PORTAGE, Wis., Nov. 28 -- Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer died Monday of massive head wounds as the result of an attack at the Columbia Correctional Center where he was serving multiple life terms, corrections officials said. Dahmer admitted killing 17 young men and boys, dismembering them and in some cases eating parts of their bodies. He and another inmate were attacked while they were cleaning separate bathrooms in lockerrooms in the prison's recreation area. A bloody broom handle was found at the scene but prison officials would not confirm that it was the weapon used to kill Dahmer. Prison officials said Dahmer, 34, suffered massive head wounds and died at 9:11 a.m. CST while being taken to Divine Savior Hospital. His body was taken to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison for autopsy. The injured inmate was identified as Jesse Anderson of Cedarburg, Wis., who was convicted of killing his wife. He was reported still unconscious and in critical condition Monday afternoon. Prison officials said they did not know what prompted the attack by a fellow inmate. The suspect was on the same work detail as the victims. He was described only as a convicted murderer from the Wisconsin area and prison officials said he had no connection to either Dahmer or any of his victims. Conviction in the Dahmer case would keep the attacker in prison for the rest of his life without possibility of parole. Wisconsin does not have a death penalty.
Corrections Secretary Michael Sullivan said it was not known if Dahmer or Anderson was the primary target of the attack. He said Dahmer and Anderson were escorted to their work details at 7:50 a.m. and Dahmer was found about 20 minutes later, still breathing but lying in a pool of blood. Neither Dahmer nor Anderson was under direct supervision by prison guards at the time of the attack. 'I feel it's a terrible tragedy,' Sullivan said. 'It's something we try to prevent. Any time anyone is murdered, it's a tragedy.' Sullivan said Dahmer was assigned to janitorial duties just three weeks ago. Dahmer had been allowed to mix with other prisoners, although he was celled alone at his own request. Milwaukee attorney Jerry Boyle, who represented Dahmer, described his client as pathetic and said he was not surprised by the killing. 'I think Dahmer had a death wish and did not have the gumption to do it himself,' Boyle said. 'I thought he was very sick and I'm not surprised he is now deceased. I trust he has found a peace he could never find in life.' Boyle said the last time he saw Dahmer, his eyes were vacant, 'as if he no longer had a soul.' The attack was the second on Dahmer at the facility, the most secure and newest in Wisconsin. Several months ago, Dahmer was attacked in the prison chapel by an inmate wielding a sharpened toothbrush but suffered only scratches. Dahmer was convicted and sentenced to multiple life terms for killing 15 young men and boys in Wisconsin. He admitted to two other killings, including one near Akron, Ohio, when he was still a teenager. Dahmer, who last year claimed to have found God, cruised gay bars to pick up his victims and lured them back to his Milwaukee apartment. He sometimes had sex with them before killing and dismembering them, storing the body parts in his refrigerator. His crimes came to light when one of his victims escaped and flagged down police. Several months earlier, a 14-year-old fled the apartment, naked, but Dahmer managed to convince three police officers who encountered the youth that the two had just had a lovers' spat. The boy was returned to Dahmer's custody and slain shortly after the police left the apartment home of the former chocolate factory worker. Last week, the families of eight of Dahmer's victims moved closer to gaining restitution from the killer. A receiver was appointed to auction off some of Dahmer's belongings, including his refrigerator, to pay some of the $8 million in judgments awarded by courts. (prepared with help from Wheeler News Service, Madison, Wis.)