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Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is the new Netflix series that is captivating audiences. In ten episodes of approximately one hour, Dahmer tells the story of one of the most sinister and twisted serial killers of all time. Although Netflix claims that with this series it “wants to give a voice to the victims,” it rather seems to take advantage of it to modify the real story and make politics.
The success that Dahmer is having can be explained by several factors: In the first place, it is a very well-shot series, with great technical workmanship and solid performances. Apart from that, it exploits a very attractive genre for Netflix‘s audience that of a serial killer story with the added bonus of being based on real events.
Netflix must know the fascination that this genre provokes in the public and has decided to make a series about one of the most prolific and twisted psychopaths of the last century, Jeffrey Dahmer, who, over a period of 13 years, murdered 17 young people, with many of whom he also practiced necrophilia, cannibalism, and kept as a trophy some parts of their bodies.
This series joins other Netflix productions with a macabre touch of serial killers, such as Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, about the wanderings of Ted Bundy, or Manson Family Vacation, about the infamous Charles Manson.
However, Dahmer differs from traditional true-crime productions in focusing its attention on the stories of the victims, and not just on more or less methodically recounting the killer’s life.
Although the series delves into Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood and youth, trying to explain what could lead him to commit such heinous crimes, it does so in a non-chronological order, putting together his story with jumps in time-based on his relationships with some of his victims, showing their lives and what led them to be seduced by the one who would end up killing them.
This approach would be Netflix‘s justification for retelling for the umpteenth time the crimes of the Milwaukee Monster, which have already been exposed in dozens of films and documentaries. However, despite the supposed respect for the dead that Netflix claims to have wanted to have with this series, many people are criticizing the series as opportunistic and morbid, including some families of the victims.
Rita Isbell, the sister of Dahmer victim Errol Lindsey, complained in an interview for Insider that Netflix did not contact any of the victims’ families, asserting that “Netflix should have asked if we care or how we feel about doing it. They didn’t ask me anything. They just did.”
Rita Isbell is the one who, during the trial, confronted the killer and vehemently rebuked him for his crimes, in a scene that is reconstructed with pinpoint accuracy in one of the last chapters.
A cousin of Rita Isbell also went viral with a tweet accusing Netflix of “re-traumatizing” her family.
These types of reactions from family members call into question the production company’s public claims of wanting to pay homage to the victims, making it clear that they feel neglected and assaulted. What then would be Netflix’s intentions for making this series?
Dahmer according to Netflix: everything is politics
The most plausible and immediate answer is that Netflix simply wants to make money by exploiting the morbidity of one of the most lurid cases known. But watching the series, and knowing the production company’s track record when it comes to imbuing its content with ideology, one might well think that the new series intends to rewrite the real story to adjust it to the political narrative that suits the left.
Despite the fact that Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in prison in 1994, and that his crimes took place over the previous decade and a half, the series is steeped throughout in the fetish themes of today’s leftist political woke.
On the one hand, the series aims to turn the victims into some sort of proto-martyrs of the BLM, LGBT, and feminist movements, and, on the other, it takes care to point the finger at the villain to hate, who surprisingly is not the Milwaukee Monster, but the Police. The series practically ends up being a rag in support of the Defund the Police movement.
What makes us think this? The changes the series makes with respect to the real story are the clue that would reveal Netflix’s not-so-hidden intentions.
The most obvious change is that of Glenda Cleveland’s character, introduced as the killer’s door-to-door neighbor, who is almost the protagonist in this version of the story. Not for nothing does the series begin and end with her.
In the opening moments of the first episode she appears watching TV news about police brutality with racist overtones, when she hears noises of a chainsaw coming from the apartment next door, as well as an unbearable rotten smell.
Every time she asks her neighbor for explanations, he gives her ridiculous excuses. The same thing happens to her every time she calls the police to warn them of what might be happening in the next apartment, and the police are portrayed as incompetent, bordering on complicity with the murderer, who apparently ignored her because she is black and a woman.
The racist, classist, sexist and homophobic bias of the police would be the explanation given by the series for the murderer to have been able to prolong his misdeeds for so long. In addition, the fact that the police rewarded the officers who ignored Glenda Cleveland so many times as police officers of the year would be the confirmation that racism is systemic within the force.
The problem is that the Netflix version is a lie. The cop award never happened in real life, and the real Glenda Cleveland was not Jeffrey Dahmer’s next door neighbor, but lived in a nearby building.
In reality, Glenda Cleveland did call the police months earlier when her daughter told her that she saw the 14-year-old in a semi-conscious state with Dahmer, and the police acted badly in accepting Dahmer’s explanations that he was drunk after a lover’s quarrel, but not to the extreme that the series takes it to.
The series fuses the character of Glenda Cleveland with that of her real neighbor, Pamela Bass, who complained about noises and smells, and with that of many other neighbors who after his arrest came out to tell their experiences with the murderer.
We might think that this unification into a single character is done to simplify the story, but when Netflix insists on denigrating the police so flagrantly, what would be an innocent narrative license becomes malice to condition the viewer
Dahmer and the spiral of victimhood woke
The Dahmer series is a victim of the incongruities inherent to the woke ideology and the “intersectionality” falling into a spiral of victimization by the mere fact of belonging to different supposedly oppressed minorities. The confirmation of this endless victimhood is in the LGBT community’s own reaction to the series.
Netflix initially included the series within its LGBT category, as most of Dahmer’s victims were homosexuals whom he seduced in gay bars. It seemed logical for the streaming service to join the trend by boosting this theme, but it soon had to remove this label due to complaints from LGBT activists, who accused the series of leaving their community in a bad light, since Dahmer himself was gay.
Also suspicious is Netflix’s determination to make the Dahmer case a civil rights issue for African-Americans, when in fact it chose its victims not by the color of their skin, but by the type of physical complexion.
In short, the publicity that presents the series as a tribute to the victims is hard to believe, because not only did they not even ask for permission or information from the family members, but they also seem to be using the victims for political purposes.
It’s also hard to trust Netflix’s noble intentions when with this series they seem to be setting up something like a “Netflix Serial Killer Cinematic Universe” by shoehorning in the character of killer clown John Wayne Gacy, who they will probably bring out his own series in the future.
If one feels the need to know more about this horrendous case and its victims, better watch one of the documentaries, as this series only offers entertainment to satisfy woke fantasies.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm