Jeffrey Dahmer: Born Again Fundamentalist Christian

Jeffrey Dahmer is the son of a Born Again Fundamentalist (Church of Christ) father. Jeffrey's Born Again Fundamentalist home life led him to feel he could not acknowledge his homosexuality to his Fundamentalist father, and instead he developed an intense hatred of himself and of other gay men.

Well Jeffrey has now come home. He has become a Born Again Fundamentalist, baptized by a minister of the Church of Christ.

The following 3 articles chronicle the story of Jeffrey Dahmer's pilgrimage of faith: from Born Again Fundamentalist home to Born Again Fundamentalist prison cell, from Church of Christ to Church of Christ.

"Anger at his homosexuality led Dahmer to kill, psychiatrist says"

[Milwaukee Sentinel, 7 Feb 92, by David Doege, Sentinel Staff Writer]

Serial killer Jeffrey L. Dahmer killed his victims out of anger at his homosexuality and kept body parts as trophies, like a hunter, a psychiatrist testified in Dahmer's sanity trial Thursday.

"I don't believe his behavior was sexually motivated," psychiatrist George Palermo said. "I believe Jeffrey Dahmer killed his victims because he hated homosexuality."

Palermo, the first mental health expert in Dahmer's trial to testify that he was sane and criminally responsible when he murdered, also said that Dahmer has lied for years and still lies today.

"He lied to the judge in 1989 (when Dahmer was sentenced for sexual assault)," Palermo said. "He lied to his lawyer.

"He lied to many doctors to get the (sleeping) pills. It is my feeling he has embellished a great deal in the things he has said he did."

Palermo was the first witness to testify after defense attorney Gerald P. Boyle rested his case. Appointed by Circuit Judge Laurence C. Gram, Jr. as an impartial examiner, Palermo put Boyle in the position of attacking a psychiatric opinion for the first time in the trial.

While Boyle could not get Palermo to back down on his opinion that Dahmer was criminally responsible for his killings, Boyle did get the psychiatrist to concede that Dahmer needed treatment to stop his killing spree.

"If he doesn't go for any help at all, he would have killed again, wouldn't he?" asked Boyle, who called the previous mental health experts to testify as defense witnesses.

"I would say so," Palermo acknowledged.

"Palermo's testimony Thursday came as Dahmer's trial on 15 counts of first-degree intentional homicide neared the halfway point. Dist. Atty. E. Michael McCann is to begin presenting the prosecution's case Friday.

Dahmer, 31, has pleaded guilty, but insane, to the homicide charges stemming from the slayings of 15 young men and boys in West Allis and Milwaukee.

A jury is hearing the case to determine whether Dahmer should be imprisoned because he was sane when he killed or if he should be committed to a mental health institution because he was criminally insane and could not conform his conduct to the law.

Palermo, a psychiatrist since 1962, came to Milwaukee from Italy in 1952 but has returned to Rome periodically since then to practice and teach for extended periods. [NO DOUBT to help the Pope out with pedophile priests and cardinals.]

He has taught psychiatry in Rome, at Loyola Medical School in Chicago and at Marquette University. He currently is on the staff at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Comples in Wauwatosa and the Milwaukee Forensic Unit.

Palermo, a grandfatherly type who speaks with an Italian accent, frequently had the jury and others in the courtroom charmed and smiling at his retorts to Boyle's questions, making it clear that he knew where the lawyer was heading with his line of questioning.

"Mr. Boyle, I have known you many years," Palermo said at one point.

Palermo said Dahmer was "a very complex man" afflicted by severe mixed personality disorder with features of sadism, compulsion, anti-social behavior and narcissism, among other things. Palermo said it would be wrong to categorize Dahmer as having one type of behavior that controls his actions.

Defense psychologists and psychiatrists said Dahmer's criminal actions were driven by necrophilia.

"Jeffrey Dahmer is a human being," Palermo said. "To take away from him by just saying he is a necrophile is wrong," Palermo said. "He is much more."

Boyle noted that many of the features cited by Palermo were by themselves indicative of a sexual disorder. Boyle added that the "Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," a highly regarded guidebook used by mental health experts nationwide, indicated that the features denoted sexual deviancy.

Palermo said his conclusion about Dahmer's problems were more important than the manual's.

"A guidebook is a guidebook," Palermo said. "It's up to me to decide what is wrong."

Palermo said Dahmer could have stopped killing whenever he wanted to and had done so in the past. Dahmer was in control of his actions, but instead lied about them and concealed them, Palermo said.

Dahmer's sentencing for sexual assault, Palermo said, was proof he was in control because he had killed several people, including one the day before he was sentenced, but was not seeking help for it.

"As he was able to lie and not tell the truth to the judge and to you, Mr. Boyle, so could he have told the truth," Palermo said to Boyle who represented Dahmer in the sex case. "He was in command of the situation.

"He was able to say, 'I'm not going to do it again. I'm going to go for treatment.'"

Concerning Dahmer's difficulty in coming to grips with his homosexuality, Palermo indicated that was a problem since adolescence because he believed his family could not accept it. The difficulty evolved into a hatred over the years which later led to the killings, Palermo said.


Dahmer Likely To Turn To Religion, Expert Says

by Eldon Knoche, Sentinel staff writer [ Milwaukee Sentinel, Monday, 17 Fen 92 ]

Jeffrey Dahmer is likely to turn to religion in prison, but 40 years from now he probably will be psychologically unchanged, psychiatrist Basil Jackson said Sunday.

