Jeffrey Dahmer’s story has been told a million times, most recently in Ryan Murphy’s new true crime series DAHMER: Monster – The Jeffrey Dahmer Story for Netflix. The series focuses not only on Dahmer and his crimes, but also on the multiple attempts by neighbors and witnesses to stop him while Milwaukee police turned a blind eye.
While Wisconsin has abolished the death penalty, Dahmer’s 15-year life sentence appears to signal the inevitability of his execution there if he does not spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement. It took only two years and two attempts before someone took his life – Christopher Scarver delivered the fatal blow, killing the man known as the ‘Milwaukee Cannibal’ .
By the time of his arrest, Dahmer had killed at least 17 people, most of them gay and/or non-Black young men. He decapitated some, ate the body parts of others, and in some cases tortured them before killing them. For many, Dahmer’s death was seen as a blessing, blurring even the strictest moral codes. After all, when you hear that he drilled a hole in a 14-year-old’s skull and filled his brain with acid…it’s hard not to. But what happened to Christopher Scarver and why did he do it? Here’s the story behind the serial killer and where he is now.
What did Christopher Scarver go to jail for?
Christopher J. Scarver Sr., born 1969 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was originally jailed for the 1990 murder of training program assistant Steve Loman. A high school dropout, Scarver trained as a carpenter in the Wisconsin Conservation Corps Work Program. He is confident that he will be offered a full-time job upon completion of the project, following a commitment from director Edward Patts.
However, when the job never materialized (Patz was fired before it was possible), a furious Scarver returned to the center to confront him. By this time, Scarver had been using marijuana for years and drinking heavily. He also began to be motivated by a voice in his head declaring that he was “the chosen one.”
On June 1, 1990, Scarver returned to the Corps Center to confront them and tracked down 27-year-old Steve Loman, Pats’ replacement and field manager John Fine. He first pointed a gun at Loman, asked for money, and when he received only $15, he shot Loman in the head. Although Lohman is dead, Scarver will shoot him two more times.
To save his life, Fein gave Loman $3,000 and his credit card to walk away. Scarver was quickly caught, and he was found and arrested with the money, gun and credit card from the attack. He was convicted of Lohman’s murder and sentenced to life in prison. He later said he knew what he was doing wrong and wasn’t sure why he was so crazy because he had no previous convictions or issues.
In 1992, he was transferred to Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin. At the time of the murder, he recently found himself wanting to be a first-time father and was kicked out of the house by his mother (according to The New York Times).
Why did Christopher Scarver want to kill Jeffrey Dahmer?
On November 28, 1994, Christopher Scarver made international headlines when he beat Jeffrey Dahmer to death using a metal bar as a prison weight. The then 25-year-old man also attacked and killed a man convicted of murdering his wife, Jesse Anderson. All three were doing cleaning work at the time of the attack, and the guard was left alone in the locker room for 20 minutes.
It should be noted that both the Dahmer and Anderson murders reverberated enormously in Milwaukee’s race relations, as most of Dahmer’s victims were people of color — mostly black or Hispanic — while Anderson initially had police go after the two black leaders he said he had committed. Some see this as an extra incentive for Scarver. Officials, however, do not believe the murders were racially motivated by investigators.
In a lengthy interview with the New York Post in 2015, Scarver said he killed Dahmer not because of his heinous crimes of murder, dismemberment and cannibalism — but because he saw Come on, Dahmer seems unrepentant about it, even making jokes. “He crossed the line with some people – prisoners, prison staff. Some of those who were in prison repented – but [Dahmer] was not one of them,” he told the paper.