MILWAUKEE, FEB. 17 -- Serial killer Jeffrey L. Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison today after a relative of one of his 15 victims called him a devil and Dahmer told the judge, "I know society will never be able to forgive me."
Dahmer was stone-faced and spoke in a low monotone as he described his crimes not as acts of hate but the work of a sick man.
"I take all the blame for what I did," he said.
Moments before, nine relatives of Dahmer's victims, many wearing picture pins of their loved ones, described the pain they have suffered. Dahmer butchered his victims and had sex with the corpses.
The hysterical sister of victim Errol Lindsey shouted "Satan!" at Dahmer and screamed, "Jeffrey, I hate you!" as she lunged toward him, shaking her first and shouting obscenities. She was led away.
A jury decided Saturday that Dahmer, 31, was sane when he killed 15 young men and boys he lured to his home. Dahmer had pleaded guilty but insane.
After his arrest last July, the former chocolate factory worker confessed to 17 slayings since 1978. He is to stand trial in an Ohio killing, and was not charged in one Milwaukee death because of lack of evidence.
"I hope God has forgiven me," Dahmer said. "I know society will never be able to forgive me. I know the families of the victims will never be able to forgive me for what I have done."
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Laurence C. Gram Jr. sentenced Dahmer to consecutive life prison terms. Under consecutive sentences, if Dahmer gained parole in one sentence, the next sentence would automatically take effect. The prosecutor said Dahmer would not be eligible for parole for 936 years.
Dahmer's lawyer, Gerald P. Boyle, said no appeal is planned.
Dahmer, making his first public statement about the slayings, told Gram that by pleading guilty he was not seeking freedom, but understanding. "I wanted to find out just what it was that caused me to be so bad and evil," he said. "The doctors have told me about my sickness and now I have some peace."
"This has never been a case of trying to get free," Dahmer said. "I didn't ever want freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself."
Wisconsin has no death penalty.
Dahmer said he has turned to God since his arrest.
"I should have stayed with God," he said. "I tried and I failed, and created a holocaust."
As Dahmer spoke, victims' relatives seated in the courtroom gallery leaned forward, straining to hear his words.
"I feel so bad for what I did to those poor families, and I understand their rightful hate," Dahmer said. "I have seen their tears and if I could give my life right now to bring their loved ones back, I would do it."
Earlier, Dahmer sat emotionless as relatives described their loss.
"Jeffrey Dahmer has erased a million future memories for me of my brother," J.W. Smith, brother of victim Eddie Smith, said as he read brief statements from each of Eddie's 12 brothers and sisters.
"Jeffrey Dahmer, you have become a hero for a few, but you have become a nightmare for so many more," said Stanley Miller, uncle of victim Ernest Miller. "Did you ever think this was someone's son?"
Dahmer's three-week sanity trial included testimony from police and psychiatrists who described how his urges to have sex with the dead led him to drug, kill and dismember.
Dahmer said he would not contest civil lawsuits some victims' families have filed against him, seeking any profits he might make by selling his life story.
"If there is ever any money, I want it to go to the victims' families," he said.
Dahmer also said two police officers, who were fired after authorities learned they had led a naked, bleeding Laotian boy back to Dahmer's apartment in May, were not to blame. Dahmer told police after his arrest that he killed Konerak Sinthasomphone, 14, shortly after police left. Both officers testified at Dahmer's trial and have appealed their firings.