Forensic Nursing in Criminal Investigations: Jeffery Dahmer

Jeffery Dahmer was what most people in society think of as an average guy
living in the suburbs of a Midwestern city. He had a very twisted fetish
which was not discovered until 17 young men died as a result of Dahmer’s
actions.

There were clues which were not viewed as significant by law
enforcement until it was to late. People did not believe a quiet person
like Dahmer could do harm.

Jeffery Dahmer was raised in Ohio. His parents divorced when he was still a
teenager. This was also when he killed his first victim. He did this in Ohio
and it was never found that Dahmer had done this until he confessed 14 years
later.

Jeffery went for nine years before killing his next person in
Milwaukee Wisconsin. In those nine years, Dahmer lead a fairly quite life
for a Midwestern boy. He graduated high school, went to college but dropped
out and went into the army but was thrown out because of his excessive
drinking. He eventually got a factory job in Milwaukee. From there he
discovered the gay bars in the area where he would pick up his victims. This
is where the investigation started.

As stated before, Dahmer had shown some clues which were missed. The
biggest clue, if maybe a forensic specialist was involved, it might have
saved a life.

In the early hours of 27th May 1991, three police officers
were called to a rundown suburb of Milwaukee by a 911 call from a couple of
black teenage girls who had come across a young Asian boy who was running
around naked and rambling incoherently.

Although the boy was unable to explain what had happened to him, Sandra Smith and her cousin Nicole Childress, both 18, were convinced he was genuinely scared of the tall white
man who had followed him out into the street and was now trying to persuade
him to come back to his apartment.

But when the police arrived they paid more heed to the white man than the two black girls. The man told the officers that the Asian boy was 19 and was his lover, and convinced them
they had simply had a lovers tiff. They agreed to escort the teenager back
to the man’s apartment and left them to it, despite the protestations of the
two girls.

It was to prove a costly mistake and one that, when it became
public six weeks later, proved to Milwaukee’s black community that the
city’s white establishment and the police force in particular, were
inherently racist.

This was the 13th of 17 boys Dahmer killed and mutilated. If police believed
the two girls, four people could still be alive today. If it was even
reported to a forensic nurse to investigate the incoherent boy, they would
have discovered he was drunk and drugged. They then might have investigated
the situation closer.

Jeffery Dahmer was finally discovered by accident. He had drugged a black
man but evidently not enough. The man he had drugged came around enough to
get out of one hand cuff and then punch Dahmer in the face and run. The
black man was spotted by the police walking along with a handcuff on his
wrist. They asked them what is going on and he explained he met some weird
guy which has drugged him and was threatening him with a knife. The police
followed him back to this apartment where Jeffery answered the door.

Jeffery stated stating that he had lost his temper with the man and apologized and
said he would get the key. One of the officers followed him into the
apartment and noticed polaroids on the table of dismembered bodies. He then
noticed the refrigerator in the picture was Jeffery’s and so the Police
officer opened the fridge and could not believe what he saw. There was a
human head staring back at him. The police man screamed at what he saw.
They immediately arrested Dahmer.

Forensic investigators then did a complete assessment of Dahmer. First was
his criminal history. He only had criminal history of child molestation up
to this date. He was tossed out of the Military for perennial drunkenness.
He managed to fly under the radar which was fairly amazing considering his
life.

Then came the interesting part; Jeffery’s psychiatric history. Looking back
with the forensic investigators, Dahmer showed signs of trouble early in
life. Looking at his behavior when he had encounters with the Law. He was
amazingly able to keep his cool. He did not believe killing was wrong. It
was an obsession for him and he did what ever it took to keep it quiet.

When the Forensic investigators discussed with Jeffery his attitude and
insight of his crime, they got some interesting answers from Jeffery. He
came up with this statement when asked if he believed in god. “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.” This was some of the reason he pleaded guilty but insane. The
forensic investigators on the case could not validate his insanity plea for
several reasons.

First he was functioning in society, he did not have the best job, but was
able to hold down a position and work and keep a household. He was clean
cut for the most part and was able to carry on a intelligent conversation
with most people. He always had a pleasnt voice. His father was
interviewed about Jeffery’s childhood. He stated Jeffery essentially had a
normal life apart from his parents divorce. His father does remember
Jeffery becoming increasingly remote and inward looking at about age six.
His father states he continued to turn inward and felt know one could save
his soul.

Jeffery was did not have a lot of friends. Even the forensic investigators
had a hard time understanding why Jeffery did what he did. Jeffery was
truly a unique individual who had no care for other humans. He would drug
them, then kill them and chop them into pieces. The heads and genitals he
would save a trophies and the other muscles he would eat. The other items
he would dissolve in acids and send down the drains.

Even though he pleaded guilty but insane, the jury convicted him sane and
guilty. He was sentenced to 957 years or 15 life terms. The forensic
nurses might have made a mistake and not kept him with people he might not
be compatible with in Prison because he was murdered while in prison. They
should have kept him from harm. Most people in society do not feel bad he
was murdered. It was a human life but he killed 15 others so it might have
been justified homicide.

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