Jeffrey Dahmer’s Dad Thinks He Knows What Is To Blame For Son Becoming A Serial Killer

Jeffrey Dahmer's dad has said he knows what's to blame for making his son become a serial killer.
Credit: @DiscoveryID/Twitter & Alamy

Jeffrey Dahmer’s dad thinks he knows what’s to blame for making his son become a serial killer.

Lionel Dahmer has spoken extensively about his son, Jeffrey, and the many possible causes of his horrific crimes.

The 86-year-old appeared on CBS’ Inside Edition a few years ago and discussed his son, who murdered 17 young men and boys between 1978 and 1991.

In the debate, Lionel alleged that his son’s mother, Joyce, took a variety of pills during her pregnancy, and he said, via Meaww: “My ex-wife had been taking about 26 tablets of different medications about one month after becoming pregnant.”

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This is also referenced in the hit Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, in which Lionel – played by Richard Jenkins – claimed: “You do know that pills are what started this whole thing.

“How many pills [do] you think she was on when she was pregnant with him? Thousands. She was on sleeping pills, sedatives, seizure medication.”

He added: “She never even held him. She scared the s*** out of him. And then she just left. She got in her car, she drove away, she left that kid in that house all summer.”

Jeffrey’s father and his second wife, Shari, also appeared in a TV special, Dahmer on Dahmer, where he made the allegation that Joyce would rarely touch their son when he was an infant.

On the show, Shari alleged: “When Jeff was born, the grandparents were not allowed to hold the baby.

“Joyce didn’t want anyone touching the baby, or breathing on it. She was afraid of germs.”

Although the Netflix series suggests Jeffrey’s crimes were influenced by his father teaching him how to dissect roadkill – this did not happen in real life, Marie Claire reports.

As Lionel explains in his book, ‘A Father’s Story’, he did teach his son about preserving animal bones, as Jeffrey had shown a keen interest and Lionel had a PhD in chemistry.

But he did not show him how to dissect roadkill or do it with him.

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Lionel has also debated whether ‘great evil’ could be passed on to children in his book ‘A Father’s Story’.

He wrote, via The Tab: “As a scientist, I wonder if the potential for great evil resides deep in the blood that some of us may pass on to our children at birth.”

During a Good Morning America segment, Lionel said that ‘the closest I could come to why—to give some type of a causality for all this—is that I think it was a cumulative thing’.

Lionel also mentioned a double scrotum hernia operation Jeffrey had undergone at age four as one of the potential triggers for his son’s behaviour.

“That plus a blow to the back of the head, plus I don’t know these various incidents, going around and getting roadkill,” Lionel continued in the GMA interview.

“All these things came to a cumulative ending and it hooked on, I firmly believe it hooked into his sexuality at age 14 or 15.

“There really were no overt signs. He wasn’t foaming at the mouth or talking to himself in his sleep, or acting in a weird fashion.”

Jeffrey Dahmer's mum, Joyce.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother believed society has a prejudice against mothers and does ‘blame’ them. Credit: Hard Copy via YouTube

However, Jeffrey’s mother, Joyce, has given a different view on what she thinks turned her child into a killer.

According to The Sun US, she told MSNBC that her son was a ‘fantastic young man’ and had been a ‘perfectly normal young boy’.

In another interview with Hard Copy, Joyce went on to claim that her son was a victim of a ‘compulsion’ and ‘obsession’.

She said: “I know this sounds strange but he did not mean to hurt anyone. I still love my son. I never stopped loving my son. Jeff was a victim of a compulsion. An obsession.”

Jeffrey’s mother went on to say that her son needed therapy in prison, adding: “He’s not a monster. He’s a human being and I think he deserves some help.”

When the discussion switched to who was to blame for Jeffrey’s troubles, Joyce said she did a ‘good job’ being a parent.

She said: “I don’t know how this sounds but, I, I knew that I did a good job as a parent. I knew this had to come from something outside of Jeff.

“I think there’s a lot to be learned and one of the things our society does have to be aware of is that we still do have a prejudice, stereotype. And we still do blame mothers.”

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According to The Sun US, Joyce visited Jeffrey in prison several times, which meant a flight from California to Wisconsin, where he was imprisoned.

She is believed to have spent her time working with HIV and AIDS patients in California.

Joyce passed away from breast cancer in November 2000.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, via The Sun, that Julio Mastro, the executive director of the HIV community centre where Jeffrey’s mother worked, said: “She was enthusiastic, and she was compassionate, and she turned her own tragedy into being able to have a great deal of empathy for people with HIV.”

Lionel and Joyce argued about what to do with Jeffrey’s brain after he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate in 1994.

Jeffrey’s mother told a local newspaper that Jeffrey ‘always said that, if he could be of any help, he wanted to do whatever he could’, and she wanted to have his brain studied after his death, The Washington Post reported.

But Lionel wanted his son’s brain to be cremated—which is ultimately what happened, as per the Los Angeles Times.

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.