Forget Stranger Things and company: Netflix’s new flagship series is called The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes and it’s causing a stir this fall 2022. Here’s why.
The 21st of September landed on Netflix The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes(Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story in VF). This mini-series in 10 episodes created by Ian Brennan and ryan murphy, happy creators of many TV hits (Glee, American Crime Story and American Horror Story), paints the frightening but fascinating portrait of its eponymous protagonist, one of the most fearsome serial killers in United States criminal history, from his complicated youth with his family in the sixties until his arrest in 1991, when investigators discovered several savagely dismembered corpses, bones as well as human remains at his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With its 299.84 million hours of viewing recorded between September 26 and October 2, The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes became within a weeke second most-watched English-language series just behind a major competitor, Stranger Things.
His success, The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes owes it to its main character, as troubled as it is poisonous (played by Evan Peters on screen). The man who is nicknamed “The Cannibal of Milwaukee” murdered 17 men, some of whom were minors, between 1978 (he was 18 at the time) and 1991. Dahmer did not only feast on men. After murdering his victims, the Wisconsin native indulged in a sordid ritual of rape, necrophilia and cannibalism. A quasi-surgical procedure “perfected” during the summer of 1991. The Cannibal criss-crossed the nightclubs of Milwaukee and Chicago in search of his victims at the rate of one per week. This was followed by cranial perforations and beheadings using an electric drill, hydrochloric acid and sometimes even boiling water. A real “zombification” operation performed while his “patients” were still alive. But on July 22, 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer’s method demonstrated its flaws. After being handcuffed and ingesting sleeping pills, Tracy Edwards manages to flee the psychopath’s home and flag down a patrolling police car. One year later, Jeffrey Dahmer gets 957 years in prison, a sentence he is only serving two years. Beaten by a fellow prisoner convinced that the Cannibal did not regret his actions, the murderer succumbed to his injuries two days later.
Why Jeffrey Dahmer’s Families Are Angry
If it makes the heyday of Netflix, Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan’s new series angers families of Jeffrey Dahmer victims, a monstrous anti-hero. On Twitter, Eric Perry, cousin of Errol Lindsey, unfortunate prey of Jeffrey Dahmer, gave a serious rant on September 22: “I know the true crime‘ are a hit right now, but if you really want to know, the families of the victims are angry at this series. It’s traumatic, again and again, and for what? How many films, series, documentaries do we need?“. He then attacks Netflix directly: “They don’t inform the families when they do something like that (…) My family discovered it at the same time as everyone else. So when they say they do this ‘with respect for the victims ‘ or ‘respecting the dignity of the families’, in fact, no one contacts them”. Same story on the side of Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, who testified in court in 1992, a scene also reproduced in the series. “I have the feeling that netflix should have asked us if we mind or how we felt about the idea of the project. I was never contacted about the show, they just did.” To temper fans’ “enthusiasm”, Shaun J. Brown, who plays Tracy Edwards on the show, asks to remember “that these men were sons, best friends, cousins, uncles, with dreams, hopes and goals they couldn’t achieve.”