‘Netflix receives the gain, the Dahmer victim families the pain’: Attorney calls on Ryan Murphy to share TV profits

A Milwaukee attorney who says he once represented eight of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims’ families is calling on Ryan Murphy to share the profits from his Netflix mini-series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story with his former clients.

Thomas M Jacobson also called Murphy’s suggestion of a memorial contribution for Dahmer’s victims “an aftertought”.

“The memorial contribution for the Dahmer victims by Ryan Murphy seems likes an afterthought,” Jacobson told US publication TheWrap via email. “Milwaukee wanted Dahmer memory to disappear so not wanting any remembrance of his mayhem in the community is a given.”

Jacobson also suggested what he considers the proper remedy: “The only meaningful Dahmer victim family action on Murphy’s part would be a monetary consideration from the Netflix profits for their exploitation and continuing trauma.”

Jacobson’s remarks come amid increased scrutiny on Murphy, whose based-on-a-true-story television series has been accused of exploitation. Eric Perry, a cousin of one of Dahmer’s victims, tweeted that the series was “retraumatising” his family.

Speaking at a promotional event for Dahmer, Murphy attempted to address some of the criticism.

There he said: “And we, over the course of the three, three and a half years when we were really writing it, working on it, we reached out to 20, around 20 of the victims’ families and friends trying to get input, trying to talk to people and not a single person responded to us in that process.

“So we relied very, very heavily on our incredible group of researchers who… I don’t even know how they found a lot of this stuff. But it was just like a night and day effort to us trying to uncover the truth of these people.”

Murphy also suggested then that he make a contribution toward a memorial, which prompted Jacobson to object.

Jeffrey Dahmer, Evan Peters (Getty, Netflix)
Jeffrey Dahmer, Evan Peters (Getty, Netflix)

Jacobson concluded his letter to TheWrap: “All my efforts on behalf of the Dahmer victim families were consistent with my belief that Network TV series, books, movies, trading cards, comic books, action figures, any and all Dahmer victim exploitation commercially, all profits need to be shared with the victims and their families. I join Rita Isbell in her criticism of the Netflix Dahmer victim exploitation and call upon Netflix from their extremely commercially successful endeavour, to share a portion of the profits with the Dahmer victim families.

“Netflix receives the gain, the Dahmer victim families the pain. This is not just, this is not fair, this is not right.”