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The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio • Page 43

Location:
Akron, Ohio
Issue Date:
Page:
43
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

The Deacon Journal Sunday, August 11, 1991, rage D5 .4 QOQDDDQBBO Part HI: The loner emerges Li i ,4 ft tit 6 1 v-' "I THE DA1MEE 1 -ttt 5ct 4 i a I irj -vx 'rr TH) WAlXSBeMOO Join Journal A prom, and a a seance victim Jeffrey Dahmer killed his first victim Steven Hicks at this West Bath Road home in Bath Township, then unexcavated area under the house and dismembered it. That area Is at the left In this photo, to the rear of the back porch In the photo corresponds to the open door In the sketch below and leads to the crawl space. The scene of the first crime A narrow area below the first floor of the West Bath Road home the crawl space is where Jeffrey Dahmer said he dismembered the body of his first victim, Steven Hicks. ART KRUMMELBeacon Journal THE Part IV: Prophecy dragged the body Into an home. The door to the right of the friends.

He didn't talk about sex at all. But when the subject of homosexuality came up, he spoke against the gay lifestyle. He read books and magazines occasionally, was smart and could carry on "a lengthy and intelligent conversation on any subject." His heavy drinking started near the end of the year in 1980, when he would go on three-to-five-day binges. "It started to affect his job and appearance. He started missing work.

He would come to work at battalion aid station under the influence. You could smell it on his breath. He'd be staggering. Or he wouldn't show up for work." In his last year, other soldiers made fun of him because he was drunk most of the time. They'd say something cruel, but he didn't lash out at or hit anybody.

During his last six months in Germany, he "stayed in his bed, drinking, cracking jokes. He was too drunk. He'd screw up on the punch line and then he'd laugh." Above all else, there were two things about Dahmer that stuck out in Goss' mind: One was their parting conversation at the airport, and the other was what Goss termed Dahmer's "secret." "Let me explain something about Jeffrey Dahmer," Goss said. "I've dealt with many people in the Army. He was the one person he could talk to me about anything, family problems with his mother and father, that he didn't get along with either one, that's why he'd stay with his grandmother but there was something that was bugging him in Germany.

"He'd say there was something he could not talk about. He's the only one (in the platoon) who had something he couldn't talk about. I'd say, "There's something bugging you, isn't He'd say, 'Yes, but I can't discuss it with Their last conversation is one that haunts Goss. "Some day you'll hear about me again," Dahmer told him. "When he said that, I thought: well good, he's going to go home, make something out of his life and be successful," Goss said.

"I took it as meaning that he was going to pick the pieces up and make something of himself." But today, Goss is not so sure about what he meant and what was lurking behind Dahmer's secret. "I knew he had a troubled past and I knew he had something that was gnawing at him I feel like I need to get in my car and go to Milwaukee and sit down with Jeff and say, 'Is this (the slaying of Steven Hicks) what was gnawing at you 'You will hear about me again' "Jeff pulled out the chat for me to sat down and then he disappeared. Jeff told me he was hungry and left and went to a McDonald's and ate four or Eve cheeseburgs. I think he did, because there were McDonald's wrappers all over the floor of his car." Bridget Geiger, Jeffrey Dahmer's senior prom date. Once he graduated, the kid who sat at the nerd table in the cafeteria and ran around Revere High School's hallways drinking and making noises like a sheep was mostly alone.

He was a friend, some say, but they also acknowledge that they really didn't socialize with him after school hours. "He wasn't a loner, but he was always alone," said Mike Kukral, another class of '78 graduate. "Maybe the last time he had any type of friendship was when he was in high school, but he didn't have any close friends that I was aware of." He didn't date and he didn't go to parties. In fact, he was teased and ridiculed by a number of his classmates. Some told "Dahmer jokes," and by all accounts he appeared to want nothing to do with girls.

When he summoned the courage to arrange a date for the obligatory senior prom, he managed to get a 16-year-old girl who was a friend of a friend, but he was so timid about the prospect that he had to have the friend ask her. Unlike most of the boys who wore tuxedos, Dahmer showed up without a jacket and was dressed in brown slacks and a vest topped off with a peculiar-looking long-stringed bow tie. According to his date, Bridget Geiger, Dahmer was extremely nervous about the function and was terrified at the notion that she might try to kiss him. When he gave her a corsage, he was afraid of sticking her, so Geiger's mother ended up pinning the Dowers on her daughter in Dahmer's behalf. When they posed for a prom photo in her front yard, he was holding his boutonniere in his right hand.

