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Did Jeffrey Dahmer Actually Eat His Victim’s Hearts?

This article includes discussion of Jeffrey Dahmer’s real life crimes, including pedophilia and cannibalism.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story goes into grim detail regarding the serial killer’s crimes — including the cannibalization of his victims’ hearts. The Netflix miniseries, created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, follows the entire timeline of Jeffrey Dahmer’s life, following the serial killer from his childhood to his eventual murder at the Columbia Correctional Institution by a fellow inmate. Here is an explanation of Dahmer’s real-life cannibalistic tendencies, including whether or not he ate his victims’ hearts.

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Cannibalism was only part of Dahmer’s crime spree. Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer drugged, brutally murdered, and dismembered 17 young men and boys, some as young as 14 years old. Dahmer was charged with 16 subsequent life sentences for his crimes, having confessed to each murder and being found of sane mind at the time of the crimes. Dahmer’s killings were ritualistic and gruesome, including taking Polaroid pictures of his victims, dissolving their bodies through the use of chemicals, and permanently preserving their body parts. When police searched his house upon his arrest, they discovered various portions of his victims, including two entire skeletons and severed heads in varying states of decay.

Related: Why Did Jeffrey Dahmer Get Kicked Out Of The Army?


Jeffrey Dahmer’s Cannibalism Explained

Dahmer did, in fact, eat some of his victims’ hearts. During his confession in 1991, Dahmer himself admitted to eating various parts of his victims, including hearts, livers, biceps, and pieces of their thighs, even going as far as preparing and seasoning the organs before consuming them. Pieces of his victims’ remains — including two human hearts — were found in his refrigerator upon the time of his arrest. Tracy Edwards, Dahmer’s last intended victim, even told police upon his escape that Dahmer intended to consume his heart. It is unknown how many of his victims Dahmer cannibalized, as the killer never revealed these details during his confession.

Why Jeffrey Dahmer Ate His Victims’ Hearts

There are several theories circulating as to why Jeffrey Dahmer cannibalized his victims. Many experts say the act was a bid for power and control over his victims; something Dahmer lacked in his early life. Nancy Glass, the only journalist to interview Dahmer, explained (via The Kyle & Jackie O Show) that the act stemmed from a desire to keep his victims with him, something Dahmer confirmed in his confession. If his victims were a part of him, then they could never leave him. Glass explained that these abandonment issues — combined with shame in his sexuality — compelled Dahmer to keep his victims with him any way he could.

Because Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered by Christopher Scarver in 1994, the complete details of his cannibalism may never be understood. Though Dahmer would frequently mime his cannibalistic acts to torment other prisoners, the killer didn’t enjoy discussing these aspects of his crimes with law enforcement. However, the cannibalistic acts portrayed in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story were in fact based on the real-life evidence and confessions in the Jeffrey Dahmer case.

Next: Is John Wayne Gacy Connected To Jeffrey Dahmer? Why He’s In Monster

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