Ryan Murphy Says There Should Be A Memorial For Dahmer's Victims

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday October 29, 2022
Originally published on October 28, 2022

While doing research for his hit Netflix series "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story," creator Ryan Murphy said he and his team reached out to 20 victims' families and friends in preparation for the story.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy has received public push back from the people who were close to Dahmer's victims, with many saying that the Netflix show has retraumatized them for "nothing." But Murphy paints a picture of painstaking research when talking about his pursuit to tell the story.

"It's something that we researched for a very long time," Murphy said at an event for the show at the DGA Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday. "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 20, around 20, of the victims' families and friends trying to get input, trying to talk to people."

According to him, "not a single person responded" to their requests to know more and understand the events surrounding their connections to Dahmer.

"So we relied very, very heavily on our incredible group of researchers who... I don't even know how they found a lot of this stuff," said Murphy. "But it was just like a night and day effort to us trying to uncover the truth of these people."

Rita Isbell, sister of Errol Lindsey, who was murdered by Dahmer at age 19, said Netflix was profiting off the tragedy. The mother of Tony Hughes, who had a relationship with Dahmer before he was murdered, said the series overly dramatized her son's story.

To that criticism, Murphy explained that the show was meant to make the victims more than just numbers on Dahmer's murder list.

"Something that we talked a lot in the making of it is we weren't so much interested in Jeffrey Dahmer, the person, but what made him the monster that he became," said Murphy. "We talked a lot about that... and we talked about it all the time. It's really about white privilege. It's about systemic racism. It's about homophobia."

Paris Barclay, who directed episodes six and 10, said the show is meant to celebrate the lives of Dahmer's victims.

"We really want it to be about celebrating these victims," Barclay added. "When Tony writes 'I won't disappear' on that last card, that's what this show is about. It's about making sure these people are not erased by history and that they have a place and that they're recognized and that they were important and that they lived full lives. And they came from all sorts of different places, but they were real people."

Niecy Nash, who plays Dahmer's neighbor Glenda Cleveland in the show questioned why there hasn't been a memorial set up for Dahmer's victims. Seemingly agreeing with that idea, Murphy even offered to pay for it himself.

"Anything that we could do to get that to happen," Murphy said. "I do think there should be something. And we're trying to get a hold of people to talk about that. I think there's some resistance because they think the park would attract people who are interested in paying homage to the macabre... but I think something should be done."

What do you think?