Jeffry Dahmer
Jeffry Dahmer in a 1992 mugshot. Wikipedia

The man who fatally bludgeoned American cannibal killer Jeffrey Dahmer in prison, says he did it because he was disgusted by his crimes and the convict's gruesome sense of humour.

It's the first time Dahmer's killer, Christopher Scarver, 45, has publicly discussed why he attacked the notorious murderer 20 years ago in a Wisconsin prison.

Both men were serving time in Wisconsin's Columbia Correction Institution. Scarver was serving a life sentence for killing a former boss and Dahmer was ticking off 16 life sentences for killing 16 teenagers or young men from 1978 to 1991, and eating some of their body parts. Investigators found pieces of dismembered bodies in his refrigerator.

While in prison, Dahmer would shape prison food to resemble human limbs, then drizzle them with ketchup to look like blood, said Scarver. "He would put them in places where people would be. He crossed the line with some people — prisoners, prison staff," Scarver told the the New York Post. "Some people who are in prison are repentant — but he was not one of them."

Dahmer's former prison minister also said that Dahmer had a macabre sense of humor. "If he saw a guard that was nervous and standing near enough to hear him, he would say, 'I bite,'" said pastor Roy Ratcliff. "He sort of played with his persona to exaggerate it and make people more fearful. This was just his way — a morbid humor to deal with his hopeless situation."

Scarver knew the details of Dahmer's murders and kept a newspaper clipping about them in his back pocket at the prison. He recounted how, one day while cleaning the prison bathrooms with Dahmer, 34, and inmate Jesse Anderson, one of them poked Scarver in the back with a mop handle.

When neither one owned up to the provocation, Scarver picked up a heavy metal bar from the prison weight room and followed Dahmer. When he cornered Dahmer alone he says he confronted him with the newspaper article on his murders. "I asked him if he did those things 'cause I was fiercely disgusted. He was shocked," Scarver said. "He started looking for the door pretty quick. I blocked him." That's when he smashed Dahmer's head with the bar and "he ended up dead," Scarver recalled. He then attacked Anderson with the bar and the inmate died within days.

Scarver initially presented an insanity plea, but later changed it to no contest in exchange for a transfer to a federal penitentiary. He believes he was allowed to be alone with Dahmer, who was usually followed by a guard, because people in the prison wanted him dead. But a prison investigation determined that Scarver acted on his own.