The Story Of Joyce Dahmer, Jeffrey Dahmer’s Mother (Then & Now)

Explore the remarkable account of Joyce Dahmer. Who exactly is she? What transpired in her life and where are her children positioned today?

Joyce Dahmer was a mother who grappled with mental illness while raising her sons, David Dahmer and Jeffrey Dahmer.

She never fully rebounded from the remorse that engulfed her after her son’s criminal activities were exposed.

Joyce suffered severe depression, leading to multiple admissions to a psychiatric hospital. Moreover, she was hospitalized due to alcohol abuse.

Following Jeffrey’s arrest, she was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia. She spent her remaining years in a nursing home and passed away in 1994.

Criminologists sought the counsel of Joyce Dahmer as society endeavored to comprehend the case of her son, the cannibalistic serial killer who was found guilty of killing 17 boys and men between 1978 and 1991.

Related article: Who portrayed Joyce Dahmer in a recent Netflix series?

Who is Joyce Dahmer?

Joyce Dahmer, also known as Joyce Flint, was born on February 7, 1936, in Columbus, Wisconsin. 

Her parents, Floyd and Lillian, had ancestors from both Norway and Germany. She had a younger brother named Donald, who passed away in 2011. 

With a master’s in counseling, Joyce managed caseloads for the Central Valley AIDS Team.

Joyce Dahmer suffered from depression and was a hypochondriac. 

She spent an increasing amount of time in bed and needed attention all the time. She frequently used laxatives, sleeping medications, and Equanil. 

She did not spend much time with her family. Disputes erupted between Joyce Dahmer, her husband, and their neighbors.

While the exact date of Lionel Dahmer’s wedding to her is unknown, it is known that their first son, Jeffrey, was born on May 21, 1960, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Soon after the family relocated to Doylestown, Ohio, in 1966, Joyce gave birth to her second son, David Dahmer. 

Someone Joyce was romantically involved with was discovered in 1978.

When Jeffrey was 18 years old, the couple decided to get a divorce in 1978 after over 19 years of marriage.

She relocated to Fresno, California, with their son David after divorcing Lionel, where she had many jobs, including managing a retirement community in the 1980s.

But to refer to the Dahmer family as all-American would be pretty misleading. 

In his memoir, A Father’s Story, Lionel acknowledged that the family was anything but happy. 

Lionel was frequently away from the house because he was preoccupied with his own doctoral studies.

And according to Lionel, Joyce Dahmer was not a perfect mother. He said that she used prescription medication while carrying Jeffrey and became mentally unstable after giving birth.

On the other hand, Joyce had a unique tale to share. She disputed the story about her son in a 1993 interview with MSNBC. 

Joyce stated that there were no warning signals of what Jeffrey Dahmer would later become, despite his father’s assertions that Jeffrey Dahmer was shy and timid as a child. 

Just before her son Jeffrey’s murders were discovered, Joyce Dahmer relocated to the Fresno, California, region. 

She worked with HIV and AIDS patients at a period when they were regarded as untouchable, in contrast to her husband’s claim that she was an obsessive germaphobe who dreaded sickness. 

She also continued to work with him after her son was killed in prison.

Joyce Dahmer Felt Accountable For Her Son’s Criminal Activity 

When her son Dahmer confessed to the shocking murder, necrophilia, and cannibalism of 17 young men and boys in Milwaukee in 1991, she was thrown into the national spotlight. 

In a 1993 newspaper interview, she remarked, ‘I wake up every morning hardly knowing I’m Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother for a split second, and then it all pours in.’

In the prison lavatory on November 28, 1994, Christopher Scarver, a fellow prisoner and convicted murderer, beat Jeffrey Dahmer to death. 

Scarver saw that Jeffrey appeared to accept his fate. However, the same cannot be true for Jeffrey Dahmer’s parents, particularly his mother, Joyce Dahmer, who was consumed with guilt over her son’s actions.

Prior to her passing away, Dahmer’s mother gave multiple interviews in which she discussed what it was like to have a notorious serial killer as a child.

‘I still care for my son. I have always loved my son. He was a lovely baby. He was a fantastic young man. He will always be cherished.’ she remarked.

