The Wisconsin woman accused of murdering a man, sexually assaulting him, and mutilating his corpse in a meth-fueled bloodbath had a near “infatuation” with Jeffrey Dahmer, according to an expert on the serial killer.
Taylor Schabusiness, 24, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse, and third-degree sexual assault in the death of a 25-year-old man, court records show.
A longtime Wisconsin journalist and law enforcement operative noted recently that the alleged crimes are remarkably similar to the ones committed by another former Wisconsin resident: serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
“One of the things that I have found out from talking to different sources of mine on this case is that the suspect, in this case, had a very . . . had an infatuation almost with Jeffrey Dahmer and with Jeffrey Dahmer crimes,” Anne Schwartz claimed in an interview with Green Bay ABC affiliate WBAY.
The interview did not disclose who those “sources” might be, but Schwartz is a known name among the Wisconsin law enforcement community and among court observers alike. She was the Milwaukee Journal reporter who broke the Dahmer story back in 1991, WBAY noted. She would go on to write two books about the infamous serial killer after serving stints as a public relations officer for the Milwaukee Police Department and for Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Dahmer confessed to murdering 17 men over 13 years. Eight of those deaths came in the five months before he was eventually arrested in 1991, according to the 13-page criminal complaint detailing his crimes that was filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
That complaint included Dahmer’s interview with police after his arrest, in which he described taking his victims back to his home, drugging the men, and then sexually assaulting them while they were incapacitated — or sexually violating their corpses.
Dahmer said that almost all of his victims died as a result of strangulation, according to the complaint. He told officers that he would then dismember the victims’ bodies.
Thirty years later, a six-page criminal complaint filed in Brown County Circuit Court detailed how another Wisconsin resident — Schabusiness — allegedly strangled a victim, sexually abused his corpse, and then dismembered the body.
According to that complaint, Schabusiness allegedly admitted to killing the victim and expressed the pleasure she got from sexually abusing his corpse before dismembering the body with a bread knife. Because the case is in its early stages, a judge has not yet ruled whether the alleged confession of Schabusiness is admissible in court.
When speaking about how she allegedly choked the victim to death with a chain, Schabusiness allegedly commented, “Ya I liked it.”
The allegations against Schabusiness — which have not yet been proven in court — were a shock to many, even Schwartz.
“I think that when people see that in fiction, it’s one thing. And then when you find out that it happened in Green Bay, Wisconsin, or Milwaukee, Wisconsin, people just, you know, how could that be? How could that happen here?” she said while she linked the cases. “Thirty years later, it’s still the same. It’s still the same feeling, still very similar to finding out that someone like this was living in our midst. What makes it unusual is that it’s a woman.”
Schwartz also pointed out that Schabusiness is very unlike Dahmer in some other ways. The clearest example of this can be seen in Schabusiness’s interview with officers after her arrest last month, said Schwartz, and the manner in which the newer defendant spoke about her alleged crimes.
“And that is what makes this case different to me is that she is admitting — if what is in the criminal complaint is accurate — she is admitting that there’s a predilection to that, that there was a thrill to that in some way,” noted Schwartz.
Schabusiness and Dahmer also differed in what they shared with the public beforehand, according to Schwartz. She dug up a Facebook post which was apparently shared by Schabusiness earlier this year to illustrate this difference.
In the post, Schabusiness appears to have written as follows: “Told an addict I’ll never stop buying you dope so I could sit back and watch you die.”
That is not like Dahmer at all, explained Schwartz.
“The fact that she is or was using social media to telegraph some of these sentiments makes her unusual, again, for someone that emulated the Jeffrey Dahmer case because he didn’t telegraph anything,” said Schwartz.
Dahmer also kept the dismembered bodies of his victims in his Milwaukee apartment, according to the 1991 criminal complaint, often using a large barrel of acid to destroy the remains.
Schabusiness was far less meticulous, according to police. The criminal complaint filed in Brown County Circuit Court this week states that officers with the Green Bay Police Department had to search for the victim’s scattered body parts.
The victim’s head and a “male organ” were in a plastic container in the basement of his mother’s home, the authorities have alleged. His legs were located in a crockpot box behind the driver’s seat of the vehicle Schabusiness had been driving, they said further. The rest of the body she placed in various bags she found in the basement, according to the complaint.
“Schabusiness responded that the police were going to have fun trying to find all of the organs,” wrote Assistant Brown County District Attorney Caleb Saunders.
At a preliminary hearing, a judge set Schabusiness’s bail at $2 million. Schabusiness appeared virtually from the Brown County Jail.
In addition to the alleged crimes detailed in the complaint, it was also revealed at her hearing that Schabusiness had removed an ankle monitor she had been ordered to wear in an earlier proceeding connected to another case.
Schabusiness was reportedly on probation at the time of the killing. Court records show that she entered a no-contest plea to charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police and resisting or obstructing an officer in at least one earlier case.
Her sentencing in that case had to be delayed when she failed to show up in court last Sept. 28, prompting a judge to issue a bench warrant for her arrest, according to an online court docket. The warrant was quashed on Oct. 26, 2021, when Schabusiness indeed appeared in court with her attorney, the docket indicates.
Schabusiness will make her next court appearance on March 22 in connection to the murder case.
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