Joseph Bradehoft




Well, here we are. After fast-tracking through nearly two decades of bloodshed, we have reached the last victim of Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer. Many final victims unwittingly bring about their murderer’s downfall; Stephen Sinclair, for example, posthumously helped the police to catch Dennis Nilsen when the homicidal Scotsman flushed the young man’s dismembered flesh down the toilet. A plumber would later come across the remains, thus leading the police to net one of Britain’s worst murderers.

But the death of Joseph “Joe” Bradehoft barely caused a ripple in Dahmer’s life.

Mr. Bradehoft was originally from Illinois, but he came to Milwaukee to visit his brother and to seek work to support his family. He was married, but had seperated from his wife, and had three children.

He met Dahmer at a bus-stop on the nineteenth of July, 1991. The killer had recently been fired from his job at a chocolate factory (no, he wasn’t a taster) and wasn’t sleeping. He had even taken to watching “Exorcist III” on loop. Truly, he was in an unstoppable downward spiral.

And there stood Joseph Bradehoft at the bus-stop, minding his own business, with a six-pack under one arm.

Dahmer invited him back to his place, and offered him fifty dollars to seal the deal. (At the time, Dahmer was also mysteriously almost broke.) Mr. Bradehoft accepted and went back with him, where he was later slipped a drugged drink.

His head was discovered in the freezer a few days later.

Mr. Bradehoft’s death affected a great many people, one of whom was at the trial. Donald Bradehoft became overwhelmed whilst talking about his brother, and had to leave the stand midway through his victim impact statement, sobbing. Did Dahmer beg his forgiveness? Did he have a sudden, visible attack of remorse? Did he even have the decency to look ashamed?

Of course not, because that would have taken maturity and bravery. Jeff possessed neither.

Rest in peace, Mr. Bradehoft.

Nope. Just stared at the ground as usual.

And what of the three children left behind? What were they told when their father never came home? What about Mr. Bradehoft’s wife?

I hope they’re doing okay, wherever they are. No-one deserves to go through that.

Rest in peace, Mr. Bradehoft.


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9 responses to “Joseph Bradehoft

  1. Tanya

    My name is Tanya and joseph bradehoft is my fathers cousin, my father was devastated when this happen mainly because Joe asked him to go with him out drinking that night and he couldn’t because my mother just had me! His family is doing wonderful even though we all think about him all the time we have made it through

    • My condolences. I’m sorry he was taken from your family so young, and I’m glad you were strong enough to live through it. Comments like this are pure gold to me, ‘cos it brings these beautiful people back to life, in a way. May God go with you and your people.

      • Tanya

        Thank you as I got older and when his kids would come over I would just think if I was born just a week later he’d still be here and my dad always said if I would of just went with him he’d still be here but then we both had to realize it’s not our faults that there are monsters like that in the world. And now when I see his pictures all I do is smile and talk to him because I know he is up there watching over all of us.

  2. Sometimes I talk to them, too. I’m not related to any of them, but occasionally I find myself chatting to them. I would have really liked to meet Jamie Doxtator and Konerak Sinthasomphone.

    • Tanya

      Yes me too! I would have loved to meet Joe but unfortunately I was just a baby but I have read all their stories and hope all their families are doing well.

  3. Robin Marcum

    How do I get in contact with this writer?

  4. Leslie Suppan

    Actually, Jeffrey Dahmer was VERY remorseful and he was so ashamed of his crimes that he didn’t wear his glasses in the courtroom. He couldn’t bear to see the faces of his victims’ families or of his own Dad and step-Mom who were there as well. So every day in court: no glasses. About a year before he was murdered Jeff became a Christian, and his pastor Roy Ratcliff attested to his sincerity in accepting Jesus into his life; Pastor Ratcliff baptized Jeffrey and met with him every week for Bible study and guidance. Jeff Dahmer felt he deserved the death penalty…but Wisconsin doesn’t have the death penalty. So instead, he asked to be put into the general population in prison, where he knew he would be killed. When Christopher Scarver killed Jeff in 1994, he said that Jeff did not fight back and never uttered a sound. He just let Scarver kill him. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’d have the courage to do what Jeffrey Dahmer did and not fight back against somebody who was trying to kill me. RIP Joseph Bradehoft, all of the other victims and Jeffrey Dahmer too.

    • See, I’ve got the perfect riposte to this: the Jason Moss letters. After his conviction, Dahmer corresponded with Moss, believing that he was a high-school-aged child. In the letters, he asks for photos chillingly similar to the poses he contorted Konerak’s dead body into – chest up to the heavens, arms behind the head. He also expresses an interest in pursuing a relationship with Moss, whom he believed was underage. So, yeah. There’s a difference between remorse and cowardice.

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