This Is How Many Victims Jeffrey Dahmer Actually Had

Although he was apprehended and imprisoned 30 years ago, Jeffrey Dahmer remains a household name. The Milwaukee cannibal emerged as one of the most notorious killers from the latter half of the 20th century, due in part to the methods in which he murdered his victims and the fact that he cannibalized the remains of many of them.

Another factor in why Dahmer is still a trending topic so many years after his last murder is the sheer number of people he took from this world. Over 13 years, Dahmer managed to lure a string of innocent young men to his home and savagely torture and murder them. Had he not gotten careless and allowed one prospective victim to escape his clutches, his murder spree might have gone unnoticed for years longer.

Killing his first victim killed when he was 18, Dahmer entered his adult life with an insatiable desire to capture and control young men and boys, with the ultimate goal of creating a zombie-like sex slave (via Chicago Tribune). Here's a look at each of the men and boys whose lives Dahmer ripped away from the world.

The first victims of the Milwaukee Cannibal

Within three weeks of graduating from high school in 1978, Jeffrey Dahmer claimed his first murder victim. According to Biography, Dahmer picked up hitchhiker Steven Hicks on the way back from shopping one afternoon. With his parents away for the day, Dahmer was able to fulfill a fantasy he'd had for quite some time. Dahmer had dreamed of picking up a transient and becoming dominant over them. 

Once alone in his parents' home, Dahmer began drinking beer with Hicks. The encounter between the two of them was casual until Hicks began mentioning needing to leave. While he wasn't looking, Dahmer struck him in the head with a barbell to knock him out. He then proceeded to strangle Hicks to death, dismembering his corpse and placing them in trash bags. He buried the remains behind his parents' house, later digging them back up, using a sledgehammer to crush the bones and scattering the remains in a ravine, per Biography.

Dahmer didn't kill again until 1987 when he brought Steven Tuomi to a hotel room for a night of heavy drinking. His motive was to drug and rape his victim (via Murder Murder Murder). When Dahmer awoke the next morning, he discovered that he had beaten Tuomi to death, but claims he had no recollection of this happening.

A pattern of behavior emerges

The following months produced a number of other victims for Dahmer. James Doxtator, 14, was working as a male prostitute when he was solicited by Dahmer in January of 1988. Dahmer murdered the young boy in his grandmother's basement, dismembering and scattering his remains, according to Murder Murder Murder.

Richard Guerrero was murdered by Dahmer soon after the death of Doxtator. Dahmer met Guerrero at a gay bar on March 24, 1988. He lured his victim back to his home where he strangled him to death. After the murder, Dahmer engaged in acts of necrophilia with Guerrero's body before dismembering it. Dahmer kept the skull as a souvenir.  

A pattern of behavior was beginning to emerge, as Dahmer began frequenting gay bars for prey. Young Anthony Sears met Dahmer in one such bar, where the two hit it off. Like some of his previous encounters with men, this one did not end well for Sears. After the two men had sex in Dahmer's apartment, Dahmer drugged and strangled Sears to death. He then dismembered Sears' body, keeping the genitals and the head. Sears would be Dahmer's final victim during the 1980s. Unfortunately, he was just getting started.

A chilling final killing spree

With the murders of five young men and boys already notched, Jeffrey Dahmer began to accelerate his death count. In 1990, he successfully took the lives of four more victims. Ricky Lee Beeks was a male prostitute that Dahmer murdered in May of that year. Before 1990 was through, Dahmer managed to also murder and dismember Edward Smith, Ernest Miller, and David Thomas. 

1991 saw a serious uptick in Dahmer's murderous activity. With a spree that began in February of that year, Dahmer murdered an additional eight people (via Biography). Beginning with the death of 17-year-old Curtis Straughter, Dahmer's horrific marathon of murder took victim after victim until July of that year. Potential murder victim Tracy Edwards managed to escape from Dahmer's apartment and alert police about his being assaulted. Authorities arrived at the apartment and found human remains in his refrigerator and freezer. Jeffrey Dahmer was finally caught. 

Before Edward's escape, Dahmer murdered Errol Lindsey, Tony Hughs, Konerak Sinthasomphone, Matt Turner, Jeremiah Weinberger, Oliver Lacy, and Joseph Bradehoft. Bradehoft, Dahmer's final murder victim, was the 17th person whose life Dahmer ended.

Some of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims survived

Those who have watched "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" on Netflix will recall how Dahmer was finally brought to justice when Tracy Edwards managed to make a daring escape from apartment 213, bringing police to arrest the man who had just attempted to kill him. What some might be surprised to learn is that Edwards was not the only person Dahmer victimized that managed to survive their attacker.

The Associated Press reports that in 1988 Dahmer coaxed Ronald Flowers Jr. back to the home that Dahmer shared with his grandmother. While there, Dahmer followed his typical pattern of drugging his victim, rendering Flowers powerless. But before Dahmer could kill him, his grandmother arrived home unexpectedly. Dahmer slipped out of the house with his drugged prey, leaving him at a nearby hospital. After his eventual 1991 arrest for murder, Dahmer told police that he allowed Flowers to live because he thought his grandmother had seen the man in her home.

As fate would have it, two of Dahmer's victims were related to each other. Dahmer's 13th murder victim, Konerak Sinthasomphone, was the younger brother of a teen that Dahmer had sexually assaulted in 1988. The Associated Press revealed that the victim had been lured to Dahmer's apartment with the promise of money in exchange for allowing Dahmer to photograph him.

The true number of Dahmer survivors might not ever be known

While stationed in Germany during his short stint in the army in 1979, Dahmer sexually assaulted at least two young men, according to the Independent. Fellow soldier Billy Joe Capshaw maintains that he was raped by Dahmer multiple times over a year and a half. A second soldier, Preston Davis, came forward and revealed that Dahmer had sexually assaulted him while the two were inside an armored vehicle. The attack allegedly happened after Dahmer had drugged the young man.

It's not likely the world will ever know how many other young men fell prey to Dahmer, however. For some time in the mid-1980s, Dahmer would cruise the local gay bars and bathhouses, drugging men with pills that he spiked their drinks with. The manager of one of the bathhouses that Dahmer used to frequent told reporters that he banned him from the establishment after multiple men reported Dahmer's actions to management.

According to UPI, Bradley Babush, who used to manage Club Bath Milwaukee, stated that one of Dahmer's drugging victims was hospitalized for over a week. He revealed that as many as half a dozen men lodged the same complaints against Dahmer, prompting the ban.             

Sentenced to life without parole, Dahmer's stint in prison was short-lived. In 1994, he was bludgeoned to death by a fellow inmate, Richard Scarver, while cleaning the prison showers.