SAGA SOUNDOFF: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Critics Are Making it Something It’s Not

Opinion of: GINNY BULLER

People are trying to pretend it’s something it’s not… “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” This show received plentiful amounts of backlash, and it wasn’t accurate or just. The show has brought plenty of important topics to the surface while also making a horrifying thriller that was based on true events.

When the Dahmer show came out, many people found it controversial because it wasn’t completely accurate. But, the show wasn’t made to be accurate. Viewers thought of it as a documentary series, when in fact, it is merely a show based on true events. Films that are based on true events can be majorly fictional while loosely tying in the true story maybe with characters, places, and times. This is exactly what Dahmer does. The writers weren’t trying to make it accurate.

Only a few weeks after this thriller was released, a documentary series titled “Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes” also came out to the public. Though this show was overshadowed by the notoriety of the previous, the series gives genuine details about the actual case and is documentary style, unlike Dahmer.

The series also brought light to relevant mental health issues. Watching the movie-like episodes, it is conclusive
that the treatment by his parents was one of the leading causes of his spiral into insanity. It really brings to the surface the effects abuse can have on a young child and how important prioritizing mental health should be.
Many people have also criticized the casting of a conventionally attractive person to play the character of Dahmer.

Evan Peters was cast as the show’s protagonist and an abundance of viewers have complained that they should have hired someone less attractive. When the actual case came to light, many people also found the real Dahmer to be conventionally attractive. The killer received marriage proposals and love letters in jail from self-proclaimed fans according to Aleasha Hintz from an article titled “Dahmer Controversy” published by a newspaper titled “The Dordt Diamond.” So, the casting wasn’t truly false to the real life person.

Series and movies like this have been coming out for years and they are not going to stop. This show gave an interesting perspective on the crimes Dahmer committed while also bringing to light important issues that should be talked about. Many people went in to watch the show with a closed mind based on other reviews, but seeing the episodes from a different perspective will change the way you watch and perceive “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”

Netflix is Wrong to Glorify Murder and Trauma

Opinion of: EVE SLEMP

Netflix is profiting off of victims’ trauma.

The number one trending show on Netflix, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” is full of scandal, glorification of murder, and insensitivity toward victims’ families.

The Dahmer show, starring a fan-favorite actor Evan Peters, takes a “poetic” approach to retelling the story of the infamous serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer. The show depicts Dahmer as the protagonist of the story, taking viewers through his entire life from childhood to death. Viewers watch Dahmer’s obsession with dissecting roadkill develop as a way to connect with his father, who was often absent in his life.

Dahmer establishes a pattern of loneliness and need for company as he ages and spends his young adult years practically alone. Being a gay man also heightens his struggles, for his family and society at the time were not accepting of him, thus making him feel even more disconnected with humanity.

Dahmer, deeply craving affection, develops a sexual arousal for internal organs. He becomes a necrophiliac: he believes the dead were the only people who would never leave him.

Sympathy is the last feeling viewers should have for this psychopath. The way the show presents Dahmer allows viewers to feel as if they know him and can get inside his head to try to understand him.

May it be the critically acclaimed “attractive actor,” or the pathos used within the screen-writing, The Dahmer show creates sympathy for the murderer.

Yet, in doing so, it fails to provide the same support for his victims. Most of the fatalities at the beginning of the show are nameless, creating a disconnect and almost dehumanization of the victims to the viewers. In contrast, Dahmer is portrayed as an idealized victim with “daddy issues.” It isn’t until halfway through the show when a prominent character, Tony Hughes, is finally named and given an entire episode dedicated to his backstory.

Finally, viewers establish a connection with Hughes and once again can be reminded of the sadism of Dahmer. Yet, despite having name recognition and reenactments of the murders and trials, not a single member of the victims’ families were ever contacted prior to the release of the show.

Legally, the murders are all public records, thus permission does not need to be granted by the families. But when grotesque murder, court rooms, and trauma are so vividly recreated for viewers, families were expected to be notified and compensated. It comes down to morality over profits.

As crime-TV gains popularity, obsession over murders like Dahmer increase, and the rise desensitization of gore and insensitivity in our society, makes the new Netflix series a twisted plotline, full of total disregard to the families and deaths of the victims.