Just saying his name provokes spine tingling terror as history recalls and horrific accounts of his crimes detail one of the most gruesome killing sprees to date. What Jeffrey did to his victims is so repulsive and beyond all human comprehension, few can think about it without getting terribly ill. The pain this man caused to the families of his victims, and even his own family, begged the question: Would anyone recover from this tragedy?
The year is 1991, summer is in full swing and Jeffrey Dahmer has been on a killing spree for over a decade. At this point, he has gone undetected despite having a close call with an underage boy who escaped his apartment a couple months prior. Tragically, the teenager was immediately returned to Dahmer by police only to be killed later that night. By the grace of God, there is one who escaped to tell the tale. A man by the name of Tracy Edwards apparently trapped in Dahmer's apartment comes to the sobering realization he is about to become the next victim. Surveying the sights and smells, Edwards acts fast to save his own life. He engages Dahmer in a four hour conversation, attempting to spare his life, which ultimately leads to a physical confrontation giving Edwards the upperhand and ability to flee Dahmer's apartment of death and decay. Edwards, hysterical and out of breath, runs into the police and leads officers back to Dahmer's apartment where Jeffrey is arrested. Within a day the story is headline news around the globe. People everywhere are asking, "How could one man have so much evil inside him?"
(In a strange twist of events, Tracy Edwards, hailed as the hero who put a stop to Dahmer's killing spree, was arrested in 2011 for murder)
In 1992, Dahmer was found guilty of 15 counts of murder and sentenced to 15 life terms. Prison life didn't last long for Dahmer, he only served two years. In reaping what one sews, Jeffrey died having done to him what he had done to others: he was brutally murdered. Jeffrey's head was beaten beyond recognition and he died en route to the hospital.
But something happened between 1992 and 1994 before Jeffrey was murdered, something that very few were willing to talk about or believe, even until today. Perhaps even more astonishing than his crimes, Jeffrey believed the Gospel message and repented to God of his sins. Jeffrey Dahmer had become a born again Christian.
Enter Roy Ratcliff, the pastor called in 1994 to baptize Jeffrey Dahmer. In his book, "Dark Journey: Deep Grace," Roy recalls his own doubts at the beginning. Like any person who had heard of Jeffrey's horrific story, Roy wondered if this man so full of evil could be sincere about his belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. Was it a joke? Would people think he was just a common pastor seeking publicity? Would professing Christians he knew turn on him? Sadly, many did. Some even remarked that if Jeffrey Dahmer was now in Heaven, they had no interest in going there. So much for mercy and forgiveness! Apparently, for some believers the blood of Christ has limited power when it comes to others sin.
Excerpt from pg. 68:
He smiled as he gave his answer. "Yes, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. In fact, I've said so lots of times in the various interviews I've given to the media, but each time, when the report airs, that part is left out."
There are some who would call this man a monster, and indeed they would be correct. Society always has a way of pointing fingers at those deemed a little worse than the rest of us. But is this factually correct?
Jeffrey Dahmer took his wicked sins to their logical conclusion: he lived them out.
Most of us, if we are honest, keep such thoughts to ourselves and/or pray for them to go away and repent.The hypocrisy of it all is staggering, even blinding. A society that loves death and sin: abortion on demand, violent books, movies, music, video games, abusive relationships, violent pornography against women, etc., is willing to hold up someone who is just a little bit worse than they are and scream,"We are bad, but not this bad!" Yet how would our homes look if all of our thoughts of anger and hatred towards another person were laid before us? How many wounded? How many dead?
If Jeffrey Dahmer sincerely believed the Gospel message, he is now in Heaven. God knows his heart and whether he was sincere.
Luke 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentence.