1. Dahmer smuggled alcohol into school
Classmates later recalled him smuggling beer, wine, and all manner of hard liquor into class, or stashing bottles in his locker. Even though he was a complete alcoholic by the time he graduated, he was observed to be a quiet and withdrawn but relatively normal student as a freshman. He achieved average grades, which his teachers attributed to slacking off rather than lack of intelligence, and even played tennis and spent a year in the school band.
2. He asked his chemist father what would happen if chicken bones were placed in bleach
From the time he was a child, Dahmer was fascinated with animal bones: with the sounds they made, how they fit together, and with collecting them. Dahmer took this obsession to the next level at the age of 10, asking his chemist father what would happen if chicken bones were placed in bleach.
Lionel Dahmer, believing that his strange, anti-social son was finally finding a passion—and a scientific passion no less—was happy to show young Jeffrey how to clean and preserve animal bones using bleach. Such methods, of course, played an essential role in Jeffrey Dahmer’s ghastly rampage as an adult.
3. He committed his first murder only three weeks after graduating from high school
Dahmer picked up an 18-year-old hitchhiker named Steven Mark Hicks and murdered him in 1978. The murder of Hicks wouldn’t come to light until the 1990s, after Dahmer had murdered 16 more people and was finally in police custody.
4. He was in the process of building an altar out of the skulls of his victims when he was captured
He told police that had they apprehended him six months later, they would have come across the altar. Dahmer said the altar would be a place where he could “feel at home.”
5. Lionel Dahmer wrote a book about Jeffrey after he was captured
Entitled A Father’s Story, the tragic book was not meant to defend Jeffrey Dahmer, but rather for Lionel Dahmer to try and figure out how he had failed, so profoundly, as a father. Another notable work about Dahmer came in the form of an award-winning graphic novel, My Friend Dahmer, written by one of Dahmer’s high school classmates. My Friend Dahmer is currently being adapted for the big screen, set to come out in 2017.
6. Dahmer became a born-again Christian while in prison
He was baptized in the prison whirlpool in May 1994.
7. Dahmer was accused of masturbating in front of two young boys
In August 1986, Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested for masturbating in front of two young boys by the Kinnickinnic River. He initially admitted to the offense, but later denied the claims, stating he was simply urinating and was unaware anyone was present. His charge was changed to disorderly conduct and he was sentenced to one year’s probation, as well as additional instruction to attend counseling sessions.
8. He may have been sexually molested by his older neighbor
Reports have emerged that Jeffrey Dahmer may have been sexually molested by his older neighbor when he was 8 years old, but the assault was unreported. While we may never know if the molestation did occur, it would fit the profile of a serial killer’s childhood.