Who is Christopher Scarver?
Christopher Scarver is an African–American serial killer sentenced to three life imprisonments, without provision for parole. His story is similar to that of Patrick Butler, who killed fellow inmates in prison. Christopher was a high-school dropout and was thrown out of the house by his mother because of his habit of excessive drug abuse and alcohol consumption. He was employed as a trainee carpenter and was told that his job would become permanent, which ultimately did not happen. He demanded money from his supervisor at work and shot him when he was offered only $ 15. While he was serving his life sentence for murder, he confronted Jeffrey Dahmer and another inmate, Jesse Anderson, and assaulted both of them with a metal bar from the gymnasium equipment. This resulted in their deaths. Scarver was sentenced to two more life imprisonments for his crime. While the first murder was for money, Scarver believed that he was instructed by God to kill Dahmer, who was a brutal serial killer. Others say that the murders had a racial tint, as Dahmer and Anderson were white. Yet another version says that the guards wanted Dahmer out of the way and they had deliberately left the three inmates unattended.
Childhood & Early Life
Christopher Scarver was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, on July 6, 1969. He was the second-eldest of the five children of his parents. He studied at the ‘James Madison High School’ but had to drop out in the eleventh grade due to poor performance in academics and discipline issues.
Thereafter, he took to alcohol and drugs. This made his mother throw him out of the house to fend for himself, as he was a bad influence on his other siblings. During his youth, he had experienced immense racial discrimination in his neighborhood, and that had left a deep impression on his mind. He had a girlfriend who was pregnant at the time he had to move out of his house.
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Start of a Career
Scarver was employed as a trainee carpenter under the ‘Wisconsin Conservation Corps’ job program. He was told by his supervisor, Edward Patts, that his job would become permanent on completion of his apprenticeship. His mother still hoped that her son would get on the right track with a regular job. However, Edward was sacked, and Scarver did not hear anything more about his permanent job.
When Scarver learnt that he was not getting the job promised to him by Edward Patts, he went to Edward’s replacement, Steve Lohman, and demanded money from him at gunpoint. Lohman did not have much on him at that time and offered him $ 15, which Scarver considered to be a joke.
In a fit of rage, he shot Lohman in the head and caught hold of the site manager, John Feyen. He then demanded more money from him. Scarver shot Lohman two more times, killing him on the spot. Feyen managed to get away after handing over a cheque of $ 3,000 to Scarver. The incident happened on June 1, 1990, when Scarver was just 19 years old.
In 1992, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at the ‘Columbia Correctional Institute’ in Portage, Wisconsin. While in prison, he claimed to be experiencing messianic delusions and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He claimed that he was the “Chosen One” and was being guided by God. He believed that everything was eventually going to be for the good of mankind and that he was an instrument of God.
While in prison, he started hating Jeffrey Dahmer, who was convicted for the rape and murder of 17 men and young boys. His crimes involved necrophilia and cannibalism. Scarver carried a newspaper-cutting of a report about Dahmer’s crimes and believed that he was unrepentant about what he had done. Dahmer used to make body parts out of his food and pour ketchup on them to depict blood, thereby terrorizing other inmates.
On November 28, 1994, Scarver was assigned to clean the prison-gymnasium toilet with Jeffrey Dahmer and another inmate, Jesse Anderson. When he found himself with the two inmates, unattended by prison guards, he confronted Dahmer with the newspaper-cutting about his crimes. He claimed that he had been pushed from behind and made fun of by the other two. They got into an argument and Scarver beat them up with a metal bar from the gymnasium equipment. This resulted in both their deaths. Scarver was sentenced to two more life imprisonments for his crime.
Motive for Murder
While the murder of Steve Lohman was for money and was further instigated by rage, Scarver believed that he was instructed by God to kill Dahmer. Others say that the murders had a racial tint, as Dahmer was white and most of his victims were black. Jesse Anderson had killed his wife in the parking lot of a shopping mall and tried to frame two black men for the murder. He had also defaced a portrait of Martin Luther King, while in prison, which made Scarver believe him to be a racist.
Yet another version says that the guards wanted Dahmer out of the way and they had deliberately left the three inmates unattended.
Christopher was a victim of racism during his youth and that had a deep impact on his mind. He was never a good student and was addicted to drugs and alcohol from his high-school days. He had a girlfriend who was pregnant when he was thrown out of his house by his mother. His girlfriend gave birth to a son, also named Christopher, whom she brought up as a single mother, while Scarver was in prison.
Scarver kept in touch with his son through letters from the prison. He encouraged him to study hard and take up sports. As a result the boy graduated with a degree in sociology from ‘Bethany Lutheran College’ in Mankato, Minn, and also took up the sport of basketball. He was given a two-year scholarship from the ‘University of Wisconsin,’ Milwaukee, and adequate support from the ‘Creative Corrections Education Foundation,’ which helps students whose parents are criminals serving sentences.
In 2005, Scarver filed a civil-rights suit against the prison officials for keeping him in solitary confinement for 16 months and subjecting him to inhuman punishment after his second conviction. However, the Court upheld the prison official’s actions as justified.
Later, in 2006, Scarver and another three dozen mentally unstable inmates of the Wisconsin prison were relocated. Scarver was sent to the ‘Centennial Correctional Facility’ in Colorado. He currently remains in prison, with no provision for parole.
The story of Christopher Scarver is similar to that of Patrick Butler. Both are African–American serial killers who killed fellow inmates during their prison term for murder.