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Psychiatrist says Dahmer needed alcohol before he could kill

By
JERRY SMITH

MILWAUKEE -- Admitted serialkiller Jeffrey L. Dahmer considered freeze-drying one of his victims but dropped the idea when he learned the equipment would cost $30,000, a prosecution psychiatrist testified Wednesday.

Dr. Park Dietz, the prosecution's final witness, testified in Dahmer's Milwaukee County sanity trial the former chocolate factory worker did not really want to kill and drank alcohol to overcome his distaste for the act.

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Dahmer, 31, has confessed to killing and dismembering 17 young men and boys and has pleaded guilty but insane to 15 of the murders. He faces life in prison if the jury finds him sane but will be treated at a mental institution if he is found insane. The trial entered its third week Monday.

Testimony resumes Thursday and closing arguments tentatively were scheduled for Friday.

Dietz said Dahmer thought about finding one man with a sufficiently attractive physique to keep permanently.

'Mr. Dahmer's idea was that if he could get the apparatus to freeze- dry a man of the appropriate physique, he would at least be able to continue to have him to look at while masturbating, to pose, perhaps in various positions if he were flexible enough in that state, to fondle, to rub, to hug, to touch,' Dietz said.

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'He thought that if he would have been able to freeze-dry one of the more attractive men, then he would not have had a desire for the other victims.'

But Dahmer dropped this idea when he found the equipment would cost $30,000, the psychiatrist said.

Dietz said Dahmer preferred sex with a live, consenting person and probably would not have killed if his victims had consented to stay with him for several weeks.

''I wanted to sexually enjoy them while they were whole and undamaged,'' Dahmer told Dietz. ''I never got any thrill in the actual act of strangling.''

Dietz said Dahmer found the killing itself unattractive and unappealing.

''The killing was a means to an end,'' Dahmer told Dietz.

Dietz said Dahmer suffered from alcoholism and sexual deviance and that his homosexuality was just a coincidence. He said Dahmer had to drink to kill because he found the idea distasteful.

'He had to take this additional step to overcome his natural inhibition against the killing,' Dietz said. 'If he had an impulse to kill or a compulsion to kill, he wouldn't have to drink alcohol to overcome it. He only has to drink alcohol to overcome it because he is inhibited against killing.

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'So his drinking more alcohol to overcome his inhibition against killing is very important evidence that there was no compulsion to kill and no impulse to kill and that he could conform his behavior.'

Dietz said after Dahmer ruled out freeze-drying a man, he turned to his second choice -- creating a zombie. He experimented with two techniques -- drilling holes in the victim's head and pouring in acid, and drilling holes and pouring in boiling water.

'He wanted to be able to take one of the men and make it so that that man had no will of his own,' Dietz said.

He said Dahmer also toyed with the idea of using electroshock to create a zombie but 'felt he lacked the technical knowledge of electricity to do this.'

Dietz said Dahmer did not act on impulse and if his grandmother or someone else walked in when he was with somebody, or if the intended victims consented to stay with him for an extended period of time, he did not kill.

'That's an indication that he could control his behavior,' Dietz said.

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