Showing no remorse for one of the nation's most grisly murder sprees, Jeffrey Dahmer admitted to a television interviewer that if he were free, he would probably continue his crimes.
The convicted serial killer, in an exclusive interview with "Inside Edition" to be broadcast in Seattle starting at 7 p.m. tonight on Channel 13, 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" 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 Hicks and hid the body parts in a drainpipe.
For the next nine years, Dahmer was in the Army and did not kill. "There was just not the opportunity to fully express what I wanted to do," he said.
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 on 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."
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."
Glass was surprised by Dahmer's "almost clinical" manner and his willingness to give more details than she requested. "What I found really chilling was how he appears normal, intelligent and articulate," she said. The rest of her interview airs tomorrow and Wednesday.
"The people at the prison remarked to me that they were nervous," said Glass. "They felt that when a guy sits there and says, `I'm evil, I have these obsessions, they're still here, I want to die,' they believe him."
Dahmer did not blame any one event or person for causing him to have his obsessions.
"To this day, I don't know what started it, and the person to blame is the person sitting right across from you. Not parents, not society, not pornography. Those are just excuses," he said.