Over the course of 13 years, Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal,” killed 17 people. He targeted mainly young men, finding them in bathhouses, and luring them back to his house, where he would drug, rape, and murder them.
Hey, what else are you going to do for kicks living in Wisconsin, right?
Sometimes, if Jeffrey was feeling in need of further stimulation, he’d disembowel them, too. He was also a necrophiliac, and liked to preserve the body parts of his victims. When he was finally caught by police in 1991, he was in the process of building a throne made of human skulls.
Wow, that’s pretty creative, to be honest. I can’t even put together a 100-piece puzzle without having a mental breakdown, and this guy’s over here building Skeletor’s throne.
But even Jeffrey Dahmer, human plague that he was, can’t hold a candle to something far more horrifying —
The institution of marriage.
Marriage, in sharp contrast to the creepy bespectacled image of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, is often portrayed as a blissful union between two people who love each other, want to spend the rest of their lives together, and may even want to raise children together.
In reality, marriage is responsible for untold misery, death, and destruction, especially when it leads to divorce/separation (which is often).
So, what’s riskier: Getting hitched, or living next door to Jeffrey Dahmer?
Jeffrey committed some of his murders while living in his grandmother’s house in West Allis, Wisconsin. However, while Jeffrey killed hitchhikers and gay men in bathhouses, it’s very important to note that he never killed anyone living right next door to him. He never even killed his own grandmother, who finally asked him to move out due to the “funny smells” coming from the basement of her house.
Thesis: I contend that marriage is by far riskier and deadlier than living next door to Jeffrey Dahmer.
Don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a look at some alarming statistics about murder and marriage.
According to The Atlantic, which reported a study by the CDC, 55% of murders of American women are committed by an “intimate partner,” meaning a former or current romantic partner, or the partner’s family or friends.
The study goes on to report some more disturbing facts:
- A third of the time an argument precipitated the murder, with 12% of the deaths associated with jealousy.
- 15% of the women killed were actually pregnant at the time of death.
- And almost half the murders were committed with a gun.
It gets even worse. Back in 2019, the Huffington Post, citing a study by Northeastern University, reported that domestic violence murders are on the rise.
- In 2014, there were 1875 people killed by an intimate partner.
- In 2017, that number rose to 2,237, almost a 20% increase.
Then there’s this startling little nugget:
- “Every 16 hours, according to one estimate, a woman is fatally shot by her boyfriend, husband or ex.”
Meanwhile, here’s a few fast facts about Jeffrey’s serial killing career:
- It lasted 13 years, between 1978 and 1991.
- 17 boys and men were murdered, often quite gruesomly.
- Most of Jeffrey’s victims were non-white, including a 13-year old Laotian boy.
Now, let’s consider a few points.
According to Legal Jobs, the average length of a marriage in the U.S. is only 8.2 years. That’s almost five years less than Jeffrey’s serial killing enterprise, which shows that unlike all these short-timer married folks, Mr. Dahmer possessed a capability for long-term committment. Had Jeffrey not been caught in 1991, he’d likely have just kept on killing. And why not? The dude was clearly awesome at it. Whereas it appears most people are looking to bail on their marriages A.S.A.P.
‘Till death due us part? LOL, yeah right. What a sick joke.
It’s a sad testament to today’s society when a serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer is a greater model of reliability and dedication than the institution of marriage itself.
Furthermore, unlike with marriage, Jeffrey was a danger exclusively to males. If you’re female, he was as harmless as a Lifetime movie, though certainly far more entertaining.
But all joking aside, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR), in 2019, 2.2 million women were married, a rate that has been stable since reaching a 45-year low in 2010.
Now, factoring in some of the above-mentioned statistics concerning intimate partner homocides, if on average 2,000 women are killed every year by their SOs, while about 2 million women are married every year, that means a woman has roughly a one tenth of one percent chance of being murdered by marriage.
Mind you, she plays those odds every year she stays married. Hmm, maybe there is something to that 8.2 year average divorce deadline, afterall.
Only about 5% of murdered men are offed by their romantic partners. In fact, about 500-750 married men are whacked each year. That works out to under three hundredths of one percent of men married each year being killed by a spouse.
