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Jeffrey Dahmer Trial
Transcript of Jeffrey Dahmer Trial
Jeffrey Dahmer was born on May 21, 1960 to a fundamentalist family in Wisconsin. As a child he was shy and had little self-confidence, he was also molested by a neighbor. All this and feelings of rejection and abandonment may have been what eventually led him to kill and cannibalize 17 men.
In 1978 in Bath County, Jeffrey Dahmer picked up a young hitchhiker and brought him back to his house. He became afraid that the man would leave and killed him with a barbell, then later beat the corpse with a hammer.
Shortly after he followed his father's wishes and joined the military and became an army medic. He was eventually discharged for drunkenness. And in 1987, he found his next victim, Steven Toumi, in a gay bar in Milwaukee.
In 1988, Dahmer was arrested for fondling a 13 year-old boy and served 10 months in jail. Later, his father said,
"I could not imagine how he had become such a ruined soul. For the first time I no longer believed that my efforts and resources alone would be enough to save my son. There was something missing in Jeff. We call it a 'conscience.' That had either died or had never been alive in the first place."
Over the next five years, Jeffrey Dahmer brutally murdered 15 more men, nearly all of them of an ethnic background. Including:
~Steven Toumi- 24y/o: Killed November 21, 1987.
~James Doxtator- 14y/o: Killed January 16, 1988.
~Richard Guerrero- 23 y/o: Killed March 24, 1988.
~Anthony Sears- 26y/o: Killed March 25, 1989.
~Raymond SMith- 33y/o: Killed May 20, 1990.
~Eddie Smith- 27y/o: Killed May 24, 1990.
~Ernest Miller- 22y/o: Killed September 1990.
~David Thomas- 23y/o: Killed September 24, 1990.
~Curtis Straughter- 19y/o: Killed February 18, 1991.
~Errol Linsey- 19y/o: Killed April 7, 1991.
~Tony Hughes- 31y/o: Killed May 24, 1991.
~Konerak Sinthsomphone- 14y/o: Killed May 27, 1991.
~Matt Turner- 20y/o: Killed June 30, 1991.
~Jeremiah Weinberger- 23y/o: Killed July 7, 1991.
~Oliver Lacy- 23y/o: Killed July 15, 1991.
~Joseph Bradehoft- 25y/o: Killed July 19, 1991.
Jeffrey Dahmer was nearly caught on May 27, 1991when neighbors reported to police that they had seen a half-clothed and clearly intoxicated and bleeding Asian boy go running past their house.
The boy couldn't speak English and seemed to be afraid to return to the apartment with the man who'd been chasing him. This man, Dahmer, then age 31, told police that the boy was his 19 year-old lover and that they'd just had a lovers' quarrel.
Police returned him to the apartment and joked that the boy was, "...going to get deloused." Had the police investigated at all, they would've found that Dahmer was on probation for child molestation.
Dahmer was finally arrested on July 22, 1991 when two police officers noticed a young black man stumbling around with a pair of handcuffs hanging from his wrist. When police stopped 32 year-old Tracy Edwards, he said that he'd been made to watch a video with a "weird dude" while being threatened with a knife. He had fought back and finally escaped. When police returned with him to the apartment and an officer stepped inside, he immediately noticed a horrible smell and polaroid photos of body parts and skulls in a fridge.
This news clip was aired on July 25th, 1991 in Milwaukee and covers Jeffrey Dahmer's first appearance in court for the reading of the charges.
It starts with a quick summary by the anchors about what Dahmer is being charged with and moves to Dahmer's attorney speaking about whether Dahmer will pursue a mental defense and discusses bail, the prosecution also says that investigation is still ongoing.
The judge also informs Dahmer of his statutory rights and when he wants them to arrange for the real hearing to begin. The anchors then do another quick overview of what's been discussed.
Although it's generally said that Jeffrey Dahmer's
first kill was in 1987, there was actually one more
in 1978 when he was only 18.
The police officer, now suspicious, went to the fridge and opened the door where he was confronted with a human head. He screamed to his partner and they arrested Dahmer, who fought back and threatened the two. After searching the apartment, parts from as many as 11 bodies were found, including some simmering in a stewpot and male genitalia being preserved in formeldahyde.
