Jeffrey Dahmer wearing a prison jumpsuit at his trial
True Crime

Netflix’s ‘Monster’ explores theory behind Dahmer’s crimes linked to childhood surgery

Did Jeffrey Dahmer's surgery alter his personality?

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In the new Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, an unusual theory is mentioned in connection to the serial killer’s crimes – a hernia operation.

When he was very young, the Milwaukee-born Jeffrey Dahmer underwent an operation to remove a hernia.

In the limited series, Jeffrey’s father blames the operation for changing his son.

He claims his son was never the same again after the op.

But did this really happen and was it the cause of the serial killer’s behaviour?

Jeffrey Dahmer in prison
Jeffrey Dahmer had a double hernia operation when he was only four years old (Credit: Shutterstock)

Did Jeffrey Dahmer have a hernia operation?

In the first episode of Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, viewers see Jeffrey’s dad Lionel being called into the police station where he’s told about his son’s horrific crimes.

Lionel is taken back by the news and struggles to understand how such a ‘good boy’ could turn into a murderous and cannibalistic monster.

He then suggests that Jeffrey’s violent and gruesome tendencies may have been triggered by a hernia operation in his early years.

But did this really happen in real life?

When Jeffrey Dahmer was a young boy, he had a great number of ear and throat infections.

Eventually he was diagnosed with a double hernia in his scrotum.

When he was just four years old, Jeffrey underwent a double hernia surgery.

And his family claimed he was never the same since.

Jeffrey’s life changed after the surgery

His parents described him as being happy before surgery, but his mood started to take a very dark turn.

Jeffrey started to become quite a withdrawn and shy child.

He also developed an unhealthy obsession with animals.

He would often collect animal carcasses and dismember their bodies.

Once, Jeffrey even decapitated a dog’s carcass and nailed its skull to a tree.

Surprisingly, his parents failed to see all of these as early warning signs.

His father even encouraged his obsession, thinking his son had a scientific brain.

Lionel also showed Jeffrey how to dissolve chicken bones in bleach after his son asked him how to get rid of bones when he was only 8 years old.

Little did Lionel know that the skill was going to be very useful for his son in the future.

True crime fans will know that Jeffrey went on to dismember his victims.

During Jeffrey’s trial, clinical psychologist Dr Judith Becker shared some of her conversations with the serial killer.

In one, she recalled that Jeffrey believed that his genitals had been cut off after surgery.

This may have lead to Jeffrey’s strange fascination with dismembering body parts, including genitals.

Jeffrey Dahmer sat with his lawyer during his trial
Jeffrey Dahmer dropped out of the army after only two years of service (Credit: Shutterstock)

Was his hernia operation the cause of Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes?

Although his parents claimed that Jeffrey became notably subdued after his double hernia surgery, it wasn’t proven that it was the cause of his criminal behaviour.

In fact, there are many other reasons to explain why Jeffrey acted the way he did.

Lionel and Joyce Dahmer claimed their son Jeffrey had a normal childhood.

But behind close doors, it wasn’t as perfect as they let on.

His mother Joyce suffered from an extreme mental illness with caused her to struggle with relationships.

Jeffrey’s first school teacher even wrote in her report that she believed Jeffrey was being neglected at home.

Jeffrey also took his parents divorce very hard.

He was 18 at the time and living with his father who often travelled, leaving Jeffrey at home alone.

It was then that Jeffrey also developed an addiction to alcohol.

Jeffrey spent most of his time at Ohio Sate University getting drunk and skipping classes until he eventually dropped out after two semesters.

His father then forced him to join the army in 1979.

Jeffrey enlisted for six years but was discharged after only two because of his drunken behaviour.

Read more: Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: Everything you need to know about the Netflix series

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Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is currently available to watch on Netflix.

Have you watched Netflix’s new series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story? Let us know what you thought by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Aaliyah Ashfield
Digital Marketing Apprentice

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