Christopher Scarver’s infamy stems from the murder of convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Jeffrey had survived one assassination attempt in prison before succumbing to Scarver’s attack with a metal bar. “Some people are repentant – but he [Dahmer] was not one of them,” Scarver told The New York Post. “He ended up dead. I put his head down.”
Scarver’s and Jeffrey’s names first appeared together during Christopher’s trial. Christopher was tried in the same courtroom that had held Jeffrey’s trial several weeks prior. Scarver’s attorney, Steven Kohn, objected to the prosecution psychiatrist citing testimony from Dahmer’s trial to establish his expertise, claiming Dahmer’s mention would influence the jury.
“I think it’s fair to say emotions in the community are high,” Kohn said. Despite his attorney’s protests, Scarver was sentenced to life in prison.
Scarver murdered a man after missing out on a carpentry job
Christopher Scarver, a Milwaukee native, dropped out of school in the 11th grade and enrolled in a one-year carpenter trainee program. The supervisor, Edward Patts, promised Scarver full-time employment upon completion of the course. However, after Patts was fired, the site manager, John Feyen, declined to employ Scarver.
Scarver found solace in marijuana and alcohol abuse. Christopher’s drug use landed him in trouble with his girlfriend’s mother, who kicked him out of her house, despite Scarver’s girlfriend being pregnant with his first child.
With his life falling apart, Christopher decided to exact revenge on Feyen. He acquired a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol, and on 1st June 1990, he headed to the training program office. Scarver found Steven Lohman, another worker, alongside Feyen.
Christopher ordered Lohman to lie on the floor and demanded money from the site manager. Feyen said he only had $15 in his pocket, angering Scarver, who responded by shooting Lohman in the head. “Now, do you think I’m kidding?” Scarver barked. “I need more money.”
Scarver shot Lohman twice more before Feyen wrote him a $3,000 check. After Christopher shot Lohman again, Feyen escaped and ran into the street. Scarver fired one shot at the fleeing Feyen but missed. The murderer fled with the check, $15 in cash, and Feyen’s credit card.
Police officers arrested Christopher two hours later outside his girlfriend’s apartment building. A police officer testified during Scarver’s trial that Scarver said he intended to turn himself in because he knew he’d done wrong.
“I don’t know what came over me,” Scarver told a court-appointed psychiatrist. “I was never in any trouble with the law, never in a fight with anyone.”
Psychiatrists couldn’t agree about Scarver’s mental competency
Psychiatrists disagreed on whether Scarver was mentally competent to stand trial, partly because he said that mysterious voices instructed him on what to do and assured him that ‘it was meant to be like him.’ The voices also told him he was the son of God and ‘the chosen one.’
Scarver pleaded not guilty due to mental disease. The court found him guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced him to life in prison. Prison was the preferred option for Scarver, he told William Crowley, a court-appointed psychiatrist, as he thought doctors in a mental hospital would turn him into a ‘vegetable.’
In prison, Scarver took antipsychotic drugs, but they didn’t silence the voices in his head. Shortly after killing Jeffrey Dahmer and Jesse Anderson, Christopher told investigators that he ‘was simply submitting to the will of God and that he was simply a tool used by the spirit.’
“God told me to do it,” Scarver told prison guards. “You will hear about it on the 6 o’clock news. Jesse Anderson and Jeffrey Dahmer are dead.” Christopher appeared in court singing ‘this old world is cold’ and ‘let love be the light.’
Scarver pleaded not guilty due to insanity but changed his plea to ‘no contest’ to secure a transfer to a federal institution. In a civil rights suit against Wisconsin Secure Program Facility, Christopher claimed the cruel punishment at the facility exacerbated his mental health issues.
The district court agreed, saying the severe conditions at the prison severed no legitimate penological interest. However, it threw out the complaint, ruling that the prison officials didn’t deliberately attempt to worsen his mental illness.
In 2015, Scarver said 10-20 prison psychiatrists had evaluated him, but they couldn’t understand his mental issues. Christopher blamed prison food for his mental illness:
“I found out in my own research what the problem is: certain foods I eat cause me to have a psychotic break – bread, refined sugar. Those are the main culprits.”
Digital Spy reported that Scarver was diagnosed with schizophrenia and declared a danger to himself and others.