Dahmer was charged with 15 counts of murder and bond was set for $1 million. He originally pled not guilty but he changed this plea to guilty but insane in early January of 1992.
While being questioned by the police, Dahmer told Detective Patrick Kennedy,
"I have to question whether there is an evil force in the world and whether or not I have been influenced by it. Although I am not sure if there is a God or if there is a Devil, I know that as of lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about both."
Dahmer's attorney used 46 witnesses to argue that Dahmer had sexual and mental disorders that prevented him from being in his right mind at the time of the crimes. His attorney asked the jury, "Was he evil or was he sick?"
However, he seemed to take full credit for his crimes. He asked for no consideration when sentenced and the only real decision for the court was to determine his mental capacity at the time of the crimes.
News clip covering Dahmer's death in prison.
While news casts are supposed to try and remain unbiased and merely the inform the public of what's going on, this broadcast is obviously biased a bit against Dahmer. This isn't hard to believe considering what Dahmer had allegedly done and the fact that he had written a 160-page confession detailing what he had done. The anchors referred to his "heinous crimes" and several times forgot to say alleged, but rather just assumed he was guilty before he evem went to trial.
This could've biased viewers depending on the station for updates, because rather than going in with the mindset of innocent until proven guilty, then may believe from the onset that he was guilty instead of waiting to hear all the facts, witnesses, and evidence.
Nov. 28, 1994: Jeffrey Dahmer Killed in Jail
This news segment was aired on ABC on the morning of Dahmer's death. It recaps what Dahmer was imprisoned for and the information being released about his death that morning. It shows a man from the corrections department saying that the only thing known so far was that Dahmer was dead, another inmate was in critical condition, and that a bloody broom handle had been found by the bodies. The men had been on a janitorial detail when another inmate attacked them. It then goes on to show the anger some of the victim's families had even after Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison, but it also tells how some of the families were trying to make his death a good thing by auctioning some of his belongings to raise money.
This broadcast again seems to be pretty biased. Dahmer's death is made to seem like a good thing and people seem to be glad, but not surprised, that he died this way. Even his own attorney isn't at all surprised about how it ended, and even the clip of Dahmer at his sentencing seems to suggest he expected this to happen, maybe even counted on it. By presenting the news in this way, they're telling the public that his death is a thing to be celebrated and to be used as a healing agent for his crimes.
On February 16, 1992, Dahmer was declared to be sane enough to realize the seriousness of his crimes at the time they were committed. In Wisconsin, when an insanity plea is argued, there is then two parts to the trial, one to determine the guilt, and the next to determine mental capacity, both of which are decided by the jury. Dahmer had pled guilt and written a confession, so after five hours deliberating, the jury declared Dahmer sane.
Milwaukee Jury Says Dahmer Was Sane: February 16, 1992
This article from the New York Times was published the day of the jury's decision and describes the charges and the plea made by Dahmer's attorney. It also talks about the closing arguments made by both sides. This article appears to be a bit biased to me. Within the article's internal subtitles, they use phrases like "Killing Machine" and "He Knew What He Was Doing." This could've greatly influenced people's view of him as a monster rather than a mentally sick man.
On February 17, 1992, Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to fifteen consecutive life terms, a minimum of 936 years in prison. Several months later on May 16, another life sentence was added for his first murder when he was 18.
Around two years later, Dahmer and another inmate were killed in prison by a third inmate. The three had been put on an unsupervised janitorial job in a bathroom. The attacker was an African-American man with schizophrenia who hated all caucasians. The other man who was killed was a white man who had murdered his wife and blamed it on a black man. The two bodies were found with a broken bloody broomhandle lying nearby.
ABC News. ABC. ABC, n.p., 28 Nov. 1994. ABC News Video. Web. 1 June 2011. .
Burns, Kari Sable. “Jeffrey Dahmer.” Kari Sable’s True Crime and Justice. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2011. .
“DAHMER CHANGES HIS PLEA TO GUILTY.” New York Times. New York Times, n.d. Web. 1 June 2011. .
“Jeffrey Dahmer.” Tru TV. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2011. .
Johnson, Dirk. “Milwaukee Jury Says Dahmer Was Sane.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Feb. 1992. Web. 2 June 2011. .