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23rd Sep 2022

People urged not to ‘romanticise’ Jeffrey Dahmer just because he’s played by Evan Peters in Netflix series

Steve Hopkins

‘Let’s not forget the real Jeffrey Dahmer was an evil, evil man’

People are being urged not to romanticise Jeffrey Dahmer as excitement builds around the new Netflix series staring Evan Peters as the infamous serial killer.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story dropped on the streaming service on Wednesday and has already caused a stir with some viewers saying they were not able to make it past the first episode.

Dahmer was convicted of murdering 15 men and boys between 1978 and 1991 and sentenced to serve 15 consecutive life sentences in February 1997.

During a 13-year period, Dahmer murdered at least 17 men, most young, gay African Americans who he lured back to his home by promising to pay them to pose nude for photographs. He then drugged and strangled them and generally mutilated and occasionally cannibalised their bodies. He was arrested in July 22, 1991 and entered a plea of guilty but insane in 15 of the 17 murders he confessed to. Two years after being jailed, Dahmer, then 34, was killed by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver.

The serial killer is portrayed by American Horror Story actor Evan Peters in the new series, with many praising Peters’ performance as “creepy as hell” and another calling it “bone chilling”, according to NME.

Twitter reviews have called it “uncomfortable” and “disgusting”, however, some have felt the need to remind people not to glamourise the killer simply because he’s played by Peters.

One social media user wrote: “Dahmer is out, let’s not romanticise Jeffrey Dahmer just because he is played by Evan Peters. Remember the victims.”

They later added: “It’s okay to praise Evan Peters for his performance, he is a brilliant actor. But do not romanticise him in the role as Jeffrey Dahmer.”

That’s perhaps already too late, with one fan writing: “Need Evan Peters to play a character that isn’t a serial killer so bad so I can find him hot in peace.”

The same thing happened when Zac Efron portrayed Ted Bundy for the Netflix film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile with many viewers left thinking the killer was attractive just because Efron was cast to play him.

Other fans of Evan Peters expressed concerns about his mental health, having had to play such a disturbed character.

One wrote: “I hope Evan Peters is getting therapy after this portrayal cause this role is crazy.”

A second added: “I just want Evan Peters to be in a nice rom-com after this. I don’t care if it’s any good. Just let this man smile for once.”

It’s a fair point, given filmaker Ryan Murphy has had him play such twisted characters. He had multiple roles in American Horror Story and featured in all but one season.

Speaking about playing Dahmer, Peters told Netflix: “I was very scared about all of the things that Dahmer did, and diving into that and trying to commit to [playing this character] was absolutely going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life because I wanted it to be very authentic.”

The series explores the untold stories of Dahmer’s victims, as well as the failures of authorities to prevent the murderous spree that spanned more than a decade.

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