"He didn't say two words to me the whole night," Geiger said. But worse yet, when they arrived at the affair, he seated her at a table, then left. He returned about two hours later as Geiger was leaving with a girlfriend and her date. "Jeff told me he was hungry and left and went to a McDonald's and ate four or five cheeseburgs," she said. "I think he did because there were McDonald's wrappers all over the Door of his car." Dahmer and his date left early.

A few weeks later, shortly after his June 4 graduation, Dahmer threw a party at his Bath Road home a rare departure from the norm. He included his prom date on the list of those invited. But again, it didn't turn out to be quite what Geiger expected. There were five people, including Dahmer. There was no music.

There was no food. Dahmer had decided to use the occasion to contact someone from the spirit world someone who had lived in the house before his family moved there. "Somebody had cooked up this idea of a seance," Geiger said. They all sat around a low round table in the den. Geiger said Dahmer told her that the house was haunted and that an evil ghost sometimes appeared and talked to him when he was alone, telling him 'to do things that scare She said she thought Dahmer was simply telling her stories to scare her, but when they turned the lights off and the candle flared and sputtered at the table, she knew she had had enough.

She left and hasn't laid eyes on Dahmer since. All things considered, though, she said that there were stranger kids than Dahmer in school and that he was actually a good kid who got a bad shake out of his high school years. Nevertheless, she is haunted by the question of whether the seance was held before or after June 18, 1978. For it was on that evening, two weeks to the day after he graduated from high school, that Dahmer's dark side came to the surface. By his own account 13 years later, he picked up a teen-ager on Cleveland-Massillon Road in Bath Township and brought him the short distance to the West Bath Road residence.

He was home alone, he told detectives, and he didn't want to be alone. So he and the hitchhiker had a few beers. There was no indication that the hitchhiker was a homosexual and Dahmer said he did not try to have sex with him. But when the hitchhiker decided it was time to go, Dahmer insisted that he stay. In fact, he killed him.

If the account is accurate, 18-year-old Steven M. Hicks of Coventry Township was the first of many lives Dahmer took in a sensational killing rampage that has stunned the nation and prompted inquiries from around the world. But if Hicks was the first of at least 17 human beings he slaughtered, Dahmer went at it with a gusto that belied his inexperience. According to a confession made recently to Bath Township police and Summit County sheriff's detectives, Dahmer said he smashed the hitchhiker in the back of the head with a barbell, used the barbell to strangle him, then dragged his body into an unexcavated space under the house. There he cut the body into pieces with a knife and stashed the remains in garbage bags.

The bags were apparently kept in the house until the body parts began to decompose. So, he told authorities, he stripped the Desh from the bones and used a sledgehammer to smash them into fragments no larger than a hand. He then stood atop a rock outcropping at the edge of the woods near the rear of the home and scattered the pieces off the cliff. He said he burned Hicks' wallet, then threw Hicks' necklace and the knife he used to dismember him off the West Bath Road bridge into the Cuyahoga River. Authorities who combed the Bath Township property for traces of Hicks' remains said Dahmer had been so thorough at his grisly task that he had even smashed teeth.

On July 24, 1978, about five weeks after Steven Hicks was slain, the divorce of Lionel and Joyce Dahmer became final. But the quarreling didn't stop with that. It went on and on. That September, the father went back to the divorce court and insisted that the mother be cited for contempt because she had left the state with their 12-year-old son, David, without permission, despite a court order that was to prohibit her from doing so. The father, who had long since taken up residence in a motel, testified that once the divorce papers were signed, he walked up the driveway of the Bath Road home to give his former wife a support check, "and she came out and said 'You got and started hitting me on the chest." Mrs.

Dahmer's attorney, on the other hand, told the court that the husband had hunched "one of the most harassing kind of conducts imaginable to the point where he, once again, was just about intent upon driving Mrs. Dahmer back to the psychiatrist." The custody battle continued, but it was obvious the tug of war was over David, not Jeffrey. Lionel Dahmer agreed to buy out his former wife's interest in their Bath Road home, and Mrs. Dahmer was awarded custody of their 12-year-old son. But according to Joseph G.

