The Dahmer dilemna

With millions across the country tuning into Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, we set out to see what Maize students and teachers really think about the overall narrative of the horror series.

Photo by Melanie Coombs

Maize South High student Aaron Johnson watches the graphic, obscene content of Dahmer in shock. According to, the series was streamed over 450 million hours in its first two weeks on Netflix.

Melanie Coombs and Middy Bowring

“Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”, a new Netflix series based on one of the most notorious serial killers in the U.S, was recently released on Sept. 21, 2022. This thriller series has quickly racked up millions of views and has sparked major controversy online due to its violent and graphic content, obscene nature, and possible desensitization of viewers.  

Over the past few weeks, “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”, has become the second most-viewed English Netflix series of all time with 703.1 hours viewed (according to The show has proven to be a successful hit show on Netflix, continuing to gain more views and popularity online day by day.

Biopics, films/shows dramatizing the life of a non-fictional or historically-based person, have gained lots of popularity in recent years. Junior Tamia Cunningham thinks that with the popularity of Biopics today, prominent figures should be left alone and be able to rest.

This visual shows how Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is currently the top viewed series watched on Netflix’s Global Top 10 Series ranking from October 3 to October 9. The show is bringing in 200 million more views on average per week than the 2nd place series, which is also focused on Dahmer’s life. (Visual by Melanie Coombs)

“Biopics are very popular right now and…my thoughts on the show being made in general and all of the biopics is like.. leave the people…let the people rest. Like the Marilyn Monroe one, let that woman rest,” said Cunningham. “Jeffery Dahmer, there’s already a Biopic on him, there’s many…many documentaries on that man. We all know what he did, we all do. Let him rest,” Cunningham said.

This series has stirred the audience’s mind with countless questions about why someone would do such horrible things. Sophomore Jordyn Sanders, a teen who has already watched the entire series, wonders what all it takes for someone to do something like this.

“What makes someone want to do this, and how crazy do you have to be?” said Sanders.

She also believes that Dahmer is being rewarded for his crimes and that people aren’t focusing on what the victims actually went through.

“I feel like Jeffery Dahmer is being rewarded for what he did and we’re not focusing on the victims and what they went through. I don’t think the show should be about him, it should be about the victims, period,”

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story retells the tragic events of Dahmer’s crimes, victims, and childhood. However, Maize High Teacher Justin Ralph thinks that there are more compelling narratives of what Dahmer did from other people around him.

“Um…you know..the point of the horror genre is to make people uncomfortable and to show them things they don’t necessarily want to think about. That’s what’s interesting about the true crime genre because people become more desensitized towards, you know, horrible crimes against humanity, and brutalization, we become more desensitized to that. I think there’s a place for it, again I think there’s more compelling narratives in the story of what Jeffery Dahmer did FROM other people around his circle,” said Ralph.  “I think that’s true for probably every true crime/serial killer story, it’s not necessarily…what the crimes committed were but who were the people, you know, that they murdered and got rid of.”

“In a way, the true crime genre also points out why we need to protect the most marginalized among us because if we can make their lives safer, you know, hopefully we can stop or slow down or prevent unnecessary murders from happening as well,” said Ralph.