Now, those numbers may look pitifully low. But they are orders of magnitude higher than Jeffrey’s body count. Jeffrey only killed 17 guys over a 13-year period. In that same period of time, marriage might have killed almost 26,000 people. Roughly the population of Neenah, Wisconsin, a small town 84 miles from Jeffrey’s birthplace of Milwaukee, and famous for making manhole covers.
Now, let’s a break from all the murder and mayhem, and discuss something far more important.
Did you know that the cost of an average wedding AND an average divorce both come out to about $20,000? Combined, that comes to a grand total of $40,000, which is just below the median income in the U.S. of $44,225, according to Zippia. For comparison’s sake, the average person only loses about $500 gambling in Las Vegas per trip.
Man, marriage can end up being a pretty big blow to one’s net worth.
But you know who never reduced anyone’s federal income tax bracket? Good ol’ “Kill ’em cheap” Jeffrey Dahmer, that’s who. A budget-minded serial killer, who often plied his victims with offers of free food and drinks to lure them back to his apartment.
This adds up to a pretty disturbing truth: Strictly financially speaking, it’s not only cheaper, but likely more profitable, to be killed by Jeffrey Dahmer, than to end up in a bad marriage, or one that leads to divorce. At least with Jeffrey you get treated to a good meal and (possibly) mindblowing sex before your visit with the Grim Reaper. Which is more than what many can say about their failed marriages, much less the dating scene itself overall.
Certainly, it’s safer (and healthier) to be Jeffrey’s next door neighbor than to be a divorcee, no matter what your gender. A study that appeared in Annals of Behavioral Medicine showed divorce linked to a “wide range of poor health outcomes, including early death.”
Meanwhile, Jeffrey’s grandmother, Catherine Jemima Hughes, whom he lived with during his first three murders, lasted to the the ripe old age of 88, dying on Christmas Day in 1992.
And this leads to a realization that really rocked my world —
It’s possible that actually being married to Jeffrey Dahmer might have been the safer option, rather than being married to some other random person. Jeffrey never killed anyone he lived with, or next to, remember.
Married folks, let me emphasize that: Statistically, you would have been safer being married to Jeffrey Dahmer than to your current husband/wife.
Finally, we get to the issue of race. As mentioned earlier, Jeffreys victims were primarily non-white. Many of these melanin-enriched unfortunates were picked up in gay bars and clubs. Which goes to show that Jeffrey, for all his shortcomings, was definitely not a racist. Or a homophobe.
The institution of marriage on the other hand? It’s practically wearing a pointy white hood.
Even though, according to Gallup, U.S. approval of interracial marriage has hit a new high of 94%, Wikipedia points out that, “White Americans were statistically the least likely to wed interracially.” Even very recently, according to Pew Research, only 19% of newlyweds in 2019 were interracial couples.
By contrast, Jeffrey judged not by the color of his victim’s skin, but whether they’d make a fine addition to his skull throne. His body count was a color-blind meritocracy, just as Dr. King would have wanted. Given Jeffrey’s racial preferences, you could even say he was a devout anti-racist before it was cool to be a devout anti-racist.
The results are clear: Jeffrey Dahmer wins this debate pretty handidly. You would have been statistically safer living next door to him during his killing spree than you would have been getting married.
A quick recap:
If you’re a woman, you have a low but not insignificant chance of being murdered by your partner. But you would have had a ZERO chance whatsoever of falling prey to Jeffrey Dahmer, even if you were living with him. Or married to him.
Point goes to Jeffrey for his chivalry.
If you’re a man, you also have a greater chance of being killed by your spouse or partner than ending up part of Dahmer’s body part trophy collection.
Another point to Jeffrey.
For either sex, marriage can lead to breaking the bank. Death by Dahmer? Zero out of pocket costs. And you might even get a free dinner and drinks.
Jeffrey scores again.
Marriage itself? Sadly, still an institution rife with racism and homophobia. Meanwhile, Dahmer was all about diversity and cultural enrichment.
Jeffrey with the clincher here.
And there you have it. Jeffrey Dahmer wins out on virtually every metric that matters. You’re better off living next door to a serial killer than getting married.