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Christopher Scarver: Inmate who bludgeoned Jeffrey Dahmer to death explains why he did it

Scarver used a 20-inch, 5-lb metal bar to bludgeon Dahmer to death at the Columbia Correctional Facility in 1994
UPDATED JAN 16, 2023
Jeffrey Dahmer (L) was beaten to death at Columbia Correctional Facility by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver (R) in 1994 (Columbia Correctional Facility)
Jeffrey Dahmer (L) was beaten to death at Columbia Correctional Facility by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver (R) in 1994 (Columbia Correctional Facility)

CANON CITY, COLORADO: Jeffrey Dahmer's killer, who previously spoke about why he decided to bludgeon the serial killer to death with a metal bar, reportedly believes he may have been set up.

Dahmer was convicted of the brutal killing of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He admitted to having eaten the flesh of his victims and was sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment in both Wisconsin and Ohio. The murderer, who is now the subject of Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series, 'Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story', was beaten to death at Columbia Correctional Facility in Wisconsin by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver in 1994. 


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Scarver recalled what Dahmer was like in prison during an interview with the New York Post in 2015. He recalled how the killer would often be involved in "heated" exchanges with other inmates. Scarver, who was 45 at the time of the interview, recalled, “He crossed the line with some people — prisoners, prison staff. Some people who are in prison are repentant, but he was not one of them.” He continued, “I saw heated interactions between [Dahmer] and other prisoners from time to time."

Scarver said he watched Dahmer from a distance in the prison yard and never approached him as he did not wish to become the target of his disturbing brand of humor. “I never interacted with him,” he told the newspaper. Things, however, took a drastic turn on November 28, 1994, when Scarver was angered by Dahmer while they were in the prison's gymnasium with a third inmate, Jesse Anderson. 


Scarver, a convicted murderer himself, had become "fiercely disgusted" by Dahmer's crimes and kept a newspaper article in his pocket about how he killed, dismembered, and even ate his victims. On a fateful morning, Dahmer, Scarver, and Anderson were escorted by prison officers to clean the gym and weight rooms. They were unshackled and left unattended for about 20 minutes to carry out the cleaning.

Scarver said he was filling a bucket with water when he felt someone poke him in the back. “I turned around, and [Dahmer] and Jesse were kind of laughing under their breath,” he said. “I looked right into their eyes, and I couldn’t tell which had done it.” The trio eventually split up, but Scarver followed Dahmer towards the staff locker room with a 20-inch, 5-lb metal bar from the weight room. He finally confronted the serial killer with the newspaper story he carried in his pocket. 


“I asked him if he did those things ’cause I was fiercely disgusted," Scarver recalled, "He was shocked. Yes, he was. He started looking for the door pretty quick. I blocked him.” Scarver then hit Dahmer over the head with the metal bar, crushing his skull in the process. “He ended up dead. I put his head down," he said. After bludgeoning Dahmer, he went over to a locker room where Anderson — who was reportedly serving a life term for killing his wife — was assigned work. “He stopped for a second and looked around,” Scarver remembered. “He was looking to see if any officials were there. There were none. Pretty much the same thing [happened] – got his head put out.” 


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Scarver pleaded no contest to the murders and is currently serving three life sentences at the Centennial Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colorado. He reportedly believes it wasn't an accident that he had been left alone with Dahmer, saying prison officials wanted him dead. “They had something to do with what took place," he alleged, adding that the guards had left the scene shortly before the attack. The idea was echoed by his son, also named Chris Scarver, in a 2014 interview with CNN.


Reporter Jean Casarez asked him whether he believed his father had been "set up" by prison guards as he shouldn't have been left alone with the two men in prison. “I think about that all the time," Scarver Jr. responded. "It makes me wonder if he even did it.”