A TRUE crime fan who has gathered the most Jeffrey Dahmer items in the world has revealed the most chilling piece of memorabilia in his collection.
His collection includes letters, documents, cutlery, books, his prison bible and even his GLASSES.
And he said the most disturbing item in his collection is a dossier of letters the killer got from an obsessed fan.
The fan – a woman – would write him multiple letters every day, convinced she had a “personal connection” to the cannibal killer.
“Dahmer is one of the most notorious serial killers in the US, but there isn’t much material out there related to him,” he said.
“When it comes to collecting items, John Wayne Gacy painted hundreds of artworks in prison, and Richard Ramirez wrote thousands of letters from behind bars.
“But Dahmer was only in jail for two years before he was murdered.”
However, during his short time behind bars, Dahmer was inundated with letters, many of which James has seen and studied.
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“Dahmer received so many letters that he didn’t have time to respond to most of them,” he said.
“His family had to take many of them home because he was only allowed so many letters in his cell.”
A third of the letters, James says, were from people who were trying to “understand” his crimes and wanted to learn more about why he did what he did.
Roughly another third were from religious people. Dahmer became a born-again Christian behind bars and a signed Bible he kept in his cell is one of the items for sale on James’s website.
But the final third of the letters, James says, came from “fanatics” who were in love with the twisted cannibal killer.
“People would write love letters to Dahmer, saying, ‘you’re misunderstood’, ‘I love you’, ‘I wish I could be with you’.”
Although a large portion of the love letters Dahmer received were from gay men, James says the majority were from straight women who were convinced he would fall for them.
People would write love letters to Dahmer, saying, ‘you’re misunderstood’, ‘I love you’, ‘I wish I could be with you’
“They believed that he would become straight to be with them, or that he wasn’t really gay and hadn’t met the ‘right’ woman, there was a lot of delusion,” he said.
“These women wrote a narrative of what they thought he was in their heads.”
The most shocking letters in James’s collection came from one woman who appeared to have sent dozens of messages to Dahmer without ever receiving a reply.
Sometimes, she even sent multiple letters in the space of one day.
“She would say something like ‘Hey, I wrote you a letter five hours ago, I’m writing another one for you now. I know I upset you. I’m sorry, please forgive me. You’re so important to me,'” James said.
“The woman felt she had a personal connection with Dahmer.”
As well as letters, James says Dahmer also received prison coupons and cash behind bars, usually $10, $15 or $20 at a time.
One devotee even bought him a typewriter, on which the killer then went on to write all of his future letters.
Others sent him photographs of themselves and even, eerily, their families.
“People would send the photos and say, ‘this is what I look like, get in touch if you want to talk,’ almost like a dating profile,” James said.
“One man visited Milwaukee where Dahmer was from and sent him a load of polaroids of the city, along with a letter asking him if he recognised any of the sites.”
James also has a large number of prison non-delivery notices handed to Dahmer, indicating that some of the letters he received were deemed by jail guards too explicit or inappropriate for the serial killer to receive.
Many of Dahmer’s letters have been put together in a book by James called “Dear Dahmer – Letters to the Milwaukee Cannibal”.
He also has a number of items from Dahmer’s pre-prison days, such as family photographs, a high school project, and artworks he made at elementary school.
From his collection, James says, a picture emerges of Dahmer as a psychopath who was coldly and dispassionately open about what he had done.
“He is one of the most straightforward serial killers,” he said. “As soon as he was caught, he confessed to everything, he was transparent from the start. He had no issue talking about what he had done.”
While other serial killers such as Gacy and Ted Bundy denied their crimes until their dying days, James says, Dahmer admitted everything he had done.
But although he was open, this didn’t mean he showed any remorse for what he had done.
“Dahmer was remorseful in the sense that he said his crimes were beyond his control,” he said.
“He didn’t enjoy killing people, but he saw it as a means to an end.”
James understands why many critics may find what he does exploitative, or even accuse him of profiting from human suffering.
“I get people feeling that way, and I have no issue with people not liking what I do,” he said. “I would never argue with someone who was personally affected by these killers’ actions.”
However, he adds, “Netflix just made the Dahmer series, and the people who were involved in that will make more money than I ever will.
“These are historical artefacts. If it’s not for you it’s not for you. I understand that this is a controversial target, but I think I’m an easier target for critics than a massive company like Netflix.”