Scarver's mug shot
July 6, 1969 |
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
|Height||6' 0" (1.8 m)|
|Life imprisonment without parole (3 life terms)|
|Children||Christopher Scarver Jr.|
|Conviction(s)||Murder (3 counts)|
Christopher J. Scarver (born July 6, 1969) is an American convicted murderer who gained notoriety for killing serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer at Columbia Correctional Institution, Portage, Wisconsin in 1994. Scarver used a 20-inch (51 cm) metal bar he removed from a piece of exercise equipment in the prison weight room to beat Dahmer and another convicted murderer Jesse Anderson. Both convicted killers died later from their injuries. Scarver was sentenced to two further life sentences for the killings.
Scarver is the second of five children and was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He attended James Madison High School before dropping out in the eleventh grade. Eventually his mother forced him to leave the house because of his increasing alcoholism. He then had a son.
Scarver was hired as a trainee carpenter in a Wisconsin Conservation Corps job program. He said that he had been promised by Edward Patts, a supervisor, that upon completion of this program he would be hired full-time, but Patts was dismissed, and as a result, Scarver's full-time position never materialized.
On June 1, 1990, Scarver went to the training program office and found Steve Lohman, the supervisor who had replaced Patts. Scarver ordered Lohman at gunpoint to give him his money. When he received only $15, Scarver shot Lohman in the head. At the same time, he demanded money from site manager John Feyen. According to authorities, Scarver said, "Do you think I'm kidding, Mr. Hitler? I need more money." Scarver shot Lohman twice more before Feyen was able to run away after giving a cheque for $3,000 to Scarver. Scarver was convicted and sentenced to life in prison and sent to the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin in 1992. While imprisoned, he complained of experiencing messianic delusions and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Conduct in prison
On the morning of November 28, 1994, Scarver was assigned to a work detail with Jesse Anderson and infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer that included cleaning the prison gymnasium bathroom. When corrections officers left the three unsupervised, Scarver beat the other two men with a 20-inch metal bar that he had removed from a piece of exercise equipment in the prison weight room. When he returned to his cell early, an officer asked him why he was not still working. During that time two officers found Dahmer and Anderson. Dahmer was pronounced dead from extensive injuries while on his way to the hospital, and Anderson died three days later. After being found competent to stand trial, Scarver received two more life sentences for these murders.
In 2005, Scarver brought a civil rights suit against the officials of the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility in which he argued that he had been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, contrary to his constitutional rights. A district judge dismissed the suit against several of the defendants and ruled that the actions of the remaining officials could not be considered unlawful. Scarver appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which upheld the decision of the district judge in 2006. Federal judge Barbara Crabb ordered that Scarver and about three dozen other seriously mentally ill inmates be relocated from the Wisconsin facility. Scarver was eventually relocated to a prison in Colorado.
Scarver claims that he spent 16 years in solitary confinement as a result of the Dahmer killing.
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- Christopher J. Scarver, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Jon Litscher, et al., Defendants-Appellees, No. 05-2999 U.S. 434 F.3d 972 (United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit January 18, 2006).
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