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Dahmer: Letters from his killer

Dahmer: Letters from his killer

By Mike Jacobs. CREATED Jul 20, 2011

MILWAUKEE - He was Milwaukee's most notorious serial killer, but three years after Jeffrey Dahmer was convicted of killing 17 young men and boys, Dahmer himself was murdered in prison.

There are still questions about whether the man who killed him acted alone.

Christopher Scarver recently sent TODAY'S TMJ4's Mike Jacobs several letters. 

Dahmer tortured and murdered 17 young men and boys and then had sex with their bodies.

Sentenced to 957 years in prison, the mild-mannered Dahmer instantly became Wisconsin's most famous inmate, sought out by the news media which was fascinated with his bizarre crimes. 

Dahmer calmly told Dateline NBC he still had an urge to kill.

"It never completely goes away," said Dahmer in the interview.  "I'll probably have to live with it the rest of my life." 

Dahmer's life at Columbia Correctional in Portage lasted less than three years, in part because he was placed in the general inmate population. 

Scarver, another prisoner armed with a steel bar, beat him to death in November of 1994.

Scarver, from Milwaukee, was serving a life sentence for murder when he decided to kill Dahmer and another notorious prisoner named Jesse Anderson.

Anderson, from Cedarburg, had stabbed his wife to death in the parking lot at Northridge Mall.  He falsely blamed two black men. 

Somehow, Scarver, Dahmer and Anderson were assigned to cleaning duty together.

A guard escorted them to the gym and inexplicably left them alone. 

Dahmer started cleaning the mens' room, Anderson cleaned the locker room, and Scarver went into the weight room. 

He took a steel bar from a dumbell and went into the mens' room, beating Dahmer beyond recognition.  Then he went to the locker room and beat Anderson. 

Scarver calmly walked back to his cell and told a guard, "God told me to do it.  You will hear about it on the six o'clock news.  Jesse Anderson and Jeffrey Dahmer are dead."

At his first court appearance, Scarver entered the courtroom, singing.

Initially, Scarver entered an insanity plea, but eventually he pled no contest.

Because of his notoriety, Scarver was shipped to a prison outside of wisconsin. 

He's been bounced around to several maximum security institutions over the years, and is currently at a prison in colorado that houses the most disruptive offenders.

Scarver sent Jacobs several letters in recent months.

His grammar is flawless, somewhat surprising for a high school dropout who's spent half of his life in prison. 

He writes:

"It took me 16 years to work my way out out of the hole (24 hour-a-day solitary confinement) for that 1994 event.  I was finally released into the general prison population on November 8th, 2010."

Scarver claims Colorado prison officials won't let him practice his religion: Hinduism. 

"Unfortunately, I was put back in the hole on February 4, 2011 simply because I requested my religious needs." 

Twenty years after Dahmer's arrest, questions linger about Dahmer's murder. 

Did Christopher Scarver act alone?  Did guards look the other way, allowing him to kill Dahmer?

Four months before Dahmer was murdered, another prisoner tried to kill him, but failed. 

A few weeks later an informant warned prison officials that Scarver was planning to kill Dahmer, but that tip was ignored.

A blue ribbon panel investigated Dahmer's murder, interviewed Scarver, and concluded, "Scarver acted alone." 

He was "not part of a conspiracy."  The attack was "not racially motivated."   Scarver found both "Dahmer and Anderson unfit to live." 

In our exchange of letters, I asked scarver about the attack.

Why?  How?  Did anyone else help?  He has yet to answer those questions. 

In his most recent response, he wrote: "I'm in the hole again."

"Respectfully, humbly, sincerely, Christopher J. Scarver."

Scarver is such a high-security inmate that prison officials in Colorado won't even confirm that he's in their custody.   

If Scarver ever does answer our questions, it could finally end the debate over whether he acted alone.

Mike Jacobs

Mike Jacobs

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Mike Jacobs is the longest serving TV news anchor in Milwaukee, on the Monday through Friday anchor desk since 1978. He currently anchors Live at 5, Live at 6, Live at 10, and Wisconsin Tonight.