I was Jeffrey Dahmer’s lawyer & saw blood-soaked flat – his chilling reason for slaying victims shocked me to the core | The Sun

TAKING in the blood-soaked mattress, spattered walls and vile smell of rotting flesh, Wendy Patrickus felt nausea rise in her stomach.

It was a baptism of fire for the young lawyer, whose first big case was defending serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

She sat through over 32 hours of interviews listening to the gory details of his horrific crimes, building a rapport with the killer and feeling "like Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs".

But the visit to the Milwaukee flat where he murdered many of his 17 victims proved too much.

“The mattress was still there, sopping with blood,” she recalls in new Netflix documentary, Conversations With a Killer: The Unheard Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes. 

“The odour in there was a combination of death, humidity and blood. It was awful. I made it to the fire exit and the gagging turned to vomiting.”


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Released for the first time for the three-part documentary, out Friday, Wendy’s interviews with the serial killer provide a chilling insight into the mind of a monster.

Dahmer, who targeted athletic men and boys as young as 14, details how he drugged and raped his victims before strangling and dismembering them, keeping body parts as “keepsakes”. 

Driven by an overwhelming desire for company, he admits each murder was to stop the victim leaving him.

In a hauntingly calm voice, he's heard telling Wendy: “I was looking for live companionship, someone to spend the night with and have complete control over to do with whatever I pleased.

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“I felt like it was a waste that I couldn’t keep them longer without having to kill them, but I didn’t know any other way to make them stay and to control them. I had no choice."

Lawyer Gerald Boyle tells the programme Dahmer’s loneliness spurred his evil crimes.

“There’s no person I have ever met on this earth who was as lonely as Jeffrey Dahmer,” he says. “He had never been on a date, or been to a party. He had no friends, so he wasn’t talking to anybody. 

“He was a shell of a human being.”

In the harrowing tapes, Dahmer discusses his sick desire to keep victims alive in a “zombie state” by drilling holes in their skulls and injecting acid.

First kill at 18

Dahmer, who realised he was gay at 13, grew up friendless with warring parents.

Dad Lionel moved out when he was 18 and mum Joyce took younger brother David to live in Wisconsin, leaving him alone in the Ohio family home.

Feeling “depressed, lonely, bored and confused" he met his first victim, 19-year-old Steven Hicks, shortly after.

“No one was at home, I saw this guy hitchhiking and I thought it would be nice to have to have someone around to talk with and someone I wanted to be with for sex,” he said.

After inviting him back to the house for beer, Dahmer bludgeoned him with a bar-bell before strangling him.

“I don’t know why I hit him except that I wanted to stay with him,” he said.

“It shocked me that I’d got to that point. But there was a feeling of excitement, or control, mingled with fear.”

Dahmer hid the body in a space under the house and dragged it out for sex before finally dismembering it and scattering it on the acres around the house.

He told Wendy he felt guilty that Hicks’ family waited 13 years to discover what happened to their son, but he "didn't have the courage" to confess.

Drug rape at baths

By now Dahmer was drinking heavily and, after a three month spell in the army, his dad sent him to live with his grandmother in Milwaukee.

He told Wendy he tried to stifle his homosexuality and even stole a mannequin as a substitute for a submissive lover but found it  “disappointing”.

He began frequenting gay bars and drugged potential sexual partners using sleeping pills.

“I could keep them there longer. I could lay around without feeling pressure to do anything they wanted to do,” he told Wendy. “I could enjoy them the way I wanted to.” 

I wanted more. It triggered something. It gave me a sick pleasure. The compulsion was stronger than anything else. It was a single-minded driving force. My desires were bestial

Nine years after his first murder, Dahmer picked up Steven Tuomi and spent the night with him at the Ambassadors Hotel – but woke to find he had murdered the 25-year-old in a drunken blackout.   

Claiming he was “horrified” to have killed again, he cleaned the room and took the body back to his grandmother’s in a suitcase before disposing of it in the garbage. 

But the chilling tape reveals the murder, in November 1987, sparked a spree.

“I wanted more. It triggered something. It gave me a sick pleasure,” he said. “The compulsion was stronger than anything else. It was a single-minded driving force. My desires were bestial.”

Killing spree

Two months later he murdered James Doxtater, 14, at his grandmother’s house, followed by Rochard Guerrero, 22 – calmly having breakfast with her while bodies lay in his room.

Incredibly, during this period he was convicted of the sexual assault of a 13-year-old, who he lured to his home with the promise of $50 to pose for photos.

While awaiting sentencing for the crime, he drugged and strangled Tony Sears, 24, after a one-night stand.

Besotted with his victim’s looks, he decided to keep body parts for the first time.

“[It felt] unfulfilling. It felt like a waste,” he says. “Tony had a nice looking face so with the head, I cut that off, put it in a large white barrel, filled it up with acetone and that preserved the head."

He also kept Sears' genitals in a Tupperware box in his locker at the chocolate factory where he worked.

Registered as a sex offender, Dahmer served a 10 month sentence before moving to Milwaukee’s Oxford Apartments in May 1990 and ramping up the murders, killing as many as two a month.

He began collecting his “favourite” body parts and bought an industrial vat to dissolve bones in acid before flushing them down the toilet.

Believing that “if I ingest these souls it would keep them alive”, he also began eating hearts, liver and thighs, telling Wendy he selected “the meatiest looking parts, with the least amount of fat".

“It looked like supermarket meat. I froze it for a couple of weeks," he said.

Zombie slaves

But the thrill was wearing off and, as Dahmer explained on the tape, he decided to find a way to keep his victims alive “in a zombie state” – practising his first crude lobotomy by drilling into the skull of deaf-mute Tony Hughes. 

“I wanted to see if there was a way to keep him with me without actually killing him,” he said.

“I didn’t want to keep killing people and having nothing left but the skull.”

By now, as the bodies were piling up, neighbours were complaining about foul smells coming from the flat.

“He was showering with two people (corpses) in the bottom of the tub,” Wendy says.

“I asked him why he didn’t get rid of the bodies before going to find another one. He said ‘I couldn’t help it. I needed the excitement of it'.”

Death threats

Dahmer was finally caught after victim Tracy Edwards escaped from the flat in July 1991, and flagged down a passing police car.

Police found 11 skulls, two skeletons, severed hands and penises and three torsos dissolving in the acid solution. 

Drawers full of Polaroids of his victims before, after and during dismemberment were found. 

Dahmer confessed to 17 murders in grisly detail, and Wendy admits it was often hard to hear. 

“There were times when I felt like a mother to him, there were times when I felt like he was my brother, there were times when I felt like a therapist,” she says.

During a protracted trial, Wendy was constantly beside Dahmer and became the focus of anger from the victims’ grieving families, which left her afraid to leave home.  

“I received death threats from a number of sources,” she says. “I was out one night and a family member of one of the victims came after me with a pool cue. I became a homebody at that point.”

Dahmer was handed 16 consecutive life terms and imprisoned at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin, in 1992. 

Two years later, on November 28, 1994, Dahmer was bludgeoned to death by convicted murderer Christopher Scarver.

While few grieved his death, Wendy says she built up a good relationship with the serial killer.

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“I was very upset," she says. "You can’t help but get close to someone when you have spent that many days, weeks and months with them.

"There were still things I wanted to talk to him about.”

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