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Running head: CASE STUDY 1 Jeffrey Dahmer: Case Study Michael J. Konczal Grand Canyon University: PSY- 622 10/17/2019
2 CASE STUDY Jeffrey Dahmer: Case Study In State of Wisconsin v. Dahmer (1992), Jeffrey Dahmer pled guilty to the fifteen murders that he committed over a number of years . Dahmer had also pled not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) initially. However, the jury had reached a special verdict that he did not suffer from a mental defect, though all of the evidence and the expert testimony may say otherwise. Dahmer and his defense team attempted to paint a picture to the jury that Dahmer was too disturbed to be responsible for his actions nor could he control his actions (O’Meara, 2009). Dahmer was a stone-cold killer, and one of the most notorious serial killers. Theories of Psychopathology: Jeffrey Dahmer It was ruled that Dahmer did not suffer from any delusions or hallucinations, and therefore in control of his actions during the commission of the murders and subsequent crimes. For example, the expert testimony of Dr. George Palermo stated that Dahmer made good, conscious choices during all aspects of the crime (O’Meara, 2009). Experts have been encountering individuals “who, although evidencing ‘behavioral of mental insanity,’ did not evidence any delusional, hallucinatory, nor deficit symptomatology, since the early days of psychology and psychiatry” (Moreira et al., 2014, p. 191). Theory #1 Harvey Cleckley (1988) coined the term psychopath for individuals such as Dahmer. This construct is a result of personality traits and antisocial behavior, despite there being no consensus regarding its definition. In Cleckley’s groundbreaking book, The Mask of Sanity (1988), he describes the clinical picture of the psychopath through identifying 16 personality traits. Such traits include superficial charm and high IQ, tendency to lie, lack of remorse, pathological egocentricity, absence of nervousness, failure to follow a life plan, and absence of delusions.
3 CASE STUDY Hare (1996) later added to this list the ability to manipulate. It should be noted, however, that there is not one single cause to all of this. Not everyone who has such traits will turn out to be a psychopath, and not every psychopath will be born will these traits or dysfunctions (Moreira et al., 2014). This brings us to the point that Dahmer fits the description of a serial killer. Dahmer had an abundance of superficial charm, as he was able to lure victims to his apartment before murdering them. He lacked remorse, in the sense that he did unspeakable things to or near the bodies of the victims. It was very clear that Dahmer lacked any delusional state and this was reinforced by the expert testimony. Dahmer was aware that what he was doing was wrong, yet did it anyways; he acted almost impulsive-like (O’Meara, 2009) Dahmer showed signs of elevated aggression and antisocial behaviors, such as keeping the skulls of his victims as trophies or mutilating and preserving the genitalia (O’Meara, 2009). Dahmer was able to live a normal,

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