Serial Killer From Wisconsin Jeffree Dahmer

Americans have a macabre fascination with true crime stories. One of the most gruesome categories is serial killers. According to, Dr. H.H. Holmes was the first documented serial killer in the United States. The article reports that Holmes may have murdered as many as 200 people in his hotel of horrors during the 1890s. Although there have been murderers since the beginning of human history, serial killers have their own classification.

They are usually sociopathic males who have killed three or more people within a short time period. Serial killers have a twisted reason and methodology for their madness. Here are the 4 most notorious Wisconsin serial killers

Serial Killers From Wisconsin

1. Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffree Dahmer Wisconsin Serial Killer

Perhaps no serial killer in modern times gained more notoriety than Jeffrey Dahmer of Milwaukee. He was born into a normal family in 1960, and according to accounts from family members, young Jeffrey did not exhibit any bizarre behavior until he was about 6 years old. He lacked confidence and basic social skills. After his parents divorced when he was fourteen, the teenage Dahmer developed a disturbing interest in dead things.

His father said that he was constantly dismembering road kill and had a preoccupation with death. Dahmer committed his first murder when he was eighteen years old. Over the next few years, he was constantly in trouble with the law for sexual deviancies. Over the course of 1988-1992, Jeffrey Dahmer killed 16 young men in Milwaukee. His reign of terror ended when a would-be victim escaped and told police what was going on in Dahmer’s apartment. The world was not prepared to deal with what authorities found there.

Dahmer lured young gay men to his apartment, where he would drug them. After strangulation, he dismembered their bodies and kept grizzly mementos. He was a necrophiliac who got a sexual thrill with his departed victims. The worst part of the story was that Dahmer reportedly ate some of his victim’s body parts.

He had a well-publicized trial that ended in a total of 15 life sentences. He was sent to a prison in Portage, Wisconsin, where he was reported to be a “model prisoner”. In November of 1994, a fellow inmate bludgeoned Dahmer to death. At his earlier request, Dahmer’s remains were cremated. He is still considered one of the worst serial killers from Wisconsin, and is even immortalized on our famous friends serial killer shirt (the t-shirt you didn't know you needed to have until now!)

 2. Walter Ellis

Walter Ellis was born in the same city and year as Jeffrey Dahmer (coincidence?). He was known as the North Milwaukee Strangler, says From 1986-2007, Ellis raped and murdered seven African American woman in the North Milwaukee area. During the times that the victims were found, authorities could not find the killer. However, they were able to get DNA samples from the bodies.

The murders were cold cases until DNA evidence pointed to a criminal named Walter Ellis. Originally, Ellis plead not guilty to the murders. When his attorney withdrew from the case, Ellis finally admitted no contest to the dastardly deeds. The court found him guilty and gave him seven life sentences without the hope of parole.

Ellis spent some time in Wisconsin until he was finally transferred to a maximum-security prison in South Dakota. Ellis only got to serve a couple of years in prison, because he died of natural causes in 2013.


3. David Spanbauer

david spanbauer serial killer from wisconsin

This cold-blooded killer was born in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1941. According to a website dedicated to Wisconsin serial killers, Spanbauer had nothing but trouble with the law since he was a teenager. He quit school in his junior year and had a failed attempt in the Navy.

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Because of Appleton's erratic behavior, he was court-martialed and sent home dishonorably. Spanbauer increased his criminal activity in Appleton. He burglarized homes and finally raped a young woman who was housesitting. That same night, he murdered the woman’s uncle as he was returning for the evening. Spanbauer only spent 13 of the 70 years he was sentenced for the crimes.

He had no remorse and did not change his ways. In two short years (1992-94), he savagely raped and murdered three more females—two of them children. In a report from his hometown newspaper, the judge in this case called Spanbauer “pure evil” and sentenced him to over 400 years in prison. Spanbauer died of possible heart problems at the age of 61 in 2002.


