Sunday, July 22, 2012

Case Study~ Jeffery Dahmer

Jeffery Dahmer is a notorious serial killer that terrorized Milwaukee from 1978 to 1991.  His victims were dismembered and buried.  It is said that some of his sufferers were eaten; however he denies that it was a habit.  This case study will cover Jeffery Dahmer’s biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, and behavioral components of psychosexual disorders.
Jeffery Dahmer
Jeffery Dahmer was born in May of 1960 in Akron Ohio.  His father was a chemist, and his mother was a stay at home mother.  Joyce, Dahmer’s mother had troubles in both his and his brother’s pregnancies thus possibly contributing his demise.  Between his adolescents and early teen years, Jeffery showed little to no interest in hobbies or interactions with other kids, but rather rode his bike around in search of dead animals. By his teens Dahmer was by all classifications an alcoholic  (Chapman, Meyer, & Weaver, 2009).  His parents separated when he was eighteen, completely abandoning him one day while his father was off on a job out of state his mother packed up his younger brother and moved without taking Jeffery with her (Chapman, Meyer, & Weaver, 2009).  1978 is when he crossed from experimenting on animals and graduated to humans. He often fanaticized about male encounters.
In 1982 Dahmer was discharged from the United States Army and move in with his Grandmother in Wisconsin.  August of 1986 Dahmer was charged with indecent exposure and again in September.  Here he received a suspended sentence and ordered to obtain counseling.  In 1987 he had killed again  (Newton, 2006).  Two were killed in 1988 all the while he continued to experiment with dead animals.  In September his Grandmother had had enough and asked him to move.  This second abandonment seemed to speed up his horrific crime.  The day he found an apartment in the Oxford Apartment community, he did not waste any time to find his next victim who was abducted the very next day.  While this young man escaped, Dahmer was only placed on one-year imprisonment, which he only served ten months. While awaiting his sentencing, Dahmer killed another young man only two months after his trial in 1989.  The carnage continued as Dahmer acclimated himself to his freedom. Four victims were slain in 1990.  The eight that fell pray to his idealistic ways came in 1991 (Chapman, Meyer, & Weaver, 2009). A victim he selected on July 22 brought Dahmer’s house of cards down.  While Dahmer attempted to restrain him, the victor fought back and ran into the street where he located a Milwaukee police car. 
Dahmer was immediately taken into custody after the plethora of evidence that was located in his apartment. Dahmer had photos of corpses, bodies decomposing in vats of Dahmer’s trial began in January of 1992 where he entered a plea of guilty but insane.   The jury found him guilty but not insane.  Jeffery Dahmer was found dead two years later at the hands of another inmate who claimed he was doing the work of God  (Newton, 2006).
Biological, Psychodynamic, Cognitive, and Behavioral components of Jeffery Dahmer
It was possible at one time or another that Dahmer suffered from antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, alcohol dependence, marijuana abuse, sadistic personality disorder, pedophilia, mixed personality disorder, each one of these fall under Axis II of the DSM-IV-TR tier.  While his mother took medications while pregnant it is possible that what she took affected her baby’s outcome.  His desire to have sex with corpses was visible during his teens when he preformed his own version of necrophilia (Chapman, Meyer, & Weaver, 2009).  While Dahmer was not alleged sexual abused as a child, Dahmer 
Dahmer often had nightmares where his penis was missing or removed.  Based on Freud’s mental development this dream could have malformed his ego, super ego and id, because it deals with him feeling inadequate, and something missing as a child.  His father Lionel noted, that Dahmer seemed to grow inward and would sit for hours without emotion (Dahmer, 1994). 
There has been no information provided about Jeffery being the victim of sexual abuse, the bickering between his mother and father was intense.  This fostered his feelings for being alone and unwanted.  It is suggested that because of these feelings, it was easier for him to turn to murder and evil thoughts.  Jeffery Dahmer’s thoughts of dread and doom are strong indications of depression. 
            Antisocial Personality Disorder is a part of the Personality disorders group in DSM-IV-TR cluster B, that also includes narcissistic, antisocial, and borderline personality disorders.  Someone with personality disorder is defined as Disorders characterized by extreme and rigid personality traits that cause distress or impairment  (Hansell & Damour, 2008).  Most of these are life long problems visible in childhood. Antisocial personality disorder is reserved for those whose behavior is un-socialized and those who have repeated conflicts with society. 
            Sexual deviations are for individuals whose sexual pursuits are directed to objects versus the opposite sex.  Most are completed under inexplicable circumstances like pedophilia, sexual sadism, necrophilia and fetishism.  While many feel their acts are distasteful, they are unable to control their addictions. 
            Dahmer is a merciless well-known Milwaukee serial killer who murdered 15 young men.  While Dahmer was found guilty of murder, he was not found insane for his actions.  His sexual deviations, and anti-social disorder all contribute to is spree.  When terrors such as Jeffery Dahmer choose, as he did, to have the medical professionals do research on why he was the way he was are reasons why we do what we do as psychologist.  Dahmer will always be a mystery. 


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            Within Insecure Attachment Patterns. Psychoanalytic Inquiry , 541-575.
Chapman, K., Meyer, R. G., & Weaver, C. (2009). Case Studies in Abnormal Behavior Eighth
            Edition. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Dahmer, L. (1994). A Fathers Story. New York, New York: Marrow.
Farmer, F. (N.D.). Serial Killers and Self Concept. Retrieved January 27, 2012, from Serial
            Killer Pages-Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
Hansell, J., & Damour, L. (2008). Abnormal psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley &
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Newton, M. (2006). The Encylopedia of Serial Killers Second Edition. New York, NY:
            Checkmark Books.
Phillip W. Long, M. (2011). Retrieved January 27, 2012, from Antisocial
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Schechter, H. (2004). The Serial Killer Files, the who, what, where, how and why of the worlds
            most terrifying murderers. New York, New York: Ballantine Brooks.
Vronsky, P. (2004). Serial Killers The method and madness of Monsters. New York, New York:
            Berkley Books.

1 comment:

  1. Actually Dohmer was said to be a normal child until, at the age of 4 or so, he had to have an operation for a double hernia in his groin area. Apparently he did not understand what was happening, and the pain was so great that he thought his genitals had been cut off.

    After this he became withdrawn, and his fascination with dead animals etc. Began. He was also molested by a boy at some point, but I don't recall the age.