Steven “Steve” Tuomi was born in 1963. On the fifteenth of September during 1987, he was twenty-four years old and had a job at a restaurant in Milwaukee. On that particular evening, upon finishing work, he visited a few nightclubs in the area. At one of those clubs he met a guy called Jeff.
They struck up a conversation. Jeff was friendly, and they chatted away for a while. Presently, Jeff said he had a room reserved at the nearby Ambassador hotel if Steven wanted to spend the night. Steven agreed, and off they went.
When they were in the room, Jeff gave Steven a drink. The young man downed it, unwittingly swallowing several ground-up sleeping tablets that his new friend had painstakingly prepared just a few hours before. Jeff, of course, was Jeffery Dahmer, whose social skills were so poor that he needed to drug the people he was attracted to just to keep them with him.
Jeff woke up the next morning with the mother of all hangovers, absolutely no memory of the events of the night before, and Steve Tuomi’s battered corpse lying beside him.
According to the testimony at Dahmer’s trial, there had been a struggle: Dahmer’s forearms, when examined the next morning, were bruised, and descriptions of Steve’s injuries range from “a bruise in the centre of his chest” to “his chest being split open”. (The interesting thing is, both of these accounts were read out at the trial by two different “experts” who’d interviewed the defendant. Could it be that Dahmer tried to play it down to cast himself in a marginally better light? Like he did about ninety percent of the time?) Some online accounts claim, rather excitedly, that the manaic tried to rip out Steve’s heart.
Whatever about the injuries, Steve was dead, and while hotels may turn a blind eye to leaving chocolate wrappers and cola cans behind you when you check out, a dead body is another matter altogether. So, Dahmer went out, bought a suitcase, brought it back to the hotel room and stuffed the poor man inside it. After enlisting the bellboy to help him carry it out of the room, he checked out, hailed a cab and took the (presumably ginormous) case back to his grandmother’s house where he lived. The only sticky moment was when the cabbie commented on the putrid smell coming from the suitcase, for which Jeff naturally managed to find an excuse other than “It’s the corpse of a guy I killed horribly”. Once in the safety of his grandmother’s basement, Dahmer dismembered the corpse and disposed of it. To this day, no remains have ever been found of Steven Tuomi, and that’s why Jeff was never charged with his murder.
Not much is known about Steve, not even how he died. However, by all accounts he was conscious at the time of his death, due to the evidence of the bruises on Dahmer’s arms (which, by the way, puts paid to the claim made by him that Steven killed himself. Idiot, wasn’t he?). He obviously struggled for his life, but in the end Dahmer overpowered and slaughtered him. Adding insult to injury, he then suggested in later interviews that he may have committed suicide. To round it all off, Dahmer was never convicted of the murder, so in a sense he got away with it.
The only thing anyone can do for Steven Tuomi now is to simply remember him, and not let him sink into oblivion. It’s not much when you consider that Dahmer has fan clubs and webpages dedicated to his own worthless memory, but it’s a definite start.
Rest in peace, Mr. Tuomi.