From serial killer to pop icon by the grace of Netflix: the case of Jeffrey Dahmer

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Ryan Murphy, the creator of ‘American Horror Story‘, is on his way to making Netflix history with ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’. This surprising title, dedicated to one of the best-known serial killers in the United States, has established itself as the second best of all time on the platform behind ‘Stranger Things’, and accumulates 856.2 million viewing hours. In ten episodes he narrates the persecution (with all the documented police errors) of what is known as the Milwaukee cannibal, who between 1978 and 1991 murdered and dismembered at least 17 people.

With Evan Peters as the protagonist, the series has become such a phenomenon that searches about who this psychopath was have skyrocketed, and on Halloween his costume (checkered shirt, glasses, ‘classic’ hairstyle… ) has been a favorite in the United States, so much so that they have tried to ‘cancel’ it and even eBay banned its sale.

ABC spoke last Saturday with the creator and the protagonist, where they explained the challenge of living with the shadow of the character during the four months of preparation and the six more of filming. “I had my doubts because this is an extremely dark role, but in the end I decided to give myself completely to the character,” the actor admitted. In fact, the creator of the series, Ryan Murphy, appreciated the intense preparation of Peters during the 10 months he was in the role: “The whole team respected the tension with which he lived to achieve the depth of the character.”

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Abducted by Dahmer, Peters studied and researched the murderer consuming all the books, interviews, footage and psychological reports. “I wanted to discover his way of thinking. It was an exhaustive search, trying to find private moments, moments in which he did not seem self-conscious and that would help me show how he behaved before he entered prison, “explained Peters. “During the months leading up to it, I was wondering if I should play it and how it might affect me. It has been a brutal challenge to dive into the psychology of that extreme side of human behavior, “revealed the actor.

The fictionalized account of Dahmer’s life has also generated its fair share of controversy: the family of one of the killer’s victims said they were “re-traumatised” by the series and that Murphy never called them. The author defended himself by insisting that he tried to contact some 20 friends and family of unsuccessful victims. “We were very diligent with that issue and contacted the families. This has been a ten-year process, it’s not a series that came out of nowhere. We were desperate for other points of view, but we were forced to our research sources because no one answered us. We have tried to be as truthful as possible. I think we have been faithful to the truth. We are not telling the story of a monster, but how the monster was formed. That was always the DNA of the project, “reiterated the creator.

‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ – NETFLIX

‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ drew criticism for its portrayal of the terrifying nature of the ‘Milwaukee Monster’ crimes. Dahmer killed, dismembered and, in some cases, ‘cannibalized’ 17 victims over 13 years. All of his victims were men or boys, and most were gay people of color. “It’s something we researched for a long time,” the writer said. In fact, the series exposes these crimes as a brutal essay that emphasizes the social crisis of the victims, most of whom are affected by racism and abandonment.

Dahmer’s success offsets the platform’s huge investment in one of America’s most prolific creators of fiction after the flops of his other Netflix titles: ‘The Politician’, ‘Halston’, ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Ratched’. With the success of Dahmer, and also of his other great premiere ‘The Watcher’, Murphy justifies his multi-million dollar agreement with the ‘streaming’ company.

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From serial killer to pop icon by the grace of Netflix: the case of Jeffrey Dahmer