Dahmer: It started gradually, going to the bookstores, drinking again, and it was just an escalation.
Ressler: Were you trying to stay away from that stuff?
Dahmer: Yeah. For about two years. In about ‘83, I started going to church with my gramma. I wanted to straighten my life out. Went to church, read the Bible, tried to push out any sexual thoughts at all, and I was doing pretty well for about two years. Then one night I was sitting in a local library, reading a book, minding my own business, and this young guy comes up and throws a note in my lap and quickly walks away. It says, “Come down to the lower-level bathroom and I’ll give you a blowjob.” And I thought—“This was ridiculous, it would take more than that to”—and I laughed it off, didn’t think much of it. But sure enough, after about two months, I started, the compulsion, the drive. Increased sexual desires. I started drinking again. Going to the bookstores. At that time I was pretty much on top of the urges, but I wanted to find a way to satisfy without hurting anyone. So I joined the bathclub, went to the gay bars, and tried to satisfy with the mannequin. And there was the graveyard incident. I read the obituaries about an eighteen-year-old who had died. I went to the funeral home, viewed the body, he was attractive.* When he was buried, I got a shovel and wheelbarrow, was going to take the body back home. About midnight I went up to the graveyard, but the ground was frozen, and so I abandoned the idea.
*Ressler notes that later, when the tape was not rolling, Dahmer told him that he’d become so excited while viewing the body at the funeral home that he’d gone into the bathroom and masturbated.
- An excerpt from Robert Ressler’s interview with Jeffrey Dahmer, recorded in the book I Have Lived in the Monster