Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s stepmother, Shari Dahmer, married Jeffrey’s father, Lionel Dahmer, in 1978 after Lionel divorced his first wife, according to The Cinemaholic. She previously said on Dahmer on Dahmer that she felt responsible for Jeffrey as a mother, among other things. Shari is currently believed to be living with her husband in Ohio.
In Netflix’s new Jeffrey Dahmer series, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, she is played by actress Molly Ringwald. The series, which dropped on September 21, 2022, dives deep into the life of Jeffrey Dahmer and uncovers some of the most horrific stories surrounding his crimes.
Although not explored in detail, his character makes a brief but memorable appearance in the series. Without further ado, keep reading to find out about Shari Dahmer’s role in Jeffrey’s life, her current whereabouts, and more.
Shari Dahmer’s Role in Jeffrey Dahmer’s Life, Thoughts on His Behavior, and More Details
Shari and Lionel Dahmer married in 1978, following Lionel’s divorce from his ex-wife, Joyce Flint. According to The Cinemaholic, Shari first met Jeffrey at her mother Flint’s house, where he lived alone.
At the time, Jeffrey was 18 years old. In the documentary Oxygen, titled Dahmer for Dahmer, Shari opened up about how she felt about Jeffrey Dahmer. She mentioned he was ‘vulnerable’ and she wanted to ‘mother’ him. Shari said (obtained via Distractify),
“What I wanted to do, and what most people wanted to do, was mother him. He was just vulnerable. Even though I haven’t been his stepmother all his life, as a mother you feel those things.
In a 2004 interview with Larry King, Shari spoke at length about Jeffrey Dahmer’s state of mind after his parents’ divorce and his mother’s departure. She says,
”He was embarrassed and ashamed that his parents were divorced. He didn’t want his friends to know, he hid his true feelings. He was very good at hiding his feelings, but he was ashamed and embarrassed.”
She further stated,
“When his mother left and he wanted to stay, he felt very alone, and that’s when the first murder took place.”
Shari mentioned in the same interview that she noticed Jeffrey’s drinking problem early on. She said that when she came home one day, Jeffrey passed out on the bed, drunk. She described her stepson as a “hidden alcoholic”, which she said was the “one thing that stood out”.
Shari said that aside from her drinking issues, she found nothing alarming about her behavior that suggested a much darker side underneath. She and her husband often went to visit Jeffrey at his Milwaukee apartment, which she described as “squeaky clean” and “spotless.”
Where is Shari Dahmer now
According to Distractify, Shari Dahmer, 81, continues to live with her husband, Lionel, in Seville, Ohio. She and her husband supported Jeffrey throughout the trial. However, the stepmother did not defend Jeffrey’s actions and mentioned in a rare interview (added above) that she has no sympathy but feels empathy for her stepson.
She said in the interview that Jeffrey was mentally ill and “part of his soul died years ago.” Shari added:
”We have to examine what he did and why he did it. So again, if we understand more about Jeff and only empathize with what created this monster, then maybe we can actually help prevent monsters in others.
Shari and her husband have no children together. She reportedly stayed in contact with Jeffrey Dahmer after his conviction, until he was killed by a fellow inmate in 1994 at Columbia Correctional Institution.
You can look Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix.