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17The Presence Of Racial Issues

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People do not often think about the racial subtext that Jeffrey Dahmer's murders bring up, but they really do, if you think about it. His killings have been analyzed over and over again in terms of race. This is because while Dahmer was white, most of his victims were anything

but. Like I said before, they were mostly African American, but not all of them were. One of his victims was a 14-year-old Laotian boy who became his 13th victim after first escaping from his apartment. Sadly, after the police were called by two men who found him, Dahmer fooled the cops by saying the boy was his 19-year-old lover. The boy, named Konerak Sinthasomphone was rambling incoherently, and the police took Dahmer's word over the two black teenagers'. This was later seen as an example of how authorities can be influenced by racial biases.

The racial tensions continued during his trial. Given that the majority of Dahmer's victims were African American, the trial proceeded with strict security precautions, including an eight-foot barrier of bulletproof glass that separated him from the gallery. There was only one black person on the entire jury, which provoked further unrest, but it was contained and short-lived. Ironically, when Dahmer died in prison a few years later, his killer was a black man.

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