Saturday, March 10, 2007

I wonder how right-wing Christian nutjobs would feel about a gay serial killer arguing on their behalf

I'm currently engrossed in a fascinating interview with Jeffrey Dahmer on MSNBC right now that was done in 1994.

What's really making it interesting to me is that it's a totally straight-forward, pretty non-sensational face-to-face interview with him and his father in prison. What's really striking to me right now is how much sadness and remorse Dahmer seems to be showing. I am by no means, obviously, a seasoned psychiatric professional, but he doesn't come across as the smug, sociopathic, often boastful person that most serial killers do.

One thing he discusses is how he went to great lengths not to kill anyone, and that he always felt incredibly bad about it. That's the reason, he claims, for attempting to "zombifie" men with the drill and what-not, so that he wouldn't have to kill them. I'm not sure that morally speaking, performing homemade lobotomies and trying to make young men into your sexual servants is really any more excusable than just killing them, but I think it's worth noting. He seems incredibly sad and even more withdrawn when he gets into talking about his motivations, which basically, were that he was lonely. He was desperate for companionship, to have power over someone so that they could never leave him. Which is also what he attributed to the cannibalism. It was Dahmer's way of forever keeping the young men with him, and truly making them a part of him, so they "could never leave."

On the other hand, Dahmer also seems keenly aware of what he was doing the entire time, and how wrong it was. He comes across as having a very acute notion of morality and how much he must have hurt people. The narcissism shown by most serial killers seems strangely absent with Dahmer. Also to his credit, he deflects the idea that Stone Phillips introduces that maybe Dahmer's homosexuality was to blame. He more or less shrugs off the question of that, which I find really dumb. I suppose being closeted and terrified of your sexuality can make people do really stupid and hateful things (the more homophobic someone is, usually the more gay they are....), but Dahmer was neither. He claims ease with his sexuality and was never particularly closeted. In a separate interview alone, however, his father indirectly blames the gay for the killing, and attributes the "intensity" of Dahmer's lust and sexuality to a possible link to the killings. Whether or not that played a real role, I'll let Dahmer's doctors determine. Dahmer also rants about midway through about evolution, and how poisonous an idea it is to introduce to children because it discounts God and any meaning in life. Such are the rants of a born-again, "reformed" serial killer.

The separate interviews with his parents are staggeringly heartbreaking. Especially his mother, who has been subtlely blamed by the father for making their child into a monster. He seems like a bit of an opportunist. The mother is absolutely tragic.

I could write an endless post about this.

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