Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994) was an American serial killer and sex offender. Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with the majority of the murders occurring between 1987 and 1991. His murders were particularly gruesome, involving rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism. On November 28, 1994, he was beaten to death by an inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution, where he had been incarcerated.
Dahmer was born in West Allis, Wisconsin, the son of Joyce Annette (née Flint) and Lionel Herbert Dahmer, an analytical chemist. Seven years later, his brother David was born. Joyce Dahmer reportedly had a difficult pregnancy with her elder son. When he was eight years old, he moved with his family to Bath, Ohio. Dahmer's early childhood was by all accounts normal, but he grew increasingly withdrawn and uncommunicative between the ages of 10 and 15, showing little interest in any hobbies or social interactions. He biked around his neighborhood looking for dead animals, which he dissected at home (or in the woods near his home.) In one instance, he went so far as to put a dog's head on a stake. Dahmer began drinking in his teens and was an alcoholic by the time of his high school graduation.
In 1977, Lionel and Joyce Dahmer divorced. Dahmer attended The Ohio State University, but dropped out after one quarter, having failed to attend most of his classes. He was drunk for the majority of the term. Dahmer's father then forced him to enlist in the Army. Dahmer did well at first, but he was discharged after two years because of his alcoholism. When the Army discharged Dahmer in 1981, it provided him with a plane ticket to anywhere in the country. Dahmer later told police he could not go home to face his father, so he headed to Miami Beach, Florida, because he was "tired of the cold". He spent most of his time there at a hospital, but was soon kicked out for drinking. After coming home, he continued to drink heavily, and he was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct later in 1981.