Showing no remorse, convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer gave a television interviewer grisly details of one of the nation's most gruesome crimes, at one point describing how he ate his victims because "it was a way of making me feel that they were a part of me."
Dahmer, in an exclusive interview with "Inside Edition" to be broadcast starting today, spoke evenly and unemotionally about his deadly compulsion. The slayings began in 1978, when he killed and dismembered 18-year-old Steven Hicks, the first of 17 murders of which he ultimately was convicted.
"I always knew that it was wrong after the first killing," said Dahmer, 32, who is serving 999 years at the Columbia Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Portage, Wis. He spoke with "Inside Edition" senior correspondent Nancy Glass there last month.
"As the years went by, and the compulsion became stronger and the obsession more intense, it became the main focus of my life," said Dahmer.
"The first killing was not planned. I had had fantasies about picking up a hitchhiker and taking him back to the house and having complete control and dominance over him."
Dahmer strangled Mr. Hicks with a barbell.
For the next nine years, Dahmer was in the Army and did not kill.
The killing started again in 1988 and for three years each slaying followed a prescribed ritual: He picked up young men at nightclubs, bathhouses and bars, offered them money, brought them to his apartment, gave them a sleeping pill mixture, strangled them, and had sex with the corpses.
Dahmer's atrocities were finally discovered on July 22, 1991, after a handcuffed victim fled his apartment and called the police. Police found boxes of body parts, three heads in a refrigerator, and a barrel of acid in his fly-infested, stench-filled apartment. Dahmer, a former chocolate factory worker from Milwaukee, was sentenced last Feb. 17 to life in prison. He is not eligible for parole for 936 years.
In the interview, Dahmer said that he was never repulsed by his acts. "It was almost addictive -- a surge of energy. I wouldn't have to worry about any of their needs or anything. I just had complete control of the situation."
His obsession soon escalated beyond killing.
"I wanted to keep something of the person with me. I kept the mummified head and skull of one of the victims in a carrying case in my locker at work."
"I even went so far as planning on setting up an altar with 10 different skulls and skeletons. It was my way of remembering their appearance, their physical beauty."
"I tried to keep the person alive by inducing a zombie-like state by injecting first a dilute acid solution into their brain, or hot water. It never did completely work."
Sometimes Dahmer ate his victims' hearts. "It was a way of making me feel that they were a part of me."
Although he admitted his actions were wrong, Dahmer said, "There are still times when I still do have those old compulsions."
If released, Dahmer said he would probably repeat his crimes.
"I can't think of anything that would have stopped me."