Netflix’s latest true crime series Dahmer- Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and documentary Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, have had viewers transfixed on the horrific crimes of one of America’s most infamous serial killers.
Dahmer was responsible for the gruesome murders of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with some of his horrific crimes taking place in the basement of his grandmother’s home.
But what happened to Dahmer’s grandmother and did she know what he was doing? Here’s everything you need to know.
*This article contains descriptions of Dahmer’s killings which may be disturbing*
Who was Catherine Jemima Hughes?
Catherine Jemima Hughes was Dahmer’s paternal grandmother. Born in 1902 in Brigham, Iowa, she was one of seven siblings. She married Herbert Walter Dahmer in 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The couple would go on to have two children - a son Lionel, who was Dahmer’s father and a daughter Eunice.
How long did Jeffrey Dahmer live with his grandmother?
Dahmer moved into his grandmother’s house at 2357 S. 57th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1981 after he was kicked out of the army. He would stay with his grandmother for nine years, eventually moving out in 1990 after she asked him to leave due to him drinking heavily and frequently bringing home male companions.
In May 1990, Dahmer moved into the Oxford Apartment Building, where he would go on to continue his horrific killing spree.
What crimes did he commit in her basement?
Dahmer committed horrific crimes in his grandmother’s basement. In 1987 he killed his second victim, Steven Tuomi in a hotel room in 1987, dismembering his body in his grandmother’s house.
He would go on to commit three more horrific murders and dismemberments in the home killing Jamie Doxtator, Richard Guerrero, and Anthony Sears.
What happened to Ronald Flowers?
Ronald Flowers met Dahmer by chance in Milwaukee in 1988. He had come to the city to visit some friends and visit the nearby nightclub, club 219.
However, when he left to go home he discovered his car wouldn’t start. Dahmer approached Flowers, posing as a good samaritan and told him to come to his grandmother’s house nearby where they could get another car to jump start it.
According to an interview Flowers gave in the documentary Jeffrey Dahmer: Mind of a Monster, Dahmer offered him a cup of coffee which made him pass out.
Flowers’ last memory was of drinking the coffee, getting dizzy and falling to the ground, explaining “the last thing I saw was the floor and his shoes.”
Dahmer’s grandmother is believed to have witnessed some of the encounter and helped her grandson drive him to the hospital where Flowers later awoke. He reported the assault to the police, but explains he was told “well it’s his word against your word.”
Flowers testifed against Dahmer during his trial and explained that if it hadn’t have been for Dahmer’s grandmother, he believes he would have been murdered.
Did she know about his crimes?
Whilst Hughes had no idea about the horrific crimes her grandson was committing, Dahmer was arrested twice whilst living with her. First in 1982 for indecent exposure and then for disorderly conduct in 1986.
In 1990 she asked him to leave after his drinking escalated and he frequently brought men to her home. This is what led Dahmer to get his own place in the Oxford Apartment building in Milwaukee.
Did Jeffrey Dahmer kill his grandmother?
Dahmer did not kill his grandmother, the pair are believed to have had a good relationship, despite the fact she effectively kicked him out in 1990.
According to Heavy, The Beacon Journal article described Hughes as “the one member of his family he loved.” Adding that Dahmer: “planted roses for her and kept her lawn mowed.”
What happened to his grandmother?
According to Family Search, Hughes died on 25 December 1992, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the age of 88-years-old. This was after Dahmer had been arrested and sentenced to life in prison for his crimes.
Whilst Hughes did not publicly comment on her grandson’s crimes, Seventeen reported that in a 1991 article in the Fond du Lac Reporter accessed through newspapers.com, she described his arrest as “terrible” adding “I loved him very much. He would do anything for me.”