1 Beacon Journal tile photo Steven Hicks, 18, of Coventry Township, was last seen alive hitchhiking to a rock concert. Miller, the wife's attorney, Lionel continued to harass the youngster in the summer of 1978 to change his mind and live with his father "and he started on a course of conduct in which he told his boy he was going to prove to him his mother was unfit Joyce Dahmer had decided to return to Wisconsin and despite a court order saying she couldn't leave with David without permission of the father and the court, she and David packed their belongings and left. A few years later, David apparently changed his mind and custody, was awarded to the father. In the meantime, Jeffrey Dahmer watched. Lionel Dahmer painted the following picture for the court: "She took him (David) to Wisconsin on about August 24, leaving my 18-year-old son in the house alone, instructing him not to tell me or anyone else what she had done." Lionel Dahmer's second wife, Shari, later claimed the predicament had a powerful impact on Jeffrey he was home alone with no money, no food and a broken refrigerator.

Jeffrey Dahmer's mother Joyce Flint, now a case manager in the Central Valley AIDS Team in Fresno', Calif. has been in seclusion since Dahmer became a household word last month. "Her privacy is really critical to her and she just needs to be by herself," an attorney-spokeswoman said. "The only thing she has to say to anybody is that she loves her son and she just wants to be left alone." In the contempt hearing, the referee said nothing could be done by the court to prohibit a parent from leaving the state if the parent chose to do so. That hearing was held Sept.

24, 1978, but the outcome had little relevance to Jeffrey Dahmer. He was in Columbus on the campus of Ohio State University. Drunk. Drinking was what he was most remembered for at Ohio State. His roommate, Michael Pro-chaska of Cleveland, told the Ohio State Lantern that Dahmer had a serious drinking problem and "used to take bottles to class with him and came back drunk." Prochaska could not recall Dahmer getting any mail or having any friends.

But he did leave one other mark. Campus police questioned him as the only suspect in the theft of a watch, a radio and $120 that were taken from another room in the Morrill Tower dormitory. Dahmer lasted only one quarter there. His father recalled that his son's room was lined with bottles of booze. "We could see it was fruitless," he told the Milwaukee Sentinel, so they turned to the military, thinking "perhaps he could be straightened out by the service." On Christmas Eve of that year, Lionel Dahmer married his second wife, Shari Virginia Jordan.

And five days later, Jeffrey Dahmer enlisted in the Army. A may not have made it in the military, but now that I'm getting out, things will be different. Some day you'll hear about me again. You'll see me, or you will read about me, but you will hear about me again. That was the last thing he said.

Then we finished the ride to the airport. David Goss, Jeffrey Dahmer's Army platoon leader. In the last two months of his abbreviated career in the military, Jeffrey Dahmer was sober because he had become a virtual prisoner of the Army restricted to his room in Baumholder, Germany, not allowed out without an escort. The base commander ordered his civilian clothing removed so all he could wear was his uniform. He was permitted to use the bathroom, and three times a day he was taken to the mess hall to eat.

Twice a week he was escorted to the post exchange to buy soap, deodorant and toothpaste. No gum or magazines were allowed. The stern treatment was the result of Dahmer's out-of -control alcoholism and his determination to get out of the Army, according to his platoon leader, David D. Goss. Six months before the Army finally gave up on him, Goss said, Dahmer was put through an alcohol abuse program, but it did no good.

Goss said Dahmer "was found unsuitable for military service due to alcohol abuse" and was discharged after two years, two months and 15 days. He had enlisted for three years, saying he intended to become a military police officer. He became a combat medic After four months at Fort Mc-Clellan at Anniston, Dahmer finished basic training and was sent to Fort Sam Houston at San Antonio, Texas, where he took medical specialist training. On July 13, 1979, he was assigned as a medical aid man to the 2nd Battalion, 68th Armored Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, and sent to Baumholder. "He was an average or slightly above average soldier in the first year," Goss recalled.

"I was a clinical specialist. He was a combat medic. At the aid station, I'd go back to diagnose a patient, and he was right there with me. Eager to learn." Goss, who today is an operating room equipment technician in Holland, offered the following glimpses of Dahmer's time in the Army: He was a loner with no close friends, and frequently would leave the base in a cab on Friday, not to be seen again until Saturday or Sunday. There were no problems with alcohol in his first year in Germany, but toward the end of his second year, he had had enough of the military and wanted out, regardless of what he had to do.

Unlike others who surrounded themselves with remembrances of family and home, "Jeff didn't have that. His room was set up strictly militarily. He didn't have any pictures of his home I never saw a picture of his parents. I don't ever remember him getting any mail." He seldom spoke about his family. "I didn't even know he had a brother.

He just mentioned his father, mother and grandmother. The only thing he said about his mother and father, he said they recently divorced He said he didn't feel welcome around their houses." He didn't talk about girl-.

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Pages Available:
3,082,127
Years Available:
1872-2024