Netflix’s Dahmer series raises debate over subject matter


Evan Peters stars in the title role in Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, the short, limited series starring Evan Peters that details the life and development of Jeffrey Dahmer as he becomes a serial killer and a cannibal, has taken the country by storm. The show has reached incredible success with millions of views and is being called the second most popular show on the streaming platform, right behind Stranger Things.               

Viewers are shocked by the show and its realistic portrayal of the events that took place and the terrifying truth of what Dahmer did to his victims. “It’s horrifying that a person could be able to commit such atrocities,” Olympic Heights senior Max Eirich stated.

The show depicts Dahmer’s life as a child and draws attention to different aspects that helped to create his gruesome and disgusting obsession into his teenage and adult years. Viewers also get to see the tactics and vile ways that Jeffrey Dahmer would lure his victims and then proceed to murder them and eat various parts of their bodies. 

With this being a true story, it is important that the victims and their families are treated respectfully and with utmost consideration and kindness. “Despite what a lot of people think and how controversial it is, I feel that one positive that came out of this was shining a light on the victims,” OH sophomore Lily Ames commented. “However, I do feel that it was insensitive as a whole because obviously, the victims’ families had put this to rest years ago, but now Netflix is profiting off of a horrific story.” 

Sadly, many do not believe that the victims’ families had much control or say over the show and what upsetting and emotional experiences were brought back up all of these years later. The New York Times Remy Tumin writes, “Rita Isbell, whose brother Errol Lindsey was murdered by Dahmer, described watching a portrayal of her victim’s statement at Dahmer’s trial in the Netflix series and ‘reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then…I was never contacted about the show. I feel like Netflix should’ve asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn’t ask me anything. They just did it.’” 

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has gained a huge audience and has been the center of many social media posts since its release. Many people have stated their fascination with the series and acknowledge it for giving such an honest portrayal, while others are angry with Netflix as well as with the show’s creator Ryan Murphy for bringing up such traumatic events and being so inconsiderate of the victims and their families. 

The commonly shared opinion is that Dahmer was a horrible person and committed crimes that are hard to even imagine and is not someone who should be admired. Still, many feel his story should be told and he should be portrayed as the monster that he really was. 

Nevertheless, the families affected by his actions will never be able to forget what he did to them, and having that story be retold and represented to the public only adds to their pain and suffering. Hopefully, the families will be able to continue to heal and live in peace after all the struggles that they have gone through.