Jeffrey Dahmer Cause of Death: How Did He Die?

jeffrey dahmer cause of death

Mugshots What was Jeffrey Dahmer's cause of death?

What was Jeffrey Dahmer’s cause of death? How did the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, serial killer and cannibal die?

Dahmer was murdered in prison on November 28, 1994, by another inmate, a convicted murderer named Christopher Scarver. He died at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin. Another convicted murderer, Jesse Anderson, who murdered his wife outside a restaurant, was also murdered in the same attack.

Dahmer’s serial killings are featured in a new Netflix series. “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” started streaming on September 21, 2022. “Across more than a decade, 17 teen boys and young men were murdered by convicted killer Jeffrey Dahmer. How did he evade arrest for so long?” the Netflix site for the show asks.

Here’s what you need to know about Dahmer’s death:

Scarver Attacked Dahmer & Left Him ‘Gurgling’ on the Floor

A Wisconsin State Journal article from 1994, accessed through, describes how Scarver, today 53, “bashed in Jeffrey Dahmer’s head with a metal bar and left him gurgling on the floor.”

“God told me to do it,” Scarver said, according to that article. Scarver, Dahmer and Anderson had been assigned to clean a prison gymnasium, that article says.

An article in the Akron Beacon Journal from November 29, 1994, the day after Dahmer’s death, said that his “bloodied body was found in a staff bathroom at 8:10 a.m., 12 minutes after he and two other inmates arrived for janitorial duty.”

Dahmer was 34 years old when he died. He was found “breathing but unresponsive” and pronounced dead an hour later at a hospital, according to the story, accessed via

That report says that Dahmer was “beaten so severely his face was unrecognizable.” The motive was not clear. Dahmer died of “severe head injuries,” according to that story.

It Wasn’t the First Time Someone Tried to Murder Dahmer in Prison

christopher scarver

MugshotChristopher Scarver

The Beacon Journal story from 1994 says that Dahmer was “kept in isolation” during his first year in prison but then was allowed to “mix with other prisoners.”

Another inmate tried to kill him during a prison chapel service the July before he died, trying to “slash Dahmer’s throat with a homemade knife,” the report says. The razor blade fell out, thwarting the attack.

The then Corrections Secretary told the newspaper that Dahmer was not under supervision at all times while doing janitorial work.

Then District Attorney E. Michael McCann told the Associated Press at that time that Dahmer was considered a “racist killer” because “most of his victims were young, gay black men,” so he was a target in prison.

Dahmer Was Killed With a 20-Inch Metal Bar From Exercise Equipment

jeffrey dahmer

GettySuspected serial killer Jeffrey L. Dahmer enters the courtroom of judge Jeffrey A. Wagner 06 August 1991.

A 1994 Associated Press article on Dahmer’s autopsy says that he remained shackled until the autopsy began.

He was “bludgeoned to death,” that story reported.

The autopsy was performed by Robert Huntington III.

Dahmer died within minutes of the beating, the AP reported.

That AP story reported that “prison records…quote an inmate as saying he overheard Scarver remarking he expected to be paid for the slayings.”

The story says that Dahmer and Anderson were murdered “with a 20-inch metal bar from exercise equipment.”

Dahmer’s brain was removed during the autopsy and “preserved for possible study,” the AP reported.

A 1994 Associated Press article, also accessed via, said that Dahmer died after being taken off life support.

Dahmer had been assigned to clean a prison restroom when he was attacked, the article said.

Scarver was the “sole suspect,” according to the AP.

Questions Swirled Around Dahmer’s Death

jeffrey dahmer

MugshotJeffrey Dahmer

There were questions for years about Dahmer’s death, namely: How was Scarver able to get away with it if prison guards were there?

The story quoted Columbia County Sheriff James D. Smith as saying that “eight people were in the prison’s recreation area around the time of the attacks, including two guards, a recreation director, and other inmates.”

Anderson and Dahmer were found in different locations; Dahmer was discovered in a staff bathroom “in a pool of blood” while Anderson was discovered in a locker room, according to the AP.

The AP article says that a “bloody broom handle” was found near Dahmer.

Scarver, now 53, remains in prison, but he was shipped out-of-state, according to the state of Wisconsin Department of Corrections database.

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