What Was Jeffrey Dahmer’s Cause of Death? How did the serial killer and cannibal from Milwaukee, Wisconsin die?
Dahmer was murdered in prison on November 28, 1994 by another inmate, a convicted murderer named Christopher Scarver. He died at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin. Another convicted murderer, Jesse Anderson, who murdered his wife outside a restaurant, was also murdered in the same attack.
Dahmer’s serial killings are featured in a new Netflix series. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story began streaming on September 21, 2022. “In more than a decade, 17 teenagers and young men have been murdered by convicted murderer Jeffrey Dahmer. How did he evade arrest for so long?” asks the Netflix site for the show.
Here’s what you need to know about Dahmer’s death:
A 1994 Wisconsin State Journal article, available on Newspapers.com, describes how Scarver, now 53, “hit Jeffrey Dahmer’s head with a metal rod and left him gurgling on the floor.”
“God told me to do it,” Scarver said, according to the article. Scarver, Dahmer and Anderson were hired to clean a prison gym, the article says.
An article in the Akron Beacon Journal dated November 29, 1994, the day after Dahmer’s death, said that his “bloody body was found in a staff restroom at 8:10 a.m., 12 minutes after he and two other inmates arrived for janitorial duty. ”
Dahmer was 34 years old when he died. He was found “breathing but unresponsive” and pronounced dead in a hospital an hour later, according to the story, which can be accessed via Newspapers.com.
This account states that Dahmer was “beaten so severely that his face was unrecognizable”. The motive was unclear. According to this story, Dahmer died of “severe head injuries”.
The 1994 Beacon Journal story states that Dahmer was “kept isolated” during his first year in prison, but was then allowed “to mingle with other prisoners.”
Another inmate tried to kill him before he died during a service in the prison chapel in July by trying to “slit Dahmer’s throat with a homemade knife,” the report said. The razor blade fell out, thwarting the attack.
The then corrections minister told the newspaper that Dahmer was not under supervision at all times when doing the janitorial work.
Then District Attorney E. Michael McCann told the Associated Press at the time that Dahmer was considered a “racist killer” because “most of his victims were young, gay black men,” so he was a target in prison.
A 1994 Associated Press article on Dahmer’s autopsy states that he remained restrained until the autopsy began.
He was “bludgeoned to death,” the story says.
The autopsy was performed by Robert Huntington III.
Dahmer died within minutes of the beatings, the AP reported.
This AP story reported that “prison records … quote an inmate who said he heard Scarver comment that he expected to be paid for the murders.”
The story goes that Dahmer and Anderson were murdered “with a 20-inch metal bar from exercise equipment.”
Dahmer’s brain was removed during the autopsy and “kept for possible study,” the AP reported.
A 1994 Associated Press article, also accessed through Newspapers.com, stated that Dahmer died after being taken off life support.
Dahmer had been tasked with cleaning a prison toilet when he was attacked, the article said.
Scarver was the “only suspect,” according to the AP.
For years there have been questions about Dahmer’s death, namely: How could Scarver get away with it when prison guards were around?
The article quoted Columbia County Sheriff James D. Smith as saying that “eight people were in the prison’s recreation area at the time of the attacks, including two wardens, a recreation director and other inmates.”
Anderson and Dahmer were found in different locations; Dahmer was spotted in a staff restroom “in a pool of blood,” according to the AP, while Anderson was spotted in a locker room.
The AP article states that a “bloody broomstick” was found near Dahmer.
Scarver, now 53, remains in prison but was shipped abroad, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice database.
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