Serial killer Jeffrey L. Dahmer didn't wear his eyeglasses during his sanity trial because he didn't want to see the jury and spectators, his stepmother says.
"He's not wearing glasses so that he can't see people. He panics," Shari Dahmer told "Inside Edition" in an interview to be broadcast Wednesday.The only time Dahmer wore his glasses was Monday, when he was sentenced to consecutive life prison terms for killing and mutilating 15 men and boys. The jury ruled Saturday that he was sane.
Dahmer told the judge at his sentencing hearing that he wasn't trying to avoid prison by pleading insane. If found insane, he would have been confined to a mental institution and could have eventually petitioned for release.
"I didn't ever want freedom," he said. "Frankly, I wanted death for myself."
But Shari Dahmer said being incarcerated "is a living death for Jeff."
"The greatest loss to Jeff is his freedom," she said.
Shari Dahmer and Dahmer's father, Lionel, also said they feared for his safety. He is imprisoned at Columbia Correctional Institution, about 80 miles from Milwaukee.
"There's no doubt what people will want to do to him there," Lionel Dahmer said.
After his arrest last July, Dahmer told police he killed 17 men and boys, had sex with some of the corpses, ate some body parts and kept others as mementoes. He faces trial in Ohio for one death and wasn't charged in one Milwaukee case because of a lack of evidence.
"I don't think I'll ever come to terms with it," Lionel Dahmer said. "Nothing will ever be the same again. We will go on with life . . . but part of our minds can never forget this nightmare."
"Inside Edition" said the Dahmers were not paid for the interview, taped during the three-week sanity trial. The syndicated TV show provided an advance transcript of the interview.