New recordings offer insight into Jeffrey Dahmer’s mind

Posted at 6:53 AM, September 15, 2023 and last updated 8:31 PM, September 15, 2023


MILWAUKEE (Court TV) — More than 30 years after he was arrested and charged with the murder and dismemberment of 15 boys and men, newly released recordings are offering insight into Jeffrey Dahmer‘s thoughts.

mugshot of jeffrey dahmer

Mug shot of Jeffrey Dahmer taken on July 23, 1991 by the Milwaukee Police Department.

Dahmer was arrested in 1991 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1992.

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While he was behind bars at the Columbia Correctional Institution, Dahmer had a series of phone calls with his father, Lionel, which were recorded. Never previously released, Fox Nation obtained the recordings and is debuting them in a four-part docuseries, “My Son Jeffrey: The Dahmer Family Tapes” on Sept. 18.

In clips of the docuseries made available early to Court TV, Lionel can be heard questioning his son about the gruesome crimes.

Lionel: Something got terribly out of control. Nothing got resolved at all. It was just a terrible mixture. Do you think that maybe Satan was involved, or…?
Jeffrey: It was just a real strong driving obsession that became more and more powerful.

The docuseries features interviews with figures who were involved in the case, including FBI profiler Dan Craft, who interviewed Dahmer after his arrest. Dahmer told him that he “didn’t necessarily want to keep killing initially. He did tell (Craft) though once the killing started, it was such an adrenaline rush — it met his fantasy.”

Former Milwaukee Journal reporter Anne E. Schwartz contributed to the docuseries and said Dahmer’s father tried multiple times to steer his son in the right direction, whether that be pushing him to join the Army or sending him to live with his grandmother. “Everything his father has wanted to try to get him going in the right direction, Jeffrey has failed. So now there’s Lionel Dahmer saying, ‘What am I going to do with my son? What’s left?'”

Lionel: Have you done any praying at all to God?
Jeffrey: Not yet. No, I haven’t.
Lionel: Why do you feel that you haven’t? Can I ask that?
Jeffrey: Because … I feel that, I don’t know, I just feel uncomfortable.
Lionel: Yeah.
Jeffrey: Because if I fail again —
Lionel: Oh, but we’re all — I’m failing too.
Jeffrey: Yeah.
Lionel: Yeah, all the time I’m failing.
Jeffrey: I just haven’t psyched myself up to do that yet.

In what may be the most chilling clip released by Fox Nation, Dahmer told his father that he had every intention of killing more people: “I was so wrapped up in what I was doing. I felt I was gonna continue doing that for the rest of my life.”

At his sentencing, Dahmer addressed the court and said that he was never motivated by hate, but rather by illness. “I hated no one. I knew I was sick, or evil, or both. Now I believe I was sick.”

Dahmer died in prison in 1994 after he was attacked by other inmates.