4. Ed Gein

serial killer ed gein in wisconsin

Some of the most disturbing horror movies in our times were inspired by this heinous Wisconsin serial killer, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Gein was born in 1906 to an alcoholic father and a religious fanatic mother. According to, his father died and his mother kept him and his brother as virtual prisoners in their farmhouse. She brainwashed them to fear the outside world and to hate other females.

After his mother passed away, the young Gein went mad and became obsessed with woman. His thinking was so perverse that he started robbing women’s graves to collect body parts. Bored with that, he began a killing spree that took the lives of two women. When police finally captured him on murder charges, they were shocked with what they found in the old farmhouse.

Gein had preserved scores of body parts from his victims. It was believed that he was preserving human skin to make a costume for himself. The courts ruled that no one in their right mind could devise such profound horrors. He was sent to the state mental hospital. After a few years in the hospital, he was deemed fit for trial. Again, the court ruled him insane and he was returned to the hospital.

Quick note: If you want to learn more about Ed Gein, I highly recommend this book. The book chronicles his life and goes into great detail about all of the deranged acts he committed. 

Ed Gein died in the state hospital of heart failure in 1984. Although these serial killers are gone, they still live in the chronicles of true crime.

People are still intrigued with what makes these monsters tick. They continue to be subjects of documentaries and horror movies, as well as pop culture icons.

Know another serial killer from Wisconsin? Let us know in the comments so we can add it to the list!

More from the blog:

5 Serial Killers Who Had Mental Disorders

Ed Gein: The Gruesome Story That Inspired The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

How Many People Did Ted Bundy Kill? Here's His Victims

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Micheal, from the comment above, how many people have you killed? Also, I’m wondering if it has to do with the duration between killings and whether bodies are mutilated. I think for ed gein they could only prove two killings but they suspected more.


While watching the recent Netflix series, it was mentioned that a victim’s friend had been murdered before him, presumably not Dahmer as his body was found. Then the upstairs neighbour was found strangled in his apartment but wasn’t claimed by Dahmer, which was unlike him. It’s like, in the 80s and 90s, people would act like it was just lots of people going out and randomly killing single victims, whereas it seems more likely it was one, or two or three killing multiple people. Does this mean that there was another serial killer targeting the gay community in Milwaukee at the same time as Dahmer? Or does it mean that Dahmer was not as honest as it has been assumed? Sometimes my curiousity gets piqued


i feel like the reason so many of them went crazy was because of how there family or parents treated them, reading alot of this stuff about the serial killers, they all werent hardly social. Hardly any of them talked to really anyone..something triggers everyone that makes they a little crazy. Personally anyone could be a serial killer certain things just click in there mind and then they end up going completely insane..

Cynthia Pastell

There’s a man who killed 8 people in Rice Lake Wisconsin, A Memorial is there😰

Billy Bob Joe

I’ve worked on a number of farms in Central Wisconsin. My family used to know Ed Gein back in the olden days as another review had put it. Sometimes you just read people wrong, and sometimes their just batshit crazy. Now its supper time I gotta to go.


I not really sure if you people understand what serial killer is? In you’re own words
“They are usually sociopathic males who have killed three or more people within a short time period”.
Ed Gein can not be considered a serial killer seeing how he only killed two people. You definitely can call him a murderer and a grave robber but not a serial killer. He also was not a cannibal or a necrophiliac. Definitely not right in the head but who wouldn’t be with a mother like his.


Central Wisconsin has a few look alike-s doppelganger ten most wanted men here and
and because of the problems of weather and earthquakes, forest fires and so on I wouldn’t go in any woods alone anymore because we don’t have that problem here and our state is a good hide out scenario in Wisconsin, back to the olden days again like in the 1920s… …, but what the heck if they match all the descriptions and they have others with different colored look the same in their own family , man they could play some real big games on the people and the police! The D.Phil. show had a doppelganger look alike a few years ago, it was reported to his web site I guess but to no avail!~! another item…take along look at all the pictures in the your papers people are all starting to look all alike and its kind of scary in a way, so you almost can’t trust whom you speak to anymore!~

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