The show – based on serial killer Dahmer’s real crimes – stars Mare of Easttown actor Evan Peters as the man also known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal” and the “Milwaukee Monster”, who committed the murders and dismemberments of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
Since its arrival on the platform on 22 September, some have found the show’s gruesome scenes nauseating, with many angered viewers believing it romanticises and glorifies the tragic murders.
One courtroom scene has gone viral using a side-by-side comparison to the actual 1992 trial. In it, Rita Isbell (portrayed by DaShawn Barnes), the older sister of 19-year-old victim Errol Lindsey, is seen yelling in agony during her trial statement.
Lindsey was strangled to death after Dahmer’s alleged experiment to keep him in a permanent zombie-like state, by drilling holes into his head and pouring hydrochloric acid into it, failed.
“I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge right now, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbells) are pissed about this show,” one account, named Ericthulu, tweeted on Thursday (22 September), alongside the viral clip.
“It’s retraumatising over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”
I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need? https://t.co/CRQjXWAvjx
— eric. (@ericthulhu) September 22, 2022
He continued: “Like recreating my cousin having an emotional breakdown in court in the face of the man who tortured and murdered her brother is WILD.”
In a separate post on his Instagram story, Eric wrote: “No I will not be watching [Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story].
“No my family is not happy,” he added. “RIP to my cousin Errol Lindsey and all the other victims.”
The Independent has reached out to Eric for comment.
“It’s very strange getting attention for someone else’s misery. Especially on a global scale. I’m not naive to the fact that murder and true crime are sensational,” actor Shaun Brown, who plays Tracy Edwards, acknowledged in a Twitter post on Monday (21 September).
Edwards was Dahmer’s only surviving victim who successfully escaped. He also played a role in the legal proceedings, which would eventually convict Dahmer for his murders.
“However, I ask that in watching this show you remember that these men were sons, best friends, cousins, uncles, and had dreams, hopes, and goals that were never realised. I have so much love for Tracy Edwards and I hope that through my portrayal you will also,” Brown concluded.
“I hope you have love for all the victims and maybe in time you will have more love for one another.”
Read more about the true story that inspired the show here. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is available to stream on Netflix.