Jeffrey Dahmer’s brother David Dahmer has stayed entirely out of the public eye since his brother was accused of being a serial killer and cannibal. He even changed his name.
A new Netflix series about Dahmer’s life and crimes is renewing the public’s interest in Dahmer’s family, including his only sibling, brother David Dahmer. There are almost no photos of Dahmer’s brother publicly available, but we found three photos of David Dahmer from his high school yearbook.
Dahmer’s father, Lionel Dahmer, a retired chemist, is still alive and living in Ohio. Dahmer’s mother, Joyce Flint, died of breast cancer.
Today, David Dahmer has a new name and a private life. Over the years, his parents granted interviews, but he’s avoided the media attention into his brother.
A 2002 article in the Palm Beach Post, accessed via Newspapers.com, reported that Dahmer’s brother David left Ohio, changed his name “and has steadfastly refused all media requests for interviews.” His new name is not clear.
Here’s what you need to know about Dahmer’s brother:
Dahmer’s Mother Got Custody of David Dahmer in a Bitter Divorce
According to a 1991 article in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, accessed via Newspapers.com, Lionel Dahmer filed for divorce from Joyce Flint Dahmer in 1977.
They had been married 18 years. It was a bitter divorce, with Lionel accusing Joyce of “extreme cruelty and gross neglect of duty toward him.” They were living in Cleveland, Ohio, at the time.
According to that article, there “was a custody dispute concerning their 11-year-old son David Dahmer.”
Lionel said Joyce should not get custody because of “extensive mental illness.”
However, Dahmer’s mother was granted custody of David.
David was the younger brother. Jeffrey was already 18 years old when his parents divorced.
That article says that Joyce moved with David to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, which is located in the northern part of the state. She took her maiden name Flint and attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
That article reported that David Dahmer attended Chippewa Falls Middle School from 1978 to 1981. He transferred to Revere High School in Ohio in 1981 because his father was in better financial shape than Joyce Flint.
Dahmer’s Brother Told a Psychiatrist He Saw Jeffrey Beating Tree Trunks With Sticks
An Associated Press article in 1992 described how a psychiatrist interviewed Dahmer’s brother. David Dahmer provided details about what Jeffrey was like. For example, he described Dahmer “beating tree trunks with sticks.” The brothers weren’t close, according to that article, which said Dahmer had an “uniform inability to relate to anyone.”
Lionel discussed Jeffrey’s relationship with his brother in an appearance on CNN.
“Yes, [Jeffrey] loved [David],” Lionel Dahmer told Larry King. “But many times, he just tolerated him because — because his younger brother was so expressive and active that sometimes he got on his nerves.”
In that interview, Dahmer and his second wife, Shari Dahmer, explained that David has a family and job and is happy. He doesn’t want media attention. Here’s part of the transcript from that interview:
KING: Jeff also had a brother, did he not?
LIONEL DAHMER: Yes.
KING: And he did change his name, is that…
LIONEL DAHMER: Yes, he did change his name.
KING: What is he doing?
LIONEL DAHMER: Well, we’ve promised to keep him completely secret with respect…
SHARI DAHMER: He has a career…
KING: No, that’s all right. I don’t need…
SHARI DAHMER: … and a family. Exactly.
KING: … to be specific, but is he happy? Is he…
SHARI DAHMER: He’s very happy.
LIONEL DAHMER: He’s happy.
SHARI DAHMER: We’re expecting a second grandchild. Everything is going well.
KING: Oh, so that part of his life he has put aside.
SHARI DAHMER: Yes.
KING: Were they close, the brothers?
LIONEL DAHMER: Seven years’ difference, so…
KING: Who was older?
LIONEL DAHMER: Jeff was older. So yes, they enjoyed themselves as brothers, but there was always that seven years’ difference in interests, so it — they weren’t as close as someone maybe that was one or two years different.