If you haven’t watched it, you may have heard of it: Monster- The Jeffery Dahmer Story released this month on Netflix depicts the story of Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster.
The series has captured worldwide attention and is #1 on Netflix. But for the families of the victims, reliving the terrors of their trauma has not been easy. Rita Isbell, the sister of Dahmer victim Errol Lindsey, said in an interview that it was not fair for her family to revisit their trauma as the case resurfaces all over the internet.
“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.”
Although several movies, documentaries, and books of the case have been produced, this new series shines light on many different parts of the story including from the point of view of Dahmer’s parents, his neighbor, and the victims’ families.
Statistics show that the series has had over 196 million viewing hours in the past week alone. Brian Lowry of CNN reviewed the show’s popularity and the criticism surrounding it in a recent article.
“The producers of “Monster,” Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, were clearly aware of those concerns, seeking to place more emphasis on Dahmer’s 17 victims, and a justice system that allowed him to get away with murder as long as he did.” he wrote.
“Nevertheless, there’s an unsettling quality to the way the program – with the benefit of 10 episodes to tell the story – prolongs some of those encounters and depicts the grisly evidence of Dahmer’s crimes.”
Who was Jeffery Dahmer?
He is known for murdering and dismembering 17 men and boys in Milwaukee, USA between 1978 and 1991. What made his case so distinct was the fact that he was able to continue murdering despite many run-ins with the law, and many reports made against him from suspecting neighbors in the building where he resided and committed the killings.
Furthermore, many of the murders included necrophilia and cannibalism, as well as permanent preservation of body parts and skeletons. One of the most significant victims was Konerak Sinthasomphone a 14-year-old boy of Asian descent, and younger brother to a boy Dahmer had sexually assaulted in the past.
Konerak had somehow managed to escape after being drugged by Dahmer. Dahmer’s neighbor’s daughter found the boy outside the building naked and confused. The women phoned the police who responded at the scene. After Dahmer told them that the boy was in fact a man and was his boyfriend, the police returned him to Dahmer’s apartment despite the protests of the concerned women. He would later meet a terrible fate by the hands of Dahmer.
Netflix has announced that they will soon be releasing “Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes,” on October 7. It is the latest installment in that docuseries franchise, which in the past has featured serial killers Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy.