New Jeffrey Dahmer series: A yay or nay?

Actor Evan Peters plays Jeffrey Dahmer in the new Netflix show.


Actor Evan Peters plays Jeffrey Dahmer in the new Netflix show.

by Zofia Dmuchowski, Reporter

The new Netflix series “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” has taken the world by storm in some unanticipated ways.

The overall rating for the show was 8.1/10 (81%) on IMDB, and it got a rating of 60% on Rotten Tomatoes

The series focuses on Jeffrey Dahmer, an American serial killer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dahmer is reported to have killed 17 people between 1978 to 1991. He is known as The Milwaukee Cannibal and The Milwaukee Monster. 

Jeffrey Dahmer in his high school yearbook photo. Dahmer was a member of the class of 1978. (Revere High School Yearbook)

Despite its popularity, there are some perceived weaknesses with the Netflix series. One of the more prominent issues with the series is the shifting timelines between Dahmer’s crimes committed as an adult and his childhood. The continuous fluctuation between the two made the episodes somewhat difficult to understand and the plotline harder to follow.

The show was also dense in information, yet most true crime fans would be able to follow along well. However, if someone was not paying close attention in a scene with the younger version of Dahmer, they would most definitely miss some key information. 

Additionally, the series has already stirred some animosity since Netflix did not ask the families of Dahmer’s victims if the company could use their names and stories in its dramatization of Dahmer’s crimes. This decision upset many people mentioned in the series. Despite these negative reactions, such authorization or permission was not required because the events portrayed are in the public record.

One of the strengths of show is that it went into depth on Dahmer’s younger years and his obsessions. It discussed his evil tendencies to dissect small animals and maliciously play with the carcass of deceased animals. These actions highlighted Dahmer’s mental health issues far before he began killing. 

The show shares Dahmer’s public-facing persona as a nice and charismatic guy. Like many sociopaths, Dahmer used this ability to be personable and charming to lure his victims.  

The series also covers his time in the army, which many argue to have been his tipping point, making him into the infamous killer known world-wide,

The show was really well made, with solid writing and directing. It communicated the testimonies given by Dahmer, the police, the families and the survivors. The show provided a more accurate depiction of what happened compared to other shows and documentaries about him

The show brought Dahmer’s victims to life and humanized them in a way no other documentary had previously done. Netflix’s “Dahmer” showcased their personalities, families, lives and asperations.

When people can relate to a victim, it becomes easier for them to have empathy. In too many instances, victims of serial killers have been given no identity outside their existence as a victim, but Netflix seems to change this dynamic.  

Overall, the goal of the show was to give the accounts and details while explaining Dahmer’s life. This helped give a voice to his victims by showing their point of view. 

The show brought serial killers back into social media’s spotlight, but it also allowed Dahmer to become revitalized. Netflix’s new series allowed him to trend on social media, although not always for the right reasons. 

Awareness is good, but in this day and age, it is hard to find anyone to take something seriously unless it has affected them directly. However, the show did what it intended to: it gave accounts, it visualized what happened, it humanized the victims and gave insight into the life and mind of Dahmer himself.