Jeffrey Dahmer’s Ohio connections: What the Netflix series mentions, and what is true

Jeffrey Dahmer admitted to killing 16 people, including necrophilia and cannibalism.
Jeffrey Dahmer admitted to killing 16 people, including necrophilia and cannibalism.(WXIX)
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2022 at 5:16 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (ENQUIRER) - Jeffrey Dahmer was known as the Milwaukee Monster for the string of horrific murders he committed there, but he also had connections to northern and central Ohio.

The serial killer, whose murderous spree is the focus of Netflix’s new series, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” grew up in Bath Township, which neighbors Akron, Ohio.

It’s also where he killed his first victim in 1978. He escaped police attention at the time, then moved out of Ohio.

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After his capture in 1991, it was discovered that Dahmer had killed and dismembered 17 men and boys. There was evidence in his home that suggested he had eaten some of his victims’ body parts. He received sixteen life imprisonment sentences and was, in 1994, beaten to death by an inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution.

Some of Dahmer’s connections to Ohio are shown in the new Netflix series, including his time as a Buckeye. But which are true? Here’s a look.

Jeffrey Dahmer grew up in Ohio and attended elementary, high school near Akron

The Dahmers first moved to Ohio in 1966, settling in Doylestown. In 1968, they moved to Bath Township.

Dahmer attended Bath Elementary, Eastview Junior High and then Revere High School, where a former classmate described him as a “class clown, but not in a wholesome sense.”

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“He was only amused by the bizarre,” Dave Borsvold of Cleveland Heights, who knew Dahmer since elementary school, told The Enquirer in 1991. “He would do things just for the shock value – bizarre, but you’d never expect him to pull a knife on anyone.”

Dahmer killed his first victim at his childhood home on West Bath Road

Dahmer kidnapped and murdered his first victim, 18-year-old Steven M. Hicks, in 1978. Hicks was hitchhiking on Route 224 after a concert at Chippewa Lake when Dahmer picked him up and drove him to his parents’ house on West Bath Road under the guise of having a few beers. There, Dahmer killed Hicks and dismembered his body.

He scattered the remains in his parents’ yard two years later, after returning to the home from military duty.

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In 1990, the home’s then-owner found what investigators believed to be part of Hicks’ hip bone while landscaping the yard, The Enquirer reported. Police discovered more than 50 bone fragments on the property the following year.

Dahmer was pulled over by two police near Bath Township in Ohio. He was let go

As portrayed in “Monster,” police pulled Dahmer over near Bath Township after killing Hicks, with the youth’s remains in garbage bags in his backseat. According to witness testimonies, police suspected Dahmer of drunk driving after he was seen swerving on the road around 3 a.m. He persuaded officers to let him go, even after they shone a light on the bags in his backseat.

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Jeffrey Dahmer briefly attended Ohio State University

Dahmer was a student at Ohio State University for just three months and lived on campus in Morrill Tower, according to the Lantern.

The Akron Beacon Journal wrote that he did “poorly” academically. Some newspapers report he dropped out, while others say he was expelled from the university, as is depicted in “Monster.”

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In his 1994 book “A Father’s Story,” his father Lionel wrote that Dahmer failed most of his classes and had a 0.45 GPA.

Dahmer returned to Ohio after his time in the U.S. Army

Dahmer’s father encouraged him to enlist in the U.S. Army after he left Ohio State. In 1979, he was deployed to Baumholder, West Germany, where he served as a combat medic. However, he was deemed unsuitable for military service in 1981 due to his alcoholism, but received an honorable discharge.

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After being debriefed in South Carolina, he moved to Miami, Florida. He returned to Ohio that same year to live with his father and stepmother Shari. Not long after, he was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct, according to his father’s book.

Dahmer’s brother David is rumored to have attended the University of Cincinnati

While it isn’t mentioned in “Monster,” Dahmer’s younger brother, David, has even more connections to Ohio. David was born in Ohio in 1966 and lived with the boys’ mother, Joyce, after she and Lionel divorced.

He is rumored to have graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1991 or 1994 and changed his name after his brother’s arrest, according to multiple outlets, including Elle and the Cinemaholic. A background search on Accurint also shows a David L. Dahmer, who was born in 1966, lived in Corryville between 1989 and 1999.

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In 2004, Lionel and Shari were interviewed by Larry King, and Shari revealed that David has a career and at least two children.

This story was written by our media partners at The Cincinnati Enquirer.