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Netflix’s Dahmer series sparks major controversy

Photo Credit: Photo via Netflix under creative commons license
Breaking viewer records, ‘Dahmer’-“Monster” had a budget of $300 million. Evan Peters, the actor who stars as Jeffrey Dahmer, has a net worth of $4 million.

Dahmer on Netflix is written by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan. Dahmer has 10 episodes and is categorized as psychological, LGBTQ, horror, and dark. The film stars Evan Peters as the main character Jeffrey Dahmer 

This film’s rating is TV-MA due to its violence, language, substances, smoking, and sexual violence. Across the U.S. the Dahmer series is one of Netflix’s most successful series of all time. According to Netflix, at least 56 million households have watched all 10 episodes of the Dahmer series. Dahmer earned 196.2 million views within its first week of availability. 

As the episodes progress, the story becomes more and more disturbing. Murphy and Ian want to offer a more progressive view of Dahmer. They show this by filling in plot holes to give context.

The Plot

This series centers around Dahmer, a notorious American serial killer, who dismembered 17 men from 1978-1991. Most of these murders involves necrophilia, cannibalism, and the preservation of body parts. Dahmer often went for people of color because they were “easy targets.” 

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Throughout the series the audience gets to see the point of view of Dahmer’s victims. The series takes a deep dive into the police incompetence that allowed Dahmer to go on a killing spree. Dahmer was let go several times. This series touches on white privilege because Dahmer was given a free pass by cops and judges. 

We get to see Dahmer’s strange childhood in Ohio and the dysfunctional relationships he has with his parents. Dahmer’s bond with his father was dissecting roadkill together. Dahmer stayed away from his drug-addict mother. His parents divorced in the summer of 1978. That is when Dahmer decided to commit his first murder.  

Dahmer dismembers the body, dissolves the flesh in acid, and crushes the bones with a sledgehammer. Dahmer’s father eventually came back into his life and sends him to Ohio State College. Dahmer enrolled in the army. He ended up going back home to Ohio because he felt alone and lost in life. 

Dahmer then found a new hobby which was drugging homosexual men. He would take these men to classy hotel rooms. His murderous instincts led him to keep killing people. Dahmer took multiple lives at his grandmother’s house and his Oxford Apartment. 

Ultimately, Dahmer confessed to all of his gruesome crimes and got life in imprisonment. Dahmer would often make weird requests in prison; there was one encounter where he asked for poison. Dahmer found peace in religion but other prison inmates had a problem with him, rightfully so. In 1994, Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate, beat Dahmer to his death with a metal bar in an attempt to punish him for his wrong doings. 

My opinions

This series is what you’d expect from a high-quality crime story. The story is from the victims’ viewpoint which is genius. Dahmer was truly a sick person and to see how twisted he was since he was a kid is truly fascinating. Though only a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes this series definitely deserves a higher percentage because of the thought put behind it.

The acting by Evan Peters as Jeffery Dahmer and Richard Jenkins as Lionel Dahmer was believable and outstanding. Playing a serial killer has to be a challenging role for an actor since they have to embody a psychopath. 

The reenactment and costumes were spot-on encapsulating the time period of these murders and the trial.

One issue with the series was that the episodes didn’t pick up from where the last episode ended. It seemed to jump from one scene to a court room. More context would have created a better flow through the series.

Another problem with the series is that the main focus seemed to be about Dahmer and how he became like this instead about the victims. The victims should have been more of the focus.


The idea that this really happened fascinates many but also has a downside. Yahoo News wrote, “Viewers have called Netflix out for packaging real-life violence as entertainment.

The victim’s families are upset at the creation of the series because they feel it romanticized Dahmer. Some feel they are being forced to relive these horrors all over again. Others have an issue with the creator’s of the series and such making a profit off of Dahmer’s murders. It was also reported that the families would have like to be notified that their statements, names and such were being used.

Social media has also reacted to the show in various ways. There is a challenge on Tiktok called “the roadkill challenge” where kids are to get roadkill and store it in their freezer. They then wait until their parents notice the smell. The New York Post documented another Tiktok challenge called the “Jeffrey Dahmer challenge” where people film their reaction to the crime scene polaroids. Tiktok took these videos down even though the search term “Jeffrey Dahmer victim polaroids” had 531.2 million views.

One popular costume especially among children this Halloween was to dress like Dahmer. Many people flooded social media in outrage like the post seen here.  Some people and kids wore orange prison jumpsuits with the metal rimmed glasses and blonde floppy wigs to mimic the way Dahmer looked while on trial. Newsweek reported that “other parents took it to the next level by including fake body parts in buckets, a camera and a sandwich made with meat from his victims’ bodies, which he tried to offer to his neighbor.”

There are also a number of people romanticizing Evan Peters, the actor playing Dahmer. According to Insider, “Many TikTokers have also called people out for saying they “feel sorry” for Dahmer as he was “failed by everyone who was supposed to help him,” according to one TikTok comment.”

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About the Contributor
Angelle Sherman is a 16 year old junior at Colonia High school. Sherman was born October 1, 2006. She gets her creativity from books and fashion. Her favorite tv series is Kim's Convenience on Netflix. She gets her happiness from traveling and exploring different types of scenery. Sherman likes walking and playing tennis during her free time. Her top priorities are school,church and hanging out with her family. She also likes hanging out with her friends on weekends and going to get bubble tea. She loves the shows Masterchef and Hell's Kitchen because of the intensity of the competition. Her favorite color is mint green. Sherman's favorite music artist is Alec Benjamin.

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Netflix’s Dahmer series sparks major controversy