Another relative of a Jeffrey Dahmer victim has spoken out against Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, condemning the crime drama for using real names and events without first consulting the real-life people involved.
Despite becoming one of the streamer’s most successful TV titles ever, the series has proven controversial since its launch on September 21st. In recent weeks, subscribers have criticized Netflix for filing it under the “LGBTQ” category (which later led to the label being removed), while some of the family members of the 17 people Dahmer killed have also criticized the show for “making money from this tragedy”.
When approached by The Guardian (opens in new tab) to talk about the episode centering on her late son, 31-year-old Tony Hughes, who was murdered by Dahmer in 1991, Shirley Hughes said: “I don’t see how they can do that. I don’t see how they can use the names us and to bring out these things like there”.
“It didn’t happen like that,” she continued, before admitting that Tony’s death is too difficult to discuss and gracefully ending their call, the report said.
Created by American Horror Story’s Ryan Murphy and frequent collaborator Ian Brennan, Dahmer sees Evan Peters play the notorious Milwaukee killer, who was gay and whose internalized homophobia is believed to have influenced his crimes against other gays men and men of color. Richard Jenkins stars as Jeffrey’s father Lionel, Molly Ringwald appears as Shari’s stepmother, and Niecy Nash brings neighbor Glenda Cleveland to life.
Tony’s interaction with Dahmer isn’t the only aspects of his life explored in episode 6, poignantly titled “Silenced.” It highlights how he lost his hearing as an infant when a doctor prescribed him the wrong medication, his aspirations as a model, how he often communicated with handwritten notes and his close bond with his mother and sister. In the show, he is played by deaf actor and former reality TV star Rodney Burford and meets Dahmer on a night out. It is implied that after they spend the night together, Dahmer kills Hughes before donating money to a search effort organized by the victim’s mother and other relatives after his sudden disappearance.
Shortly after Dahmer premiered on Netflix, Eric Perry — cousin of Dahmer victim Errol Lindsey — took to Twitter to explain that his family found out about the show when “everyone else found out.” He added: “They don’t notify families when they do this. It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay!) anyone.”
Okay, I didn’t expect this tweet to get so much attention. To answer the main question, no, they do not notify families when they do this. It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay!) anyone. My family found out when everyone else did.September 23, 2022
“So when they say they’re doing this ‘out of respect for the victims’ or ‘respecting the dignity of the families,’ no one is contacting them. My cousins wake up every few months at this point to a bunch of calls and texts and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.”
After one of the men he lured back to his apartment managed to escape and alert authorities in 1991, Dahmer was arrested and sentenced to life in prison the following year. He was beaten to death by a fellow inmate in 1994, aged 34.
Currently the number one show on Netflix, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is available to stream now. If real-life crime dramas aren’t your bag, then check out our list of the best Netflix shows for some inspiration.