Joyce Dahmer, the youngest child of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is now all grown up and feeling the pressure to be like her dad in order to keep up with family tradition.
It’s the early 1960s and America is in the midst of a cultural revolution. Joyce Dahmer,
the mother to future serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is a stay-at-home mom in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. Her husband Lionel is a chemist who works long hours at the local Coca-Cola plant. With her husband often gone, Joyce finds herself isolated and lonely. She turns to alcohol to help pass the time.
Joyce’s drinking quickly spirals out of control. She becomes abusive and neglectful of her son. Jeffrey grows up feeling unloved and worthless. In his teens, Jeffrey begins acting out in disturbing ways.
He tortures animals and fantasizes about killing people. Joyce is too drunk to notice or care. By the time Jeffrey is 18, he has committed his first murder. Over the next decade, he will go on to kill 17 more people.
Joyce Dahmer will die alone and estranged from her son, never understanding what drove him to do such horrific things.
Joyce Dahmer, nee Karla Hahn, was born in May 1936 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
She married Lionel Dahmer in May 1958 and they had three children together: David, Jeff, and Eric. In 1978, Joyce filed for divorce from Lionel after he confessed to having an affair with a neighbor.
The divorce was finalized in December 1979. In September 1981, Joyce learned that her son David had been arrested for sexually assaulting a young boy.
She posted bail for him and hired a lawyer. In February 1982, David pled guilty to one count of sexual assault and was sentenced to five years probation.
In June 1987, Eric Dahmer murdered his first victim. Over the next two years, he would go on to murder eleven more people.
In July 1991, he was finally apprehended by police. During the trial, Joyce maintained her support for her son, even testifying on his behalf.
In February 1992, Eric was found guilty of fifteen counts of murder and sentenced to fifteen life terms in prison. In October 1994, Joyce Dahmer died of cancer at the age of 58.
Joyce and her husband, Lionel
Joyce and Lionel Dahmer met in 1966, when she was just 16 years old and he was 18.
They married four years later, in 1970. The couple had a troubled relationship from the start. Joyce was reportedly a heavy drinker and would often go on benders,
leaving Lionel to care for their two young sons. She was also emotionally abusive towards her husband, according to Lionel’s brother Dave.
Things came to a head in 1978, when Joyce caught Lionel cheating on her with another woman. She filed for divorce and took their sons with her.
Lionel would go on to marry again, but his second marriage also ended in divorce.
He died of cancer in 2017 at the age of 74. Joyce passed away in 2019 at the age of 72.
Joyce brother, Jeffrey Dahmer
The Short and Sad Story of Joyce Dahmer On July 22, 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer murdered his final victim, Tracy Edwards.
He was arrested the following day and eventually confessed to 17 murders. Among his victims was Joyce Dahmer, Jeffrey’s own sister. Joyce Dahmer was just 14 years old when her brother began sexually abusing her.
The abuse continued for years until Joyce finally confided in a friend and told her what was happening.
The friend went to the police, but they did not believe Joyce’s story, and no action was taken against Jeffrey.
The abuse took a toll on Joyce, both physically and emotionally. She developed anorexia and began cutting herself.
In an interview years later, she would say that she felt “dirty” and “worthless” because of what her brother had done to her. In 1987, Joyce finally mustered up the courage to leave home and move out on her own. She changed her last name in an effort to distance herself from her brother and start fresh.
But even though she was no longer living under the same roof as Jeffrey, the damage he had done was already done. Joyce struggled with depression and addiction for many years before finally getting clean in 2004.
She spoke out publicly about her experiences in 2006, in hopes of helping other survivors of sexual abuse. Sadly, Joyce passed away just two years later from complications related to liver disease. She was only 39 years old.
It is hard to hear about the life of Joyce Dahmer and not feel overwhelming sadness.
She was a victim of domestic abuse, which led her to develop depression and an addiction to alcohol.
Her husband’s infidelity caused her even more pain, leading her to attempt suicide. In the end, she took her own life,
leaving behind a husband and two young sons. Her story is a tragedy, but it also highlights the importance of getting help if you are struggling with depression or any other mental health issue.