Mark J. Price
Jeffrey Dahmer—Akron, Ohio’s most infamous son—is the subject of Netflix’s new series “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”
The notorious serial killer, who grew up in Ohio’s Bath Township, is the lead character in Netflix’s “Dahmer,” a 10-episode series that will explore the murders and dismemberments of 17 men and boys that happened between 1978 and 1991 at the hands of Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster.
Emmy-winning actor Evan Peters, 35, stars in the miniseries as Dahmer, and also features Richard Jenkins and Penelope Ann Miller as parents Lionel and Joyce Dahmer. The cast also includes Niecy Nash as Glenda Cleveland, Michael Learned as Catherine Dahmer, Molly Ringwald as Shari Dahmer.
“Dahmer” is rated TV-MA for “substances, language, violence, nudity, gore, sexual violence and smoking,” according to the Netflix show page.
Here’s what we know about the new Netflix series.
What is Netflix’s ‘The Dahmer Story’ about?
“Dahmer” exposes the gruesome and unconscionable crimes that the serial killer acted upon from 1978-1991. According to Netflix, the series is “centered around the underserved victims and their communities impacted by the systemic racism and institutional failures of the police that allowed one of America’s most notorious serial killers to continue his murderous spree in plain sight for over a decade.”
Emmy-winning producer, director and writer Ryan Murphy created the show with Ian Brennan. Murphy and Brennan also serve as the show’s executive producers.
Murphy’s previous shows include “Popular,” “Glee,” “Nip/Tuck,” “American Horror Story,” “Scream Queens,” “Pose,” “American Crime Story,” “9-1-1,” “9- 1-1: Lone Star” and “Ratched.”
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Who was Jeffrey Dahmer’s first victim in Ohio?
Dahmer’s killing spree began June 18, 1978, after he picked up Steven M. Hicks, 18, who was hitchhiking alongside a route in Ohio after a concert. He drove the youth to the Dahmer home under the guise of having a few beers. When Hicks tried to leave, Dahmer killed him, dismembered the body and scattered the remains around his yard.
Dahmer moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he killed 16 more people.
Police arrested him in July 1991 after a handcuffed man escaped from his apartment, where officers later found human skulls and other remains.
Two patrolmen were fired after it was revealed that officers had returned a drugged, naked 14-year-old boy to Dahmer’s apartment following an escape attempt. Dahmer convinced them that the youth was his drunken boyfriend. When police left, Dahmer killed the teen.
Dahmer confessed to 17 killings and was sentenced to life in prison. A fellow inmate beat him to death in 1994 at Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin. He was 34.
How did Evan Peters research for his role in playing Jeffrey Dahmer?
In a 2021 interview with Variety, Peters explained his research for the role of the killer.
“I’ve read so much, I’ve watched so much, I’ve seen so much, and at a certain point, you’ve got to say, ‘All right, that’s enough,’ ” Peters said. “There are beautifully written scripts. You can have all the backstory you want, but at the end of the day we’re not making a documentary.
“It’s more about maintaining the idea and the through line of why you’re telling the story and always having that as your guiding light. But there’s so much material for Dahmer that I think it’s incredibly important to make it really authentic.”
Peters won an Emmy in 2021 for a supporting role in the HBO miniseries “Mare of Easttown,” a crime drama starring Kate Winslet as a detective in Pennsylvania.
“Dahmer” is Hollywood’s latest take on the serial killer.
Coincidentally, Peters appeared opposite Dahmer’s character in the fifth season of Murphy’s “American Horror Story” on FX in 2015-2016. Actor Seth Gabel played Dahmer in a supernatural tale about a Los Angeles hotel where the ghosts of serial killers gather, including John Wayne Gacy, Aileen Wuornos and Richard Ramirez. Peters played the sinister innkeeper.
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Here are two other movies about Jeffrey Dahmer
Dahmer also appeared on the big screen in “My Friend Dahmer,” a 2017 film based on the award-winning graphic novel by John “Derf” Backderf, a former classmate.
Former Disney Channel star Ross Lynch earned positive reviews for his portrayal of Dahmer as a troubled youth. The supporting cast includes Alex Wolff as Backderf, Anne Heche as Joyce Dahmer and Dallas Roberts as Lionel Dahmer. Directed by Marc Meyers, the R-rated movie includes scenes filmed in Dahmer’s actual childhood home.
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Future “Avengers” star Jeremy Renner played the serial killer in the 2002 horror film “Dahmer.” David Jacobson wrote and directed the low-budget movie, which is also available to view on Netflix.
Jeffrey Dahmer has been dead for nearly 30 years, but he continues to haunt pop culture.