According to Joyce, ‘Dahmer was a victim of a compulsion. I knew I was not a good mom. I was aware that this could have originated from Jeff.’

Gerald Boyle, an attorney representing Jeffrey, thought that despite her son’s best efforts to relieve her of guilt, she would continue to carry the shame of his actions and the memory of Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood with her for the rest of her days.

She had no responsibility, he continued. She was driven insane by dealing with the concept that she was the mother of a monster.

Joyce Dahmer’s Failed Attempt to Suicide

Whether or not it was Jeffrey Dahmer’s parents’ fault, Joyce Dahmer felt terrible for her son’s criminal activity so much that she tried to end her life.

Joyce Dahmer switched on her gas oven and left the door open just a few months before Jeffrey was murdered in custody. ‘Joyce was found laying face down in her kitchen on Tuesday after turning on her gas oven and left its door open.’ as reported by UPI.

‘Life has been lonely now. Please have me cremated.’ She wrote in her suicide note, ‘I love my sons, Jeff and David.’

She eventually survived the suicide attempt. 

How Did She Die?

Joyce Dahmer succumbed to breast cancer in 2000 at 64. 

The Los Angeles Times said that Joyce Dahmer’s friends and coworkers chose to remember her for the work she had done with the less fortunate. 

Julio Mastro, executive director of the Living Room, a Fresno HIV community organization, described her as ‘energetic, and sensitive, and she turned her own misfortune into being able to have a tremendous level of empathy for persons with HIV.’

Here we have mentioned some of the questions and their answers which are trending right now

Is Joyce Dahmer still alive?

No, She is dead now.

Is Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment still standing?

In 1992, the 49-unit Oxford Apartments at 924 N. 25th St. was demolished. According to the Assessor’s Office, the vacant lot still exists and is privately owned by Ogden Homes.

What Is Joyce Dahmer / Joyce Flint’s Cause of Death?

Joyce Flint died of breast cancer in November 2000 after having attempted suicide at least once. Her younger son, Jeffrey, changed his surname and now lives in seclusion.

What has to happen in a child’s life to make them end up like Jeffrey Dahmer?

Because of a double hernia correction, he was an active and cheerful child until the age of four, when he became increasingly withdrawn.

Family relocation and the birth of his younger brother seemed to have a negative impact on him. He was aloof, tense, and largely friendless as a young adult.

Discussing Joyce Dahmer’s Mental Health

Joyce Dahmer passed away at the age of 64 in 2000 due to breast cancer. She had a mental ailment and battled severe depression. Joyce relied heavily on laxatives and sleeping medications and spent a significant amount of time in bed.

After nearly two decades of marriage, Joyce and her husband divorced as she was unable to dedicate enough time to her family. 

It is important to note that her mental and emotional state contributed to her departure, leaving her son in a challenging situation.

Joyce, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, tragically passed away in 2000.

Joyce Dahmer gave birth to Jeffrey Dahmer, who later became a notorious serial killer. He met his end in prison, where he was beaten to death by fellow inmates. 

Joyce’s actions and the fear she experienced due to her son’s crimes cannot be attributed solely to a mental breakdown. 

Prior to her son’s arrest, Joyce made an unsuccessful suicide attempt, releasing gas and walking away from the opened doors. 

Months before this incident, she wrote a suicide note discussing her inner turmoil. However, her plan to end her life was thwarted.

The circumstances surrounding Joyce Dahmer’s untimely passing are explored in the article titled “Joyce Dahmer’s Cause of Death.”

Where Is Jeffrey Dahmer’s Mother, Joyce Dahmer, Now?

As Netflix’s “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” continues to captivate viewers, there is curiosity about the lives of those connected to the real-life characters depicted in the series, particularly the family members of the notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. 

While Dahmer’s father, Lionel, has penned a book about his experiences as the father of a murderer and appeared in a documentary in 2020, his brother David has changed his name and largely disappeared from the public eye. 

On the other hand, Dahmer’s mother, Joyce, who held a master’s degree in counseling, has maintained a low profile since her son’s death in 1994 and a subsequent dispute with her husband over their son’s remains in 1995.

The article has been updated on 26th September 2023.

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  1. Guest

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