Jeffrey Dahmer’s Stepmother, Shari Dahmer, Opens Up in New Documentary
Shari Dahmer is hoping to shed some light on what may have caused her “nice, kind boy” to become one of America’s most infamous serial killers, more than 20 years later. Jeffrey Dahmer, a former chocolate factory worker, was sentences to 15 consecutive life terms in prison in 1992 after he confessed to killing and dismembering 17 boys and young men.
His horrific crimes, which involved torture, necrophilia and cannibalism, will always shock the nation. Oxygen Media will take the nation’s shock and interest and explore Dahmer in a new two-night special Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks. In the documentary, his father Lionel Dahmer, along with his stepmother Shari, came forward to spread some light on their son; his background and what could’ve possibly caused him to snap the way he did.
His stepmother told Fox News, “What I wanted to do, and what most people wanted to do, was mother him. He was just vulnerable. Even if I wasn’t his stepmother all his life, as a mother you sense those things. And he was very vulnerable. He needed love and needed attention.”
In the special, viewers will learn that Dahmer’s mother, Joyce Flint, suffered from mental illnesses and reportedly took up to 27 pills a day while she was pregnant, including antidepressants, growth hormones, and progesterone. There’s been a speculation that the mixture of all of the prescribed medications could have affected the fetus. His stepmother revealed that Dahmer’s grandparents weren’t even allowed to hold him as a baby because his mother was terrified of germs. His father also claimed that his mother wouldn’t even touch him unless it was to change his diaper or for pictures.
When his stepmother got into the picture, she realized he had a drinking problem. “When I moved in, I had my own mini bar and the bottles kept lessening in [liquor],” she said. “When Jeff got drunk and had his father’s car, he didn’t remember where it was. We had to track the car down one time because he had parked it somewhere and didn’t remember where. But alcohol was the only thing at that time that stood out.”
His parents realized that his alcoholism was quickly worsening and when college didn’t work to help him get his life together, they encouraged him to join the Army in 1979. “He ended up with a discharge and it wasn’t what you would call a dishonorable discharge,” she said. “He just didn’t fit in. The only reason we knew he had been rejected by the Army was that his Army trunk was sent to the house.”
The special will also reveal that for the first time two of his servicemen, Preston Davis and Billy Capshaw, accused Jeffrey of rape and sexual assault. His stepmother claimed to have wanted to get him psychiatric help. “We wanted to get Jeff help. Lionel would drive him down to he building and Jeff would go to the front door and go out the back door,” she said.
When Dahmer lived on his own in Milwaukee, his stepmother would visit him at his one-bedroom apartment. It was the same apartment where police would find stored body parts of his victims. She now thinks that he was covering his grisly tracks from her. “I taught [the] boys how to clean,” she explained. “When I went to Jeff’s apartment, I went through his refrigerator and his bathroom. I pulled back the bathroom’s shower curtain. At that point, his apartment was perfectly clean. Spotless.”
Dahmer and his stepmother were very close but her world came crashing down when he was arrested in 1991 at age 31 when a man with a pair of handcuffs dangling from his wrists escaped from his apartment and told police he tried to kill him. Dahmer admitted to detectives that his first slaughter took place in 1978. He admitted to luring men at bars and taking them back to his apartment where he’d drug and murder them.
Despite the public scrutiny, the Dahmers did not change their names, they refused. “I didn’t feel ashamed,” she said. “We were not guilty.” She then went on to say, “You love the sinner, not the sin. It’s in the Bible… If you look at the first trial pictures, you see Jeff in lousy clothes. Well, Lionel and I got up there and literally took the suit off of Lionel’s back, shoes, shirt and tie and we gave them to Jeff. So that he can go to court looking decent. [But] he knew there was no way we [could] condone what he did.”
In 1994, Daher was 34-years-old when he died after being bludgeoned to death by a fellow inmate.
Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks premiered on Saturday and continues tonight on Oxygen.