Jeffrey Dahmer’s Polaroid 

By: MRT Desk

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The United States of America has produced a lot of serial killers, and Jeffrey Dahmer is one of them. Touted as one of the most notorious killers of all time, this American serial killer was active between 1978 and 1991 when he committed several heinous crimes, including murdering 17 men, dismembering their bodies, having sex with them, and finally taking photos of their corpses. 

Yes, you heard it right. 

Dahmer would keep a record of the people he had murdered in his photos. Reportedly, all his victims led rich lives and left behind loving families. Netflix released a limited series on the life of the criminal – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, that gives you the bone-chilling details of Dahmer’s murders and his life. 

Dahmer’s brutal crimes and terrible act of taking photos of all his victims disturbed many people. So, why did he do that? Read this article till the end to find out. 

How did Dahmer Kill his Victims? 

Dahmer was a very planned killer. He would plan his murders very meticulously. Reportedly, he often picked his victims from malls, bus stops, and gay bars and lured them back to his home on the pretext of money or sex. He would then provide his victims with alcohol laced with drugs and kill them. 

It wouldn’t just stop here. After murdering, Dahmer would have sex with their bodies and dismember their parts. In one of his bone-chilling murders, he drilled a hole into his victim’s head and poured hydrochloric acid into it. After finishing each murder, Dahmer would take Polaroid photos of the victims. 

Why Did Dahmer Take Polaroid Photos of His Victims? 

The reason why Dahmer took Polaroid photos of his victims is as disturbing as the details of the murders he committed. As per the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology posted in 1994, Dahmer photographed his victims because he wanted to keep them as mementos to keep him company. 

Dahmer would frequently take photos of the victims at various stages of the murder process so he would recollect each act afterward and relieve the experience. Reportedly, he would make his victims pose on the table for photographs before killing them. Police not only discovered the photos at his apartment but found several sketches he had made outlining his plan to construct an altar in his apartment.

How Did the Police Find Polaroid Photos? 

The Polaroid photos that Dahmer took of his victims led to his arrest. The police discovered these photos on the 22nd of July, 1991, when one of his victims, Tracey Edwards, managed to escape his apartment. 

Tracey met Dahmer in a bar and agreed to go back to his home for $100. When reached, Dahmer tried to handcuff him and told him that he was going to ‘eat’ his heart. As luck was in Tracey’s favor, he somehow managed to escape and flag down the officers who went to Dahmer’s apartment to investigate Tracey’s claims and noticed a foul smell upon entering. 

When the officers searched Dahmer’s bedroom, they discovered his bedside drawer was full of several Polaroid photos with graphic images of dismembered bodies. They were shocked to learn that all these photos were real. 

There Were Things Apart from Photos Too! 

Dahmer’s apartment wasn’t just full of Polaroid photos, but other stuff as well. Reportedly, around 80 photos were found in his apartment and a majority of them were taken in his home only. Others included victims when they were alive. The snaps had disturbing details – dismembered body parts, bodies laid out in sexual positions, and more. 

When the police called their team to investigate his apartment, they were shocked at their discovery. The police opened Dahmer’s fridge and came across the severed head of a Black man. Upon completing a full investigation, four more severed heads were discovered in his kitchen, and seven skulls were discovered in his bedroom. His freezer also contained two human hearts, a portion of arm muscle, a whole human torso, a bag of human organs, and the remnants of human flesh. 

The investigators also found two entire skeletons, two severed hands, two severed penises, a mummified scalp, and an acid drum containing three torsos in his apartment. Dahmer admitted to cooking and eating parts of his victims. He also said he was collecting the skulls to keep them as a souvenir and form an altar. 

What Happened to Dahmer? 

After the police discovered Polaroid photos from his home, Dahmer was immediately arrested. He confessed to all his crimes and didn’t budge an inch. In one of his interviews, he commented that the altar he had planned was dedicated to himself and said it was a place where he could at home, a place for meditation. He also told the police that if his arrest had happened six months later, they would have found the altar. 

Dahmer was found guilty in 1992. He was sentenced to 16 life imprisonment. 

What is the Jeffrey Dahmer: TikTok Polaroid Challenge? 

Following the release of Netflix’s series on the notorious killer, Dahmer’s name has become popular worldwide. As a result, there has been a trend on the social media platform TikTok of people trying to find his Polaroid photos and sharing videos of their reactions. 

However, the trend has not been welcomed well by many users. They have been calling out all the accounts sharing the content of the disturbing details with questioning the release and availability of the graphic Polaroid photos online. 

Some Lesser-Known Facts about Jeffrey Dahmer 

  • While Dahmer clicked Polaroid photos of all his victims, the specific number of pictures he clicked still remains a topic of confusion. Some reports suggest that he clicked 74 photos in total, while others lay down that the number of photos Dahmer clicked goes beyond 80. 
  • Dahmer joined the army after his failed attempt to finish college. He was trained to become a combat medic at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and was deployed to Baumholder, West Germany. However, he only lasted two years in the military and was kicked out of the organization for his alcoholism. 
  • One of Dahmer’s school classmates, Derf Backderf, created a graphic novel about him called My Friend Dahmer in 2012. It was directed into a movie by Marc Meyers in 2017. The movie features Dahmer’s life before he turned into a serial killer and shows his loneliness in high school despite his attempts to make friends.
  • Dahmer was only 18 when he committed his first murder. By early high school, he knew he wanted to hurt people. Reportedly, he was obsessed with a male jogger and memorized the route of murdering him, fantasizing about beating him unconscious and using his body for sexual purposes. He lured his first victim to his home with a promise of free alcohol.
  • Dahmer was sentenced to 16 life imprisonment, and his death came in late 1994, when he was bludgeoned to death by the fellow inmate Christopher Scarver. 
  • Besides the Netflix series, there is another documentary on Dahmer called Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes. It goes deeper with never-before-heard real-life tapes of Dahmer’s defense team. 

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