One by one, 11 victims were lured to Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment from encounters at gay bars, city streets, shopping malls and bus stops.
They included a runaway, some free spirits, mostly single young men looking for a good time. They were promised money if they posed for pictures and watched sex videos with a sandy-haired, brown-eyed companion who offered them drinks.Whoever they thought he was, Dahmer turned out to be a butcher who told police they met a singular fate: He spiked their drinks with sleeping potions, strangled them and cut up their bodies, keeping their heads and other body parts in his apartment.
Grieving families are struggling to understand how their loved ones could have been willingly taken in. One clue comes from the man who escaped Dahmer's clutches Monday night and alerted police.
"He seemed so normal," said Tracy Edwards, 32, a father of six who met Dahmer at a city mall and was led there by an invitation to a party. "He turned from Mr. Right to Mr. It. . . . It was like I was confronting Satan himself."
Edwards fled with a handcuff dangling from one wrist. He had spotted a large knife under Dahmer's bed and smelled the stench of death of 11 others who had been there before him.
Dahmer, 31, a former employee of the Ambrosia Chocolate Co., admitted killing 11 people in his apartment, and police say he has killed six others. Dahmer is a convicted child molester with a history of alcohol abuse. The boy he molested in 1989 was the brother of one of his victims.
Those killed in the apartment ranged in age from 14 to 33. Police said nine were black, one was Laotian and one was white. Police on Saturday identified the 11th victim, Anthony Sears, 26, of Milwaukee.
One of them, Jeremiah Weinberger, 23, was last seen July 6 leaving Carol's Speakeasy, a gay bar in Chicago, with an unidentified man. Dahmer told police he and Weinberger took a Greyhound bus for the 90-mile trip to Milwaukee.
Weinberger stayed two days and the two had sex. But Dahmer objected when he wanted to leave, so he was drugged before he was killed and mutilated. Dahmer paused from his gory chores to take pictures.
"My son was hypnotized by a cobra. Unfortunately, he bit," Weinberger's father, David, told a reporter this week.