Dahmer deserved the death penalty Jeffery Dahmer can be arguably the most notorious serial killer, cannibal in history. He targeted men and boys. Dahmer‘s life of crime began with drinking and sex offending. His murders were exceptionally disgusting, often involving dismemberment, torture, cannibalism, rape, and necrophilia. He was convicted with a life sentence I prison when he should have gotten the death penalty. He wasn’t any different from any other murderer who got the death penalty. (biographychannel) The media would comment on how “normal” Dahmer appeared.
Dahmer had everyone questioning how a person can develop into such a monster. By the time of his apprehension, Dahmer had had sex with, murdered, and cannibalized at least seventeen men, mostly African American, Hispanic or Asian. (Biographychannel) Jeffrey Dahmer was born in Milwaukee on May 21, 1960, to Lionel and Joyce Dahmer. Despite the difficulties of Joyce’s pregnancy, he was wanted and adored as a child. By all accounts, Dahmer displayed traits of a happy, bubbly youngster.
However, several events from his childhood indicated that the young boy was becoming more and more disturbed.
When Jeff was four, his father swept out the remains of some small animals from under the house. As his father gathered the tiny animal bones, Dahmer seemed strangely entertained by the sound they made. At the young age of six, Dahmer suffered a double hernia and needed surgery to correct the problem. After the operation, he was never the same socially. (biographychannel) By the start of his high school career, Dahmer grew more isolated and uncommunicative. His classmates considered him a loner and an alcoholic.
At 15, Dahmer would scour the neighborhood, collecting the remains of animals for his own private cemetery. A fascination with dead creatures was evident from a young age. Also as a teen, Jeffrey’s parents ended their relationship by divorce. (biographychannel) In the fall of 1978, Dahmer entered Ohio State University, where he remained intoxicated for the majority of the semester and inevitably flunked out. After ignoring an ultimatum from his father, Jeffrey refused to look for a job. His father then drove him to the recruiting office to join the Armed Forces in January of 1979.
Although he seemed to enjoy life in the Army, he was discharged early for habitual drunkenness. (bestgore) Not long after his dishonorable discharge, Dahmer was sent to live with his grandmother where he got a job, but before long was arrested for drunkenness and disorderly conduct. Soon, the offenses worsened as his alcoholism and emotional issues intensified, including but not limited to indecent exposure, child molestation, and culminating with his arrest for multiple murders in July of 1991. At the 1989 sentencing of Dahmer he was charged with child molestation.
According to the most recent classification system written by the American Psychiatric Association, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-IV TR (Text Revision), Dahmer’s complete diagnosis would look like: Axis I: Posttraumatic stress disorder (hernia surgery and moving as a child) Axis II: Antisocial Personality Disorder, Paraphilia (withdrawn, violating, and disregarding rights of others) Axis III: Alcoholism (evident from high school on, the reason for military discharge) Axis IV: Parents’ divorce, failing first semester of college, military discharge Axis V: 1-10 (Persistent danger of severely hurting self or others) (psychiatric) Explanation: The psychodynamic perspective would conclude that Dahmer’s excessively abnormal behavior was due to underlying psychological forces of which he was not consciously aware. Freud would describe Dahmer’s behavior as an embodiment of his id impulses.
According to Freud, the personality is shaped by the dynamic interaction of three very different aspects; the id, the super-ego (a reflection of socioculteral norms, the judge of what is acceptable and what is not, including the conscience), and the ego (unconscious seeker of gratification, doing so according to the reality principle and guiding an individual to know when we can and cannot express these impulses). (psychiatric) Psychodynamic clinicians describe a healthy individual as one who develops an efficient working relationship between these three aspects of the personality. That being said, a mentally dysfunctional individual is one whose id, ego, or super ego is in excessive conflict.
As mentioned by his father, Dahmer seemed to lack a conscience; therefore, he lacked feelings of guilt when he committed these horrific acts. (psychiatric) The next area a psychodynamic therapy would focus on would be dreams. The idea is that repression and other defense mechanisms operate less completely during sleep and dreams can reveal unconscious needs, instincts, and wishes. Freud specified between two kinds of dream content; manifest content being what is consciously remembered, and latent content being the dream’s symbolic meaning. (psychiatric) In the case of Dahmer, who obviously had several issues to be addressed (paraphilia, pedophilia, necrophilia, antisocial personality disorder), short-term psychodynamic therapies would be best applied.
In this type of psychodynamic therapy the patient and therapist together decide on a dynamic focus, or a single problem, to work on. Through several short versions, more problems are able to be addressed and assessed psychodynamically. In the limited number of studies performed pertaining to this method of therapy, findings suggest the approaches are sometimes quite helpful to patients. (psychiatric) Due to the presence of such a multitude of abnormal behaviors, the most helpful form of psychodynamic treatment available would be the short-term psychodynamic therapies that focus on one individual issue at a time. Perhaps the abnormalities could have been deciphered and treated separately through this type of therapy in order to improve his behavior.
It is impossible to say for sure, but had Dahmer sought or been forced into treatment for his many abnormal behaviors, therapists may have been reasonably successful in identifying the underlying causes before he felt compelled to take innocent lives. (psychiatric) Work Cited 1. “Jeffrey Dahmer Biography, Crime Scene Photos and Documentary. ” Best Gore. 29 Apr. 2013 <http://www. bestgore. com/murder/jeffrey-dahmer-biography-crime-scene-photos-video-documentary/>. 2. “Jeffrey Dahmer Biography. ” Jeffrey Dahmer. N. p. , 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. <http://www. thebiographychannel. co. uk/biographies/jeffrey-dahmer. html>. 3. “Psychiatric Testimony of Jeffrey Dahmer. ” Psychiatric Testimony of Jeffrey Dahmer. 29 Apr. 2013 <http://www. criminalprofiling. com/Psychiatric-Testimony-of-Jeffrey-Dahmer_s115. html>.
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