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Wednesday 12 June, 2024
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Who was Joyce? Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother

BY Sharmeen Hussain Sep 23, 2022. 02:04 pm UPDATED: Sep 23, 2022. 02:04 pm

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Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, confesses to killing at least 17 men between 1978 and 1991.

Jeffrey Dahmer’s parents divorced in July 1978, but they both spoke to the media following their son’s arrest and sentencing; here is what we know about Joyce Dahmer, Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother.

Jeffrey Dahmer's mother

Who was Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother, Joyce?

On February 7, 1936, Joyce was born in Columbus, Wisconsin.

On May 21, 1960, she gave birth to Jeffrey, their first son, after getting married to Lionel Dahmer.

David, the second son of the marriage, was conceived in 1966.

Oprah Winfrey addressed the query: “When we hear about such terrible atrocities as this, a lot of people ask ourselves, ‘Who were his parents?'” in a 1994 television series titled The Making Of Jeffrey Dahmer.

“I know I did. ‘How was he raised?’ What happened to the child?'”

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There are numerous hypotheses on the incidents and factors in Jeffrey, Joyce’s son, who became a serial killer.

In his autobiography A Father’s Story, her ex-husband Lionel searches for solutions as to what he and his ex-wife might have done better.

While Lionel acknowledges that he was primarily absent during Jeffrey’s early years, he also claims that Joyce was prescribed prescription medication during her pregnancy.

In the book, he also asserts that Joyce was dejected after giving birth to Jeffrey and avoided contact with him out of concern for his health.

He also asserted that she developed a heroin addiction.

In spite of his assertions, Joyce herself held a master’s degree in counselling.

She visited her son in prison multiple times, flying from her new home in California back to Wisconsin, where he was imprisoned, yet she never denied her own failings or addressed her ex-concerns husband’s about drug addiction to the public.

She worked in California with HIV and AIDS patients, whom she apparently enjoyed caring for.

Joyce passed away from breast cancer in November 2000.

Julio Mastro, the executive director of the HIV community centre where Joyce worked, is quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as saying: “She was eager and empathetic, and she transformed her own tragedy into being able to have a tremendous level of empathy for people with HIV.”

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She described him as a “completely typical young boy” in an interview with MSNBC.

But Joyce undoubtedly felt the weight of her son’s sins.

She stated: “I wake up every morning and for a split second I don’t realise I’m Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother, and then it all pours in” in a 1993 interview with Deseret News.

In a 1994 interview with Hard Copy, she added that she felt compelled to help other parents and relatives of killers who could be experiencing the same feelings of sorrow, guilt, and exclusion.

She admitted to the publication that she intended to refute her husband’s claims and write a book about her experience of rearing a serial killer, but said she had not heard back from any publishers.

In 1994, Joyce made an attempt on her own life just a few months before another prisoner killed Jeffrey.

She had attempted suicide, but had survived, and she was thankful to have survived.

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