ON July 23, 1991, Lionel Dahmer discovered along with the rest of the world – that his son Jeffrey, was a murderer who had carried out some of the most heinous crimes ever committed in the United States.
Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer, sex offender, and cannibal who committed the murder and dismemberment of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
Who is Lionel Dahmer?
Lionel Dahmer, 86, is the father of Milwaukee, US serial killer and cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer.
He also has a younger son – David Dahmer.
Lionel shares both sons with his first wife Joyce Dahmer.
In 1978, he married his second wife, Shari Jordan – who became a stepmother to both Jeffery and David.
During his career, Lionel mainly worked as a writer after graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1959 and Marquette University, receiving a Master of Science, in 1962.
In 1966 he became a graduate of Iowa State University, obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy.
He then served as a senior research chemist at PPG Industries, Barberton, from 1960-1962, and a research supervisor in analytical chemistry, since 1968.
But, his name became known worldwide when his son, Jeffrey Dahmer was convicted in the early 1990s of murdering 17 boys and men.
His heinous crimes shocked the world when it came to light that the killer had also eaten some of the body parts of his later victims, earning him the nickname ‘The Milwaukee Cannibal’.
What has Lionel Dahmer said about his son Jeffrey?
Since discovering his son was a serial killer, Lionel has not shied away from discussing his thoughts and feelings.
In 1994, he wrote an entire book called “A Father’s Story” – dedicated to being the father of the infamous Jeffrey Dahmer, where he expresses the complicated and often contradictory feelings he had about his son.
In the book, he suggests that prescription drugs Jeffery’s mother was on while pregnant could have affected his brain in a negative way.
He also questioned if his son’s shyness as a child was a red flag of future murderous tendencies.
It is clear in his writing that Lionel is confused about what may have caused his son to kill – but often blames himself for Jeffrey’s flaws.
Lionel said he was negligent and probably didn’t give enough to Jeffrey, emotionally.
The distraught father even blamed his chemistry background.
He wrote: ”As a scientist, I wonder if the potential for great evil resides deep in the blood that some of us, may pass on to our children at birth.”
Despite the confusion around what caused Jeffrey to commit such crimes, one thing is clear from Lionel’s work – he loved his son.
He stayed in regular contact with Jeffrey and visited him in prison, alongside his wife Shari.
Lionel and Shari both expressed that they feared for Jeffrey’s safety during his time in prison – and their worry was valid, as Jeffrey was beaten to death by a fellow inmate Christopher Scarver at Wisconsin’s Columbia Correctional Institution in 1994.
Since the death of his son, Lionel has been involved with several TV shows and documentaries, including Biography, Dateline NBC, Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks, Mind of a Monster, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and now, Dr Phil.
Where is Lionel Dahmer now?
It is reported that Lionel now resides in Ohio with his wife Shari.
However, since 2020 Lionel has embraced a life of privacy – and tends to shy away from the public eye.
Lionel will be featured on Dr Phil’s 3-day Dahmer series, among with “his victims and loved ones,” per TMZ.
Dr Phil’s series, titled “In The Presence of Evil: Face to Face with Jeffrey Dahmer,” premieres on November 15 and will continue through the 17th.