September 27, 2023
This article examines how Jeffrey Dahmer financially supported himself and the impact of his crimes on victims' families. It also discusses the ethics of profiting from true crime stories that involve abuse and trauma.


True crime stories have become a popular topic of discussion in recent years, with many people fascinated by the gruesome details of crimes committed by notorious killers like Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer is known for committing 17 murders between 1978 and 1991, with most of his victims being young men and boys. While much has been written about Dahmer’s crimes, less is known about how he supported himself financially during his life. This article explores the topic of Jeffrey Dahmer’s finances, as well as the wider implications of profiting from true crime stories.

Early Career and Work History

Born on May 21, 1960, in West Allis, Wisconsin, Jeffrey Dahmer had a troubled childhood marked by a difficult relationship with his parents and a fascination with dead animals. After graduating from high school in 1978, Dahmer worked at a chocolate factory before quitting due to a recurring illness. He then got a job at the Ambrosia Chocolate Factory, where he worked until he was arrested in 1991.

During his time at the Ambrosia Chocolate Factory, Dahmer earned an average wage for the time, with his salary being around $9 per hour. While this was enough to get by, it is unlikely that he could have supported his lifestyle of drugs and alcohol on this wage alone. It is also possible that he relied on money from his parents to some extent during this time.

Financial Resources Used to Fund Crimes

Dahmer’s crimes started in 1978, and it is unclear exactly how he financed them. However, it is known that in 1982, his parents purchased a house for him in Bath Township, Ohio, where he carried out most of his murders. It is likely that this house provided him with a private space to commit his crimes and dispose of his victims’ bodies.

In the years leading up to his arrest, Dahmer worked various jobs, including as a mixer at a Milwaukee company, earning around $8 per hour. He also received payments for photographing some of his victims before and after their deaths, which he sold to collectors. According to authorities, Dahmer did not have a substantial amount of money in his possession at the time of his arrest.

There is no evidence to suggest that Dahmer engaged in any illegal activities to acquire money. However, it is known that he spent a significant amount of his income on alcohol and drugs, which indicates that he may have struggled with addiction and financial stability.

Monetization of True Crime Industry

Dahmer’s crimes have been the subject of numerous books, television shows, and movies. The interest in his story has also led to the creation of a true crime industry that generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. This industry includes everything from books and documentaries to podcasts and YouTube channels dedicated to discussing true crime stories.

Despite the interest in true crime, there are ethical concerns about profiting from stories involving real people who have been the victims of violence and abuse. In an interview with Time Magazine, Kristi Piehl, the founder of the National Center for Victims of Crime, said, “The most important thing is to understand the impact this has on victims’ families and to put them first in our minds. They are really collateral damage in this industry.”

Impact on Victims’ Families

The families of Dahmer’s victims have been greatly impacted by his crimes, both emotionally and financially. Seeking justice and closure can be a long and expensive process that many families cannot afford. For some, the financial burden of seeking justice can be devastating, especially if they are already dealing with the loss of a loved one.

In addition to the costs associated with seeking justice, families may also face additional financial struggles as a result of their loved one’s death. For instance, they may have to pay for funeral expenses and may experience a loss of income if their loved one was the primary breadwinner in the family.

Ethics of Discussing and Profiting from True Crime

The true crime industry raises important questions about the ethics of discussing and profiting from stories involving systemic abuse and trauma. While it is important to raise awareness of these issues and seek justice for victims, it is equally important to do so in a way that is respectful of their experiences and their families.

One way to engage with true crime stories in a more respectful and informative manner is to center the experiences and voices of victims and their families. This can include providing resources and support for families impacted by crime, as well as advocating for policies that prevent violence and abuse in the future.


In conclusion, Jeffrey Dahmer’s finances have been the subject of much speculation, with little concrete evidence to support any particular theory. While his crimes have been monetized through the true crime industry, it is important to consider the impact of these stories on victims’ families and the wider community. As we engage with these stories, we must do so in a manner that is respectful and informed, centering the experiences and voices of those impacted by violence and abuse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *