Jeffrey Dahmer was an innocent child when he took the life of his first victim; A bright-eyed doe, shot while hunting with his father. It was during these weekend trips that appalling acts of animal cruelty were committed, warping his young psyche to the point of no return. The seeds of ruthlessness which were planted on these bloodthirsty excursions would eventually kindle a desire within the young Dahmer to murder human beings. The result was a lust for sadism that went on to claim the lives of 17 men between the years of 1978 to 1991.
After the onset of puberty, adolescent Dahmer’s interest in slaughter melded with his budding sexuality. His mother’s indifference and his father’s overbearing attitude forged the boy into a full bore homosexual by the time he reached 13 years of age. This farrago of violence, self-hatred and confusion quickly gave way to severe depression and problems with alcoholism early in life. These issues would continue to plague him until his death in 1994.
Dubbed “The Milwaukee Cannibal” by local news outlets, Dahmer’s MO involved “hunting” for human prey at the gay dance clubs in his area. He would select a specific target and move in for the kill, inviting them back to his apartment on the pretense of a sexual liason. Once in Dahmer’s apartment the men were drugged, sexually assaulted, tortured, murdered and dismembered. Once finished, he would then dump portions of their decomposing corpses into a vat of acid to be dissolved. Some of the men he had cannibalized, while others had their body parts fashioned into crude decor.
A large chunk of Dahmer’s methodology was cultivated during those early hunting trips with his father. The way in which he would mutilate the bodies was eerily similar to how a hunter dresses a deer; Preserving the body parts as a macabre trophy, like the mounting of heads and antlers; Consuming portions of the corpse just as he and his father devoured the wildlife they had shot down all those years ago.
It has been scientifically proven that children are unable to process violence in the same manner as adults. The sight of blood and death triggers subconscious reactions which can irreparably damage a young child’s susceptible mind. Unfortunately, because of cultural ignorance and lack of education in underprivileged American states, some parents are oblivious to the psychological disturbances that exposure to hunting can cause a juvenile.
While it’s true that not all children who are forced to hunt will go on to commit the same types of horrific crimes as Jeffrey Dahmer, statistically speaking, they are far more likely to engage in violent criminal behaviors later in life.
It’s my hope that parents and community leaders will recognize the issue of minors hunting for what it truly is: Child abuse. By working together we can protect future generations from fates similar to that of Dahmer and his unfortunate victims.
Jane M. Agni (2014, April 25)
Originally Published On Modern Woman Digest