As frightening as they are, serial killers are fascinating. What causes someone to kill anyone let alone three or more people? Since the mid 1970’s when the term “serial killer” was coined, not only have investigators tried to solve the puzzle of what motivates a serial killer, but many people want to know the answers too. “My Friend Dahmer” premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. The film is based on a book by a high school friend of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. The film explores Dahmer’s high school life leading up to his first murder just a few weeks after his high school graduation. Anyone interested in the case wants to know more. While in “My Friend Dahmer” we see a glimpse of the transition of a Freshman High School Student into a sadistic rapist and killer, we would love to know more about what motivated Dahmer to commit heinous acts of rape, murder, necrophilia on 17 young men and boys. What happened in Dahmer’s life after he committed the first murder? Here is why there should be a sequel to “My Friend Dahmer”.
What we learned from “My Friend Dahmer”?
“My Friend Dahmer” gave us so much information about Jeffrey Dahmer’s adolescent years. It’s frightening but intriguing to see how his mind became so twisted intertwining homosexual sex with the need to dominate and control, and somehow incorporating death into the scenario. “My Friend Dahmer” was written and directed by Marc Meyers. It stars Ross Lynch as Dahmer. The cast includes Alex Wolff, Dallas Roberts and Anne Heche. The film is based on the graphic novel by John Backderf which was published in 2012. In the novel, Backderf shows illustrations he drew of Dahmer back when the two were classmates at Rivere High School in Bath, Ohio.
“My Friend Dahmer” begins when Jeffrey Dahmer is a Freshman at Rivere High School. He was a loner and an outcast. Although his teachers felt he had potential, Dahmer began drinking in and out of school at the age of 14. He also killed animals and dismembered them, dissolving their bones in chemicals which he got from his dad, Lionel, a chemist. Dahmer developed an obsession with killing the animals and putting their bones back together. It was around this time that Dahmer realized he was homosexual although he hid this fact from his parents.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s dad became concerned about his son’s obsessive interest in animal bones. He told his son to make friends in school. Although he was seen as an outsider at school, Dahmer had a knack for making his classmates laugh. He often pulled pranks that classmates referred to as “Doing a Dahmer”. Dahmer’s antics attracted John “Derf” Backderf who was into creating graphic art. Dahmer hung out with Derf and his friends and allowed Derf to draw pictures of Dahmer in certain situations which were later used in Derf’s graphic novel.
The movie also delves into Jeffrey Dahmer’s obsession with a male jogger whom he often saw while riding the bus. It turned out that one of Derf’s friends knew the man because it was his doctor. Dahmer began to have fantasies of knocking the doctor unconscious with a baseball bat and raping him. Dahmer went so far as to booking an appointment with the doctor where he had an erection during his hernia examination. Dahmer would later almost act out his rape fantasy on the doctor, but the doctor was not jogging the day Dahmer planned it.
Where the story leaves off
Toward the end of “My Friend Dahmer”, we see that Jeffrey Dahmer is going through some personal problems at home. His mother and father decided to divorce just before their son’s graduation from high school in 1978. Dad, Lionel, moved to a hotel. His mother, Joyce, and younger brother, David, moved to Wisconsin to stay with family. His mother may have had mental illness. That left Jeffrey Dahmer, who was 18 years old, alone in the family home. Just a few weeks after graduating from high school, Dahmer had no plans for his future. He picked up young hitchhiker, Steven Hicks, who was never seen again.
What led Dahmer to continue killing?
The end of “My Friend Dahmer” gives us a lot of information about Dahmer’s life and the evolution of his psychological disorder. He was an awkward loner at school with few friends. He became a heavy drinker at the age of fourteen. He killed animals and was obsessed with their bodies. He was a closeted homosexual. He had fantasies about knocking a man unconscious and raping him. All of these factors combined lead to some conclusions as to the man that Dahmer became. As with any serial killer, it still doesn’t make sense how someone could become so twisted that they would go on to do what Dahmer did.
Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested on July 22, 1991 after a young man escaped Jeffrey Dahmer and found police. Police found body parts and blood in Dahmer’s apartment, weapons, poloroid pictures and more evidence that Dahmer had killed and dismembered people in his apartment. Dahmer was convicted of murdering 16 young men and boys and, in 1992, was sentenced to 15 life imprisonment terms. In November 1994, Dahmer was convicted and sentenced for the murder of Steven Hicks in Bath, Ohio in 1978. Dahmer would be beaten to death by a fellow inmate at Columbia Correctional Institution on November 28, 1994.
Why we need to know more about Dahmer after 1978
Following the murder of Steven Hicks, Lionel Dahmer returned to his Bath, Ohio home with his new wife. Unbeknownst to Lionel, the body of Hicks was buried in the woods near the home. Lionel encouraged his son to enroll at the Ohio State University. Dahmer only completed one quarter before dropping out of school. His dad encouraged him to join the US Army. Dahmer did and worked is a combat medic in West Germany before being discharged because of his drinking and allegations that he raped two servicemen. When Dahmer returned to his dad’s home in Ohio, he continued to get into trouble including a disorderly conduct charge. His dad sent him to live with his grandma in Wisconsin.
For a time, life with grandma was good for Jeffrey Dahmer. He got a job as a phlebotomist in 1982 but was eventually laid off. He worked the night shift in a chocolate factory and began frequenting Milwaukee bathhouses. His membership was revoked in 1986 because he was drugging partners so they would be unconscious when he raped them. He went on to have several encounters with men, drugging them and raping them. One morning he woke up and found the young man dead. Dahmer would go on to lure young men and boys to his Milwaukee apartment, drug them, rape them, kill them, dissect them and sometimes cannibalize them. How did this man become so deranged yet so specific in his crimes? We need a sequel to “My Friend Dahmer” to figure out the evolution of this maniac.