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Episode 14: Jeffrey Dahmer Trial Part 1

The trial of Jeffrey Dahmer, 31, began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 30, 1992. After his arrest on July 23, 1991, Dahmer had been questioned by police about the evidence found at his apartment. Over the following two weeks, Dahmer spent over 60 hours confessing his crimes, waiving his right to a lawyer, adding he wished to confess all as he had done as “I created this horror and it only makes sense I do everything to put an end to it.” He readily admitted to having murdered 17 young men since 1987. Of these victims, 12 were killed in his North 25th Street apartment in Milwaukee. Three further victims were murdered and dismembered at his grandmother’s West Allis residence, with his first and second victims being murdered at his parents’ home in Bath, Ohio and at the Ambassador Hotel in Wisconsin respectively.

He was tried in Milwaukee for the 15 counts of murder before Judge Laurence Gram, pleading guilty to the charges brought against him, although he did not testify at trial. The issue debated by opposing counsels at Dahmer’s trial was to determine whether he suffered from either a mental or a personality disorder: the prosecution claiming that any disorders did not deprive Dahmer of the ability to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to deprive him of the ability to resist his impulses; the defense arguing that Dahmer suffered from a mental disease and was driven by obsessions and impulses he was unable to control. Convicted of fifteen murders, Dahmer was sentenced to fifteen terms of life imprisonment on February 15, 1992. He did not testify in the trial, but read out a statement after his conviction. “I never wanted freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself. I knew I was sick or evil or both. Doctors have told me about my sickness and now I have some peace. I know how much harm I have caused. I feel so bad for what I did to those poor families.”

Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in prison by a fellow inmate on the morning of November 28, 1994.

Listen to the trial proceedings here.

Jeffrey Dahmer Criminal Confession

Watch the trial on Youtube