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1992: Cannibal killer jailed for life
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer has been sentenced to life in prison by a court in Wisconsin for murdering and dismembering 15 young men and boys.

Dahmer, 31, was unable to convince the jury that his cannibalism and necrophilia were the result of madness.

He was given 15 consecutive life sentences and will never be eligible for parole.

Dahmer's trial, which ended in Milwaukee on Saturday night (15 February), included some of the most gruesome evidence ever heard in a US courtroom.

It also became a test case of the insanity defence seldom used in America.

He has escaped the death sentence because Wisconsin is one of the few states which does not have capital punishment.

After sentence was passed, Dahmer read a statement to the court. In a calm voice he said: "I never wanted freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself. I knew I was sick or evil or both.

"Doctors have told me about my sickness and now I have some peace. I know how much harm I have caused. I feel so bad for what I did to those poor families."

Families' reaction

Victims' families were in court and some lashed out at the bullet-proof screen, which was all that separated them from the man described by his own lawyer as "a steamrolling, killing machine".

Rita Isbell, sister of victim Errol Lindsey, lunged at Dahmer screaming: "You are Satan. I want to kill you."

Tears rolled down the face of Donald Bradehof, brother of another victim, as he said: "We lost the baby of our family - I hope you go to hell."

Dahmer tended to prey on young gay black men. The court was told how he drugged them with sleeping pills and practised crude lobotomies on the brains of three of them. Various body parts were found in his flat.

His lawyers argued he suffered from necrophilia, a compulsive desire to have sex with corpses. But the prosecution claimed Dahmer had chosen his victims carefully and had not intended to kill them all.

There has been criticism of the Milwaukee police for failing to realise there was a serial killer operating in the city.

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Watch/Listen
Jeffrey Dahmer
Jeffrey Dahmer showed no emotion throughout the court proceedings

Dahmer welcomes life sentence


In Context
Dahmer was convicted of 15 murders but confessed to 17 killings.

He became increasingly religious in prison and was baptised.

On 28 November 1994 he was murdered by a fellow inmate, who bludgeoned him to death with a metal bar.

His killer Christopher Scarver was a black man with a diagnosed mental illness, who was later convicted of the murder.

Before his death Dahmer talked to NBC about religion.

The interview - broadcast the day after his murder - revealed how he had previously believed he was accountable to no-one for his behaviour but since finding Christianity that had changed.

In his will, Dahmer requested no funeral or service of any kind.

Stories From 17 Feb


 
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