Why Jeffrey Dahmer Was So Obsessed With 'The Exorcist III' And 'Return Of The Jedi'

Dahmer would watch the films to set “the right mood” before cruising for victims. Watch Oxygen's "Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks" on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7/6c.

During the trial of Milwaukee serial killer, rapist and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, Dr. Park Dietz — a forensic psychiatrist hired by the prosecution to evaluate Dahmer’s claim that he was “guilty but insane” — gave incredible yet disturbing insight into the mind of a man who confessed to murdering and dismembering 17 young men and boys.

Dr. Dietz spent a total of 18 hours with Dahmer in order to understand his overwhelming compulsion to kill, and the two even watched some of Dahmer’s favorite movies together, including “The Exorcist III” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” It was revealed that those two films in particular became very significant to Dahmer over his 13-year killing spree.

According to Dr. Dietz’s testimony, Dahmer would watch “The Exorcist III” and “Return of the Jedi” to set “the right mood” before cruising for victims and eventually murdering them. Sometimes Dahmer would also bring his victims home and watch a portion of the films with them and direct their attention to certain scenes he believed were important. Dr. Dietz explained that Dahmer became obsessed with one character from each of these films: the Emperor from “Return of the Jedi” and the man who portrays Satan in “The Exorcist III.”

Dr. Dietz elaborated, saying, “[W]hat these characters have in common is that they are evil and corrupt and powerful, and both have the ability to use special powers to control others [...] Each of the characters in the scenes that he repeatedly viewed actually torments someone else in a way that might be described as torture, but Mr. Dahmer said that was not what was appealing to him [...]. [H]e never enacted that and he’s consistently told me that making others suffer was not his desire sexually, but that he did identify with the power of these characters.”

So to Dahmer, his killings were the result of his desire to have complete control over his victims, not a motivation to inflict suffering on others. Regardless, much like the characters in the films, Dahmer viewed himself as “thoroughly evil and corrupt.”

During an “Inside Edition” interview with investigative journalist Nancy Glass, Dahmer explained, “I felt so hopelessly evil and perverted that I actually derived some sort of pleasure from watching the tape.”

“Did you like feeling evil?” Glass asked.

"No, no I didn't. But I tried to overcome the thoughts, and it worked for a while, but eventually I gave in,” Dahmer explained.

Dr. Dietz revealed that Dahmer identified with the two characters so much that he bought a pair of yellow-tinted contact lenses in order to mimic the look of the Emperor and Satan characters, both of whom had yellow eyes “that gave them an eerie look.” Dahmer would even wear these yellow lenses while cruising for victims at bars and clubs.

Though Dr. Dietz’s testimony answered a lot of questions about Dahmer’s psyche, he concluded Dahmer didn’t suffer from any mental disease or defect when he committed the crimes, attesting, “Dahmer went to great lengths to be alone with his victim and to have no witnesses.”

When Dahmer was ruled to be sane and not suffering from any mental disorder at the time of each of the murders for which he was being tried, he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

According to Slate, when Dahmer was murdered in jail after serving just two years of his sentence, Dr. Dietz said, “I was sad. ... Maybe his dad and I were the only ones that were sad, but I was. I give people a lot of credit when they come forth with the whole truth."

[Photos: Getty Images, YouTube]

Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.

You May Also Like...

Recommended by Zergnet