New Netflix Show, “The Monster: Jeffrey Dahmer Story”

TW: Mentions of sexual assault and rape

On Sept. 21, the show “The Monster: Jeffrey Dahmer Story” was released. At least 56 million households have viewed the show for 496.1 million hours of the 10 episode series. Leading the show to take the No. 1 TV series slot on Netflix.

Jeffrey Dahmer, an American serial killer and sex offender, murdered 17 males in a truly horrific fashion between the years of 1978 and 1991. His first kill was three weeks after his graduation in 1978. After that, nine years passed and he started killing again. He frequently went to gay clubs, where he would drug men and rape them as they were unconscious. He was arrested twice for the crime in 1982 and 1986, but was released on probation. He began carrying out particularly disturbing acts with their corpses, including taking photographs and consuming their body parts. After being taken into custody, Dahmer confessed and began divulging the gruesome details of his crimes to authorities. 

Ryan Murphy, the creator of the series, aimed in retelling the story of the Milwaukee serial killer to shed light on those victims due to the fact that they were all homosexual African-American men. He also shines light on Glenda Cleveland (played by Niecy Nash), who was Dahmer’s neighbor. She repeatedly called the police about the stench and noises coming from his room, but was ignored.

The series starts off with Cleveland crying as she watches a news report about a black man who was killed by the police after they pulled him over for a supposed traffic violation as he was working undercover. Until then, the series began showing gruesome pictures, after the police interview with Dahmer’s father. As they were detailing the horrific discoveries they made in his son’s apartment, displaying a severed head found in Dahmer’s fridge and a human heart stashed in the deep freezer.

Rita Isbell, sister of Errol Lindsey, one of the victims who was killed in 1991, spoke to Insider about the series. Netflix recreated the emotional moment when Isbell lashed out against Dahmer in the courtroom. 

“When I saw some of the show, it bothered me, especially when I saw myself – I saw my name across the screen and the actor said exactly what I said,” Isbell told Insider. “If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought it was me. Her hair was like mine, she had the same clothes on. That’s when I felt like I was reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions.”

There have been many backlashes against the series as it spreads all over social media. Relatives of the victims are reliving their trauma due to the realism of some of the scenes. People on TikTok are idolizing Dahmer by finding ways to find the things he did interesting. While some people are empathetic of how he died and how he was raised by neglectful parents and tormented by bullies, others are taking it too far. Many viral tweets memorializing the victims ask the audience to not “thirst-post” and “romanticize” Dahmer. Due to the fact that Evan Peters took on the role of Jeffery Dahmer, people are falling victim to hate. Fantasizing, obsessing, or liking Dahmer has now become an issue due to Peters. Many people have found this repulsive and inconsiderate due the acts of Dahmer. 

“He was a real person,” “This stuff is not fake,” “This actually happened,” said audience members reacting to Dahmer fans.

Overall, remember the victims of this travesty and do not fall into the world of hate. This real event scarred people for life. Be safe and take this show to heart.