough people do. And you are the toughest kid I know."