Dahmer Creator Reacts To Criticism Saying He Never Got Responses From Victim’s Families

Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story creator Ryan Murphy says he reached out to the families of victims and didn't get a single response.

By Joshua Jones | Published

Ryan Murphy’s Jeffrey Dahmer series has undoubtedly kept people theorizing and discussing the serial killer’s motives and the effect he had on the victim’s families. Responding to some fan criticism online, Murphy stated that he initially tried reaching out to 20 victims’ families and friends during the three in the half years he was developing the series. As noted in The Hollywood Reporter, the series creator addressed during a show at DGA Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday that it was quite difficult for him to get a response from the victims’ families and friends.

In fact, Murphy claimed he didn’t get a “single response” from anybody.

Ryan Murphy stated that he and the creators of the Jeffrey Dahmer Netflix series had to rely heavily on their “incredible group of researchers.” Murphy admitted he didn’t know how they got the information they needed for the story and said it was “a night and day effort” for the creators and researchers to “uncover the truth of these people.” Netflix’s Dahmer-Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story centers on the real-life serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer who gruesomely murdered 17 men between the years 1978 and 1991.

As noted in The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Murphy’s Jeffrey Dahmer series has received backlash from the victims’ families, who accused Netflix and Murphy’s team of not reaching out to them. Rita Isbell, a family member of one of Dahmer’s victims, spoke out against the series in an emotional essay for Insider. She wrote that Netflix “should’ve asked if [the victims’ families] mind or how we felt about making [the series].”

Isbell’s brother, Elrod Lindsey, was brutally murdered by Dahmer at the age of 19, and the show re-created the moment.

ryan murphy dahmer
Evan Peters in Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Isbell continued to write that it saddens her to know Netflix and the creators were “just making money off this tragedy” and called the whole situation an example of “greed.” Ryan Murphy and the creators of the Jeffrey Dahmer series declined to comment on Isbell’s emotional essay at the time. In addition, Eric Perry, who identified himself as Lindsey’s cousin, shared on social media that the series was “retraumatizing.”

Adding fuel to the fire, Ryan Murphy’s Jeffrey Dahmer series has faced criticism from the LGBTQ community after Netflix added the “LGBTQ” category tag to the series. This led to a backlash online from those in the LGBTQ community who felt they didn’t want Dahmer to be the type of representation they wanted. Drag performer B.J. Daniels even commented on the situation by saying it “fetishizes this horrible moment in Milwaukee history.”  

Despite all the controversy, Ryan Murphy’s Jeffrey Dahmer series is still considered a success for the streamer. The series was ranked alongside other Netflix hits, such as Stranger Things, and racked up 196.2 million hours watched. Only Stranger Things and Squid Game managed to surpass the impressive number.

The series has been estimated to have been viewed by more than 56 million households in less than two weeks.

Ryan Murphy has stated that his Jeffrey Dahmer series will pass 1 billion hours streamed sometime in the next few days.