Ryan Murphy Fires Back at DAHMER Backlash, Says He Reached Out to Victims' Families

After receiving criticism for not reaching out to the families of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims, DAHMER creator Ryan Murphy is pushing back at the accusation. Read his full explanation here.

By Charlotte Walsh Oct 28, 2022 3:25 PMTags
Watch: Ryan Murphy FIRES BACK at Dahmer Series Backlash

Ryan Murphy is defending DAHMER

After families of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's victims criticized the hit Netflix series for not reaching out before depicting them in DAHMER - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, the creator is telling his side of the story. 

"It's something that we researched for a very long time," Murphy said at a panel promoting the show on Oct. 27. "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 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."

Instead, Murphy explains the team had to rely "very heavily" on a group of researchers, saying it was "a night-and-day effort to us trying to uncover the truth of these people."

DAHMER, which depicts the infamous serial killer's 1978 to 1991 spree in which he gruesomely murdered 17 men and assaulted at least five othersfirst began receiving backlash after it premiered on Sept. 21. 

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Just five days after the series debuted, Rita Isbell, whose 19-year-old brother Errol Lindsey was murdered by Dahmer in April 1991, claimed no one told her that the series was being made—or that her testimony from the killer's 1992 year trial would be featured. 

"I feel like Netflix should've asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn't ask me anything. They just did it," Isbell told Insider Sept. 26. "But I'm not money hungry, and that's what this show is about, Netflix trying to get paid."


Two weeks later, Shirley Hughes, whose son Tony Hughes was murdered by Dahmer in May 1991, echoed Isbell's claims, telling The Guardian on Oct. 10 that her son's killing "didn't happen like that."

"I don't see how they can do that," she added. "I don't see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there."

Despite the criticism, DAHMER, which stars Evan Peters as the titular serial killer,  has become one of Netflix's most successful shows ever, with the series being streamed for 496 million hours (and counting) so far.

DAHMER - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is now streaming on Netflix. 

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