Who Is Lionel Herbert Dahmer, Jeffrey Dahmer’s Father?

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Lionel Herbert Dahmer is the father of criminal Jeffrey Dahmer, whose murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of body parts — typically all or part of the skeleton. Dahmer was beaten to death by Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, in 1994. Dahmer was born May 21, 1960, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Moreover, where is Lionel Herbert Dahmer now?

Lionel Herbert Dahmer Now

Lionel Herbert Dahmer is of German and Welsh ancestry who is a Marquette University chemistry student and later a research chemist. According to some sources, as an infant, Dahmer was neglected. According to others, however, both of his parents doted on him and he was usually adored by them. His mother was known to be nervous, acquisitive for attention and pity, quarrelsome with her husband and neighbors, and demanding of attention.

Lionel Herbert Dahmer Wife

Lionel Herbert Dahmer was married with Joyce Dahmer, who suffered during her pregnancy with Jeffrey Dahmer. Lionel’s wife, Joyce, was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. According to the National Institutes of Health, this is characterized by “extreme confusion, loss of touch with reality, paranoia, delusions, disorganized thought process, and hallucinations.”

Moreover, after Joyce and Lionel divorced in 1978, custody of 12-year old David went to Joyce while Jeffrey remained with his dad since he was close to graduating high school.


By 1977, Dahmer’s grades had declined. His parents hired a private tutor, with limited success. Dahmer’s parents’ divorce was finalized on July 24, 1978. Joyce was awarded custody of her younger son and alimony payments.

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Lionel Herbert Dahmer’s Son, Jeffrey Dahmer

Dahmer had been an “energetic and happy child” but became notably subdued after double hernia surgery shortly before his fourth birthday. When Joyce gave birth in December, Jeffrey was allowed to choose the name of his new baby brother; he chose the name David.

From an early age, Dahmer manifested an interest in dead animals. His fascination with dead animals may have begun when, at the age of four, he saw his father removing animal bones from beneath the family home.

According to Lionel, Dahmer was elated by the sound the bones made and became more interested in animal bones, which he initially called his “fiddlesticks.” He would sometimes look around and beneath the family home for additional bones. Also, he investigated dead animals to understand where their bones were located.

During a chicken supper two years later, Dahmer inquired what would happen if the bones were placed in bleach. Lionel explained how to safely bleach and store animal bones to his son, pleased by what he considered to be his son’s scientific curiosity.

Dahmer was reportedly interested in how animals were “connected” and had a desire to learn how other people experienced their sex lives. In some cases, beginning in 1975, he decapitated a dog’s body before nailing the head to a tree and sticking it on a pole in the woods behind his home.

As a prank, Lionel later invited one of his friends to see the display and lied that he had found the remains by accident. The same year, Joyce started taking Equanil, laxatives, and sleeping pills more frequently to distance herself from her family.

Jeffrey Dahmer Murders

Dahmer committed his first murder in 1978, three weeks after his graduation. Six weeks after the murder of Hicks, Dahmer’s father and his fiancée returned to his home, where they discovered Jeffrey living alone at the house. On November 20, 1987, Dahmer killed Steven Tuomi, at a bar. Dahmer stated he had no memory of having killed Tuomi, and later informed investigators that he “could not believe this had happened.”

To dispose of Tuomi’s body, Dahmer purchased a large suitcase in which he transported the body to his grandmother’s residence. There, one week later, he severed the head, arms, and legs from the torso, then filleted the bones from the body before cutting the flesh into pieces small enough to handle. Dahmer then placed the flesh inside plastic garbage bags.

He wrapped the bones inside a sheet and pounded them into splinters with a sledgehammer. The entire dismemberment process took Dahmer approximately two hours to complete. He disposed of all of Tuomi’s remains—excluding the severed head—in the trash.

Two months after the Tuomi murder, Dahmer encountered a 14-year-old Native American male prostitute named James Doxtator. Dahmer met a 22-year-old bisexual man named Richard Guerrero outside a gay bar called The Phoenix, in 1988. Dahmer dismembered Guerrero’s body within 24 hours of murdering him. On January 30, 1989, Dahmer pleaded guilty to the charges of second-degree sexual assault and of enticing a child for immoral purposes. In addition, Dahmer’s father hired an attorney named Gerald Boyle to defend his son.

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