For anyone with an interest in serial killers, the name Jeffrey Dahmer conjures up images of horror and gore that are unmatched by any other. However, unlike most other famous serial killers, Dahmer had a relatively normal upbringing. He did, of course, display some odd hobbies as a child (such as collecting and dissecting road kill), but until he was 18, he never harmed a living thing.

That all changed the summer after he graduated from high school. Until that point, he was almost normal — a fact that everyone who knew him growing up would recall after his arrest. These 10 photos of Dahmer are rarely seen, but they paint a portrait of an oddball kid who ended up taking his fantasies way too far.

1. This is a Dahmer family portrait from after his parents divorced.

2. Oddly enough, Dahmer was known as the class clown. Even though he spent most of his last two years of high school drinking, he was fairly popular if only because he was an entertaining oddball.

3. During his senior year of high school, Jeff had friends on the yearbook staff. They thought it would be hilarious to try to sneak him into as many group photos as they could.

4. However, they were caught in the act about halfway though. They managed to sneak Jeffrey into this group shot of the National Honor Society, but a teacher spotted him and blacked his face out with a marker.

5. Aside from his alcohol abuse, the future killer was also a fan of marijuana…as you can clearly see in the photo below.

6. Surprisingly enough, Jeff was able to get a date to his senior prom.

7. Here’s his class photo from the 1978 yearbook.

8. This image shows him passed out at a party during his time in the Army.

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9. He did look kind of creepy as a kid, though.

10. It was during the summer before college when Jeff committed his first murder. From that day on, he became the killer we all know today.

(via Reddit)

I’m not saying anyone should ever forgive Dahmer for what he did. But remember that behind those dead eyes was a person in pain, struggling with his existence.

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