The Dahmer series is problematic, harmful

true crime

Alina Velasquez/The Cougar

True crime media like the Dahmer series invalidate the victims as big name streaming companies like Netflix profit off of the traumatizing events and continue to glamorize serial killers. 

The Dahmer series has gained both negative and positive reviews but the most prominent ones are from the victim’s families. 

Errol Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, was disturbed by the show as Netflix never contacted her or asked permission to have the show made. Eric Perry who is related to the Isbell’s has shared the same beliefs through Twitter over how traumatizing it is to see it come up all over again. 

Some viewers claim that it is important to showcase the dangers of people like Jeffrey Dahmer.

True crime media is consumed by a majority of women because they fear they will become a victim if they do not prepare themselves with the knowledge of a serial killer’s mind. They gain a sense of protection from watching a documentary nit-picking the mind of a killer and what someone should do in case they ever find themselves in such a dangerous situation. 

However, it should not be done at the expense of the families who lost family members in such a cruel, traumatizing way. 

With a large women majority, some of the viewers become obsessive in nature. Serial killers end up acquiring groupies, individuals who grow obsessed with serial killers and aim to get closer to them.

Even if it was not Netflix’s intention to glamorize Jeffrey Dahmer, it was their responsibility as a big name streaming company to respect the victim’s family and evaluate the effect of such graphic documentary on the general public. 

To add on, Netflix has been called out by one of the show’s crew members for their racist experience on set and lack of mental health coordinators available.

Netflix has also tagged the series under LGBTQ which was uncomfortable for many people as there are not many positive queer films. To have a series about a white man killing young Black and brown men under the LGBTQ tag is jarring. 

A lot of things were done wrong by Netflix not only during production but before and after. The streaming company should have done more research, contacted the original families and ultimately decided that the series should not go through. 

True crime documentaries provide an insight on the mind of one of the most dangerous and uncanny individuals but they should not worsen the trauma for those affected by such heinous crimes. 

Cindy Rivas Alfaro is a sophomore journalism student who can be reached at [email protected] 

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