Sister of Jeffrey Dahmer victim says new Netflix show was "harsh and careless" towards her

Originally published at: Sister of Jeffrey Dahmer victim says new Netflix show was "harsh and careless" towards her | Boing Boing


The profits should go to the families of Dahmer’s victims. And I’d like to point out that “fan boying” serial killers is disgusting.


I don’t know how true crime content can be respectful, even if made with good intentions at the end of the day its entertainment being made out of other people’s worst day. I say this as someone that does like the occasional true crime show or podcast, but the genre and fans do make me uncomfortable more often than not.


When I saw that show pop up on Netflix, I physically recoiled from the screen, even not knowing anything about it. It just feels unavoidably gross and exploitative, whatever they actually do to approach the subject.

It feels like it’s always, ultimately, turning real horror that affected real people into a soap opera, into some sort of superficial entertainment. Seems like the only non-gross approach is to do a higher-level analysis of the more general dynamics rather than specific individuals and actions, but that would have only academic, not voyeuristic, appeal.


Probably the best example i can think of is Serial, since they wanted to shine a light on an egregious injustice that was done to Adnan. Beyond that i like listening to historical stories of killers from ages past (early 19th and 18th century and earlier). The more recent stuff makes me uncomfortable generally


Yeah I agree. When I saw they made a series about Dahmer…not a movie, but a 10 episode series…my first and really only thought was, “Why?” Anyone in the US over the age of 45 likely is familiar with who Dahmer was and what he did. There’s no remaining questions about the murders, other than the general question of what would ever drive anyone to do that, and no series like this is ever going to answer that question. There’s no injustice surrounding his conviction. There’s just nothing to accomplish from a show like this other than entertaining people, and this is a really shitty story to entertain people with.


After reading My Friend Dahmer a few years ago I figured that was all I needed or wanted to know about Dahmer.

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The other thing to keep in mind with these shows is that a lot of it is often simply not true. Even in pure “documentaries” they will editorialize a little and there is a perspective being chosen. It’s unavoidable. Thus you have to be a little careful what you do with the information you get from these shows. For example, a show may be edited to make you identify with one particular person in the event and feel indignant for them, but reality is always more complicated than that. Documentaries tend to distill things down to good guys and bad guys which is never how the real world works.

Now when you get into “docuseries” and “true crime dramas” and whatever people like Netflix are doing, well, all bets are really off. Who knows if any of it is true. You can count on the broad strokes, sure. There where was a guy by that name who we all know was a monster. Beyond that, I’d take everything with a whole heap of salt.

Documentaries are not research and they are not history. They are under no obligation, regulation, or even governed by tradition to tell the truth. They are using a true event as a framework to tell a story they want to tell, which is a very different thing.

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Absolutely. This is big news in my world at the moment. Sorry for the daily mail link (archived, of course), but shockingly, it is actually a well researched and well written write up of the affair.

The tl;Dr is that a new movie by and with Steve Coogan about the discovery of the body of Richard lll. completely misrepresents the archaeologists who were part of the team as misogynistic glory seekers. It’s really quite something. And this isn’t even true crime, just an academic affair.

Something similar happened with the Netflix show The Dig, where they airbrushed out several women who were involved in the Sutton Hoo excavation, and invented an extramarital affair for Peggy Piggott.


Tiger King was especially an abomination. Very very little in that show turned out to be true, as became clear when actual journalists started digging into the story after it became so popular.


Even from the descriptions it felt lurid to me, which is why I was never tempted to watch it.


It just seemed like yellow press sensationalism to me. Had it been actual fiction i maybe would’ve been more curious but it being a “real life crime” type of show i was deeply apprehensive from the get go.

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I just missed the cutoff (I’ll be 41 next month) and only knew Dahmer through the incessant schoolyard jokes. I learned a bit more from My Friend Dahmer when I read it several years ago.

My wife watched through the series, though, and I must say I had no idea how the Dahmer story is primarily a story of police racism and incompetence. A for-profit docuseries is exploitative by it’s very nature, as pointed out by others, and this one was particularly shitty to the victims, but it did reframe the story for me quite a bit from “ooooh, cannibal” to “ACAB”


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