Father of One of America's Most Notorious Serial Killers Dies

Lionel Dahmer is dead at 87
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2023 6:05 PM CST
Father of One of America's Most Notorious Serial Killers Dies
In a 1992 file photo, Jeffrey Dahmer enters the courtroom in Milwaukee where he changed his plea to guilty but insane in the mutilation slayings of 15 young males.   (AP Photo, File)

The man who fathered Jeffrey Dahmer, whose crimes made his name practically synonymous with "serial killer," has died nearly three decades after his son was killed in prison, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. Lionel Dahmer was 87 and in hospice in Ohio. The elder Dahmer appeared blindsided when his son was arrested in 1991 for killing 17 young men in a bloody spree that began in 1978, saying his son "was not born a monster," but "how could anyone be polite and kind and pretty normal otherwise and yet do these things unless they are extremely troubled and insane?"

Lionel Dahmer visited his son in prison monthly after his conviction and even recorded some of their conversations, notes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In one, he says "I had weird thoughts too in my childhood. You're just like me, Jeff. Amazing all the times that I should have been caught I never was. Nothing. Absolutely nothing is too great not to be forgiven." Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered by a fellow inmate in 1994. "I don't think I'll ever come to terms with it," Lionel Dahmer said of his son's killings in a 1992 interview. "Nothing will ever be the same again. We will go on with life … but part of our minds can never forget this nightmare." (More Jeffrey Dahmer stories.)

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