Netflix has had success recently due to its new series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, a ten episode limited-run series created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan. Jeffrey Dahmer, diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder and pshycotic disorder, was one of the most notorious serial killers and sex offenders in history. Also called the Milwaukee Cannibal and the Milwaukee Monster, murderer and ate a total of 17 victims, most of them black men and boys, between 1978 until 1991, year when Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested and taken to the Columbia Correctional Institution where he was sentenced with life imprisonment and later died in 1994 after he was beaten to death by a prisioner.
The series begins in 1991 with Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters) getting arrested after he tries to murder one potential victim named Tracy (Shaun J. Brown), where he met him at a gay bar. However, the killer’s plan of sedating his victim by giving him a laced drink with crushed Halcion (a drug that contains triazolam) and perform brain surgery on his victim, did not go Dahmer’s way for the reason that Tracy successfully escapes and notifies the police. Subsequently, the authorities find human parts all over Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment that coincided with all the victims that went missing.
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story also displays his childhood, highschool years, university and the army. The series shows how Jeffrey was a quiet kid, different from other children in his school. His house was not a home, since Dahmer’s parents used to have discussions, his father, Lionel Dahmer (Richard Jenkins) was not always present in the house and his mother, Joyce Dahmer (Penelope Ann Miller) suffered from depression and had suicide attempts when Jeffrey was just a child, his parent’s issues led to a divorce. Afterwards, when Jefffey was in high school, was abandoned by his mother and younger brother David Dahmer.
In high school, Dahmer started drinking alcohol at the age of 14. He was more invested in science, specifically in dissection, this is where he learned more about bodies and its organs. Even though Dahmer was not good in school, he managed to graduate and go to Ohio University where he was expelled in 1978 due to his mediocre GPA. This is when Jeffrey’s life completely changes and is forced by his father to join the army. In the Netflix series it is shown that Dahmer trains as a medical specialist where he learns about drugs, precisely hypnotic medication which guarantee rest and recovery, in the scene Dahmer asks the teacher “Which one was it again? What was the name?” referring to Halcion, the drug he would later use to sedate his victims.
The TV show introduces Glenda Cleveland (Niecy Nash) who was Jeffrey Dahmer’s neighbor and used to listen to strange sounds such as saws and drills. In the series Glenda constantly tells Jeffrey “That smell is worse than ever” and Dahmer replies by saying “Is it? Well, y’know, I had that meat that went bad, in that little freezer I got” what nobody expected was that the meat that was supposedly “bad” was actually human. Glenda plays a fundamental role in Dahmer’s story and the series in view of the fact that she tried to warn the cops many times, but she was never listened to. The focus of the series it is also based on telling the story of the Milwaukee Cannibal from its victim’s points of view and how the police’s incompetence allowed Dahmer to commit numerous murders throughout the 70s, 80s and the early 90s, since all his victims where part of ethnics minority groups, the authorities did not give importance to the cases. Even though the series has been a huge success for Netflix, it has been hard for victims’ families to relive traumatizing experiences.