The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is receiving backlash for "re-traumatising" victims' families

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

This article contains discussion of murder and sexual assault some may find upsetting.

Since Ryan Murphy's new series, DAHMER Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story dropped on Netflix last week, many viewers have taken to social media to criticise the show. They argue it "humanises" the true crimes of the notorious serial killer, with victims' families also speaking out about feeling "re-traumatised."

Also known as the 'Milwaukee Cannibal', Jeffrey Dahmer was responsible for the murder of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. His sickening crimes involved dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism, with the Netflix dramatisation illustrating the heinous methods he used during the murders.

While the 10-part series quickly shot into Netflix's Top 10 most watched series, may viewers are questioning whether it glorifies the murders, with some of the families of the real life victims also taking to Twitter.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

As one viewer put it, "I'm nearly done with the Jeffrey Dahmer [show] on Netflix and I just need to know why they continue to humanise and even victimise these murderers, every single time???"

Someone else said, "Wait?? Why Netflix remade a documentary [sic] over Jeffrey Dahmer as if theres not already 3 previous documentaries over it? Capitalism is sick and this really disturbing to the victims."

Eric Perry, cousin of Jeffrey Dahmer victim Errol Lindsey, also wrote (via IndieWire) on the platform: "I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn. But if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbells) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing [sic] over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?"

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

In later tweets, he continued "[Netflix] don’t notify families when they do this. It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay!) anyone. My family found out when everyone else did.

"So when they say they’re doing this 'with respect to the victims' or 'honouring the dignity of the families', no one contacts them. My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel."

Defending the show in a promotional video, Evan Peters, who plays Dahmer, said: "We had one rule going into this from Ryan [Murphy], that it would never be told from Dahmer’s point of view. It’s called The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, but it’s not just him and his backstory: It’s the repercussions, it’s how society and our system failed to stop him multiple times because of racism, homophobia. It’s just a tragic story."

We have reached out to Netflix for comment.

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