An intended victim of serial killer Jeffrey L. Dahmer testified Friday that Dahmer terrorized him with a large knife and threatened to eat his heart.
The testimony from Tracy Edwards, 32, at the defendant’s sanity trial recounted the night last July 22 when he narrowly escaped after spending several harrowing hours in Dahmer’s apartment.
Edwards said Dahmer changed from a friendly man, who offered him money and beer to pose nude for photographs, to a crazed killer. He said Dahmer forced him to lie on the floor and pointed a knife with a six-inch blade at his groin.
“He put his head on my chest, was listening to my heart, and said he was going to eat my heart,” Edwards testified.
Dahmer, 31, has pleaded guilty but insane to 15 murders in Milwaukee County. Police found body parts of 11 young males in his apartment. Dahmer later confessed to killing and dismembering 17 young males since 1978.
A jury must decide if Dahmer was insane when he killed and dismembered the victims. The jury’s decision will determine whether he is sent to prison or a mental institution.
Edwards testified that Dahmer chanted and rocked back and forth while watching the movie “Exorcist III” in his bedroom. Dahmer allegedly became excited during scenes in the movie that depict a priest possessed by the devil.
Edwards said he tried to calm Dahmer, who said he was afraid of being disliked and left alone. Finally, with Dahmer distracted, Edwards said he hit him, fled the apartment and flagged down a police car.
“I told the police: ‘This freak, this crazy guy was trying to hurt me,’ ” Edwards said.
In testimony earlier Friday, Detective Dennis Murphy said Dahmer felt that by confessing to the murders in graphic detail, he was trying to make amends for the horror he had caused.
But family members of the victims scoffed at that notion.
“I don’t think he’s trying to make amends, he’s just trying to relieve his own conscience,” Shirley Hughes, the mother of victim Tony Hughes, said during a recess.
“He’s trying to con the jury into believing he has changed by saying he reads the Bible and stuff like that,” another relative said.