Ties That Haunt: The Life and Legacy of Shari Jordan - Discover Tribune
Shari Jordan

Ties That Haunt: The Life and Legacy of Shari Jordan

16 mins read

Shari Jordan became the stepmother of Jeffery Dahmer, a well-known American serial killer and sex offender who committed horrifying murders and dismembered seventeen young men between 1978 and 1991. This connection to a disturbing history began when she married Lionel Dahmer in 1978. Lionel was already the father of Jeffery Dahmer.

Jeffery Dahmer’s biological parents were Lionel Dahmer and Joyce Dahmer. When Jeffery was a child, his parents, Lionel and Joyce, separated, which eventually led to Lionel remarrying Shari Jordan.

Lionel Dahmer, who was not only Jeffery’s father but also an author, wrote a book titled “A Father’s Story.” In this book, he provides his perspective on his son’s actions. Lionel was born in 1936 in West Allis, Wisconsin, and he is still alive as of 2023. He has also participated in various interviews after his son’s horrific crimes became public knowledge.

Who is the spouse of Shari Jordan?

shari jordan wife

Shari’s husband goes by the name Lionel Herbert Dahmer, often referred to simply as Lionel Dahmer. Their family’s connection took a dark and unfortunate turn due to the horrifying actions of their older child, which tragically earned Lionel the label of being the “Father of a serial killer.” Lionel Dahmer was born on July 29th, 1936. His own father was named Herbert Walter Dahmer, and his mother’s name was Catherine Jemima Hughes.

Back in his school days, Lionel pursued his education at Marquette University, where he immersed himself in the study of chemistry. His dedication paid off, leading him to successfully graduate from the university and eventually become a fully established research chemist. Lionel’s family background traces back to both German and Welsh heritage.

Despite carrying the weight of distressing memories tied to his son Jeffery’s crimes, Lionel Dahmer has persevered into the year 2023. At 86 years old, he has navigated the passage of time, and his presence is still felt through appearances in television interviews. During these interviews, Lionel opens up to the public, aiming to help them comprehend why emulating the path of a serial killer like Jeffery is a road that should never be trodden upon.

Early Life

Shari Jordan came into this world on May 8th, 1953. She took her first breath in Columbus, Ohio, a state in the northeastern part of the USA. Her father, a significant presence in her life, goes by the name Howard M. Shari Jordan Age At the Time of her death is 58

Her mother, who played an equally important role, is named Olive Jean Miller. Shari had a happy childhood full of wonderful memories as she was raised by her devoted parents. Her marriage to Lionel Dahmer, however, changed the course of her life.

The First Marriage of Lionel and Joyce Dahmer

As Lionel embarked on his professional journey, he found love and companionship in the form of Joyce Annette Dahmer, who was previously known by the surname Flint. Joyce had a skill set in teaching teletype machines, which she dedicated herself to. Her family heritage was a blend of Norwegian and Irish roots, reflecting the diverse background she came from.

The joining of Lionel and Joyce in marriage led to years of happiness. Their family expanded with the birth of their first son on May 21st, 1960. This son, named Jeffery Dahmer, came into the world in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

Their family unit grew even more on December 18th, 1966, when Lionel and Joyce celebrated the arrival of their second son. They named this new addition “David Dahmer.” David’s entrance into the family took place in Doylestown, Ohio, USA.

Their Divorce

As time went on, Joyce found herself grappling with depression, a heavy burden that cast a shadow over the dynamics of their family. The weight of her emotional struggles resulted in escalating conflicts between Lionel and Jeffery, straining their daily lives. Unfortunately, this tense and strained atmosphere had a negative impact on Jeffery’s personal growth and demeanor.

When Jeffery was just 18 years old, and his younger brother David was 12, Lionel and Joyce reached a heartbreaking decision. The tensions and difficulties had reached an unbearable point, leading them to choose a path of separation. The formalization of their divorce took place on July 24th, 1978. Joyce received custody of their younger son David and Lionel took care of Jeffery Dahmer in the court proceedings.

Joyce started over with a second marriage following her divorce. Joyce died tragically in 2000 from her ongoing struggles.

Lionel Dahmer And Shari Jordan

After his divorce from Joyce in 1978, Lionel Dahmer took another step on his life’s journey by marrying once again within the same year. This time, his partner was Shari Jordan. With their union, Shari willingly embraced her new role and adopted the surname, Dahmer, cementing her position within Lionel’s family.

Since the court had entrusted Lionel with the care of Jeffery Dahmer, both Lionel and Shari assumed the role of stepparents to Jeffery. The household consisted of Lionel, Shari, and Jeffery, all living together under the same roof after Lionel and Shari’s marriage. Throughout her life, Shari remained steadfastly devoted to Lionel as his spouse until the time of her eventual passing.

While Lionel’s marriage to Shari didn’t lead to the addition of more children, it maintained the family size that had been established during this significant chapter of their lives.

Shari Jordan And Lionel Dahmer Son

Following her marriage to Lionel Dahmer, Shari, and Lionel welcomed their own son into the world, and they named him David Dahmer. However, prior to Shari and Lionel’s marriage, Lionel had a son named Jeffery Dahmer from his previous marriage to Joyce. This familial connection meant that Jeffery and David became stepbrothers, linked by their father’s union with Shari Jordan.

What Did the Stepson of Shari Jordan Do?

