MILWAUKEE – It’s been 20 years since the steamy July morning when a screaming man hailed police and led them to the morgue that was Jeffrey Dahmer’s west side Milwaukee apartment.
Dahmer eventually detailed for police a ghastly record of torture and death, but some questions remain on whether anyone will ever know the true extent of Dahmer’s horrors.
Dahmer gave a 159-page confession, but a FBI profiler on the case believes the serial killer kept secrets.
“There was really no trail that led to him until a young man escaped. It could still be going on,” retired FBI agent Neil Purtell said.
Purtell is the retired Wisconsin FBI profiler assigned to the Dahmer case. He doubts anyone will ever know the real extent of Dahmer’s crimes.
“I think very few people ever disclose everything. They always hold something back. That’s their power. That’s their control,” Purtell said.
This is a true point in many cases of serial killers.
Dahmer committed his first known murder at age 18. The second was in 1987.
“They don’t stop. He started after high school. They don’t stop,” Purtell said.
Also very true. They do sometimes have periods of time when they do not kill. As I have said before, life happens. Just like with all of us something comes along and you slow down ‘hobbies’. Serial killers also have to slow down or stop at periods due to other things in their lives.
That sounds so strange but it is true.
Purtell said it is unlikely Dahmer didn’t kill during the nine years between those murders. Dahmer spent the first two years after the first murder in the Army stationed in Germany.
“His roommate while he was in the military has received a disability, in great part because of Dahmer’s activity toward him,” Purtell said.
After Dahmer’s arrest, that Army roommate alleged 18 months of rape and torture at Dahmer’s hands, and German detectives traveled to Wisconsin to question Dahmer about five still-unsolved murders near his Army base.
“We don’t know what he was involved in in Europe, in Germany when he was in the military there,” Purtell said.
I do not have enough information on the European claims to really form opinion. It is possible that he did not kill since he was out of his comfort zone and had so much else going on.
The Army booted Dahmer for drinking and insubordination and shipped him from Germany to south Florida, where a different homicidal drama soon played out.
A transient, Dahmer was working part-time at a sub shop and sleeping on the beach when the abduction and murder of 6-year-old Adam Walsh captured national headlines.
The Walsh case soon turned cold until Dahmer’s arrest 19 years later, and his front-page photos sparked a flurry of calls to police claiming Dahmer was Adam’s abductor.
“Dahmer was there. Four people who were at that mall identified him after he was arrested by Milwaukee police. They saw his photograph and said that’s the guy that we encountered,” Purtell said.
Dahmer denied killing Adam, so police ruled him out and closed the Walsh case three years ago without new evidence, blaming it on another dead serial killer. The former FBI profiler believes Dahmer is the more likely suspect.
“It’s a leap of imagination to think of a person like this now let loose, drinking a lot and unemployed and stressed out in Florida wouldn’t have engaged in something. It just would be a leap,” Purtell said.
The fact that Jefferey was in a place he was unfamiliar with and that he was drinking as heavily as he was right after being released may actually have kept him from killing.
“I think Dahmer would have graciously told the coppers that if he’d done anything to that boy,” Dahmer’s attorney Gerald Boyle said.
Dahmer’s lawyer believes his client revealed all his secrets after his arrest, noting Dahmer’s confession ran more than 150 pages.
“He wanted to unload things they didn’t even know happened, probably because that’s how mentally ill he was. He just wanted to tell them everything,” Boyle said.
But Boyle conceded that Dahmer fooled him early on. Boyle defended Dahmer against charges he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old three years before his murder arrests.
“I would have bet the farm that he wasn’t ever capable of hurting anybody,” Boyle said.
Boyle would later learn that at the time of that sexual assault case, Dahmer had already committed four murders.
I am not so sure that Jeffrey would have said that he did it. I do not think that he killed Adam Walsh but not just because he said he didn’t. Serial Killers are liars and they really only confess to what they want to, or if it will save their our asses.
Dahmer was killed in prison in 1994. The profiler said he visited Dahmer routinely before his death and continued to question him about Adam Walsh.
He said Dahmer initially denied killing Walsh but later commented that whoever killed Adam Walsh would not survive in prison, and Florida has the death penalty.
That statement does seem to raise an exclamation mark until you know that the prosecutors from Florida had already spoken with Dahmer and said there would not be a chance for the death penalty if he confessed.
I still stand by the points in that post and my main arguments against Dahmer being Adam’s killer.
Jeffery wanted a companion. Yes, he was attracted to younger looking guys but Adam was a little guy and only 6 years old. He was not what Jeffery was looking for.
Jeffery was not the abduction type. He lured and drugged and seduced his victims. It was part of the game to him, his fantasy.
The eye witnesses came forward AFTER seeing Jeffery on the news for his other killings. They were associating him with the crime. One of the witnesses gave a description, then said it could have been the security guard until they saw Jeffery on the news, then they said it was him.
In 1992, Florida police interviewed Dahmer in a prison in Wisconsin. At the request of John Walsh who had heard that some thought that Dahmer could be his son’s killer the Broward County district attorney took the death penalty off the table. They figured that that would increase the odds that Dahmer would confess if he did kill Adam.
I am not saying that Dahmer did not take names to the grave with him I just do not think Adam was one of them.