Jeffrey Dahmer's parents, Lionel Dahmer and Joyce Dahmer, were not very much involved with Jeffrey when he grew up. While his father was a research chemist, his mother switched her profession time and again. During interviews, the couple, who got divorced later, claimed that Jeffrey was raised in a conventional household. Lionel, 86, is still alive and now lives with her second wife in Ohio, however, Joyce died in 2000 due to breast cancer.
Many people, including true-crime enthusiasts, theorists, and psychiatrists alike, still have nightmares about the horrifying acts committed by Milwaukee cannibal and American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer's terrible murder and cannibalism rampage didn't halt until his capture in 1991 after one of his victims escaped his trap.
Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer sexually assaulted and killed at least 17 men and men. He is accused of luring guys into his house, drugging and killing them before having s*x with their bodies. However, it didn't end there. After that, Dahmer would slowly and purposefully skin, dismember, and consume the victims' mutilated flesh.
Every detail of his early life has been thoroughly scrutinized since his murders were first made public in an effort to uncover any hints as to how he came to be the heinous murderer he was. Jeffrey seemed to have a pretty calm life before turning into a terrible serial killer. There were four people in his family: himself, his parents, Lionel and Joyce Dahmer, and his brother.
Netflix's Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story looks into his early years and his relationship with his parents. Many viewers of the show have been wanting to know about them and where they are now. Well, we've got you covered.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s Parents: While His Father, Lionel Dahmer, Is Still Alive, His Mother, Joyce Dahmer, Died in 2000 Due to Breast Cancer; Interview, House, Divorce & More; Where Is His Father Now?
The birth parents of Jeffrey Dahmer, Lionel and Joyce Dahmer, have been open about their son's childhood and recognized that they were ignorant of his mental state and violent instincts when he was younger. Despite their separation after their divorce, his parents claim that they raised Jeffrey in a conventional household and that, unlike the majority of serial killers, he was not mistreated when he was a youngster.
Given that he was a Ph.D. candidate pursuing a degree in chemistry at the time, Jeffrey's father Lionel admitted in his book A Father's Story that he was mainly absent during his son's formative years. He also admitted that while thinking he was doing Dahmer no harm as a parent, he had a sneaking suspicion that his own acts may have had some effect on his son.
Jeffrey Dahmer spent his time riding his bike around rural roads between the ages of 12 and 14, gathering roadkill and stockpiling animal carcasses, according to Lionel Dahmer's further explanation. It was the only troubling element of Dahmer's early existence that he and Joyce were unaware of until far later. In an interview on Larry King Live, Lionel explained:
If I had known about the roadkill, that would've been a red flag. I would've done something immediately, intervened. But before that, there wasn't really anything.
According to reports, Carl Wahlstrom, a forensic psychiatrist who interviewed, evaluated, and testified as an expert witness in the case against Dahmer, claimed that "he and his dad, as a father-son activity…bleached the connective tissue and the hair" from the bodies of dead rodents they would find under their house, leaving only a bucket full of bones. He said,
It was like a personalized rattle. The family would call them his fiddlesticks.
However, the strange behavior was initially explored out of scientific curiosity rather than a propensity for murder and cannibalism. Given that his father Lionel was a research chemist, bone bleaching required the use of specialized knowledge.
In the interview, Jeffrey Dahmer's father claimed that Lionel and his wife were essentially Jeffrey's only visitors while he was inside. Jeffrey's stepmother, Shari Dahmer, seemed to adore and cherish him. She gave Jeffrey a warm hug and wished him a happy Valentine's Day during the Inside Edition interview. She knew him since he was 18 years old. According to recent reports, Lionel, who is 86 years old and still alive in 2022, and his wife Shari now reside in Ohio, and since 2020, he has avoided the media.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey's mother Joyce moved to Fresno, California, after the divorce where she worked as the manager of a retirement community in the 1980s. She switched careers, though, and began leading the Central Valley AIDS Team, which dealt with STDs in the Fresno region, in 1991. Joyce reportedly traveled by plane to Milwaukee on many occasions to meet Jeffrey following his incarceration. She was identified as a co-defendant in a wrongful death case brought by the family of Steven Hicks in 1992, along with Lionel and Shari.
She also battled her ex-husband to get her son's brain investigated after Jeffrey Dahmer was brutally bludgeoned in 1994. She ultimately lost the legal battle, and Jeffrey was cremated in accordance with his wishes. Surprisingly, according to sources, Joyce even attempted suicide when Jeffrey was found guilty; however, she was unsuccessful and ultimately died on November 27, 2000, from breast cancer.
Additionally, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is now available on Netflix.