Shari Jordan Stepson, Jeffrey Dahmer, was born as the elder of Lionel and Joyce’s two sons, entering the world in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on May 21, 1960. Unfortunately, his name became synonymous with terrible acts. His infamous journey came to a head when he was arrested by two Milwaukee policemen on July 22, 1991. That fateful night unveiled Jeffrey’s sinister intentions, as he had lured a man named Tracy Edwards from a bar, with chilling plans to end his life.

Upon investigating his apartment, the horrors intensified. Within his kitchen, investigators discovered four heads and his bedroom concealed seven skulls—some painted, others unnaturally bleached. Even more chilling were plastic bags that held two human hearts and a portion of arm muscle, meticulously preserved on shelves.

After his arrest, Jeffrey confessed to committing seventeen murders, spanning from 1978 to 1991. Necrophilia, cannibalism, and the preservation of body parts, especially skeletal remains, were among his horrific crimes.

Jeffrey was found fit to stand trial despite having borderline, schizotypal, and psychotic disorders. He faced legal proceedings for the sixteen homicides he had committed in Wisconsin. Ultimately, on February 17, 1992, he received a sentence of fifteen life imprisonment for as many homicides.

Tragically, Jeffrey’s life met a violent end while serving his sentence. On November 28, 1994, he was brutally beaten to death by a fellow inmate named Christopher Scarver.

Shari Jordan Death

At 58, Shari Jordan, a woman who had overcome many obstacles, died peacefully in 2012. In her daughter’s home, her grandchildren loved her last moments. Shari had the privilege of becoming a grandmother to five precious biological grandchildren within this close-knit family circle.

What has Shari Dahmer said about Jeffrey?

In a much-discussed interview on Larry King Live in 2004, Shari and Lionel opened up about their feelings concerning their son Jeffrey.

They maintained contact with him during his time in prison, acknowledging that “a part of his soul had died long ago.” They shared their belief that he grappled with mental illness.

Shari revealed on camera that she wanted to stop another Jeffrey from surfacing. She stressed the need of understanding his intentions to prevent future tragedies.

She drew a contrast between her stepson David’s decision and her own choice to hold onto their family name and not sever ties. Shari even carried the name into her professional life, seeing no reason to hide her identity and asserting that their actions weren’t wrong.

Lionel further expanded on these thoughts during a subsequent interview with Dr. Phil in November 2022. He admitted struggling initially to comprehend how Jeffrey could have ended up so far along the extreme spectrum of behavior. He acknowledged that while everyone has their own range of actions and mistakes, Jeffrey’s actions were at the farthest end, which posed a challenge to his understanding.

Tragically, while incarcerated at the Columbia Correctional Institution, Jeffrey Dahmer met his end at the hands of another prisoner, Christopher Scarver. At the age of 34, Jeffrey’s life came to a violent end in the Portage, Wisconsin prison on November 28, 1994.

Has Lionel Dahmer authored any books about the lives of himself and Jeffey?

Lionel’s life journey has been marked by a series of deeply challenging events that prompted him to translate his experiences into written words, sharing insights into the trials he has faced. He penned two significant books that illuminate his tumultuous path:

“A Father’s Story” (1994): In his first book, Lionel poured his heart out, recounting his extraordinary experiences and delving into the emotional turmoil he wrestled with upon learning of Jeffery’s heinous crimes. Through his words, he navigates the overwhelming state of denial he found himself in and offers readers a glimpse into the complex emotions he weathered during Jeffery’s trial.

“Father’s Story a Pbp” (2021): This book, an extension of his initial work, presents an updated perspective on Lionel’s life as of 2021. In these pages, he goes deeper into the intricacies of “Raising a Serial Killer,” providing additional insights into the challenges, emotions, and reflections that have shaped his unique journey.

These books stand as personal narratives, granting readers a closer look at Lionel’s point of view and the profound impact of the circumstances he found himself entangled.

Based on her stepson, the Netflix series Shari Jordan stars in

Being Jeffery Dahmer’s stepmother, Shari Jordan found herself deeply connected to the troubling course he had taken in life, whether through direct or indirect ties. The disturbing and disgraceful chapters of Dahmer’s life even served as the basis for a Netflix series titled “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story.” Intriguingly, within this depiction of events, the character of his stepmother was portrayed on screen by the actress Molly Ringwald.

Final Words

In the midst of darkness and tragedy, the life of Shari Jordan intertwined with a chapter of history that remains hauntingly unforgettable. Shari’s journey began as a child with loving parents, but her path took a significant turn when she married Lionel Dahmer, a man with his own complex history. This union led her to become the stepmother of Jeffrey Dahmer, a name synonymous with unimaginable horror.

Shari struggled with being tied to one who performed horrific atrocities due of Jeffrey’s activities. She became part of a difficult family after marrying Lionel, but she embraced her role with bravery and compassion.

While Jeffrey’s crimes left an indelible mark on history, Shari and Lionel’s response showed resilience. Lionel, despite being forever tied to the label of “Father of a serial killer,” chose to share his perspective through writing, offering readers a glimpse into the emotional turmoil he endured. Shari, meanwhile, remained steadfastly devoted to her husband and faced the public’s scrutiny with dignity.

Interviews and the Netflix series “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” illuminated their deep feelings and struggles. Shari’s viewpoint on her stepson’s turbulent life and her own journey helps us comprehend how such awful deeds affect those connected to them.

Shari Jordan’s tale is about resilience, empathy, and finding strength in the worst times. Her story shows that tragedy may have lasting and significant effects on lives.

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