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The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” becomes Netflix’s biggest debut series

Photo from Netflix
Photo from Netflix

“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” becomes Netflix’s biggest debut series
By: Kayden Skeete, Contributor

Netflix released a limited series entitled “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” and earned ​​196.2 million hours viewed within the initial week of its release.

The series is a comprehensive review of Jeffrey Dahmer’s life. The viewers are able to see him at different stages throughout his life, as he confesses his crimes to the police.

The narrative shifts between time periods providing viewers with a more profound understanding of Dahmer’s thought process and the strategies that allowed him to get away with his crimes for such an extended period of time.

The series focuses heavily on who his target victims were as well as the strategies he used to lure them into his apartment where he would commit his crimes.

People of color throughout Milwaukee, Wisconsin became suspicious of Dahmer, however, the officers within the local department did little to no investigations which allowed Dahmer to walk free.

In an interview with Netflix, Evan Peters shared his experience portraying Dahmer.

“Honestly, I was very scared about all the things that he did. Diving into that and trying to commit to that was absolutely going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Peters said. “I wanted it to be very authentic, but in order to do that, I was gonna have to go to really dark places and stay there for an extended period of time.”

Some controversy has risen in association with this series as it has been reported that Netflix did not confer with the victims’ families about the release of the Dahmer story. Some of the victim’s family members felt traumatized by the series.

An interview by Stylecaster shared the perspective of Rita Isbell, a family member of one of Dahmer’s victims.

“If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought it was me,” Isbell said. “Her hair was like mine, she had on the same clothes. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then.”

Furthermore, she shared that Netflix did not contact her about the show or offer profits to anyone who was affected.

“They didn’t ask me anything,” Isbell said. “They just did it. The victims have children and grandchildren. If the show benefited them in some way, it wouldn’t feel so harsh and careless. It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed.”

At the end of the series, Netflix took the time to honor the victims, even though none of the victim’s families were contacted. Netflix was not required to notify families when producing a film such as “Monster.”

“It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay) anyone,” Isbel said. “So when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families,’ no one contacts them.”

As the Dahmer series has grown in popularity, many students at N.C. A&T’s have begun to watch it and conversations have sparked about the graphic nature of the series, as well as the ethical aspect on Netflix’s part.

“I like how it shows flashbacks and present time, but it was also very graphic,” said Arianna Arnold, freshman psychology student. “He had so many victims aside from the people he killed. All people who were affected are considered victims.”

Other students recognized the hardships Dahmer faced with his family and what led him to become the notorious serial killer he was.

“He’s crazy but it was partially learned behavior. His mom was on drugs. He also had separation issues,” freshman criminal justice student Anita Hill said. “He was already killing animals and he worked at a butcher shop, which he really liked. And he was showing signs at a young age. His father was also deranged. Glenda had been trying to call the cops but they wouldn’t listen due to racism.”

The limited series is available for streaming exclusively on Netflix.

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