Destructive Hostility: The Jeffret Dahmer Case: A Psychiatric and Forensic Study of a Serial Killer

Jeffrey Jentzen, Medical College of Wisconsin
George Palermo, Medical College of Wisconsin
Thomas Johnson Dr., Marquette University Retired Professor
Khang-Cheng Ho, Medical College of Wisconsin
K. Alan Stormo, Medical College of Wisconsin
John Teggatz, Medical College of Wisconsin

Accepted version. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Vol. 15, No. 4 (1994): 283-294. DOI. © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. 1994. Used with permission.


We were involved as forensic experts in the case of the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. We discuss the scene and victim autopsy findings, with a brief consideration of the basic emotion of hostility. These findings support the thesis that at the basis of this serial killer's behavior were primary unconscious feelings of hate that he had channeled into a sadistic programmed destruction of 17 young men. The interview of the serial killer, the photographic scene documentation, and the autopsy findings stress the ambivalent homosexuality of the killer, his sexual sadism, his obsessive fetishism, and his possible cannibalism and necrophilia.