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28th Sep 2022

Family of Jeffrey Dahmer victim say they’ve been blindsided by Netflix series

Tobi Akingbade

“They didn’t ask me anything. They just did it.”

Family members of a man murdered by Jeffrey Dahmer have described being blindsided by Netflix’s new drama series which focuses on the crimes of the serial killer.

Dahmer has been trending on social media ever since Netflix dropped their latest series, ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’, a dramatization of his life and crimes which stars Evan Peters as Dahmer.

The series stars Evan Peters and is directed by Ryan Murphy, who sought to give victims a voice and highlight the systemic racism, white privilege and homophobia that contributed to Dahmer avoiding arrest for so long.

Also known as the ‘Milwaukee Cannibal’ or the ‘Milwaukee Monster’, Dahmer killed and dismembered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He also reportedly ate parts of his victims, who he would lure back to his apartment before killing them.

The series has been met with a lot of controversy  and now, Rashad Robinson, the president of nonprofit civil rights advocacy organisation Color of Change, told Tudum the series offers a way to ‘understand and see the humanity of those who were murdered by Jeffrey Dahmer’, but Rita Isbell, the sister of one of the men killed by Dahmer, said her family wasn’t involved in the discussions.

Isbell lost her brother, Errol Lindsey, to Dahmer, and in an interview with Insider she said she was ‘never contacted about the show’.

She explained: “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. But I’m not money hungry, and that’s what this show is about, Netflix trying to get paid.”

Another of Lindsey’s relatives, Eric Perry, has also spoken out about the show, sharing a post on Twitter which included a clip of the new series and described it as ‘retraumatising’.

“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 Isbell’s) are p*ssed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?,” he wrote.

[caption id="attachment_360745" align="alignnone" width="1120"] Jeffrey Dahmer in court. Picture: Getty Images

Perry went on to accuse Netflix of failing to notify families, saying: “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 “honoring 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.”

Thanks to the success of the release of Murphy’s series, Netflix is set to drop another series about Dahmer, Conversations With a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, on 7 October.

This comes after the likes of Katy Perry and Kesha have been called out for referencing the serial killer in their music.

Meanwhile one Reddit thread highlights just how many rap songs he is mentioned in, and says that he is sometimes referred to as ‘rap’s favourite serial killer.’

JOE has contacted Netflix for a comment.

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