Dahmer: a Series that Should’ve Never been Made


Penelope Leston, Staff Writer

On September 21st, 2022, one of the most controversial shows was released on Netflix. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, starring Evan Peters and Richard Jenkins, is a docuseries now available for streaming on Peacock and Netflix. It follows Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer cannibal from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and his story of growing up, his murders, his capture, and his relieving end in prison. 

The reason it was so controversial was because of who it was about and how it was depicted. Dahmer media gets made every couple of years, the latest besides this new series was “My Friend Dahmer” in 2017. Many people had complained about its insensitivity and glorification. Victim families have come out saying how it was “making money off of this tragedy”, and many others have mentioned how insensitive it is to use the real names of the victims. Another thing was the photographs being hauntingly similar to the real polaroids found.

The most shocking thing was seeing how much reality was incorporated into this series. The room being almost identical to the apartment, the real 911 call at the end of Episode 2, direct quotes by Dahmer and officers during the arrest scene, how Dahmer got kicked out the army for alcohol abuse, his backstory with his father and mother, the national art society photo prank, and many other details scattered throughout the episodes. It was very interesting since shows like these typically don’t include many details of backstory and only focus on gory details. However, many viewers could not bring themselves to finish the show.

The show has a heavy undertone of attempting to make you sympathize with Dahmer. It made sitting through it very weird. This same feeling occurred every time he killed someone, which obviously had made other viewers very uncomfortable. The attraction being displayed on screen that Dahmer had for his victims was a disgusting thing to see.

Many people across social media have statedthat they think the docuseries would have been better off not made at all. However, there is a side that has existed since Dahmer was incarcerated for the murders; his fans. Since 1991, people have idolized and shown love towards Dahmer for what he had done. When he was in jail they had sent him money and gifts. Many have said that they thought Dahmer was attractive in the series and have complained that the show wasn’t “gory enough” and how there should’ve been more. One woman had even made Dahmer earrings and went viral for them. The behavior is frankly disgusting and every new series that comes out, more fans like these get made. It is very disrespectful to the victims’ families and is highly disrespectful to the victims.

The show should’ve never been made, and if production needed to make something similar to this so badly, it would’ve been better executed as a documentary instead of a dramatic series. The timeline of his life was well done and detailed, however it does not take away the disgusting behavior and actions displayed on screen.