Relatives of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims told the serial killer how he made their lives a "nightmare" and urged a judge Monday to lock him up for life. One relative became hysterical during her presentation.
"Jeffrey Dahmer, you have become a hero for a few, but you have become a nightmare for so many more," said Stanley Miller, uncle of victim Ernest Miller.Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Laurence C. Gram Jr. granted a spokesman from each victim's family a chance to talk at Dahmer's sentencing hearing. Many relatives wore picture pins of their loved ones.
Rita Isbell, sister of victim Errol Lindsey, forced a brief recess at the hearing when she screamed at Dahmer, called him "Satan" and ran toward his table shouting profanities and shaking her fist. "I don't ever want to see my mother go through this again!" she said. "Never, Jeffrey!! Jeffrey, I hate you!!"
A jury Saturday found that Dahmer was sane when he killed and dismembered 15 boys and men. Dahmer, who had pleaded guilty but insane, faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison for each slaying.
The only questions left for Gram to decide were when, or if, the former chocolate factory worker will be eligible for parole, and whether his 15 life sentences will run concurrently or consecutively.
Dahmer, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, sat silently as the family members spoke. Some cried, and most asked the judge to sentence Dahmer to life in prison without parole.
"Edward Warren Smith tried to be Jeffrey Dahmer's friend," said J.W. Smith, brother of victim Eddie Smith.
"Don't let this man ever walk our streets and see daylight again," Janie Hagen, sister of victim Richard Guerrero, said to the judge.
Carolyn Smith, a sister of Eddie Smith, said before the hearing that relatives hoped to "let America know about Eddie and what we've been feeling all these months we have been going through this."
Dahmer's three-week sanity trial included testimony from police and psychiatrists who described how the serial killer's urges to have sex with the dead led him to drug, kill and dismember.
Relatives - and jurors - believed Dahmer was sane when he committed the grisly acts. Had he been deemed insane, he would have been sent to a mental hospital and could have petitioned for release every six months.
The jury was convinced by Dahmer himself, who told police he killed "for my own warped, selfish desires for self-gratification."
District Attorney E. Michael McCann said he worried that Dahmer's claim that he was driven to kill by necrophilia, a compulsion to have sex with corpses, would set a dangerous precedent.
The prosecutor said he feared rapists and child molesters would try to claim they shouldn't be held responsible for their crimes because of sexual disorders.
"Fortunately, the jurors saw right through it," McCann said. "I think they spoke very forcibly, saying that in no way is this going to be a defense in Wisconsin."