Netflix’s Hit Show ‘Retraumatized’ The Families of Jeffrey Dahmer’s Victims


Dahmer: Monster – The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” \ With over 496 million viewing hours (about 57,000 years’ worth of watch time) in just two weeks, Dahmer: Monster – The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is now the ninth most watched series on Netflix. 

With the popularity of the show, it has made the lives of those depicted in it far more difficult than before its release. The families of infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims have both been “retraumatized” and disgusted by the portrayals of the murders in the show. 

“While the series respectfully mourns and inveighs all the loss that surrounds him, it also turns Dahmer into a hideously immortal thing: an icon.” claimed Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson in an article from September 23rd, 2022.

Regardless of how the show mourns for the victims, though, the families affected were still not happy about the series. “I am not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime is huge right now, but if you are curious about the victims, my family (the Isabell’s) are pissed about this show. It is retraumatizing repeatedly, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?” tweeted Eric Perry (@ericthulhu), cousin of Errol Lindsey, whose… death was depicted in the series. 

Rita Isabell, also a cousin of Lindsey, had her devastating court statement depicted in episode 8 of the series. Eric Perry tweeted about the scene, “Like recreating my cousin having an emotional breakdown in court in the face of the man who tortured and murdered her brother is WILD. WIIIIIIILD.” 

 These are just a few examples of the criticism the show is getting from those shown in it. Not only was this retraumatizing for the families of the victims, but none of the families were even aware the show was being produced. Shirley Hughes, the mother of victim Tony Hughes who was 32 at the time of his murder said, “the portrayal of events did not even happen like that in real life and questioned how it was even possible for the show to be made without the explicit permission of the victims’ families. I do not see how they can do that. I do not see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.”

As Netflix’s Dahmer series continues to grow in popularity, it only makes the lives of those shown in it more difficult to go through daily life without the constant reminders of the horrible crimes that their families have had to grieve with for over 30 years.