Dahmer- Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story Review


Erica Ellison, Staff Writer

Jeffrey Dahmer: A monster? A psychopath? Just sick in the head? Everyone who watched the new hit series, Dahmer, on Netflix had different interpretations of this man. We can all agree he was not a good person in the slightest and I learned a lot more information about him while watching this series.

I had never known much about Dahmer other than a general idea of who the popular serial killers were. The series did a good job portraying Dahmer’s entire life to help the viewers understand where some of his sickness came from. It seemed as though his home life was a little rough with parents fighting constantly and a mother struggling with substance abuse. Dahmer had to witness his mother overdosing many times which could have stemmed some psychological issues. The producers added a key element of Dahmer’s father, Lionel, showing Dahmer how to catch and dissect roadkill. The new question is: was Lionel the reason Dahmer was so fascinated with the dismantling of human bodies? We obviously can’t place all of the blame on him, but there should be some speculation as to why Lionel never realized that Dahmer soon had an odd obsession with the dissections. Towards the end of the series, us viewers found out that Lionel had some of the same gruesome thoughts that his son did. He had to step back and think to himself if he was the reason his son was so dimmented. In reality, we will never know the true answer to why Dahmer was this way.

In the first episode, we witness the moment that Dahmer had gotten caught and arrested after years of his foul acts. They played out his life in an interesting way by not following a specific timeline. However, when the series first showed Dahmer’s first kill it wasn’t the reaction we expected out of him. The viewers witnessed Dahmer’s first heartbreak when he put himself out there and kissed a boy he liked, Steven Hicks. Hicks was clearly not gay to us viewers but Dahmer didn’t understand that. Hicks then went on to call Dahmer a slur leading to Dahmer hitting him in the head and strangling him. We noticed that Dahmer went into some sort of daze while choking Hicks and ended up killing him in the act. Dahmer was immediately full of regret and disbelief seeing what he did, leading Dahmer to hide the body. After that murder is where everything went downhill leading Dahmer to many more unfortunate killing sprees.

As the show went on, the killing of more characters became more gruesome. There was one character, however, that seemed to have changed Dahmer’s mindset. This character, Tony Hughes, was deaf and the viewers got to witness his life story play out in one episode. He was a kind man who usually got turned away from other men for being deaf and unable to communicate well with them. As soon as Dahmer saw Hughes at their local bar, he was immediately attracted to him. Dahmer was shocked at first about Hughes’s disability but that didn’t stop him from talking to him. We witnessed a new side of Dahmer that Hughes seemed to create. The connection they had was pure and genuine and they went on many dates together as a couple would. One day, Hughes had gone to Dahmer’s house just as usual and before Tony was about to leave, Dahmer gained the urge to kill him. Before Dahmer let himself go that far, Hughes had left on what he thought was a good note. Hughes ended up returned after forgetting his keys and that is when almost every viewer’s heart broke into pieces, you can probably guess why. As a viewer, I had a lot of hope for Dahmer and his relationship with Hughes, but yet again he let his head get ahold of him and did the unthinkable.

Lastly, throughout the entire series, we get to witness the viewpoint of Dahmer’s neighbor, Glenda Cleveland. While she never saw the acts that Dahmer was committing, she could constantly smell something rotting coming through their shared vents and heard lots of yelling and screaming. She always knew something bad was going on when she would witness several men going into Dahmer’s apartment and not leaving or leaving and running away. She constantly called the police notifying them of something wrong going on but nothing ever seemed to be done after her complaints. She went as far as to get Dahmer evicted which he did not take lightly. After Cleveland found out about what Dahmer was doing in the next door, she suffered from years of ptsd. She fought for the building to be turned into a memorial park for the victims but that never got put into action. Personally, she was one of the most respectable characters for not backing down and trying to get justice for the victims.

This show was wild and gut churning but it does bring up questions if the victims families knew about the filming. The series made me very sorrowful for the victims and their families while also giving me a deeper view into Dahmer’s mind. I would recommend watching this for anyone who is into true crime or finding out more about this subject. So far, the series has been viewed by 56 million households and will continue to rise to possibly be the most watched Netflix series.