Jeffrey Dahmer is one of America’s most notorious serial killers, claiming 17 victims, some of whom he ate or preserved. But two men, who say Dahmer raped them during his military service, are now speaking out about the murderer who they call a “sociopath.”
Preston Davis and Billy Capshaw appear on Oxygen’s “Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks,” a special airing Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 that features an interview between journalist Nancy Glass and Dahmer during his time behind bars. In it, Dahmer himself recounts the gruesome murders that took place between 1978 and 1991.
Davis was 20 years old when he met “Jeff Dahmer,” he told TheWrap. He had eight months left on his military stint in Germany when Dahmer was stationed in Baumholder, West Germany (Davis’ father urged him to join the U.S. army after dropping out of college).
“I didn’t care for him because of his racial overtures,” Davis, who is an African-American man, told TheWrap. “He was a very racist individual, and once he started drinking, he became a very obnoxious individual.”
Indeed, Dahmer is known to have had a drinking problem. In “Dahmer on Dahmer,” the convicted killer’s former classmates remember him bringing alcohol to school, hiding it in his locker and telling onlookers it was his “medicine.” Davis told TheWrap Dahmer would repeatedly drink in the barracks during his military service — and would tell the other soldiers about his first murder victim, Steven Hicks, whom he killed just a year before.
“Jeffrey had killed his first victim a year before joining the military, and he would get drunk in the barracks and say, ‘I killed the guy in Ohio,’ and we’d say, ‘you didn’t kill nobody!'”
“He became a monster once he started drinking,” Davis added. “Alcohol is what turned him into a monster.”
Davis, who is now 58, said he was taking part in a field exercise in Belgium with Dahmer in October of 1979 when their vehicle broke down with three days to go in the mission. It was towed to a train station. “Somewhere in that time frame, I was drugged and assaulted,” said Davis of the incident, one Dahmer has never admitted to. “The reason he didn’t kill me — he said after I left, ‘I should’ve killed that n—– when I had the chance’ — but that was the reason he couldn’t kill me: We were out in the middle of Belgium. He had no idea how to get back to Germany.”
Davis said that his brain blocked out what had happened until about 2009, when he was 50 years old. When his memory about the incident started coming back to him, he went to treatment and saw a therapist who specializes in military sexual trauma. He said he also only later remembered — when he saw Dahmer’s name online — that he had an altercation with him and put him out in a blizzard during their shared stint in the military.
“My mind had shut down that whole time,” he added.
After Davis left the military, Billy Capshaw joined the unit in Germany and stayed from 1979 to 1981. He was 17 years old when he met Dahmer, when he says similar abuse started.
“Jeff Dahmer was a sociopath, a psychopath, a narcissist – he was insane,” Capshaw told TheWrap. “It took a long time to cope with what happened, and I only came out with my experience when my father died. It was too horrible, too embarrassing, and I didn’t want my dad to know.”
Capshaw told TheWrap that he was Dahmer’s roommate during his time in the military, and he was tortured, beaten and tied to the bed many times over those two years. The website for “Surviving Jeffrey Dahmer” outlines Capshaw’s account: “Dahmer seemed like a likable person and had a certain amount of charisma, but within a few days Billy became frightened as Dahmer began his process of completely controlling Billy by various means. He physically beat him. When Billy complained to those in authority, he was told that he was a ‘p—-‘ and was not taken seriously. The severity of the physical abuse increased, and Dahmer used an iron bar, which was part of the apparatus for the bed, to hit Billy across the joints.”
Capshaw said Dahmer made sure he didn’t get regular assignments, and Dahmer controlled the only key to the room and would often lock Capshaw inside. He also arranged that his mail from his family did not reach him. At one point he was listed AWOL even though he had not left the base.
“It was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Capshaw told TheWrap. “I was in a room I was scared to come out of. I would steal Jeff’s money thinking that if he didn’t have any money, that he wouldn’t drink anymore and therefore wouldn’t hurt me anymore. He beat me so badly for that, and to stop me from screaming, he hit me harder.”
Capshaw said he would often try to escape through the window or the fire escape but would eventually be brought right back to Dahmer. He said he is certain other people knew about the abuse.
Capshaw said his thoughts went to the extreme.
“I thought about killing him, and I thought about killing myself,” Capshaw told TheWrap.
Due to his alcohol abuse, Dahmer was later discharged from the military and returned to Ohio, and his killing spree started in 1987 when he woke up to find one of his sexual partners beaten to death in his bed. Dahmer said he didn’t remember killing the man he had met at a bar. He dismembered the body and put it in the trash, and following the murder, he began to actively seek out victims at gay bars. An attempted murder in 1991, where the victim escaped and brought cops back to Dahmer’s apartment where they found skulls, human hearts and other body parts, led to Dahmer’s arrest. His victim count had gone up to 17 at that point. A total of 74 Polaroid pictures were found detailing the dismemberment of Dahmer’s victims. Dahmer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment in 1992 because the death penalty had not been an option in the state of Wisconsin.
In November of 1994, Dahmer was bludgeoned to death by a fellow inmate.
“I didn’t find out about his death until years later,” said Davis. “The only thing I can say is karma…. I don’t consider myself a victim. I’m a survivor.”
“Dahmer on Dahmer” premieres on Nov. 11 and features interviews with Dahmer’s parents, Lionel and Shari Dahmer, as well as psychologists and former classmates. The two-day special concludes on Nov. 12.