Though debate has focused on whether the convicted killer should be sent to prison or a mental hospital, "from a psychiatric point of view it doesn't make much difference for Mr. Dahmer," Jackson said. "Even if sent to the best psychiatric treatment, the outlook would not be good."

Jackson, who has counseled jailed televangelist Jim Bakker, among others, was asked for his assessment of how Dahmer will function in incarceration.

"I would anticipate that he would become deeply religious," Jackson said. "There's already signs of that."

"This is a very common method of adaptation in an isolated environment. He has the potential for the quasi-spiritual, as evidenced by the temples. He has been reading the New Testament."

There was testimony at Dahmer's trial about how he had planned to build a temple in his apartment, using skulls of his victims.

Jackson expects Dahmer to adjust well in prison and to "kind of fade into the woodwork. As long as he can have the basic needs satisfied -- cigarettes, reading, radio -- he will vegetate the rest of his life.

As for his relationship with other prisoners, 'Mr. Dahmer will not annoy anybody and will not intrude into their lives," the psychiatrist said.

Dahmer probably would cooperate with an intensive psychiatric examination because he likes to be the center of attention, Jackson said.

'The way he displayed the made-up tabloid in court Friday, he's really the king of the mountain," Jackson said, referring to Dahmer's display during a court recess of a tabloid newspaper with the headline: "Milwaukee Cannibal Kills His Cellmate."

Dahmer someday may even confess to more killings, whether they occurred or not, to become the center of attention again, Jackson said.

Or, he may remember more killings that he repressed because he was drinking heavily while killing, or because of "the horrific, catastrophic nature of the events," Jackson said.


Dahmer Is Baptized In Prison Tub

[The Milwaukee Sentinel, front page with color photo, 12 May 94]
by Steven Walters, Sentinel Madison Burear

Madison -- A Madison minister said Wednesday he baptized convicted serial killer Jeffrey L. Dahmer in a state prison whirlpool Tuesday afternoon.

Roy Ratcliff, 47, said he, Dahmer, the prison chaplain and two guards walked from Dahmer's cell area down a long hall about 2p.m. Tuesday to the prison infirmary, where Dahmer was baptized by immersion.

The whirlpool at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, where Dahmer is serving 15 life terms, was filled for Tuesday's ceremony, Ratcliff said.

Baptism by immersion requires that the celebrant be dunked under water, signifying that person's cleansing of sins and new relationship with God.

An assistant to the prison warden confirmed the baptism took place, but said no further details would be released.

"It's a personal matter," the official said.

Ratcliff, minister of the 100-member Church of Christ, said he began making plans to baptize Dahmer after a one-hour meeting April 20.

Ratcliff said he believes Dahmer made a true spiritual decision to be baptized.

Dahmer "was able to convince me this was not just a gag. It was something he felt and believed in," Ratcliff said.

"I was convinced that he wanted God in his life," Ratcliff said of their April meeting.

They met "in a little room with just a table and a couple of chairs," and Dahmer said he wanted his "sins washed away" by renewing his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Ratcliff said.

Convinced of Dahmer's sincerity, Ratcliff said, he will begin meeting with Dahmer at 1:30p.m. Wednesdays, starting next week, to read and study the Bible together.

Ratcliff said both he and Dahmer were nervous during their first meeting.

"You're a little bit anxious about it," Ratcliff said. "I had no idea what his thinking was."

Ratcliff said he was asked to baptize Dahmer by Mary H. Mott, an Arlington, Va., woman who called him after she sent Dahmer 12 Bible correspondence lessons in mid-March.

After seeing a televised interview with Dahmer and his father, Mott, 69, said she concluded "that young man dowsn't know anything except evil." Dahmer has confessed to killing 17 young men and boys.

Mott said she then called the prison, was told by a guard how to send materials to Dahmer and sent him a Bible and the 12 "World Bible School" correspondence school lessons.

On April 1, Mott said, Dahmer typed her a note, thanked her for the Bible and the study lessons, and added:

"I want to accept the Lord. Would you please try to find someone to bring a baptistry tank to the prison?"

In that letter, Dahmer also signed a statement acknowledging that he wanted to accept Christ, Mott said.

When she got that letter, Mott said, "I got on the phone again."

"God forgives all sins," said Mott, who retured in 1975 after a 32-year career with the Defense Department. "God does not consider one sin greater than the other."

Mott said she first called a Baraboo-area minister, who explained that he was moving from the area and gave her Ratcliff's name.

Mott said Dahmer also sent her the completed Bible study lessons, which she "graded."

"He did very well," she said of the lessons. "He had to miss two or three (questions), out of 12 lessons."

After returning from the April 20 meeting with Dahmer, Ratcliff said, he began working with prison officials on whether a baptistry tank could be shipped into the maximum-security prison.

When prison officials offered the whirlpool, Ratcliff said, he and Dahmer agreed.

Mott said Ratcliff phoned her after Tuesday's ceremony.

"It was just real exciting," she said. "It's all to glorify God."

In his career as a minister and evangelist, Ratcliff said, he has baptized people "in rivers and creeks," but never anyone "so well-known."

Dahmer "seemed to understand very clearly what needed to be done," Ratcliff added.