Defense expected to wrap up its case today
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Two days before slaying his last of 17 victims, Jeffrey Dahmer told a psychiatrist "he feels his whole life is falling apart and he would rather be dead than on the street," a defense witness said Wednesday.
"He was almost totally immobilized on that occasion," Dr. Carl Wahlstrom said, quoting from a report by Dr. William Crowley, who treated Dahmer before his July 22 arrest.
Dahmer told Crowley he was sweating, his thoughts were racing and he was unable to think straight, Wahlstrom testified during Dahmer's insanity trial.
"Here he is describing possibly psychotic symptoms and nothing is done," Wahlstrom said. Crowley evaluated Dahmer when he was on parole for sexually assaulting a teen-ager.
Before his arrest, Dahmer had become increasingly less satisfied with strangling and dismembering his victims, but felt "forces in the environment" were protecting him from being caught, Wahlstrom testified.
"(I) wish I could stop, but I could not," he quoted Dahmer as saying.
After Dahmer was arrested when police found the parts of 11 corpses in his west-side apartment, a police officer asked Dahmer "if he was a psycho, to which Dahmer replied, "Yes, I am,' " Wahlstrom said.
Wahlstrom and two other defense witnesses have said the serial killer had a compulsion to have sex with dead bodies that made him unable to stop himself from killing young males.
Defense attorney Gerald Boyle said he expected to wrap up his weeklong case this morning. The prosecution will present its case next.
Dahmer, who confessed to eating some victims' body parts, played with a rubber band he held in his lap during most of the proceedings. His father and stepmother were in the courtroom Wednesday.
Under cross-examination, Wahlstrom said Dahmer told him he was as equally sexually attracted to unconscious bodies as he was to corpses.
Prosecutors have maintained that Dahmer preferred sex with living, unconscious males and simply chose not to control his impulses.
Dahmer, who claims he was insane when he killed and dismembered 15 young males in Milwaukee County, must prove he suffered from a mental disease that either inhibited his ability to know right from wrong or made him unable to conform his conduct to the law.