Ryan Murphy, co-creator of Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, has claimed the team behind the series reached out to 20 victims’ families and friends, but “not a single person responded”.
Created by Murphy and Ian Brennan, the Netflix series starring Evan Peters as the serial killer was pitched as shining a “spotlight on the as-yet untold stories of Dahmer’s victims”.
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After it was released in September, some family members of Dahmer’s victims criticised the series. Eric Perry, a cousin of Errol Lindsey, said the series had “retraumatised” his family.
The mother of Tony Hughes, Shirley, also questioned how it was ever made in an interview with the Guardian. “I don’t see how they can do that,” she said. “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.”
Speaking at an event for the series at the DGA Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday (October 27), Murphy detailed the research process behind the show’s creation.
“It’s something that we researched for a very long time,” Murphy said (via The Hollywood Reporter). “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 people. And not a single person responded to us in that process.
“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. But it was just like a night and day effort to us trying to uncover the truth of these people.”
A synopsis for the series reads: “Dahmer shines a spotlight on the as-yet untold stories of Dahmer’s victims, the people who tried to stop him, and the systemic failures that enabled him to continue his murderous spree for over a decade.”
Dahmer was convicted of murdering 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with some of his crimes involving cannibalism. He was killed in 1994 at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver.