Up until now, the stories of the Dahmer vicitms have been relatively palatable (mainly because I have chosen to leave out the rape and necrophilia, because my folks check up on me sometimes). I mean, drugging and strangulation are bad, but other serial killers have done much, much worse. What about Ted Bundy, who routinely returned to his crime scenes to reapply his victims’ makeup? What about Ricardo Ramirez, who drew bloody hex marks on the flesh of the deceased? What about Albert Fish, whe sent a gloating letter to the mother of little Grace Budd, telling her that her daughter had tasted delicious?
Well, hold onto your headgear, because the tragic demise of Errol Lindsey makes that stuff look like the cute antics of kittens in comparison.
Errol Lindsey was nineteen years old at the time of his death., and was a choirboy in a Baptist church. He met Dahmer outside the same bookstore as Ernest Miller, and accepted his invitation to come back to his flat. While he was there, he unwittingly ingested sleeping tablets that had been dissolved into what was probably either liquor or coffee. He fell asleep, just like every other victim before him.
But Dahmer was growing tired of going to all the trouble of luring someone back to the apartment and being left with nothing but a skull. He had been doing some thinking, and had come to the conclusion that having a lobotomized shell with no will or impetus of its own hanging around would suit his needs perfectly. Since there were no shady mental institutions nearby with a ready supply of lobotomy patients going cheap, he decided to improvise.
“I took the drill while he was asleep….”-from Dahmer’s confession.
And that is indeed what he did. The killer took a drill and made a small hole in the top of Errol’s skull while he was unconscious. Then, he injected a quantity of muriatic acid with a syringe.
There exists in the brain a handy mechanism that rouses its owner when the body is under attack, and Errol’s, although compromised by the acid, did its job admirably. He woke up, but, apart from being slightly groggy, showed no sign that his grey matter was slowly being dissolved. He was alert and aware of his surroundings, making the grotesque experiment a complete failure in Dahmer’s eyes. So, he slipped Errol another drugged drink, and then strangled him.
Fast forward to the trial during 1992, when Errol’s bereaved sister Rita Isbell took to the stand to deliver her victim impact statement. Ms. Isbell is almost always mentioned in Dahmer biographies, because during her statement she got down from the witness stand and strode towards her brother’s murderer, fully intending to end his oxegen-wasting existence. If she had reached him, the janitor would’ve been finding bits of him in the carpet for a week-it took five officers to hold her back. She screamed at him, calling him Satan and swearing at him. She said that she never again wanted to see her mother endure what she had gone through when Errol disappeared.
Dahmer stared at her as if she were a performing anmal, smirking.
A photo was taken of Rita Isbell as she was restrained by court officials. One blogger described her as “mythic”: “This is the face of a woman who is railing against an epic injustice. This is Milwaukee’s version of Judith or Medea.” (Sourse: From the Desk of Mr. Knappy Head, “The Ballad of Jeffrey Dahmer”, part IV.) And indeed, she is one of those figures that stand out in the study of serial killers. Another woman decribed as almost mythological was the mother of Keith Bennet, the victim of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley whose little body was never found. These women seem unrelated at first, but they have one thing in common: their determination and their spirit. Mrs. Bennet looked for her son until she died, constantly roaming the moors. She never gave up, not even when Ian Brady mocked her by refusing to reveal his whereabouts. She just wanted to lay her son to rest peacefully. Ms. Isbell wanted to avenge her brother, to show Dahmer for the monster he really was. They are both worthy of the highest praise and respect.
But let us close by remembering Errol Lindsey, the smilng chorister. What did he do to deserve murder? What crime could that young man have possibly committed to merit acid injections and strangulation?
Jeff found him physically attractive. That’s the only reason there ever was.